Monday, November 14, 2016

Black rhino tracking in Kenya, 2017 Guatemala/Belize rates and wine walking safari

Kayaking on Guatemala's Lake Atitlan with Maya Trails

What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

Albatros Travel: In February 2017, Saruni Rhino will launch East Africa's first-ever rhino tracking experience! The unique walking safari will allow guests to track black rhino on foot, accompanied by an expert Saruni guide and a highly-trained Sera Community Conservancy ranger. Using traditional Samburu tracking methods as well as transmitter signals sent from the microchips in each rhino's horn, guests will be able to track within very close range of the rhinos. Albatros Travel is taking bookings for the new Saruni Rhino, which will initially be comprised of two cottages sleeping 4-6.

Mother gorilla with Masiko (Hope) - Photo Vincent Mugaba,
Uganda Tourism Board 
Classic Africa Safaris: More than half the world's population of critically endangered mountain gorillas reside in southwestern Uganda, and that number has grown with the recent birth of three infants! Classic Africa Safari visitors tracking the Habinyanja gorilla family in the northern section of Bwindi NP can vie for a peek at the new arrivals. Permits are $600 pp, and fees are used to fund ranger salaries and anti-poaching, as well as enriching local communities, which can equal upwards of US$1 million each year to support community growth and education.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures: There's nothing like a local festival for fun and cultural immersion. Todos Santos, in Baja California Sur, boasts several town-wide festivals annually, all of which will give your guests the opportunity to mingle and celebrate with local communities in an authentic way. In 2017, there will be festivals celebrating music, film, food, wine, horses, nature, and art, filling the entire calendar year! Contact Bryan at Todos Santos Eco Adventures for the full lineup of engaging events - and to plan your travelers' adventures to accompany them!

The Elephant Express railcar offers great game viewing
and the most fun and unique way to get to Bomani and
Camelthorn Lodges in Hwange NP!
Imvelo Safari Lodges: One of the reasons we love Imvelo Safari Lodges is they offer some of the most unique safari experiences in Africa - the "Pump Run," the "Look-Up Blind" and the Elephant Express railcar to name a few. Tad is recording a series of short 2-3 minute "Imvelo 101" videos on these one-of-a-kind safari experiences! The Elephant Express is the best way to connect Bomani and Camelthorn Lodges in the south of Hwange with Nehimba Lodge in the north or with Victoria Falls. Watch the first video on the Elephant Express and look out for additional short videos coming soon!

Maya Trails: Maya Trails has released their 2017 rates and signature itineraries for travel to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. You'll find something for every sort of traveler - from toes-in-the-sand beach retreats to shop-till-you-drop market tours. Clients just want a long weekend? They've got you covered. Each adventure has the special Maya Trails touch, illustrating their expertise in crafting beautiful and unique journeys. Our mouths are watering for Flavorful Guatemala, which we would have to follow with the 'Multi-sport' itinerary to work off a few calories with yoga, kayaking and hiking. Which trip are you dreaming of?

Ultimate's revamped Skeleton Coast and Kaokoland safari
now includes a stay at Huab Under Canvas 
Ultimate Safaris: Ultimate Safaris has updated and revamped their 11-day Skeleton Coast and Kaokoland Safari for 2017. Most notably, the new and extremely popular Huab Under Canvas kicks off the safari (read Birgit's amazing recent trip report!), and it wraps up in the award-winning Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. It still includes awesome off-the-beaten-track highlights including rhino tracking and searching for desert-adapted elephant in ephemeral rivers, as well as authentic cultural encounters and exploration of surreal and awe-inspiring landscapes. The itinerary can be done as is, or be customized for your individual guests.

Tropic Ecuador: Tropic Ecuador constantly seeks ways to enhance traveler experiences. To that end, Tropic partnered with one of Quito's most beloved hotels to elevate the level of service it provides at its Amazon ecolodge. Award-winning Patio Andaluz led the program where Sani staff spent time learning the behind-the-scenes efforts that go into operating a luxury boutique city hotel, as well as what level of service its clients require. Sani Lodge operations benefit an entire community in the Amazon, so their ability to offer a world-class tourism product has an impact far beyond what visitors see.

Tasting among the vines at Waterford is a visually
inspiring experience 
New Frontiers: Waterford Wine Estate in South Africa's winelands is pushing the envelope of what it means to visit a winery. First they offered fantastic 'wine safaris,' where guests tour the estate in a safari vehicle and taste the wines right next to the vines they were crafted from. Now they are offering 'wine walks' ranging from 1.5 - 5 km in length (1 - 3 hrs) where guests taste wines while enjoying the estate's beauty and learning about indigenous flora. New Frontiers can make the arrangements for your clients - just remind them to wear sunscreen!

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

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