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Train ride along the east coast of Sri Lanka, looking out over the ocean at sunrise. 

Elephant - Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan elephant is one of 3 recognised sub-species of Asian Elephant. Since 1986 the Sri Lankan elephant has been listed as endangered. During the 1990′s, many elephants were killed by landmines that were left during the countries armed conflict. Today, the main cause of the decline in elephant numbers is due to an increasing human population, and the resulting expansion of infrastructure into previously un-occupied land. While the ivory trade is not a large industry in Sri Lanka, some trade still occurs. 

Sri Lanka has set up safety zones for elephants, by creating protected areas for elephants to live, and working with local communities to learn to live alongside the elephants. 

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DREAMING OF JAIPUR

Without intending this to sound like a colonial fantasy, Jaipur is a city of beauty and vibrancy. Obviously you’ll only see what is ‘sellable’ - the decadency of the royal court, the ornate architecture, detail and splendour of it all but at a less superficial level, Jaipur is full of creativity and craftsmanship. 

I can’t wait to go back and discover more about the city instead of just marvelling at it!

- Seetal 

Yamuna River - Agra, India

Most of the city of Agra is built along the Yamuna River, which flows from the far north of the country, and through Delhi. The river has played an important role in the life of the cities most famous building, the Taj Mahal. Many of the materials used to build the monument came from the river, or were transported to the area by river. The Taj is located on a sharp bend in the river, down stream from Agra fort. The calmness of the river at this section allows the Taj Mahal to reflect off the water perfectly, like a mirror. 

The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in Childbirth. When construction of the Taj was completed, the body of Mumtaz was transported in a golden casket along the river, to its final resting place in the centre of the Mausoleum. Thirty-five years later, upon his own death, the Body of Shah Jahan made its journey down the river, to be laid to rest next to his wife, in the mausoleum that he built for her. 

Mozambique 

Mozambique is located on the Indian Ocean coast of Southern Africa. It borders South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. With over 1000km of coastline, the country is a popular destination for scuba divers, fishermen, sailors and beach lovers. The climate is tropical, and even cold nights are rare to come by. 

Around the Year 1500, the Portuguese began establishing forts and posts along the coast of Mozambique, to benefit their trade routes. As a result, the official language of Mozambique is still Portuguese. Other languages spoken, include English (spoken in the main city and tourist areas), and Swahili (spoken in the north, near the border with Tanzania).