On your custom Kenya safari, you are spying one of 700 eastern black rhinos left in the wild, an elephant is not too far off, and a small herd of mooing cattle wanders into your field of vision as you snap the perfect photo of a grazing zebra. There is one place in Kenya where the cows are not out of place, and in fact are welcomed into the environment. This week we’d like to feature a basecamp in Kenya we all get very excited about, Ol Pejeta. Though it is more of a wildlife conservancy, Ol Pejeta is home to a number of lodges and camps, all run by the non-profit organization.
Ol Pejeta encompasses multiple wildlife sanctuaries within its borders. The largest groups of black rhinos and chimpanzees in Kenya live here, as well as the largest herd of Boran cattle in the world. Overall, the park displays a model for wildlife conservation that is effective and inspirational.
At Global Basecamps, we don’t blink when we call ourselves travel specialists; we are well-traveled all around the world, and consider ourselves real experts on our featured destinations. But our commitment to extreme local knowledge and unparalleled customer service keeps our “Featured Destination” list at a manageable fifteen countries, until now. Global Basecamps has spent years planning successful, cultural, exciting and unique trips to Argentina. Beginning last week however, we quietly added Argentina to our list of Featured Destinations, bringing the count up to sixteen.
From Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina is a cavalcade of dramatic landscapes. The romantic capital city is the most European city outside of Europe, with a modern, eclectic collection of industries and people. Every week, Buenos Aires makes a published Top 10 List of one type or another. Most Colorful Cities, Best Cities For Singles, Most Cultural Cities, Most Beautiful Cities, etc. There is no overstating the importance of including Buenos Aires on your list of places to see in South America.
On July 25th, CNN reported that the Supreme Court of India placed a temporary ban on “tiger tourism” in India. This has caused quite a stir in the travel industry, causing travelers to question if their presence is beneficial to tigers, or is impeding their ability to thrive in their natural environment. The ban was issued after a local environmentalist reported his findings that ecotourism was harming the tigers’ environment and breeding grounds. Specifically, the environmentalist reported that resorts and shops had been constructed in reserves without official permission.
The news broke a few weeks ago, but it will always be relevant. Lonesome George, the world’s last Pinto Island Tortoise and a recognized symbol of the Galapagos, died on June 24th, 2012. If you have ever been to the Galapagos Islands, there is a good chance you saw him. Discovered in 1971, he grew slower and more lackadaisical as the years came and went, but he was still a wonder. The last of his species, he was a living reminder of the dangers that accompany a human presence.
We’d like to take this week to acknowledge the species of the Galapagos that are still in critical danger of extinction. According to the Galapagos Conservancy, we know of thirteen vertebrate species that are now extinct, and of those, humans have witnessed seven of them cross the threshold into non-existence.
There are few places left on the planet that remain perfect examples of the term “off the beaten path.” Tourism is nearly everywhere in the 21st century, and even the travel specialists at Global Basecamps find it more and more difficult to define these locations. This week, we’d like to define “OTBP” in Tanzania.
There is a reason Tanzania is one of the premier destinations for a quintessential African safari. There are world famous national parks here that are synonymous with wildebeest migrations and Big 5 sightings, and with good reason; don’t let anyone tell you that Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara aren’t hands down the best parks for wildlife viewing in Tanzania. This “Northern Circuit” is popular worldwide, and sees tons of travelers annually.
We don’t want to discourage you from experiencing these destinations; they are magnificent and we love them ourselves! Our Tanzania National Park Safari specifically highlights these parks should they call to you. However, if you have the time and the inclination, there are many parks around Tanzania that deserve your attention and your travel, and on average receive far less of both.