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African safaris

A male Impala hosts a bird on his back at Sabi Sands area private reserve near Kruger National Park South Africa. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

A male Impala hosts a bird on his back at Sabi Sands area private reserve near Kruger National Park South Africa. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Today’s guest post by Stuart Cooke of Northern Ireland hooked me with his first great reason to take an African safari: “Africa is Incredible.”

I couldn’t agree more. My first experience visiting the “Third World” was decades ago in Africa. I was traveling there for six weeks on assignment for a news service I worked for, and was supposed to be writing political stories.

I did manage to pound some out, but my heart wasn’t in it.

I quickly discovered that I wanted to see and experience as much of Kenya, Tanzania, and other countries as I could. So I rode trains to Lake Victoria and Zambia, flew to Zanzibar, feasted on Indian food in Nairobi, spent a few idyllic days on the Indian Ocean… Continue reading

This is one of the beautiful images you'll find on StrideTravel.com. Photo by Dennis Cox.

This is one of the beautiful images you’ll find on StrideTravel.com. Photo by Dennis Cox.

“The Savvy Path to Breathtaking Travel, Without the Hassle”

“Less Planning, More Experiencing”

“A Journey of a Thousand Smiles Begins With a Single Click”

These are some of the taglines that express the essence of the new travel website, StrideTravel.com, where I worked for more than a year as Content Director. (My job is now in the capable hands of Content Coordinator Samantha Scott, who, together with co-founders Gavin Delany and Jared Alster, comprise a formidable team.)

In practical terms, Stride aspires to be — and in many ways already is — the best place on the Web to survey the wealth of multi-day, pre-planned trips that are now available from hundreds of travel suppliers around the world.

“Pre-planned trips” may encompass guided group or private tours as well as independent journeys… Continue reading

A South African white rhino  -- endangered enough as it is. Photo by Dennis Cox / WorldViews.

A South African white rhino — endangered enough as it is. Photo by Dennis Cox / WorldViews.

According to recent reports, East African safari tour operators have suffered a 30-70 percent drop in bookings (including cancellations) in recent weeks due to the Ebola scare.

Southern Africa tour operators have been hurt somewhat less, but are nonetheless feeling the pinch.

Let’s put things in perspective.

Just because Ebola has tragically ravaged three West African countries — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — doesn’t mean it’s not safe to travel to East or Southern Africa, where the vast majority of wildlife safaris take place.

Here are some (perhaps surprising) facts:

London, Paris, Rome, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro are closer to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa than are East and Southern African safari centers like Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Johannesburg, South Africa.

Nairobi is about 3,300 miles from the outbreak,… Continue reading

Jacada Travel will help you get close up to a zebra on a luxury African safari.

Jacada Travel will help you get close up to a zebra on a luxury African safari.

I wasn’t too familiar with Jacada Travel, a London, England-based company that specializes in luxury private guided tours in Latin America and Africa, but a new Gold Award from Travel Weekly in their 2013 Magellan Awards made me take notice.

Jacada Travel was named a “Best Overall” tour operator by a panel of travel industry leaders and insiders.

The company is just five years old and promises to deliver personalized travel experiences, which they’ll design for you based on your wants, needs, desires, and, no doubt, a few whims.

If cost is no object — or at least not the defining object — in your pursuit of bucket list safaris in Africa or Amazon tribal encounters in Peru, Jacada Travel will make it happen.

Baby boomers (as well as other travelers such as… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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