Africa

Planning a Luxury Safari | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, Africa, Family Travel, Groups, Luxury, on 28 June 2019, by , 0 Comments

An African safari is on the travel bucket list of many of our clients. It’s absolutely a life-changing experience you will never forget.

Planning a luxury safari is one type of vacation where the advice of an expert travel professional is invaluable! From selecting the right location, the right time to see and experience the things you want to see, the perfect accommodations, the proper documentation, and the ideal safari guide, you’ll appreciate having someone “in-the-know” taking care of the details.

Here are some of the top things you should keep in mind when planning a luxury African safari…


Where to go?

Africa is a vast continent with diverse cultural and wildlife experiences. While many people consider a safari to be a “once in a lifetime” trip, the truth is that you can plan multiple safaris without repeating experiences.

Over 50 million tourists visit Africa each year with the majority coming from the US, UK, and France. US visitors tend to favor Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa. The French prefer Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, and Mauritius. British tourists opt for Egypt, Gambia, South Africa, and Mauritius.

Planning a Luxury Safari

What to see?

Deciding where you want to visit can feel overwhelming but knowing precisely what animals you hope to see on your safari can easily help narrow down the choices. During our vacation consultation, we will discuss what experiences you are looking for, and your travel advisor will offer suggestions based on those preferences

Africa offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. While there are a considerable number of animal species in Africa, most first-time safari guests are hoping to see “the big 5” during their time in Africa. The big five is made up of lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and Cape buffalos. If this is what you are looking for, then your choices will include Botswana. Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Another popular request is for gorilla trekking. If you are hoping to commune with a silverback and company, then you’ll want to focus on Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Planning a Luxury Safari

Photo ©Cottar’s Safari Camp

Where to Stay?

There are a wide variety of options available for accommodations on your safari vacation. For a luxury safari, most guests tend to choose either a five-star safari lodge or a luxury tent camp. Quite often when we help our clients to plan a safari, we recommend that they allow for enough time to experience both options in multiple locations.

A safari lodge or game lodge will typically feature more resort-like amenities while a luxury tent camp is often the ultimate romantic experience that feels entirely authentic.

The primary differences between a safari camp and a safari lodge tend to be the size (lodges, in general, are bigger), amenities, and of course having four solid walls around you! Don’t let the name fool you; there are tent camps available that are almost decadent in their level of luxury!

Planning a Luxury Safari

When to go?

In real estate, location is everything. When it comes to a safari vacation, timing is everything! Visit at the right time, and you’ll be treated to a fantastic experience with abundant wildlife that takes your breath away. Plan your trip during the wrong time and you the animals may be few and far between.

The best advice tends to be to plan your trip during the dry season when water is a bit scarce. The animals will seek out watering holes, and this makes it easier for your guide to predict where and when you are likely to find them. It is also easier for safari vehicles to navigate the dirt roads of the game reserves.

One of the most amazing experiences happens each year from June to September with the great Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park. While this is peak season, and that is reflected in the price tag, it has earned the title of “the Greatest Show on Earth!”

These are just a few of the things we take into consideration when planning a luxury safari for our clients. Other factors include how to get around, what type of travel documentation is required, if any vaccines are recommended, safety, and what (if any) ways our client would like to give back to the local communities.

Ready to experience an African safari for yourself? It all starts with a personalized vacation consultation. Click here to request a time for us to meet. We’ll discuss the details and what you are looking for. We’ll give you our suggestions and explain how we can best work together to plan an unforgettable safari experience.

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River Cruising | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Asia, Europe, River Cruising, on 4 May 2019, by , 0 Comments

Over the last couple of years, river cruising has become one of the fastest growing travel trends around. It a vacation option I recommend to many of my well-traveled clients looking for a different type of experience for their next vacation.

If you’ve been curious about river cruising, here are a few things you ought to know…

Where do they go?

While Europe may be the most popular river cruise destination, it is definitely not the only choice.  Some of the other places you’ll find river cruises are along the Volga river in Russia, Amazon river in Peru and Brazil, the Nile river in Egypt, the Yangtze River in China, and the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In Europe, some of the most popular itineraries include the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Saone, and Seine. I typically recommend European itinerary for most first-time river cruisers unless there is another location that you have been dreaming of for quite some time.

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Luxury | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Australia, Europe, Food, Golf, Luxury, New Zealand, River Cruising, Tours, Travel, Wine, on 23 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Here at Ingenious Travel, we’ve always defined our “niche” as luxury travel, but I’ve found that this means different things to different people.

There are some people to whom “luxury” means gilded walls, gold chandeliers, velvet covered furniture… and of course a hefty price tag. That’s not how we define luxury, and it’s not what most of our luxury travelers are looking for when it comes to their vacation.

We tend to focus more on exceptional, authentic experiences, a high level of service and hospitality, and a focus on comfort and convenience. Each client’s experience is customized and personalized to their wants, needs, and expectations. Moreover, we don’t focus solely on price because “more expensive” doesn’t always mean “better.” We look at the value rather than the price when evaluating travel experiences.

While it’s true that most of our clients book exclusive cabins and high-end suites, that isn’t the case for every vacationer. We also have clients who are less selective when it comes to accommodations and choose to focus instead on activities, experiences, and dining options for their vacation.

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Travel Insurance | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Australia, Cruises, Europe, New Zealand, Travel, on 8 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Think about the last time you rented a car.

Did you take the optional insurance?

Do you see that insurance as a good investment or a waste of money? It seems like a good percentage of travelers say no to this optional upgrade for a variety of reasons.

The most common reasons are that they believe themselves to be a “good driver” and that they have car insurance at home that will cover them in a rental car… or that the credit card they used to pay for the rental offers additional coverage as well.

I don’t have strong opinions on rental car insurance, but when it comes to travel insurance, I’m always ready to hop up on my soapbox and let my clients know what I think!

I, like any travel professional worth their salt, recommend travel insurance to each and every one of my clients. Unfortunately, most travelers don’t understand what the policy covers and when they really should be spending the extra money to purchase travel insurance.

“We know we aren’t going to cancel so we don’t need cancellation insurance.”

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