We pretty much covered East African Safari destinations in a previous blog which you can access here, however, before we head to Southern Africa, we should draw your attention to Rwanda and/or Uganda, especially if gorilla trekking is of interest to you! For many this is the ultimate wildlife experience and adventure. These gentle giants can be found in the area known as the Virunga Mountains, and live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mountain gorillas can be reached after a trek of three to eight hours up and through the rain forest, which you should not attempt unless you are not in good health and able to sustain a slow mountain climbing pace. However it is totally worth it! Trackers will let your ranger know where to find them prior to your trek up the mountain, and then lead you to them. Seeing these incredible animals up close is nothing short of magical!
You decided to go on safari but you don’t know where to go and not sure whether the research found online is reliable, much less which country to choose. So many options and so little time! Our first recommendation would be to make a list of what you would like to experience. Are you a very adventurous kind of person? Will you be alone, with a group or with family? Will you have young kids with you? How much time you have and your budget will also be a deciding factor but Amber, your safari expert will be able to help you make a decision and our posts will also give you some guidance.
There are few experiences as exhilarating and life changing as going on safari in Africa. It is not just a vacation, it is a magical experience you won’t forget: – you will take something with you when you leave, and some part of you will stay behind. These photos will give you some idea of the experiences you can have.
I have been asked about the safety of going on safari many times and as someone who spent 15 years visiting various safari spots in Africa at least twice a year, I can assure you that if you have a professional guide and follow his or her recommendations, you will absolutely be safe. Additionally, most animals such as the cheetah and elephant are quite docile. However, you should have a deep respect for the animals and remember they are wild. Never approach them without the expressed knowledge and approval of your guide, and do not challenge or disturb them in any way. I have on many occasions stood quite close to a herd of elephants and even near a pride of lions and they barely paid attention to me, but I stood quietly and did exactly what the guide told me. This ensures a mind blowing experience while remaining safe.
Well it is finally 2020 and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. As for me, this past year was a very difficult one for my family and I, as my father passed away in September, the same month my mother passed, but several years ago. Two months after he passed away I had my birthday, then came Hanukkah, Christmas, my sister’s birthday and of course, now the New Year. All these “celebrations,” one after the other, were firsts without my father and extremely painful. Waking up in the morning and thinking about wishing him a happy new year and then the realization that I will never get to do that again. Suddenly I am an orphan and the month of September really sucks. When I talk to my sister we cannot talk about memories without breaking down and whereas before it was just mom we missed, now it is both of them and the “remember when” chats are doubly devastating and it has gotten worse during the Holidays.
My father had a long and really good life. My parents were happily married, had their own business and travelled extensively. One of their favorite places was the Kruger National Park in South Africa and needless to say, memories of our family’s many vacations there came flooding back! The 2am wakeup calls to get to the gate of the Park early in time for breakfast and so that we can watch the sun rise in that most incredible of places. We visited the KNP so often that my dad became a honorary game ranger. I don’t know whether they still do that, but years ago it was a big deal. Mom’s ashes are sprinkled there and now dad’s will be too, and I know they are in their “happy place,” and at peace. While I have not been back there for many years, I kept looking at the posts and beautiful pictures in a Facebook group about the Kruger National Park, and remembered all the places they mention, almost as if it was yesterday. Each camp has a special memory… a boyfriend I met, the BBQ or party on my parent’s birthdays or anniversaries… and the peace that is indescribable.
If you recently got engaged and started the very exciting and challenging process of planning your wedding; the most important item on the “to do” list will be to decide where you will have your wedding and honeymoon! There are couples who know exactly what they want and then there are those who have no idea and are feverishly discussing all their options. Will you get married locally or travel? You could have your wedding in Italy and honeymoon in France! So many options and if you follow us, I will be posting about some dreamy and exciting destinations for any occasion.
Several years ago I catered a wedding at a hotel where the Marriott Beverly Hills is now, and not operated by Marriott at the time. I was not impressed by the dark uninviting interior nor the design. It felt gloomy and I never returned there for another event.