Category Archives: Africa

Lion World Travel, Treadright Foundation Offer Contest to Name Newborn Endangered Black Rhino & Win Luxury Safari

The female baby black rhino, born to mother, Queenie, in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Lion World Travel and The TreadRight Foundation are inviting travelers to name the newborn endangered black rhino to win a luxury safari.

Cypress, Calif. – Lion World Travel and The TreadRight Foundation are calling on American travelers to help name a rare female baby rhino, discovered by their project partner, Wilderness Foundation Africa on a reserve in South Africa. Submissions will be accepted online from November 17, 2020 to December 1, 2020, and those who share their suggestions will be eligible to win 3 free nights at Shamwari Game Reserve, a luxury safari and game lodge destination in South Africa’s ecologically and culturally significant Eastern Cape Province.

Included as part of the judging panel is Ami Vitale, TreadRight’s ‘Wildlife’ Ambassador and award-winning National Geographic magazine photographer who captured the final moments of Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino alive on the planet in Kenya.

The Eastern Cape Province in South Africa is home to the third largest endangered black rhino population in the world, and evidence shows it is currently a high-risk target for poachers.

Because rhinos prefer thick vegetation, aerial surveillance is necessary and plays a critical part in both wildlife security, and in tracking and improving the management of rhino populations. Lion World Travel is a founding partner of The TreadRight Foundation which is invested in protecting and rehabilitating the world’s wildlife by partnering with leading wildlife organizations, through its Wildlife Pillar. Since 2017, TreadRight has partnered with Wilderness Foundation Africa to aid in rhino conservation efforts by funding the purchase and operations of a Bat Hawk – a light aircraft used to monitor and protect rhinos from poaching in provincial nature reserves and national parks in the Eastern Cape. The regular surveillance through monitoring flights by the Bat Hawk in the known rhino poaching hotspots is contributing to the safekeeping of this endangered population.

Since the start of 2020, 19 new rhino calves have been discovered and protected within the rhino population, 11 of which were first detected in the TreadRight-funded Bat Hawk. As a thank you, Wilderness Foundation Africa has given Lion World Travel and TreadRight the invaluable honor of naming one of these precious new rhino calves.

“The preservation of the rhino population is absolutely paramount to keeping a healthy balance alive within Africa’s ecosystem,” said Lucille Sive, CEO of The Travel Corporation’s African Division.“Through our work, safeguarding wildlife is a priority and we are absolutely humbled by this meaningful opportunity to play a part in the naming of a precious rhino as we continue to make travel matter.”

Lion World Travel and TreadRight’s support of Wilderness Foundation Africa work to advance the United Nations Global Goal 15, Life on Land, through its joint effort in combatting poaching and trafficking of rhinos that are vital to this ecosystem, as well as Global Goal 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, through its employment of intelligence and police support for specialized wildlife crime units, contributing to a higher employment rate.

After the name submissions are received, Lucille Siva, CEO of Lion World Travel will select the shortlisted names and Ami Vitale will be making the final decision. The winning name will be chosen and announced on Friday, Dec. 4 and the winner will receive 3 free nights at Shamwari Game Reserve, a luxury safari and game lodge destination in South Africa’s ecologically and culturally significant Eastern Cape Province.  

For more information on TreadRight’s conversation efforts, its work around the world and how you can help #MakeTravelMatter, visit TreadRight.org

Terms and Conditions: Prize is non-transferable and awarded “as is”, with no substitutions. One winner will be selected, based on the final Rhino name selection. If multiple people entered the same name, one winner will be randomly drawn from all of those entries. Only entries received through the official contest entry form are valid. Preference will be given to names that relate to Africa and/or reflect our Make Travel Matter ethos. Contest period runs from November 17-December 1, 2020. Prize must be booked by August 31, 2021, for travel by December 15, 2021 and is subject to availability and blackout dates. Winner will be contacted by email. Lion World Travel is not responsible for any technical difficulties experienced during the contest. Void where prohibited by law

Lion World Travel is a leading tour operator from North America specializing in group and individual tours to Southern and East Africa and is a member of TTC , which also includes: Trafalgar Tours, Contiki, Brendan Vacations, Insight Vacations, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. Clients continue to benefit from Lion World Travels’ destination knowledge, expertise, and emphasis on customer service. With their Africa Specialists all having first-hand knowledge of Africa, Lion World Travel confidently assists clients in creating an African adventure that fits their interests and budget. Extraordinary service, affordable luxury and value for money are what keep clients coming back to Lion World Travel.

The TreadRight Foundation is a joint not-for-profit initiative established by The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands. TreadRight sets the direction on sustainability for 40 award-winning brands, in addition to overseeing our TreadRight Foundation. The organization’s singular mission is to #MakeTravelMatter through brand operations, and by providing support to community-based projects worldwide that safeguard the planet, people and wildlife. To date, the foundation has supported 55+ sustainable tourism projects in 280+ communities worldwide, based on priorities set by the TreadRight Steering Committee. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid and The National Trust in the UK, while current initiatives include Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School, Wilderness Foundation Africa and Wildlife SOS. TreadRight also works with inspiring ambassadors who have a passion for sustainable travel, to support its voice within the sustainable travel community. These ambassadors include Céline Cousteau (‘Planet’ Ambassador), Sarain Fox (‘People’ Ambassador), Ami Vitale (‘Wildlife’ Ambassador) and Costas Christ. To learn more about past and current work at TreadRight, visit TreadRight.org and follow TreadRight on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MakeTravelMatter.

“We will make travel matter – for our planet, for people and for wildlife. We have taken the pledge, now we invite you to join us.”  

Wilderness Foundation Africa works from its base in South Africa to protect and sustain wildlife and wilderness through integrated conservation and education programs. Whether it is direct action anti-poaching in the field, large landscape wilderness management, or developing rising young leaders from disadvantaged communities for a career in conservation, the Wilderness Foundation has over 45 years of results. For more information, visit WildernessFoundation.co.za and follow on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Gondwana Ecotours Announces 10-Day Tanzania Great Migration Camping Safari

Gondwana Ecotours is introducing a new 10-day camping safari in Tanzania. Guests will visit four national parks (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti), get to know the Maasai Tribe, photograph amazing landscapes, spot the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant), and explore dense jungles. 

(New Orleans, LA) — Gondwana Ecotours is introducing a new 10-day camping safari in Tanzania. Guests will visit four national parks (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti), get to know the Maasai Tribe, photograph amazing landscapes, spot the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, and elephant), and explore dense jungles. This trip is full of culture and opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography. There will be a maximum of 18 guests on the tours, scheduled for July 13-22, 2020 and August 8-17, 2020 starting at $2,995 USD per person not including international flights 

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime safari with extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities,” said Gondwana Ecotours Founder, Jared Sternberg. “We also pay Carbon Offsetting for each guest and donate to the Maasai Community Development Initiative on their behalf.”

One of the major highlights of this safari is visiting the Maasai, one of Africa’s most famous and historic tribes. Travelers will sing and dance with members of the tribe and tour a traditional hut. Another unforgettable moment is exploring the Ngorongoro Crater at sunrise before the crowds arrive. It is home to many lions and some of the last black rhinos in the world.

“We will enjoy picturesque picnic lunches in the parks near hippo pools, giraffes, baobab trees and beautiful lakes,” said Sternberg. “This safari is full of amazing wildlife and culture, and offers an opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular mass migrations on the planet.”

What’s Included in the Tanzania Camping Safari Ecotour:

All accommodations and equipment (4 nights at hotel, 5 nights camping)

All meals except for arrival and departure days

All National Park entrance fees in Tanzania (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti)

Unique activities with the Maasai tribe (dancing, singing, home tour and cultural exchange)

Guaranteed window-seat in a private Toyota Land Cruiser with a local guide/driver

Carbon Offsetting for each guest and donations to the Maasai Community Development Initiative

Chef-prepared meals and clean drinking water throughout the safari

All activities and excursions, including safaris and guided hikes

Airport pick-up and drop-off

For more information, visit Gondwana Ecotours at https://www.gondwanaecotours.com/tour/tanzania-camping-great-migration-safari/ or call 877-587-8479.

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Special Holiday Offer by African Travel, Inc. Showcases an Authentic, Luxurious Experience in South Africa

Stay at the renowned Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, famed for its warmth, vibrancy and legendary hospitality. Huge viewing decks are the ideal setting to relax while spotting game, birdwatching, or cooling off in the pools.

For travelers seeking spectacular holiday specials,  travelers who book African Travel, Inc.’s Southern Explorer safari by December 31, 2019– for travel anytime in 2020– will receive $1000 per couple in savings. 

The Southern Explorer adventure is one of African Travel, Inc.’s most popular safaris, 10 days from $9695 per person. Travelers experience the vibrant culture, scenic beauty and natural wonders of Southern Africa. Spectacular Cape Town and Kruger National Park are artfully combined with the majesty of Victoria Falls. 

While in Cape Town, explore the breathtaking scenery of the Cape of Good Hope and the surrounding winelands on privately guided sightseeing tours. Stay at the luxurious Cape Cadogan–a stately double-storied Georgia and Victorian building dating back to the beginning of the 19th century.

Travel to the renowned Krugar Private Reserve and enjoy twice daily game drives in search of Africa’s “Big Five” the leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo and the mighty lion. Stay at the renowned Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, famed for its warmth, vibrancy and legendary hospitality. Each of the spacious, air-conditioned thatched suites features en-suite bathrooms with al-fresco glass-fronted indoor showers, affording wonderful views of the bush. Huge viewing decks are the ideal setting to relax while spotting game, birdwatching, or cooling off in the pools.

The next stop is Zimbabwe, where rainforests surround the thundering Victoria Falls. Take a helicopter flight, and be awed by the sheer size and grandeur from above. A stay at The Victoria Falls Hotel, popularly known as “the grand old lady of The Falls,” takes guests back in time to the early 1900s. The Edwardian-style hotel is surrounded by carefully tended tropical gardens, lily ponds and century-old shade trees.

End  the experience  with the golden glow of an African sunset meandering along the Zambezi River on a sundowner dinner cruise (be ready with binoculars to zoom in on the hippos cavorting in the river).

To book a safari, contact your local Travel Advisor, or African Travel, Inc. at (800) 421-8907, or visit www.africantravelinc.com

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African Travel Donates Funds to Help Support Rhino Conservation at Shamwari Game Reserve

Celebrating 26 years of “conserving a vanishing way of life,” Shamwari Game Reserve has worked to rehabilitate and consolidate their 25,000 hectares of land so that the flora and fauna may flourish.  African Travel’s $100 per couple donation in their name will go towards the building of the rhino boma at Shamwari. a haven to rehabilitate injured or orphaned rhino until they are strong enough to be released back into the wild.

BOCA RATON, Fla. As World Rhino Day approaches, African Travel, Inc. encourages travelers to celebrate the species and support the future of these critically endangered animals.

In honor of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) 100-year anniversary, African Travel, Inc., will donate $100 per couple traveling on the Majestic South Africa itinerary in support of rhino conservation.

This incredible 10-day journey begins in Cape Town, the stunning port city crowned by the natural beauty of Table Mountain.   Over four nights, guests will enjoy 5-stary luxury at the Table Bay Hotel on the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and feast on African, Afrikaans and European flavors at the hotel’s Camissa Brasserie.  From its culinary scene, to its natural beauty, the best of South Africa’s Mother City is revealed as guests explore the majestic coastline of the Cape Peninsula, the crowd-pleasing penguins of Boulders Beach, or the rich and charming winelands of Franschhoek, the gourmet capital of the Cape.

A different kind of beauty unfolds as guests fly to Port Elizabeth and transfer by road to Shamwari Private Game Reserve.  This premier safari lodge encompasses 61,000 acres of vast, ever-changing vegetation and multitudes of different animal and bird species.

Celebrating 26 years of “conserving a vanishing way of life,” Shamwari Game Reserve has worked to rehabilitate and consolidate their 25,000 hectares of land so that the flora and fauna may flourish.  The $100 per couple donation in their name will go towards the building of the rhino boma at Shamwari. a haven to rehabilitate injured or orphaned rhino until they are strong enough to be released back into the wild. Guest can also visit the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre which helps to rehabilitate and care for sick, injured, abandoned or orphaned animals under the care of their professional veterinary team. Once these animals have been nursed back to health, they are released back into their natural habitat.

“We exist because our goal in life is to make travel matter.  It’s our responsibility to protect some of the species most at risk from extinction in the places we visit, and we are extremely passionate about rhino conservation” said Sherwin Banda, president, African Travel, Inc.  “At Shamwari, this is something our guests will experience first-hand and we’re proud that we’re able to support sustainable tourism through this effort.”

At Shamwari, guests will enjoy twice-daily game drives and nature walks and stay three nights at the cliffside Eagles Crag Lodge, which offers the ultimate in luxury, privacy and spectacular scenery.  Priced from $6,195 per person.

For a bird’s eye view of Shamwari and African Travel, Inc.’s partnership and support of them, enjoy this video.

To book African Travel, Inc. at (800) 421-8907, or visit www.africantravelinc.com.

Follow African Travel, Inc. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and join the conversation using the hashtag #WeKnowAfrica

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, the TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported some 40 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, visit us at TreadRight.org

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African Travel Introduces 8 New Itineraries, 7 Enhanced Journeys, 1 New Destination for 2019

African Travel, Inc., a leader in handcrafted safari vacations to Africa, is featuring eight spectacular new itineraries, several enhanced journeys that feature new hotels, experiences and activities, and one brand-new destination for 2019.

GLENDALE, Calif.– African Travel, Inc., a leader in handcrafted safari vacations to Africa, is featuring eight spectacular new itineraries, several enhanced journeys that feature new hotels, experiences and activities, and one brand-new destination for 2019.   Whether you want to see rare mountain gorillas and other wildlife, experience adrenaline adventures, immerse yourself in African culture, or taste local delicacies the 2019 brochure’s 31 journeys will lead you to the experience to match your tastes and desires.

“Our tailor-made itineraries are as unique as each traveler,” said Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel, Inc. “Our fantastic new brochure is truly a one-stop shop for every type of African adventure you’ve ever dreamed of – and even some you didn’t know existed. We make it easy to find the right Africa for your taste and style.”

African Travel’s new and updated trip offerings for 2019 include:

Southern Explorer,’ its most popular safari adventure, has been revamped and enhanced for 2019! This air-inclusive journey combines spectacular Cape Town and Kruger National Park with the majesty of Victoria Falls, one of the world’s Seven Natural Wonders. Guests are treated to special new experiences such as private guided sightseeing in Cape Town and Victoria Falls, a dinner cruise on the Zambezi River, and a scenic helicopter flight over the falls. Travelers see the best of southern Africa’s vibrant culture, scenic beauty and natural wonders on this incredible journey. 12 days, from $10,795 pp, airfare included. 

South Africa’s Natural Wonders
 offers the perfect blend of city, scenery, nature and wildlife. This new 10-day itinerary starts with private sightseeing in Cape Town and on the scenic Cape Peninsula, then takes guests to nearby Grootbos Private Nature Reserve for land-based outdoor activities and marine wildlife viewing. The trip’s final destination is the malaria-free Shamwari Private Game Reserve, the country’s largest privately-owned game reserve, where guests go on multiple Big Five game drives and learn about the reserve’s conservation programs. Cap off your stay with a lively dinner at Shamwari’s traditional boma. 12 days, from $9,495 pp. 

The enhanced Best of Botswana with Victoria Falls itinerary takes guests on a journey of discovery through Botswana’s vast, pristine wilderness, and ends with a stay at Zimbabwe’s legendary Victoria Falls. Guests discover the Okavango Delta’s maze of lagoons on a scenic helicopter flight, then explore its secret channels by traditional mokoro. Later they view the open grasslands and seasonal floodplains of the Moremi Game Reserve on 4×4 safari drives. In Victoria Falls guests explore the tropical rainforests, and take a sunset dinner cruise on the mighty Zambezi river. 11 days, from $9,395 pp, airfare included. 

Zimbabwe has re-emerged as a top contender for tourism in the past year, with much to offer the safari enthusiast. The enhanced Beyond the Rainbow itinerary includes several of the country’s most popular highlights, including the thundering Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park. Walking tours, game drives, canoeing and wildlife viewing from hides let guests experience exceptional wildlife, including huge herds of elephants and pods of bobbing hippos. Additionally, guests will enjoy lunch perched above the Batoka Gorge, where they can marvel at the thunderous sound of the falls and feel the mist while they dine. Days are capped off with unmatched stargazing and lively storytelling around the campfire at luxurious tented camps. 12 days, from $11,295 pp, airfare included. 

The enhanced Essence of Southern Africa’ itinerary now starts with a stay at the elegant Ellerman House, one of the hottest addresses in Cape Town. Set against the backdrop of Lion’s Head, Ellerman features terraced indigenous gardens, magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, and an incomparable South African art collection. The trip continues to Botswana, where guests enjoy a scenic helicopter flight over the Okavango Delta, and see a staggering amount of wildlife at Selinda Reserve. Also new on the itinerary this year is a stay at the brand new Stanley & Livingstone Boutique hotel in Victoria Falls, where guests take a private guided tour of the falls, enjoy a sunset cruise on the luxurious 28-seat Zambezi Royal, and have a memorable dinner experience on the vintage Bushtracks Express train. 11 days, from $15,995 pp. 

The wildlife-focused Delta, Rivers, and Falls’ visits both Botswana and Zambia, African Travel’s newest destination. Guests discover the beauty of the Zambezi River, the magnificent sunsets on the Chobe River, and the intricacies of the Okavango Delta, then end their journey with a magnificent safari at the famous Chief’s Island. Day and night game drives, river cruises, walking safaris and mokoro rides are all included as part of the experience. This journey features luxurious tented accommodation throughout, including tree houses lining the banks of the Zambezi River, a cottage with both indoor and outdoor showers, a classic tented camp, and elegant bush pavilions with private plunge pools. 9 days, from $6,995 pp.

Ultimate Tanzania and Rwanda has all the ingredients of a safari masterpiece: fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities on Tanzania’s Serengeti plains and in the private Grumeti Reserve, two gorilla treks in Rwanda, visits to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even a ride above the plains in a hot air balloon! This bucket list journey also offers cultural and conservation experiences : guests visit a local food market in Kigali and cook with a chef, and help with reforestation activities in the Sabinyo Mountains. 13 days, from $22,475 pp.

The new ‘Deserts and Dunes of Namibia flying safari visits the wildlife sanctuary of Etosha, the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei, and the ruggedly beautiful Skeleton Coast. It starts in the totally captivating Etosha Private Reserve, where the savanna stretches as far as the eye can see, and guests will rarely encounter another visitor. Early morning and late afternoon game drives reveal lions, giraffes, ostriches and hyenas, as well as the elusive black and white rhino. Next they’ll explore the shipwreck-strewn Skeleton Coast and see a seal colony, then stay overnight in the stylish new Shipwreck Lodge, which is literally built in the shape of a ship. Finally, they’ll marvel at the giant, fiery red dunes of Sossusvlei, and see the ancient fossilized acacia trees at Deadvlei salt pan. 10 days, from $12,695 pp. 

Cape to Cairo’ is a new itinerary for luxury travelers who want to do it ALL in one trip, from the southern tip of Africa to the top of the continent. This comprehensive 16-day adventure includes the cosmopolitan sights of Cape Town, the grandeur of Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River, endless game viewing opportunities in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, and the legendary pyramids of ancient Egypt. The itinerary is designed so that guests stay at each destination for three or four nights, allowing time to unpack and really soak up the highlights. Along the way guests also enjoy unique experiences like blending their own wine in the Cape, eating breakfast with giraffes in Nairobi, going hot air ballooning in the Maasai Mara, and taking a private tour of Cairo with an Egyptologist. 16 days, from $13,995 pp.

To view the 2019 brochure, click here.

For more information or to book a 2019 safari trip, contact your travel professional, call African Travel, Inc. at (800) 727-7207, or visit www.africantravelinc.com.

African Travel is part of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands. Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation ‘s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has supported some 50 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The Foundation’s guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities. Foundation priorities are set by the Steering Committee, which includes sustainability leaders Céline Cousteau and Costas Christ. Past project partners include WWF, Conservation International, WildAid, The Travel Foundation and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include supporting various women’s social enterprises through the Artisan Alliance, the recently announced Wildlife Conservation Society’s Big Cat fund, WE.org and inspiring nature advocates like Terri Irwin. To learn more about past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at TreadRight.org.

 

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27th Annual Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles Du Maroc, Women-Only Off-Road RallyeThru Moroccan Desert Starts Mar 17

Women from around the world are participating in the 27th annual Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc, very possibly the only women-only off-road rallye in the world.

Women from 18 to 71 and 30 different countries distinguished by their sense of adventure are headed to the French city of Nice for the  27th annual Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc taking takes place between March 17 and April 1, 2017, for a woman-only off-road rallye through the Moroccan desert. Here are 5 reasons why you should add the rallye to your 2017 bucket list:

  1. AN UNMATCHED ADVENTURE

The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is a one-of-a-kind adventure, very possibly, the only international off-road Rallye race for women only.  Since 1990, it has been bringing together women between the ages of 18 and 71, from more than 30 different countries, who embark on an adventure of a lifetime from the French city of Nice on March 18, 2017 and onward to the start of the Rallye in the Moroccan desert. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is developing a new vision of automobile competition: no speed and no GPS, just old-fashioned navigation, completely off-road.

  1. EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF AFRICA

Unmatched adventure awaits the women who take part in the 27th annual Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is set amid the Moroccan desert.

Morocco is the host country of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles since its inception. Gazelles in search of nature and the great outdoors will be seduced by the magnificent and varied landscapes of Morocco, with its sand dunes, Rocky Mountains, green valleys, fertile plains, arid plateaus and lush oases. The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc takes place under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, who has authorized the use of the Royal Coat of Arms on the Gazelles’ vests. This is the only event that has ever been granted this honor. Many Moroccans come out to welcome and assist the competition at every step of the way, from the dunes of Merzouga to Essaouira.

  1. RACE FOR CHARITY

The Rallye respects its scenic host country and its people through the actions of the Rallye’s non-profit, Cœur de Gazelles. Attending the rallye supports the charity’s volunteers who work daily to provide the Moroccan people with sustainable aid through concrete actions. A registered non-profit organization since 2001, Coeur de Gazelles works on projects that meet the needs of Morocco’s remote populations: medical care, education, the environment and sustainable development, job training for women, improving living conditions. 

  1. AN EMPOWERING EXPERIENCE

All Rallye participants, known as “Gazelles”, leave this adventure marked forever by the experience: they push their limits, have to face themselves, far from their sometimes difficult daily lives as women; there is also a strong element of sharing and mutual aid with their teammate as well as with the other “Gazelles”. Free to choose their own route, they face a challenge every day: to study the map and the day’s geographical coordinates, analyze the risks and difficulties of the terrain and choose the shortest path. They have the choice of driving around a mountain or crossing over it, driving through the dunes or avoiding them.

  1. CUTTING EDGE TECHNOLOGY

The 27th annual Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is set amid the Moroccan desert.

While the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is a return to the roots of adventure, it is also, with its satellite system for tracking the teams, on the cutting edge of technology when it comes to safety. This duality is the strength of this unusual competition. With its unique concept, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is changing the way people view automobile use. The Rallye is also launching a new electric vehicle category in 2017, which will call its participants  “E-Gazelles”. This trailblazing Rallye already boasts an ISO 14001 Environment Management System (EMS) standard. During the recent Climate Conference, COP22 in Marrakech, it was announced that Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is the Rallye which will set the standard for future rallies around the world, based on its high environmental principles.

TO WIN THE COMPETITION

Every morning the Gazelles receive a Road Book. This document contains only the geographic coordinates or headings and distances of the day’s checkpoints and finish line. Forget about GPS, phones and other modern communication tools: using a compass, a navigational plotter and maps, they plot their route and plan their itinerary. 

The rankings are determined by calculating the extra kilometers driven (distance driven between check points minus crow flies distance) and penalty kilometers for any check points not reached. The winning team is the one that finds the greatest number of checkpoints while driving the least number of kilometers.

The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc may well be the only women-only off-road Rallye in the world.  Created in 1990, the event brings women between the ages of 18 and 71 from more than 30 different countries together in the Moroccan desert. Since its inception, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles has been creating a new vision of automobile competition: no speed and no GPS, just old fashioned navigation, completely off-road: a return to the roots of Adventure. The only requirement is determination. The women who take part in this Rallye—known as Gazelles—are of all ages, social backgrounds, nationalities and levels of off-road experience. Whether in a 4×4, Crossover, Quad, truck or motorbike, they all come to take part in a unique competition: whose competitors share the values of tolerance, solidarity and determination, that respects the host country and its people through the actions of the Rallye’s non-profit, Cœur de Gazelles, and that cares about the environment: the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles is the only motor Rallye in the world with ISO 14001 certification.

While the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles marks a return to the roots of adventure, it is also on the cutting edge of technology, with a satellite tracking system for optimal safety. A new vision of motor sport the pleasure lies in driving without excessive speed, and where the goal of driving the shortest possible distance is in line with our environmental commitment.

For more information, visit: http://www.Rallyeaichadesgazelles.com/

Facebook: Rallyeaichadesgazelles, Instagram: @usagazelles,  Twitter: @Rallye_Gazelles

Coeur de Gazelles, registered non-profit organization since 2001, is a group of volunteers working to provide sustainable aid to people in need through concrete actions. Coeur de Gazelles works on projects that meet the needs of Morocco’s remote populations: medical care, education, the environment and sustainable development, job training for women, improving living conditions and a desire to spread joy by distributing donations. Actions are set upon a “human scale”, working in partnership with the local population to address the source of the problem, enabling people to become agents of their own development. All donations are used for the direct benefit of the population, in collaboration with local authorities.

For more information, visit: http://www.coeurdegazelles.org/

Facebook: COEUR-DE-GAZELLES,  #CoeurDeGazelles

 

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New Flight Circuit Connects andBeyond Lodges To Southern Africa’s Top Tourist Destinations

Airlink has launched daily flights that connect andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve and andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve to each other, as well as to other tourist hubs throughout Southern Africa.
Airlink has launched daily flights that connect andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve and andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve to each other, as well as to other tourist hubs throughout Southern Africa.

Travelers to the experiential travel company andBeyond’s exclusive safari lodges in South Africa can now make use of a newly launched network of flights to quickly and seamlessly connect to the region’s top tourist destinations. Regional carrier Airlink has launched daily flights that connect andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve and andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve to each other, as well as to other tourist hubs throughout Southern Africa.

The new flight circuit, which operates daily, creates a number of easy travel possibilities by linking the two andBeyond reserves to each other, as well as to other top safari reserves in South Africa, including the northern and western parts of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, as well as Londolozi and Skukuza. It also allows guests to seamlessly enjoy a more varied travel experience by connecting both reserves with beach destinations such as Cape Town and Vilanculos in neighbouring Mozambique. Both andBeyond reserves can also now be easily linked with Livingstone in Zambia.

Not only have connections been made quicker and more convenient but andBeyond has added the new flights to its Fly Me To Phinda safari, which offers complimentary flights from Johannesburg when spending three nights or more at andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge or andBeyond Phinda Forest Lodge. The new links to Johannesburg and Skukuza will be included in the offer, while the remainder of the connections will be available as a supplement.

Airlink operates a brand new Cessna Grand Caravan 208BEX on all lodge hops, with the aircraft equipped with advanced avionics features that increase reliability during the low-cloud conditions that the South African lowveld and coastal areas are renowned for. Multiple flight legs can also be booked with the same carrier on a single ticket, resulting in assured connections and increasing peace of mind in the event of any schedule disruptions.  Flights can also be booked by global travel agencies, allowing agents to combine travelers’ international flights and lodge connections on the same ticket.

The new flight circuit will be in operation from January 1, 2017, with flights already available for sale. For more information, please visit www.andBeyond.com, log onto www.flyairlink.com, or contact your travel agent.

 

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A Royal Safari in Kenya with andBeyond Ecotourism Company

The latest Netflix series has renewed an interest in the royals and their connection to Africa. The ecotourism company, andBeyond (&Beyond), has created a safari to give guests a taste of the royal treatment.

Home of the classic safari, Kenya has an undeniable connection to Britain’s colonial era with its historical aura of elegance and grandeur. In fact, as documented in the recent television series, it was in Kenya that Queen Elizabeth first received the news of the death of her father, King George, and of her ascension to the throne. Inspired by this and the many other connections between the royal family and this former colonial stronghold, andBeyond has created a modern safari fit for a queen. This grand itinerary visits places made famous by explorers and royals of old, including special touches like vintage vehicles, which will take the intrepid traveler on a journey far back in time.

Highlights of the nine-night itinerary

  • Stay in the famous Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi, host to characters such as Theodore Roosevelt on his epic 1909 safari Walk in the footsteps of legends on an historical tour of Nairobi, visiting sites such as the Railway Museum and Karen Blixen’s home.
  • Relax in the lovingly maintained colonial mansion of Giraffe Manor.
  • Experience the wilderness of Tsavo from the luxury private camp inspired by none other than the honorable Denys Finch-Hatton of ‘Out of Africa’ fame.
  • Feel the thrill of walking where the Tsavo man-eating lions once roamed.
  • Ride in a Vintage 1928 International SS motor Truck as driven by Robert Redford in the film ‘Out of Africa.’
  • Explore the Masai Mara celebrating the era of classic luxury at Cottar’s 1920 which is reminiscent of the 1920s.
  • Enjoy a Heliflip to Lake Rutundu for a champagne breakfast where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton.
  • Excellent photographic opportunities throughout this historical journey.

 The 10 day/9 night trip is available throughout 2017, starting at $19,551 per person/double.

Add on to Uganda

Guests can add to this Kenyan adventure by hopping across the border to Uganda, putting them within reach of the once-in-a-lifetime experience of tracking Gorillas and taking them to the end of the ‘Lunatic Line’ in Kampala.

Complement the Northern section by spending a few nights on Lake Victoria – andBeyond’s travel experts can tailor-make the itinerary.

The itinerary is ideal for history buffs, romance, wildlife enthusiasts and avid photographers.

andBeyond is one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, designing personalized high-end tours in 15 countries in Africa, five in Asia, and four in South America. The company also owns and operates 31 safari lodges and camps, as well as set-departure expeditions, throughout Africa, which positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land. Established in 1991, andBeyond takes exceptional care of its guests in order to make a difference; its commitment to sustainable responsible travel, conservation and community empowerment has been globally recognized with multiple awards over the years. The company offers warm local hospitality and sublime natural luxury that combine with interpretive natural experiences led by highly-skilled guides and rangers.

For more information, visit www.andBeyond.com.

 

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andBeyond Matetsi Private Game Reserve Opens Near Victoria Falls

The &Beyond Matetsi River Lodge opened near Victoria Falls on August 1, following an extensive multi-million dollar rebuild. Situated in a 123,500-acre private wildlife concession on the Zambezi River, the lodge is set to provide the most luxurious accommodation and most unique wildlife experiences in the area.

&Beyond Matetsi River Lodge consists of two camps of nine suites each, including a family suite at each camp. With one camp fully open and operational on August 1, the remaining camp is scheduled to open in September.

Highlighting the area’s cultural heritage, Matetsi is decorated with traditional abstract carvings of wood and stone, and features a strong copper theme in homage to the mineral riches of the region. The lodge boasts a generous Safari Shop and state-of-the-art gym, as well as a massage sala and conference facility. A 66-foot-long rim flow swimming pool stretches along the river’s bank.

A sole-use private villa, &Beyond Matetsi River House, adds exclusive accommodation for private groups of up to eight. The four-bedroom villa boasts its own kitchen, indoor and outdoor dining areas, a private veranda overlooking the Zambezi, a swimming pool and its own fire pit. It comes with a dedicated guide, private vehicle, chef and butler.

Located on one of the largest wildlife concessions in the area and boasting extensive river frontage, &Beyond Matetsi offers the most rich and exclusive game viewing experience in Victoria Falls. Guests are in for exceptional game drives led by highly trained &Beyond guides, including consistent sightings of zebra, giraffe and buffalo, as well as the big herds of elephant that Matetsi is justly renowned for. Wild dogs and hyena are spotted on a regular basis and large prides of lion have made the reserve their home. Cheetah, and leopard, as well as the elegant sable and roan antelope are also among the species seen at Matetsi.

“Having originally been involved in the conversion of the Matetsi concession from wildlife hunting to photographic safaris, we are very excited to be relaunching Matetsi to the world,” says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO. “Not only does this well-loved reserve offer an outstanding guest experience for its stunning location on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River, but it also allows them the opportunity to tour the world-famous Victoria Falls in true &Beyond style, using our own vehicles and guides.  The lodge itself will without question also set a new standard in Zimbabwe and at Victoria Falls.”

With the lodge situated in close proximity to the World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls, a complimentary tour of the Falls is included in the rate for a stay of two nights or more at &Beyond Matetsi River Lodge. The activity is an interpretive tour accompanied by an &Beyond guide, and includes the opportunity to explore the paths around the Victoria Falls Park, visit the Livingstone statue, and learn about how the Falls were created. Afterwards, guests enjoy a decadent high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel.

Extensive planning and reserve management has taken place on the concession for almost two years, encouraging wildlife to thrive in this ideal riverside location. As part of the ambitious project, 14 new waterholes have been created on the reserve, using strategically placed troughs and solar pumps. Additional pumps were placed at existing boreholes to ensure a steady water supply. A new network of roads has opened up the reserve for game drives, while bush clearing programs have limited the encroachment of fast-growing plant species, increasing the habitat for plains game.

The wildlife population has also benefitted from increased security efforts, with both armed National Parks staff and privately sourced employees being utilized for anti-poaching patrols.

For more information, or to book log on to www.andBeyond.com or contact your preferred travel specialist.

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Wild Planet Adventures Secures Unprecedented 4-Hour Gorilla Trek Permit in Uganda

Wild Planet Adventures has just acquired a rare four hour Gorilla Habituation Permit in Uganda, quadrupling the amount of time travelers can spend with the gorillas.
Wild Planet Adventures has just acquired a rare four hour Gorilla Habituation Permit in Uganda, quadrupling the amount of time travelers can spend with the gorillas.

SAUSALITO, CA– Gorilla trekking is the most sought-after African safari after a classic “Big 5” safari and  Wild Planet Adventures has just acquired a rare four hour Gorilla Habituation Permit in Uganda.

“There are less than 800 Mountain Gorillas left in the world with more than 60% living in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. The vast majority of Gorilla safaris include only standard permits, which allow a mere one hour to spend with the gorillas once your guides have located them. One hour is hardly enough time to get much more than a glimpse of the Gorillas, and it’s completely inadequate for most wildlife lovers who dream of having an up-close gorilla encounter reminiscent of Dian Fossey in ‘Gorillas in the Mist’,” said Wild Planet Adventures’ founder and director Josh Cohen.

Thanks to the company’s reputation and connections, for the first time ever travelers now have the opportunity to spend an unprecedented four hours with the Gorillas – four times the time allowed on any other gorilla safari. This VIP experience is included in Wild Planet Adventures’ special 25th anniversary safari Insiders Africa: Meerkats, Gorillas and Africa’s Rare 5.

Guests will spend half a day observing these majestic primates – including silverbacks. This is not just a short glimpse, there’s enough time to see them wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, nurture their young and build their nests. Guides will point out some of the intricate ways they communicate with each other during these activities.

This never-before-available gorilla trek from Wild Planet Adventures is led by experienced scientific researchers. Participants will actually be contributing to the careful habituation of a recently discovered Gorilla troop.  This habituation process is critical in order for Gorillas to get used to human presence without abandoning their natural behaviors, losing important survival skills, or becoming reliant upon humans for food.

As Cohen points out, “while it might be seen as advantageous if humans simply refrain from contact with Gorillas and avoid the need for such a habituation process, statistically that has proven to be more advantageous for poachers and deadly for Gorillas. A major advantage of a researcher-led safari is both the access to the four hour permit as well as the extremely high level of knowledge and expertise that the researchers have, allowing for a safe and rewarding encounter with one of the rarest animals on earth.”

Uganda is also an ideal safari destination because it also offers a wider variety of wildlife encounters (including the Big 5) than a classic safari in Eastern Africa. Long known as the “Pearl of Africa”, it is home to the world’s oldest rainforests, glacier capped mountains, roaring whitewater rivers, sparkling crater lakes, classic grassy plains, savannahs and wetlands. Its lush geography includes the Western Rift Valley, the Nile River (the longest in the world), Bwindi – the Impenetrable Forest, Lake Victoria, the legendary Rwenzori range – the Mountains of the Moon and the Ituri Forest. This incredible array of diverse eco-systems allows travelers to see some of the world’s rarest animals all in one trip.

In addition to the Mountain Gorillas, travelers will also join researcher teams for a full day Chimpanzee habituation safari and nighttime walking safari in Kibale National Park (home to over 12 primate species), enjoy safaris for tree-climbing lions and the “Big 5” in Queen Elizabeth National Park and visit the famous “Mountains of the Moon.” Another highlight is observing the intricate courtship and mating rituals of the stunning Kob antelope, and the playful antics of a colony of banded mongoose, cousins of the meerkats.

Wild Planet Adventures offers two ways to experience Mountain Gorillas in depth with their rare four hour habituation permit. Wild Planet’s 25th anniversary Insider’s Africa safari combines the seven day Uganda segment with a five day South Africa safari in the virtually unknown “green Kalahari”, an area south of the better-known Kalahari Desert that receives more rain. Here travelers will encounter habituated colonies of meerkats, along with Africa’s “Rare 5” including pangolin (scaly anteater), aardvark and aardwolf. The area is also prized for its sizeable populations of cheetah, rhinos, black-maned lions and more. The per person double rate for the 12-Day safari starts at $9,998. See: www.wildplanetadventures.com/destinations/?country=south-africa&trip=insiders-africa-meerkats-gorillas-africa-s-rare-5
Those who prefer just the Uganda segment can take advantage of a stand-alone 8 day safari featuring the four hour gorilla encounter. Per person rates start at $6,498. (See: Uganda Ultimate Gorilla & Chimp Safari)

For detailed itineraries, exciting wildlife photos and video galleries and booking information for tours worldwide, visit http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/, call 1-800-990-4376 or email trips@wildplanetadventures.com.

In April 2014 Wild Planet Adventures received its fifth “Worlds’ 50 Best Trips” award from the editors of National Geographic Traveler for its “On the Jaguar’s Trail; from the Pantanal to the Amazon” wildlife safari in Brazil. Previous National Geographic Traveler awards went to Wild Planet’s Thailand, India, Panama wildlife eco-tours and its ultimate African safari in Zambia. Wild Planet Adventures is also recognized by other top travel publications for its wildlife-focused itineraries in Africa, Borneo, Brazil, Costa Rica, Galapagos, India, Laos, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Thailand and Zambia.

 

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