Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kusini in Kenya, cats on the tracks and octopuses can walk

Lions cause a delay for the Elephant Express -
this is the kind of traffic jam we can get behind!

 What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

Direct flights to Kenya from the US will get clients on
safari faster!
Albatros Travel: Tad is currently exploring Kenya with Albatros Travel (keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates!), and while his journey went off without a hitch, no traveler would object to getting there faster. Good news on that front - Kenya was recently granted approval for non-stop direct flights to the United States. Permission was granted more quickly than anticipated after Kenya implemented a number of US recommended security enhancements. Kenya joins four other African countries whose airports have achieved Category One status - South Africa, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, and Nigeria.

Big cat sightings in Hwange have been amazing during the
green season! 
Imvelo Safari Lodges: We've mentioned that timing is important when booking Imvelo Safari Lodges' Elephant Express, and we must acknowledge that every now and then the train is delayed. It had to make an unscheduled stop last week due to a convergence of cats on the rails, though there wasn't a single passenger complaint. Big cat sightings have been abundant during the beautiful green season. Earlier this week guests spotted two different litters of lion cubs on a drive. Leopard and cheetah sightings have also been incredible. No matter the season - Hwange NP delivers!

Tents are basic but comfortable, and allow guests to
experience the wild side of Murchison Falls NP
Classic Africa Safaris: Classic Africa Safaris is now offering mobile tented walking safaris in Murchison Falls National Park! Walks take guests into one of East Africa's oldest forests, over the lip of the Albertine Rift Valley and into the Nile Valley. These safaris allow guests to experience Murchison Falls and the White Nile in a way few others ever will. The two or three night adventures are led by Andy Ault, a licensed professional guide from Zimbabwe who has lived and worked in Uganda for the past 8 years.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures: Octopuses (yes, that's the correct plural!) have proven to be highly intelligent, with the ability to use tools, 'walk' outside of water, and deploy camouflage in a way that rivals that of any other creature found in nature. Guests of Todos Santos Eco Adventures can see octopuses and myriad other sea life in both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez. Check out this blog post for a word with Bryan and Sergio Jauregui and to learn more about these incredible animals that have been swimming through our oceans for nearly 300 million years.

T+L's '50 Best Places' list for 2017 includes
Botswana's Okavango Delta
T+L's 50 Best Places to Travel in 2017: What do Cape Town, Guayaquil, Ecuador, the Okavango Delta and Rwanda have in common? They all share real estate on Travel + Leisure's '50 Best Places to Travel in 2017' list! They all also happen to be destinations well represented by clients in the Kusini Collection. If you are seeing demand for these exceptional locales, New Frontiers can steer you right for Cape Town and Botswana's Okavango Delta, Tropic Ecuador will give you the goods on Guayaquil, and Classic Africa Safaris can unearth Rwanda's magic for your clients.

Gelada baboons are among the unique endemic wildlife
found in the Simiens 
Travel Ethiopia: Travelers are drawn to Ethiopia's Simien Mountains to explore the area's beauty, endemic wildlife and cultural opportunities. The African Wildlife Foundation and Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority are supporting new tourism ventures in the Simiens to disperse tourists over a wider area, benefitting both communities and the landscape. They include a new multi-day community-based trek incorporating simple lodging, authentic food and cultural interaction, and the AWF partnership with Limalimo ecolodge makes it a great, community-enriching choice for lodge-based trekking. Contact Travel Ethiopia to discuss options, including ways to combine both.

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