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Archive for the ‘World Heritage Site of the Week’ Category

Tanzania Visa Requirements to Visit the Serengeti National Park

February 6th, 2011
You've probably seen this week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site in numerous nature shows. The Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous national parks not only in Tanzania, but in all of Africa. You know all of those "Trials of Life" type specials that show wildebeests, antelopes and zebras as they migrate in search of water? Yup, that happens here. The "Great Migration" happens twice a year, in October and then again in April. More than 2 million animals participate, and herds of wildebeests, eland, gazelles and zebra literally fill the horizon. Naturally, lions and other predators fallow the herds, looking for stragglers. It's an amazing, unforgettable event. Of course, even if you aren't there for the Great Migration, there's still plenty of wildlife to see in the Ser


Get a Tajikistan Visa to Visit the Ancient Ruins of Sarazm

January 30th, 2011
Tajikistan is one of those countries that's often overlooked by American travelers, and with some good reasons. It's a relatively undeveloped country, and tourist facilities are often non-existent. Still, if you don't mind roughing it, a trip to Tajikistan can be an amazing experience. The scenery - golden steppes, towering mountains and isolated lakes - is simply breathtaking. Visiting this week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site gives you a chance to take in the scenery and get a close look at the ruins of one of the country's oldest settlements. The city of Sarazm dates back to the 4th millennium BC, which makes it older than the Egyptian pyramids. It was abandoned in 2000 BC, but came to life again as a mining town about 500 years later. Many of the tools and structures une


Get a Gambian Visa to Visit the Senegambian Stone Circles

January 21st, 2011
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage site is located in the Gambia. The Stone Circles of Senegambia are located in four different groups along the River Gambia. Scientists believe they were built over more than a millennium, from 3 BC to the 16th century AD. The origins of these circles remain somewhat mysterious. Archaeologists believe that they were used to mark burial sites, and were possibly built on top of older graves. Other than that, nobody is sure what specific beliefs motivated the people who lived there to build so many stone circles. There is no doubt that the monuments are impressive, however, and just as with Stonehenge, half the fun of visiting them is speculating about who built them and why. According to the UNESCO site, "the survival of so many circles is a un


Get a Chinese Visa to Visit the Tombs of Emperors

January 16th, 2011
This week's featured UNESCO World Heritage Site is the final resting place for some of China's most powerful emperors in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. These dynasties, which together lasted from 1368 to 1912, were China's last two imperial dynasties. After the Qing Dynasty fell in 1912, it was succeeded by the Republic of China. The tombs themselves, which are laid out according to ancient Chinese principles of fengshui, are impressive and richly decorated with carvings and statues. They are designed to look like imperial palaces, providing suitable housing for the spirits of emperors, empresses, and other members of the royal family. UNESCO says that "The Ming and Qing imperial tombs are outstanding testimony to a cultural and architectural tradition that for over 500 years dominated


Kazakhstan Visa Requirements to Visit Saryarka

January 9th, 2011
This week's UNESCO World Heritage Site is rarely visited, but richly rewarding for adventure travelers and nature lovers. Located in Kazakhstan, the Saryarka World Heritage Site consists of two separate regions: the Naurzum State Nature Reserve and Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve. The reserves encompass two very different environments: the grassy, windswept grasslands of the Kazakh steppe and wetlands surrounding both fresh and saltwater lakes. UNESCO notes that these wetlands are "of outstanding importance for migratory water birds, including globally threatened species, among them the extremely rare Siberian white crane, the Dalmatian pelican, Pallas’s fish eagle, to name but a few." The United Nations' World Conservation Monitoring Center notes that since the reserves are so isola


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