Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Massive Maya discovery, fly Chicago to Africa and Ultimate webinar

Expert safari planners know that an amazing guide makes all the difference -
bringing sunrises, wildlife and safari magic to travelers!

What's happening this week in the Kusini Collection:

Maya Trails FAM touring Tikal with renowned
archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli
Maya Trails: New results of an aerial survey over northern Guatemala have revealed over 60,000 previously undiscovered Maya structures. One of the esteemed scientists collaborating on the discovery is Francisco Estrada-Belli (who partners with Maya Trails for specialist guiding in Peten, and who you can see on Nat Geo TV later this month). He explains that the find is significant not only because of its magnitude, but because it's the largest archaeological LiDAR (laser detection system) survey in the world. Maya Trails has the perfect adventure for archaeologist nuts short on time but looking for an immersive experience - a Helicopters & Hieroglyphs luxury long weekend!

Cutting-edge product knowledge is hard work,
but somebody's got to do it!
New Frontiers: The New Frontiers team is 'Out and About' keeping up-to-date on the latest product offerings so often, there's a section of the Agent Zone dedicated to it! Christine is just back from the Kruger area and has discovered five new gems for your travelers. Four of the five properties are quite intimate and all have something special to offer. With availability constantly being a challenge in the Greater Kruger area, these lodges offer a great alternative. See photos and get all of the details on the Agent Zone.

Discover Ultimate's Journeys Under Canvas at the ATTA
Ultimate Safaris: We've told you about Ultimate Safaris' Journeys Under Canvas - now it's time to hear directly from the source. Join Birgit Bekker at 9 am ET on Feb 8th for an informational webinar where she will share how Ultimate is redefining luxury - by focusing on what the crux of a Namibian safari should be. Their definition encompasses privacy, exclusivity, experiential focus and total flexibility, all while being perfectly comfortable and priced relatively moderately. A recording of the webinar will be available, so please register to receive a copy even if you are unable to attend.

The beautiful Harenna Forest surrounding Bale Mountain
Travel Ethiopia: Visitors to Bale Mountain Lodge can not only have the chance to see the National Park's otherworldly scenery, Ethiopian wolves, mountain nyala and other wildlife, they can also visit the beekeepers of the Harenna Forest. Families have kept the ancient way of beekeeping alive for generations, shimmying up trees to smoke the hives (and lull the bees) so they may collect their sweet honey for use in tej (honey wine) or to sell in the market. Travel Ethiopia can arrange a visit as part of an Ethiopian adventure, and now that Ethiopian Airlines have announced new direct flights between Addis and Chicago (beginning June 9), it's even easier to get there!

Tropic guests can see the continued evolution of the
Galapagos first hand!
Tropic Ecuador: Increased seismic activity of the Sierra Negra volcano has led Ecuador's Ministry of Risk Management to declare a "Yellow Alert," suspending visits to the area of Volcan Chico on Isabela Island. To ensure safety, hikerss can only visit the areas of Mirador 1 and Mirador 2, and the surrounding trails in Sierra Negra. Tropic Ecuador's hiking excursion on Volcan Chico and Sierra Negra is somewhat affected, though it only shortens the activity by approximately one hour. Volcanoes created the Galapagos, and with this most recent activity, guests will literally witness this geologic process first-hand.

Hatchling release is sometimes available as part of
'Turtle Camp'
Todos Santos Eco Adventures: Todos Santos Eco Adventures offers a wonderful opportunity for volunteers to work with biologists to protect endangered olive ridley marine turtles. Volunteers and biologists patrol the beach at night, watching for female turtles to emerge from the ocean and make their way to a nesting spot. Each will leave 90-120 eggs in a hole, camouflage it, then leave the eggs to chance. That's where guests come in - your travelers can help combat declining populations by volunteering with biologists as they collect the eggs and relocate them to a protective nursery. Learn more here.

Guides make or break a safari experience - Abdallah
makes it amazing!
Albatros East Africa: When on safari there are many variables - from weather to wildlife! With much of the actual guest experience out of your control once the Land Rover rumbles away, it is up to the safari guide to see to it that expectations are exceeded. Trust us when we say from first-hand experience that Albatros East Africa guides are experts at making that happen! On Sonya's recent FAM trip, Abdallah shared his kind and steady nature, keen driving skills, incredible spotting abilities (including spying hunting cheetah and myriad birds), endless enthusiasm, and most of all, gaining everyone's complete trust in his innate abilities as a guide. He was wonderful!

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