TravelWays Spring 2014 Magazine by Travel Beyond


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TravelWays Spring 2014 Magazine by Travel Beyond

  1. 1. 1 Temperatures & TIGER SAFARIS TravelWayspresented by Safari Harmony KENYA For Every Traveler FOR EVERY SEASON
  2. 2. 3 From the Owner As our office in Minnesota begins to thaw following the fourth coldest winter in state history, snow banks are giving way to puddles, lakeside paths are filling up with walkers and runners, and the silence of winter is being replaced by the chirping birds of spring. Outside of Minnesota, our travel consultants in California, Nevada, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, Florida and Cape Town, South Africa are watching their home cities adapt to spring in their own ways. As a travel consultancy, we are again reminded of how powerfully seasons affect one’s travel experiences. We bring this issue of TravelWays to you with the seasons in mind. Our foldout feature is a timeline, filled with personal recommendations from our expert team on their favorite destinations and activities for every season. Highlights include the gray whale migration in Baja, Mexico, the albatross mating season in the Galapagos and Japan’s springtime cherry blossoms. Seasonal temperatures have an impact on wildlife viewing all over the world, and our consultants are often asked about the best time to see certain species. This month, we explain how travelers willing to brave hot weather are often more successful catching a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tigers of India. For our Africa fanatics, we’re highlighting the classic African safari destination: Kenya. Kenya is best known for its seasonal migration of wildebeest and zebra, providing dramatic river crossings with lurking crocodiles. I recently returned from my second trip to Kenya and was impressed by the country’s incredible wildlife, luxury safari lodges and beautiful landscapes. Two additional Travel Beyond employ- ees, Pam Buttner and Lainie Overbeck, visited Kenya within the past month as part of our commitment to further educate our staff. On behalf of the entire Travel Beyond family, I wish you an enjoyable spring and look forward to planning your next trip, no matter what the season. Safe travels, Craig Beal , Owner/Operator New Hires: After working as a Travel Beyond intern for six years throughout high school and college, Callie Robinson joined the company full time as a travel manager following her early graduation from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. In April, Julia Gibas-Jones joined the Travel Beyond team as a travel producer, with an impressive travel resume of 25 countries visited and degrees in Interna- tional and Intercultural Studies and Narrative Studies from Pitzer College (CA). 2014 COMPANY UPDATES CONTACT US Online: Phone: (800) 876-3131 (952) 475-9975 Email: Office: 106 Broadway Ave S Wayzata, MN 55391 Jeanie Fundora’s safari tips featured in Luxury Travel Advisor An article on family safaris in the February issue of Luxury Travel Advisor featured tips from travel consultant Jeanie Fundora on traveling to Africa with kids. In December 2013, Jeanie took her 1-year-old daughter Daniela to Africa for the first time, and in the process, learned some great travel tips to pass along to her clients. To read about Jeanie’s trip, visit WCCO asks Jenny Mikkelson about“layaway”travel plans Travel Beyond is proud to be listed as a Top Minnesota Travel Agency by WCCO. In the wake of a few new internet“layaway” travel sites, Travel Beyond vice president Jenny Mikkselson answered questions from Minnesota’s CBS-affiliate WCCO about how Travel Beyond processes client payments. Her answer? Most travel agencies (including Travel Beyond) already operate by accepting payments during at least two stages of the plan- ning process, without the additional processing fees the new layaway websites impose! In the News Jan. 6: Embark Ft. Lauderdale Jan. 7-8: At Sea Jan. 9-10: Cartegena, Colombia Jan. 11: Transiting the Panama Canal Jan. 12: At Sea Jan. 13: Puntarenas, Costa Rica Jan. 14: At Sea Jan. 15: Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala Jan. 16: At Sea Jan. 17: Zihuatanejo (Ixtapa), Mexico Jan. 18: At Sea Jan. 19: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Jan. 20-21: At Sea Jan. 22: Disembark Los Angeles Join Travel Beyond owner Craig Beal on a 16-night luxury cruise through the Panama Canal aboard Silversea’s Silver Spirit. Setting sail on January 6, 2015, the itinerary offers travelers the chance to see the iconic Panama Canal undergoing a widening transformation. *Starting price per person sharing. Contact us at or (800) 876-3131 for more information. 2015 Hosted Panama Canal Cruise 16 Nights $ 7,350* Jeanie’s family on safari Jenny in Africa Courtesy Silversea Cruises
  3. 3. 4 5 KENYA is a country of many contrasts: a land spanning from vast savannah plains and snow-capped mountains to lush, tropical rain- forests and golden beaches. Kenya has captured the hearts of many in the nearly two centuries since travelers have begun exploring its stunning landscapes and the plethora of game within. Today, tourism is Kenya’s largest source of income and yet the country has been able to maintain a conservation model that has preserved the essence of what’s made Kenya truly special – its vast natural expanse, abundant wildlife and incredible cultures. Photo courtesy of Jenny Mikkelson Kenya: SAFARI HARMONY Visiting Kenya To make the most of a trip to Kenya, our consultants recommend visiting at least two national parks or private conservancies for greater diversity in Kenya’s varied wildlife and landscapes. Here are a few additional recommendations from our East Africa experts on how to best experience Kenya: Wildlife Viewing “Pair a few nights in a conservancy like Lewa Wildlife Conser- vancy with time in a conservancy surrounding the Maasai Mara to witness the Great Wildebeest and Zebra Migration, which is generally in full swing in the Mara between August and October annually. (Check out this magazine’s timeline foldout for more information on both areas!)” – Jeanie Fundora, Safari Consultant Travel+Leisure A-List Agent Scenic Views “Balance Kenya’s wide-open grasslands with a more mountain- ous reserve near Mount Kenya to appreciate a few of Kenya’s contrasting environments.” –Pam Buttner, Safari Consultant Safari Activities “Couple the standard safari game drive with a sunrise hot air bal- loon safari, walking safari, horseback safari or camelback safari for a truly memorable and unique experience.“ –Lainie Overbeck, Travel Manager Cultural Interaction “Round out wildlife viewing with a visit to the local communities of Maasai or Samburu that live on private reserves. The interac- tions are much more authentic than touristy, giving a more realistic and meaningful cultural experience.” – Craig Beal, Owner/Operator Travel+Leisure A-List Agent In March 2014, Travel Beyond owner Craig Beal, consultant Pam Buttner and travel manager Lainie Overbeck each spent approx- imately two weeks vetting camps, lodges and hotels throughout Kenya’s many national parks and private game reserves. Their recent experiences, shared with the rest of the Travel Beyond team, will add to the wealth of knowledge already held by our other East Africa experts: Kota Tabuchi, Rose Loggi, Jeanie Fun- dora, Marsha Carroll and Jenny Mikkelson. As a pioneer of the classic photographic safari experience, Kenya is historically well known as a top luxury safari destina- tion. In addition to a host of other popular game reserves, safari guests flock to the Maasai Mara for the annual Great Migration, photographing the drama that unfolds when thousands of wildebeest cross the crocodile-infested Mara River. As safaris have changed throughout Africa, Kenya has risen to the challenge to preserve an authentic experience. Kenya has championed the concept of community-based conservation, meaning many camps and lodges throughout Kenya have partnered with local communities to protect habitats, culture, provide education and empower local residents through fair business practices. The advanced and sustainable conservation model that Kenya has in place bodes well for the future of wildlife and Kenyans alike. “Near the Mara, the private conservancies pay Maasai fami- lies directly to rent the property for their private camps,”says Travel Beyond owner Craig Beal.“On a game drive, you’ll see lions at one turn and a Maasai herder with his cattle later in the drive.” This co-existence between human and animal has been a part of Kenya’s history for thousands of years, but until recently it was a source of tension in Kenya as traditional Maasai cattle grazing lands were taken and protected for wildlife. Today, however, balance exists with conservation being aided by conservancy managers. Employed by lodges throughout Kenya, conservancy managers make sure human environmental interaction and Maasai and Samburu cattle grazing practices are sustainable. Conservancy managers are respected by lodge owners and the local communities alike. Unlike some African safari destinations, most lodges in Kenya aren’t owned by big chains, but rather by families. “Each camp or lodge has a special design and feel, and about half of the places I stayed on my recent trip had an owner who lives at the camp,”explains Beal. Blending Wildlife, Culture & Tourism in Kenya Paul & Lainie Overbeck on a camelback safari in Kenya
  4. 4. 6 7 Timing is everything... At Travel Beyond, we believe that knowing when to visit a particular destination is just as important as knowing where to go and what to do when you get there. Photo courtesy Wilderness Safaris
  5. 5. 8 9 10 11 For Every Season So many special travel experiences are all about timing. With land and sea animal migrations, seasonal weather patterns and yearly festivals, it’s critical to plan ahead and plan properly for each destination. We asked our team of expert travelers and travel plan- ners to share their favorite seasonal experi- ences from around the globe and arranged those recommendations into a calendar. We were thrilled (but not surprised) to see that no matter what the season, there’s a destina- tion for every type of traveler. Enjoy. January April July OctoberFebruary May August NovemberMarch June September December S elinda , B otswana K auai , H awaii B aja W hale W atching rwandaM alawiG alapagos islands T iger safari , I ndia A laska Pacuare R i v er , C osta R ica Panama C anal timba v ati , south A frica S t. L ucia machu picchu , peru N ortheast A ustraliaN orthern S erengeti san pedro de atacama The Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana is an excellent place to see wild dog, lion, elephant and other classic safari wildlife. Although it’s a year-round destination, luxury properties in the Selinda Reserve offer great value for money throughout the No- vember to March green season. Visit in January to flee winter weather, avoid the crowds and relax after the chaos of holiday festivities. Take an expedition cruise to Baja Mexico and witness the yearly migration of spectacular gray whales who give birth in the protected waters of Magdalena Bay.The expedition ship deploys small zodiacs to place guests in the middle of the action. Among the gentle, swimming whales, guests are perfectly situated for excellent photography and (with a bit of luck) the chance to touch the curious whales. For a life-changing, magical opportunity to see the highly endangered mountain gorilla, visit Rwanda’s Parc National desVolcans. Less than 900 of the beautiful mountain gorillas remain in the wild, and a lim- ited number of trekking per- mits are available for travelers each day to ensure the gorillas are protected.Visit the park in November to avoid the slippery trek rainy season creates in the dense forested hills. Malawi, the“Warm Heart of Africa,”offers a bright, welcom- ing culture and opportunities to swim, relax on the water, hike Mt. Mulanje and witness beautiful views of the valley where JRRTolkien was inspired to write TheHobbit. September is Kelly’s favorite month in Ma- lawi for great game viewing in Liwonde National Park and the clearest waters for top-notch snorkeling and scuba diving in Lake Malawi. For a“raw”natural experience with wildlife, the Galapagos Islands located 600 miles off Ecuador’s coast can’t be beat. Snorkel with curious sea lions, kayak along stunning and diverse shorelines and photograph 100-year-old giant tortoises on volcanic islands.Visit in April to witness albatross mating season, during which the large birds dance and bill-clack in an unforgettable ritual. India is surely hot in May, but travelers who can withstand the heat are more likely to catch a glimpse of the elusive Bengal tiger in the spring season. An Indian safari also features gorgeous forest scen- ery, a variety of Indian wildlife and luxury properties that are uniquely Indian in design and opulence. Check out our article on Pages 12-13 for more information on what to expect on a tiger safari in India! Avoid the tourist trap port towns that large cruise ships visit and get to know the beauty of Alaska more inti- mately on a small ship cruise. Visit Alaska during the summer to take full advantage of hik- ing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking and an array of other outdoor activities. Photograph stunning coastal scenery and learn about the brown bears, otters, whales and other animals who call Alaska home. Costa Rica’s Pacuare River deserves a spot on any adven- turous traveler’s list. A rafting trip down the exciting and beautiful river is best in early December, at the beginning of dry season when the water is still running high. Along the route, stay at a jungle lodge, take a canopy adventure tour ziplining through the wildlife- filled forest, and horseback ride along the river for a different perspective of the jungle scene. After a successful 2014 hosted Caribbean cruise, I’ve decided to lead another group luxury cruise in January 2015. Please join me on a Silversea sailing through the iconic Panama Ca- nal in the midst of it’s historic widening transformation.The cruise visits ports along the way in Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Mexico. See page 3 of this magazine for more information on my16- night hosted cruise. For a family safari per- fectly suited for the little ones, visit theTimbavati in beautiful South Africa.The family friendly Kambaku Safari Lodge is family-owned and operated (and even has their own little one who loves the bush!)Take the family in the summer while your kids are on break from school. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a white lion in their natural environment! St. Lucia boasts much more than simply a beach escape from the North American winter. Explore the scenic Piton volcanic plugs (a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site), snorkel in coral reefs, hike among gorgeous scenery, visit botanical gardens and the world’s only“drive-in” volcano. (Yes, you read that right!) Don’t wait until next year’s bitter temperatures set in to plan your trip to this exotic Caribbean island. The archeological masterpiece of Machu Picchu, built by the Inca Empire, is a highlight of any trip to Peru. Active travel- ers, photographers, historians and kids alike fall in love with the ruins. Beautiful weather in May makes it a perfect time to visit before summer crowds arrive. Combine the trek to the ruins with a stay at a luxurious property on the mountain’s base, offering nature walks, tea and many family activities. August marks springtime in Australia, which means northeast Australia offers ideal weather before the intense heat and humidity arrive for the October through March summer season. Snorkelers at the Great Barrier Reef see less jellyfish, and the temperatures are perfect for exploring regions like the Daintree Rainforest (the oldest in the world!) and the wildlife-filled Bamurru Plains. During March, the Northern Serengeti inTanzania hosts fewer travelers, making it a quiet, relaxing destination in which to enjoy beautiful scenery, good resident game viewing and a calming safari escape.The Northern Serengeti is a perfect next travel step after an exciting visit to see the wildebeest and zebra migra- tion (located in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti at this time of year.) Chile’s San Pedro de Atacama rests in the world’s driest desert, but highlights here are more than sand.Visit Geysers delTatio at sunrise to see the Earth awaken with steaming fumeroles. See Laguna Chaxa’s pink flamingos wading in brilliant blue water.Watch the sunset from theValley of the Moon, with its changing vistas in the fading light. Go in late June to celebrate the Fiesta de San Pedro amidst it all. Jeanie Fundora Kota Tabuchi Katie Blackstone Meg Tschudi Joleen Soderberg Marsha Carroll Ken Marshall Rose Loggi Jennifer Bravo Lainie Overbeck Kayla Torgerson Pam Buttner Jenny Mikkelson Marguerite Smit Kelly RItter Phillip Gain Recommended by Jeanie Fundora Recommended by Ken Marshall Recommended by Jenny Mikkelson Recommended by Rose LoggiRecommended by Kelly RitterRecommended by Katie Blackstone Recommended by Kayla Torgerson Recommended by Jenny Mikkelson Recommended by Jennifer Bravo Recommended by Craig Beal Recommended by Marguerite Smit Recommended by Ken Marshall and Joleen Soderberg Recommended by Marguerite Smit Recommended by Jenny MikkelsonRecommended by Pam Buttner Recommended by Jennifer Bravo G rootbos , S outh A frica Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is home to the“Marine Big 5”- whales, sharks, dol- phins, seals and penguins. Between June and December, hundreds of Southern Right Whales chooseWalker Bay as their home for the mating season. Experience close encounters with these majestic giants from coastal cliffs, aboard a whale watching boat or by plane flying over the spectacularWalker Bay. Recommended by Marsha Carroll L ewa wildlife conser v ancy, K enya Lewa is a private conser- vancy, which allows it to offer traditional game drives and additionally exciting activities like horseback or camelback safaris.The conservancy pays special attention to protecting threatened black rhinos, harboring about 10% of Kenya’s entire population.Visit this year-round destination in January or February to avoid summer crowds and shoulder- season rains. Recommended by Rose Loggi and Lainie Overbeck T ransatlantic C rossing Traveling to Europe on a sum- mer trip? Consider aTransatlan- tic Crossing on the luxurious Queen Mary 2 from NewYork to Southampton at the time of year the Atlantic is most smooth.While onboard, learn to salsa dance, enjoy a mas- sage, visit the only planetarium at sea and relax with stunning sunsets over the vast ocean. Ar- rive in Europe refreshed instead of tired from an overnight international flight. Recommended by Bob Gaston and Meg Tschudi Z ambia Zambia is still wild Africa— away from the safari crowds and offering amazing walking safaris in places like South Luangwa National Park and canoeing opportunities the the Lower Zambezi.The country’s intimate, remote camps are surrounded by incredible game.The temperate climate in July and August makes the months of the American summer the perfect time for an unforgettable Zambian safari. Recommended by Kota Tabuchi M ozambique Mozambique’s Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos host gorgeous beaches and world- class diving and snorkeling. Visit in May to avoid the November through March rainy season.While there, take a romantic dhow sunset cruise to celebrate an anniversary, explore colorful ocean life snorkeling in the Mozambique Channel or simply read a book on the beach to relax after an African safari. Recommended by Jeanie Fundora Craig Beal Bob Gaston E ast A frica ’ s G reat M igration The GreatWildebeest Migration in Kenya andTanzania is ongo- ing and moves throughout the region year-round. However, most travelers envi- sion dramatic river crossings when dreaming of seeing the migration. For the best chance of crocodile vs. wildebeest encounters, visit the Northern Serengeti on theTanzanian side and the Maasai Mara on the Kenyan side in August and September. Recommended by Kota Tabuchi and Jeanie Fundora B otswana Botswana’s popularity often translates into full camps and less availability.To beat the crowds, go on safari during the first two weeks of December. Because of fewer guests in camp, travelers often get private vehicles without having to pay the extra cost. As a bonus, early December gives guests access to the most ex- perienced and knowledgeable guides who will likely have the holidays off from work. Recommended by Craig Beal Tarangire , Tanzania Tanzania may be best known for the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, butTarangire National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in all of Africa.Tarangire’s rolling hills and stunning baobab trees are a photographer’s dream. The park’s water sources host a strong animal population dur- ing the June through October dry season, offering the great- est concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti. Recommended by Rose Loggi Z imbabwe Be warned: October in Zimba- bwe is HOT. However, just like on a tiger safari in India (see page 14!), if you can stand the heat, the game viewing is epic due to incredible predator v. prey interation around water sources.With less vegetation, the animals are easier to spot as well.Visit both Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park to get a well- rounded Zimbabwean safari experience. Recommended by Pam Buttner C artegena , C olombia The city of Cartagena, Colombia is a celebration of culture, color and history.Visit in November for fewer crowds while enjoy- ing activities like boating to the Rosario Islands for a day of sun, fun and snorkeling. Climb the Castillo de San Felipe fort and explore its series of underground tunnels. Experi- ence the unique combination of Latin and Caribbean cultures with fabulous music, dance and food. Recommended by Jennifer Bravo C ape town , south africa CapeTown is eclectic, bustling and full of variety that never goes out of season, but one of Marsha’s favorite times to visit is April. Autumn in Cape Town means less crowds and an abundance of sunshine and blue skies, perfect for enjoying popular CapeTown beaches such as Camps Bay or Clifton. Take a cultural tour, indulge at world-class restaurants and stand atopTable Mountain for spectacular views. Recommended by Marsha Carroll Courtesy Jeanie Fundora Courtesy Lindblad Expeditions Courtesy Jenny Mikkelson Courtesy Matt Bracken Courtesy Memorable Costa RicaCourtesy Jennifer BravoCourtesy Encounters Asia Courtesy Molly Demmer Courtesy Lainie Overbeck Courtesy Silversea Cruises Courtesy Cunard Cruise Line Courtesy Kayla Torgerson Courtesy Will Bracken Courtesy Lainie Overbeck Courtesy Marguerite SmitCourtesy Jennifer BravoCourtesy Marguerite Smit Courtesy Kayla Torgerson Courtesy Ken Marshall japan Growing up in Japan may make Kota a little bit biased, but Japan has beautiful culture and the best food in the world. Visit in April to witness and photograph the blooming cherry blossoms. Plan your trip from south to north to follow the blooming pattern. Along the way, visit Shinto Shrines, explore BuddhistTemples, taste local cuisine and check out Kota’s favorite nightime hangout, Kichijoji inTokyo. Recommended by Kota Tabuchi Courtesy Kota Tabuchi Victoria Falls The greatVictoria Falls experi- ences its highest flow in March and April, when visitors can experience the majestic power of“The Smoke thatThunders,” the translation of the Mosi- oa-Tuya indigenous name. Adventurous travelers can bungee jump or fly in a micro light at the falls, while others can take a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River from either the Zambian or Zimbabwean side of the falls. Recommended by Jeanie Fundora Courtesy Molly Demmer E l C halten , A rgentina Called the“Trekking Capital of Patagonia,”El Chalten’s hiking scenery boasts the turquoise lakes, majestic mountains and dazzling glaciers for which the region is best known.Visit El Chalten in early March as it showcases fall colors and is subject to fewer crowds. Stop by the charming chocolate shop or funky brewery for a bit of local flavor or strap on crampons for an thrilling ice climb onViedma Glacier. Recommended by Jennifer Bravo Courtesy Jennifer Bravo On Kauai, you’ll run out of synonyms for beautiful as you discover the island’s many fantastic draws.Take a yacht tour of the Napali Coast, explore the impressiveWaimea Canyon, photograph the iconic Kilauea lighthouse or sunbathe on sunny Poipu Beach.This scenic island never ceases to be beautiful, but an October or early November visit avoids holiday crowds, winter escapes and school break busy seasons. and every traveler Courtesy Lainie Overbeck Courtesy Paul RunzeCourtesy Molly Demmer
  6. 6. 12 13 VIBRANT. SPIRITUAL. RAW. Three words that describe the beauty and intrigue of India, one of the world’s oldest and most captivating civilizations. While India may be best known for its bustling cities and diverse culture, it is also home to one of most secluded and elusive animals on the planet: the Bengal tiger. India is one of only two destinations in the world where visitors have an opportunity to see this magnificent (and endangered) animal in the wild. Tigers have long been champions of popular culture. In fact, the tiger was even voted“World’s Favorite Animal”in an Animal Planet poll. But unlike playful Hollywood depictions such as Winnie the Pooh’s Tigger and Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger, the Bengal tiger is anything but outgoing or social. Rather, the world’s favorite animal prefers to live a solitary life out of the spotlight, making sightings rare and special. “The reality of spotting a tiger on safari is important to discuss up front with interested travelers prior to commit ting to the journey, especially if they have traveled to Africa on a safari where the experience is very different,”says Jenny Mikkelson, vice president at Travel Beyond.“In Africa, while we can’t guarantee a particular sighting, it is more unusual for guests to return without seeing, for example, some of the Big Five if they are in an area known for their sightings. The Heat of the Moment: TEMPERATURES & TIMING OF TIGER SAFARIS Photo courtesy of Encounters Asia A classic safari view, courtesy of travel manager Kayla Torgerson W il d life F oc u s In India, you may not see a single tiger, and it’s important to know that going in.” So what is all the fuss about if a sighting cannot be guaran- teed? Travel Beyond employee Kayla Torgerson has embarked on safari in both India and Africa and while she describes the experiences as being“completely different”there is some com- mon ground. “While on safari in Africa, seeing wild dog, for example, is uncommon, so when you get the opportunity it’s really incred- ible,”explains Torgerson.“With tigers, it’s similar. The experi- ence of searching for a tiger is exciting and if you see one it’s special because you know it is quite rare. If you don’t, which is more common, there are plenty of other things to see: birds, Barasingha (swamp deer), buffalo, monkeys and other smaller species. The natural beauty of India is stunning and within the parks—away from the cities—is one of the only places where that beauty is truly untouched and preserved.” Timing is everything when planning a tiger safari to India. India’s national parks close during monsoon season, which means they are only open from October 15th to June 30th. The heat from April through the closing of the parks at the end of June is intense, with sweltering temperatures above 100 degrees Farenheit. “When speaking to a client about a tiger safari, I always ask, “Can you take the heat?”says Mikkelson. As Mikkelson explains, travelers who can endure the stifling seasonal temperatures are often more likely to be rewarded with a tiger sighting. This is because the shrubs and plant life of the forest shrivel in the heat, aiding in the search. In addition, creeks and smaller bodies of water also cease to exist, causing more predator and prey drama at the larger permanent water sources within the national parks. As the temperatures rise and the natural environment adapts, tiger behavior changes in these hot months as well. Like ani- mals in Africa, once a tiger finds a spot next to a body of water, it is likely to stick around and rest in response to the heat. As a reward for the willingness to sweat, safari guests are more likely (though not guaranteed) to locate and photograph a tiger in the wild during these months. Like the tigers, safari guests can be assured of a break from the heat of the day as well. Cooler nights and a number of air-conditioned luxury properties in the parks offer a refreshing break after a day on a photographic hunt. Visiting India Tiger safari itineraries often include three to four nights on safari, giving travelers a chance to easily add on other experiences in India, from the classic Golden Triangle circuit to holy sites and relaxing beaches. Golden Triangle India’s“Golden Triangle”of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur of- fers the chance to see the iconic Taj Mahal, fascinating mosques and temples, colorful bazaars and other must-see destinations. Varanasi Those who have already experienced the Golden Triangle often enjoy visiting the loud and colorful Varanasi on a second trip. A holy site for Hindus, Varanasi features the incredible Ganga Aarti daily ritualistic candlelit ceremony viewed from a boat upon the Ganges. Indian Ocean Beaches While few travelers immediately think of India as a beach destination, a relaxing escape to southern India can include word-class Indian Ocean beaches, unique house boat journeys, famous Ayurvedic spas and plenty of relaxation at luxury properties. India’s Taj Mahal courtesy of travel manager Kayla Torgerson
  7. 7. 14 15 Frequently Answered Questions Q: Why do you recommend travel protection plans? A: In our 39 years in business, it’s safe to say that we’ve planned a lot of different types of trips to destinations across the globe. We’ve also traveled a lot ourselves, building our destination knowledge and experiencing the same travel headaches that occasionally result from international travel. While this experience means our staff is trained to anticipate nearly every possible scenario that may result in trip interruption, we can’t anticipate everything that could potentially disrupt your trip (as much as it pains me to admit it). Therefore, we recommend you purchase a protection plan to protect your investment and yourself while traveling. We recommend a protection plan that includes coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage delay, emergency medical expenses/evacuation and more. Your Travel Beyond consultant can provide you with a Description of Coverage for a summary of details, including terms, conditions, benefits, limitations and exclusions. Q: Do you just book Africa? A: Each year, we plan more trips to Africa than any other destination. With a South African-born founder, Travel Beyond’s history is rich in safari planning expertise. However, Africa is not the only destination where we plan trips, and we have“World”consultants dedicated to destinations outside of Africa. Each year, our clients visit places like Australia and South America, board luxury or expedition cruise ships and plan winter getaways to Caribbean islands. A few of our favorite and most popular destinations are listed in this magazine’s special timeline foldout. You’ll find tropical vacation spots like St. Lucia and Kauai, recommended by Ken. Jennifer, Mar- guerite and Katie explain the best times to visit Latin American locations like Costa Rica, Patagonia, Colombia, the Galapagos Islands and Peru. Craig and I recommend luxury cruises, Kayla plots the best time to visit India for a tiger safari, and Jenny raves about Alaska and Australia. One of our favorite things about putting custom itineraries together for our clients is being able to share our passion and ex- pertise. For the past 39 years, we’ve specialized in creating custom itineraries that meet our individual client’s needs. This means the consultation process at Travel Beyond is very collaborative and we spend a great deal of time in conversation with our clients. As a result, we have been asked many questions. We’d like to share with you a few of the most frequently asked (and answered) questions. African Preschool Society is a grass roots charitable organization which has built two preschools for 600 students in rural communities in South Africa since 2002. The charity provides funding for staff salaries, building maintenance and school supplies for local children who attend. Following the success of the charity’s first project, Mazinyane Preschool near Kruger National Park in South Africa, the local community requested a nurs- ery as well, ensuring working mothers are provided with the childcare they need to work or finish school. African Preschool Society is currently raising money to build the nursery. The charity has no paid staff, al- lowing all donations to go toward projects. For more information, visit We enjoy connecting travelers with charitable organizations abroad. In fact, many of our favorite camps, lodges and opera- tors abroad have charitable programs of their own that Travel Beyond proudly supports. While we do our best to support our client’s desire to volunteer abroad, there are important factors to consider. First, volunteering is not always free. In addition to your time, a day of volunteering requires a commitment from the charitable organization as well. The training and supervison of volunteers can be costly, and therefore many organizations require a fee in addition to your time. Organizations supporting Africa’s spec- tacular wildlife must take extra precaution – both to protect you and the animals in their care. Therefore, opportunities are often limited to educational visits vs hands-on interactions. While wildlife volunteer efforts are usually more difficult to plan, cultural volunteer interactions are often more accessible for a day trip. For example, our clients can volunteer at a local soup kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa or spend a day volun- teering at a school in Ecuador. There are numerous ways outside of volunteering to give back while traveling. Some of our favorite recommendations include donating some space in your suitcase through an organization like Pack for a Purpose ( Through this program travelers simply bring school or medical supplies to participating hotels, camps and lodges who then distribute donated supplies directly to the local schools and clinics that have requested assistance. Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: African Preschool Society Jenny Mikkelson Vice President Bob Gaston Travel Consultant ???? ?? ?? Giving Back An orphaned elephant at The David Sheldrick WIldlife Trust in Nairobi, Kenya. Courtesy Lainie & Paul Overbeck
  8. 8. 106 Broadway Ave S. Wayzata, MN 55391 • (800) 876-3131 • Courtesy Lainie & Paul Overbeck Deer in India, courtesy Kayla Torgerson Butterfly in India, courtesy Kayla TorgersonGiraffe Manor in Kenya, courtesy Lainie & Paul Overbeck