Set on a stunning hillside on the Mendocino, California, coast overlooking the ocean, the luxury, all-vegan Stanford Inn prides itself on being committed to the highest ideal of sustainability and eco-tourism, not only for its own operations, but in sharing its knowledge and passion and inculcating the mindset and the means in its guests.
“Eco-tourism isn’t just choosing an exotic, threatened natural environment for your next vacation,” the inn declares. “It also means traveling in a way that protects and respects your destination, and improves your own well-being as well as that of the local community and the whole planet.”
Towards this end:
On-site certified organic gardens supplies the resort’s whole plant-based Ravens Restaurant, nationally acclaimed for gourmet vegan cuisine that focuses on whole plants rather than ersatz meats, cheeses or processed substitutes.
The Inn offers cooking classes, from beginner up, as well as on-site classes in organic gardening and farming.
The Inn shares its knowledge, experience and passion through its Environmental Leadership Field School, where it promotes a sustainable mindset that begins with understanding soil, gardening, food production and preparation.
The Inn works to reduce its carbon footprint, has vigorous composting and recycling programs, bio-diesel fueled trucks and providing guests access to nine EV charging stations.
The Inn only uses sustainable lumber, paints, cleaning supplies and other materials for the frequent upgrades made to the property.
The Stanford Inn founders, Joan and Jeff Stanford, moved to Mendocino in 1980, say, “…we were changed by the creative and healing energies of the land which is situated between the vast Pacific Ocean and the vibrant Big River. Since then, we have worked to assure our guests have an opportunity to experience what we experience: a special place that enlivens and inspires. The energies we experience here nurtured us and we reciprocate by nurturing not only our guests, but the people who work here, the farm and gardens and the Mendocino community. We approach the inn as a small family farm. We treat our guests as we do our family.”
The town of Taos, New Mexico has fewer than 7,000, is a UNESCO heritage site known for its culturally significant Taos pueblos and homes. Taos also has limitless outdoor recreation opportunities for curious and adventure loving families and on Earth Day, is showcasing its eco-friendly and sustainable attractions:
UNESCO world heritage sites and art museums- From the rich Native and Spanish cultures to the characters of the Old Wild West, Taos museums can also take you on a walk-through history. Taos Pueblos are a UNESCO heritage site and a sovereign Pueblo Indian community.
Earthship Tours – See sustainable homes built with bales of straw, old tires, bottles, and cans. An earth ship is an off-the-grid and self-sufficient home that is made from primarily natural and recycled materials like earth-rammed tires, cans, and bottles.
Casa Gallina is committed to being a good steward of the environment and does so through their sustainable practices such as conserving water through drip irrigation and the usage of acequias.
Taos Goji is an eco-lodge that has a strong emphasis on the full cycle of sustainability at their onsite farm. Goji’s fruit and vegetables are pesticide free and organically cultivated. Their water comes from deep wells, fed by mountain aquifers.
Seconds EcoStore is a retail store selling stylish recycled, solar powered and green gifts, featuring lots of local design. This store has seen an unfurling of adventurous recycled redesign and an evolution of new ideas birthed from the waste stream.
Moxie is a store that supports the local economy by purchasing locally and supporting nonprofit organizations.
Taos Acequia Association is committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Taos’s traditional agricultural community by protecting water rights, preserving, and strengthening the acequia system.
Taos Earthships is an off the grid community including more than 300 acres of land using solar and wind power exclusively. Each earthship is a self-sufficient dwelling built with natural and recycled materials with energy conservation in mind and some of the homes can be rented out by the night.
At a time when globetrotters are increasingly choosing eco-friendly trips in an effort to reduce their footprint on earth, Xanterra Travel Collection®, which operates many of the hospitality operations and concessions in and around the national parks, is making inroads to meet this imperative.
These include The Oasis at Death Valley, Glacier National Park Lodges, Cedar Creek Lodge, Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, The Grand Hotel at The Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park Lodges, and Zion National Park Lodge. Xanterra also owns and operates upscale biking (VBT Bicycling Vacations), walking (Country Walkers), a railway (Grand Canyon Railway), touring (Holiday Vacations), and cruising (Windstar Cruises) companies with itineraries on six continents.
That also brings a responsibility and an obligation to protect the environment while making bucket-list vacations a reality –whether that is riding a mule into the depths of the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch, climbing the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu, taking a small-ship cruise through the islands of French Polynesia, or cycling through the Italian countryside.
Here are some of the most innovative, groundbreaking, and just curious ways Xanterra’s travel properties help minimize their impact on the environment and support a cleaner, greener future.
When One Bad Apple Does Good: When do bad apples help our planet? When they’re fed to the famous mules in the Grand Canyon and come out as manure used by local nurseries and farmers. Since 2013, a mule named Vista along with 147 of its fellow park mules have feasted on 31 tons of shriveled apples and other food scraps such as melon rinds, broccoli stalks, and carrot peelings generated by Grand Canyon National Park Lodges restaurants. Not only does that keep the food waste out of landfills, but those hard-working mules also produce up to 2 million pounds of manure per year. Through Operation Shrively Apples, Xanterra has returned tons of food back to the earth by using their beasts of burden to lighten the load we put on our planet.
All Aboard the “French Fry Express”: Hop on the best — and most eco-friendly — way to arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park and help keep 50,000 to 70,000 cars outside of the park each year. Ride the Grand Canyon Railway from Williams, Ariz., on a scenic 65-mile 2.5-hour route across the Colorado Plateau to the edge of the canyon’s South Rim. But this train does more than just replace those polluting cars, thanks to French fry oil. The big steam engine #4960 turns 100 this year and runs on recycled waste vegetable oil collected from the Grand Canyon’s own restaurants, Instead of using coal or diesel fuel, each locomotive uses about 1,200 gallons of vegetable oil per round-trip journey, significantly reducing the C02 emissions compared to using ultra-low sulfur diesel.
In addition, the train harvests rainwater and snowmelt to operate its steam locomotives, taking advantage of a renewable water resource in this water-stressed area. As a result, it has reduced potable water consumption by more than 1 million gallons to date.
Old Presidents Under Bright Lights: Who better to preside over efforts to reduce greenhouse gases than great visionaries like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln? Just a few years ago, Xanterra built a 975-panel solar carport at Mount Rushmore under the watchful eyes of these past presidents. This structure now generates nearly half the electricity used by the restaurant and gift shop, while 54% comes from a nearby wind farm. Along with buying carbon offsets for the remaining emissions, Mount Rushmore is now a carbon neutral operation.
Sun and Water: The Oasis at Death Valley, a beautiful eco-resort in the middle of the 3.4 million-acre Death Valley National Park, has plenty of sun but not much water. So the property harnesses the power of one while carefully conserving the other. It generates reliable solar energy with the hospitality industry’s largest solar photovoltaic system. And because the park is the driest place in North America (averaging less than two inches of rainfall a year), the resort recycles the precious water from its own natural springs to feed two pools, water the golf course and gardens (planted with native drought-tolerant species), and eventually return it to nature’s watershed. Plus, it reduces the need to water the world’s lowest-elevation golf course by using natural dye on the dormant Bermuda grass in winter.
Pulling Carbon Out of the Big Sky: Feast on sustainably raised beef at the Yellowstone National Park Lodges restaurants and help support native grasslands in a first-of-its-kind project in the U.S. Xanterra helps four ranches outside the park participate in a 209,000-acre project to improve soil health, provide forage for cattle, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help reduce the effects of climate change. The project also offsets all the emissions from electricity used at the lodges while restoring a damaged ecosystem and improving biodiversity. All from regenerative ranching practices.
Starry, Starry Nights: Xanterra, along with the National Park Service, helps the stars at night shine big and bright in the Grand Canyon National Park. By reducing light pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, Xanterra preserves views of the dazzling night sky and protects nocturnal animals and ecosystems in the park. Because nearly 2,000 light fixtures have been replaced since 2013 — nearly half by Xanterra — the International Dark-Sky Association recognized Grand Canyon as the International Dark Sky Place of the Year in 2019.
Xanterra uses similar outdoor lighting best practices at The Oasis at Death Valley, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (which contains Glacier National Park), and Zion National Park, which helped them all become designated International Dark-Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.
Purple Pipe Majesties: Xanterra’s many national park operations boast some of the most inspiring scenery on Earth: stunning vistas, deep canyons, and desert peaks. But purple plumbing pipes? Yup, they’re used for reclaimed water, one of the key ways to reuse and conserve this precious resource in Grand Canyon National Park. Quite simply, reclaimed water is wastewater that is treated and reused for a variety of purposes, such as drip irrigation and toilet flushing in the lodges, such Grand Canyon’s Bright Angel Lodge. By reusing water rather than pumping it from the nearby springs or aquifer, the Grand Canyon lodges used about 3.6 million gallons of reclaimed water in 2021 and plan to switch another 3.9 million gallons a year from potable to reclaimed within the next two years.
Eat Your Greens While Going Green: When you eat at Xanterra’s 56 restaurants, you can expect food that not only tastes good but does good. That’s because the eateries strive for 70% of food and beverages to be sourced locally (within 500 miles) and sustainably, while reducing chemical additives, saving water, reducing transportation, protecting local ecosystems, treating animals humanely, and reducing waste. Locations such as Zion National Park and Mount Rushmore have even created on-site gardens to provide hyper-local produce and compost waste to enrich the soil and avoid synthetic fertilizers. In fact, in 2021 Xanterra composted 23.5% of its total food waste in five national parks, preventing 90% of it from heading to landfills in Zion alone. Meanwhile, at Glacier National Park, composted food waste nourishes the flower beds at Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel — a lovely example of beautifying the environment by preserving it.
What’s more, only 23 (out of 650) Certified Green Restaurants in North America hold the coveted, highest 4-star certification. And three of them are Xanterra-operated restaurants in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and Mount Rushmore (whose Carvers Café is the second greenest restaurant in North America according to the Green Restaurant Association) — thanks to on-site gardens, compostable tableware, water reduction, solar power, recycling, and more.
Using Suds for Suds: Instead of simply recycling empty beer bottles into pulverized glass, the Yellowstone National Park Lodges partner with Bayern Brewery in nearby Missoula, Mont., which washes, sanitizes, refills, re-labels, and puts them back into the supply chain. To date, the park has kept about 140,000 bottles in circulation. That’s about 30 tons of glass kept out of the landfill or recycling stream, which saves resources and energy — all by using sudsy water to refill bottles with suds.
The Big Stretch: In a case of bigger is better, three of Windstar’s small cruise ships were audaciously lengthened and re-powered to improve their environmental performance on the high seas. Star Breeze, Star Legend, and Star Pride were each cut in two to insert a new middle section, which features more-efficient and less-polluting propulsion and generator engines along with new cabins and restaurants. This increased the capacity on each ship from 212 to 312 passengers, reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by about 20% per-passenger nautical mile. The ventilation systems on the three ships were also upgraded to include HEPA filters and UV-C disinfecting lights to purify the air. Plus, onboard incinerators were removed to eliminate their air emissions. It was a stretch, but it was worth it.
Xanterra Travel Collection®, one of the oldest legacy travel companies in the US, tracing its roots back to the Fred Harvey Company founded in 1875, has long been committed to the preservation and protection of the environment by providing legendary hospitality with a softer footprint. From reducing pollution and conserving water to transitioning to renewable energy and fighting climate change, it has been honored with 42 green awards or certifications.
EF Go Ahead Tours believes travel is a powerful way to foster understanding and respect for the people, cultures, and places of the world. From protecting and promoting animal welfare to more sustainable tourism practices and support for local communities, EF Responsible Tourism Initiatives work toward a more sustainable world and fulfill its mission of opening the world through education.
South Africa: Cultural Cities & Wildlife Safaris (NEWLY OPENED):A 17-day tour of spectacular scenery, cities, and amazing wildlife sightings are a given. This tour integrates education via living history walking tours of apartheid to world animal protection initiatives within some of the world’s most endangered populations. There’s learning in pleasure too! After a long day of touring, let the unique ecology of the region and its botanicals, tease your palate with a Gin workshop and tasting. Who knew flora played such a critical role in creating fine gin!
Costa Rica: Rainforests, Volcanoes & Wildlife: A 9-day tour of this majestic land that is leading the world on sustainable travel practices with meaningful education highlights that encompass all aspects of land and sea. Visit and eat on a carbon neutral ranch, work with endangered toucans and owls and see first hand how sea turtles bear the brunt of environmental challenges.
Thailand Adventure: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & the Islands and Thailand: The Golden Kingdom: Two ways to see Thailand through the eyes of its most beloved treasures — elephants and ancient farming practices. A pioneer in World Animal Protection, the Changchill Elephant Sanctuary allows visitors to prepare medicine and food for the elephants and chat with the mahouts, or elephant caretakers, and enjoy an included vegetarian meal overlooking the elephants’ natural bathing spot. These itineraries also include a visit to the Thai Organic Farm & The Sampram Model Movement, which originally started an organic farm to grow produce for hotel and restaurant guests. They saw the impact that organic produce had on their family and guest’s overall wellness and wanted to extend those benefits to the entire community. In 2010, they gathered local organic farmers and created The Sampran Model Movement, which connects farmers with the same values and encourages them to grow organically, which then provides consumers with more organic produce at a fair market price.
Greece, the Balkans & Croatia: From Athens to Dubrovnik, spend 17 days exploring mountains to sea and the rich history of Greek and Adriatic nations. Visit Lake Ohrid, Europe’s oldest and most biodiverse lake for an expert-led talk on conservation efforts there to preserve the local biodiversity, threatened by unregulated development and poor waste facilities in the region, and preservation of archaeological sites like the Bay of Bones. Tease your palate with farm-to-table experiences in North Macedonia, Albania and Croatia; then compare notes later. From vegetables, to honey, to wine to oyster farms, learn how this part of the world is pioneering sustainable food practices through tourism.
India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur: Not only does this trip hit the “Golden Triangle” and include must-sees like the Taj Mahal, living history via the Gandhi Museum, and Qutub Minar, an early Islamic tower; but you will start one morning off with the time-honored ritual of yoga. Finally, one whole day is spent with the Dhonk Craft workshop, to learn about socially responsible enterprise and anti-poaching initiatives aimed to protect tigers.
A Week in Belize: Ruins, Reefs & Rainforests:9 days in Belize is like a mini trip around the world and equally beckons beachgoers, history buffs and nature lovers! Home to the world’s healthiest barrier reefs, archaeological sites once at the center of Mayan civilization and a lush rainforest. Go Ahead Tours’ travelers snorkel side-by-side with a marine biologist who will explain the Mesoamerican — the Western Hemisphere’s longest reef — ecosystem. Swim among beautiful animals and learn how to protect them better in Belize and at home.
Ireland: A Feast of Culinary Flavors & Local Traditions:Start in Dublin, go clockwise through lush Irish scenery and culture ending in Galway. A country steeped in tradition, the Irish food scene has evolved significantly from Granny’s pot roast and potatoes. Whisky distilleries, pints of good beer are requisite, of course. Timeless, yet current? Work on a farm to learn how one modern family is implementing ancient farming techniques so that all animals, plants and water on the farm work together for a truly sustainable practice.
Israel: Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea & Jerusalem: Holy Land for three world religions and home of the infamous Dead Sea are what you’d expect in a tour to Israel. EF Go Ahead’s tour digs deep into the exploding food scene in Israel with memorable meals. Also, eat lunch with a Kibbutz and then spend a day with an Olive Oil farm, Sindyanna of Galilee, a female-led non-profit, which is a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. A large part of their mission is to connect Arab farmers with the Israeli market, specifically by introducing modernization techniques like climate resistance crops and forming cooperative relationships between Jewish and Arab producers.
Grand Tour of Peru: Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca: From city to sacred mountains to indiginous floating islands on a lake, this tour marries ancient footsteps with modern wonders. Sink into Spain’s colonial influences in Lima, then travel back to ancient Inca learnings in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. New for 2021, travelers will meet members of the Inka Roots Experiential Tourism Association for a walk to Raqchi Village. Inka Roots is a tourism cooperative intended for a balance between environmental care, income generation for locals, and fostering respect for local traditions.
Tanzania Wildlife Safari:Sure, you’d expect to see the “Big 5” on Safari in Tanzania. And you will: 12 days exploring the Tarangire, the legendary Serengeti and the “Garden of Eden ” at Ngorongoro Crater. However, this tour goes beyond the obvious! After visiting the Nunqwi village, you will visit the Mnari Aquarium, which is a sea turtle conservatory run by a community group.
In addition, a brand new tour from EF called Ghana: A Cultural Adventureis designed to promote animal welfare, support and give back to local communities, and sustain the planet.This brand-new tour is rich with cultural immersion, education, history and sustainability. Highlights include learning about how Ghana started the wave of independence across Africa, visiting Trashy Bags, a factory that pays locals to collect and wash single-use plastics to be turned into resalable products, and a visit to Global Mamas, a wholesale seller of fair-trade products produced across Ghana helping Ghanaian women gain economic independence by connecting them to global markets.
NEW YORK — The decades-long effort to protect the Galapagos Islands realized an important milestone on January 14, 2022 when Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso signed a decree to conserve more than 23,000 square miles of ocean around the Galápagos Islands and beyond.
The new Hermandad Marine Reserve expands the current Galapagos Marine Reserve by almost 50 percent and extends northwest to the Costa Rican maritime border. This swath of ocean will safeguard a migratory corridor known as the Cocos-Galápagos Swimway, which is used by sea turtles, sharks, whales, rays, and many other marine species.
Lindblad Expeditions has had an enduring connection to the islands, ever since Lars-Eric Lindblad brought the first citizen explorers to the archipelago and funded the very first Galapagos Park Rangers. Lindblad’s founder and Co-Chair of the Board, Sven Lindblad, who first visited the Galapagos Islands in 1967 as a 17-year-old, was honored to witness this historic moment alongside Gustavo Manrique, Ecuador’s Minister of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition; President Ivan Duque of Colombia; former President Bill Clinton; Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, and other dignitaries.
Following the ceremony, Sven Lindblad noted, “This is a really valuable and important step for marine protection…And hopefully these extensions will only get larger and larger over time. It’s been a tremendous joy. People have come from all over the world to celebrate what Galapagos has done. These islands are a jewel of our planet.”
See Video of the Signing of the Marine Reserve Decree
Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.
Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021.
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/
2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry. https://aquariustrail.com/
3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/
4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/
5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/
6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/
7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/
8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/
9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/
(Quito, Ecuador) — Sacha Lodge, a wildlife lodge on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is offering 25% off all 2021 tours booked by June 30, 2021. A haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers, Sacha Lodge features luxurious accommodations, first-class meals, and expert native guides. A 4-day/3-night tour starts at $1,390 per person double before the discount is applied. Airfare is not included.
One of Sacha Lodge’s many highlights is a wildlife observation tower suspended 135-feet in the air on the highest branches of a giant kapok tree. Another main attraction, and the only one like it in all of South America, is a 940-foot-long canopy walkway suspended 94 feet above the ground. Both offer an astounding opportunity to spot dozens of animals and epiphytes seldom seen from the ground. New for 2021, the exploration crane is a spectacular feat of engineering offering a unique perspective of the canopy treetops. A metal basket is suspended on a 135-foot boom which moves up, down, forwards, and backwards as well as rotating 360 degrees, which allows guests to get close to the monkeys, sloths, toucans, and macaws of the lush Amazon jungle.
The variety of fauna around Sacha Lodge is astounding, with up to 60 species of mammals including monkeys, marmosets, anteaters, and sloths. A variety of lizards and snakes can also be found along the trails, including boas, vine snakes and even the giant anaconda. Birding at Sacha Lodge is something to behold too, with almost 600 species (that’s a staggering 7% of the species found in the entire world). On a normal day, it is common to see parrots, toucans, hummingbirds, tanagers, hawks and oropendolas.
Ideal for families, the new Lake Pool is the only one of its kind in the Amazon region. Protected by a mesh cage, the plunge pool allows guests to cool off and relax in the black shallows of Lake Pilchicocha, without the fear of encountering the unknown. It is not uncommon to spot caiman and giant otters swimming on the other side of the net. Piranha fishing is another activity not to be missed.
Each of the 26 cabins, with high thatched roofs and private shaded terraces, is constructed with traditional materials and well concealed in the lush surroundings. From the private rooms, visitors may overlook the jungle from hammocks and often report seeing wild fauna such as anacondas or capybara (the largest rodents in the world) while resting between activities. Electricity is provided 24 hours a day and the private bathrooms provide hot showers. All cabins are screened against insects and have air conditioning.
Guests may use free time to hang out at the main bar and lounge, which offers a scenic view of Pilchicocha Lake and excellent opportunities to bird watch. Meals are prepared to please the international traveler, and vegetarians are more than welcome.
Given the effects of COVID-19, Sacha Lodge will have a capacity reduced to 50%. That is a maximum capacity of 26 people during social distancing, on the recommendation of the Ecuadorian National Service for Risk and Emergency Management (COE). During social distancing protocols, private guides as well as private paddling canoes will be provided for all groups at no additional charge. Maximum of six people in each group. QR codes will be used to provide information on services and activities to reduce the use and delivery of printed material. Prior to opening, all employees will be tested for COVID-19 to increase the safety of staff and guests. All staff will receive protective equipment and ongoing safety and wellness training.
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 Facebook, Instagram, 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 Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
(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
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
What’s Included in the Tanzania Camping Safari Ecotour:
All accommodations and equipment (4 nights at hotel, 5
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
All activities and excursions, including safaris and guided
andBeyond, a leading luxury experiential travel company, has launched philanthropic-focused itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa to give guests a first-hand look at its core ethos of caring for the land, wildlife, and people. The activities range from adopting an elephant at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Kenya to participating in local school conservation lessons in Tanzania to visiting the Grootbos Green Futures College in Cape Town, an organization that provides educational training to unemployed young adults in the city.
Tanzania: Travelers on andBeyond’s 9-day Travel with Purpose in Tanzania tour start the adventure off in Arusha before heading to andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge to explore the Mayoka and Moya communities by bike, and the new science labs at Kilimamoja School, funded by the Africa Foundation. The excursion continues to andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, perched above the edge of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, before ending at andBeyond Klein’s Camp on the Serengeti. Here, travelers will visit Ololosokwan Clinic, primary school, and Meirowa School, and can join a group of school children on a game drive and conservation lesson.
Kenya: andBeyond’s new Travel with Purpose in Kenya 12-day itinerary weaves travelers through the Kuku Group Ranch at the foot of the Chyulu Hills in Nairobi, Lewa Downs Conservancy in Laikipia, and the Masai Mara to learn about and engage in various conservation projects. Highlights include a private visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi to adopt an elephant, feeding giraffes at the Giraffe Centre, and a Maasai community visit led by the African Foundation Program Manager, in which travelers can interact with a Maasai family and visit a traditional boma.
South Africa: andBeyond’s Travel with Purpose in South Africa journey is a 10-day excursion spanning from andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to Cape Town to the Cape Whale Coast. At andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, travelers take an excursion with Africa Foundation to visit projects in the Mduku and Mngobokazi communities, and assist in an exclusive rhino notching experience. Travelers then head to Cape Town for a half-day tour of Uthando, a non-profit that supports various community projects (day care, urban agriculture, environmental, and youth development programs), followed by a half-day tour of the city to explore Table Mountain, Greenmarket Square, and Company Gardens. The tour continues on to the Cape Whale Coast (known for its prime whale watching location), where travelers will have the option to explore the Grootbos’s Green Futures College or the Siyakhula Organic Farm, visit the African Seabird and Penguin Sanctuary, and of course enjoy a whale watching excursion.
In addition to these opportunities for travelers to engage in voluntourism, andBeyond offers Small Group Journeys affording the opportunity to explore Africa, Asia’s and South America’s extraordinary landscapes in the company of an intimate group of like-minded safari enthusiasts, on a set itinerary. The newest is Land Rover Expeditions around Patagonia Lakes, and another around Chile/Argentina Wine & Country. Snow Leopard Expeditions (India) is on many travelers’ bucket lists and Botswana Mobile Camping Expeditions is THE way to see Botswana for the adventurous.
Also, andBeyond owns and operates lodges and camps in Africa. New lodges opening in 2018 include Bateleur Camp in Kenya, Tengile River Lodge in South Africa, Phinda Homestead in South Africa, Phinda Vlei also in South Africa.
Guests travelling to &Beyond lodges in Africa can take advantage of “Fly Me” offers where the entire package price, including flights, is known; others who build an itinerary lodge by lodge, can benefit from long stay discounts. And for couples who have recently celebrated their nuptials, there is a Honeymoon Offer where a partner only pays 50%.
Asia travelers also can take advantage of long stay and “Fly Me” offers on some Indian itineraries, showcasing the best of the region at great deals.
Established in 1991, 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. andBeyond also owns and operate 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in Africa’s iconic safari and island destinations. In addition, andBeyond operates small group, set-departure expeditions throughout Africa and Asia. This enables us to positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land and 2,000 kilometres of coastline.