The Rock Zanzibar Review – Most Famous Zanzibar Restaurant

The Rock restaurant in Zanzibar, Tanzania, provides a unique dining experience like no other. Situated on top of a rocky outcropping adjacent to Pingwe beach, during high tide the restaurant appears to float in the water. During our recent visit to Zanzibar we knew we had to experience a meal at this restaurant.

While the experience itself was hit-or-miss due to small portions for the price and average service, we're still really glad to have visited this unique restaurant in Zanzibar!

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Don’t Take a Tripod on Safari – Take a Bean Bag Instead

Before heading out on safari in Tanzania, I upgraded my camera gear to include a new telephoto lens (150-600mm) to get the best animal photos possible. As I quickly realized after a few days of testing, when wielding a big lens like this, stability becomes a problem as any minor camera movement can result in huge swings of what you see on screen- especially at the 600mm focal length.

As such, when shooting on lenses like these, you'll often see photographers using a tripod- not to stabilize the camera, but to stabilize the lens first and foremost. So, naturally, I immediately upgraded my tripod as my former one was not rated for the ~10-pound weight of my new setup. 

I thought I was ready to go to Africa, but then I talked to travel photography friends like Green Global Travel and Finding the Universe.

In these discussions, it was very strongly recommended not to bother taking a tripod to Africa but instead take a camera bean bag. These simple devices latch onto any surface that a strap can wrap around, such as a metal frame at the top of a safari vehicle. Your camera lens can rest on the bag, providing stability, while not being fully locked down to allow for quick movement as needed.

After buying one, and taking both it and my tripod to Africa, I can safely say that I never used my tripod once (except for one instance where I used the monopod detachment). As such, I thought it would be good to share why a bean bag was such an important purchase for this trip!

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Are Serengeti Balloon Safaris Worth the Price?

When we booked our safari in Tanzania, we had the opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride in the Serengeti. We are no strangers to hot air balloon trips (having taken a hot air balloon in Cappadocia many years ago) and knew we would have to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see animals from above.

But then we got to the price tag- $599 per person during our visit in 2022.

Not only was this price tag a shock, but it was also more than double just about any other hot air balloon ride we've ever taken or considered booking anywhere in the world.

We booked it anyway.

Ultimately, we enjoyed our hot air balloon ride and had a pretty incredible experience- so much so that we would book a trip again without hesitation. But looking back on it the question of whether it is worth that price remains, and it is all based on one big caveat that comes down to a bit of luck- actually seeing animals.

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How to Visit Cano Cristales – Colombia’s River of Five Colors

One of the most unique travel and nature experiences you can find in Colombia, or anywhere in the world for that matter, is a visit to Caño Cristales. Often called the River of Five Colors or the Liquid Rainbow, people from all around the world come to marvel at this unique natural phenomenon and off the beaten path destination in Colombia.

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