Viewing entries tagged
Africa

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THE BLUE TRAIN- South Africa
Dine, laze, gaze, sip, be spoiled, be pampered, relax, repeat. If this sounds like something you can handle, then a luxury rail journey is just the thing for you. There's something that is just so splendidly chic about train travel, especially when the train involved happens to be one of the most luxurious in the world. There is perhaps no finer example of opulent traveling five-star (plus) accommodations than the world-famous Blue Train, which travels across the magically scenic landscape of South Africa.

Guests aboard the train are spoiled from the time of arrival in the exclusive departure lounges in either Pretoria or Cape Town, where they're met with a libation and introduction to their personal butler who will be looking after them for the duration of their stay aboard.

Each of the lavish suites are beautifully decorated with rich mahogany wood, luxe linen atop supremely comfortable beds, TVs with movie channels and even a GPS channel so you know exactly where you are at any time of the day. Best of all, each suite has it's own gorgeous bathroom- no queuing in the corridor to brush your teeth at night. The train travels at a comfortable speed, allowing for hours of tremendous, ever-changing vistas as you traverse from one end of the country to another, stopping briefly along the way for an excursion. After that, it’s back on board for traditional high tea followed by a lavish, elegant dinner experience.

Feeling hungry? Not to worry, the train is equipped with a team of traveling chefs that produce gourmet meals morning, noon and night...and beyond. The staff is tremendously hospitable and truly makes you feel like royalty. Best of all, the overnight journey easily fits in to almost any South Africa itinerary. It truly is an experience of a lifetime, not to be missed whilst in this wondrous land.

SPECIAL OFFERS- Travel before 31 Mar 2012 and one person travels at 50% off, double occupancy. Or, opt for 2 FREE hotel nights in either Cape Town or Pretoria any time in 2012 at your choice of Westin Cape Town, 131 Herbert Baker in Pretoria, or Sheraton Pretoria. Contact info@theexplorateurportfolio.com for more information and as always, be sure & tell 'em The Explorateur sent you!

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ZESTY ZANZIBAR- 40% OFF- Dreaming of Africa? Rhetorical question, we know. And here's an answer for those that are thinking it's totally out of the realm of possibility this year. It's called Zanzibar (and lucky you, it's on sale just for you today)

Where? You'll start your journey in Stone Town, an eclectic fusion of winding curious alleyways, open air bustling bazaars, mosques and grand extravagent dwellings draped in ornate handiwork that's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend 1 night luxing it up at in the fabulous Sultan Suite at Swahili House & be sure to spend some time on the sultry rooftop.

Beach time next, but not just any beach time...Zanzibar beach time where crystal clear waters gently lap the powdery white shores while you relax peacefully in total seclusion for 3 glorious nights in a delightfully imaginative Baobab Suite at Fumba Beach Lodge, wrapped around a 300-year-old tree with open-air bathrooms and beachfront access. We recommend taking advantage of the Zanzibari Scrub at the spa as part of your recharging efforts. Breakfast & dinner included.

Sail in style to your next destination, Unguja Lodge, on a magical journey in your own private dhow boat. Relax as your captain glides you through the untouched, breathtaking Menai Bay Conservation area while you look for dolphins and anchor for a delicious lunch on cast-away Miamembe Island prepared especially to your liking. Snorkel the day away and arrive in
a new state of bliss where you'll spend 3 nights in a secluded, open-air oceanview villa.

Why? Becauze Zanzibar is secluded, stylish, secretive, and mystical, with both cultural options, absolutely fabulous beaches + a wealth of water activities. And, because this 7 night package costs less than 1 night in most top hotel suites around the world!

What else should I do? Pair this with a safari on mainland Tanzania for a sensory experience like none other.

Want to go? Email info@theexplorateurportfolio.com to find out how...

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SOUTH AFRICA AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT
There are a million ways to see a country as magical as South Africa, but we happen to think our new Explorateur Exclusive Culture Noir itinerary is certainly the most fabulous. Begin your journey in Cape Town, one of the world’s most gorgeous cities framed by majestic mountains and vibrant with color, culture and a wealth of activities. You’ll not soon forget your days in this city as you’ll be taken on some incredible adventures beginning with a full day tour of Cape Point, where you’ll ride a funicular up to an incredible vantage point to see the tumultuous meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, all the while en route being witness to some of the region’s most amazing panoramic views and a return via famous Boulders Beach, home to penguins, not people. Rest up, for in the evening you’re being escorted to the homes of 2 Cape Town cultural characters, who have fascinating stories to regale you with while you dine and retire for coffee or a nightcap during this tremendous evening of local hospitality. Feeling hungry? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered, for the next day you’ll be taken on a fabulous Cape Malay cooking safari where you’ll get hands-on training in a Bo-Kaap family home where they’ll teach you how to mix Masala, fold Samosas and balance the delicate flavors of Cape Malay curry. And yes, you get to partake in all of the deliciousness capped by mug of faloodah while your hosts tell you more about the rich history of the Bo-Kaap culture. To work off your gorgeous meal, you’ll head to famed Table Mountain for some awe-inspiring views and some brisk walks. All the while spending your evenings at African Pride 15 On Orange Hotel, an absolutely unique icon of style that begins with an elegant engineered stone red carpet reception and ends with you feeling as though you’ve spent 3 nights being pampered in eclectic fashion. Oh, did we mention, breakfast is included and the 3rd night is FREE?

And then, it’s time for safari….you’ll head to Kruger National Park for three days of overwhelming sightings and experiences on your included game drives, where you’ll be accompanied by professional rangers that will show you the wonders of the wild where you’ll likely encounter everything from elephants to lions, giraffes to zebras and with a little luck, the elusive leopard. Your 3rd night is free here as well at Shumbalala Game Lodge and you’ll even be treated to an exquisite private dining experience in their lovely wine cellar with a view of the waterhole where animals often return to take a drink.

From the bush to a bustling city, you’ll head to Johannesburg next which is a city full of wonders. Begin with an interesting visit to the insightful and interactive Liliesleaf Museum which honors South Africa’s remarkable heritage. Once the headquarters of the military wing of one of South Africa’s primary political parties, it holds a position of esteem among struggle landmarks in the country. The next day will be one of wonder and emotion, where you’ll spend time in some of Johannesburg’s most significant and fascinating places that will help you gain a much more detailed perspective of this complex land. You’ll be taken to the famed township of Soweto, bustling with life and rife with history, and birthplace of two Nobel Prize winners (and yes, you’ll even get to see one of Nelson Mandela’s previous homes). First stop, a guided tour of the Hector Pieterson museum where you’ll embark on a journey of discovery of the racial segregation experienced by millions of South Africans not too far in the past. After lunch the emotional history lessons continue with a visit to the Apartheid Museum, an overwhelming story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Your host in Johannesburg? The luxurious African Pride Melrose Arch, an opulent blend of modern décor and sleek design. They’ll treat you breakfast, a room upgrade, early check-in and check-out and 25% off of meals.

Want to go? Click HERE to find out how…

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THE VILLA BOOK
Our favorite thing about a villa stay is…well, EVERYTHING. The privacy, the exclusivity, the exotic nature, the tailor-made amenities, the extra space, the fact that you get to live like a rock star, if only for a brief time. Shall we go on? Now for the one not-so-fun part…the process- with thousands of websites out there it’s challenging to determine what’s true, what’s reliable, and where to even begin. Which is why we love Villa Book. They couldn’t make it any easier, truly. Even with over 1,000 properties in their portfolio worldwide, they somehow know each one intimately and always seem to magically select the villas that are perfectly suited to you.

Their team has over 26 years of experience, and the tremendous relationships they’ve built with the property owners and local agents means they can arrange just about anything for you, down to the finest, smallest detail. Need a private full time chef? Not a problem. Cooking lessons? You got it. A bedroom with a balcony overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice? Of course. Private yacht charter for the day? Absolutely, with pleasure. If you know what you’re looking for- great, simply tell them and they’ll get it arranged. If you don’t have the slightest clue what you’re looking for, also great- simply submit some information about what you’re thinking and they’ll come back to you with some phenomenal suggestions.

Plus, the deals are amazing! If you find yourself being able to travel VERY last minute and have just discovered you owe yourself that summer vacation you’ve been putting off, consider Villa Giacaranda in Positano at 50% off plus daily breakfast and daily maid service from 28 Aug – 04 Sep. Or, 7 nights for the price of 5 at Atlas View through 15 Oct. This a gorgeous 3 bedroom villa just outside of Marrakech is beset upon majestic gardens and spoils you with a well-equipped fitness room, spa, tennis court, maid, chef and a whirlwind of activities right outside your doorstep. http://www.thevillabook.com/

EXPLORATEUR EXCLUSIVE- Enjoy a complimentary case of local wine delivered straight to your villa upon arrival, anywhere in the world you book by 31 Oct 2010. Click HERE for more information and as always, be sure & tell ‘em The Explorateur sent you!

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SHOMPOLE- Great Rift Valley, Kenya
There are a few ways to tackle Kenya and we recommend integrating all of them for the ideal experience. Traditional Tribal via a visit with the Maasai, Rustic Rural in the form of an amazing safari expedition, and then Contemporary Conceptual (yes indeed) and the finest example of this unique new wave of Kenyan-chic is known as Shompole.

One of the most acclaimed lodges in Kenya, this unusually unique property sits discreetly in a private conservancy, and has been designed to harness the colors, textures and emotions of its natural surroundings. An understated yet overwhelmingly beautiful blend of white quartz, polished wood, pale thatch, smooth stone and a touch of African bush feel peacefully surround guests who wish to let the land lead them while on such a mystifying holiday.

Here, breakfast is most beautifully enjoyed on the plains or under the shade of a fig tree, dinner is taken by candlelight under the stars, and your most challenging choices each day revolve around whether to embark on a heart-stopping game drive, lazily drift down the river in a canoe, or indulge in a holistic “African Body Works” day of wellness designed to unravel the soul, de-stress, and enhance the full richness of life. Can you Kenya? Yeah, we think you can. www.shompole.com

EXPLORATEUR EXCLUSIVE- Complimentary upgrade to next room category upon check-in, subject to availability. Should upgrade not be available, you’ll receive a complimentary massage- great deal either way! Click HERE For more information and as always, be sure & tell ‘em The Explorateur sent you!

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SAADANI SAFARI LODGE'S SIRI SUITE- Tanzania
Shhhh…we’re really not supposed to tell you since it’s a secret, but you deserve to know about a place this fabulous. It’s an award-winning space that’s played host to Presidents to celebs to honeymooners hailing from points worldwide, it seems to float atop a sand dune on a location which proffers the spectacle of the sun rising over the Indian Ocean just as beautifully as it when sets over the African bush, incredible Indian Ocean views, it’s décor is unfussy yet chic and eco-cool, it’s security system is enforced by a resident leopard, and it’s name is the Siri Suite.

This privileged, serene spot is located at the end of a secluded walkway at Saadani Safari Lodge in Tanzania, and it’s positively spellbinding. Aside from the blissful solitude, you’ll also enjoy your own private pool, al fresco shower, private chef in your very own kitchen, and a personal butler at your disposal. When you’re actually ready to venture out, a private boat will collect you from your own private beach to even more exotic locales (if you can imagine). Siri means secret in Swahili, and that’s exactly how you feel when you’re here…like you’re the keeper of a beautiful mystery.

Saadani Safari Lodge is intimate, socially conscious, resplendent with beach, beauty and amazing wildlife, and the most radiant, relaxed respite in this exquisite part of the world. http://www.saadanilodge.com/

EXPLORATEUR EXCLUSIVE- Book 3 nights in the Siri Suite and save US $50 per person per night for travel through 15 Dec 2010. Click HERE for more info and as always, be sure & tell 'em The Explorateur sent you!

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EXPLORE GHANA- by Immersion Journeys
Our friends at Immersion Journeys have done it again, creating a most intriguing journey to Ghana especially for you, our loyal Explorateur fans. Ghana is such a curious country, a beautiful example of an economically successful West African nation that carries with it a friendly vibe, incredibly sumptuous native cuisine, and oh about 3500+ years of history and culture to go along with that. Interested? Read on.

From the time you arrive after embarking on this 10 day journey, you’ll be off on an adventure in true West African style, beginning with a traditional welcome ceremony complete with cultural drumming, dancing, drinks and a bit of an orientation about what you can expect for days to come. An Accra city tour will acquaint you with this 131-year-old metropolis that is a blend of colonial and modern architecture, and filled to the brim with history, art and culture. They’ll get you as close to the handwork as possible, even down to a visit to a casket maker’s shop whose work reflects the interest and hobbies of the deceased. Strange but true.

The beautiful thing about Ghana is its diversity- you’ll next have the opportunity to trek on a 40-meter-high canopy walkway through the tropical rainforests of Kakym National Park, moving on to a spiritual Military Shrine and even on to the infamous Forts, castles and Slave Dungeons of Ghana which unfold the details of this country’s troubled past and rise to its cultural flagship status of West Africa.

You’ll continue on through the scenic forest zone to Kumasi, the seat of the Ashanti Empire whose legacies are still evident today. Tours through museums draw you into the intrigue of the empire through relics and monuments, and treated to a captivating account of the history by a knowledgeable traditional Ashanti priest. Then, on to a procession to the Paramount Chief’s Palace where the whole village will be assembled for a special naming ceremony where you’ll receive your own African clan name while dancers hypnotize and drums beat exotic rhythms.

After a visit to picturesque cruise on Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world, you’ll be back to Accra to indulge in the splendid shopping spree at the most ultra-modern spots in Accra. All the while escorted full time by your very own chauffeur and guide. If you’ve already conquered Southern Africa, the West should be your next spot and if you haven’t yet been to Africa, this itinerary will show you the deep authentic roots of this magical continent. It might be your first visit, but certainly not your last.

EXPLORATEUR EXCLUSIVE- This package was built exclusively for Explorateur readers with special savings and magical extras built in, not commonly found elsewhere. Click HERE for more information and be sure & tell 'em The Explorateur sent you!

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TANZANIA TREK- by Immersion Journeys
Tanzania is an East African jewel of a country, one of the most alluring and intriguing on the continent and certainly one of the most diverse. A land of massive lakes, blended tribal cultures, Middle Eastern-inspired regions, pristine beaches, and home to the tallest peak in Africa. Our friends at Immersion Journeys know Tanzania inside and out, and have created a special package just for Explorateur readers designed to show you the true soul of this tremendous destination.

An arrival in Arusha, the safari capital of Tanzania, kicks off your journey- giving you time to recoup before heading out the following day on an unforgettable hike across the lower slopes of the awe-inspiring Mt. Kilimanjaro. How's that for diving right in?

Tarangire National Park is your next stop, a unique eco-system unto itself with an incredible abundance of game from zebra to elephant, lion to leopard and beyond. Savor the excitement of a game drive which brings you face to face with these amazing creatures, evoking incredible sensations.


Up next is the world famous Ngorongoro Crater. Standing 610 meters deep and 260 km squared, a wonder of the world that is truly a natural zoo of its own with game galore. . All lodges in this area are perched high upon the rim, lending themselves to powerful yet calming vistas.


And, of course, no trip to Tanzania would be complete with out a jaunt to the Serengeti National Park, but not before a visit to a Maasai village for opportunities to immerse yourself in tribal culture. Your days in the Serengeti are filled with game adventures in this tremendously animal-abundant region, while nights are spent under the stars, eating and drinking by a fire and soaking up the natural sounds of silence.


No stones have been left unturned- meals, fine accommodations, transfers, guides, internal Tanzania flights and park fees are all included in the package price. Click HERE for more information and as always, be sure & tell ‘em The Explorateur sent you!

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NORMAN CARR SAFARIS- Zambia
There's a pure, natural, unspoiled beauty of Zambia that is difficult at best to convey in words alone, much like so much of Africa whose magic needs to be experienced to be fully understood. And nobody knows the essence of Zambia better than Norman Carr Safaris, based in the heart of South Luangwa and doing what they do best - leading the way in Zambian wildlife safaris for over 50 years.

There's Kapani Lodge to start, luxurious seclusion and rustic-chic feel- from which you can proceed to any of the stylish yet simplistic Bush Camps all the way to the elegance and sophistication of Mchenja Camp, the group's most traditional experience. Trust us, an African safari is perhaps one of the most inspiring experiences one can embark on, and Zambia offers something special and utterly unforgettable.

EXPLORATEUR EXCLUSIVE- Save 10% on stays at Kapani Lodge and their selection of Bushcamps within Norman Carr Safaris throughout 2010! Click HERE to book and as always, be sure & tell 'em The Explorateur sent you!

*Conditions and restrictions apply, please contact for details

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LION WORLD TRAVEL AUCTIONS
Going once, going twice, SOLD to the most adventurous bidder who doesn't want to spend a lot of money yet wants an absolutely unforgettable, all-encompassing African vacation experience. Yes, you heard us right- you can virtually name your own price on packages that include upscale accommodations, incredible safari experiences, excursions to Victoria Falls and beyond... If you've been yearning to visit Africa but kept putting it off for one reason or another, NOW is the time to check this site out. This is your opportunity to acquire these packages at massively unbelievable savings- some packages start out at over 65% off retail price. And, if you care to add anything on to your package such as a tour, a flight, etc- they have a brilliant team of consultants on hand ready to create your ideal adventure. You really can't afford not to at least take a peek. Click here now- http://204.214.201.177/index.asp or visit http://www.lionworldtravel.com/ and click AUCTIONS.
Explore our online travel travel guide and know about Luxury Travel Destinations around the world.


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KAYA MAWA, MALAWI
Too often these days, a relatively obscure destination's name arises in the media, usually attached to some sort of bad news or tales of strife. In the case of Malawi, we felt it was our duty to remind all of our loyal readers that this amazing country is so much more than just a backdrop within a celebrity adoption scandal. It is, in fact, one of the world's most stunningly, naturally beautiful settings whose people are among the most genuine and heartwarming on the planet. Sincerely. One place in particular that is as full of goodness as it is loveliness is Kaya Mawa. Translated, it means "Maybe Tomorrow", which becomes an obvious theme upon arrival and once you breathe in the fresh air and the vibe. You'll find Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island, just a short flight hop from the main airport in capital city Lilongwe. And once you find it, you'll likely not want to leave. Strewn with just a handful of individual chalets overlooking water so clear you can see to the bottom, it is a true escape from the rest of the world, from modern life, and into a space where you'll discover the true meaning of kindness in the people, the true meaning of beauty by the surroundings, and the soul of Malawi in its purest form. Perhaps even more magnificent than the setting is the good Kaya Mawa does for the local community. They are involved in 10 amazing socially responsible projects that benefit the community in a variety of ways, whether it be building wells for clean water, or supporting the local village schools, or even launching sustainable farming and food programs. There is perhaps no greater sense of goodness and community elsewhere.

Malawi is a great excursion option when visiting South Africa. South African Airways and Air Malawi offer convenient service from Johannesburg.
To know more about Luxury Travel Destinations please visit www.theexplorateurportfolio.com

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