The Global Basecamps Blog

Expert Travel Tips: Japan

8.31.2011
by ali

Japan’s diverse landscape offers traveler’s a wide range of ecotourism options. Explore bustling Tokyo, snow capped peaks of Mt. Fuji, and the culture and temples of the ancient city of Kyoto. Japan’s natural beauty makes it a great country to visit anytime of the year. Here are some FAQs to help you begin preparation for unforgettable Japan eco tours.

When is the best Time to visit Japan?

Spring and summer are the most popular time to visit Japan. Cherry blossom season is during spring, and summer is full of festivals making it a fun time to experience the culture. Fall is also a great time to visit with beautiful scenery and foliage. Winter is great for snowboarding and skiing in Japan. Enjoying a hot spring in the winter, when snow is covering the ground, is also a very memorable experience.

Cherry Blossom Season

Global Basecamps Photo of the Month: Grenada

8.30.2011
by ali
Grand Anse Beach

Photo By Leti Pallozzi May 2011

"The picture I uploaded was the view of a typical day on the bay from Grand Anse Beach, on the island of Grenada. Grand Anse is one of the island's most popular beaches, and features a variety of dive shops from where to explore the island's beautiful marine life. Opportunities for sailing and fishing also abound. Here, local fishermen are coming in with the morning's catch, eyeing the impending showers that feed the lush mountainside."

Best in Travel Blogs: Ordinary Traveler

8.25.2011
by ali

Scott and Christy are surfers and photographers who run an inspiring travel blog, (as well as a San Diego food blog,) where they provide tips to others who want to fulfill their dreams of travel, no matter what situation they are in. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter or view their travel photography portfolio. They were kind enough to answer some questions for us, thanks Scott and Christy!

Ordinary Traveler

1. Where in the world are you now?

We are currently using San Diego, CA as our home base and taking lots of trips to places like Nepal, Dominican Republic, Panama, Arizona, San Antonio, Texas and Yellowstone National Park. We named our blog Ordinary Traveler because we are two people working normal jobs, but still finding plenty of time to travel the world. We want to show people that you don't have to quit your job in order to travel.

2. When and how did you get hooked on travel?

Christy has been hooked on travel for as long as she can remember. Her parents are partly to blame for taking her on annual trips to exotic destinations throughout her childhood. Scott first caught the travel bug on a school trip to Italy during his senior year in high school.

Best of Basecamps: Luxury African Safari

8.24.2011
by ali

The Red Pepper House

The Red Pepper House is located on Lamu Island in Kenya. Lamu was declared a World Heritage Site, and the thousand year old Swahili culture has been preserved there. The Red Pepper house consists of five nyumbas (houses) offering guests an idyllic isolated location. Located a short distance from Lamu town, the eco lodge sits between a beautiful beach and lush forest. Each nyumba has a sea view and a private butler to assist with any needs and lead on any excursions if necessary. Houses consists of a bedroom and bathroom, a living area, a veranda, a private enclosure with beach sand and an open air African shower, and an outside private space on the beach. The Red Pepper House blends in with the surroundings with a makuti thatched roof and was constructed with techniques inherited from their Swahili ancestors. The majority of the hotel is very open, allowing guest to enjoy the tropical breeze and climate.

The Red Pepper House

The Acacia nyumba is a larger, spacious suite which also includes a study room. Meals range from authentic Swahili cuisine to meals from the Mediterranean. The light, healthy cuisine consists of fresh, organic ingredients. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served whenever you choose and appetizers are offered all day next to the pool. Activities at The Red Pepper House include bird watching, dhow trips (Arabian influenced boats), fishing, snorkeling, and visiting Lamu town. The staff at The Red Pepper House are very accommodating and will even prepare a private dinner for you on the beach with a menu of your choice.

The temperate at Lamu Island ranges from 26-34 degrees, with the coolest months from April to September and the hottest months from February to March. Frequent rain occurs in May and June. The ideal time to go snorkeling is from October to April. November to April is great for dolphin watching. The best time for fly fishing is from November to March, while the best time for deep-sea fishing is from August to May.

Tiger Mountain Ecotourism

8.19.2011
by ali

In a few earlier blogs we mentioned Tiger Mountain, our in country partner in Nepal. All of our partners have a proven commitment to ecoutourism and sustainble tourism practices, and Tiger Mountain is no different. They have so many responsible tourism initiatives in place that it was difficult to include them all in one blog! So, as a follow up to our Tiger Mountain Responsible Tourism blog, here is some more information on how our Nepal tours help give back to the local communities.

Pokhara

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (TMPL)

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is the only ecotourism establishment in Nepal to have a functioning responsible tourism verification system to assess and validate the company’s sustainable tourism policy. Other properties in the group are in the process of setting up the RT system. TMPL’s Sustainable Action Group initiates and monitors sustainability projects.

With funding from TMPL guests, a local secondary school has completed its 1st floor and constructed a computer lab. With the help of guest volunteers from People and Places, teachers have been mentored in creating an English medium center for the school. School and medical supplies are brought by guests through the People and Places program. Children from deprived backgrounds have been sponsored, and a local primary teacher’s salary is being funded.

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