Danielle is an international peace advocate and Co-founder of the nonprofit Kids for Peace who recently graduated from Harvard with degrees in Religion and Sociology. From summer 2011-2012, Danielle will spend nearly a year traveling in Asia and Africa. Her blog documents her experiences as she seeks out new adventures, learns about other ways of life, and studies issues related to vulnerable children and conflict resolution. Read her last guest blog here.
On one of the last days of my Southeast Asia tour, I picked up a copy of Eat, Pray, Love from a used bookstore and realized that Elizabeth and I were on the same trip. Sure there are some notable differences: the autobiography’s author had suffered a horrible divorce prompting her to visit three I’s—Italy, India, and Indonesia—with the goals of pursuing pleasure, devotion and balance. I had no such explicit goal at the outset of my trip, but here I was, lying on a sun-kissed beach in Koh Samui, Thailand, reading my book, sipping a Mai Tai, and…pursuing pleasure.
Basecamp Masai Mara consists of permanent luxury tents situated on the border of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Each tent has a private deck overlooking the Talek River with an incredible view of the vast savannah. Comfort is not forgone at this eco lodge, as the spacious tents each have an ensuite bathroom with a solar heated shower that opens to the sky. Meals are eaten in the wood and thatch dining room hall, which is open so guests can enjoy the breeze coming from across the savannah. This exclusive safari camp in Kenya was named the world’s best ecotourism hotel by Skål International, the world’s largest association for professionals within the tourism industry.
Being in such close proximity to the Masai Mara Nation Reserve gate, Masai Mara Basecamp provides exceptional wildlife viewing. Most of the tents are located water side and have incredible views of the plains, as well as of the Talek River, home to crocodiles and hippos. The Basecamp is ideal for adventure travelers looking for an eco friendly accommodation option. All the materials used to construct the tent were sourced locally. Guests can enjoy being close to the sights and sounds of Africa, while still being comfortable and able to enjoy a hot shower, delicious meals, and a comfortable bed.
Danielle is an international peace advocate and Co-founder of the nonprofit Kids for Peace who recently graduated from Harvard with degrees in Religion and Sociology. From summer 2011-2012, Danielle will spend nearly a year traveling in Asia and Africa. Her blog documents her experiences as she seeks out new adventures, learns about other ways of life, and studies issues related to vulnerable children and conflict resolution.
After four years of hard work completing my undergraduate degrees, I decided to treat myself to a trip I had dreamed about since my youth. Southeast Asia beckoned me with images of orange clad monks, golden Buddha statues, and seemingly endless rice paddies. With the highest proportion of practicing Buddhists on the planet, I went to experience peace: to meditate in temples, contemplate beauty from the peaks of Laotian mountains, learn and connect.
One month of travel took me to the magnificent temples of Siem Reap, Cambodia, rural villages of Northern Laos, and tranquil beaches of Koh Samui, Thailand. As part of my personal mandate to experience the fullness of life, I sought not only experiences that foster peace and joy, but those that could teach me about human suffering—the key component of the Four Nobel Truths that form the basis of religious practice and culture for much of the region. I designed a trip that would go beyond touring the temples and art I admired and delve into the depths of the human experience, embracing too the suffering true of our existence.
Mt. Kilimanjaro is a highlight of most Tanzania tours. With its diverse ecosystems and breathtaking views, it is an unforgettable experience. The climb is great for seasoned trekkers and for well prepared and fit first-timers. Below you’ll find some practical information to start planning your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek.
When to Visit
It is possible to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro year round, though some seasons are better than others. Going during rainy season can be dangerous and lower your chances of reaching the summit. The weather can be somewhat unpredictable, but usually the best months to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro are mid-December through February. Mid June through September is also a good time. During mid February, late September, or early October climbers can enjoy good conditions and moderate crowds.
Peak seasons occur around Christmas and New Years and during summer time in the northern hemisphere. It can be very crowded during these times. From mid March to mid June there is heavy rain and sometimes snow. These are very difficult and dangerous climbing conditions, and travelers should avoid this time of year.
With the increasingly popularity of the Inca Trail Trek, obtaining permits, especially during peak season, can be particularly difficult. We offer two incredible alternative eco tours to Machu Picchu: the Weavers’ Way to Machu Picchu and the Inca Quarry Trail.
The Weavers' Way to Machu Picchu
Behind the Urubamba mountain range in southern Peru there is a region of high altitude valleys, where the Quechua people preserve an ancient way of life. They herd alpacas and llamas, farm the Andean slopes, and make and wear beautiful textiles.
Day 1 to Lares/Huacahuasi
The trek is rated moderate and day 1 will take you to Lares/Huachahuasi. Travelers leave from Cusco early in the morning and drive to the town of Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, then climb north to a beautiful high pass before descending to the villages of Lares located on the east slope of the Andes. Enjoy a dip in the hot springs and a picnic lunch outside of town. This is followed by a relaxing half day hike up the valley of the rushing Rio Trapiche, which will lead to the highland village of Huacahuasi, where the first camp is located.