Friday, June 3, 2016

Galapagos set departures, solar eclipse in TZ and Guatemalan peanut butter!

Kayaking with wildlife in the Itabaca Channel right off
the plane!
Tropic Ecuador: Tropic Ecuador has three new Galapagos set departures. These land-based trips have several unique selling points. The Galapagos wildlife viewing starts right off the plane with a dip in the Itabaca Channel for snorkeling and kayaking within an hour of arrival! Guests sleep among giant tortoises in tree houses or safari tents at Magic Galapagos tortoise reserve on Santa Cruz. And on lesser-visited Floreana, the Cruz family operates Lava Lodge, where guests learn about the island's sordid history, hike the highlands and enjoy a beach barbecue, as well as lots of aquatic activities including secluded snorkeling, kayaking and SUPing. Options for longer stays visit Isabela, with its easy, beachy vibe and volcano hikes! Download the detailed itineraries here:

5d/4n Santa Cruz/Bartolome/Floreana - $2250pp rack; Saturday departures
5d/4n Santa Cruz/Bartolome/Isabela - $2250pp rack; Monday departures
7d/6n Santa Cruz/Bartolome/Floreana/Isabela - $4200pp rack; Saturday departures

Happy news for Hwange's wild dog population!
Imvelo Safari Lodges: Happy news from Imvelo Safari Lodges who have been tracking the health of an alpha female wild dog in Hwange NP after she was treated for a snare wound in January. The Imvelo team kept an eye out for the dog, known as Cusp, for the Painted Dog Conservation organization. A discouraging sighting in February never resulted in a positive ID but had everyone concerned for her health. The last month, Cusp was spotted by the Imvelo team looking healthy and fully pregnant! Read the whole story on Imvelo's Facebook page.

New Frontiers' mobile options range from adventure to luxury
New Frontiers: Not only is New Frontiers going mobile with their new app, they are going mobile in Southern Africa! They offer a wide range of mobile camping options and have the expertise to help you find the right one for your pax. With high season lodging availability in Botswana always a challenge, going mobile offers more date options and flexibility. The camps are small and intimate giving pax an exclusive experience, yet the price point is generally lower than permanent camps, providing great value. Download New Frontiers' comprehensive guide to mobile safaris in southern Africa.

Albatros Travel: Late August and early September brings a total solar eclipse to Tanzania's wild Western Circuit. Albatros Travel recommends your pax take advantage of Nomad's 'stay 7 pay 5' special by combining intimate Chada Katavi and storybook Greystoke Mahale for the perfect eclipse safari. Both have spectacular wildlife viewing. Katavi has great predators and plains game including huge buffalo herds and is the 'best place on earth' to view the eclipse, while Mahale is one of the best locations to trek chimps on the continent. The solar eclipse will be be an added bonus to the wildlife extravaganza! Email Juliet to ensure perfect timing to book.

Shelling peanuts is great fun for all ages
Maya Trails: Maya Trails' creative trip planners regularly unearth unique new activities and this includes a peanut butter making workshop near Antigua! Only a short tuk tuk ride away (our favorite way to get around), travelers not only learn to make fresh, farm-to-table peanut butter but also gain insight into the family lives of local Mayan farmers. 'Peanut butter ambassadors' Lidia and Lillian welcome participants into their home for the fun, hands-on activity that's perfect for families! (Tad's young daughter had a blast). The icing on the cake, er tortilla, is the freshly made peanut butter slathered on a tortilla and topped with banana and local honey! Tad relays his family's experience on the Kusini blog and check out Maya Trail's suggested Guatemala family itinerary here!

Ultimate Safaris: Ultimate Safaris completed their move into newly renovated office space last weekend, including an IT systems overhaul that has come with a few hiccups. If you've had any delay receiving a response from the Ultimate team or receive any delivery errors, please contact us and we'll relay the message. They can also be reached by phone (+ 264 61 248 137 or + 264 81 141 2275) if needed. Sorry for the inconvenience but the office and system upgrades are much needed and will be well worth it - promise!

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