Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Changes in Rwanda, family safaris in Zimbabwe and zorillas in Kenya

The Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Timkat (Epiphany) takes place on January 21st
and Lalibela's Church of St. George will be surrounded by celebrants on the holy day.

What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

VIDEO: Click here to enjoy a sneak peak of what kids will
enjoy and learn on an Imvelo family safari
Imvelo Safari Lodges: A safari need not be only a mom-and-dad affair! Imvelo Safari Lodges' have come up with a sample 10-night family-friendly safari circuit for the whole gang to prove it. Highlights include bush walks looking at animal tracks, fun and educational bush activities from Imvelo's 'Kids On Safari' booklets, learning how to cook the traditional Zimbabwean dish 'sadza,' learning the art of the catapult, a soccer match with local school children and more! It promises to be an unforgettable safari for the whole family and is an excellent value, too! Contact Hayley for more information.

Ultimate Safaris: Namibia is a a hub for guests seeking out immersive experiential travel opportunities, and Ultimate Namibia's //Huab Under Canvas camp delivers in a big way. For travelers looking for authentic interactions with nature while fully ensconced in wildness, (including black rhino tracking on foot!), a stay at //Huab is a must. The more rustic accommodations at the camp don't compromise on comfort or safety, and guests are assured the luxury of exclusivity along with wholesome food, a good night's rest, a hot shower and exceptional guides to explore the land with. Make a visit part of your client's Namibia safari to see why it has been featured in The New York Times.

Chilcabamba is set in the heart of El Pedregal, a pristine
Andes playground
Tropic Ecuador: Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge is a hidden gem tucked away in a beautiful valley in the Ecuadorian Andes. Its location in El Pedregal is perfect for outdoor adventure opportunities including hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The New York Times named Pedregal to their '52 Places to Visit in 2017' list, and Tropic Ecuador's Chilcabamba is the perfect base for exploring the area's lofty peaks including the dramatic, snow-capped Cotopaxi. Its cozy fireplaces, fantastic home-made food and stunning location make it a guest favorite.

Travel Ethiopia: The Ethiopian celebration of Epiphany is known as Timkat, and this year it falls on January 21st. It's an incredible time for travelers to visit the beautiful country, as it allows visitors to experience the vibrant local culture full-on. Travel Ethiopia advises booking 6 months or more in advance to visit during the Ethiopian holiday season to ensure your clients get their preferred properties. Ask about price breaks on internal Ethiopian Airlines flights for travelers who arrive with them internationally.

Elephants cross the Ewaso Nyiro river in Samburu NP, Kenya
Albatros Travel: Gretchen went on a Kenya adventure with Albatros Travel in November, hitting several of the country's many highlights including Samburu NP, Laikipia and the Masai Mara. It wasn't her first visit to the country, and she found even more to love on her latest safari. Wildlife sightings included lots of lions and close-ups with elephants, great wild dog and even a zorilla. Another special experience was exploring Laikipia with Karisia Walking Safaris. Read about all of her top highlights on the Kusini blog.

Classic Africa Safaris: Rwanda has implemented a new requirement for visitors effective immediately. Tour operators must obtain emergency evacuation insurance from local provider Akagera Aviation for each traveler. This insurance includes helicopter rescue and evacuation and is in addition to any private medevac or travel insurance that clients purchase for their journeys. The subscription fee for 2017 is US$15 per client, and in 2018, it is expected to rise to US$20 per client. Classic Africa Safaris will pass this fee on to agents at cost, automatically adding it to all new quotes going forward.

The Maya Trails and Good Hotel teams
Maya Trails: How about a totally effortless way for your travelers to vacation and make a difference? Maya Trails has introduced us to The Good Hotel in Antigua. Formerly a private mansion, it has been redesigned with local materials and a minimalist touch. It sits on a quiet cobbled street just a few minutes' walk from the Plaza Mayor. The hotel's 'Good Training' program helps unemployed locals (many of whose kids are in NiƱos de Guatemala schools) and stimulates local collaborations and entrepreneurship. They re-invest all profits into their social programs!

Todos Santos Eco Adventures: Todos Santos Eco Adventures is thrilled to take part in the Educational Travel Consortium's annual conference this year. Sonya will be in St. Louis February 12-15 representing TOSEA. If you'll be attending please reach out so we can plan to meet! We are looking forward to being part of a community whose view on educational travel is "facilitating deeper, more enduring connections between travelers and the communities they visit through strong interpretation, experiential programming, and meaningful engagement."

Ivory Lodge's Fish Eagle Villa is great for families or
2 couples traveling together
New Frontiers: Richard and Charlotte from New Frontiers have recently visited Lion Sands Ivory lodge post-refurb and give it their full endorsement! Its 8 suites are modern, chic and fresh, with luxurious finishing touches. The 2 bedroom villa has a gym, huge deck with pool, a private boma and comes with private vehicle, tracker, ranger and dedicated staff. Public areas are beautiful - a lovely art gallery, bar and a dining area are all joined by a massive deck with views of the Sabi River.

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