Posts tagged with "wildlife"

Camel illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

The Vox Agency × Desert Ranch Experience

The Vox Agency, the agency specializing in public relations, digital marketing, and brand building for attractions, destination dining, health and lifestyle, and non-profit organizations, announces its new client: Desert Ranch Experience by Camel Safari.

Desert Ranch Experience by Camel Safari offers a distinctive outdoor destination for conservation-focused animal encounters, as well as daytime and overnight “glamping” experiences inside authentic Mongolian gers. Situated on 176 acres along the Virgin River 80 minutes north of Las Vegas, the ranch provides the perfect retreat for daytime excursions and overnight stays.

Every Desert Ranch Experience includes up-close animal encounters with the destination’s 34 camels and other exotic animal species, including alpacas, llamas, armadillos, African crested porcupine, a two-toed sloth and more. The ranch’s exclusive and unforgettable location offers a picturesque desert landscape perfect for weddings, family reunions, corporate retreats, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthday parties and more.

Desert Ranch Experience maintains accreditation as a Disney-approved vendor and certification from the Zoological Association of America. The ranch also proudly earns a consistent 5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor.

To learn more about things to do, glamping packages and private event information, call (800) 836-4036 or follow on Facebook and Instagram.

About The Vox Agency

Founded in 2011, The Vox Agency specializes in public relations, digital marketing, and brand building for attractions, destination dining, health, and lifestyle and non-profit organizations.

To date, the agency has facilitated nearly $4 billion in valuable, third party-generated content for its clients, bolstering their reputations, fostering social engagement, and driving traffic to their businesses. For more information on the agency, as well as past and present clients, visit the agency website HERE.

Follow The Vox Agency: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Zegrahm Expeditions × Cheetah Conservation

Zegrahm Expeditions Announces Cheetah Conservation Fund Partnership

The pioneering expedition company is the headline sponsor of the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s 2020 education tour

Zegrahm Expeditions, the pioneer in small-group expeditions around the world, is now the largest sponsor of the Cheetah Conservation Fund<> (CFF)’s 30th Anniversary education and lecture tour, contributing significantly to the CCF’s research, education and conservation efforts that help to secure the survival of the cheetah and its ecosystem.

Throughout 2020 both Zegrahm Expeditions and the CCF are celebrating 30 years of existence, having followed similar paths of intense appreciation for the natural world for the past three decades.

“We are in awe of the enduring and unending habitat and ecosystem conservation efforts of the CCF and are honoured to be involved in this way,” says Robin Brooks, Director of Partnerships for Zegrahm Expeditions. “We see a close tie between the Zegrahm and CCF communities of conscientious explorers, wildlife enthusiasts, activists and people who have always celebrated our world to its fullest degree.” CCF founder Dr. Laurie Marker, whose work has been covered by TIME, Smithsonian, National Geographic and more, is still at the helm today as the fund’s Executive Director, working passionately to continue her life’s work in cheetah conservation.

CCF Founder Dr. Laurie Marker
“Support from like-minded entities like Zegrahm Expeditions is what makes action to save the cheetah from extinction possible,” says Dr. Marker. “We do live in a world where people and organizations care deeply about preservation, conservation and appreciation of the natural world, and that continues to inspire me.”

Backed by 30 years of research, education and conservation work, CCF is the longest-running cheetah conservation program in existence. CCF’s programs serve as the model for predator conservation programs everywhere.
Dr. Marker’s work has been awarded and recognized around the world and CCF’s programs provide a holistic conservation approach that carefully balances the needs of both people and wildlife sharing the same
ecosystems.Expedition Highlights

During Zegrahm Expeditions’ small-group, land-based expedition Namibia Under Canvas departing April 19, 2020, guests will visit CCF’s research centre in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, which has earned the title “Cheetah Capital of the World.” The centre is a world class research, education and conservation facility set on a private wildlife reserve. During this itinerary guests will have many opportunities to search both by vehicle and on foot for the elusive cats, and other rare species that call Namibia home.

The Zegrahm Expeditions and CCF partnership began December 19, 2019.

For more information about CCF, please visit www.cheetah.org. For a full list of other events in the CCF’s 2020 education tour, please visit www.cheetah.org/get-involved/ccf-events.

For more information about Zegrahm Expeditions, please visit www.zegrahm.com or call 1-866-327-9140.

About Zegrahm Expeditions
Celebrating 30 years in expedition travel, Seattle-based Zegrahm Expeditions Inc. is a leading adventure travel company specializing in small-ship expedition cruises, tours and safaris to remote and intriguing destinations around the world. Led by expert guides and lecturers, Zegrahm itineraries are carefully crafted and all-inclusive, feature deluxe accommodations, and operate in all seven continents.
Zegrahm.com

Cheetah Conservation Fund, Zegrahm Expeditions, Safari, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine,

Cannúa Resort x Travel Promo

Enjoy Two Nights Free at New Boutique Hotel with True Colombia Travel Promo

Be among the first travelers to experience luxury eco resort Cannúa, sister company to True Colombia Travel, which just opened Dec. 1, 2019

Travelers can enjoy a two-night complimentary stay in a deluxe room at the newly-opened Cannúa, Colombia’s first luxury eco resort (a value of $500 USD), when they book a custom tour of Antioquia with True Colombia Travel by March 31, 2020.

True Colombia Travel, a locally-owned and led tour operator, specializes in customized experiences in under-explored regions throughout Colombia, and is celebrating the launch of its sister-company, Cannúa, with its spring promo.

Opened in December 2019, Cannúa is an 18-room boutique hotel set within a protected forest in Antioquia. Taking a holistic approach to sustainability, the 27-acre mountain-side retreat is rooted in permaculture design principles, built from sustainably-sourced bamboo and compressed-earth blocks and utilizing rainwater through its own on-site water treatment system. It also features two acres of organic gardens and food forests to supply its restaurant, and works with local organic farmers for ingredients that can’t otherwise be produced on-site.

The opening of an eco resort of this nature is part of a new era of experiential travel being forged within the region.

“Antioquia offers so much, and now, travelers have the opportunity to mix the rustic, off-the-beaten-path rural exploration of the region with a luxurious stay, complete with some pampering, ” says Brian Schon, co-founder and director of True Colombia Travel. “Guests can spend five days doing all kinds of adventurous activities, from paragliding to exploring local caves and searching for wild hippos, and then spend a couple nights relaxing at Cannúa, enjoying delicious food, gentle hikes, spa treatments, and gorgeous sunsets set against the most incredible views.”

True Colombia Travel’s Antioquia trips start and end in Medellín. To take advantage of this offer, write promo code Antioquia2020 in the subject line of your inquiry and book by Mar. 31, 2020, for travel until April 1, 2021.

For more information about True Colombia Travel’s fully-customized cultural, culinary and environmental tours in all corners of the country, visit www.truecolombiatravel.com.

About True Colombia Travel
True Colombia Travel specializes in offering fully customized cultural, culinary and environmental tours throughout the rural and urban regions of Colombia. Owned and operated by locals who are passionate about their community, the TCT team is made up of bilingual artists, nature-lovers and world travelers committed to sharing Colombia’s secrets with visitors as respectfully and responsibly as possible. Welcoming families, groups, solo travelers and adventurers of all ages, True Colombia Travel creates personalized itineraries designed to showcase the people, heritage, culture and natural treasures that makes Colombia one of the most promising destinations in the world.

Cannúa, True Colombia Travel, Vacation, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Photo courtesy of Cannúa

Angama Mara x Tented Camp

Angama Mara the award-winning safari lodge overlooking Kenya’s Maasai Mara, has announced the July 2020 introduction of Angama Safari Camp, a seasonal sole-use tented camp situated in a remote wilderness region of the southwestern Mara Triangle.

The team that created Angama Mara has reunited to launch the new Safari Camp with Jan Allan‘s tent design and interiors by Annemarie Meintjes.

Comprising four tents, sleeping up to eight guests, the camp will offer absolute privacy in the midst of the mega herds of the migration and abundant resident wildlife. “The design, quite unlike any other mobile tented camp, will be fresh, light and uncluttered, making for easy living while echoing many of the most loved elements of its older sister. There will be Fermob and Vogel furniture, there will be red and blue. As with the Angama Mara lodge, Angama Safari Camp will have the very best of everything, but also just the right amount of everything,” adds owner of Angama, Nicky Fitzgerald.

The tents are unprecedented in design with a distinctive look created through a playful and unusual roof shape. Below the roof sits a landscape-oriented inner tent, allowing for the bedroom, dressing room and bathroom to open up onto the view. Designed for maximum cross-ventilation, the tents also have a four-layer roof system to help keep them cool. Inside, the guest tent beds will be extra-length king and can be made up as a double or twins. The ensuite dressing room, double bucket shower room and private toilet offer the same high levels of comfort as Angama Mara.

Tucked away in a forest below the towering western wall of the Great Rift Valley, guests will have access to extraordinary wildlife experiences right on their doorstep and can tailor-make their safari days, leaving the Safari Camp as early as 6am and returning after sundown at 7:30pm. Aside from the migration, the region of the Mara Triangle where Angama Safari Camp is located is home to cheetah, resident prides of lion, large elephant herds, buffalo and abundant plains game.

Angama Safari Camp will welcome its first guests in early July and will operate until the end of September, with October on request. There is a minimum three-night stay and children of all ages are welcome. “Angama’s little camp will delight our guests by capturing the essence of the glorious adventure of the Golden Age of the African safari – romance, privacy, unconstrained freedom, stories shared around the campfire, dinners lit only by starlight, gentle Kenyan service, the nights either wrapped in silence or filled with sounds of hyena and lions calling, surrounded by a million migrating wildebeest,” concludes Fitzgerald.

ABOUT ANGAMA MARA
High above the Maasai Mara where some of the most romantic scenes from Out of Africa were filmed, Angama Mara comprises two separate and intimate camps, each encompassing 15 tented guest suites. Built on the edge of the Great Rift Valley on one of the most sought-after sites on the continent, this lodge offers heart stopping views as far as the eye can see. The lodge, helmed by industry veteran Nicky Fitzgerald (formerly of &Beyond), boasts outstanding game viewing 12 months of the year, with private access to the reserve. Inspired by the Swahili word for ‘suspended in mid-air,’ Angama Mara floats 1,000 feet above the Maasai Mara, where, every morning, hot air balloons sail past the 30-foot-wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts of each suite.

In addition to consistently excellent game viewing, including Africa’s Big Five, guests enjoy walking safaris, garden-to-table lunches in the shamba, editing their images in the Photographic Studio a fitness center, a 40-foot-long swimming pool, a curated gallery of African art, clothing and jewelry, and a sun-filled studio where local Maasai women work at beading bespoke items. Angama Mara was named #1 Safari Lodge in the World by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards 2018.

Angama Mara, Tented Camp, Safari, 360 MagazineAngama Mara, Tented Camp, Safari, 360 Magazine,

Memphis, Tennessee, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Memphis × West Tennessee

By Shelby Barbour × Vaughn Lowery

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development held the Memphis and West Tennessee Media tour March 19th-23rd. This trip was filled with amazing food, noteworthy experiences and monumental moments.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 journalists arrived bright and early at the Memphis International Airport and were met by Geiger & Associate staff, and were shortly off to lunch. Lunch was held at The Beauty Shop, which is a hip spot located at the center of the Cooper-Young Entertainment District. The name of the restaurant is the theme. 1940’s beauty dryers are scattered around the salon. Along with this old-fashioned décor, the trendy restaurant also serves amazing, American cuisine. Grilled peaches with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar, herb-crusted trout, cheese grits, and succotash are just a few of the delicious bites they have. After breakfast, the groups split for afternoon activities. The journalists were able to choose between three different activities.

First day activities include taking a tour of Graceland – Home of Elvis Presley, visiting Cooper-Young Entertainment District and Overton Square, and taking a tour of the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Dinner was held at Blues City Café, located on Beale Street. Their ribs have been featured on many food channels and in Bon Appetit’s barbeque issue. Then after, having the options to go out for the night.

The following days were very similar to this one. Starting the day with a delicious breakfast, then continuing to do some fun activity. A lot of the activities include touring Memphis’ popular attractions like The Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, Shelby Farms Park, the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Peabody Hotel; just to name a few.

Beale street is known for its music, and soul so it’s no doubt that was a must-see on this trip.

This trip was full of opportunity. Tennessee has so much culture, soul, and influence that it’s a no brainer why people fall in love with it. Although the trip mainly focused on food and sight-seeing, some history was thrown in there as well. Tours of the National Civil Rights Museum were given. The museum was established in 1991 and is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. This museum offered the visitors a full immersion experience through the American civil rights movement.

When exploring Tennessee, it’s hard to not eat everything that comes into view. Luckily on this trip, it offered multiple foods. This trip was all about the food and travel destinations, so without a doubt, there was going to be some great food options. Food varied from fried chicken sandwiches to impossible burgers which are made from plant-based meats and even deep-fried oysters.

What’s a good trip, without good alcohol? Wine tasting, beer tasting, any alcohol tasting you can think of, Tennessee has it. Century Farm Winery is a family-owned and operated winery that is located right on a working farm. Journalists were able to tour the winery and enjoy a selection of handcrafted and award-winning wines. The wine wasn’t the only alcohol being tasted, good olé’ moonshine was available for taste as well. Samuel T. Bryant Distillery was a hot stop on this tour as well. Just like with the Winery, the journalist was able to have a tasting and tour at the Distillery. Samuel T Bryant Distillery tries its hardest to use locally grown produce in their products. The berries in the Blueberry Moonshine and the Blackberry Moonshine come from local farms and the corn they use comes from Madison County farms. They even use local Sorghum Molasses to make a very unique rum product.

The Memphis and West Tennessee Media Tour was filled with so much culture, inspiration, passion, and warmth. Journalists were able to put their creative skills to the test; write and visit places they’ve never been before. When traveling it’s important to try new things and always think outside the box. New foods, drinks, experiences, and great times are what make a trip unforgettable.

Memphis is definitely a place that needs to be on everyone’s travel list. It’s full of so much culture, experiences and food. Memphis is the definition of an affordable visit, foodie town with tons of music history.

6 Trips to Broaden Your Kids’ Minds This Summer

Now that school’s out for summer, enroll the whole family in a crash course on nature and wildlife with Natural Habitat Adventures

Summer vacation may mean “no more pencils and no more books,” but it can also be a great opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world leader in eco-friendly wildlife-focused expeditions around the globe, offers nature-centric trips designed to get explorers of all ages trading their tablets and phones for GoPros and binoculars. From sailing “Darwin’s Laboratory” in the Galapagos on a private ship to taking moonlit treks through the jungles of Costa Rica, Nat Hab’s family adventure trips are designed around conservation, curiosity and quality time – all disguised as a vacation.

Expand your family’s horizons with these summer experiences:

1. Go exploring in “Darwin’s Laboratory”

Come face-to-face with an outstanding array of wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises on Nat Hab’s 10-day Family Galapagos Adventure. Made famous by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, the Galapagos archipelago is the very best place for young explorers to learn about evolution, natural selection and how animals adapt to micro-environments. Sail aboard the National Geographic Islander, a family-friendly ship with a specialty research- and adventure-focused kids’ program on board. Record wildlife sightings in your field notebook, listen for underwater life via the ship’s hydrophone and stretch out in special family cabins designed to sleep up to three. Off-ship, don a wetsuit for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac adventures with your naturalist Expedition Leader, where you can come mask-to-nose with penguins, turtles and seals.
Priced from $7,650
Dates: July 20 & 27, 2019; July 4, 8, 18, 23, 2020; Aug 1 & 6, 2020

2. Seek out lions after sunset in the Maasai Mara

Make conservation the centre of the conversation on the Family Kenya Adventure, an 8-day, custom-crafted itinerary featuring the Maasai Mara’s charismatic creatures whose futures may be at risk. Learn about poaching and pachyderm rescue during a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and make friends in high places at the Giraffe Center before heading along the Great Rift Valley into open grasslands. Stretch out in an unfenced luxury tented camp set in the middle of a Maasai Mara private conservancy, and go for guided walks under a sprawling blue sky while keeping your eyes peeled for zebra, hippo and elephant. Later, as evening falls, head out on a sunset game drive in search of lions and other predators to discover life on the plains after dark.
Priced from $7,995
Trip arranged upon request

3. Journey to Peru’s lost Incan Empire

Immerse your family in the emerald-colored jungles and incredible ancient ruins of the Peruvian Andes on a 7-day Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure. Witness amazing feats of centuries-old civil and hydraulic engineering and learn about Incan astronomy and architecture while exploring the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Meet with local Quechua people in Pisac and learn about advocacy conservation projects from the students of Tikapata School. Stay in private stone casitas along the Urubamba River, and experience 15th-century life in Machu Picchu with tales from your private Peruvian guide. Later, compare ancient civilizations with natural Amazonian marvels in the world’s largest tropical forest basin, where kids will take riverboat tours in search of pink river dolphins, or go ashore to scout for the scarlet and green-winged macaws, howler monkeys and leaf-cutter ants that call the Amazon home.
Priced from $4,495
Trip arranged upon request

4. Safari closer to home in Yellowstone National Park

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure without leaving the continent on Nat Hab’s 7-day Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. Learn how this North American ecosystem works, understanding the importance of ecological balance between predators and prey, and follow naturalist Expedition Leaders into lesser-known areas of the park where bison, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves live largely undisturbed by tourist crowds. See the secret lives of Lamar Valley wolves using a high-powered spotting scope and talk fire ecology—how nature recovers from the ravages of wildfires—with your guide. In an extraordinary natural setting selected for conservation by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1872, guests can engage in enlightening conversations about how hunting along Yellowstone’s perimeter affects the ecosystem inside the park, and why competing political interests threaten the park’s apex predators even to this day.
Priced from $5,295
Dates: August 27 & 29, 2019

5. Scout for sloths on horseback

With its neon-billed toucans, jungle-fringed rivers, mist-cloaked cloud forests and towering volcanoes, Costa Rica is like something out of a child’s imagination. Encounter geothermal phenomena and extraordinary tropical wildlife in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth on this Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure. Join scientists and conservationists at ecological research centers for some interactive exploration of the country’s rain forest ecosystem and discover how cacao beans are transformed into tasty treats with chocolate-making lessons. Soar above the forest canopy on a zip line, search for sloths while on horseback, brave a nighttime bat walk at the 850-acre Tirimbina Rainforest Center and take in the views at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent to the country’s most famous volcano.
Priced from $5,095
Trip arranged upon request

6. Dog sled across the Arctic tundra

No time for a summer excursion? Surprise the kids with a mid-term getaway to the planet’s “living laboratory” when it comes to climate change in the North. The Arctic tundra around Churchill, Manitoba is one of the nature’s last great frontiers—for now. Learn about its delicate ecosystem and the impact of a warming world on Nat Hab’s 6-day Churchill Arctic Family Adventure, where naturalist Expedition Leaders lead a family-focused adventure that’s all about pairing environmental awe with conservation awareness. Helicopter over frozen Hudson Bay in search of polar bears, race through the boreal forest on an authentic sled dog ride, and climb aboard Nat Hab’s special Polar Rover, a monster-sized truck specially designed for up-close wildlife observation—look for caribou and Arctic fox. In evenings, take in the stunning night sky—and if you’re lucky, the northern lights.
Priced from $5,995
Dates: Nov 16 & 18, 2019

For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures, visit www.nathab.com.

About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

Aqua Expeditions Cruise Line

AQUA EXPEDITIONS SET TO ENTER COASTAL CRUISE MARKET IN LATE 2019

Boutique luxury cruise line to launch three new destinations and double its fleet by mid-2020

The world’s most respected boutique luxury cruise line – Aqua Expeditions – is set to enter the coastal cruise market in the fall of 2019, after operating as an Amazon and Mekong River cruise line for the past twelve years. A month ago, Aqua Expeditions finalized the purchase of a long-range 200-foot explorer yacht originally built for Britain’s Royal Navy; the vessel is now undergoing a complete refurbishment designed to transform it into an ultra-modern luxury expedition cruise ship catering to affluent explorers.

Scheduled to begin full operations in November 2019, the explorer class vessel will serve three new destinations with year-round departures. The full announcement on vessel name, facts, destinations and itinerary details will be released globally on May 8, 2019.

The May 8th announcement will also unveil a brand-new, state-of-the-art, luxury river cruise vessel to consolidate Aqua Expeditions’ position as one of the leaders in the river-cruise market. Once this and the recently purchased expedition vessel are in operation, Aqua Expeditions will have doubled its fleet from two to four vessels by mid-2020.

“Even as we grow, as an owner, I remain deeply involved in every aspect of the new vessels – from the minutiae of the design details to the intricacies of the itineraries — just as we did when we started out in 2007,” says CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro, “and, as with all Aqua Expeditions vessels, we are partnering both with renowned designers and critically acclaimed chefs to provide a world-class experience.”

The fleet expansion and geographic diversification underscore Aqua Expeditions’ long-time dedication to providing:

  • highly personalized luxury travel experiences
  • immersive excursions into the wildlife and culture of each region
  • world-class cuisine and dining experiences by renowned chefs
  • highly tailored guest services and itineraries
  • designer ships with elegant and contemporary aesthetics
  • a commitment to community, sustainability and preservation

“The new ships and destinations we will reveal next month are certain to intrigue the sophisticated traveler,” added Galli Zugaro.

ABOUT AQUA EXPEDITIONS

A recognized global leader in luxury small-ship cruises, Aqua Expeditions explores the world’s most wildlife- and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class vessels of stylish contemporary design. On board, Aqua Expeditions offers tailored five-star itineraries, a highly-exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalized service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs, and expert-guided activities and excursions. Aqua Expeditions currently operates river cruise ships Aria Amazon on the Peruvian Amazon and Aqua Mekong on the Mekong river in Cambodia and Vietnam. For more information, please visit www.aquaexpeditions.com.

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Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival

Birders descend on Morro Bay each year over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to attend the Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival and capture glimpses of the massive migrating madness as they dive, swoop and scatter by the hundreds. This is Insta-worthy at its finest. But, you don’t have to attend the festival to marvel at these fine feathered friends because Morro Bay is a distinctive coastal destination for birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway through March.

The coastal Mediterranean climate sets the stage and creates the perfect backdrop for bird watching, no matter where you roam: the Morro Bay State Park boardwalk, bustling Embarcadero, iconic Morro Rock, or up close and personal from kayaks, paddleboards and boat tours. The Morro Bay National Estuary Preserve and its unique 800-acre wetland filled with salt marshes and mudflats are home to more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds as well as dozens of endangered species all winter long, including Peregrine Falcons.

ߦ The 23rd Annual Winter Bird Festival: January 18 – 21

This popular Winter Bird Festival, hosted by the Morro Bay Audubon Society, takes place each year over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. With more than 130 events, including nature treks, presentations, workshops, and lectures, there is a lot to discover. This event is designed to promote the understanding and appreciation of wildlife and environmental conservation. Topics range from geology and biology, to photography and more.

ߦ Saturday Art, Wine & Nibbles Reception – NEW

On Saturday, January 19, from 5:30 – 6:30 pm attendees have an opportunity to browse festival exhibits at a wine reception that includes light snacks. Afterwards, attendees will head over to the South Bay Community Center in Los Osos for James Currie’s keynote presentation.

ߦ Bird Festival Bazaar

Check out birding and bird inspired vendors, public presentations and environmental groups at the Bird Festival Bazaar Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

ߦ Self-Guided Tours

Get out in the field on your own schedule and at your own pace with the Winter Bird Festival self-guided tours. Try El Moro Elflin Forest Natural Area. With a raised board walk over the edge of the Bay, this is a great place to observe the unique plants and spot over 100 species of birds. Find the 13th Street entrance of Santa Ynez Street by following the signs in Los Osos.

ߦ Family Day

No preregistration or registration fee is required to participate in the family day events which take place on Saturday January 19th at the Museum of Natural History. Programs include arts & craft, educational talks, hikes, kayak and canoe rides, and up-close encounters with birds, reptiles, and insects. Children participating in Family Day will also be given a gift from the Morro Coast Audubon Society. Programing runs from 9:30 am-3 pm.

ߦ Mind Walks Series: Peregrine Falcons

Biologist Steve Schubert chronicles the efforts of nest site attendants and endangered species management techniques, captive breeding, double clutching, captive hatching of thin, fragile wild eggs, and the fostering of falcon chicks into the wild nests that have assisted in the recovery of a once-imperiled species. Author of the book The Peregrine Falcons of Morro Rock: A 50-year History, he is past president of Morro Coast Audubon Society. In its 25th year, the Mind Walk Series offers lecture on topics of interest to residents of the Central Coast, including cultural history, natural history, and current issues every Monday, January-March.

Thomson Safaris Announces New 2019 Itinerary

Thomson Safaris, the leading luxury safari operator in Tanzania, has announced a brand-new itinerary for 2019, which will highlight the best of the country’s wildlife, and explore its rich culture from a culinary perspective, including a visit to the “spice island” of Zanzibar. 

Guests will experience remarkable wildlife viewing on a safari through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and dive into Tanzania’s rich culture with fun, culinary excursions in Arusha, including a colorful local market visit and an interactive Tanzanian cooking demonstration.

For three days, guests will explore the iconic Serengeti plains, and complement the wildlife viewing with an off-the-beaten path visit to the village of Robanda, where they will learn how to make banana beer.  In the afternoon, they will partake in a traditional goat roast with Maasai warriors. The journey continues through the Ngorongoro Crater — one of the only places on Earth where you can see all of the Big Five — and a stay at Gibb’s Farm, the award-winning property owned by Judi Wineland and Rick Thomson, the owners of Thomson Safaris. The itinerary will also include walks through the organic farm where coffee, fruits, nuts and vegetables thrive in the rich, volcanic soil, and over 200 species of bird can be found. Guests will learn about sustainable agriculture through farm-to-table culinary activities in the bakery, gardens and kitchen, and, of course, they will indulge in farm-fresh cuisine.

This itinerary wraps with an adventure to Zanzibar, exploring the spice farms for which the island is known, along with excursions to Stone Town and the bustling Forodhani Gardens night market. Guests will cap off their final night with a sunset dhow cruise, featuring classic Swahili Coast dishes, drinks and a vibrant equatorial sunset. 

The Royal Portfolio Announces The Farmstead At Royal Malewane

The Royal Portfolio has announced that the The Farmstead, an exclusive new safari lodge at Royal Malewane – The Royal Portfolio’s iconic first property – in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park will open May 1, 2019.

Following the recently refurbishment of the existing Royal Malewane safari lodge, construction is now underway at The Farmstead, just a 12-minute drive south of the existing lodge. Liz Biden, owner of The Royal Portfolio who has designed and decorated all the interiors within the collection, has already acquired much of the eclectic furniture and original art for the new lodge. Commenting on the unique style, Liz Biden said, “Expect light oak, tin rooves, wrought iron and gentle hues of blue and white with royal blue, indigo and turquoise patterns adorning the fabrics of comfy sofas on wide verandas.”

Accommodations at The Farmstead will include three Luxury Farm Suites and The Farmhouse – a four-bedroom villa offering private services including a dedicated chef, butler, housekeeper, safari vehicle, ranger and tracker. The main lodge area will have a double spa treatment room, a gym, fire pit and vast deck where guests can relax and take meals while watching the abundant wildlife visiting the adjacent waterhole.

The Farmstead will offer the same exceptional safari experience with Africa’s most qualified guiding team as well as the same flawless service and cuisine that guests have come to expect for more than 20 years at Royal Malewane. Rates are fully inclusive of accommodation, meals, drinks, game drives and bush walks.

The Farmstead tells an important story of community enhancement in Africa. Royal Malewane agreed to a long lease of the land from the local Moletele community, paying a monthly rental to the community as well as a share of revenue as additional income. At the end of the long lease all buildings and the land will revert to the community with the option to work with The Royal Portfolio in perpetuity. Throughout the lease, The Royal Portfolio will employ members of the local community and train them to the highest Royal Portfolio standards while also involving the local community in conservation efforts to preserve the region’s precious wildlife.