Friday, February 26, 2016

Kusini Weekly Update - February 26th

Photo: Logan Carter

Elephants captured by Christopher Scott
on his recent stay at Zambezi Sands.
Recent photos from Imvelo Safari Lodges' award-winning Zambezi Sands River Camp show that despite lower than normal rain this season, the park is looking glorious and green! (Take a look on the Imvelo Facebook page). Zambezi Sands is unique in that unlike many other VF lodges, rates include ALL activities (canoeing, river cruises, Vic Falls Tour, walking and driving safaris), and for all of 2016, guests can stay 3/pay 2! Rooms have a huge private deck and plunge pool, and the camp is deep inside the national park, away from the hustle and bustle of falls-based lodges.

Ultimate Safaris reports that Scenic Air now has a Cessna 210 and pilot based at Ongava. The aircraft will be available on charter and for transfers for a minimum of 2 pax from Ongava with Ongava - Twyfelfontein, Twyfelfontein - Doro Nawas, and Doro Nawas - Ongava routes. Additionally, Scenic is introducing the 'Etosha Andersson Taxi' and the 'Tiras Taxi.' The former will shuttle between Windhoek Int'l, Okonjima and Ongava, while the latter will serve the Sossusvlei area from Windhoek. Rates range between R2,200 and R5,000, making it easy to maximize time at camps. Email us for schedules.

One of the stunning villas on Cayo Espanto -
a private island retreat in Belize
Maya Trails released their 2016 signature itineraries and while we may be late for Valentine's Day, romance is still in the air! Their 'Honeymooner' itin has both culture and beach time. Starting in Guatemala, the happy couple will be treated to a tour of Antigua, a coffee tour and a Yaxha sunset excursion, along with some leisure time. Once Mr. and Mrs. head to Belize, there's water activities, relaxing on the beach, spa treatments and more. Maya Trails offers three levels of beach accommodation - including a stay on private island. What could be more romantic?

Big news out of Cape Town as The Royal Portfolio's new Silo Hotel has begun taking bookings from March 1, 2017. New Frontiers reminds us that opening dates can sometimes have last-minute compromises, so they will only be booking pax from April 1, 2017. The 28-room hotel is being built in the grain elevator portion of the historic grain silo complex occupying 6 floors above the eagerly anticipated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) opening in mid-2017. Zeitz MOCAA will rival the likes of the Tate Modern and New York's MoMA.

Sleeping on the edge of Erta Ale in
Ethiopia's Afar region is unforgettable
Travel Ethiopia have released their new 2016 itineraries with a host of exciting options for adventurous travelers. From sleeping on the caldera rim of an active volcano in the Afar region, to climbing up to a monastery perched more than 13,000 feet high, fit travelers will fall in love with Ethiopia. For those looking for a more sedate pace, Ethiopia's historical churches and museums make for an incredibly engaging journey. Scenery and endemic wildlife in the Simien or Bale Mountains cap off any experience in Ethiopia. Email us for new itineraries and pricing or with destination questions.

Despite his assertion that he prefers discomfort and unpredictability when traveling, we know not everyone desires the same hardships as The New York Times' Frugal Traveler. He appreciated that his Tropic Journeys guides for his Ecuador trip enriched his experience, and those same guides will make a visit all the more special for your pax. We like NYTFT Seth Kugel's willingness to try and enjoy a more comfortable traveling experience. He says he "could learn how to incorporate fine dining, attentive guides and comfortable transport into a trip full of street food, local friends, serendipity and adventure." Looks like travel with Tropic whetted his appetite! Read the full article here.

Albatros Travel's Tour Tanzania set
departure caught on film
How about a virtual view of Albatros Travel's 7-day Tour Tanzania set departure? While we're huge fans of their bespoke FIT arrangements, their set departures are also fantastic as you'll see in this video. It shows the incredible wildlife, excellent lodging, beautiful scenery and the obvious pleasure of guests that have experienced the safari firsthand. Traveler's favorite moments and memories are unique, but everyone had an unforgettable trip. This is exactly the kind of feedback you want from returning pax! Tanzania's wonders combined with the world-class service and guiding Albatros is known for makes for happy (repeat!) travelers. You can view the full video here.

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