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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Hudayriyat Leisure and Entertainment District opened in Abu Dhabi in early November, offering a wide array of food and beverage outlets, facilities for sports and other entertainment offerings. In accordance with current COVID-19 restrictions, visitors must pre-book the experiences available.
As a chaotic 2020 comes to a close, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will “turn down the volume” across its global spas with its annual Silent Night on Dec. 9. In addition to the standard wellness menu, the spas will offer mindful treatments, including guided meditation, signing bowl experiences and deep sleep practices. Talking and music will cease in the spas at 5 p.m. to help instill a sense of peace and allow for individual contemplation.
Rosewood Washington, D.C. unveiled six new townhouses as the final component of the property’s recent renovation. The townhouses offer a new, unique guest experience unavailable elsewhere in the capital. Situated on a tree-lined street and adjacent to the hotel, the townhouses offer privacy, 1,100 square feet and one bedroom, with a private entrance. On the second story, guests find a fully equipped kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances, a communal dining area and a back patio. A master bathroom with a deep-soaking tub, walk-in rainforest shower and heated marble floors complement the bedroom. A lower level boasts a separate powder room and washer/dryer.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
Through Dec. 2, travel advisors can offer clients access to the biggest sale of the year from Hurtigruten, with 50 percent off select 2021–2022 itineraries. In addition, the cruise line is also offering a discounted deposit of only $500 per person.
Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: After a revamped and reduced (but still perfect!) wedding and ceremony Aug. 15, my new husband and I decided to take a mini-moon to the Jersey shore. Like most of your 2020 travels, our honeymoon to South Africa has been indefinitely postponed, so we traded Cape Town for Cape May and made the best of it. As Cape May is known for its Victorian influences and bed and breakfasts, we wanted to try a B&B. After much research, we found the perfect blend of modernity and tradition at Pharos at The Harrison.