Archive for November, 2011

Into Africa… with Kichaka Game Lodge

Kichaka Safari Lodges

They say ‘judge a man by the company he keeps,’ but we also think there should be an expression like, ‘Judge a property by the person at the helm.’

Why do we say that?

Because Kichaka Private Game Lodge’s David Mariba, who has just stepped into the role of Lodge Manager, has stepped into the role with fabulous zeal and something every vacation needs… an ever present smile. In short, we keep hearing that the guests love him. To that end, Chris Renecker, Head Ranger, also comes highly regarded ensuring guests are having phenomenal game experiences and incredible sightings. And then there’s their amazing GM, Keith Craig, who holds the operation together flawlessly. Most Kichaka guests have the pleasure of meeting Keith during their stay and depart truly feeling as though Kichaka has become their second home.

Chris Renecker, Head Ranger (left), Keith Craig, General Manager (middle), David Mariba, Lodge Manager (right)

So here’s a bit about Kichaka:

Set between two streams in a lush bushveld valley, Kichaka Lodge is an exclusive five star lodge located within a Big 5 game reserve, in the malaria free Eastern Cape. This luxury game lodge sleeps 20 people in 10 secluded stone and thatch suites. Each secluded, air-conditioned suite has a viewing deck where guests are treated to spectacular views, its own private plunge pool, a fully-stocked bar fridge and free wireless internet access. Wireless internet, a bar fridge, private plunge, and safari hut. Call me Baroness Karen von Blixen, this babe is ready to get Into Africa.

The Interior of Kichaka

From gourmet dining in private or at one of our outdoor or indoor dining areas… or just relaxing by the pool or on one of the terraces, expect only the very best in service and hospitality from Kichaka Lodge. Experienced rangers also maximize every opportunity to ensure exceptional viewing during your game drives on this established 20,000 acre game reserve in the Eastern Cape. Excellent sightings of lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo, as well as cheetah, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, warthog and numerous species of antelope are enjoyed on game drives across the open plains of the reserve.

Kichaka has also added a new Wellness Suite, which is nearing completion shortly. Set on the outdoor deck overlooking the waterhole, it is an idyllic location for spa treatments with spectacularly panoramic, thrilling views.

Holiday space is still available so be the leader of the pack.

Here’s a Crazy Little Island For You

Zavicon Island, Ontario, Canada (house) and Little Zavicon Island (garden)

We had to post this photo because we thought these little islands were just too damn cute. Zavikon Island and Little Zavikon Island, refers to the pair of islands in the Thousand Islands archipelago on the St. Lawrence River between New York and Ontario, two kilometres southeast of Rockport, Ontario and about 200 meters north of the international boundary. It used to be owned by Woolrich Woolen Mills, Woolrich, Pa., and it’s said that each summer the office employees of Woolrich Woolen Mills were invited to take their vacations there.

The cluster of islands, which number 1,793 in all, range in size from over 40 square miles to smaller islands occupied by a single residence (like the one above), to even smaller uninhabited outcroppings of rocks that are home to migratory waterfowl. Uncle Sam’s Boat Tours explain that this house contains a bridge that is the shortest international bridge in the world. The legend (although some say it’s more of an old wives tale) is that, at one point, the man living in the house constructed a customs booth in the middle of the bridge and would go to the American side when he got angry with his wife, instructing the customs official to forbid his wife from crossing.

We’re not sure we believe that, but it’s pretty funny, nonetheless!

An Exotic Escape to Sri Lanka

Dambulla Cave Temple - Sri Lanka

Did you know that this year has officially been declared ‘Visit Sri Lanka Year’ by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa?

So we thought, what better time to vacation in Sri Lanka than the present? One tour operator we’ve become familiar with throughout the years, Banyan Tours & Travels, is also offering tailor made safe, bespoke itineraries throughout India and Sri Lanka.

Here’s a bit about Sri Lanka. Known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka has one of the longest documented histories in the world – over three thousand years. And, as one of the few remaining Buddhist societies in South Asia, Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for gaining an understanding of Buddhism’s way of life. For those interested in studying Buddhism, a visit to KandyTemple of the Tooth Kandy, and Dalada Maligawam are great options. This is where the founder of Buddhism’s relic is located and locals make puja (prayers and offerings) daily. Also known for its natural beauty, Sri Lanka is home to diverse landscapes, from verdant tropical forests to palm-lined beaches, and a stay at Tea Trails presents travel lovers with the chance to tour a tea estate and taste fresh local tea. How cool is that?

Sri Lankan Woman Picking Tea

Sri Lanka is also home to elephants, leopards, monkeys, rare birds, and many other exotic animals, so, for animal lovers looking for an ecotour that will let them get their hands dirty, the Millennium Elephant Foundation allows guests the chance to ride and bathe these gentle giants. Travelers won’t want to miss the Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Galle, or the markets located nearby, where a taste of hoppersdosas, and dodol will surely make Sri Lankan food a new favorite.

Cliff Diving near Galle Fort

Price: A ten-day, nine-night itinerary begins at a very reasonable $2,779/per person basis and includes accommodations, meals as per the program, and ground transportation in Sri Lanka. Add  an optional three-night stay at Tea Trails and scale the formidable Adam’s Peak, a wonderful sunrise excursion. Prices for the stay with the additional night begin at $3,125 per person and include accommodation and meals as per the program.

How to get there: Etihad and Emirates offer flights to Colombo with one stop in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai, from select major cities in North America (Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Toronto).

Consumer Inquiries: 1-866-401-3705

The Mobius iPhone Solar Powered Battery Case

The Mobius Rechargeable Solar Powered iPhone Case

This is too cool. A new product from the Etón Corporation ( designed to keep you powered-up wherever you go. The Mobius (love the name) is, get this… a rechargeable battery case with a solar panel for the iPhone 4, available now on Amazon. Differentiating itself from solar-charging solutions on the market today, Mobius features a quick charge time and the ability to store charge until you need it. The high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel re-charges the 1800 mAh lithium ion battery pack on the back of the case. Only one hour of solar charging provides an additional 25 minutes of talk time. To fully charge the Mobius, you use the included Micro-USB cable which will sync with iTunes for maximum convenience. Mobius features a standby switch to turn off direct power transfer to the iPhone 4, allowing the case to charge and store energy in its own battery – only using the power when you need it.

We love ingenious eco-friendly solutions, don’t you?

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