Archive for February, 2011

Indonesia Visa Requirements to Visit the Jungles of Sumatra

February 27th, 2011

This week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most breathtaking and ecologically diverse places on the planet. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most threatened. The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra consists of three national parks. Gunung Leuser National Park is located on the north side of the island. It houses an orangutan sanctuary and research station, and is home to other endangered species like the Sumatran elephant, Sumatran rhino and Sumatran tiger.

Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park is on the southwestern side of the island. The park’s boundaries include both mountainous and lowland terrain and is blessed with many rivers, lakes and hot springs. Kerinci Seblat National Park is the home of Sumatra’s highest mountain, Mt. Kerinci, and Lake Gunung Tujuh, the highest volcanic lake in Southeast Asia. Here, you’ll also find the mysterious, grotesque corpse flower in its native habitat.

Here’s what UNESCO has to say about this World Heritage Site:

Outstanding scenic landscapes abound at all scales. The mountains of each site present prominent mountainous backdrops to the settled and developed lowlands of Sumatra. The combination of the spectacularly beautiful Lake Gunung Tujuh (the highest lake in southeast Asia), the magnificence of the giant Mount Kerinci volcano, numerous small volcanic, coastal and glacial lakes in natural forested settings, fumaroles belching smoke from forested mountains and numerous waterfalls and cave systems in lush rainforest settings, emphasise the outstanding beauty of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. Read the rest of this entry »

Mauritanian Visa Requirements to See the Eye of the Sahara

February 27th, 2011

Can you imagine how surprised the first astronauts to orbit the earth must have been when they saw an enormous blue eye staring back at the from the Sahara Desert?

The “eye” was actually a landform called the Richat Structure, otherwise known as the Eye of the Sahara. With a diameter of approximately 31 miles, it was originally thought to be the landing site of an ancient meteorite. However, scientists have since concluded that it’s actually a natural geological feature called a “symmetrical uplift.” (h/t Environmental Graffiti)

Unfortunately, visiting the Eye of the Sahara is a little complicated. First, you’ll need a Mauritanian visa. Plan ahead: the US Department of State advises that “Mauritanian visas require an invitation or sponsor, can take up to several months to process, and must be obtained prior to travel. Visas are no longer available at border crossings or at the airport upon arrival.”

Once you get into the country, you’ll have to make arrangements to travel safely to the Adrar region near the town of Ouadane, then to get to the formation. The Eye of the Sahara is best viewed from the air — if you’re lucky, you may be able to hire a hot air balloon!

Here’s what you’ll need to apply for a Mauritanian tourist visa:

  • 2 completed Mauritanian visa application forms
  • 2 passport photos,
  • An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever
  • Round trip plane tickets or a copy of your itinerary
  • A copy of a recent bank statement or a reference letter from your bank

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get the documents you need for your trip. We’ll walk you through the paperwork, explaining exactly what you need and answering any questions you may have. Then, we’ll deliver your application to the Mauritanian Embassy for the fastest possible processing.

Applying for a Mauritanian visa? Let us help!

Oman Visa Requirements to Camp Out in the Desert

February 25th, 2011

It might seem as if the whole Middle East is going up in flames, but at least for the time being, Oman remains calm and welcoming to tourists. One of the country’s main attractions is the “Empty Quarter,” a vast stretch of desert made more hospitable by the camps and resorts sprinkled throughout.

Joshua Hammer of the New York Times recently visited this region of Oman, staying in the 1,000 Nights Camp. Here’s how he described the area:

The Sharqiya Sands, or Ramlat al-Sharqiya, of the Empty Quarter is one of the world’s most desolate and starkly beautiful regions: 4,800 square miles of rippled, undulating dunes that rise as high as 300 feet above the desert floor. It is also one of the not-to-be-missed attractions of Oman, an oil-rich and peaceful sultanate, bordered by Saudi Arabia to the west, Yemen to the south and the United Arab Emirates to the north.

The 1,000 Nights Camp tempts tourists with delicious food, luxurious accommodations, and lots of peace and quiet. Oh, and horses. I adored the Black Stallion series as a little girl, and the thought of riding horseback across the sand dunes is like a childhood dream come true.

To get to Oman, you’ll need a valid passport and an Oman visa. US citizens can get a 30-day, single-entry visa at the border, but you can also apply ahead of time for a multiple-entry tourist visa. Read the rest of this entry »

Brazilian Visa Requirements to Visit Marajó Island

February 24th, 2011

The New York Times’ Frugal Traveler column is a great place to get inspiration for international vacations that won’t break the bank. Recently, the Frugal Traveler visited Brazil, recommending Marajó Island. It definitely sounds like an awesome trip-read the description and see if you don’t find yourself wanting to book a ticket:

“While the morning away on the smooth sands of a virtually empty, mangrove-studded beach. Wander all afternoon through gorgeous wetlands, spying on sloths, scarlet ibises and capybaras (the world’s largest rodent). Dine in the evening on tender filet mignon of locally raised water buffalo covered in water buffalo mozzarella and wash it down with pitchers of icy mangaba juice.”

Sounds awesome, right? But you can’t just book a ticket, unfortunately. This is Brazil, and before you can enter the country you’ll need a Brazilian visa. You must submit your application in time to have your visa issued before you travel, as you won’t be allowed on the plane without it.

Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need to get a Brazilian visa if you’re traveling as a tourist:

  • Your passport. Note: your passport’s expiration date must be at least 6 months into the future for you to get a Brazil visa. You’ll also need 2 or more blank pages in the back. Before applying for your visa, get a passport renewal or add pages as necessary.
  • One visa application form
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • A copy of your itinerary, which must have the dates you plan to enter and leave Brazil.
  • A clean, readable copy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
  • If you will be visiting friends or relatives, you also need a letter from your hosts. Read the rest of this entry »

Zimbabwe Visa Requirements to See the Rock Art of Matobo Hills

February 21st, 2011

If you visit this week’s featured UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll see some of the most incredible rock art in all of Africa. The Matobo Hills of Zimbabwe have been inhabited for many thousands of years, since well before the dawn of agriculture. The area’s distinctive boulders and caves form natural shelters that humans have long taken advantage of. The name Matobo means “Bald Heads” in the language of the Ndebele people.

According to the World Heritage website, “The Matobo Hills has one of the highest concentrations of rock art in Southern Africa. The rich evidence from archaeology and from the rock paintings at Matobo provide a very full picture of the lives of foraging societies in the Stone Age and the way agricultural societies came to replace them.”

There are several camps for tourists in and around the national park. In addition to the prehistoric rock art, the Matobo Hills are also a great place to view endangered African wildlife such as rhinoceros, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and ostrich.

To enter Zimbabwe, US citizens will need a valid passport and a Zimbabwe visa. You’ll also need to be able to show a return ticket and prove that you have enough money in the bank to support yourself. You can get your visa at the border or in the airport, or you can apply for one in advance from the Embassy of Zimbabwe.

To apply for a Zimbabwe visa, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Your passport
  • 2 completed application forms
  • 2 passport photos

Also, if you will be entering or exiting Zimbabwe via South Africa, you need to have at least 2 completely blank pages in the back of your passport per entry-otherwise South Africa won’t let you in.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you get the visas you need for your next trip to Africa. We’ll research your itinerary, walk you through the paperwork and expedite your visas for the fastest processing available.

Apply for your Zimbabwe visa today!