Thursday, January 7, 2016

Kusini Weekly Update - January 8th


Imvelo Safari Lodges: The passing of the seasons are keenly observed and enjoyed in Zimbabwe. Imvelo Safari Lodges' End of the Rains itinerary is set for March when the rainy season typically comes to a close and water levels peak in the wetlands in the Hwange and Victoria Falls regions. This
Aubrey's Pack, named after an Imvelo guide,
is now living on the Bomani Concession
birding-focused itinerary includes 10 days at 3 different lodges and camps in northwest Zimbabwe (from $3574 rack!). Safari participants will be treated to an array of wildlife and a spectacle of birds while based at Imvelo's luxurious lodges. Twitching will be a feature in this itinerary, however it is designed to appeal to the enthusiastic birder who also enjoys other wildlife viewing and safari activities. This is to say that a couple with one keen birder can safely bring along their partner and they'll enjoy the safari just as much. The bird lover can hope for sightings of species ranging from the Goliath heron to the dwarf bittern, as well as the habitat-sensitive Pel's fishing owl. For the all around wildlife-lover, Zimbabwe never disappoints, and as a bonus, there is a new pack of wild dog in the Bomani concession that are being spotted 2-3 times per week on average!

Classic Africa Safaris: 2016 brings a reduction in the age requirements for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Previously, participants were required to be 15 and older, but now kids as young as 12 can trek to see the primates. In Kibale Forest, standard chimp treks can be taken by kids 12 years or older, while in Budongo Forest, trekkers must be 13+, and at Kyambura Gorge, kids 14 and older can trek. And don't forget - chimp and gorilla permits are discounted for April, May and November, 2016 - $50 off chimp permits and $150 off of gorilla permits. In addition, many accommodations are offering very good deals for March, April and May 2016, which Classic Africa Safaris will pass on for any new bookings.
Paul Joynson-Hicks in his element -
out in the bush with his camera

Albatros East Africa: Albatros has a fantastic opportunity for photographers to take the Tanzanian 'safari of a lifetime.' The Sept 16 - 25, 2016 departure will help photo enthusiasts enhance their photographic skills and learn new techniques from host Paul Joynson-Hicks. Joynson-Hicks has 20 years' experience as a wildlife and travel photographer in East and Central Africa, and this intimate safari (no more than six pax!) will allow him to share his expertise one-on-one. Better yet, there will be a maximum of 3 pax per vehicle, ensuring everyone can get the perfect shot!

New Frontiers Tours: SA Airlink's expanding network continues to make safari planning in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique easier! SA Airlink now connects travelers to 35 destinations in 9 African countries. With daily direct flights from Joburg and Cape Town to Skukuza Airport in Kruger NP, a new 5x/week Cape Town to Maun flight starting in March and 2x/week direct flights from KMIA to Vilanculos, SA Airlink has opened the door for some excellent city, bush and beach combinations! Visit the New Frontiers Agent Zone for the full local and regional flight schedule.
Belize is the perfect tranquil retreat - for a week or a weekend

Maya Trails: Southwest Airlines launched new service from Houston to Belize City in October and with their famous "Wanna Get Away" fares as low as $175 each way, Belize should be at the top of your pax spring/summer break plans! It's a quick and easy getaway for beautiful beach time, lobster feasts, or a bit of adventure (think caving, diving, exploring ancient Mayan sites and hiking through tropical rain forest). Maya Trails can create the perfect escape for your travelers, whether it's for two weeks or just a long weekend.

Travel Ethiopia: The holiday season may have wrapped up in North America, but in Ethiopia it's still in full swing. Because they observe the Julian calendar, New Year's and Christmas are celebrated twice, and the festival of Timkat is just around the corner. Ethiopia's Ephiphany celebration is one of the most culturally significant events of the year. Travel Ethiopia advises that bookings for the January 19th holiday be made a minimum of six months in advance, both for accommodations and for flights. Insider tip: Ethiopian Airlines gives space priority to clients that fly with them internationally. They also give a huge price break - ie: round trip fare from Addis to Gondar & Lalibela for Ethiopian International pax is $159 & $147 respectively, but when using another carrier, fares skyrocket to $438 for Gondar and $417 for Lalibela.

Tropic Journeys: World Nomads selected Tropic Journeys to host their "Extraordinary Experiences" winner Erika Bergman on a week long journey across Ecuador. She adventured from the Amazon to the Andes and out to the pristine waters of the Galapagos. From kayaking and canoeing to horseback riding, tree climbing and diving, Ecuador has something for everyone. Want a sneak peek of the adventures Ecuador has to offer? Check out these videos for an armchair preview!

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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