Monday, September 18, 2017

Active East Africa

Albatros East Africa has noticed an increase in clients wishing to get out of the vehicle and do something more active on their safaris. There are many short excursions that can be done on a safari such as visiting a school, a cultural village walk, as well as many properties providing their own activities such as horseback rides, bicycle trips and bush walks. Here are some activities for those looking for something a little more strenuous and adventurous than just a short excursion.


Walking Safaris: In Laikipia there are many options and varying terrain for a walking safari. There are treks that last from 2 to 8 days which will take your clients across the Laikipia Plateau teeming with game, along rivers and onto rocky pinnacles and into the forests along the various hillsides. In the Mara, there are also spectacular walks into the Loita Hills, with beautiful forests, streams, open savanna and cultural encounters with the Maasai. Again 3 to 8 day safaris can be arranged. Have a look at itinerary KL12, which combines these two areas.

Horse Riding Safaris: There are many places that offer half day riding trips, but come and experience a 5 to 10 day riding safari, for a true adventure. There are a number of ways of doing this, such riding from one luxury lodge to the next with a day in each place to explore the surrounding, the best place for this would be in Laikipia. Another option is to gallop with the herds of migrating wildebeest in the Masai Mara. Here your camp will move with you as you explore this area teeming with game. Galloping with wildebeest, zebra and giraffe is a life-changing experience.

Rhino Tracking: This is a unique opportunity to join the game rangers and a guide on a walking safari to track the endangered black rhino in the area. Not only is it a uniquely thrilling adventure, but it also allows guests to actively contribute to the protection of this species. The two places that do this best is at Saruni Rhino on Sera Community Conservancy and Borana lodge on the Borana Conservancy.

Fly Fishing on Mount Kenya: There are many great fishing experiences in East Africa, from the giant Nile Perch in Lake Victoria, to the powerful bill fish in the Indian Ocean, to Tiger fish in the Rufiji River. However, when you talk of the equator, trout fishing doesn’t seem to belong in the same sentence. Yet, despite being less than a degree from the center of the Earth’s circumference, the glacial catchment of this extinct volcano delivers a constant flow of cool water in which both the brown and rainbow species thrive. The Ragati river was originally stocked with rainbow trout in the 1930’s and they have changed considerably over time. They call them the Ragati Reds. They have also carried out regular stocking for the past 2 years and it is quickly becoming one of the best trout fishing destinations in East Africa. Over 8km of pristine and wild river to fish! We are also excited with the completion of their 4-bedroom log cabin in the forest, that is a stone’s throw away from the river. An idyllic place to spend a few days.

Wild Dog Tracking in Laikipia: Another truly unique experience to be found at Laikipia Wilderness Camp. They are lucky to have the fastest-growing population of wild dogs in Africa here in Laikipia. Going out tracking for these engaging animals by vehicle, and on occasion by foot, is a truly special experience and visitors can end up with some of the best wild dog sightings ever. Laikipia Wilderness camp is lucky in that although the territories of the wild dogs are huge, there are 2 packs within a relatively small area near where their camp is located.

White Water Rafting: Yes, we have all heard of the grade 5 rapids of the Zambezi and the Nile, and yes, they are truly amazing and adrenaline-fueled experiences. Here in Kenya we also have our 1 day adrenaline-fueled rafting experience on the Tana River. Or why not venture on a 3 to 4 day adventure down the Athi River that borders Tsavo National Park, perfect for viewing elephants, giraffe, plains game as well as crocodile and hippo. The bird life is also fantastic and rafters will traverse rapids between grade 2 to 4. Spend the evening in a camp located on the sand banks of the river. Another active adventure not to be missed.

Mount Kenya Climbs: Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa. Although long overshadowed by Kilimanjaro, trekkers are starting to take notice of this beautiful glacial peak. It is an ancient dormant volcano whose flanks have been shaped and molded to dramatic effect by glaciation. On your climb you will pass through dense bamboo and rain forest on its lower slopes, and rare Afro-Alpine moorland and plant life at higher elevations. Trekkers do need to be fit to climb Mt Kenya and altitude is also a factor, it is however a very scenic and rewarding climb.


Walking Safaris: There are a number of walking options available in Tanzania, especially in the Selous and Ruaha, where your clients can walk among big game. Few people realize you can also walk in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania, where you will see dramatic scenery, have cultural interactions with the Maasai, and have great wildlife experiences. The walk takes your clients from Ngorongoro Crater, past Empakai Crater and then down the escarpment to the shores of Lake Natron, with an optional ascent of the active Volcano of Oldonyo Lengai. Have a look at itinerary T13.

Bicycle Safari: Kilimanjaro to Natron: For those interested to covering the ground quicker than on foot, consider taking a trip on a mountain bike. Albatros has designed a trip that takes your clients around Mt Kilimanjaro to Mt Meru, then traverses the savannah plains to Mt Longido with a final descent to Lake Natron. The trip takes 8 days and can be combined with a 4 day cycle trip of Zanzibar.

Quad Biking Safaris: From Arusha or Karatu, visitors can take full day rides on these 4-wheel drive bikes. From Arusha, your clients can explore the foothills of Mt Meru or the coffee farms in the surrounding area. From Karatu, Albatros' favorite trip is to Lake Eyasi and enjoy an experience with the Hadzabe, a hunter gatherer tribe, followed by lunch on the shores of Lake Eyasi, before returning to Karatu.

Lake Shore Lodge: On the crystal waters of Lake Tanganyika lies a hidden gem. Lake Shore Lodge is owner run and has many activities on offer. Visitors can take a trip to the Mahale Mountains on their dhow, camping on route, before arriving at Mahale to trek for chimps. There is also amazing diving and snorkeling from the lodge, and for those who really want to explore the lake, they can get into a kayak and set off on an adventure, camping on remote beaches along the way.

Hadzabe Tribe: The Hadzabe are the last hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, survivors of the Stone Age, who still live in the Eyasi basin, scattered along the Eastern side of the lake. The Hadzabe speak a click-language, vaguely like the bushmen of southern Africa but not closely resembling any other known language. They have a simple way of life that is well integrated with their environment; gathering roots, tubers, wild fruits and honey, and hunting game with their bows and arrows. Visitors have the privileged opportunity to meet with the Wahadzabe tribe and observe and learn at hunting and gathering techniques that have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. Learn to hunt with a bow and arrow and start a fire or join the women gathering roots, tubers and wild fruit and preparing food. Exploring a way of life vastly different to our own is an unforgettable experience.

Chimp Trekking: Gombe and Mahale offer outstanding chimp trekking in Tanzania. Chimp trekking is quite unlike any of the more traditional forms of safari. Here guests are on their feet throughout and in awe-inspiring forest that bares no resemblance to anything they have encountered elsewhere in the country. When trekkers find the chimps, they are often in close proximity to them (sometimes they pass within a few feet) and because they’re habituated, they more or less ignore humans. The steady climb through the quiet of the forest to find them leaves time for the mind to wander and idly contemplate the streams, waterfalls and massive forest trees. Occasionally the canopy parts and Lake Tanganyika, turquoise, cool and alluring, is visible several thousand feet below. See itinerary T15.

Diving off Pemba: There are many great places to dive along the East African coast, but an Albatros favorite is off Pemba Island, north of Zanzibar. There are many reasons for this, one of them being that the diving is world class, but another important reason is due to the fact that there are fewer people that dive here as there are very few properties on the island. Albatros' preferred place to stay and dive from is The Manta Resort. There are only 16 rooms at the property with one of the most pristine and private beaches on the island. There is a Marine Reserve just in front of the property and for those looking for something unique, you should spend a night in the underwater room. Have a look at itinerary T12 that incorporates this property.

Kilimanjaro Climbs: It's the highest mountain in Africa, and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. It has five distinct ecological zones, making it one of the most beautiful and varied peaks on Earth. And of course, it is one of the seven most sought-after peaks on each continent. Kilimanjaro probably needs no introduction. It is however a very special climb and Albatros offers weekly set departures (see itinerary T16), or for those looking for a private climb, then please feel free to request a custom quote.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Family travel - kids on safari, adventure in Latin America and castles in Ethiopia

An African Safari never fails to wow everyone in the family! Photo Imvelo
Safari Lodges

The minute the kids head back to school, we start thinking 'vacation!' We are focusing on family-friendly accommodations and travel inspiration in this week's enews. Read on for ideas for your family travelers...

Kids can burn off energy in the villa's private pool
overlooking the lake
Maya trails: Casa Palopo sits above Guatemala's intensely scenic Lake Atitlan, and stays are usually reserved only for adults. Maya Trails shares a little-known secret allowing families to bypass that restriction - exclusive use of the property's private villa! The 2 bedroom, 3 bathroom villa has a living room, kitchen and private pool, with gorgeous views from nearly every room. Room service is available, as is the option to hire a private chef for the duration of a stay. Note - children must be over the age of six, and the villa's stunning hillside location requires a climb of 150 stairs. Check out Maya Trails' Signature Guatemala Family Getaway for an idea of some of the family-friendly activities on offer!

Kids will never forget the wonder of an African safari!
Imvelo Safari Lodges: Imvelo Safari Lodges knows how to cater to families! Nehimba, Bomani and Zambezi Sands all have wonderful family suites (with another new suite announcement coming soon!), and Imvelo has a great kid-friendly safari running till the end of this year. This 10 night, all inclusive safari (it's a stay 10/pay 7!!), will make the whole family happy. In addition to fantastic wildlife viewing, there are lots of interesting activities for families and special experiences for kids including a school visit, ride on the Elephant Express, a treasure hunt, catapult lessons, and more! This special safari is available for families whose kids are at least 7 years old, and kids' participation in activities are at guide's discretion.

Families will love learning about Namibia's wonders -
large and small
Ultimate Safaris: What does a family safari in Namibia look like? Ultimate Safaris paints a pretty picture for us! Ultimate's guide's aim is to not only keep kids entertained, but also to learn about what they see. Accommodations are selected where staff are accustomed to children, and are happy to involve them in duties where possible - they are often found helping to prepare snacks in the kitchen with the chefs. In essence, the children are either busy or asleep, and always happy! Busy children ultimately mean a relaxing holiday for parents! Learn more about Ultimate's family safari here, and remember that it's for inspiration - safaris can be customized to age, size of family, special lodges, etc - almost anything is possible!

There's no end to family adventure opportunities in Costa
Rica! Photo Alex Arias.
Costa Rica Sun Tours: Rainforest, cloudforest, beaches, volcanoes, and crystal rivers. Swimming, boating, hiking, biking, horse riding, rafting, rappelling and relaxing...just to name a few. Costa Rica is a natural destination for family travel and Costa Rica Sun Tours are the experts to plan with. They know how to arrange itineraries to allow for a variety of activities and destinations, and the perfect lodging to provide fun for all ages. Click here to view two sample itineraries combining some of their favorite regions and activities using family-friendly accommodations. Then, contact us to discuss your travelers' interests, travel time frame, and budget to help create a specialized itinerary just for them! 

Families can discover Ethiopia's history and ancient
(Harry Potter-esque!) architecture in Gondar
Travel Ethiopia: Get more out of an East African family safari by adding a visit to Ethiopia on to a Kenya or Tanzania safari. With easy flights between Addis Ababa and Nairobi or Arusha on Ethiopian Airlines, travelers can experience both a classic wildlife safari along with Ethiopia's intriguing history. Travel Ethiopia has found that older kids especially find exploring the ancient architecture of Gondar and Lalibela intriguing, and for active families, hikes in the Simien mountains (with a chance to see endemic wildlife such as the charismatic gelada baboon) are a great option. Contact Travel Ethiopia to learn more.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Family travel - family-friendly villas and suites, and activities for everyone!

Private villas, such as the new Fish Eagle Villa in Lion Sands Game Reserve,
give families more options, flexibility, and privacy.

 What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

The Los Colibris Garden Classroom in all its colorful glory
Todos Santos Eco Adventures: For families that are all about the 'alternative classroom,' we've got the experience for you - the Los Colibris Garden Classroom! During a stay at Los Colibris with Todos Santos Eco Adventures, young explorers can roll up their sleeves and get dirty. The gorgeous gardens at Los Colibris feature both native and transplanted species, and offer a world of wonder for tots. The gardens are made even more interesting with art classes focused on the flora, and an exciting treasure hunt! The day ends with a pizza and ice cream party hosted by the guides, allowing parents step out for a well-deserved adult dinner at one of Todos Santos' acclaimed restaurants.

The Cowley family says their visit to The Manta Resort was
'the most enjoyable family holiday so far!'
Ultimate Safaris: A family safari is an adventure of a lifetime! One paired with several days for play on the Indian Ocean is extraordinary! Take it from Tristan Cowley, co-founder of our partner Ultimate Safaris, who enjoyed a week at The Manta Resort with his family. He cites the welcoming staff, amazing food, the beach (without a dangerous swell), sea kayaking, boat trip to the sandbank, and the warmth and authenticity of the locals they met. Add to this the option of a rainforest visit and possibility of being invited for a pick-up soccer game, and kids of all ages are guaranteed lots of fun in the sun! Contact us for more family-friendly advice, including best time of year to visit and room configurations! Note - minimum age for children visiting is 7.

The beautiful new 2bd/2ba family suite has a living room
and private terrace
Classic Africa Safaris: Families planning a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda have a great new option in Buhoma. Mahogany Springs has added a family suite. While trekking is only for guests 15 and older, Classic Africa Safaris regularly host clients with underage children who cannot trek gorillas. Classic takes care of them while parents and older kids are trekking. Activities might include going to visit a school, local villages and/or short walks in the area. Kids get to have their own agenda, and experience the Ugandans' love and care for children. Classic's driver/guides enjoy the time, and lodge staff do as well, ensuring each child has a great time.

The lodge's private fire deck is the perfect spot to relax
after a day's safari
New Frontiers: For your family travelers visiting South Africa, a stay in a private villa could be the perfect set up. New Frontiers recommends a visit to Ivory Lodge's new Fish Eagle Villa in the Lion Sands Game Reserve. Accommodating up to six people (4 adults and 2 kids) in two bedrooms, the villa comes with a personal chef and butler, private Land Rover and guide, private lap pool, fire deck and more! Larger parties can also book an adjacent villa to accommodate up to 8. Families can enjoy their self-contained, ultra-private residence, and are also welcome to all of Ivory Lodge's amenities. View a variety private villa options available in South Africa in the Exclusively Yours section of the Agent Zone

Families staying in the new suites at Serian will also have
their own private vehicle
Albatros Travel: Since the introduction of family suites in the Serian Serengeti camps, demand has been high. To satisfy that demand, Serian has added an additional suite to each of their Tanzania camps. So as to not compromise intimacy of the camps, an individual unit was removed from each camp in conjunction with the suite addition. With these changes, both Serian Serengeti camps feature 4 individual units and 2 family suites. A suite comprises two separate tents joined by a communal living space. With parents in one half, and kids in the other (each with an en suite bathroom), Albatros Travel has found that families value the balance of proximity and privacy.

Families visiting Tropic's private villas will want for nothing!
Tropic Ecuador: Families have wonderful options for exclusivity and luxury when visiting the Andes and Galapagos with Tropic Ecuador. Villa Rumilahua sits below the dramatic Volcan Cotopaxi and offers six en suite bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen and easy access to explore the park. Foodie families can enjoy the delicious Nuna tasting menu in the privacy of their villa. After alpine adventures, families can visit Casa Iguana in the Galapagos. Situated on Santa Cruz Island, the 5 bedroom villa has an optional guest house and can accommodate up to 14 guests. Stays at the villas afford total privacy and luxe accommodation. Contact Tropic for availability and rates.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Colossal tents in Baja, culinary cravings in Antigua and Cape Town 'Escapes'

New Frontiers has launched New Frontiers Escapes - their own in-house touring
brand! Read on for details...

 What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

New Frontiers Escapes are innovative and feature hand-
picked guides
New Frontiers: New Frontiers is excited to announce the launch of New Frontiers Escapes, their own in-house touring brand! Expect New Frontiers' expertise in creating curated and meticulously researched day experiences in and around Cape Town, often with an unusual twist to the offering. One signature element of New Frontiers Escapes will be exceptional guides, with plans for an academy to provide ongoing training. Find more information here on New Frontiers Escapes and contact Tad with questions or for a virtual tour of the new offerings on the Agent Zone!

The spacious rooms are built on teak decking and are
beautifully appointed
Imvelo Safari Lodges: The transformation of Imvelo Safari Lodges' Hornbill Tents to elegant Saddlebill Tents at Bomani Tented Lodge is complete! The rebuilt and refurbished tents have wonderful views, each with a private deck perfect for enjoying sunrise coffee or afternoon relaxing while keeping an eye out for wildlife. Bomani offers excellent game viewing year-round, is good value for money, and features unique experiences such as rail transfers on the Elephant Express, visiting the 'Look Up' hide, or visiting with school children at nearby Ngamo Village. Keep an eye out for details and photos of the forthcoming family suite at Bomani!
Ultimate's safaris directly help in conserving desert-adapted

Ultimate Safaris: Huge congratulations to Ultimate Safaris on being shortlisted for the 2017 Pure Awards for Conservation and Sustainability! The award is for a project or initiative that puts Planet Earth on 'center stage' - going above and beyond to protect natural resources - for the good of not only the tourism industry, but the world. The nomination for the prestigious award is in recognition of Ultimate's efforts in the //Huab Conservancy to conserve Namibia's micro-populations of desert-adapted black rhino by offering Life Enriching Journeys.

Travelers can have the best of all worlds on Tropic's new
Tropic Ecuador: Land v. cruise in the Galapagos? How about both?! Tropic Ecuador is excited to offer a new Land and Cruise Galapagos Adventure. The first two nights are at Tropic's Galapagos Magic tented camp. Travelers will enjoy kayaking, SUPs and snorkeling in the Itabaca Channel as well as other activities (additional cost or self-guided) while on Santa Cruz. Guests then embark on a 4d/3n cruise aboard the 16 pax catamaran M/C Galapagos Seaman, for a total of 6 islands in 6 days! 2017 dates and rates here (see far right tab).

At The Manta resort, guests can relax - it's 'fully-inclusive!'
The Manta Resort: For The Manta Resort, the term 'all-inclusive' is a relic from the past. They've ramped it up a notch to be 'Fully-Inclusive,' meaning your guests will not receive a bill on departure, except for additional excursions or diving activities they have taken part in. What's included? Breakfast, lunch, dinner and all beverages (including alcoholic), spa treatments, kayaks from the beach, and endless days of relaxation and fun. If your travelers choose to include additional off-site activities and excursions, these can be added to the price in advance, or charged directly while they are there. Contact us for access to the Manta Resort's agent site for pricing, options, and specials!

Antigua's gorgeous setting enhances its culinary experiences!
Maya Trails: Be sure to have a full belly before reading this delicious San Francisco Gate article on Antigua, Guatemala's burgeoning food scene. Foodies can admire beautiful local produce in the city's Mayan farmers' market, visit local farms and coffee plantations, take part in cooking classes, and enjoy food from street vendors or in Antigua's many fabulous restaurants. Travelers can then quench their thirst during a workshop at the Mayan Drinks and Spirits School. The variety of food and drink activities in Antigua is almost endless. Work with Maya Trails to find the right combination for your travelers, or start with their Flavorful Guatemala itinerary!

TOSEA's Colossus tents are, well, colossal!
Todos Santos Eco Adventures: We're thrilled to update you on the NEW Colossus Tent Camping by Todos Santos Eco Adventures! We're talking "super-duper nice camping" that can be set up on any number of sought-after and exclusive beaches on Isla Espiritu Santo in the Sea of Cortez. You'll find an overview with images here. Contact Sonya to chat about the ways in which this experience can be included in your Baja California Sur itineraries - whether you're planning a circumnavigation of the island by kayak or just a few days on a secluded beach, we've got you covered!

Isla Chiquita Glamping Lodge dazzles guests with incredible
ocean views
Costa Rica Sun Tours: Check this out! Costa Rica has picked up on the "glamping" craze and we're thrilled! Click here to read a post about Isla Chiquita on the Gulf of Nicoya. Two staffers from Costa Rica Sun Tours have recently visited to see what all the hype is about and they have returned raving! Isla Chiquita is a hidden place to enjoy a special connection to the ocean and land through adventure, delicious cuisine, and the simplicity of down-to-earth happiness. There are so many ways this unique property can be incorporated into a great off-the-beaten-path Costa Rica itinerary. Read here and then contact us to learn more!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Isla Chiquita: Glamping in Costa Rica

Isla Chiquita in Costa Rica promises to hit the mark with travelers looking to get off the beaten path!

If you are like us, you’re always searching for the newest experiences and destinations – especially true in places we know and love! We’re here to unveil an exciting new development in Costa Rica. Welcome to Isla Chiquita! Owned and operated by the Zurcher Family, local Ticos, this private family island turned glamping resort hits on the growing ‘glamorous camping’ trend in the industry – in unique style!

Recently two Costa Rica Sun Tours staff visited Isla Chiquita. Jose Carlos Brenes, International Sales Supervisor and John Aspinall, Owner of Costa Rica Sun Tours returned from two separate trips raving about their experiences, claiming it has unique style and “the simplicity of down-to-earth happiness”, according to Jose. Isla Chiquita, located on Jesuita Island on the Gulf of Nicoya, “combines the thrill of the outdoors without sacrificing the comfort of a traditional resort.”

The tents will feel like home to safari enthusiasts, very comfortable and spacious, with en-suite bathrooms. Most of the 15 tents are scattered on a hillside facing the ocean and forest and positioned to take full advantage of the sea breeze. King sized beds, day bed on the deck, mini-fridge, ceiling fans inside and on the covered deck, and reliable solar power add to the comfort of your stay.

The food at the, they say: “superb!” Always a la carte with daily fresh caught fish featured on the menu. Lunch at Harry’s Bar (named after the owner), and dinner at Tia Nora’s (named after the mother of the owner and one of Costa Rica’s most beloved sport fishing pioneers) on the open deck with ocean views was relaxing and welcoming and included delicious fresh ceviche, fish tacos, and whole red snapper! They add that the service here is excellent – from the bartenders, porters, and receptionists, to the local general manager, Jeison (who as chance would have it, worked for Costa Rica Sun Tours for 10 years!).

Activities include paddle boarding and sea kayaking (complimentary for guests). In addition, they suggest Curu Nature Reserve for a hike and boating to nearby island and beaches, great to see dolphins (and whales in season!). We’re also told that the fishing is excellent! For those looking for a more relaxed pace, try a hammock, ideally placed facing the ocean among the palm trees.

Isla Chiquita is currently accessed by ferry from Puntarenas across the Gulf of Nicoya and a small boat transit then to the island or guests may opt to fly in to Tambor on the Nicoya Peninsula and do a 40 min land transfer. Alternatively and certainly most direct, a private boat transfer (35 mins) is available at a cost of appx $300 one way - ideal for small groups! There are many ways in which to incorporate this property into your guests’ itineraries. One suggestion from Jose is as follows:

“I appreciate the fact that Isla Jesusita had been privately used as a family vacation co'mpound and now it’s open to the public, so I embraced that, the warmth of its owners and staff and pride as well, to open this paradise to us. That itself is a privilege....

I think it should be combined with some of our culture and traditions of the central valley at Chayote Lodge, then two nights at Isla Chiquita and then end up in the Nicoya Peninsula, in a gorgeous beach like Quizales, at the Tango Mar Resort. I love Tango Mar, is one of the very few spots in the country that I consider beach front, premier beach front…..all you hear and see is ocean….since the access is only the property itself, then it makes it more private.”

If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate Isla Chiquita into your Costa Rica itinerary, please contact us! We’d love to send you a proposed itinerary with more detail!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Connecting with conservation

Pemba Island's Kwanini Marine Conservation area is home to more than
200 marine species

We are proud to represent a portfolio of owner-operated camps, lodges and ground handlers that believe conservation sits at the core of everything they do. This is our second week of sharing conservation travel stories from our partners around the globe, from Kaskazini (north in Swahili) to Kusini (south in Swahili)! Read on to learn more...

Gorilla tourism has been a huge conservation success
Classic Africa Safaris: One of our favorite conservation successes stories is that of Africa's mountain gorilla. While still considered critically endangered, the species' population has rebounded with increased conservation efforts and the advent of gorilla tourism. One special activity contributing to gorilla conservation and available to visitors to Uganda with Classic Africa Safaris is a gorilla habituation experience! One gorilla family is being habituated in the Rushaga sector of southern Bwindi and for the first time ever, visitors can participate. Groups are limited to four pax, who have the chance to trek with researchers and spend 4 hours with the gorillas! Email Hilda for permit availability.

Bale NP's beautiful mountain nyala is Ethiopia's
only endemic antelope. Photo Gretchen Healey,
Travel Ethiopia: Travelers to Ethiopia should be sure to try and budget time for a visit to Bale Mountains National Park. The chance to see it's unique wildlife, including the endangered mountain nyala and the similarly endangered Ethiopian wolf, is reason enough to visit. When coupled with the incredible scenery, it makes is a must-see for travelers. Travel Ethiopia recommends Bale Mountain Lodge, and visitors who stay can feel good knowing that they are helping to protect the largest population of the world's rarest candid (only 500 left), as well as the largest tract of Afro-Alpine moorland remaining on the African continent. Contact Samrawit with questions on how to incorporate a visit to Bale in your client's itinerary.

Visitors to Guacamayas can see a huge variety of flora
and fauna. Photo Tad Bradley.
Maya Trails: Travelers visiting Guatemala have several options for digging in to conservation efforts. For those short on time, a visit to ARCAS and the Environmental Education Center to learn about their various projects, including environmental activities, community development, and wildlife trafficking enforcement will prove educational and interesting. For those looking for a more in-depth experience, Maya Trails can arrange a trip to the Guacamayas Biological Station (2 nights minimum), which offers the best wildlife viewing in Guatemala (and the best place in the country to see scarlet macaws in the wild), along with many active conservation projects. Email Adriana for more information
Guests can also explore trails around Lake Eyasi, canoe,
take village walks and more!
Albatros Travel: Travelers looking to further cultural conservation in Tanzania should consider a stay at Kisima Ngeda. It is a melting pot of cultures whose traditions remain intact, and where guests can experience the daily life of hunter/gatherers the Hadza, as well as their nomadic counterparts the Barbaig. waDatoga also live in the area, and are pastoralists like the Maasai, and it's always interesting to visit the local blacksmith or a Datoga boma. Guests can also venture into the bush to explore with the Hadza. Visitors to Kisima Ngeda are helping these cultures to not only stay alive, but thrive. Ask Albatros Travel how to incorporate a stay as part of a larger Tanzania safari.

Gretchen enjoying a welcome drink in the local Sani village
Tropic Ecuador: Conservation is an ongoing hot topic in the Amazon, with cultural conservation playing an important part in the preservation of the forest. Indigenous Amazon peoples have long lived in harmony with their surroundings, and have waged many battles to keep their home intact. Tropic Ecuador gives travelers a glimpse into what tribal society in the forest looks like today with stays at Sani Lodge. In addition to seeing the wonders of the Amazon (Wildlife! Amazing insects! Incredible rainforest!), travelers get to learn tribal hunting skills, visit a local community, help to cook a meal with hyper-local ingredients, and more. To learn more about this immersive experience, contact Andrea.

Coral reefs in the Kwanini Marine Conservation Area
are healthy
The Manta Resort: The Manta Resort's underwater room has helped to raise awareness and conserve the coral reefs around Pemba Island. Guests at The Manta Resort can 'Snorkel for Conservation.' This activity supports the 1 kilometer Kwanini Marine Conservation Area (KMCA) directly in front of the lodge. The cost is $15pp, and all revenues go to support the KMCA. The 'house reef,' directly in front of the resort, lies within the conservation area. Travelers can experience the vast numbers of marine life and reefs through the clear blue waters of Pemba Island in Manta's chosen snorkeling spots. Guests are taken out with a guide and shown the colorful, vibrant life lying just under the surface. Learn more about this project on the Kusini blog.