Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp, Tanzania

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The Serengeti Migration Camp is located along the Grumeti River in the Serengeti National Park.  During the Annual Migration hundreds of thousands of animals make their way through the Serengeti and across the Grumeti River.  Even if you miss the great migration there are still plenty of animals around the camp at all times (the resident hippos are there year round and can be heard snorting at all hours of the day).

The Manor at Ngorongoro, Tanzania

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The Manor at Nogorongoro is not your traditional safari lodge. Located on a 1500 acre coffee estate it hearkens back to a graceful country home in the Cape Dutch style.  Its 10 luxurious cottages and magnificent Manor House provide an old-world experience filled with casual elegance. Just a short distance from the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara you can enjoy game drives in the morning and then return for horseback riding, a relaxing massage or just simply sit in the library and enjoy a soothing afternoon drink.

Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tanzania

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The first stop on our trip to east Africa, the Arusha Coffee Lodge in Tanzania.  A part of the Elewana Collection of properties, the Arusha Coffee Lodge is located on a working coffee plantation on the outskirts of Arusha.  Touring the lodge, seeing the coffee fields and getting a first hand look at the roasting and brewing process is a given while here.

While there we were also lucky enough to get to visit The Plaster House, a wonderful facility where children come to recover after corrective surgery. If you get a chance, please visit their website and check out the amazing work they do.

Help save an African Icon: 100 Rhino Translocation Project

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Photo credit: Rhinos without Borders

South Africa’s Rhinos are being killed by poachers at an alarming rate, 1 every 9 hours. &Beyond, a leader in luxury experiential travel and safaris, has partnered with others in the travel industry to translocate up to a hundred Rhinos to neighbouring Botswana.

Photo credit: thedodo.com

I join them in putting out the call to others in the travel industry, and anyone concerned about saving these amazing animals — 8 million dollars is required to help relocate rhino from existing populations and release them into the wild in Botswana (the country with the best anti-poaching record in Africa).

Photo credit: andbeyond.com

It sounds like a lot of money (actually, it is a lot of money), but no price can be put on saving the Rhino from extinction.  Please consider making a tax deductable donation to one of the following organizations:

Africa Foundation

Rhinos Without Borders via Causes.com

Rhinos Without Borders via Trevolta

Rhinos Without Borders Donor and Sponsorship Packages

Read more about Rhinos Without Borders: http://cdn1.buuteeq.com/upload/18138/rhinoswithoutborders.pdf

Buy an “Ever Seen a Rhino Fly” limited edition tee from Float.com (they’ll only be on sale for one week so HURRY) 

Follow Rhinos Without Borders on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube spread the word!

Madrid, Spain

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Another quick stop, but well worth it.  Madrid is vibrant, clean and apparently the people here never sleep. The Palacio De Tepa Hotel was beautiful and the location was ideal for walking around the city.  The Plaza Mayor (home to street performers, musicians, shops and restaurants), Cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena, Retiro Park, Royal Palace, La Puerta del Sol, the Gran Via, Puerta de Alcalá, Prado Museum were all an easy stroll from our front door.

Side note: Spaniards love ham. It’s everywhere. You can’t get away from it.  If you have an aversion to pork products this probably isn’t the city for you.

Istanbul, Turkey

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Istanbul, great city!

The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul has been the capital of four Empires and has become one of the most significant cities in history. Today the ancient and modern come together to form one of the most vibrant and intriguing places on earth.

Stayed at the Hotel Georges, a little hard to find (and not the easiest to get to) but well worth it. Perfect location – within walking distance to Galata Tower, Taksim Square,  and Istiklal Street. The Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque), and Grand Bazaar are a must see. There’s so much history here that you could easily spend weeks exploring the city.  Sadly, I only had a few days — I’ll definitely be back.

Note: Make sure to eat the street food! Couldn’t get enough…

(If you love animals, make sure to check out this post: The Street Pets of Istanbul)

 

Leopard Hills Private Game Reserve, South Africa

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Leopard Hills is a Private Game Reserve located within the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. It was the perfect way to finish off our stay in South Africa — we were finally able to see a pack of Wild Dogs (endangered and fairly elusive) and a pair of Cheetah. A great ending to an amazing trip!

Leopard Hills

 

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