Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Five cheetahs in a tree, Rwanda gorilla permit increase and Ethiopia FAM

One, two, three, four, FIVE cheetahs in a tree near Bomani! Photo by Mark
Butcher, Imvelo Safari Lodges

 What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

If you're headed to INDABA next week, get in touch with Tad and Sonya and please join them and the Kusini Africa crew for craft brews and more at the ATTA Adventure Connect event!

The permit fee increase is meant to strengthen conservation
efforts and contribute to community development
Classic Africa Safaris: The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) announced that the price of gorilla permits has doubled from $750 to $1500 per trek effective immediately. Classic Africa Safaris confirmed the increase will not affect those who have paid for their permits in full prior to the announcement, however they are waiting for written confirmation of how this impacts permits where only deposits have been paid. A 30% discount on permits was also announced for travelers who visit either Akagera or Nyungwe for at least three days. Visitors to Akagera will now be able to see Africa's big 5 with the completion of a new rhino reintroduction project.

Safarihoek Lodge's 11 rooms have A/C, eco-friendly amenities
and private balconies with great views!
Ultimate Safaris: Ultimate Safaris takes pride in being at the forefront of exploring new safari possibilities in Namibia. With that in mind, they have discovered a new gem - Etosha Heights' Safarihoek Lodge. Ultimate co-founder Tristan Cowley recently inspected the new property, and found fantastic game (7 black rhino on his first game drive, huge eland herds, lion, elephant, giraffe, cheetah and even sable!), great service and food, and a conservation and research focus. The lodge will replace Andersson's Camp for 2018 Ultimate Namibia departures after it closes at the end of 2017.

The FAM includes trekking Ethiopia's Simien Mountains
to view gelada baboons
Travel Ethiopia: Discover the richness of Ethiopia's culture, history and wildlife on Travel Ethiopia's FAM, Sept 25 - Oct 3! It's a chance to see the country's ancient palaces and holy sites where history is still alive and thriving. The endemic wildlife, including gelada baboons and the endangered Ethiopian wolf, is a huge draw, and spellbinding landscapes are the backdrop for every stop. The FAM will witness the 1,600-year-old Meskel celebration in Addis, then visit Lake Tana, Gondar, the Simien Mountains, Axum and Gheralta, with an optional extension to the mystical Bale Mountains (Oct 4 - 8). Space is limited - contact Tad for more information.

VIDEO: Imvelo guests were treated to female cheetah
HNP013 giving climbing lessons
Imvelo Safari Lodges: National Geographic would be jealous! Imvelo Safari Lodges guests had an epic game drive last week when they came across supermom cheetah 'Queenie' and her four nearly one-year-old offspring during a tree climbing lesson. In what just might be a Southern Africa record, all five cheetahs made their way up into a tree and posed for photos and video, much to everyone's delight. Cat sightings for Imvelo guests have been abundant to say the least, including lions delaying the Elephant Express!

Learn more about Arijiju House and its 'air of monastic calm'
on the Kusini blog
Albatros Travel: Great new product has come online in Kenya! From a fabulous new boutique property in Nairobi's Langata suburb, to a gorgeous exclusive use house on the private Borana conservancy, options abound. Albatros Travel has put together a roundup of what's new in Kenya, including details of new property openings, the lifting of the Lamu travel ban and family travel inspiration from Albatros GM Julian Camm. He took some play time with his own kids so he could put together a list of ideas for family safari fun. Get all of the details on the Kusini blog.

By the end of the dry season, guests at Zambia's remote
Luambe Camp can enjoy the sight of up to 800 hippo!
New Frontiers: In the thick of Africa trade show time, 'tis the season for a flood of exciting information about product enhancements, new camps, upgrades and more. Check out New Frontiers' regional update on the Agent Zone, which covers all of the aforementioned, along with great itinerary ideas, packages and news. One highlight that has us ready to head way-off-the-beaten-track in Zambia is Luambe Camp. Nestled between South and North Luangwa national parks, Luambe NP is a hidden gem offering visitors an entirely different wildlife experience, stark beauty, solitude and raw wilderness. It's perfect for the safariophile who has done everything!

Polo and Jacquie will give your travelers the inside scoop
on their respective islands
Tropic Ecuador: One of the best ways to get to know the Galapagos is on an island-hopping journey. Tropic Ecuador has a variety of offerings throughout the Islands, including their new 'The Mountain and the Sea' itinerary. The trip visits Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands, and stays at intimate lodges where guests will have the chance to get to know their hosts Polo and Jacquie - true Galapageno characters. There are lots of active pursuits including hiking and water sports, as well as leisure time to soak up the Islands' beauty. Email Andrea with questions.

Guests attending the GastroVino festival in Todos Santos will
revel in the flavors of the region
Todos Santos Eco Adventures: Todos Santos Eco Adventures is one of the main sponsors of the Todos Santos GastroVino Festival, which took place from May 5-7 this year. It features several of the great wineries from Baja's wine growing region - Valle de Guadalupe - along with several of the amazing Todos Santos restaurants. Todos Santos is becoming famous for its festivals, including the Todos Santos Music Festival, the Todos Santos Film Festival and the Todos Santos Art Festival, most of which are sponsored by TOSEA. Contact Bryan for festival details and dates.

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