Some people say you should wait to visit Kenya during the migration. Mark my words: That’s not necessary. I’ve seen plenty of animals in Kenya’s Maasai Mara year-round, and with fewer spectators. Being alone in the bush is everything. That’s what’s on my mind as I gaze into the reserve’s seeming vastness in so-called off-season. From my vantage point, atop a kopje, I spy numerous creatures, large and small. Though they look like toys or free-form dots from here, I can easily imagine them in their habitat: hippos in the river, elephants encircling babies, lions atop rocks as focused as sentries, leopards lounging on tree limbs and hyenas sauntering down a dusty road. This morning, on my game drive, I see them all.
Toasting their honor, I sip a bubbly South African wine. I’m sitting on a red plaid blanket, neatly arranged near the cliff’s edge. Together with my friend, I dig into a picnic hamper packed with snacks by my able butler. Though I’m just a short walk from the lodge, I feel a world apart. Essentially in the wild, there’s no guard nor naturalist standing by, nor butler for that matter. It’s just my friend and me on a cliff in Kenya — and we feel strangely surreal and free, as if we were the last people on Earth.
This is how it seems, anyway, as we picnic, surrounded by nature, ensconced in a silence so quiet it seems to hum. We didn’t wander off alone, mind you. That’s a safari no-no of the first degree. Our safari lodge, family-owned and -operated Angama, offers guests a unique opportunity to immerse in nature and romance. Called the Out of Africa experience for the fact Sydney Pollack’s gorgeous movie was filmed on this exact spot, the adventure plunges you into the landscape safely. A guide walks you about 15 minutes from the lodge to a small clearing, amid trees, set on a ledge, overlooking the Mara Triangle. Snacks, libations, pillows and blankets have been arranged in a vintage display worthy of the film. Becoming Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, or whomever you like, you sit down and simply immerse in the ponderous eternity of Kenya.
Angama lies atop the lesser-traveled portion of Kenya’s great park, the Maasai Mara. Slightly elevated, it’s relatively mosquito free, and offers jaw-dropping vistas. Stylishly contemporary, it consists of two identical camps, each with 15 tent-inspired suites apiece. They’re connected by paths, and a common area, complete with pool and cultural center, serves as the resort’s heart. Known for its customized safari days, the resort urges guests to be impulsive, to play and relax at will. Walking safaris, hot air balloon rides, days in the organic garden, game drives, village visits, time in the photographic lab — truly anything is possible. But for me, this Out of Africa picnic trumps everything. Here, I’m part of a dream, somehow connected to Kenya on the deepest level. Just like the animals.
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Luxury destinations around the country partnered with Bryte to introduce The Restorative Bed and enhanced sleep programming at their hotels. The revolutionary, AI-powered Restorative Bed uses real-time technology to intuitively adjust based on the individual’s needs and preferences. An embedded sensory network detects biometrics, like heart rate and breathing patterns, when a sleeper enters the first stage of sleep, triggering cooling features and lulling sleepers into deep sleep. Computer-controlled air cushions alleviate pressure points, and the technology also leads sleepers naturally out of sleep.
Tauck announced plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1. Departures of the Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston tour have already begun, with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months. Check the Open for Travel page for information on specific tour departures.
Turkish Airlines resumed its premium onboard dining and hot meal service on all business- and economy-class flights longer than two hours and 15 minutes. The resumption of service is in accordance with all health and hygiene applications.
Denver’s The Source Hotel offers its new Passport Program. Overnight guests receive The Source Passport at check-in and from there can enjoy restaurants and retail establishments across The Source Hotel + Market Hall with exclusive discounts. Exclusive discounts are available at The Woods, Safta, Reunion Bread, Beet & Yarrow, Melted and more.
Seabourn relaunched its Early Bonus Savings promotion. Guests who pay their booking in full by June 30, receive an additional 10 percent savings off the base cruise fare. The Seabourn promotion applies to select voyages departing on or after Nov. 1, and now includes voyages through fall 2022 and winter and spring 2023.
With the vaccine rolling out and U.S. air travel expected to pick up in the upcoming months, the personal finance website WalletHub released a report on 2021’s Best Frequent-Flyer Programs, to help travelers make the best decision for their wallets.
TAP Air Portugal now offers all passengers COVID-19 testing service at Lisbon Airport at a discount. Depending on a destination’s various restrictions, the Rapid Antigen Test is €21; the PCR test is €85; and a PCR Test plus Rapid Antigen Test is €106. TAP customers enjoy priority access to this service.
Audi of America announced it is now the official, exclusive automotive partner of 1 Hotels in the United States, with locations in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. As 1 Hotels is a mission-driven, nature-inspired hotel brand with sustainability at its core, the Audi e-tron will make a fitting Official Electric Vehicle for them. The Audi e-tron will serve as the house car, shuttling and chauffeuring guests, through 2023. Additionally, 1 Hotels curated local excursions for guests to enjoy Audi e-tron test drive experiences at each of the hotels.