Abu Camp - Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana
5 Tented Suites & 1 Villa
The elephant back luxury safaris are based at Abu Camp on the western side of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Set in half a million acres of private concession, this tranquil shady corner of heaven is in a pristine wilderness, threaded by crystal waters.
5 night/6 day safari on set arrival and departure dates. There is a maximum of 10 clients per safari. Safaris start on a Wednesday and finish on a Monday.
Surrounded by open grasslands, island sanctuaries and the papyrus-fringed channels, which make this part of Africa unique, Abu Camp is the perfect spot from which to explore the mysteries and magnificence of this ancient land. The camp, concealed in an ancient riverine forest, consists of five custom-built, stylishly-furnished tents with en-suite bathrooms. Your private, tree-shaded deck with a hammock overlooks a lagoon frequented by a myriad of bird and animal life. There is no electricity at the camp and all the lights and hot water is powered by solar batteries. Therefore we cannot offer phones, faxes, or email facilities (although these can be dealt with through our office in Maun). In truth you are in the middle of the wilderness, and that is the charm of this safari. We can however recharge video camera batteries, and for this please bring a 220v adaptor for a three-pronged round plug.
Abu Elephant Villa - This exquisite two-bedroom villa is set in an ancient riverine forest, just across the lagoon from the five-tent Abu camp. A classic mahogany four-poster bed dominates the main room; the purpose of the second room is left to your imagination. Couples can take one of Abu's famed elephant-back safaris, then return to soak in their en suite copper bathtub in the afternoon.
Tents - Accommodation is in luxurious custom-designed tents, raised on teak decking and overlooking a lagoon. The tents, described as Bedouin influence meets the African bush, have fully zipped entrances, and roll down canvas on the windows. All the tents are beautifully and individually furnished with mahogany four-poster beds or antique sleigh beds. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom complete with copper or porcelain baths, shower and flush toilet. Every tent has a different style but all reflect the very high standard that defines Abu Camp.
Apoka Safari Lodge, Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda
Apoka, where 10 rooms built of wood, thatch and canvas spring from a large rocky kopje, and the décor takes its cue from rock, savannah and the natural landscape.
Apoka, where you can sit in your outdoor bathtub under the stars, or lie on your private veranda soaking up the view - a landscape dotted with giraffe, elephant, buffalo, and zebra. Where you can walk with
trained guides, tracking game along a sandy dry riverbed. Apoka, where you can dive off a huge boulder into Uganda's only rock pool…and watch the animals at their watering hole at the same time. Apoka, where the sun rises from the crest between two hills, and sets behind a dramatic range of craggy mountains, bathing the entire valley in a golden light. Where you sleep in your great big bed, in Egyptian cotton sheets, listening to lions roar, knowing that your are as far away from city life as you are ever going to get.
Baines Camp - Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Baines' Camp is located on the Boro River, set amongst the shady trees and water of the Okavango Delta, on a private concession neighbouring the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp, named after the famous 19th century explorer Thomas Baines, features five luxurious suites set on elevated platforms in the tree line with wooden decks offering expansive views.
Conveniently the four-poster beds are fully mobile, giving guests the choice of slumber under star laden skies. The main area features an oversized deck for outdoor dining and views over the lagoon, as well as a swimming pool with salas for refreshing sunbathing. The permanent water of the camp will reveal a world of floating safaris, atmospherically silent at the gentle pace of a poled mokoro, or faster in a comfortable shaded motorboat. Sometimes there is no better way to tune into the bush than on foot, and walking safaris is a specialty at Baines', with skilled guides introducing the area's natural wonders.
Set amongst the shady trees and water of the Okavango Delta, the small and intimate Baines' Camp features just 5 luxurious suites set on elevated platforms in the tree line. Wooden decks offer expansive views over the permanent water of the Boro River and a lagoon teeming with life. The elevated suites feature a spacious bedroom, with softly draped fabrics adding the romantic touch of a bygone era. The four-poster beds are fully mobile, giving guests the choice of slumber under star laden skies. Avid astronomers will delight in stargazing from the privacy of their own deck.
Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo
18 Luxury Tents
Much of "Out of Africa" was shot here...Enjoy the views of the game-filled Masai Mara plains from your honeymoon bed, while being pampered by your personal butler.
The award-winning Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo in Kenya now boasts a second exclusive and intimate luxury tented camp. Featuring nine tented suites, spacious guest areas and its own access areas, the camp offers the epitome of tented luxury in the renowned Masai Mara. The camp overlooks the massive Masai Mara plains, where lion, elephant and giraffe roam freely. During the Great Migration guests can witness the passing throngs of animals, including zebra and wildebeest.
The Masai Mara is Kenya's premier wildlife habitat. Kichwa Tembo is the ideal location for intimate encounters with an overwhelming assortment of animals. The camp overlooks endless, game-filled plains and is shaded by a dense forest canopy. Home to the greatest concentration of large mammals on earth, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a living tapestry of grassy savannah, spreading thorn trees and tall gallery forests. The reserve is the northern extension of the vast Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, situated at the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The animals are naturally contained by the wall-like Oloololo Escarpment in the west and the Ngama Hills in the east.
You will probably be more familiar with the sight of Masai Mara than its name. Much of "Out of Africa" was shot here and many a wildlife film has recorded the great wildebeest migration over its gentle terrain. Great herds of elephant shuffle through the grassland which they share with gazelles, rhinos, leopards, lions, cheetahs and many other species. The gentle climate with its predictable, regular rainfall makes it a kind of Eden. The bird life is prolific and includes 57 species of birds of prey, one of which is the Bateleur eagle. Bateleur Camp puts this exciting wilderness right on your doorstep. Such is its isolation, you arrive by air landing on its own airstrip. You live in a tent whose furnishings could have come straight out of Hemingway but he would never have had the luxuries that you will find. Days are spent on game drives and, come the evening, you can relax with a sun downer followed by a gourmet dinner under the stars.
18 spacious tents with wooden floors and private verandahs grace this exclusive camp. Inside each tent, you will find every possible comfort, including an unexpectedly expansive en-suite bathroom. There is also a writing desk, subtle lighting and ceiling fans in each tent. The ultimate indulgence - a personal butler service - ensures you are pampered in style.
Beho Beho - Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania
Privacy and exclusivity - Beho Beho was the first camp to be sited in The Selous, not on the banks, or the flood plains of the mighty Rufiji River, but in the cooler highlands so as to enjoy the 'cooling breezes' from which its name derives.
Always designated as a 'private camp' it has fiercely protected its individuality and privileged location as one of the most 'magical' places it is possible to visit in safari Africa.
Strictly for safari aficionados - Beho Beho has created the true 'essence' of a safari refuge, for safari travellers who have 'been there and done that' throughout the big game countries of Africa now there is a camp that takes the 'best' of each safari and combines it into one remarkable experience. A luxurious base camp from which to explore on foot, by boat or by open safari cruiser the splendours of one of the largest game preserves in the world.
The choice is yours - Beho Beho's experienced guides will plan your safari programme, whether you need time to relax and be pampered or need to do a 10kms game walk before breakfast in the bush. From sunrise to sunset, from early morning tea to sundowner a Beho Beho safari is planned to your requirements.
Designed for comfort - Beho Beho's stone built and palm thatched cottages, are not only a refuge from the equatorial sun, the bouncy seat of a game vehicle and the red dust of Africa nor are they just for sleeping, these spacious 'suites', which open up reveal unrivalled vistas of the Africa bush, are designed as private 'homes' with individuality and flair. The open sided lounges and dining areas together with the cocktail bar and 'billiards room' provide a sophisticated setting for post safari relaxation and the swimming pool and deck an ideal place to cool off.
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
Less than three hours drive from Cape Town, Bushmans Kloof is a 7500 hectare, luxury ecological oasis and a member of Relais & Chateaux, offering an authentic wilderness experience.
Located at the foothills of the breathtaking Cederberg Mountains, majestic views, invigorating outdoor activities, luxurious accommodation, award-winning cuisine and soothing spa treatments combine to create an unforgettable wilderness adventure. Winner of the Relais & Chateaux Environment Trophy 2007, this renowned property is a sanctuary for many indigenous plants, animals and birds, including the endangered Cape mountain zebra. A South African Natural Heritage site, daily activities include rock art walks to some of the more than 130 rock art sites that are found in the reserve, as well as evening game drives with sunset drinks and snacks served in the reserve.
Chief's Camp - Moremi Game Reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Chief's Camp is a luxury bush lodge situated on Chief's Island in the exclusive Mombo Concession of the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana. In this predator capital of Africa, wild dog, lion, elephant, cheetah and leopard abound, and guests enjoy exceptional opportunities to interact with this amazing environment.
Recently, white rhino have been introduced to this concession, making it the only place in Botswana where these magnificent animals can be seen in their natural habitat.
Chief's Camp has been so skillfully integrated into the landscape that guests can often view game without even leaving camp. Shaded from the heat of the day by a beautiful grove of jackal berry trees, Chief's Camp is so remote you'll feel like the only humans for miles and miles. Twelve secluded, permanent luxury bush pavilions are designed for ultimate privacy and comfort, and to offer you a front row seat for this rich and rewarding African adventure. Each features an en suite bathroom and private game viewing deck. The main lodge complex houses the dining area, curio shop, library and reception area. There is an exquisite swimming pool and a range of spa treatments are offered by the resident beauty therapist in a poolside treatment sala from May to October each year.
Game viewing opportunities include daily excursions in open four-wheel-drive vehicles and quiet mokoro trips along narrow Delta channels during the flood season. Expert guides are always on hand to offer a wealth of wildlife knowledge, to help you make the most of these rare and wonderful opportunities.
Chobe Chilwero Lodge - Chobe National Park, Botswana
Deep in the heart of the Botswana wilderness lies Chobe Chilwero Lodge, one of the most enchanting places on earth. With gorgeous, breathtaking vistas as a backdrop, you'll come face-to-face with the abundant creatures of the bush, and some of the most spectacular sunsets Mother Nature bestows.
You will enjoy creature comforts - elegantly appointed accommodations, silver service, gourmet meals and fine wines. Relax in our luxurious thatched cottages, with ensuite, sunken handcrafted baths, indoor and outdoor showers, terrace and private garden with hammock overlooking the magnificent Chobe River. There is also a library, curio shop and a communications centre. Although located in Botswana, this intimate lodge is easily accessed from Zambia and the world famous Victoria Falls. Guests can enjoy a day trip to visit the Falls if desired.
Chongwe River House
Chongwe River Camp is situated on the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers, directly opposite Mana Pools. The Chongwe River is the boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park, a four thousand square kilometre pristine sanctuary, teeming with game, and said to be one of the continent's most picturesque wilderness areas.
The chalets are large, well appointed Mulati tents under thatch, with a luxury open air bathroom on suite. Situated under a canopy of Albida thorns and surrounded by cool lawns, they command fabulous views over the confluence of the Chongwe and Zambezi Rivers. Each tent sleeps two people, in twin or double beds.
The Bathrooms are an experience on their own. Shower under the stars or the early morning sunshine. All fittings are made from natural materials found near the lodge.
Africa's Best Luxury Safari Camps & Lodges Cottars Camp 1920s
8 Tented Suites
Located in the Maasai Mara bordering the Serengeti and Loliondo reserves, the camp is within a 22,000 acre exclusive concession. This 1920's camp experience returns to the original spirit and essence of 'safari', reminiscent of a golden bygone era, an era of romance, adventure and elegance.
Here one will experience the ultimate in personalized service & guiding.
Calvin and Louise Cottar reside at the camp and are complimented by highly experienced and knowledgeable guides. Calvin and his team will take you on walks through the bush to experience close encounters with wildlife. Being close to the border with the Serengeti, the spectacular wildebeest migration moves through this area every year and prolific game viewing is guaranteed whether on foot or in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
For those who find themselves hooked on Africa, there comes a time when they want something different, something remote and wild … not every guide can take you there.
The camp accommodates up to 16 guests in authentic, spacious white canvas tents. The camp has eight tents, each with a canopied verandah and carefully arranged to ensure privacy. Each tent is luxuriously furnished with safari antiques from the 1920's, private ensuite dressing rooms/bathrooms, showers and flush toilets. The camp is equipped with a tented library/reading room and the cuisine and silver service is of the highest standard to be found in the bush.
Benesse Art Site Naoshima - Naoshima-cho, Japan
65 Rooms & Suites
Benesse House is an art museum combined with lodging facilities designed by renowned architect Tadao Ando, and features permanent exhibitions of site-specific artworks that can only be viewed in this unique setting. Leisurely experience art amid the natural beauty and pace of Naoshima.
Benesse House was all designed by Tadao Ando to make your stay at Naoshima the greatest experience. Leisurely enjoy the four buildings with their distinctive personalities.
With an abundant natural environment surrounded by the Seto Inland Sea, Naoshima features distinctive architecture and contemporary artwork. Benesse House Spa provides natural therapies that extend the rich experience of Naoshima into the nourishment of body and mind.
Benesse House Spa provides holistic natural therapies which use the power of nature to heal and promote harmony throughout every cell of the body. The treatments include aroma therapy using essential plant oils carefully selected by our therapists, thalassotherapy utilizing Naoshima's Inland Sea climate and the richness of the ocean, and stone therapy, which transfers the energy of natural stones to your body and mind. Based on this holistic approach, Benesse House Spa aims to draw out the body's natural power to heal itself, strengthen your immune system, and help restore the original balance of your body, mind, and soul.
If you’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard, you might imagine it as one big yacht club — a hoity-toity haven for rich people. In fact, the Vineyard is a charming, laid-back and diverse island that doesn’t put on airs, despite its share of big-name visitors.
Where to stay
Once you get to the Vineyard, you’ll find yourself in an idyllic seaside village. There are many cozy hotels and bed-and-breakfasts from which to choose, such as the Dockside Inn (www.vineyardinns.com) in Oak Bluffs, a family-run institution that’s steps away from the town’s main drag.
There are only a few main roads in Martha’s Vineyard, and congestion is a problem in the summer. That’s why renting a bike is the easiest way to explore the island. On two wheels, you can putt around the three most populated towns — Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven — all of which boast their own distinctive character. Highlights include the famous gingerbread cottages of Oak Bluffs, Edgartown’s ferry to tiny Chappaquiddick Island (of Ted Kennedy fame), and beautiful beaches.
For a considerably longer ride, check out the “up island” towns of Menemsha, Chilmark, West Tisbury and Aquinnah. Less populated than their touristy counterparts, these hamlets are often where big-name visitors, such as President Obama, decamp to avoid prying eyes.
Pacific Coast Highway
If you happen to be driving an 18-wheeler, then the best way from San Francisco to Los Angeles is a six-hour drive on Highway 5.
Everyone else should take the Pacific Coast Highway as it’s one of the most thrilling driving experiences of a lifetime. The legendary road is strewn with breathtaking sights and fascinating landmarks.
Here’s where to stop and what to see.
From San Francisco
Begin your trip in front of the Golden Gate Park. You’ll travel along Ocean Beach until you get to Route 1, at which point the show is on the road — literally — all the way to Los Angeles.
Your first stop should be Santa Cruz. There, you’ll find great cafes for lunch and if you have a little more time to spare, make a stop in Monterey, where you’ll find the beautiful Pebble Beach. Stroll along Cannery Row and look at the historic waterfront made famous in Steinbeck’s book, titled, well, “Cannery Row.”
See the sea elephants
Not far from San Simeon, you’ll be able to see the sea elephants from the area known as Piedras Blancas. Hundreds of these huge beasts just lounge around in the sun, making this spot the largest rookery on the West Coast. Be sure to stop by the vista point, which puts you just feet away from them.
A cheap stay
The next city, San Luis Obispo, is a great place to stay for a night. You’ll find cheap motels as well as classier hotels. But a visit to the flamboyant landmark that is the Madonna Inn is a must. It may be a little expensive to stay in one of the 109 themed rooms (“Caveman Room,” “Love Nest,” and “Jungle Rock” to name just three) but it’s a nice place for breakfast before driving, not to mention a legendary photo op.
Almost to L.A.
Before arriving in Los Angeles, there is one other big stop: Santa Barbara, a city that makes every visitor feel like an extra in a soap opera. Drive past by Malibu (“Baywatch” alert!) and Santa Monica, arguably the coolest city in the area. Or go the whole hog and join the artists/crazies at Venice Beach — you’ll feel you’ve really arrived. Which you have.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
This 300-year-old iconic building and steep staircase in the dome was used for action scenes in the Guy Ritchie movie and it is hard to think of a building more quintessentially London. It was built after the city’s Great Fire in 1675 and survived everything the Luftwaffe could throw at it. Don’t miss the climb to the top — it’s worth it.
This restaurant feels like stepping back into the Sherlock Holmes era. Indeed, Dr. Watson describes dinner at the restaurant in 1902 while “looking down at the rushing stream of life on the Strand.” The menu is a touch more contemporary now but that’s not why you’re here — order the finest beef in London and a bottle of Claret.
The British Museum
Holmes uses the British Museum, with its famous circular reading room, for all his criminal research. It’s a superb museum of antiquities — almost none of which are actually British. Across the road is the Museum Tavern, which is the actual pub in Holmes’s Christmas tale “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.” When he came to London in the 1870s, Holmes “lived” around the corner on Montague Street, near where Doyle himself lived when he moved to London.
Ubud is Bali’s most sublime towns, not a beach resort, as it lies pretty much in the middle of the island, but for more than a century it has been the island’s center for fine arts, dance and music.
It was traditionally a haven for backpackers, would-be gurus, and bohemians, and they are still very much there. But Ubud is now also a major hot spot for the discerning traveler.
Yes, five-star hotels now overlook the most prized views in Bali, but Ubud’s supercool “alternative” feel and its magic is still very much intact.
Banyan Tree Bike Tour
To squeeze as much Bali in as possible, you’ll need two wheels. After being picked up, you’ll have breakfast looking over sprawling paddy fields, then ride through Bali before finishing with a home-cooked Balinese meal.
What’s the nightlife like?
Ubud nightlife is a refreshing change from the clubs of the coast resorts. It is more relaxed and you’ll find much traditional dancing and music here. For drinks, try the Laughing Buddha Bar with its street-side tables and view of Monkey Forest Road or the Jazz Cafe, which offers fabulous cocktails.
I’ve been there before — what should I see this time?
Ubud is positively dripping with new-age healing holistic hippiness, and frankly it’s best not to fight it.
So embrace the healing, and treat yourself to a yoga session and massage. Our favorites are The Yoga Barn (theyogabarn.com) for its beautiful location, and Nur Salon for its massages.
Where’s the best shopping?
Shopping in Ubud is an eye-boggling time.
The main shopping areas are Jalan Raya, Jalan Hanoman and Jalan Dewi Sita, which are three interconnecting streets. You’ll find everything from ancient antiques to modern art, and cheap souvenirs to precious artifacts. There’s also the multi-storey Ubud market, a bustling maze of stalls and shops.
Special 25th Anniversary Explorations with the Webers
In 2003, JOURNEYS celebrates 25 years of environmentally sensitive
nature and culture travel with a program of 15 special trips in Asia, Africa,
Australia and Latin America accompanied by senior staff and our most
experienced local experts. Review the trip summaries and request the
detailed Trip Notes. Joan and I will lead trips in Australia, Korea, China,
Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysian Borneo. Pemba Sherpa leads our Return to Everest Trek in Nepal. Pat Ballard visits Ethiopia and Debby Livingston will lead a trip in Belize.