WORLDWOMENWORK SAFARI TO ZAMBIA & BOTSWANA
AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 7, 2017
WorldWomenWork Adventures | 505-577-3802 | firstname.lastname@example.org
It is with great excitement that I ask you to accompany me on this most magical safari. WWW and Africa Calls have joined forces to design an absolutely unforgettable experience. We will see Africa in a most intimate way. I look forward to hearing from you.
Nothing can really prepare you for Africa. It is too full of extremes and contrasts, too immense…….a spectrum of creation so much wider and more vivid than anywhere else that it seems to require a new set of senses, or the rediscovery of the lost ones. Also, if you live as close to the animals and nature as we did, the unconscious is stirred at levels deeper than anything “remembered”: You are returned to times and experiences to which we have lost all other access. Evelyn Ames, Glimpse of Eden
AUGUST 23 Wednesday * LUSAKA, ZAMBIA
Today we will arrive into Lusaka, Zambia. On arrival we will be met by a representative from Tours Africa who will assist us with entrance formalities into the country. Their driver will then transfer us to the delightful boutique hotel, Latitude 15. (Driving time is about 30 minutes, traffic depending.)
Designed by travelers for travelers, Latitude 15 is a marriage of the best that Zambia has to offer. From works of the country's finest artists and locally sourced furnishings, handmade crafts woven into the decor, to the grown-to-order organic parsnips, everything from the architecture to the appetizers is a distillate of Zambian homegrown with an international twist.
Our group is booked at The Latitude 15 for one night on a bed & breakfast basis.
AUGUST 24 Thursday * MFUWE LODGE, SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK
Today we will return to Lusaka Airport with Tours Africa who will assist us to a private King Air charter to Mfuwe Airport scheduled to depart at 10AM. (Flying time is approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.) On arrival we will be met by a representative from The Bushcamp Company and driven to Mfuwe Lodge, situated on one of the most beautiful lagoons of the Luangwa River just inside the South Luangwa National Park. The drive to the lodge takes about 45 minutes.
En route from Mfuwe Airport we may stop at Tribal Textiles, a cooperative of local artisans who create hand painted textiles in both traditional and contemporary designs, drawing inspiration from the stunning Zambian wildlife and surroundings. Each piece is drawn and painted by local women and men in a rich palette of hand-mixed colors, providing jobs in an area where employment is scarce. From its humble beginnings set up under a mango tree 25 years ago, today Tribal textiles are exported to over 20 countries worldwide. WorldWomenWork has been supporting Tribal creations for 15 years which includes table and bed linens, cushion covers, wallhangings, a range of children’s items, and a selection of t-shirts, bags and accessories.
We will meet the artisans, observe the creative processes, and visit the factory showroom where an opportunity to purchase items is available.
A picnic lunch will be arranged for us to enjoy in the garden at Tribal Textiles before we continue on to Mfuwe Lodge.
The South Luangwa National Park is a magnificent park that ranks among the finest in Africa and hosts a wide variety of mammals and over 400 species of birds within its 3500 square miles. Its boundary is the meandering Luangwa River whose network of scenic lagoons and superb riverine trees create a landscape of exceptional beauty that has made the Park famous.
The unspoiled nature of Luangwa and its spectacular wildlife are idyllic for visitors - those seeking nature at its best. The South Luangwa National Park is a natural utopia and one of Africa’s truly great wildlife sanctuaries. The Luangwa Valley has been called the Last Kingdom of the Elephants and indeed here one of the most memorable sights is that of elephants gathered at dusk or dawn, tentatively testing the air before venturing across the river, sometimes in groups of over 100 strong.
The Luangwa is one of the few national parks in Africa offering night drives in search of nocturnal creatures, especially the elusive leopard that is often found, along with lions on the hunt, and intriguing interaction among the nocturnal predators and prey.
Mfuwe Lodge consists of 18 luxury rooms, all with wonderful
views over two different lagoons where wildlife is always present. The main dining and lounge areas are open and airy, and there is also a large infinity swimming pool for cooling off in the heat of the day.
Accommodation at Mfuwe Lodge is spacious and comfortable. Each room has a lovely deck that faces over a waterhole where game is often in view, especially at this time of the year. All rooms have a large en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, and overhead fans to keep cool.
The Lodge features a spa situated overlooking the lagoon with its resident herd of hippo. On offer is a full range of rejuvenating treatments after the long flights where you may enjoy a massage while listening to the wonderful chorus of hippos and fish eagles nearby.
Our group is booked at Mfuwe Lodge for one night on a fully inclusive basis. All bar is additional and payable direct.
The following is a list of some of the many community and conservation initiatives that have been undertaken by the Bushcamp Company in the Mfuwe area since 2000 when the company was founded.
Chiwawatala & Mfuwe Primary and Secondary Day School
- Education funded for more than 350 primary and secondary students.
- <Classrooms, dormitories, teachers housing and ablution blocks have been constructed.
- School lunch program that feeds 2050 children every school day.
- Wildlife excursions into the national park.
- Girl empowerment “educate a girl and you educate the community”.
CLEAN WATER INITIATIVE
- To date 42 boreholes have been drilled in local communities, bringing life changing benefit of clean water to thousands of local villagers.
CONSERVATION SOUTH LUANGWA & ZAMBIAN CARNIVORE PROGRAM
A non-profit community based organization committed to the conservation and preservation of the local wildlife and natural resources in Luangwa.
- Aircraft and vehicle for anti-poaching, game counts, radio tracking and anti-snaring campaign.
- Support for Canine Detection Unit to intercept and arrest poachers trafficking in illegal wildlife products, especially ivory and bush meat.
The “street scene” and markets along the main road into and out of the national park offers a great photographic experience!
During our stay at Mfuwe Lodge we will be treated to SEKA, the local theater group in Mfuwe, who perform Kusanga. SEKA stands for "Sensitization and Education through Kunda Arts", and is a collective of artists who create participatory theater to educate communities on various important social and environmental issues.
AUGUST 25 Friday * KUYENDA BUSHCAMP
This morning there will be a choice of a game drive or an additional community activity followed by brunch at Mfuwe Lodge. Afterwards we will set out on a game drive south to Kuyenda Bushcamp, located in a particularly scenic area of open savannah grasslands and beautiful palm groves in the southern part of the park.
The Bushcamp Company is the only safari operator in the southern section of the park. As a result, they pride themselves on the intimate nature of their small, exclusive bushcamps, each one situated in breathtaking and remote locations, far from other camps and tourists. The camps are designed primarily for walking safaris, but game viewing activities are totally flexible, with both walks and drives in open vehicles available as well as night drives.
Kuyenda Bushcamp is situated on a dry sand river tributary of the Luangwa, and close to permanent springs nearby which ensures fantastic game viewing. The Chindeni Hills are a prominent feature of the landscape in the near distance. A variety of species is often in view on the open plain that spreads in front of camp and wanders through on a regular basis.... large herds of buffalo, prides of lion, family groups of elephant, giraffe, and leopard among many others.
Accommodation is in rustic, yet very comfortable cottages made of grass, reeds and thatch, each with private en-suite open-air bathroom and hot showers and flush toilets.
Furniture is handcrafted of Malawi hardwoods, and the beds have comfortable thick mattresses, good quality linens, and large walk-in mosquito nets.
This charming and intimate bush camp is operated by Phil Berry and Babette Alfieri and caters to a maximum of eight people. Phil is one of Southern Africa's finest and most respected naturalists with a long career in wildlife and National Parks. His particular interests are the endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe and the leopard, for which he is a recognized authority.
Activities at Kuyenda are totally flexible, with both walks and drives in open vehicles available.
Suzyo Zimba will be our guide while we are at Kuyenda. He has had a burning interest in wildlife since he was 8 years old and joined the local chapter of the Chongololo Club, run by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia. He has been entirely self-taught ever since, motivated by his unwavering quest for an understanding of all aspects of the natural world. Today his wealth of knowledge has made him a favorite guide of Kuyenda’s guests.
Meals can be enjoyed in the main dining and lounge area or open air on the grassy plain nearby to camp. Sometimes guests are lucky enough to have visitors!!
Singer up close to giraffe on a walking safari in 2008
Our group will stay at Kuyenda for three nights, on a fully inclusive basis with exclusive use of camp.
AUGUST 28 Monday * BILIMUNGWE BUSHCAMP
This morning we will set out on foot for a partial walk to Bilimungwe Bushcamp. The distance is too far for a morning walk so we will stop half way and then be driven on to camp once conditions are too warm. Scenery along the way is stunning with the Luangwa River and Chindeni Hills in view most of the route.
Bilimungwe's four raised thatched rooms have been carefully designed to ensure the height of comfort while still retaining that authentic bushcamp feel. The tangle of mature mahogany trees that surround camp are echoed in the rich, wood interiors and the beautiful wooden furniture, handmade by local artisans. Bright African textiles bring splashes of color to the lovely rooms.
The chalets are spacious and elegant with en-suite open-air waterfall hot showers and flush toilets.
Bilimungwe blends seamlessly with its surroundings and offers unrivaled wildlife viewings.
Activities consist of day & afternoon into night drives in open vehicles in addition to walking safaris. Elephant often frequent the lagoon in front of the dining area and lounge deck at Bilimungwe.
The open waters of the nearby Luangwa River offer a spectacular display of birds and animals that clearly feel as comfortable here as guests do.
Our group will stay at Bilimungwe for three nights on a fully inclusive basis with exclusive use of camp.
AUGUST 31 Thursday * SINDABEZI, ZAMBIAN SIDE OF VICTORIA FALLS
This morning we will be transferred the short 8 kilometer drive to Kapamba Airstrip for our private King Air charter direct to Livingstone scheduled to depart at 10AM. (Flying time is approximately 2 hours.)
On arrival at 12PM we will be met by a representative from Tongabezi who will transfer us by vehicle to the lodge (about a 20 minute drive). After checking in there, we will be transferred by boat to their intimate island camp, Sindabezi in the middle of the Zambezi overlooking other islands and a nearby floodplain of the Victoria Falls National Park. (This is approximately a 20 minute boat ride from Tongabezi.) We will arrive in time for lunch at Sindabezi.
Victoria Falls is recognized as one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Victoria Falls is actually a series of seven waterfalls that occur where the powerful Zambezi River plunges down a series of basalt gorges in a breathtaking mile-wide display. Mist from the waterfalls can be seen up to 30 miles away and the thundering roar can be heard long before the falls can be seen. The spray from the water is responsible for sustaining the "rainforest" opposite the falls. When the river is in full flood the falls become the largest curtain of falling water in the world with up to 130 million gallons of water a minute crashing into the Batoka Gorge below.
Sindabezi is unique, being the only island camp on the Upper Zambezi River in the Victoria Falls area.
The possibility to experience elephant next to your room, hippo on your doorstep, and awake to the dawn chorus offers possibly the best wildlife experience in the Victoria Falls region. Designed for a maximum of only ten guests, Sindabezi has been recently completely refurbished. The five chalets are open-faced and built from local timber, reed and thatch, each with spectacular private views over the Zambezi.
We are booked at Sindabezi for one night on a fully inclusive basis with exclusive use of camp.
SEPTEMBER 1 Friday * OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA
This morning after breakfast at 9AM we will be transferred by boat and vehicle to Livingstone Airport for our private charter flight in a Caravan to Maun, Botswana. We are scheduled to depart at 11AM. (Flying time is approximately 1 hour 25 minutes, not including our stop in Kasane, Botswana for entry formalities into the country.) Tongabezi will arrange a packed lunch for us to bring along.
Maun is known as the gateway to the Okavango Delta, a unique World Heritage Site. It is only a short drive to the north of this frontier town where the waters of this wondrous world exist, covering an area of almost 7000 square miles during the high floods.
Thousands of palm fringed islands are surrounded by seasonal floodplains. Elephants cross these floodplains leaving clear paths for us to follow as we explore on foot this stunningly beautiful area from our private camp. When the flood waters have receded we can walk from island to island but at times of flooding we will use the Bayei’s traditional way of traversing the Delta in a mokoro (dug-out canoe) which keeps the islands accessible to us.
On arrival in Maun we will be met by David Foot, Founder and Owner of Ride Botswana, who will take us on a thrilling six day walking safari through the Okavango Delta and Selinda Reserve.
Born and raised in Africa, David Foot has lived and worked in some of Africa’s greatest wildlife areas; Kafue and South Luangwa in Zambia, Matusadona and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe, and then for 15 years in the Nyika National Park in Malawi. Botswana is now home where he is able to combine his love of horses and walking safaris with the African wilderness and his family. Bird watching is also one of David’s passions, so be prepared with a good pair of binoculars!
From the airport we will be transferred by vehicle (about 30 minutes) to our Fixed Mobile Camp.
We will spend three nights on a fully inclusive basis.
Our temporary camp is simple as it is entirely transported in by mokoros, but extremely comfortable and sited on the edge of an island overlooking a river channel with the grunting of hippos and tinkling of reed frogs providing a nightly chorus. Accommodation is in dome tents with separate bucket showers and “long drop loos” just adjacent to each tent.
Robyn and David Foot on mobile riding safari with dome tents we will be using in the Okavango After we have settled into camp this afternoon we have a safety briefing before going on a short evening walk.
SEPTEMBER 2 Saturday * WALKING SAFARIS IN THE DELTA
We may have been kept awake at night by the sound of elephants feeding around our tents or lions calling as they patrol their territory but days on safari must still start early while the day is cool.
The water, floodplains and the islands of the Okavango Delta are a haven for wildlife.
We will enjoy a morning walk today in search of elephants that may be swimming in the deep channels, herds of red lechwe tripping through the shallow waters, glimpses of predators trying to stay hidden and brilliant birdlife everywhere. When the day heats up we will return to the shade of the camp or find a natural, crystal clear pool to have a refreshing swim. In the early evening we will venture out again and marvel at the solitude and the extraordinary light across this stunning landscape as the sun sinks below the horizon.
SEPTEMBER 3 Sunday * WALKING SAFARIS IN THE DELTA
Today we have the freedom to head in any direction that takes our fancy. On safari it is important to be flexible and to allow our days to be dictated by the movement of the game rather than the time.
Perhaps we will have heard the sawing rasp of a leopard at night and we may spend the morning searching for this most elusive of cats. Or head to the nearby hippo pools to sit quietly and be entertained by their constant antics. Back in camp after dark the incredible night sky will light up our camp fire stories.
SEPTEMBER 4 Monday * SELINDA EXPLORER’S CAMP, LINYANTI
Today, after breakfast, a 45 minute flight takes us onto the Selinda Reserve. During our drive from the Selinda airstrip to Selinda Explorers Camp we will begin to feel the true wildness of this remote part of Botswana.
Selinda Explorers Camp is situated on a bend of the Selinda Spillway, a remote waterway meandering through northern Botswana and attracting huge herds of elephant and buffalo, which come to slake their thirst and wallow in the refreshing waters. This prime location is deep within rich wildlife territory.
This simple, yet elegant, camp is one of David’s favorite permanent camps in Botswana as it blends comfort with a raw edge. It is the perfect camp to safari from on foot and by canoe as roads are few and far between. The waters of the Spillway provide a lifeline for the wildlife.
The Selinda Reserve is home to over 12,000 elephants during the dry season attracted by the water of the Spillway as well as a high predator concentration with three different packs of wild dog known to den there.
At Selinda Explorers we will find some of the more unusual antelope species for Botswana such as the magnificent sable and the rare roan antelopes. There are resident prides of lion and nocturnal wildlife is prolific with frequent sightings of aardwolf and civet. Several award winning wildlife documentaries have been filmed in this area as well, in particular about the interaction of lions, hyenas, and elephants.
During our stay the emphasis will be on walking and canoeing, however we will also have two vehicles available to our group.
Activities will be determined by the water levels of the Spillway when we are there. Downstream we may find something that attracts our attention and gets us out of the canoes and back on foot.
Perhaps the early call of a Giant Eagle Owl or the alarm call of an impala herd as the day draws to and end and leopards start to move.
During the heat of the day we will siesta at our lovely camp which our group will have on an exclusive basis. In the afternoons we will head out once it starts to cool down; perhaps we will opt to jump in a canoe and paddle downstream passing a rich tapestry of water birds, always on the lookout for the hippos who love to call the Spillway their home.
We will spend three nights at Selinda Explorers Camp on a fully inclusive basis.
SEPTEMBER 7 Thursday * EN-ROUTE TO USA
Today we will depart Selinda Explorers Camp by charter flight in a Caravan back to Maun.
(Flying time is approximately 50 minutes.) In Maun we will connect with our outbound flights to Johannesburg. From here, optional extensions to Elephant Watch in Kenya, or perhaps to Cape Town, which will be in the full bloom of spring at this time, are possible.
TOTAL NIGHTS IN AFRICA: 15
SAFARI PRICE PER PERSON: $15,740
Based on 8 people traveling in shared accommodation
INCLUDED IN SAFARI PRICE: All accommodation on a fully inclusive basis except at Latitude 15 where bed & breakfast only; bar throughout, except at Latitude 15 and Mfuwe Lodge where payable direct; some premium wines and champagnes plus premium liquors and spirits may be additional at some of the camps; all private and scheduled charter flights within Zambia and Botswana as detailed in this itinerary, where luggage is strictly limited;*** all airport & road transfers; meet and greets and assists as detailed in this itinerary and on a private basis; all game viewing activities and guiding services; VAT; all national park fees, conservation and community fund fees and levies; laundry at all safari camps.
***Please note that luggage is strictly limited to the above mentioned weight, which includes all camera bags and carry on pieces in soft-sided bags. This is enforced purely for safety reasons. Should your luggage weigh more than the allotted per person amount please call our office so that we can discuss alternative options with you.
NOT INCLUDED IN SAFARI PRICE: $1000 per person tax deductible donation to WorldWomenWork to be used for project picked by group; transatlantic flights to Lusaka, Zambia and from Maun, Botswana; any new or increased government taxes or fees; gratuities to staff and guides; any meals, bar, spa treatments, activities or excursions not specified; laundry not mentioned above; national park fees subject to change at any time; visa fees subject to change at any time (detailed below); domestic and international departure taxes; any changes to itinerary enroute; items of a personal nature; trip cancellation and interruption insurance.
VISA FEES & AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAXES REQUIRED FOR THIS ITINERARY:
Aug 23 ~ US$50 cash per person for a single entry visa into Zambia (Lusaka Airport).
TIPPING RECOMMENDATIONS: Although tipping is never required, it is greatly appreciated.
If you would like to leave something behind at the places you visit, a good guideline would be to allocate $5-$10 per traveler per day for safari camp staff, and $10-20 or more per traveler per day for your guide. Hotels and Guesthouses are excluded from this where you need only consider porters, maid service and the concierge/butler, at your own discretion. US dollars are accepted everywhere.
Please ensure that you carry sufficient small USD notes ($1’s and $5’s) for tipping and exchanging, and the EXACT denominations for visa fees in bills dated 2007 or later.
TRIP CANCELLATION AND INTERRUPTION INSURANCE IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
WorldWomenWork in the Heart of Myanmar’s Elephant Country
January 30 - February 11, 2017
WorldWomenWork Adventures | 505-577-3802 | email@example.com
I am very excited to invite you to join me on the expedition of a lifetime, a journey into Myanmar’s elephant country. We will walk and ride with elephants into the heart of an ancient and wild world which is in the midst of profound transformation. As Myanmar’s rapacious logging industry modernizes, log hauling elephants are no longer needed, but as eco travelers, we can help find a new life for them. Not only will we share this journey with true kindred spirits from the natural world, but we will also enjoy the magnificence of Burmese culture, from its food and art to its natural splendor. So please come with us on this amazing adventure.
Join WorldWomenWork for an entirely unique immersion in the wildlife and culture of newly opened Myanmar. This journey offers participants a perfectly balanced journey into the fascinating and complex world of Myanmar’s former timber elephants, river dolphins and wild elephants interspersed with insightful exploration of Myanmar’s great cultural sites. This itinerary is only possible through the contacts and experience of our Myanmar conservationist/guide Mr. Aung Myo Chit, currently head of Smithsonian, Myanmar. Aung has over 15 years experience working with wild and domesticated elephants in Myanmar and leads Myanmar river dolphin conservation work. Aung designed this itinerary in close consultation with the founder of WorldWomenWork, Mrs. Singer Rankin-an ardent conservationist with decades of travel experiences to world’s great wilderness locations.
A patchwork tapestry is an apt metaphor for Myanmar given its incredibly diverse cultures, wildlife and landscapes. Myanmar’s cultural and historical wealth rival that of its heavyweight neighbors China and India. How best to experience this land of immense diversity while avoiding sensory overload? The answer is not trying to do too much and structuring your trip around a theme or focus. The focus of this trip is the world of Myanmar’s domesticated and wild elephants and river dolphins balanced with healthy immersion in the amazing culture as well. We have carefully designed this trip to insure participants come away deeply inspired and educated by and about the Asian elephant’s 21st century challenges in Myanmar as well as challenges facing the country’s river dolphins. We have also balanced our elephant immersion with an insightful exploration of some of Myanmar’s greatest cultural sites and an Irrawaddy river cruise on a luxury teak boat.
Why a trip focused on the elephants of Myanmar? They are wonderful creatures in need of creative solutions to their plight. Today there are over 5,000 domesticated timber elephants in Myanmar. Many of them are already unemployed. As the original old growth teak and other great forests of the country shrink and logging is curtailed, these elephants, which come from timber elephant pedigrees reaching back over 200 years, face acute identity crisis, and the threat of unhappy death through neglect, smuggling and other forms of suffering. Elephant tourism, carefully executed is a partial solution to the huge issue of unemployed elephants faced by Myanmar Timber Enterprise which is the government entity that controls all timber elephants in Myanmar.
How best to understand these issues? Explore them with us in the Burmese backcountry on this unique expedition. Travel with us and you will spend several fascinating days crossing the Bago Yoma hills through old growth forests in the company of gentle timber elephants. Each participant will be escorted by their own elephant and accompanying Mahoot. The option to ride (sitting in comfortable cushioned frames atop the elephant) or walk is possible each day. Our goal is to cross the low hills of the Bago range while we learn from expert Burmese elephant conservationists and timber specialists about the history, present day and future of Myanmar’s timber elephants and their wild brethren now threatened by poaching. You will also learn about other aspect of Myanmar’s wildlife on this trip from our guide Mr. Aung Myo Chit-one of Myanmar’s best ecologist and elephant specialists. Aung has recently radio collared 7 wild elephants across southern Myanmar and regularly works on human-elephant conflict issues. Our goal is the Irrawaddy River. After reaching the river, we are met by our private teak, luxury boat (cabins all air conditioned) and begin cruising up the legendary Irrawaddy river-our destination, the temples of Bagan. While cruising, our exploration of the Myanmar’s ecology continues with a study of the Irrawaddy dolphin.
Fishing with the Irrawaddy Dolphin. Our guide, Aung Myo Chit, while designing his Irrawaddy dolphin conservation plan, understood that the key to success lay in aligning efforts with the local villages that have for centuries fished the Irrawaddy River. While studying their fishing habits he learned that these villages not only protect the dolphin, they have taken it as a partner. An ancient symbiosis has occurred between these fishermen and the dolphin and this is visible today at special villages that Aung has worked with over the last decade. We will board dug out canoes and spend a morning fishing with these villagers who call in the dolphins by tapping on the edge of their boat with special teak drift wood sticks. This noise attracts the dolphins and they then proceed to round up fish by swimming quickly around them at which point the fishermen throw their nets over the corralled fish. A portion of each catch is then shared with the dolphins. A relationship of trust has developed and it is fascinating to witness. We are only able to do this with Aung Myo Chit our guide.
Irrawaddy river fisherman near Mandalay
The trip we are offering is an elephant supported luxury expedition. Each meal and camp is fully catered. At the end of each day we will reach a pre-arranged deluxe camp with tented safari-like accommodations enabling us to experience this wilderness in great comfort no matter the weather (at our planned departure time, late Jan/early Feb, 2017, the weather is the best). After arriving in camp you will retire to your tent, wash and sip tea. We then meet for cocktails and discussion followed by dinner and cap the night with an after dinner lecture on various aspects of Myanmar’s elephant ecology, the ecology of Myanmar in general and the culture of Myanmar.
The wonderful Belmond Governors Residence hotel, Yangon where we begin our trip
Day 1: Arrive in Yangon
Explore Yangon. Our journey begins in Yangon. We spend an initial day exploring this ancient capital visiting warren-like street markets, and little known yet outstanding cultural sites such as the tomb of the last Mughal of India who was exiled to Rangoon from Delhi in 1858, the Botataung pagoda, the Sule pagoda and others. We then circle back to our hotel in the evening for an early dinner at the Governors Residence during which the group will get an overview of the coming trip by our guides.
Minor Maha pagoda temple, Yangon
Day 2: Yangon-Elephant camp
Today we rise early and drive 2.5 hours (approximately) to the MTE elephant camp. After lunch and washing, we will take a tour of the timber camp and the elephant housing, medical facilities etc. Just before dinner we will meet our elephants. Accommodations: Private tented camp next to the timber camp.
This photo is from Africa. The tented camps we are creating will be similar
Burmese Mahoot washes his tusker
Day 3: Full immersion: A day in the life of a Myanmar timber elephant
Today we spend the entire day learning what it means to be a timber elephant. You will see teak hauled. You have the opportunity to feed elephants, wash them and learn from them. The day will feature in-situ lectures on elephant ecology, health and the present day situation. The day will fully acquaint you with these elephants in time for our early morning departure the following day into the Burmese outback with in the company of our elephants. Accommodations: Private tented camp next to the timber camp.
Myanmar timber elephant hauling teak
Days 4-7: Elephant assisted Forest trek
Each day we rise for a delicious breakfast and are briefed on the day ahead. We then begin a mixed ride-walk journey across the Bago Yoma range learning about local people, elephants and the forest ecology on each of the days. Particular emphasis will be on the role of wild elephants in human-elephant conflict and what can be done to stop this. Participants will also learn about the illegal wildlife trade and illegal timber trade. Depending on group interest, we can extend or shorten the number of days. There will be separate toilets and washing facilities waiting at the end of each day.
Smithsonian Institute scientists tracking wild elephants from a former timber elephant, Bago Yoma range, Myanmar
Day 8-9: Irrawaddy River to Bagan
On the morning of the 8th day we sadly part from our elephants on the banks of the Irrawaddy River and watch them slowly return to the forest. We then board the Irrawaddy River Princess and begin the aquatic section of the trip. We will cruise for 2 nights depending on our exact pick-up location ending at the great plain of Bagan. En-route we will search for Aung Myo Chit’s fabled Irrawaddy dolphin and spend one morning watching local fishermen fish with the dolphins.
Our floating teak bivy
Days 10-11: Popa Mountain and Bagan
After we arrive at the Bagan Jetty, we board our waiting bus which takes us to Popa Mountain, one of the most fascinating centers of animistic/Buddhist worship in the world.
View of Popa Taungkalat monastery from Popa Mtn Resort
About Mt. Popa and nat worship: Although most Burmese are devoutly Buddhist, their brand of Buddhism is intertwined with the animistic beliefs (spirit worship) that preceded Buddhism's arrival in Myanmar. In Burmese cosmology, there are 37 primary spirits (called nats), and the Burmese people appease them with offerings of food, flowers, and money at special shrines. It was during the reign of the Bagan King Thinlikyaung that Mount Popa became the official home for nats, and the 37 primary nats to be appeased reside high atop Popa's volcanic cone, making this the Mt. Olympus of Myanmar. Each nat is associated with a tragic tale that is somehow connected with the history of Myanmar.
Popa Mountain Resort with Popa monastery in background
While exploring the Popa area we overnight at Popa Mountain Resort. This stunning resort echoes the deep luxury and exclusivity of similar retreats in Bali or the Turks and Caicos sans the beaches. To many visitors the naturalistic design of this resort is so complete it appears as an organic outgrowth of the mountain itself. Each exquisitely crafted villa rises quietly out of the forest and provides guests with unparalleled views of Popa Taungkalat monastery. The resort is done entirely in teak. It has a wonderful blue tiled swimming pool and a full spa.
Irrawaddy river temple
Day 11: Bagan Continued
From Popa we return to Bagan, where we transfer to the Sakura hotel. This exquisite hotel is situated on banks of Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River. Bagan is unquestionably one of most amazing sights in all of Asian. Across 24 square miles of countryside, stand over 2,000 pagodas and temples some huge and glorious, others small and graceful all set in simple fields. We spend two unhurried days exploring Bagan on foot, bicycle and by van. These pagodas are wonderful to wander among, climb and relax by.
About Bagan: Bagan has a magical serenity found only in a few places in the world. Built in the 11th century and overrun just 200 years later by Kublai Khan, it was a city of magnificent proportions and splendor to rival Angkor, Jerusalem, or Rome. Today, the dwellings of King Anawrahta (1044-1077) and his people are gone, but their pagodas remain, lying along the banks of the Ayeyarwady amid dry dunelands and scattered fields and sugar-palm plantations. Climbing to the top of one of Bagan's pagodas, you can see hundreds of ruined pagodas in every direction and of every size. Probably the most remarkable of them is Ananda, built by Anawrahta's son, Kyansittha, from a plan designed by Indian Buddhist monks. In the shape of a Greek cross, it has large vestibules on each of the four sides. It is crowned with a spire, the lower half of which is a pyramid shape and the upper half of which is a tapering pinnacle similar to the other bell-shaped pagodas of Bagan. The interior is marvelous, with glazed terracotta tiles and a honeycomb of niches containing small stone Buddha images. Kyansittha loved this pagoda so much that he executed the architect who built is so that another like it could never be built, and it is said that he buried a child alive in it so that it would always have a guardian spirit.
View of Irrawaddy river from the Sakura hotel, Bagan
Days 12: Bagan-Yangon. Final night
After an optional Balloons over Bagan hot air balloon sunrise (highly recommended, run by Australians) we catch mid day flights back to Yangon. That afternoon we finish any last minute shopping and then convene for a final dinner. Just after sunset on our final night, we visit one of the architectural and cultural wonders of the world: the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda. The pagoda has been immortalized in poem and literature for centuries. That old imperialist’s imperialist Rudyard Kipling put it thus: (the pagoda) "unheaded itself on the horizon, a beautiful, winking wonder that blazed in the sun, of a shape that was neither Muslim dome nor Hindu temple spire." The pagoda is Myanmar. If politics melted away from the Burmese consciousness, what would be left is Buddhist reverence in the shape of this pagoda. Located slightly north of town, the 300 ft. stupa (Sanskrit for pagoda) is at times painful to look at due to the lustrous shrine of the thick gold and other jewels that encase it. Once we arrive after dinner and our local guide will give us a short initial tour which helps us get our bearings and an understanding of particular significance of the main and certain major ancillary temples. The rest of the early evening is yours to wander the many courtyards, and peer into countless smaller shrines, or just people watch. We then return to our hotel. Overnight at Kandawgyi Palace hotel or Governors Residence.
Shwedagaon pagoda at night
About Shwedagon Pagoda: Shwedagon is the largest Buddhist temple of its kind in the world. It is best seen in the early morning light and at twilight, but it is a wondrous place at any time of the day. Shwedagon ("Golden Dragon") is thought to have been constructed in 585 BC as a small pagoda, and brought to its present 326-foot height by Shin Sawbu, 15th-century queen of Pegu. It is venerated not just for its beauty, but for the authenticity of its origin, which finds support in Buddhist scriptures. It is thought that two Burmese traders from the Mon kingdom of Okkala met the Buddha while traveling in India and received a gift of eight hairs from the Buddha's own hands. The traders returned to Myanmar and Buddha's hairs were enshrined here on a hill in a golden pagoda by King Okkalapa. Since then, kings, queens, and ordinary people have brought gold, silver, and other gifts to this pagoda to embellish it. The pagoda was built in 1769 on the site of earlier stupas that were destroyed in earthquakes and fires. Part of the spire is gold-leafed but much of it is actually covered in solid gold plates (the weight of the gold is reputed to be 60 tons). There are rubies, sapphires, and topaz stones inlaid at the top. On the platform on which Shwedagon stands, there are 64 smaller pagodas, with four large ones at the four cardinal points.
Day 13: Depart for home.
After a delicious breakfast, we send you to the airport for final departure back home.
About Your Local Guide
Aung Myo Chit
Aung Myo Chit is one of Southeast Asia’s preeminent ecologists. His training began as boy growing up in Myanmar’s Shan state where he supported his uncle as a horse packer moving food and other supplies between villages of this remote corner of NE Myanmar when there were few roads, only footpaths. Growing up on horseback in the wilds of Shan state led to a focus in physics and computer science (graduated from Yangon Univ in 1995 with a duel degree in these subjects). Throughout the latter half of the 1990s, Aung Myo Chit supported and guided many foreign field naturalists on expeditions in search of Myanmar’s rich biodiversity. There are few corners of Myanmar he has not walked or swam across. Beginning in the late 1990s Aung Myo Chit began to work as a consultant to tour operators in need of field naturalists and worked on a series of multiyear film projects which focused on capturing on film the hidden ecology of Myanmar’s wild elephants, a film called Elephant Power, and a two year documentary on the marine ecology of Myanmar’s Mergui archipelago in a film called Sea Gypsies of the Mergui Archipelago-both aired on National Geographic. From 2006-2012, Aung Myo Chit was the Wildlife Conservation Society’s country coordinator for the Irrawaddy Dolphin. During period Aung Myo Chit trained remote communities along the Irrawaddy river in conserving the river dolphin-a species they have worked for centuries with in symbiotic relationship based on co-benefit from fishing. During this period Aung Myo Chit also obtained a number of advanced degrees including 2005-2006 Humphrey Fellow at Univ. of California Davis where he completed a degree in Natural Resource Management and Tourism in Terrestrial Protected Areas. During 2012-2013 he obtained a Master of Natural resource management in Marine ecology at James Cook Univ in Queensland, Australia. Aung Myo Chit today consults for most of the major conservation NGOs and is the current head of Smithsonian Myanmar.
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED General physical fitness is the only requirements for the trip. The more fit one is before leaving home the more enjoyable the sojourn will be.
INSURANCE All participants must be insured before leaving country of origin. The policy must cover medical and personal accidents, including the cost of repatriation and cancellation.
FOOD Most food will be taken in Myanmar’s finest eateries or cooked by our own chefs as is the case when elephant camping. Some dinners will be offered in private homes where one can get the taste of local gourmet Burmese cooking. Burmese food is similar to Thai food. That said, you will find wonderful variations in taste and style wherever you journey in Myanmar. Upon request special dietary needs can be accommodated.
Mandalay Market Munchies
IMMUNIZATIONS/HEALTH Participants will want to receive certain immunizations before leaving home. We recommend you consider the list of immunizations for Myanmar found on the Center for Disease Control website. All guides will be equipped with a first aid kit. We will be sending out complete personal gear list after trip confirmation. Malaria does exist in Myanmar. We recommend Malarone as prophylaxis. You should first check with your doctor before purchasing this medicine to make sure you do not have any allergic reaction to it.
PRICES/DATES Prices will fluctuate depending on group size and trip duration. Based on a group of 8-10 participants cost start at $15,850/person (Balloons over Bagan is extra). Single supplement costs TBA.
** There is an additional tax deductible donation of $1000 per person to WorldWomenWork which will help address elephant cataract/eye issues.
2017 Dates: Jan 30- Feb 11, 2017.
Yangon: Gov Residence
Bagan: Sakura Popa Mountain: Popa Mountain Resort
All hotels in Myanmar
Land costs: SUVs and Minivans
Monastery entrance fees
All elephant costs, guide costs
Chef on boat and in camps
All in country flights
Deposits: $2000 due by June 1, 2016. Full payment due by Oct 1, 2016.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Myanmar has a tropical climate. The rainy season occurs from mid-May to mid-October. The dry season is from October through April. Temperatures generally range from 60F to 95 F. A full recommended gear list will be sent around closer to departure.
Bago Yoma range where our elephant trek takes place
The more you read about Myanmar the more enjoyable your trip will be. Here are a few recommended books, and many more exist.
These and other books about can be found at longitudebooks.com, or you can find books through your local bookseller.
The Burma Road, The Epic Story of the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II • Donovan Webster
HISTORY • 2004 • PAPER • 416 PAGES • $14.95• BMA41 Burma Road and the connecting Ledo Road from 1942-1945. General Joseph (Vinegar Joe) W. Stilwell...
Finding George Orwell in Burma • Emma Larkin
TRAVEL NARRATIVE • 2006 • PAPER • 304 PAGES • $15.00• BMA40 Burma, combining travel, history and reportage into an incisive portrait of the country. Writing under...
In Farthest Burma • Frank Kingdon-Ward
EXPLORATION • 2005 • PAPER • 192 PAGES • $26.95• BMA46 Burma and Tibet, famed climber, scholar, botanist and all-around explorer Frank Kingdon-Ward chronicles...
Inroads into Burma, A Travellers' Anthology • Gerry Abbott
ANTHOLOGY • 1998 • PAPER • 346 PAGES • $25.95• BMA12 Burma, from the classic and religious to the travel narrative to the modern, covering almost...
Letters from Burma • Aun San Suu Kyi • Heinn Htet
HISTORY • 1998 • PAPER • 209 PAGES • $15.00• BMA49 written by Burma's Nobel Prize-winning human rights leader shortly after her release from...
The Making of Modern Burma • Thant Myint-U
HISTORY • 2001 • PAPER • 291 PAGES • $25.00• BMA21 Burma with a particular focus on the legacy of British colonial rule. The author, a grandson...
The Naga of Burma: Festivals, Customs and Way of Life • Jamie Saul • Dominique Viallard
CULTURAL PORTRAIT • 2005 • PAPER • 212 PAGES • $36.00• BMA47 Burma and parts of China and India. In this handsomely photographed anthropological study, Jamie Saul...
The Trouser People, A Story of Burma in the Shadow of the Empire • Andrew Marshall
HISTORY • 2003 • PAPER • 307 PAGES • $16.00• BMA28 Burma, including refugees, rebels and villagers in Burma's remote mountain regions. He uses as his touchstone...
Down the Rat Hole, Adventures Underground on the Burma Frontier • Edith Mirante
BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR • 2005 • PAPER • 200 PAGES • $21.95• BMA50 Further tales by the American activist in Burma....
Flame Tree, A Novel of Modern Burma • Keith Dahlberg
LITERATURE • 2005 • PAPER • 240 PAGES • $15.95• BMA45 Burma who finds himself in the midst of a war between the Burmese dictatorship and the rebel...
Flavors of Burma, Cuisine and Culture from the Land of Golden Pagodas • Ssusan Chan
FOOD • 2002 • HARD COVER • 130 PAGES • $22.50• BMA37 Burma, and especially its food, featuring 76 recipes. In addition to an good sampling of dishes...
Golden Earth, Travels in Burma • Norman Lewis
TRAVEL NARRATIVE • 2003 • PAPER • 275 PAGES • $21.95• BMA33 Burma as recorded by the author during a visit shortly after independence in 1951....
Lonely Planet Myanmar (Burma) • Joe Cummings • Michael Clark
GUIDEBOOK • 2005 • PAPER • 428 PAGES • $23.99• BMA20 Burma featuring 66 maps, a good overview of culture, history and nature, and good information...
Myanmar (Burma) Map • Nelles
MAP • $9.95• BMA02 Burma at a scale of 1:1,500,000, with an inset of Rangoon....
Twilight over Burma, My Life as a Shan Princess • Inge Sargent • Bertil Lintner
BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR • 1994 • PAPER • 216 PAGES • $14.95• BMA11 Burma. She immersed herself in Burmese culture, and lived together with her husband and daughters...
Visions from the Golden Land: Burma and the Art of Lacquer • T. Richard Blurton • Ralph Isaacs
ART & ARCHITECTURE • 2000 • PAPER • $45.00• BMA32 survey of the art and history of lacquer in Burma from the collection of the British Museum....
Beyond the Last Village, A Journey of Discovery in Asia's Forbidden Wilderness • Alan Rabinowitz
NATURAL HISTORY • 2003 • PAPER • 300 PAGES • $16.00• BMA22 Burma, where Rabinowitz discovered a new species of deer and helped to establish Hkakabo Razi...
Burmese Days • George Orwell
LITERATURE • 1989 • PAPER • 287 PAGES • $13.00• BMA03 Burma for this famous novel about English soldiers in Burma during the last days under...
The Piano Tuner • Daniel Mason
LITERATURE • 2003 • PAPER • 336 PAGES • $14.00• BMA31 Burma, its traditions, trappings, personalities and politics. Mason's complex, absorbing tale has, at its center...
A Fortune-Teller Told Me, Earthbound Travels in the Far East • Tizanio Terzani
TRAVEL NARRATIVE • 2002 • PAPER • 371 PAGES • $14.00• SEA35 Burma, Thailand, Mongolia, China, Japan and other far-flung destinations. The result is this warm...
Birds of Myanmar • Kyaw Nyunt Lwin • Khin Ma Ma Thwin • Aung Thant
FIELD GUIDE • 2005 • PAPER • 165 PAGES • $35.00• BMA42 Burma, featuring 74 full-color plates, descriptive information, and a comprehensive checklist. The Burmese authors...
Blooming in the Desert, Favorite Teachings of the Wildflower Monk Taungpulu Sayadaw • Anne Teich • Andrew Harvey
RELIGION • 1996 • PAPER • 90 PAGES • $11.95• BMA35 Teich is a practitioner in the Theravada Forest tradition of Burma and Southeast Asia....
Buddhism and Society, A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes • Melford E. Spiro
RELIGION • 1982 • PAPER • 560 PAGES • $35.50• BMA34 Buddhism in Burma. Spiro stars out with a clear and useful introduction to Theravada Buddhism....
Democracy and Development in Southeast Asia, The Winds of Change • Clark D. Neher
HISTORY • 1996 • PAPER • 220 PAGES • $34.00• SEA32 includes chapters on the specific conditions of each country, from the Philippines to Burma....
Freedom from Fear and Other Writings • Aun San Suu Kyi • Michael Aris
CULTURAL PORTRAIT • 1995 • PAPER • 374 PAGES • $14.95• BMA08 Burma's leader for human rights, edited and in...
KENYA & RWANDA WITH WORLDWOMENWORK
FEBRUARY 5-20, 2016
EXPLORE, Inc. | 970-871-0065 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.exploreafrica.net
Singer Rankin, WorldWomenWork’s founder has spent the last sixteen years supporting a range of projects that meet her unique criteria. Women helping women, and in the process helping endangered species and environments that share their part of the world. Singer has traveled to all of the project locations to gain an intimate knowledge of what is needed and how best to implement the assistance. Whether it is meeting with scholarship candidates or riding shotgun with scientists in the field, Singer has done her homework. WorldWomenWork supports 3 projects in the Samburu area: Save The Elephants, the Grevy’s Zebra and the Ewaso Lions.
Kenya is one of a spectacular array of diverse landscapes and ecosystems. From the beaches & coral reefs of the Indian Ocean to the expansive rolling grasslands of the Maasai Mara and the desert shores of the Jade Sea, Kenya does not lack stunning scenery. This Eastern African nation lies directly on the equator and is home to Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake, as well as a great number of exotic African wildlife. Kenya is a country teeming with rich culture, awe-inspiring landscapes, and incredible wildlife.
Rwanda is a country filled with green undulating hills and spectacular volcanoes. This wonderful little country is home to one third of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa’s bird species, and is teeming with other fascinating wildlife. With an average elevation of over 5,000 feet, this nation has a relatively mild, albeit wet, and pleasant climate even though it is situated just two degrees below the equator.
Friday, February 5
NAIROBI / NGONG HOUSE
Upon arrival in Nairobi you are met and transferred to The Ngong House which is a luxury boutique hotel famous for its tree houses on stilts with stunning views of the Ngong Hills.
Saturday & Sunday, February 6 & 7
LAKE NAIVASHA / OLERAI HOUSE
On the morning of February 6 you are transferred to Nairobi Wilson for your charter flight to Lake Naivasha and the Olerai House. Owned by Oria Douglas-Hamilton, the Olerai House is an enchanting flower-covered farmhouse, shaded under tall yellow acacias and watched over in the far distance by an extinct blue volcano, Mount Longonot.
Sweet smelling jasmine, home baked biscuits and country flowers welcome you to this charming farm house. Olerai lies in the heart of a private game sanctuary where you can walk among herds of zebra, giraffe, eland and other antelope. At night hippos emerge from the lake to graze on the lawns - an unforgettable sight to see these lumbering animals outside your bedroom window.
After breakfast under the acacia trees surrounded by curious zebras on the lawn, you have the opportunity to take a fabulous hike up into the hills with stunning views of the surrounding areas. Other options include a cruise on Lake Naivasha in a beautiful gondola, experience the fabulous bird watching, or just relax at the pool. The lake itself is home to hundreds of hippo and boasts one of the greatest diversities of birdlife in the world, with more than 400 species recorded to date. This evening a dinner has been arranged with Oria Douglas-Hamilton at Sirocco House, which was built by her parents patterned after a West African king’s palace at the world fair in Paris.
Monday-Friday, February 8-12
SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK / ELEPHANT WATCH CAMP
After breakfast and your morning activity on February 8 you are transferred to the airstrip to board your charter flight for the Oryx Airstrip in the Samburu National Park (approximately 1 hour and 40 minute flight). Upon arrival you are transferred to the beautiful Elephant Watch Camp (also owned by Oria Douglas-Hamilton). The camp is perched on the sand banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River, beneath wide-spreading Kigelia trees and Acacia Elatiors.
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton has spent nearly 40 years studying elephant behavior, and Elephant Watch Camp and the greater Samburu National Reserve is the perfect place to observe and learn about these incredible creatures. The reserve offers shelter to 66 known elephant family units, numbering 900 elephants in total, and the camp is home to some of the largest bulls in the area. In addition, the area has other notable northern inhabitants, including the slim-necked gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Grevy zebra, Beisa oryx, and over 350 resident birds, with an additional 70 migrant species.
Enjoy early morning or evening bush walks along well-travelled elephant paths, or collecting medicinal plants or honey, always accompanied by Samburu warriors. At times one can witness the great river crossings of camels and cattle, while walking to Samburu ceremonies and learning about their culture, dances and fire making.
At Elephant Watch Camp, each of the netted tents has been specially designed around its own trees and is made for maximum coolness, breeze, privacy and protection. En-suite bathrooms have beautiful handmade basins and painted buckets filled with clean, cool water. Each tent hangs under a wide, thatched roof with its own veranda. The tents are filled with multicolored cotton cloth, large beds, works of art, crisp cotton sheets, soft pillows, and a “bush” cupboard for your clothes with hand painted hangers and bath robes.
Learn about Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s Save the Elephants Project:
Founded in 1993 by Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Save The Elephants works to secure a future for elephants in a rapidly changing world. Pioneers in cutting-edge science, the organization’s research provides vital insights into elephant behavior, intelligence, and long-distance movement. By understanding life from an elephant’s perspective, Save The Elephants is able to map out critical corridors that link up protected areas, better manage the conflict between humans and wildlife, enthuse people about elephant intelligence, and closely monitor incidents of poaching.
Save The Elephants is at the forefront of the battle to raise
awareness of the greatest threat to the long-term survival of elephants, the illegal ivory trade. They work relentlessly to urge NGO’s, governments,
institutions, corporations, and concerned individuals to form a coalition to fight for a complete ban in ivory sales through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton is a behavioral scientist whose pioneering study of elephant society in Tanzania in the 1960s paved the way for elephant research and conservation today. After conducting a pan-African elephant census Ian alerted the world to the poaching crisis in the 1970s and 80s and helped bring about the world ivory trade ban in 1989. He is now in the center of efforts to combat the current resurgence of the trade, presenting a solid scientific analysis of the situation to the key decision-makers around the world.
Saturday-Monday, February 13-15
MAASAI MARA / SERIAN CAMP
On the morning of February 13 you are transferred to the airstrip to board your scheduled flight to the Maasai Mara. Upon arrival you are met and transferred to Serian Camp which is a wonderful camp located in the Mara North Conservancy, a beautiful private wilderness area of more than 74,000 acres. It is a vital part of the Maasai Mara ecosystem as it forms the north-western zone, bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve in the south of Kenya.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is probably the most famous in Kenya and offers breathtaking views and an extraordinary density of animals, including "the Big Five" (lions, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros) and many varieties of plains game. The area is also an ornithologist’s dream with four hundred and fifty-three recorded bird species in the Mara, fifty-three of which are raptors, all vying for space in the clear blue skies.
Serian Camp features private marquee tents, each unique in their own way, furnished with large double beds, flanked by bedside tables and writing desks. The adjoining "bush bathrooms" include a shower, twin basins, large bush bathtub and flush toilet. Hanging swathes of cotton and canvas walls provide complete privacy.
Tuesday, February 16
KIGALI / KIGALI SERENA HOTEL
This morning you are transferred to the airstrip to board your scheduled flight to Nairobi Wilson where you are met and driven to Nairobi International. On arrival board Kenya Air flight #474 departing at 5:00PM for Kigali, Rwanda. When you arrive at 5:25PM you are met and transferred to the Kigali Serena Hotel, situated in central Kigali, the ambassadorial and commercial heart of Rwanda and ideally located on one of Kigali's most charming boulevards. The hotel is only 5 miles from Kigali International Airport.
Relaxed yet elegant, the hotel centers on the executive lounge and bar, which opens onto a wide sundeck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Café offers inside and outside poolside seating.
Wednesday, February 17
KINIGI / SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE
This morning your guide meets you at the Kigali Serena for a city tour and visit to the Genocide Museum. The Genocide museum opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004. The center is built on a site where over
250,000 people are buried: a clear reminder of the cost of ignorance. The center is a permanent memorial to those who fell victim to the genocide and serves as a place for people to grieve those they lost.
After your tour you are driven to Kinigi (2 1/2 hours) where you check in to the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, situated on the edge of the Parc National des Volcans in North Western Rwanda, in an undulating area of 11 hectares with fabulous views towards the Parc National des Volcans, its 5 volcanoes (comprising part of the Virunga Volcano range)
and distant lowland agricultural areas.
All guest cottages are discretely and privately situated in the folds of the hills, and each has its own unique view. The altitude of the lodge is approximately 7,000 feet above sea level so the climate is generally cool, and the volcanoes rise to a height of almost 15,000 feet.
The lodge has been designed and built by Governors' Camp but is owned by a community trust called SACOLA. Governor’s Camp leases the lodge from SACOLA, and SACOLA will use rental and other income from Governors' Camp to finance its socio-economic development and conservation objectives in the area.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is therefore an exciting combination of a top quality lodge and a power for driving socio-economic development and conservation in the areas adjacent to the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda.
Thursday, February 18
GORILLA TREKKING / SABYINYO SILVERBACK LODGE
This morning you are transferred to park headquarters where you meet with excellent local guides and trackers who give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking (We highly recommend hiring a porter each day for trekking). You then hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. (The managers of the park determine who treks which gorilla family on the morning of trekking day. They base their decisions on the age/fitness of the clients and the location of the gorilla families).
The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. It can rain at a few minutes' notice; hence waterproof clothing is an essential item including zip lock bags for cameras and film. If you finish trekking early you will have time to visit Ruhengeri Town with its market and shops.
The rainforests of the Virunga Volcanoes are the last refuge of the Mountain Gorilla. The Virungas span Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the Parc National des Volcans being the Rwandese element of this ecosystem. The lush slopes of the volcanoes provide an appropriately dramatic natural setting for what is perhaps the most poignant and thrilling wildlife experience to be had anywhere - observing the mountain gorilla in its natural habitat. Roughly half of the world’s wild population of mountain gorillas is resident on the Rwandan slopes of the Virungas. Seven habituated families of gorillas are visited, and these families each consist of seven to over thirty-five individuals.
Friday, February 19
KIGALI / KIGALI SERENA HOTEL
Another day of trekking these magnificent creatures!! Afterwards you are driven back to Kigali and the Kigali Serena Hotel for overnight.
Saturday, February 20
NAIROBI / INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT HOMEWARD
This morning you are transferred to Kigali to board Kenya Airways flight #471 departing at 8:50AM for Nairobi. When you arrive at 11:20AM you are met by your private driver and driven to the Karen Blixen Museum (where you have lunch) and then into town for any last minute shopping.
Later this afternoon you are transferred to The Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage for the 3:00PM private visit. Here you learn about this fabulous project and meet the elephants that you have sponsored. Daphne Sheldrick has been rearing and rehabilitating orphans of misfortune for most of her life and in her time has successfully returned to the wild most African wild animal species, except the Big Cats. The rearing of the elephants has been her biggest challenge and greatest triumph.
Afterwards you are transferred to the Ole Sereni for dinner (on your own account). and then transferred to the Nairobi International Airport to board your international flight homeward.
Cost of trip: $15,700.00 per person based on double occupancy – IF PAYING BY CHECK OR BANK WIRE. $16,140.00 per person based on double occupancy – IF PAYING BY CREDIT CARD
Single Supplement: $2390.00
There is an ADDITIONAL donation of $1000.00 per person to the Save the Elephant Project. This will be tax deductible through WorldWomenWork.
All ground and air charter transportation upon landing in Africa; accommodation, guides and vehicle throughout; park fees; and most activities in itinerary.
Ngong House: Dinner on 5 Feb, Breakfast on 6 Feb
Olerai House: All meals, most beverages, laundry, guided bushwalks and game drives
Elephant Watch Camp: Serian: All meals, most beverages, laundry, all game activities, conservation fees
Kigali Serena: Dinner on 16 Feb & Breakfast on 17 Feb, visit to the Genocide Museum
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge: All meals, most beverages, laundry, conservation fees, 2 gorilla trekking permits (trekking on 18 & 19 Feb), guide/driver during your stay in Rwanda
Kigali Serena: All beverages, laundry, additional activities in Kigali
Other: Lunch in Nairobi on 20 Feb and private vehicles in Nairobi for this day
￼Trip Excludes: U.S. domestic and international airfare; all commercial internal Africa air (see below); immunizations; passport fees; visa fee for Kenya ($50.00 US per person) and Rwanda ($30.00 US per person); accident/baggage/medevac & cancellation insurance; individual transfers; excursions deviating from the scheduled tour; excess baggage charges; medical expenses; airport departure fees and taxes; telephone or fax charges; room service; gratuities to guides and staff; and other items of a purely personal nature.
Ngong House: Lunch, beverages, laundry
Olerai House: Premium wines & sprits, scenic flights, visit to Lake Nakuru, boat ride to flamingoes
Elephant Watch Camp: Premium wines & spirits, helicopter excursions
Serian: Premium wines & spirits
Kigali Serena: All beverages, laundry, additional activities in Kigali
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge: Premium wines & spirits, porter charges for trekking
Kigali Serena: All beverages, laundry some activities in Kigali
5 Feb: VIP meet/greet at the airport and transfer to Ngong House
6 Feb: CHARTER flight from Nairobi Wilson to Olerai
8 Feb: CHARTER flight from Olerai to Elephant Watch Camp
13 Feb: SCHEDULED flight from Elephant Watch Camp to Maasai Mara
16 Feb: SCHEDULED flight from Maasai Mara to Nairobi Wilson and transfer to JKIA Airport for your flight to Kigali 16 -20 Feb: all vehicle transfers in Rwanda
20 Feb: Meet/greet back in Nairobi and private vehicle for the day for last minute shopping, lunch at Karen Blixen Museum and transfer to the JKIA airport
16 Feb: Nairobi to Kigali on Kenya Air #474 5:00PM/5:25PM
20 Feb: Kigali to Nairobi on Kenya Air #471 8:50AM/11:20AM
Magic of Kenya 2015
Click here to download a complete itinerary.
We have made a huge change to the 2015 Safari taking place in late January and early February, and we still have a few spaces left so I hope this will enthuse everyone! We had to make a commitment to the Serengeti, and in light of the cost, we decided to drop it and concentrate on Kenya. The cost has dropped dramatically. We will be spending three nights at Kampi ya Kanzi situated in the Chyulu Hills with Kilimanjaro dominating the view. Then two nights at Borano in an idyllic setting with Mt. Kenya in the distance looking at rhino, lions, elephants and so much more. And of course, five nights at Elephant Watch in Samburu with the Douglas-Hamiltons and the elephants, which is the highlight of our adventure!
This will be an amazing two weeks! You will discover a vanishing Africa, explore incredible wilderness, see amazing wildlife, while being deeply immersed in a fascinating culture, and all the while helping to preserving it!
I look forward to your response!