Thursday, January 21, 2016

Kusini Weekly Update - January 22nd

The habituation of two new gorilla families in Bwindi makes
for an exciting and exclusive trekking opportunity
Classic Africa Safaris is excited to announce that a gorilla habituation experience is now available in Uganda! Two gorilla families are being habituated in the Rushaga sector of southern Bwindi and for the first time ever, visitors can participate! Groups are limited to four pax, trekking with the researchers and spending 4 hours with the gorillas! Permits cost $1,500 and will go fast. Email Phil to check permit availability. Classic's preferred accommodations in southern Bwindi are Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge or Chameleon Hill Lodge. Contact us for more information and take a look at our blog to learn more about this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Albatros Travel: The Kenyan government has announced incentives for travelers to the country in an effort to further increase tourist numbers. To encourage family travel, visa fees will be waived for children under 16 starting in February. Additionally, the cost of KWS park fees have been reduced 33% - from $90 to $60. The implementation of this fee reduction is underway and we'll keep you posted as to when it takes effect. Albatros Travel  has a fantastic Kenya Family Safari for 2016. Email us for the full itinerary and pricing. We're also hearing rumors about direct flights from the US to Kenya starting this year - we'll keep you posted as the story develops!
Guests go into the fields with the farmer to pick
ripe coffee cherries during harvest season

Maya Trails: The coffee harvest has begun in Guatemala (home to our favorite coffee in the world)! Maya Trails partners with De La Gente in Antigua for community-based coffee tours. The cost is just 200Q ($26!) for a 3-5 person participatory tour, translator and a bag of coffee! The tours are led by small-holder coffee farmers and give guests the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a farmer. After a short hike up Volcán Agua to see the coffee fields, pax are invited into the farmer's house to learn about and utilize the machinery used to process coffee. But the best part of all comes at the end: guests roast coffee in the traditional way over a fire and share a cup with the farmer and his family. 100% of the cost of the tour is paid directly to the farmer. Maya Trails recommends adding a traditional Guatemalan lunch with the family for only 50Q.
The kit provided to your pax in Ultimate's top-notch
safari vehicles

Ultimate Safaris continues to improve and expand their vehicle fleet. Their best-of-breed customized safari vehicles boast one of the most effective ducted a/c systems available (very welcome for much of the year), as well as new roof pop tops in the front row (in addition to a rear pop top). They have also improved seating comfort, continued advancement on safety and reliability, and improved suspension for a smoother ride on gravel roads (though Namibia's gravel roads are generally in excellent condition).

Tropic Journeys: Client's looking to hit the trail in Ecuador? Tropic Journeysnew 4d/3n lodge-to-lodge trek in the Otavalo region features three unique lodges - Casa Mojanda, Sacha Ji and Hacienda Zuleta - and gives travelers exposure to both adventure and culture while exploring the Andes. With incredible views, cultural interactions with the local Quechua people and time at a wellness lodge, guests will come away refreshed and energized from the trek. Contact us for a detailed itinerary and ideas on how to make this trek part of an active Ecuador itinerary.
Traveller magazine loved Imvelo Safari Lodges for their
unique lodges, their community work and Hwange's wildlife

Imvelo Safari Lodges: Australia's Traveller magazine recently published a beautiful feature that does a great job of telling the Imvelo Safari Lodges' story. The article highlights the inspirational work Imvelo does within and in partnership with the local community, as well as the opportunities to see lots of wonderful wildlife (and very few people) in Hwange National Park (where the record elephant count in a 24-hour period is an astonishing 750!). View 2016 rates and specials at Imvelo's family of camps here.

For more information on any of the updates included above, please contact the Kusini Collection or your tour consultant at the appropriate operator.

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