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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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Oktoberfest | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Food, Groups, Theme Vacations, Unique Getaways, Weekend Getaway, on 7 June 2019, by , 0 Comments

Imagine a two to three week festival dedicated to beer and traveling funfair. Not only does it exist, Oktoberfest happens every year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany! In fact, this annual festival has been held since the year 1810, and even though several celebrations exist worldwide, the one in Germany was the first, and is still the biggest.

When to Visit Oktoberfest

The best time to visit Oktoberfest is generally in September. Yep, this beer fueled event actually kicks off before October officially arrives. The weekdays of the event are the quietest, and understandably so the weekends are the busiest. For full details of the best days to visit, click here.

Costs

While the grounds of the official Oktoberfest are free to enter, everything inside has a fee. From samples of beer to amusement park rides, luggage storage to special events – Oktoberfest can get expensive fast if you’re not keeping track of your budget. One liter of beer at Oktoberfest was nearly 12 Euro (roughly $13.50 USD) in 2018. Keep your eye out for specials. Also, consider going during the quieter times when vendors offer discounts to keep the beer tap flowing.

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Collect Experiences | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, All-Inclusive, Baby Boomers, Europe, Family Travel, Golf, Groups, Luxury, River Cruising, Unique Getaways, on 22 February 2019, by , 0 Comments

As a travel professional, I value great experiences. The moments spent in awe of a beautiful view, a priceless piece of art or the wonder and pure joy on the face of a child as they experience something new and exciting are worth far more than the price of admission.

We all have a limited amount of time and money, and we are often faced with the dilemma of what is the best way to spend – or to invest – both of those resources.

We can choose from an endless assortment of high-tech gadgets, sparkly things, and material luxuries that will impress our friends and family… for a short time at least. Children (and some adults) have lists of the gaming systems, toys, and fashion labels they want for their next birthday or holiday gift.

But once we’ve bought the latest smart phone or the expensive shoes, how long do they last? How long will they continue to bring joy? And how likely are they to be truly treasured by those around us after we are gone?

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Group Trip | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Groups, Tours, Travel, on 16 February 2019, by , 0 Comments

Recently on the blog, we talked about taking the stress out of hosting a group trip. One of the more stressful pieces of a group trip, is deciding where to go. In this post, we’ll dive a little deeper into how to make that decision.

It’s hard enough choosing where to go on a vacation with your significant other, or just with your family. Throw an entire group into the mix, and suddenly you might have a plethora of conflicting opinions with everyone wanting to go somewhere different. How can you narrow the list, and choose a place that will make everyone, or at least the majority, happy?

The first step is to figure out a budget for everyone who is attending. Someone in the group should act as team leader and create an anonymous survey that allows everyone to write in their ideal budget for the vacation.

Why anonymous? Some people get uncomfortable talking about their true desires, and their budgets. You’re more likely to get honest answers if everything is anonymous.

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Group | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Adventure Travel, Baby Boomers, Europe, Family Travel, Girlfriend Getaways, Golf, Groups, Theme Vacations, on 30 November 2018, by , 0 Comments

Going on a trip with a group is a wonderful way to travel. You’ll always have someone to explore with, you get to see things as a group you might not get to on your own, it’s safer to travel in numbers, and each person in the group will bring a different perspective to the experience. For these reasons alone, the idea of hosting a group trip often comes up as a good idea for families, friends, and even companies looking to host retreats.

If you decide to do a big trip as a group however, it’s no secret that it can be a little overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re the one putting it together. With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step checklist you can use to take the stress out of hosting a group trip:

Step 1- Decide where you want to travel to, and when you want to go.

Your best bet will be to initially come up with three options for the vacation as well as three separate times to go on the vacation. This is one of the perks of being the group organizer. Because you are setting the whole thing in motion, you can pick places you want to go and times that you are available.

Step 2- Consider the people you want on your group trip.

Will this group getaway be for business or pleasure? If it’s pleasure only, will this event limited to friends, family or a combination of the two? Or is this more about inviting people that you have common interests with, such as a networking/hobby/wine club/golf trip?

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Christmas Market | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Family Travel, Gift Ideas, Groups, Holiday, River Cruising, Tours, on 21 September 2018, by , 0 Comments

Starting around July, travel vendors, and city tourism boards begin promotions for upcoming Christmas Markets, in hopes of enticing travelers to come to their cities to visit and shop. But, what exactly is a Christmas Market, where do they happen, and which ones are the best ones to visit? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

A Christmas Market is a street market that involves vendors selling goods and gifts in celebration of Christmas. Some of these are more religiously focused on Christ and the church than others. They are usually set up about a month before Christmas day the week of Thanksgiving, but some are much shorter in length.

The best and most popular Christmas Markets also entail live shows and entertainment making it more than just a shopping event. For example, you could watch a Christmas play, try some new desserts, or spend the evening ice skating on a temporary ice rink.

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Tour | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Family Travel, Gift Ideas, Groups, Tours, Travel, on 7 September 2018, by , 0 Comments

What is the difference between an escorted, hosted and an independent tour? This is a common question in the travel industry, and in this post we’re breaking down what they are, and the advantages of each. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Escorted Tours

An escorted tour is one that is conducted by a tour director. They will take care of everything from beginning to end. For example, your transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from your hotel for daily activities. You’ll also typically be with a group throughout your tour.

For some escorted tours it’s a one day affair where they will pick you up from your hotel in the morning, take you to see the sites, and then bring you back to your hotel in the evening. Typically there is a strict agenda with meal times, and places to visit set up for you as well.

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Oberammergau Passion Play | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Family Travel, Groups, River Cruising, Theme Vacations, Tours, on 10 August 2018, by , 0 Comments

If you are like most travelers, you are often looking for something unique to do when you’re visiting new places. Should Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, or the surrounding areas, be on your list of destinations, the Oberammergau Passion Play is one experience you may want to add to your itinerary. You may be wondering what is the Oberammergau Passion Play, and what is so special about it? Keep reading to learn more.

The Origins of The Oberammergau Passion Play

Believe it or not, the origins of the Oberammergau Passion Play date all the way back to 1634, during the time of the bubonic plague. As the story goes, while this plague was ravaging Europe, the citizens of Oberammergau attempted to seal themselves off from the rest of the world in hopes the plague wouldn’t reach them. Unfortunately, a person carrying disease slipped through the cracks and dozens of people perished within less than a month.

As a result of these deaths, the town council came together and vowed to God that they would act out a play depicting the life and suffering of Christ for the rest of their lives if God would spare them. What the townspeople considered to be a miracle came to pass – no one else died of the plague. Therefore, the villagers stuck to their vow, and created and performed the Oberammergau Passion Play. They continue to do so today.

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