Wilderness Safaris has introduced a new Star Bed option for guests staying at Little Makalolo Camp in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Situated on a raised platform overlooking Madison Pan, the Star Bed is just a 20-minute drive away from camp and offers a truly secluded, up-close-and-personal wilderness experience and the opportunity of sleeping under the stars.
The Star Bed is set up complete with a comfortable bed roll and mosquito netting, sitting area, and basic ablution facilities. A highly-qualified guide will be on standby to ensure guests’ safety at all times and in case they need any assistance during the night.
Madison Pan attracts a wide variety of wildlife, many of which can be seen from the platform, including herds of elephant, buffalo, various antelope and occasionally even predators such as hyena and lion. It is also known for its incredible sunsets, and with a novel pizza oven on site, it is a favourite spot for sundowners. Guests enjoying the sleep-out experience will be treated to a range of night sounds as they drift off to sleep, as well as an array of sightings as they wake up to a beautiful sunrise over the waterhole.
Little Makalolo is an intimate and exclusive camp situated in the remote south-east of Hwange and overlooking a vibrant waterhole. Accommodation comprises six spacious en-suite tents (including one family tent), each with a private veranda. The main area includes a plunge pool, as well as a log pile hide overlooking the waterhole in front of camp. Activities on offer are day and night game drives and nature walks led by a highly-trained Wilderness Safaris guide.
The Zimbabwe Highlights trip with Wilderness Safaris includes two nights at Davison’s Camp, two nights at Changa Safari Camp, and three nights at Ruckomechi Camp. Package prices start from £3,150 per person with Mahlatini Travel, and are inclusive of all food and transfers. Contact Mahlatini Travel, the luxury African travel specialists on 028 9073 6050 or visit www.mahlatini.com
Alternatively, package prices for the Zimbabwe Highlights trip with two nights stay at Little Makololo Camp instead of Davison’s Camp start from £3,200 per person with Mahlatini Travel, inclusive of all food and transfers. Contact Mahlatini, the luxury African travel specialists on 028 9073 6050 or visit www.mahlatini.com
About Wilderness Safaris: www.wilderness-safaris.com
· Wilderness Safaris is an ecotourism company that specialises in memorable wildlife experiences in some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa. In this way it offers its guests private access to almost three million hectares of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves, while remaining fiercely committed to protecting our planet’s precious natural and cultural resources.
· Wilderness Safaris operates camps and safaris in some of Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness reserves across eight different countries: Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
· Recognising that conservation is as much about people as about the environment, the company has pursued important goals through its Children in the Wilderness programme, as well as through the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which have helped change the face of nature-based tourism in Africa.
· Wilderness Safaris firmly believes that its single most important achievement to date is to have built a sustainable business model that does not compromise environmental principles and which provides jobs, training, skills, careers, adjusted horizons, hope and a realistic alternative to less sustainable development.
· Wilderness Safaris is part of the Wilderness organisation, a group of responsible ecotourism companies and conservation and community development vehicles that together endeavour to use responsible tourism to build sustainable conservation economies in Africa.
Star Parties Shine at the Largest Dark Sky Park in the U.S.
DEATH VALLEY – One of the rarest and greatest natural attractions in the United States is total darkness. The trend in night-sky tourism is on the rise and Furnace Creek Resort in Death Valley National Park is center stage for the stars that come out every night. So, it only seemed natural that Furnace Creek Resort, in conjunction with the Las Vegas Astronomical Society, will host a series of Star Parties on property, celebrating the humbling awe of the solar system. The resort is now accepting reservations for the next Death Valley Star Party, slated for February 20-21, 2015.
Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Furnace Creek Resort is ideally positioned in the world’s largest International Dark Sky Park. With clear nights the norm, lack of settled land and the exterior lights of the resort dim by design, breathtaking western sunsets give way to expansive skies and endless stars. Ideal for star-gazing, yes, but also for travelers in search of astronomical sights – constellations, planets, deep-sky objects, celestial events like lunar eclipses and meteor showers, and even actual galaxies like the increasingly hard-to-spot Milky Way.
During the winter and spring months, Death Valley National Park hosts a number of stargazing events, but the beautiful dark skies are an attraction for astronomy enthusiasts year-round. Resort guests looking for after-hours entertainment are encouraged to join:
Ranger-led programs, hosted by Death Valley National Park, complete with high-powered telescopes. Stargazers can view the moon’s surface, distant stars and deep-sky objects at various park locations including the Mesquite Sand Dunes, Harmony Borax Works and the Visitors Center Thursday through Sunday.
Monthly moonlight horseback rides provided by Furnace Creek Stables through April.
Furnace Creek Resort is now accepting reservations for the next Death Valley Star Party, slated for February 20-21, 2015. Visit www.furnacecreekresort.com to make your reservation now. Parking for all Star Parties is available at the golf course or just a short walk from hotel guest rooms. Astronomers bringing telescopes will need to register here.
About Furnace Creek Resort
Located in Death Valley National Park between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Furnace Creek Resort is an authentic American oasis, steeped in history, adventure and unforgettable natural landscapes. Featuring two distinct destination experiences, the sophisticated Inn at Furnace Creek and the family-friendly Ranch at Furnace Creek, the property affords direct access to one of the world’s most precious resources; Death Valley National Park. The historic four-diamond, Inn at Furnace Creek features 66 elegant rooms, fine dining, verandas with sweeping views of Death Valley, lush gardens, spring-fed pool and tennis courts. Surrounded by towering palm trees, The Ranch at Furnace Creek boasts the world’s lowest golf course (214 feet below sea level), post office, general store, a large spring-fed swimming pool, casual dining restaurants, horseback riding and 224 family-friendly rooms. The Ranch is also home to The Borax Museum, as well as a nearby 3,065-foot x 70-foot asphalt runway. Guests have access to both properties and most facilities. For more information, visit www.furnacecreekresort.com.
Opening in October 2014: New Mountain Lodges along the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu
Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP), well respected for their high quality hiking and horseback riding tours complemented by guest lodging in world-class mountain lodges, has announced the addition of a new hiking program along the Lares Trail to Machu Picchu and in the Urubamba Valley, “Sacred Valley of the Incas,” with exclusive accommodations in two new lodges. The new lodges just opened in the town of Lamay and in the rural community of Huacahuasi (a third lodge in the village of Patacancha will open in fall 2015) serve as deluxe “base camps” for day hikes designed for a variety of hiking levels and abilities. Guests may join a 5- or 7-day fixed departures from Cuzco, complete with an expert guide who will be with the group for the entire journey. The trip ends with a guided visit of Machu Picchu and climb of Huayna Picchu peak for a rewarding view of the Sanctuary from above.
The Lares Trail, a wonderful alternative to the more heavily traveled Inca Trail, is noted for its cultural attractions, including traditional weavers attired in colorful dress, roving herds of alpacas and llamas, and a panorama of waterfalls, snow peaks, and glacial lakes. An extensive network of trails throughout the region lead to traditional Andean highland communities unchanged for centuries, where guests can meet local communities and get a glimpse of the distant past, and to spectacular Inca archaeological sites including the fortress of Pisac and the town of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, where the rebel Inca leader Manco Inca defeated the Spanish in battle. More challenging trails bring guests to remote passes with views of Andean peaks, with the occasional condor soaring above.
After a day of hiking and exploring, the travelers return to the lodges where they can enjoy the comforts of a spacious guest room with hot shower, gourmet dining, lounging by a fireplace while recounting the adventures of the day, and, why not, a jacuzzi and a massage.
MLP’s lodges on the Lares Trail and in the Sacred Valley are designed to blend into the existing landscape, reducing their visual impact to a minimum, and the use of local materials—stone, adobe, wood, and straw—that reflect the region’s traditional construction.
Family run UK tour operator Mountain Heaven (0151 625 1921 www.mountainheaven.co.uk ) narrowly missed first place in the Ski Holidays Innovation awards at a recent industry gathering.
“Normally second place is not something we’d celebrate but we were up against some tough competition and the judging panel were some of the most respected ski writers in the industry” said Managing Director, Nick Williams. “therefore, we are very delighted to be ranked so highly”
The company’s “No single supplement for families with an odd number of children” idea really caught the imagination of the judges as it represented a genuinely useful addition for larger families who are often penalised on holiday. For families with an odd number of children, Mountain Heaven will, wherever possible, add a third bed to twin rooms to accommodate the child. If this is not possible there will be no single occupancy supplement added to the additional room.
The award was jointly organised by France Montagnes and ABTOF (Association of British Travel Organisers to France) and presented at their Wintersports in France launch day on 9th September 2013.
The judges were Felice and Peter Hardy, Arnie Wilson, Neil English, Minty Clinch, Henry Druce, Rob Freeman and Frank Baldwin. Their collective C.V. of published ski articles encompasses almost all UK national newspapers, almost all ski specialist magazines and the leading editorial ski websites. They were asked to make their decision based on three key factors.
1) Is it a genuine innovation?
2) Is it relevant to the general skiing public?
3) Will skiers find it interesting/desirable?
Terms & conditions. This offer is not available for New Year and half term bookings, when only full chalets can be booked. Lift passes need to be bought through Mountain Heaven (at no extra cost). Not applicable to existing family rooms which already have a 50% reduction for children. Mountain Heaven reserves the right to amend this offer to ensure compliance with local fire and safety regulations. Children must be under 16 years old.
4) Notes for Editors:
Mountain Heaven is a family run tour operator offering catered and self-catered chalets in seven resorts in the French and Swiss Alps. The company was started 11 years ago and welcomed just over 4,000 guests in 2013/14 ski season. It is fully bonded with ABTOT (No 5159) for complete client protection. Catered chalets are available in La Plagne 1800, Les Arcs, Morzine, Courchevel, La Rosiere and La Tania. A week in La Plagne 1800, fully catered and including airport transfers costs between £399 and £899 per person dependent on time of year. Self catering properties are available in Plagne Montalbert and Grimentz.
Copies of the full press release detailing the “no single supplement for odd children” offer can be obtained by e-mailing Paddy Daly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural Retreats are delighted to announce the launch of Natural Retreats Handpicked in Rock and North Cornwall, a selection of stunning privately owned holiday homes in some of the region’s most popular holiday spots. With a wide range of high quality, individually owned properties ranging in size from two to six bedrooms, in wonderful locations on the Atlantic coast of North Cornwall such as Rock, Polzeath, Port Isaac and Roserrow, Natural Retreats now offer even more holiday choice in Cornwall. From cosy apartments to sprawling farmhouses, there is the perfect holiday home for everyone, whether it’s a romantic bolthole or a property big enough to host a huge family gathering. North Cornwall magically combines the hip and trendy with wildly beautiful landscapes – here you will find surf spots, sensational beaches, spectacular coastline, dramatic cliffs and an abundance of celebrity endorsed eateries. www.naturalretreats.co.uk
PORT ANGELES, Wash.— A true escape from the rush and madness of the holiday season should be had with IPad-less kiddos and no cell service. As stores, malls and cities become overrun with deals and decorations, the best deal to be had is time spent with loved ones away from all the hustle and bustle and surrounded by the beauty of one of nature’s most incredible experiences – storm watching on the coast. This holiday season, take a break and escape to Kalaloch Lodge on the Olympic Peninsula to enjoy the awe-striking power of winter storms on the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
Kalaloch Lodge is perched on a bluff along the Pacific Ocean, offering incredible views right from your room porch or cabin deck. The resort has received accolades as a top spot for viewing winter storms, as the location offers first-row seating of monstrous waves and intermittent sunshine perfect for walking on the beach while the storms break. Ideal for families, the property is located on Olympic National Park property and boasts quaint cabins and a main lodge, which contains additional lodging rooms, a restaurant with views of breathtaking sunsets, the gift shop and a mercantile complete with camping necessities.
Click here for the Brave the Storm package details and here to learn more about Washington’s magnificent Olympic Peninsula.
MT. RAINIER, Wash. – Now that the first snow has fallen on the mountain, ski bums and the like are counting the days until they can don their coats, boots and gloves and hit the hill. The Mt. Rainier area offers so much more than downhill skiing and snowboarding; they offer a variety of activities to please the winter enthusiasts as well as those who’d rather stay where it’s warm. Visit Rainier has compiled the Top 10 Ways to Experience Mt. Rainier this winter:
Strap on your snowshoes and spend the day marveling at the clean white mountainsides and snow-covered trees along the park’s winter trails. If you’d like to go with a group, take the popular ranger-guided tour at Paradise offered mid-December through early March. Crystal Mountain also offers a packaged snowshoe tour on Saturdays and White Pass has a well-groomed system of trails at their Nordic Center, perfect for snowshoers of all abilities.
Bring the Kids (of all ages) to Paradise’s Snow Play Area
For those who see the snow and feel the need for speed, this is the one place in the park where sleds are welcome – and expected! Squeals and laughter fill the air as people of all ages have a blast careening down the hill. The snow play area is located north of the upper parking lot at Paradise and opens mid-December and closes near the end of March.
Ride Crystal’s Mt. Rainier Gondola
Skiers, riders and foot passengers can all take a ride to the Crystal Mountain summit for captivating mountain views, a delectable meal at the Summit House restaurant or to drop back into the vast terrain that plunges below the ridgeline. This gondola was the first one to be installed at a ski resort in Washington State.
Go Hut to Hut Nordic Skiing
Recreation on the Mount Tahoma Trails comes in all forms, from cross country skiing and snowshoeing to snowboarding and skate skiing, as well as an occasional sled dog team. Mount Tahoma Trails is North America’s largest No Fee Hut-to-Hut Trail system with over 50 miles of trails. These locations are also available for day trekkers to use as a rest place and lunch facility.
Take in the View While Dining on Fondue
Travel 2500 feet in ten minutes time on the Mt. Rainier Gondola up to the top of Crystal Mountain to dine at the Summit House. Dip bread in a cheesy fondue or savor other sumptuous specialties on the menu. Take in the 360° view while sipping a lovely glass of wine and nibbling on a mouth-watering meal – truly is an experience not to be missed.
Watch Elk and Big Horn Sheep Gather for Winter Feeding
Come to the Oak Creek Wildlife Area, one of the best locations for elk watching in the entire nation, where you can see herds of elk gathering by the hundreds for daily winter feedings. The elk are fed daily at 1:30pm and herds of bighorn sheep are fed mid-morning at the Cleman Mountain Feeding site, just a few miles east.
Spend a Cozy Night at Mt. Rainier
Instead of making the long drive home after a fun-filled day of playing in the show, opt to stay in one of the many lodging properties around Mt. Rainier. Spend a night away, or reserve a vacation rental as your home base for a week of winter activities. Resort rooms, charming cabins, upscale vacation rentals, friendly motels, bed and breakfasts… there’s no need to hurry home from your mountain getaway!
Nordic Ski at White Pass
Cross country ski or snowshoe on scenic, well-established trails through wooded areas and around a scenic alpine lake at the White Pass Nordic Center. Meander along 18 kilometers of groomed, double-tracked trails, with trails for all ages and abilities. In between runs, warm up with coffee or hot chocolate in a friendly yurt. Rental skis and snowshoes are available at across from the Nordic Center Trailhead. Lessons are also available.
Indulge Yourself at the Spa
Leave your worries and stress behind, and retreat to the peace and quiet of the mountains. Indulge yourself with a spa getaway at one of the three spas located around Mt. Rainier. The spas offer a full array of massage, body treatments and skin care. In addition to the spas, healthy living activities are available including yoga, individualized fitness programs, physical therapy and more.
Take a Tram Ride Through a Wildlife Park
Bundle up for a 55-minute tram ride around 435 acres to see native Northwest animals in their thick winter coats, roaming around Northwest Trek Wildlife Park in Eatonville. Spot bison, caribous, elk, mountain goats, deer and even moose as you meander through the park. Afterward, walk along the forested pathways to view bears, wolves, bobcats, lynx, cougars, owls, eagles and other wetland animals in beautiful natural exhibits.
Checkout the new video: Winter Experience at Mt. Rainier
Visit Rainier is the official resource for tourism information in the Mount Rainier area. Go to www.visitrainier.com for more information.
Wilderness Safaris To Open Linkwasha Camp, Zimbabwe – May 2015
Wilderness Safaris is delighted to announce the opening of the new Linkwasha Camp in May 2015. Located in a game-rich private concession in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, the camp will be the most luxurious accommodation on offer in the area. With over 18 years of experience in Hwange, Wilderness Safaris has two private concessions in the most productive wildlife areas of the Park. The new camp is perfectly located far away from public access areas but close to Ngamo, which offers fantastic summer game viewing to add to the excellent winter viewing within the Linkwasha concession. It will offer 7 en-suite double or twin luxury tents and one family tent, accommodating a total of 18 guests. www.wilderness-safaris.com
Following on from last year’s successful Christmas Fair, Chiddingstone Castle in Kent is holding its annual Christmas Fair on a Saturday for the first time.
Where better to choose your ideal Christmas gifts than in the warm, friendly and historic rooms at the Castle? Our annual Christmas Fair continues to attract hundreds of visitors for the unique, quality stalls, the lovely setting and the delicious mulled wine and mince pies!
The fair will take place on Saturday 29 November 2014 between 10am and 4.30pm.
The beautiful countryside location of this lovely Castle is perfect for a relaxed shopping opportunity with many stalls selling unique products that are not found in the High Street. Both the castle and marquee will be brimming with Christmas gifts ideas including home accessories, vintage wares, jewellery, books, cards, slate and lacquer goods, bags, children’s clothes, locally-produced food and drink, soaps, candles, cards and much more.
For a restorative coffee visitors can visit the Victorian Tea Rooms which will also be serving mulled wine, mince pies, light lunches and homemade cakes. The grounds of the Castle will be open for a peaceful stroll to the orangery or around the lake.
Admission to the fair this year will remain at £3.00 per person
For more information on ChiddingstoneCastle, the collections and activity days please visit www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk or call 01892 870347.
Chiddingstone Castle: Hill Hoath Road, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD. Tel: 01892 870347.
For more information, images or to arrange a press trip please contact Caroline Edmunds on 01892 616647 or email email@example.com
Born in 1905, in Crich in Derbyshire, Denys Bower was a passionate if eccentric collector who led an extraordinary life. He disabled his hand in a motorcycle accident when he was a youth, which meant he did not serve in the Second World War. In 1955 he bought ChiddingstoneCastle for £6,000 and opened it to the public to display his collections.
In September 1957, his life took a curious turn as he fell in love with a woman 30 years his junior and who claimed to be the Comptesse de Estainville, though she was really the daughter of a Peckham Bus Driver. After more than a year she broke off the engagement, and Denys, who was distraught, took a revolver from his collections and visited her in an attempt to change her mind. The young woman let Denys in and, as she turned to adjust a budgie cage he drew the revolver, accidentally pulling the trigger, and shot her. Thinking he had killed her, he turned the gun on himself and fired.
With a policeman standing over him, Denys awoke in the MillerHospital in Greenwich, muttering that Anna’s father, the Count Grimaldi must be told. Naturally the police, knowing who the young woman really was, assumed that Bower was not quite right in the head. Luckily the “Countess” had only minor injuries and was released after a few days. Bower was not so fortunate and on his release from hospital after a fortnight, was tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for attempted murder and attempted suicide.
The case received sensationalist press coverage and many believe it was this that led to his conviction, but thanks to the efforts of two sisters, Denys was released from Wormwood Scrubs in 1961. The Eldridge sisters took pity on the ex-convict and helped him restore ChiddingstoneCastle.
Much more of Denys’ remarkable story is told in the book, “Beyond Belief”, which is on sale in the shop at Chiddingstone Castle.
One Off Places is thrilled to announce the launch of a brand new Glamping resort on the edge of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Opened in June 2014 for its first guests, the accommodation on site includes luxurious Treehouses and bi-level Glamping tents and is the perfect spot for families and couples alike.
There are six treehouses with private balconies, nine tents on piers by the stream, and six Glamping tents, each with private hot tub and set in its own glade. Also on site are a pool, a sauna above the lake, a cold spring, restaurant and organic shop. The setting is an innovatively designed complex built over an abandoned gardening space and is entirely eco friendly.
Tabitha Symonds, founder and director of oneoffplaces.co.uk, said of this brand new addition to the portfolio; `This is one of the first glampsites in Slovenia; unique accommodation set in one of the world’s beautiful spots; truly the epitome of a One Off Place.`
Natural beauty abounds in this part of Slovenia. The emerald green Lake Bled entices guests – take a boat to the tiny island in the middle and admire the beautiful lake views. Locally there are gorges and waterfalls, national parks and caves. For the more active you can go kayaking and rafting on alpine rivers, hiking in the surrounding hills, cycling, paragliding and fishing.
Price from £130 per Treehouse / Glamping tent per night.
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