Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda: A Former Zookeeper’s Primate Experience
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
6d ago
Prior to working in travel, I had yet another job that most little kids dream about—I was a primate zookeeper. In this role, I had the pleasure of working with various monkeys, lemurs, and of course great apes at zoos around the country. So, when the opportunity arose for me to head to Rwanda and see golden monkeys and mountain gorillas in the wild, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. While I never worked with the two species I was set to encounter, I had experience with the closely related De Brazza’s monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and western lowland gorillas! Every day, I was responsible for cleani ..read more
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Highlights of Patagonia: Chile & Argentina
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
6d ago
It’s hard to describe Patagonia. The first few things that come to mind when thinking of this area are: mountains, fields of ice, the ever-present guanaco (similar to a llama), and the elusive puma. What’s often missing, and hard to fully comprehend, is the vastness of the region. It’s said to encompass more than 300,000 square miles in both Chile and Argentina, crossing the Andes Mountain Range and spanning from the Pacific Ocean on Chile’s western boarder to the Atlantic Ocean on Argentina’s eastern border. In Patagonia, the air feels fresher than anywhere else I’ve been on earth. The waters ..read more
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Water Activities in Zimbabwe
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
6d ago
When people ask me about viewing Africa’s wildlife from the water, the conversation usually steers toward Botswana’s Okavango Delta, as its waterways and narrow channels are world famous. However, on a recent trip to Zimbabwe, I was surprised to learn that similar excursions are also available in both Mana Pools National Park and from Bumi Hills on Lake Kariba. While here, guests can easily and often combine traditional game drives with a wide variety of water activities. My experiences were exhilarating and I am excited to talk about them with those interested in a more diverse safari! Canoe ..read more
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Chile’s Lake District
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
6d ago
What comes to mind when you think of Chile? Mountains, glaciers, probably the Atacama Desert, Patagonia, and Easter Island. However, there exists another equally as interesting region, one that not as many travelers have considered visiting —  the Lake District. Just south of Santiago, it is not only fascinating to visit, but also centrally located within this famously long and skinny country. While I agree that Torres del Paine and the Atacama Desert are not to be missed, I fell in love with the Lake District of Chile on my most recent trip. The volcanic activity and historic eruptions h ..read more
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Explore the World’s Top Cities
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
1M ago
Every year, a handful of travel publications release their lists of best cities around the world. These include booming metropolises and more quiet towns, all of which have some unique feature that makes them a worthwhile stop. And year after year, we are thrilled, and yet no way surprised, that a handful of the cities we visit, and love are consistently named in these articles. This time, our Product Managers weighed in, offering their advice on what to do and where to stay in each! Southeast Asia Ubud, Bali With its lush rice terraces and exceptional spa services, a stop in this charming Ind ..read more
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Exploring Egypt: Special Moments in Luxor
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
1M ago
I recently returned from an 11-day trip to Egypt alongside my husband.  In a country full of so many ancient wonders, it is hard to choose a favorite when asked. But a visit to Luxor is certainly a strong contender; and while a stop here is typically included on a Nile cruise, there are several experiences that can be added to make it even more special! The Valley of the Kings is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the sacred burial place for many pharaohs and other nobles over several centuries. The construction of each pharaoh’s tomb began as soon as he started his reign, and as a result s ..read more
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Segera Retreat—A Sustainable & Luxurious Oasis
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
2M ago
This spring Craig and I had the opportunity to visit Segera Retreat, located along Kenya’s Laikipia plateau.  Just north of the Equator, with Mount Kenya to the East and the Great Rift Valley to the West, Segera is a 50,000-acre private wildlife sanctuary surrounded by some of the country’s most stunning landscape. Comprised of six luxury villas and three private homes, a stay here is so special it proves almost impossible to describe. After a short 50-minute charter flight from Nairobi, we landed at the property’s private airstrip and were met by Segera’s general manager, Jens Kozany and ..read more
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Accommodations in South America
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
2M ago
South America boasts some truly incredible accommodations. From luxury yachts exploring the Peruvian Amazon to traditional Haciendas in the Ecuadorian highlands, wine lodges in Argentina to eco-luxury lodges in the mountains of Chile,  there is a style perfect for you and your travel companions! Boutique Hotels Boutique hotels throughout the continent offer visitors a perfect combination of both luxury and history. Hotel B in Lima, Peru was once a family’s private summer home. Built in 1914 it is nestled within the capital city’s Barranco neighborhood, known for its art, culture, and many ..read more
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Accommodations in Latin America
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
2M ago
Latin America boasts some truly incredible accommodations. From luxury yachts exploring the Peruvian Amazon to traditional Haciendas in the Ecuadorian highlands, wine lodges in Argentina to eco-luxury lodges in the mountains of Chile,  there is a style perfect for you and your travel companions! Boutique Hotels Boutique hotels throughout the continent offer visitors a perfect combination of both luxury and history. Hotel B in Lima, Peru was once a family’s private summer home. Built in 1914 it is nestled within the capital city’s Barranco neighborhood, known for its art, culture, and many ..read more
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Visiting Brazil’s Pantanal
Travel Beyond » Destination » Africa
by Alison Spencer
2M ago
What is the Pantanal? Located along the border with Bolivia and Paraguay, Brazil’s Pantanal is considered to be the world’s largest tropical wetland. Covering an estimated 54,000-75,000 square miles, the ecosystem is a downward sloping basin that collects run-off from the Paraguay River and its tributaries, making it an enormous and internal river delta, similar to Africa’s Okavango Delta. The name Pantanal comes from the Portuguese word pantano plus the al suffix which means abundance. When combined, the word comes to mean “big wetland” or “big swamp.” When is the best time to visit? From Ap ..read more
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