Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Kuwait Flag

Why visit Kuwait?
Ideally for the experienced international travelers interested in modern Middle Eastern to enjoy art galleries, beaches, camel racing, culture, desert scenery, malls, markets, museums, ruins, scuba diving, and speed boating.

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Carpets, copperware, dried fruits, leatherware, opal jewelry, nuts, perfumes, rugs, scarves, silverware, and wooden backgammon sets.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Asida (dessert). Ghraiba (cookies). Harees (stew). Machboos (national dish). Margoog (vegetable stew). Murabyan (rice dish). Muttabaq Samak (fish dish). Quzi (lamb dish).
  • Local Drink to Try:  Arabic Coffee. Arabic Tea. Dried Lime Tea. Kuwaiti Tea.

Fun Facts
  • In 1938, discovered oil reserves.
  • In 1946, the first time to export crude oil.
  • In 1961, became independent.
  • In northern area, the world's earliest reed-boats were discovered.
  • The Scientific Center (Ras Salmiya) is the largest Middle East aquarium.
  • Has the highest valued currency (KWD) in the world.
  • Al-Hashemi II (Kuwait City) is the world's largest wooden ship.
  • Ranks first in social progress amongst the Arab worlds.
  • First country in the world to use desalination for large-scale domestic use of water supply.
  • Home to the largest opera house (Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre - JACC) in the Middle East.
  • Consists of nine islands (only Failaka Island is uninhabited).
  • Bubiyan is the largest island.
  • Highest literacy rate in the Arab world.
  • Films majority of television drama and comedy productions amongst the Gulf ("Hollywood of the Gulf").
  • Only Gulf Arab region country with theatrical traditions.
  • Does not have any permanent rivers.
  • Home to the world's largest breeding colony of crab-plover birds.
  • Kuwait National Cultural District (KNCD) is the largest cultural investment project in the world (over $1USD Billion).
  • Women outnumber men in the workforce.
  • One of the largest shipping industries in the region.

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (February) Hala Festival.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, National Day, Liberation Day, Mawlid, Islamic New Year, Isra and Mi'raj, Eid al-Fitr, Al-Wuquf Fi Arafa, and Eid al-Adha.

Good to Know
  • Terrorist groups are known to target and attack U.S. citizens.
  • English is widely understood and often used in business transactions.
  • Possession of alcohol and/or narcotics is illegal.
  • A very hot and dry country with flat terrain.
  • Not necessarily a commercialized tourist destination.
  • Taking photographs or video clips of government buildings, military installations, oil-related infrastructure or of people is considered illegal.
  • Gambling, pornography, and prostitution are illegal.
  • Humiliating or insulting any person verbally or through obscene gestures in public places is considered illegal and punishable.
  • Conspicuous wealth is noticeable.
  • Accommodation is costly. However, the cost of food, sightseeing, and transportation is fairly inexpensive. 
  • Summers are some of the hottest on earth (highest recorded, 129°F).
  • At-fault automobile accidents may result in arrests, demands for financial restitution, and/or travel bans preventing you from leaving.
  • Traffic cameras are common at stop lights and for speeding violations. Nonpayment of traffic violations may prevent you from leaving the country.
  • French is taught in schools as a third language for two years.
  • Male homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to 6 years in prison.
  • Highways are considered dangerous due to excessive speeding.
  • Admission to most museums is free.
  • Many businesses close between 12Noon - 4PM.
  • Desert Wildflowers Bloom Season (October - March).

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $3,000KWD.

Subject to sandstorms

  • Best Time to Visit: November - April
  • Coolest Months: January - March
  • Hottest Months: April - November 
  • Peak Season: June - August

Kuwait City, Kuwait. Photo Credit: Jarrah Mayyal/Unsplash

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn Pinterest Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                        All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021


Kiribati Flag

Why visit Kiribati?
Relatively undeveloped islands offer travelers beaches, birdwatching, boating, culture, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, scuba diving, sport fishing, and surfing.

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Pure coconut virgin oil and mauri wear.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Batata Mash (potato mash). Crab Cocktail. Glazed Mahi Mahi. Pumpkin Coconut Soup. Samoan Poi (mashed coconut dessert). Te Inai (fried parrotfish).
  • Local Drink to Try: Karewe (palm wine).

Fun Facts
  • On Nikumaroro Island remains of Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American Aviator plane was discovered (1930).
  • In 1979, became independent from the United Kingdom.
  • In 1999, the National Space Development Agency of Japan leased land on Christmas Island for 20 years. Later cancelled by Japan (2003).
  • In 2014, won their first medal during the Commonwealth Games in weightlifting. 
  • Rests on both sides of the equator.
  • Millennium Island was formerly called Caroline Island.
  • The United States incorporated the Northern Line Islands into territories.
  • Comprises 32 atolls.
  • Only country in the world located in all four hemispheres.
  • Kiritimati Island (aka: Christmas Island) has the largest land area of any coral atoll in the world.
  • Imported canned goods are considered luxury goods.
  • Banaba (Ocean Island) is a raised-coral island.
  • Has 21 inhabited islands and divided into three island groups.
  • Christmas Island was used for hydrogen bombs and nuclear weapons testing.
  • Tabiteuea Island (formerly Drummond Island) consists of two main islands: Eanikai (north) and Nuguti (south).
  • Has no military, relies on Australia and New Zealand for military defence.
  • Their alphabet does not include letter s.
  • Has three ecosystems: Central Polynesian, Eastern Micronesia, and Western Polynesian. 
  • Group islands include: Banaba, Gilbert Islands, Line Islands, and Phoenix Islands.
  • Home to the world’s largest marine protected area (Phoenix Islands Protected Area - PIPA).
  • Uninhabitable Line Islands include: Flint Island, Caroline Island, Malden Island, Starbuck Island, and Vostok Island. 
  • Smiling while dancing is considered vulgar as Kiribati Dance is a form of storytelling.
  • Breastfeeding mothers eat coconut and mud crabs for milk production.

Kiribati Islands:
  • Gilbert Islands: Makin, Butaritari, Marakei, Abaiang, Tarawa, Maiana, Abemama, Kuria, Aranuka, NonoutiTabiteueaBeruNikunauOnotoa, Tamana, and Arorae. 
  • Phoenix Islands: Kanton (or Abariringa), Enderbury, Rawaki (formerly Phoenix), Manra (formerly Sydney), Birnie, McKean, Nikumaroro (formerly Gardner), and Orona (formerly Hull).
  • Line Islands: Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, Teraina (Washington Island), Tabuaeran (Fanning Island), Kiritimati (Christmas Island)Jarvis Island, Malden Island, Filippo Reef, Starbuck Island, Caroline Island, Vostok Island, and Flint Island.

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (monthly) Betio Game Fishing Club, (July) National Day, and (November) WWII Battle of Tarawa and the Battle of Makin Commemoration.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, International Women's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, National Health Day, Gospel Day, National Culture & Senior Citizens Day, National Day, Youth Day, Education Day, Human Rights & Peace Day, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Good to Know
  • Does not have the lush or mountainous backdrop compared to other Pacific nations.
  • Kanton Island is accessible only by private flight and boat charters.
  • Majority of the population resides on Gilbert Island.
  • Includes Gilbert Islands (western group), Line Islands (eastern group), and Phoenix Islands (middle group).
  • Not a shopping destination.
  • Natives speak Gilbertese (Oceanic language) few speak English beyond the capital.
  • Tarawa Island has a large lagoon.
  • Importing any animal products, animals, fruits, part of plants, soil, or vegetables is strictly governed by law and subject to quarantine.
  • Importing any ammunition, counterfeit goods, counterfeit money, explosives, indecent publications, knives, or pornography is strictly prohibited.
  • Only Master Cards and VISA credit cards are accepted.
  • Sanitation conditions are usually below our standards.
  • After heavy rains and high tides, some roads temporarily flood.
  • Major medical is directed to Guam or Hawaii.
  • Christmas Island offers the best birdwatching.
  • Relevant diseases include: Chikungunya, Dengue, Giardia, Leprosy, Tuberculosis, and Typhoid Fever.
  • Exporting artifacts over 30 years old, dancing ornaments, suits of armor, traditional fighting swords, or traditional tools is prohibited.
  • Some islands do not offer accommodation stays.
  • Offers no cremation, embalming, or funeral homes services.
  • Banaba, is known amongst Europeans as Ocean Island.
  • Do not consume tap water.
  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road.
  • Homosexuality is illegal, subject to a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.
  • Banaba and Phoenix Islands are not served by air carriers.
  • Westerly winds often prevent island hopping (December). 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 30 days.
  • Currency Restriction for Entry $5,000AUD.

Fanning Island. Photo Credit: Ramona Mona Denton/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: April - October
  • Coolest Month: February
  • Hottest Months: May - June & November
  • Peak Season: June - August

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook LinkedIn  Pinterest Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                           All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Monday, March 22, 2021


Kenya Flag

Why visit Kenya?
For the adventurous traveler seeking to experience balloon rides, boating, beaches, birdwatching, camping, colonial-era forts, coffee plantations, coral reefs, glamping, golf, historical mosques, history, hunting, lakes, national parks, natural environment, reserves, safari tours, sailing, sanctuaries, scenic landscapes, scuba diving, shopping, snorkeling, tea plantations, tribal culture, and wildlife.

Amboseli National Park (Loitoktok District - Rift Valley), Entonet, Kenya. Photo Credit: Herbert Aust/Pixabay 

A popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Bucket List Destination
  • Groups: Family, Friends and Multigenerational 
  • Milestones: Anniversary, Birthday, and Retirement
  • Safari Trip

Nairobi, Kenya. Photo Credit: Nina Stock/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, art, baskets, beadwork, carved gourds, coffee, ebony carvings, glassware, handwoven fabrics, macadamia nuts, malachite gemstone, soapstone, tanzanite gemstone, tsavorite gemstones, and wood carvings.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Chapatis (flatbread). Githeri (traditional dish). Irio (vegetable mash). Kaimati (sweet dumplings). Maharagwe (coconut curry soup). Mishkaki (skewered meat). Mutura (sausage). Samosas (meat pastry). Sukuma Wiki (collard greens). Ugali (cornmeal mush). Wali Wa Kukaanga (rice dish).
  • Local Drink to Try: Dawa (cocktail). Kenyan Tea. Maziwa Lala (fermented milk). Mursik (sour milk). Tusker (lager beer).

Lake Nakuru National Park, Rift Valley, Kenya. Photo Credit: Nick115/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Home to Baobab Trees (south).
  • Ranks as the world's third largest exporter of cut flowers (Lake Naivasha/Rift Valley). 
  • Given their high altitude golf balls travel further.
  • Has approximately 40 golf clubs.
  • Found fossils date back over 20 million years ago.
  • Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess was at the Treetops Hotel (Kenya) on vacation when notified of her fathers passing, King George VI (1895-1952).
  • Mount Kenya is their tallest peak.
  • South of the Tanzanian Border, Mount Kilimanjaro is visible.  
  • While sitting in office, former President Barack Obama was the first to visit in office.
  • Have over 40 golf courses.
  • Since, drought-resistant crops they have been cropping pigeon peas.
  • A terminal (Nairobi Airport) is dedicated to air transport of flowers and vegetables.
  • Plans to build a nuclear power plant (by 2027).
  • Has the highest population of Quakers compared to any other country in the world.
  • Faith healers, herbalists, and witch doctors are widely practiced and services often sought.
  • The Maasai population are known and recognizable for their elaborate jewellery and upper-body adornment.
  • Lyrics are usually in English or Kiswahili. 
  • Dominants in long-distance and middle-distance athletics in the world.
  • The Safari Rally race started in  coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1953). 
  • Cheese has grown in popularity amongst the "middle class".  
  • Republic of Kenya is named after Mount Kenya with consideration to the black rock and white snow on its peaks similar to feathers of the male ostrich.
  • Sits on the equator.
  • World-class runners are attributed to their rich carbohydrates diet and high altitudes.

Maasai Village, Kenya. Photo Credit: David Mark/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Maulidi Festival, Nairobi Restaurant Week, (February) Safaricom International Jazz Festival, Sauti za Busara, (March) Kijani Festival, (April) Cake Festival, KCB Safari Rally, Kenya Open Golf Championship, (June) Kenya Fashion Week, Kenya International Trade Exhibition, Lake Turkana Festival, Lamu Maulidi Festival, Lewa Marathon, Rhino Charge, Tusker Safari Seven, Zanzibar International Film Festival of the Dhow Countries, (July) Sigana International Storytelling Festival, (August) International Camel Derby & Festival, Kenya Music Festival, Kwani Literary Festival, Lola Kenya Screen Film Festival, (September) Africa Concours D'Elegance, Africa Nouveau Festival, Story Moja Festival, (October) Kenya International Film Festival, Kenya International Puppetry Festival, (November) Craft of Africa, Lamu Cultural Festival, Mombasa Carnival, Shaggy Dog Show, and (December) Kenya Music Week.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Labour Day, Madaraka Day, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adham Huduma Day, Mashujaa DayJamhuri DayChristmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Eve.

Diani Beach, Kenya. Photo Credit: Herbert Aust/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Terrorist threats remain high.
  • Forced marriages are known to occur amongst natives.
  • Safari lodges and tour operators are required to carry a nationally mandated insurance. 
  • Local law criminalizes same-sex sexual activity with up to 14 years in prison.
  • The Best view of Mount Kilimanjaro is from Amboseli National Park.
  • Diani Beach (south of Mombasa) offers the best white sand beach.
  • Prevalent Diseases include: Cholera, Dengue, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HIV, Malaria, Measles, Rabies, Schistosomiasis, and Tuberculosis.
  • Traffic moves on the left side of the road.
  • Bird watching is best around Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Kakamega Forest, Karura Forests, Ngong Forests, and Rift Valley.
  • Balloon rides are best from tops of Masai Mara.
  • Roads are poorly maintained and unpaved.
  • Fishing Season is August - March.
  • Fishing is best in Kilifi, Malindi, Shimoni, and Watamu. 
  • During the Rainy Season (April - May), unpaved roads are impassable. 
  • Due to the high altitude golf balls travel further.

Safari, Kenya. Photo Credit: Emilian Danaila/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and two blank pages for entry stamps.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Yellow Fever vaccination is required. 
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Faza, Kenya. Photo Credit: Emilian Danaila/Pixabay 

  • Best Time to Visit: July - September
  • Coolest Months: June - October 
  • Hottest Months: February - March

Nakuru County, Kenya. Photo Credit: Love Art Live Art/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Fort Jesus Mombasa, Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Turkana National Parks, Lamu Old Town, Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest, Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, and Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site.

Kenya. Photo Credit: Lens Image/Pixabay 

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                          All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2021


Kazakhstan Flag

Why visit Kazakhstan?
Hugely underdeveloped destination offers experienced travelers ancient mausoleums, architecture, art, biking, birdwatching, desert landscapes, fishing, hiking, historical sites, horseback riding, hunting, mountain climbing, museums, mountain climbing, sailing, skiing, and wildlife.

Nur-Sultan (Formerly Astana), Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: Акимхан Бозтай/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Coats, folk instruments, hats, leather goods, luxury designer brands, and wool goods.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Baursaks (fried dough). Beshbarmak (boiled horse meat). Manti (dumpling). Shuzhuk (horse meat sausages). Quwyrdaq (stewed meat). Shelpek  (flatbread). Tandyr Nan (bread). Tokash (bread). Zhal (horse neck meat).

Big Almaty Lake (Reservoir), Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: Tom/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • By 2010, the Aral Sea dried up.
  • Lake Markakol is fed by small rivers and streams.
  • World's largest landlocked country. 
  • Has the second largest reserves in chromium, lead, uranium, and zinc.
  • Large exporter of diamonds. 
  • Home to the second coldest capital city (Nursultan) in the world. 
  • Claimed origin of the apple tree.

Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: Konevi/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (March) Navroz Festival, (May) Alakol Wings Festival, Kokmaisa Festival, (June) Koshpendiler alemi Festival, Spirit of Tengri Festival, (July) Uba Chants Ethnic Folk Festival, (August) Burabike Fest, Chabana Festival, FourЭ Festival, Kazakhstan Golf Open, Khan Tengri Mountain Festival, Zhezkik Festival, (September) Apple Fest, Astana International Contest of Kazakh Song, Okunkol Fishing Fest, (October) Toikazan Festival, and (December) Kansonar Fest.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Eastern Orthodox Christmas, International Women's Day, Nauryz Meyramy, Kazakhstan People's Unity Day, Defender of the Fatherland Day, Great Patriotic War Against Fascism Victory Day, Capital City Day, Constitution Day, Qurban Ayt, First President Day, and Independence Day.

Ak Orda Presidential Palace, Nur-SultanKazakhstan. Photo Credit: Lena1964/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Consider seeing the Sharyn Canyon and Tien Shan by air (helicopter).
  • Skiing is best on Great Almaty Peak and Kazakh Altai Mountains.
  • The ancient route of the Silk Road offers holy places and mausoleums.
  • Beket-ata and Sholpan-ata are said to have healing powers.
  • Kazakh or Russian are spoken. English not widely spoken.
  • Visiting near the China border and select cities requires Kazakhstani government permission.
  • Healthcare providers and hospitals often require cash payment before rendering services.
  • Road conditions are commonly poor, lack signage and adequate lighting.
  • ATM skimming is prevalent.
  • Avoid public transportation.
  • Rural businesses are known to only accept cash.
  • You must carry your passport with you at all times.
  • U.S. currency for exchange the dollars must be from 2000 or newer with the large portrait. 
  • Importing religious literature is restricted.
  • Persons with HIV/AIDS entry restrictions apply.
  • Police impersonators are known to occur.

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with three months of validity upon return.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Prone to earthquakes.

  • Best Time to Visit: April - June & September - October
  • Coolest Months: November - March
  • Hottest Months: May - August
  • Peak Season: July - August

Charyn Canyon (Charyn National Park), Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: Анна Филипова/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, Petroglyphs within the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly, Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan, Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor, and Western Tien-Shan.

Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo Credit: Alexander Serzhantov/Unsplash 

Ready to embark on custom and personalized services, your journey begins with Louvet Travel

Your one stop source: Accommodations I Air I Car Rentals I Cruises I Disney Excursions I Tours I Transfers I Travel Insurance I Villa Rentals

Stay connected, find us online: Alignable Facebook  LinkedIn  Pinterest  Slack  Twitter 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine

                                         All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

Travel Tips Aboard

Photo Credit: Steve Buissinne / Pixabay Tourists are often targeted aboard with pickpocketing. Avoid Holding Your Phone in the Air (Makes fo...