Most Popular Tourist Attractions in USA

Hollywood attracts millions of visitors each year who travel there to pay homage to their favorite stars and perhaps even catch a glimpse of a few famous personalities. Sometimes they're lucky! On these pages you'll find famous Hollywood landmarks such as the Walk of Fame (stars on the sidewalk), the Hollywood Sign, the Hollywood Bowl and more. There are links to the Hollywood tourist sites such as the landmarks

Five-Day Tourist Itinerary This 5-day Tourist Itinerary includes major Hollywood and Los Angeles attractions and is designed to maximize your vacation time. You will hit the ground running with a Grand Tour of Los Angeles, and you will keep busy every day.

 Rental car is not required, because the Itinerary focuses on guided tours and attractions near the Red Line train. You can skip the driving hassles and use the extra money to have more fun!

Halloween in Hollywood Halloween events, Haunted Houses and Mazes for 2013 in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. The list includes haunted houses, mazes, interactive horror theatre, events for children, special Halloween performances and more.

Deals and Discounts  Combined-admission discount cards save money and help plan your vacation at the same time. Also, this page has discounts and hotel deals for early booking and multiple nights.

TV Show Tickets Find out how to be in the studio audience for game shows, attend free TV talk shows or even be in a movie! Some game shows choose participants from the audience. One website recruits people to be extras in movies.

Free Visitor Guides How to order free Visitors Guides, Brochures and Travel Publications from Visitors Bureaus in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas, plus other parts of California and the western United States.

Los Angeles-area Shopping Centers and Malls  Los Angeles is a world-class premium shopping destination. Not only do we have a variety of stores to suit every taste and budget; we also have several different types of shopping venues. Here's a comprehensive and up-to-date list of LA-area malls, shopping districts (such as the Grove and Third Street Promenade) and open-air markets, organized by location. It includes factory outlets and farmers markets.

Free Activities  Free and low-cost activities in and around Los Angeles. The list includes free shows, museum exhibits, free tours and activities in downtown L.A. and more!

Attractions and Sightseeing  A list of tourist attractions in Los Angeles and the surrounding area. The list is arranged by location to make it easy for you to figure out what's near your hotel. The list includes attractions such as Landmarks, Performing Arts Centers, Shopping Malls & Districts, Amusement Parks and other tourist activities.
Museums in Los Angeles Los Angeles is a world-class destination for museum patrons, including the J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Norton Simon collection, the Huntington Library, and dozens more.

Los Angeles with Kids Los Angeles is one of those places where kids can feel at home. There are many options in and around this bustling city for travelers with young children in tow. Here are some of the city's best bets.

Activities Near LAX  Some ideas on what to do during an extended layover at Los Angeles International Airport.

Los Angeles Calendar of Events Listings  Links to websites the offer Los Angeles event listings, calendars and ticketed events.

Transportation Los Angeles Transportation info, including Bus schedules, Trains, Airports, Bicycles and more.

Beverly Hills / Two Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills is said to form a "Platinum Triangle" with adjacent neighborhoods Bel Air and Holmby Hills, as all three areas are regarded as the most affluent within Los Angeles. Beverly Hills is where you'll find perhaps one of most well-known streets in the world: Rodeo Drive - a haven for anyone who has a passion for fashion. As seen in Pretty Woman, these short three blocks are concentrated with an overwhelming array of designer labels, including the likes of Giorgio Armani, Bulgari, Cartier, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabanna, Escada, Gucci, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Valentino, Yves Saint-Laurent and more.

Santa Monica / Venice Beach  Where can you go to experience the excitement of Southern California, the lure of the big city, and the peacefulness of a trip to the seashore - all in one visit? The answer is Santa Monica, the Los Angeles area's true "urban" beach. Enjoy ocean views, dining on the Pier, carnival games and rides at Pacific Park. Browse shops and watch street performers at the Third Street Promenade shopping district and Santa Monica Place shopping mall.

Malibu Attractions in Malibu including oceanside restaurants, museums, beaches, wineries that have tasting rooms and more.
Amusement Parks Southern California has quite a few famous amusement parks where you can find rides, attractions and theme-based entertainment. Los Angeles is a prime destination for visitors who want see two of the world's most popular theme parks:

Disneyland Southern California's most popular amusement park, featuring world-famous characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. There are more rides and attractions than you can see in a day, so many people attend for multiple days. Adjacent to Disneyland, California Adventure is adjacent and offers more theme park rides and attractions.

Universal Studios Hollywood LA's second most popular theme park behind Disneyland/California Adventure. The world-famous movie studio and theme park featuring movie studios, tours, attractions, rides, restaurants and more. Get a behind-the-scenes look at special effects techniques. See what life's like on a movie back lot. Universal Studios is a "must see" attraction, because it's a movie studio tour and a world-class amusement park all rolled into one package.
Knott's Berry Farm covers 160 acres in Buena Park, CA, just 20 miles from Los Angeles. The park is consistently ranked among the top 15 theme parks in the country and continues to maintain its popularity. This is a good place for kids. The park and the shopping district follow an old western (cowboy) theme, plus features Snoopy and other Peanuts characters.Seasonal Events
Tournament of Roses Parade  The Rose Parade will held on Wednesday, January 1, 2014. Over one million spectators will attend, traveling to Pasadena from the Los Angeles area, across the United States and all over the world.

COEX Aquarium in South Korea

The COEX Aquarium is spread out over a large area and showcases no less than 40,000 sea creatures, which come from 600 different species. The aquarium is unique in Korea because it has been designed around the theme of “Water Journey”. On entering the museum, visitors will embark on an adventure that follows water on its journey from the high Andean mountains, through the Amazon tropical rainforest to swamps, rivers, seashores, and finally to the depths of the ocean. Visitors will get an in-depth look into some of the world’s fascinating underwater creatures.

Changdeokgung in South Korea

Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden. Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion.

The palace gained in importance starting from the time of 9th king of Joseon, Seongjong, when a number of kings began using it as a place of residence. Unfortunately, the palace was burned down by angry citizens in 1592 when the royal family fled their abode during the Japanese Invasion of Korea. Thanks to Gwanghaegun, the palace was restored in 1611. Even today, it holds a number of cultural treasures such as Injeongjeon Hall, Daejojeon Hall, Seonjeongjeon Hall, and Nakseonjae.

Changdeokgung’s rear garden was constructed during the reign of King Taejong and served as a resting place for the royal family members. The garden had formerly been called ‘Bukwon’ and ‘Geumwon,’ but was renamed ‘Biwon’ after King Kojong came into power. The garden was kept as natural as possible and was touched by human hands only when absolutely necessary. Buyongjeong, Buyongji, Juhabru, Eosumun, Yeonghwadang, Bullomun, Aeryeonjeong, and Yeongyeongdang are some of the many pavilions and fountains that occupy the garden. The most beautiful time to see the garden is during the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak and the leaves have just started to fall.

Though it has been treasured by Koreans for centuries, the Changdeokgung Palace was not designated a World Cultural Heritage by the World Cultural Heritage Committee until December of 1997, at the committee meeting in Napoli, Italy.

The Changdeokgung Palace was one of the places visited by the "first ladies of the Seoul G20" during the G20 conference in Seoul in November 2010. It is one of the historic attractions that represent the beauty of Korea.

the most visited tourist attractions in France

The top twenty-four most visited paid-entry tourist attractions in France

  1. Disneyland ,  Paris 16 million visitors.
  2. The Louvre, Paris 9.5 million visitors (photo right)
  3. Château de Versailles, near Paris7.3 million visitors
  4. The Eiffel Tower Paris 6.3 million visitors
  5. The Georges Pompidou centreand museum of art, Paris 3.8 million visitors
  6. Orsay museum of the 19th century Paris 3.6 million visitors
  7. La Villette science museum, Paris 2.6 million visitors
  8. Natural History Museum Paris  2 million
  9. Arc de Triomphe, Paris 1.7 million visitors
  10. Futuroscope theme park, Poitiers 1.7 million visitors
  11. Parc Astérix - Parc Astérix theme park Plailly north of Paris 1.7 million visitors
  12. Puy du Fou theme park Vendée 1.6 million visitors
  13. Grand Palais, Paris : 1.5 million
  14. Musée de l'Armée, Paris 1.4 million visitors
  15. Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. 1.3 million
  16. Chateau and museum of the Dukes of Brittany - Nantes 1.3 million
  17. Mont Saint-Michel, Brittany 1.2 million visitors
  18. Lille zoo, Lille 
  19. Musée Carnavalet, Paris 
  20. Sainte Chapelle, Paris 
  21. Aquarium, La Rochelle, Charente Maritime (western France) 
  22. Mer de Glace rack-and-pinion railway, Chamonix, Alps 
  23. La Palmyre zoo, Charente Maritime (western France) 
  24. Musée Grévin waxworks, Paris 
  25. Château de Chambord, Loire Valley (Centre region)
  26. Boat trip round old Strasbourg (Alsace) 

Famous Places on the Ivory Coast (Cote d'ivoire)

Bordering the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa, the Ivory Coast, or Cote d'Ivoire, as the locals call it, has been plagued with internal politial strife since 1999. At time of publication, the U.S. State Department warns against travel to Ivory Coast, especially outside of its major port city of Abidjan. If you wish to brave the journey, you will find that the ethnically diverse Ivory Coast's most-famous attractions are worth the difficulties of traveling within the country.

Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix

The Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix (, or the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, in English, is the world's tallest church. The structure was built in the Ivory Coast's administrative capital of Yamoussoukro in the late 1980s and consecrated by the Pope in 1990. A visit to the basilica allows you to gaze at 36 hand-blown, stained-glass windows with patterns that change throughout the day. The structure was designed by Pierre Fakhoury, an Ivory Coast citizen of Lebanese descent, and inspired by St. Paul's Cathedral in Rome.


The former administrative and present-day financial capital of Abidjan is home to two museums. The Museum of Civilization and Culture, with an ethnographic focus, includes art and scientific displays. The Cocody Museum of Contemporary Art, Musee Municipal d'Art Contemporai de Cocody, offers displays of local paintings, sculptures and photographs. If you are interested in the Ivory Coast's military history, consider visiting the Army Museum, Musee des Armees, which displays weapons, military decorations and documents.

Beach Resorts

The coastal towns of Assouinde, Assinie and Bassam are famous beach resorts in the Ivory Coast. Assouinde and Assinie are small villages to the east of Abidjan that are home to unspoiled, palm-dotted beaches. The villages, which draw weekend visitors and surfers, are easily accessible by road. Before you reach Assouinde and Assinie, you will find yourself in the more crowed Bassam, a large beach area with numerous resorts that offer padded beach chairs for visitors.

Parks & Reserves

Like many other West African countries, the Ivory Coast offers national parks and reserves where you can enjoy the indigenous flora and fauna. Comoe National Park is the largest and oldest national park in the Ivory Coast, which is also designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its large plant diversity. Abokouamekro Game Reserve, located about an hour from Yamoussoukro, is another famous wildlife site, where you can see large African animals such as hippos.

Travel and Tourism in Sudan

Sudan is the largest, yet one of the least visited, countries in Africa. Although various ongoing conflicts mean much of this vast nation remains off limits, travel is possible in the northeast, and in parts of the south. Much of the Middle East and Africa has a reputation for warmth and hospitality but Sudan is in a league of its own, making it a joy to travel in. It is common to be invited to stay at someone's home and most rural Sudanese would never dream of eating in front of you without inviting you to join them. Talking the afternoon away over a glass or five of tea is a serious national ritual, which extends to dealings with officials.
Sudan is as geographically diverse as it is culturally; in the north, the Nile cuts through the eastern edge of the Sahara: the Nubian desert, the site of the Ancient Kingdoms of Cush and Meroe, and the land of the Seti. Here, some modest farming and husbandry supplements the staple crop of date palms. The East and West are mountainous regions, and much of the rest of the country comprises of savannahs typical of much of central sub-Saharan Africa.
People in Sudan are actually extremely friendly to all the few travellers who get there. People treat you as friendly as in any other African country, so be prepared to get spontaneously invited to lunch or dinner. Most of the time people are very interested in you and they are often proud to show you their country and their hospitality.
Sudan, like many other African countries, has many places of interest and tourist attractions. The country of Sudan has great natural endowments quite attractive to behold.
Here are some of the places of interest in Sudan.
National Museum
Sudan’s National Museum is located in Khartoum. Housing great historical antiquities and artifacts, the museum has been a spot of interest and tourist attraction in recent years.
Buhen and Semna Egyptian temples are also great historical structures to behold in the National Museum, as both temples are situated in the field of the museum.
Khartoum and Omdurman
Khartoum is one of three sister cities, built at the convergence of the Blue and White Niles: Omdurman to the north-west across the White Nile, North Khartoum, and Khartoum itself on the southern bank of the Blue Nile.
Khartoum has a relatively short history. It was first established as a military outpost in 1821, and is said to derive its name from the thin spit of land at the convergence of the rivers, which resembles an elephant's trunk (khurtum). Khartoum grew rapidly in prosperity during the boom years of the slave trade, between 1825 and 1880. In 1834 it became the capital of the Sudan, and many explorers from Europe used it as a base for their African expeditions.
Khartoum was sacked twice during the latter half of the 19th century -- once by the Mahdi and once by Kitchener when the Mahdi was ousted. In 1898, Kitchener began to rebuild the city, and designed the streets in the shape of the British flag, the Union Jack, which he hoped would make it easier to defend. On the opposite bank of the Nile, North Khartoum was developed as an industrial area at about the same time.
Today's Khartoum is a quiet, unremarkable city. It has peaceful, tree-lined streets, and in some ways still bears the unmistakable mark of an outpost of the British Empire. Its expansion to accommodate a rapidly-growing population, however, has added very little in terms of charm or atmosphere.
Places to visit in Khartoum
National Museum. This contains antiquities and artefacts from several periods of Sudanese history and pre-history, including glassware, pottery, statuary and figurines from the ancient kingdom of Cush. Ancient Nubia's Christian period is well-represented, with frescoes and murals from ruined churches, dating from the 8th to the 15th century. The Museum's garden contains two reconstructed temples, which have been salvaged from the Nubian land flooded by Lake Nasser. These Egyptian temples of Buhen and Semna were originally built by Queen Hatshepsut and Pharaoh Tuthmosis III respectively. The temples have corrugated iron covers built over them to protect them from humidity during the wet season. The original concept was to roll back these covers during the dry season, but whether this ever happened or not is unclear. The covers are rusted into place and are now permanent and immovable!
Ethnographical Museum. This is a small museum which contains an interesting collection of items relating to Sudanese village life. These include musical instruments, clothing, cooking and hunting implements.
A walk around Tuti Island, situated in the middle of the confluence of the two branches of the Nile, can take about 4 hours. The less populated northern section is pretty, with its shady lanes, and irrigated fields, and there is a great little coffee stall under a tree on the western side.
Places to visit in Omdurman
The Souq, this is the largest in the Sudan, and has an interesting variety of goods on display. Ivory and ebony candlesticks are carved by market craftsmen, goldsmiths and silversmiths fashion all kinds of jewellery in their shop-fronts, and the atmosphere is lively and bustling. The best time to visit is on Friday mornings.
The Camel Market, this is situated about 2km north of Omdurman's main souq. Animals are mostly brought from eastern or western areas of the Sudan.
Tomb of the Mahdi, on the death of the Mahdi in 1885, his body was entombed in a silver-domed mosque in Omdurman. This was completely destroyed by Kitchener in 1898, when the Mahdi's body was burned and his ashes thrown into the river. In 1947 the Mahdi's son had the mosque and tomb rebuilt. Not surprisingly, it is closed to foreigners, but can be viewed from the outside.
Beit al-Khalifa,  is situated opposite the Mahdi's tomb. Once the home of the Mahdi's successor, the house was built of mud and brick in 1887, and is now a museum. It contains relics from Mahdiyya battles, including guns, war banners and suits of mail. An interesting collection of photographs depicts the city of Khartoum at the time of the Mahdi's revolt and its subsequent occupation by the British.
In Omdurman you must see the Sufi ritual of drumming and trance dancing - about 1 hour before sunset and Friday prayer - it is northwest the river in Omdurman. Very welcoming,  party like atmosphere, where prayer is a rite of celebration.
This is the capital city of the Kordofan region in Western Sudan, and was once the Mahdi's capital and political centre. Situated in the middle of a vast stretch of barren desert, it has a population of 200,000 people and is an important centre for the production of gum arabic. This substance is used in the manufacture of food thickening, ink and medicinal products, and is obtained from acacia trees.
The city experiences problems with its supplies of both electric power and water. Electricity from the city's own generators is erratic and power cuts are the norm. In such an arid desert environment, water supplies often dwindle and have to be brought in by truck from other areas.
The two souqs in the city deal mostly in meat and vegetables. There are also some tailor's shops where fabric can be purchased and clothes made to order.
There is little to interest the visitor in El-Obeid, apart from a small museum, which displays exhibits relating to ancient Sudanese history. Its Catholic cathedral is impressive, however, and is said to be one of the largest in Africa.
Port Sudan
Port Sudan was founded by the British in 1909 as the terminus of a rail linking the Red Sea to the River Nile. It served as a new modern port to replace Sawakin. The railroad was used to transport the nation's cotton and sesame seed, as well as sorghum, from the agriculturally rich areas of the Nile valley to export markets.
Port Sudan is known among tourists for its excellent scuba-diving and beaches. Tourists, as well as far larger numbers of Muslim pilgrims en route to undertake their once-in-a-lifetime Hajj to Mecca, use Port Sudan as a departure point to cross the Red Sea to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Being part of a desert-like state, it is like a miracle to find great diving spots and marvelous beaches in Port Sudan. You will definitely enjoy the sunny beaches where you can swim, lay in the sun and even explore the underwater jewels of Port Sudan. The city also has several religious and historical architectures worth.
Suakin Island
The island is situated 58km south of Port Sudan and was once a major trading centre, particularly in the 19th century, during the boom years of slavery. As far back as the 10th century BC, Suakin was used by Pharaoh Rameses III as a trading port, but declined in importance after the close of the 19th century AD, and in 1905 was superseded in importance by Port Sudan.
Its unique architecture is made of coral, but these once-beautiful buildings, although restored by the Mahdi in 1881, are now in the final stages of crumbling away.
The island is linked to the mainland by means of a causeway.
Kassala is situated in Eastern Sudan and has a population of 150,000. The city is built on the Gash River and is the power centre of one of the Sudan's traditional families -- the Khatmiya Brotherhood, which opposed the Mahdi family in the last century.
On the outskirts of the city live the Rashaida tribe, mostly inhabiting goatskin tents. They are a nomadic people who breed camels and goats, and are closely related to the Saudi Arabian Bedouin, having migrated from the Arabian Peninsula about 150 years ago. It is the mysteriously-veiled Rashaida women who make a great deal of the silver jewellery sold in the Kassala souq.
The souq is said to be one of Sudan's best, and sells a wide variety of the fruit for which Kassala is renowned. Grapefruit, pomegranates, oranges, bananas and melons are all for sale here, as well as local handicrafts, fabrics and the aforementioned silver jewellery.
Several kilometres outside Kassala are the curiously-shaped 'sugar-loaf' hills, known as the jebels. They can be seen on the horizon from the city and are the habitat of a tribe of baboons, which come down from the hills at sunset to drink at a nearby village well.
Kassala is also a favourite retreat for Sudanese honeymoon couples, and in the nearby village of Khatmiya, the same village well is a traditional place for newly-wed couples to drink. Water from the well is said to bring good luck and a fertile married life.
Once an important centre of power in ancient Nubia, the remains of the old northern-Sudanese city are being excavated by a Polish-led team -- a project that has been in operation since 1964.
The town is now noteworthy for its palm groves and its September date harvest, when young boys climb the palm trunks, carrying sharp knives in their teeth, to cut the clusters of dates. The fruit and vegetable souq here is a colourful sight, occasionally dealing in camels, which the desert nomads bring in for sale.
The Cushite temple of Kawa is situated on the eastern bank of the river. The ruins of this temple can be visited by taking a ferry across the river from the main town.
This northern-Sudanese market town has a population of about 15,000. The town itself is of little interest, but there are several ancient sites nearby which are worth a visit.
Just 2km south of the town is the 100-metre high Jebel Barkal, a hill which was regarded as sacred by the Egyptians of the 18th Dynasty. From its summit, there is an excellent view of the Nile. At its foot lies the Temple of Amun, second only in length to the famous Temple of Karnak. This was once surrounded by about six smaller temples, and ruins of these, together with statuary and hieroglyphics, make this an interesting Cushite site.
Lying west of the temple are the Jebel Barkal Pyramids, similar in style to those at Meroe.
150 km north of Khartoum, Shendi is a good base for seeing a bit of desert as well as temples of the Meroe culture. Shendi is the center of the Ja'aliin tribe and an important historic bustling trading center. Its principal suburb on the west bank is Al-Matamma. A major traditional trade route across the Bayuda desert connects Al-Matamma to Marawi and Napata, 250 km to the northwest.
The pyramids of Meroe (Begrawiyah) are 40 kms north of Shendi. The sites of Naqa and Musawarat is about 50kms south of Shendi. In theory permits are required before visiting the sites and guidebooks say that you pay beforehand in Khartoum - but as of January 2010 - this appears to have changed - now you pay at each site - cost is 10 Sudanese Pounds. Naqa and Musawarat are signposted beside the Nile Petrol station (about 1.25hours drive north of Khartoum) - and the track is fairly clear - but sandy.
Located at the conjunction of the Atbara tributary, flowing down from Ethiopia, and the River Nile, Atbara is on two main railway routes: from Atbara to Port Sudan, and from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa.
The city has a population of 75,000 people. In 1898 it was the site of a battle between the British and the Mahdists, when 2,000 of the latter were wiped out by Kitchener. After the battle, British officials settled here, building colonial-style houses, which are now used as government offices.
The ruins of the Royal City of Meroe are located about 100km south of Atbara. Residence of the kings of Meroe between 592BC and AD350, the city shows strong Egyptian architectural influence. The ruined Temple of Amun is still standing, together with the remains several palaces and a swimming pool.
In the desert, about 5km to the east, stand the royal pyramids, where the dead kings of Meroe are buried.
Jebel Marra Mountains
This western-Sudanese mountain range is dominated by the second-highest mountain in the Sudan, known as Jebel Marra. This is an extinct volcano which rises to a height of 3071 metres.
 The combination of hills, rivers, and beautiful valleys surrounding the mountain is a good spot to experience.
Two towns of great tourist interest, Nyala and Quaila, surrounds the second-highest mountain in Sudan, the Jebel Marra Mountains.
At the base of the mountain range lies the town of Nyala, and this town forms a good starting point for an exploration of the surrounding mountainous countryside. It is a beautiful region of hills, rivers and orchards, and is an interesting spot for walking enthusiasts. There is a waterfall near the village of Quaila and some hot springs near the crater of the volcano itself.
In the 18th century, El-Fasher was the main centre of the Fur Sultanate. The sultan's palace can still be seen in this western-Sudanese town, and is now a museum.
The town was also famous as the starting point of one of the most important camel caravan routes in Africa. Known as the Darb al-Arba'een, or Forty Days Road, this route carried ebony, spices, rich cloth, ivory and slaves from all parts of Africa to the Egyptian bazaars of Aswan and Asyut.

Located south of the 3rd cataract is a great archaeological site in Sudan, the town of Karma. The remains of unbaked bricks and archeological materials make Karma a place worthy to see. The area retains lots of traditional objects of the Karma Kingdom dating back to 1500 B.C.
Sudanese travel visas are expensive and difficult to acquire for some nationalities in some countries or for people with an Israeli stamp in their passport. It is advisable to obtain a Sudanese visa in your home country if possible.
From Egypt -Cairo is one of the easiest places to get one (usually a couple of hours after application), although for a lot of nationalities it costs US$100 (not payable in Egyptian pounds). You will almost definitely need a letter of invitation/introduction from your embassy, and the time this takes varies from embassy to embassy, e.g. the Canadian Embassy takes 24 hours, the British 15 minutes. The British Embassy charges 315 Egyptian pounds (just under US$50) for theirs and is situated only 200m from the Sudanese one. It is possible to obtain a sponsorship for the Visa from the Cairo embassy and skip the letter from your own embassy, though this depends on who you are dealing with at the embassy. If you are American, bringing up President Obama is a great way to break the ice with the employees and you may find yourself skipping a lot of hassle.
From Ethiopia - getting a visa from the Sudanese Embassy in Addis Ababa is extremely unpredictable, although it is cheaper (around US$60). Your name is first sent to Khartoum merely for approval. An official has stated, "It could take two weeks, it could take two months." Once your name has been approved, the visa itself only takes a couple of days. Britons and Americans are generally given more of a run around, but no nationality is guaranteed swift receipt of a visa. Expect to wait a minimum of two weeks for approval. If your trip continues from Sudan to Egypt and you already have your Egyptian visa you may be given a one-week transit visa for Sudan in only a day, which can be extended in Khartoum (at a hefty cost, though). The British Embassy in Addis Ababa charges a steep 740 birr (over US$60) for their letter of invitation/introduction.
Possibly out of date information: From Kenya - as in Addis Ababa, the Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi sends your name to Khartoum for approval. The time it takes is similarly ambiguous, although the embassy is far more professional and efficiently-run than Addis Ababa's.
Note: in July 2009 applicant from Sierra Leone received visa in 24 hours from Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi. In January 2010 several European passport holders seen to obtain visa in 24 hours and this appears to be the norm.
From Kenya - visa applications are submitted between 10am and 12pm and visa collected next day between 3pm and 3.30pm. Cost is 4000 Kenyan Shillings (US$50). Letter of support for application can be obtained from own embassy (e.g. British Embassy, charges 8200Kenya Shillings, turnaround time depends on availability of the Consul who needs to sign the letter). Sudanese Embassy is located in Kabarnet Road, off Ngong Road (10minutes walk from Wildebeest Campsite accommodation in Kibera Road, and near Prestige Shopping Plaza). Generally the experience at the Nairobi Sudanese Embassy is less confusing than in Egypt (with its jostling queues at three anonymous but different windows) however as at January 2010 the staff member dealing with the public is extremely unprofessional (even suggests putting false information).
Hours-long waits for customs clearance are not unheard of, and landing in Khartoum can be tricky. Entering or exiting by land usually goes smoothly. Alcohol is forbidden in Sudan, and attempting to import it could bring strict penalties.
Permits and other legal requirements
Registration is obligatory within 3 days of arrival. It costs 110 SDG and if in Khartoum it could take you a full day. Alternately many hotels will complete the registration on your behalf. Registration is also possible in Wadi Halfa, and shouldn't take more than an hour. Here, you may be approached (particularly if you're in a group) by an English-speaking man who will offer to take your passports and do everything while you wait outside. This is easier than doing it yourself (it is a ping pong procedure between offices/counters/desks etc.) but you'll find the fee he's added to each person's registration cost is 2 to 3 US dollars. It's not really that difficult. Do not be tempted to skip registration, as it is very likely to cause problems when you leave the country - you might not be allowed to board your flight! Departing from the Khartoum airport, at passport control counter after you've paid your departure tax, and checked in with the airline you will be turned back. There is a VISA office in the same room who will require payment and a passport picture. With the proper amount of money in Sudanese Pounds, and a passport this took approximately 30 minutes.
Visitors are technically required to obtain a permit for photography of any kind. Apply at the government office near the British Council. Passport-sized photos are needed and the permit makes a nice souvenir. The permit will stipulate where you can or cannot take photos.
By plane
Khartoum Airport (KRT) is the main gateway into Sudan by air. There are also some international flights which use Juba and Port Sudan airports.
Khartoum Airport is served by various European, Middle Eastern and African airlines. Among the cities with direct air links with Khartoum are Abu Dhabi (Etihad, Sudan Airways), Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines), Amman (Royal Jordanian, Sudan Airways), Amsterdam (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines), Bahrain (Gulf Air), Cairo (EgyptAir, Sudan Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya airways), Damascus (Syrian Airlines, Sudan Airways), Doha (Qatar Airways), Dubai (Emirates, Sudan Airways), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Istanbul (Turkish Airlines), London (British Airways, British Midlands, Sudan Airways) and Nairobi (Kenya Airways, Sudan Airways),Sharjah (Air Arabia "low cost airline from KRT")
Port Sudan airport handles flights to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Cairo, while Juba has flights to and from Nairobi. These flights usually begin/end at Khartoum.
The airport is served by dilapidated yellow taxis that will routinely overcharge. Alternatively you can book taxis with a Khartoum taxi company called LimoTrip that use metered taxis and good vehicles at better rates.
By train
There are no international trains from neighbouring countries into Sudan.
By land
One way to get in from Ethiopia is via the border village of Gallabat. The road crossing from Egypt periodically closes, depending on diplomatic and trading relations between the two countries. Check for information before trying this route.
There are land routes to Kenya and Uganda from southern Sudan, as well as to Chad and the Central African Republic from Western Sudan (i.e. Darfur), but these routes are tough and potentially dangerous.
By bus
There are minibuses and Landcriuisers from Lokichoggio,Kenya that go direct to Juba,Sudan with an overnight stay in Torit travel time 11-12 hours and costing Ksh 3500-4000 and in late summer/early autumn of 2005, there will be bus service starting up from Kampala in Uganda to southern Sudan. For now, this route is off limits for tourists because it passes through an area of extreme insecurity where the rebel Lords Resistance Army (LRA) of Uganda operates. As of late 2005 Vehicles are being ambushed by the LRA along this route and great care should be taken on any road journeys in this region. Even when open, there is no public transport via the road crossing from Egypt.
By boat
The most reliable way to enter Sudan from Egypt is via the weekly ferry from Aswan in Egypt to Wadi Halfa. Currently it runs on Mondays to Sudan and back on Wednesdays. Prices recently went up to US$33. The boat is old and crowded with people and goods (the best place to sleep is on deck amongst the cargo) but it takes in some magnificent views (including that of Abu Simbel). Food and drink are available on-board. There are frequent ferries from Saudi Arabia. If traveling from the south, ferry tickets can be purchased at Khartoum's main train terminal in North Khartoum.
Getting around
Permits and other legal requirements
Independent travellers in Sudan (definitely those with their own vehicles and possibly those using public transport) require a Permit To Travel if going to any places the Government deems unstable. Obtaining one is an arduous ordeal, costing US$15 and taking around a day (in Wadi Halfa). Travel permits are not required for the Northern State, nor on the road to Ethiopia. They are required if going near Eriteria, toward Darfur or southern Kordofan. The recent attack on Omdurman (May 2008) has increased security and hence this information may be out of date.
Independent travellers also need to register with police on arrival in any town or city. This is fairly quick and painless, once the police point has been located - and often the police will hear about your arrival and find you before you find them.
By plane
Apart from Khartoum, there are small airports in Wadi Halfa, El Debba, Dongola, Port Sudan, El Fasher, Juba, Wau, Wad Madani, Merowe and El Obeid, all served by Sudan Airways [1]. Most flights operate from Khartoum. Be prepared for changing timetables and cancelled flights.
By train
There is a weekly train from Wadi Halfa to Khartoum, which leaves some time after the weekly ferry from Aswan arrives. "Some time" can mean anything from a couple of hours to a couple of days but word usually spreads around town before the train leaves. There are a few different options for accommodation, and plenty of nice and simple restaurants. The journey is scheduled for roughly 50 hours, but can vary greatly. To be on the safe side you shouldn't make any other plans for your next 75 hours. You might not be able to find fresh water until you get to Khartoum, so it is advisable to stock up on water supplies before leaving Wadi Halfa. The train makes quite a few stops. Some more planned than others. At the more planned stops you should be able to buy a snack, and if you are lucky take a quick shower in a communal bathroom. There is also a train between Khartoum and Port Sudan, via Atbara, and from Nyala to Er-Rahad in the West. From Khartoum, trains to Wadi Halfa and Port Sudan depart from the main terminal in Khartoum North (Bahri).
By car
Driving in Sudan is chaotic but not especially dangerous by African standards. Visitors to the area who are inexperienced at international driving are advised to hire a taxi or a driver. In most of the country, a 4WD is essential; Sudan's main highway is sealed for much of the way but most of the roads in the country are dirt or sand tracks. Crossing in to Sudan from Egypt via the ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa now has the benefit of the Chinese financed tarmac highway covering the 400kms south to Dongola, and then right through to Khartoum, another 500kms. This road is quick for overlanders as there are few military roadblocks, and very little other traffic.
By bus
While buses do run frequently in the better traveled areas, in remoter areas people tend to use trucks or "boxes" (Toyota Hiluxes) - they're usually just as crowded as the buses but have fewer people sitting on top and get stuck in the sand less often. They tend to go whenever they fill up, which can take half a day or so. If you have money to spare, you can hire a whole one to yourself
By bicycle
It is possible to cycle around Sudan, legally speaking, although it might be advisable to forget to mention your mode of transport when getting your permit to travel. "Cycling" will often consist of pushing the bike through sand or rattling along corrugations but the scenery and the incredible warmth of the Sudanese people more than compensate for the physical and bureaucratic hassles. Water is frequently available from communal clay pots at the roadside, cafes, people's homes, passing trucks or, if desperate, the Nile (NB There is a 145km stretch between Wadi Halfa and Akasha without water - the only place to refuel is just a few kilometres before Akasha). Theft is not a problem; it is generally safe to leave bicycles unattended in villages and towns. Flies, puncture-generous thorn trees and, in the far north, lack of shade, are the only real annoyances.
Credit cards
Because of the US embargo, no credit cards can be used in Sudan. Carrying out on-line transactions while you are in Sudan can cause problems, as some merchants (especially American ones) will pick up your Sudanese IP address, and refuse to do business with you. If you attempt to use an American Express card for any on-line transaction while in Sudan, you are likely to have the card summarily cancelled.

Tourist Hot Spots in Mauritania

The coastal nation of Mauritania is in western Africa. This small nation has a large array of scenic beauty and features massive dune fields and white-sand beaches with crystal-clear water. History buffs will find plenty of items of interest in Mauritania's ancient cities, many of which are recognized as World Heritage Sites. Whether you want to relax on pristine beaches or explore a dynamic African capital city, Mauritania has plenty to offer.


Ouadane, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Lonely Planet-recommended travel destination, is an ancient city built on a Saharan oasis. Berber tribesmen founded the city in 1147 and by the 1480s, it had grown into an outpost for Portuguese traders. Today, Oudane survives as a striking semi-ghost town with a small remnant population. The stone houses in the Le Ksar al Kiali old quarter provide an excellent example of old African masonry, and the Portuguese fort still looms over the surrounding plateau. A 14th-century mosque persists in use at the base of the town. Tourists can visit a handful of local museums that preserve artifacts related to ancient trader caravans.

Ben Amera

The world’s second-largest stone monolith, Ben Amera, rises over the desert sands of the Western Sahara in Mauritania. A single piece of black granite that reaches a height of 1,300 feet, Ben Amera is the most significant of dozens of natural rock formations in the area. As a barren landscape populated only with black-granite outcroppings, the area around Ben Amera comprises one of the world’s most surreal sights. A neighboring monolith, Aisha, is popularly referred to as Ben Amera’s “wife,” and contains sculptures crafted in celebration of the year 2000. Travel website Traveling East recommends Ben Amera as a must-see Mauritanian destination.


The capital of Mauritania, Nouakchott has a lively urban atmosphere, picturesque beaches and bountiful seafood. Traveling East characterizes Nouakchott as a top spot for tourists in Mauritania and the ideal starting point for visitors unfamiliar with the country. As recently as 1958, the population of Nouakchott numbered only 200. When Mauritania attained its independence in 1960, Nouakchott was chosen as the capital, and a massive development effort began. Visitors should make sure to check out the Fish Market, a lively center for Mauritanian commerce. For an excellent meal, check out Café-Restau Bruxelles.

Parc National du Banc a’Arquin

Lonely Planet chose the Parc National du Banc a’Arquin as one of the top attractions in Mauritania. This UNESCO World Heritage Site located between Nouadhibou and Nouakchott serves as Mauritania’s national park. Popular among bird-watchers, this park acts as a breeding ground for rare shorebirds. The Parc National du Banc a’Arquin also provides access to unspoiled beaches free of urban development. In addition to the shorebirds, wildlife enthusiasts can thrill to the sight of a variety of marine animals, including killer whales, monk seals and dolphins.

Todaiji Temple in Japan

The Todaiji Temple in Nara is a feat of engineering. It is not only the world’s largest wooden building, it is home to the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and wildlife, the Kegon school of Buddhism is centered here and the grounds hold many artifacts of Japanese and Buddhist history. Deer are allowed to freely roam the grounds as messengers of the Shinto gods.

Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan

Jigokudani Monkey Park is a famous hot spring area near Nagano,. The name Jigokudani (meaning “Hell’s Valley”), is due to steam and boiling water that bubbles out the frozen ground, surrounded by steep cliffs and formidably cold forests. It is famous for its large population of wild Snow Monkeys that go to the valley during the winter when snow covers the park. The monkeys descend from the steep cliffs and forest to sit in the warm hot springs, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Japan

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is a haunting tribute to the lives lost when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Set in a park, the memorial features Genbaku Dome, the only building left standing in the vicinity after the bomb dropped. This harsh reminder of a world at war reminds visitors of the importance of human life and honors the victims so they will never be forgotten.


Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco (USA)

The Golden Gate Bridge is a California icon gracing San Francisco Bay. It is likely the most photographed site in the city, with the orange structure backed by blue water, or in many cases, peaking through low lying cloud. The Bridge has an interesting history and adds a unique charm to San Francisco.
The Golden Gate Suspension Bridge connects San Francisco with Marin County and other districts further north. At one time, it was designated the greatest man-made sight in the United States by the U.S. Travel Service. Opened on May 28th, 1937, the bridge took four years to build and at the time of its completion it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge, flood-lit in the evening, is approximately 2 miles long.
If you want to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge the road is US Hwy 101, or SR 1. For a great view of the bridge, or for anyone interested in photographing the bridge, there are a number of great vantage points. From the San Francisco side, Nob Hill, an area known for its posh old mansions, offers some beautiful views over the bridge. On the opposite side of the bridge, in Marin County, is the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Also, if you are planning on taking a tour to Alcatraz, there are completely open views from the boat and island.

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