Powerball Winner Travel Options

The nation’s multi-state Powerball lottery is up to $425 million for Wednesday night’s drawing, the largest jackpot ever. Would-be winners have dreams of financial freedom, never working again for the rest of their lives and more. Odds are, travel may be one of the options the big winner will choose. With a cash value of $278 million, that’s a lot of travel. But just what will $278 million buy?

At a cost of $206 million, the winner could buy one Boeing 787 Dreamliner and have millions leftover for a flight crew and operating expenses. Don’t want to blow so much on a jet? Choose a 737 for as little as $74.8 million.

Looking for more adventure? How about a F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet for $150 million.

Cruise of a lifetime-
At an average cost of $1000 per person, per week, if the winner is an avid cruiser, they could sail with a dozen friends on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas for over 70 years.

Bump that up to destination-immersive Azamara Club Cruises on an itinerary that takes the winner and his happy dozen friends around the world, and sail for over 20 years in ultra luxury.

Road trip of a lifetime, with friends-
Fancy a luxury road trip? At about $9 million each, the winner and about 30 friends could drive solid gold Rolls-Royce Phantom’s.

Or leave the friends behind and drive your gold Rolls-Royce to any one of 19 four to seven-story hotels you could build along the way.

Better yet, buy 14,000 of your closest friends a new Toyota Prius for $19,950 eachBuy an Island-
Tikina-I-Ra is a 10,000-acre, private island for sale in the South Pacific for just a bit over $11 million.

“One of the largest freehold estates in the Fiji Islands, this property is in pristine condition,” says Private Islands Online, adding, “With ocean frontage to the North, West, and South, the island enjoys approximately 25 kilometres of coastline.”

Talk about adventure-
Adventure travelers too would do well as winners.

Experiences of a Lifetime from TCS & Starquest Expeditions would take you by private jet to eight countries. Camping under the stars in India’s Great Thar Desert, gorilla trekking in Rwanda and elephant trekking in Thailand runs about $68,000 per person for a 23-day tour. You could bring 200 of your friends and do it for a year.

Feeling like there could be a better use for your half billion in winnings?

Feeding all the hungry people on the planet, your prize would not go far. Worldwide, 852 million people are hungry, up from 842 million a year ago.

[Photo by Flickr user live w mcs]

Rwanda looks to its history to get over its past

Sadly, when people think of Rwanda they tend to think only of the 1994 genocide, yet Rwanda has a rich history and heritage.

Now the government is developing its museums and historical sites to encourage cultural tourism. Sites like Nyanza Palace, shown here, will get special attention. Other attractions include dance troupes and even something called the Inyambo dance, performed by trained cows!

Rwanda has been inhabited for at least ten thousand years. Around the 15th century AD, several kingdoms cropped up with distinctive artistic styles. Several good Rwandan museums showcase this heritage.

Rwanda has become increasingly popular with adventure travelers and safari groups. It’s working to preserve its environment to help its rebounding population of mountain gorillas as well as other species.

This new move towards cultural and historical tourism appears to be emphasizing a common past in order to erase longstanding ethnic divisions. Hopefully this new project will get the international community to see more to Rwandan history than its tragic recent past.

[Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons]

Photo of the day- Bath time in Rwanda

Today’s Photo of the Day is of a family of Gorillas in Rwanda. JD Andrews has traveled to 76 countries on six continents searching for and capturing nature and the beauty of earths creatures on film. The Emmy award winning video producer, photographer, MacGEEK, dog lover and dad brings us this photo of bath time in the jungle. In his words…

“To see animals in a zoo is one thing but when you are a mere 5 feet away from some of the most amazing creatures on earth and you realize they know your there, it’s magical!

On a Gorilla trek in Rwanda, I came across a family of gorillas, the mother, two babies and a Silverback. In this picture you see the mother keeping a close eye on us as the “Dad” Silverback cleans the kids. We were told by the guide that this behavior by the Silverback was very rare as they usually, like all dads, just eat and grunt.

This was my first time to Africa and by no means my last. Like anyone that has been to this amazing continent, you get “hooked” and need to see more and more. I hope to go on many safaris and lots more adventures to observe and capture the beauty of earths creatures”

Gadling Take FIVE: Week of March 21 –March 28

I’m psyched. As soon as I set this puppy to post, I’m heading to Cleveland to go to the Cleveland International Film Festival where I’ll meet up with Brook Silva-Braga for the showing of his film A Day in Africa. There’s also a load of stuff going on to commemorate the inductions at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It’s been busy around here at Gadling as well. Kent has been posting about his Competitours Race in Europe, Aaron is posting about his Heathen in the Holy Land experiences which includes why wearing stripes is a good thing. For anyone who wants to be a flight attendant, Heather has the scoop on that . And Karen, with her artist’s eye, tells about color in photography. Her post is gorgeous.

Here are six more.

Big in Africa: Spotlight on Rwanda

This month, Big in Japan is on vacation in Africa, and will be bringing you travel news and happenings from around this often misunderstood continent.

Although Africa is usually viewed in the West as a singular entity, the continent is incredibly varied. From the Saharan desert and the Sahel to equatorial rainforests and acacia-lined plains, Africa offers up an impressive amount of biodiversity.

While most first-timers on the continent choose to safari in classic destinations such as Kenya and South Africa, there is one tiny country that is turning heads in ecotourism circles. Bordering Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda is emerging as one of the continent’s top attractions.

Whether you trek along the Congolese border in search of rare mountain gorillas, or unwind with a passion fruit cocktail on the sandy shores of Lake Kivu, Rwanda is a remarkable tourist destination that deserves its share of the spotlight.

Mention Rwanda to just about anyone with the smallest measure of geopolitical conscious, and they’ll no doubt recall images of the horrific genocide that brutalized this tiny country in 1994. In the span of just 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interhamwe militas.

While the scars still run deep, Rwanda has done a remarkable job of healing its wounds and turning towards the future. The government has eliminated the very mention of tribes, and rallied the country under the common Rwandan identity. And, in order to help stimulate its developing economy, the country is protecting its most vital natural resource – the mountain gorilla.

A string of volcanoes run along the Congolese border, forming the backbone of the world famous Parq National des Volcans, the national park where Dian Fossey wrote Gorillas in the Mist. Here, seven groups of mountain gorillas inhabit the montane forests along the slopes of the volcanoes.

Since 1999, tourists have been once again allowed to track these rare primates, and a face-to-face encounter with a silverback in the wild is easily one of the highlights of any trip to Africa. If you want to learn how to obtain a highly coveted tracking permit, check out tomorrow’s column of Big in Africa.

Parq National des Volcans is also home to the endangered golden monkey, while Nyuwenge Forest in the southeast contains chimpanzees and enormous troops of colobus monkeys. Of course, Rwanda isn’t just monkey business – Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu is a relaxed and low-key resort town, while increasingly cosmopolitan Kigali is one of the most beautiful capitals in East Africa.

Rwanda is also home to a number of genocide memorials, which offer perspective on the past rather than accusations. The Kigali Memorial Centre in the Kigali suburb of Kisozi is a poignant and heart-wrenching testimonial that catalogs the tremendous human sacrifice paid by Rwandans.

Perhaps Apollon Katahizi said it best: “When they said ‘never again’ after the holocaust, was it meant for some peope and not for others.”

If you find yourself in East Africa, be sure to spend your tourist dollars in Rwanda – the country needs it.