Robin Pope Safaris
Dr. Livingston, I Presume
2013 marks the legendary explorer, David Livingstone’s bicentenary birthday. To celebrate, Robin Pope Safaris is offering a trip following the renowned Scottish explorer’s footsteps with its ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ safari. The 10-night package follows the Shire River from Majete Wildlife Reserve through Liwonde National Park and ends at Lake Malawi, which David Livingstone romantically named ‘Lake of Stars’.
Highlights include a drive through Balantyre, the namesake of Livingstone’s birth place (Blantyre, Scotland); a journey along the Shire River, the river that led him into Malawi; a visit to Kapichira Falls, a stumbling block in the explorer’s adventures; trekking in Liwonde National Park up the Shire en route to Lake Malawi; and Lake Malawi itself, which Livingstone called ‘ Lake of Stars’. The Warm Heart of Africa safari includes all transfers by road, all accommodation on a full-board basis, activities and laundry; is valid through December 2013 and starts at US $3,802 per person sharing. www.robinpopesafaris.net
Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations bring visitors and Viennese together for one-on-one, English-language conversations in traditional cafés over a menu of questions to help participants share their views on travel, friendship, compassion, inspiration and whatever else pops up.
“The Vienna Coffeehouse Conversations enable travellers to re-invent the world-famous and UNESCO-recognised Vienna coffeehouse culture, echoing a time when Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt and Stefan Zweig met acquaintances in cafés to exchange ideas and debate,” explains co-organiser Barbara Grüll-Cação from travel site Vienna Unwrapped. The topics for conversation are arranged across a three-course Viennese meal and coffee, that reflects the Habsburg era sweep of central Europe, with influences from Italy to Poland.
The two locations, Café Museum and Café am Heumarkt, represent the best of bohemian, literary, contemporary Vienna.
Conversations take place April 12 and June 14 at Café am Heumarkt; and May 11, July 13 and August 10 at Café Museum from 6.50 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register, visit www.vienna-unwrapped.com/vienna-coffeehouse-conversations.html
Playing The Best
The Denang Golf Course, named as the best course in Vietnam at the 2013 Asia Pacific Golf Summit, has launched a stay-and-play initiative that offers an all-inclusive package to play the acclaimed course and stay in a luxury two- or three-bedroom pool villa at the Ocean Villas for the equivalent of less than US $200 per night per person.
The packages include weekday golf for two people in a two-bedroom villa and for three people in a three-bedroom villa, caddie and green fees, buggy transfers to and from the golf course, breakfasts, welcome drink on arrival and food/beverage and spa discounts. Up to four people can stay in the two-bedroom villas and up to six in the three-bedroom villas for the all-inclusive price, with breakfasts included.
Amenities include a Beach Club with large pool, restaurant, spa and kid’s club.
Danang is Vietnam’s third-largest city, with direct flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and all cities throughout Vietnam. www.theoceanvillas.com.vn and www.denanggolfclub.com
High Pointe Tours
Step back to a time of leisurely travel on a horse-drawn carriage tour of Tuscany with High Pointe Tours. Following pastoral country roads, fording streams and taking paths through oak forests, the four-in-hand shooting brake carriage travels from inn to inn through places not accessible by bus or, in some cases, even by car.
The six-day tour begins in historic Siena and ends at the village of Alberese, home of a palace once owed by Austrian archdukes. Along the way, you’re treated to sumptuous Italian meals and prized wines in exotic settings like Ucellina, a restricted natural reserve; the castle yard of a Marquis; an estate with views of olive trees and vineyards; and a well-appointed hunting lodge.
Tour dates are April 29 to October 8. Prices range from US $4,040 to $4,144 per person. www.highpointetours.com
Sleep With The Fish
© 2012 Resorts World at Sentosa Pte. Ltd
Ocean Suites, in the Open Ocean habitat at the S.E.A Aquarium – the world’s largest aquarium – offers a one-of-a-kind stay: observing more than 70 marine species through a floor-to-ceiling acrylic panel in the bedroom.
Designed like deluxe townhouses, the two-storey suites feature a living room connected to an outdoor deck with a private relaxation corner fitted with a Jacuzzi pool and lounge chairs on the upper storey and a bedroom with an underwater view on the lower storey. A bath tub beneath the wooden deck lets you enjoy the comfort of a warm bath, while taking in the beauty of the underwater scenery. The entrance level of each Ocean Suite has a bedroom with an underwater view of the Open Ocean habitat. Five-star comforts include luxurious amenities and personalized butler service. The rack rate for the Ocean Suites is US$1,965 a night. www.sentosa.com
Caption for context tours.
Exploring molecular gastronomy.
Photo Credit: Context Travel
Context Travel’s new Modernista Menu explores Barcelona’s avant garde culinary trends, including molecular gastronomy. In the company of a local chef or food writer, visitors tour the kitchen of a Michelin-starred restaurant before sitting down to a “curated” meal based on the theories of molecular cuisine.
Participants begin with a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen and learn about some of the specialized equipment that is used in molecular cuisine. Then, they’ll sit down to a dinner designed by Victor Quintilla, owner/chef of Lluerna that takes participants on a gastronomic journey through recent trends.
Modernista Menu is available for private bookings and within Context’s small-group program, which limits shared group tours to 6 people max. Private tours cost €425 for the party, plus €80 per person for dinner; group tours cost €180 per person. www.contexttravel.com
Help Koalas, Eh?
Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours
Canadians are rushing to help Melbourne’s wild koalas in greater numbers than ever before.
“Since introducing our new conservation tourism program last year, our bookings from Canada have gone through the roof,” says Janine Duffy of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours. “Canada has always been a major market for us, but recent increases have set a new record.”
The popular Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD day tour visits the You Yangs Park to walk with wild koalas, which are named and studied by Echidna Walkabout researchers. The tours pay for the research, and guests help out by finding koalas and other animals.
“We’ve had Canadians of all ages out in the Bush helping our Koalas,” says Janine. “I think Canadians have a ‘can-do’ attitude. So when we see a wild koala, they want to make sure it has a future!” Tours are AU $190 per adult and AU $142.50 per child www.echidnawalkabout.com.au
One of Canada’s largest annual sporting events, the Honda Indy Toronto, hits the streets of Toronto July 12 to 14 with not one, but two IZOD IndyCar Series races and plenty of off-road action: a craft beer festival, an international food festival, countless activities for families and exhibits for car aficionados.
Gearheads can take in nine full-length races, six race series paddocks and numerous vehicle displays. The Adrenaline Fest features a BMX stunt show, Honda Jr. Red Riders program, Canadian Armed Forces interactive display, Dr. Pepper cooler can racing and the Honda Indy Pit Stop Challenge. At the Craft Brew Fest you can sample local craft brews in the Craft Beer Gardens and chat with brew masters, while Taste Fest features free food samples and plenty of food trucks. General admission tickets range from $35 to $50 and reserved grandstand tickets range from $60 to $165. www.hondaindytoronto.com
Tauck offers a new four-day, baseball-themed event as part of its “Ken Burns American Journeys” series of travel experiences based on the filmmaker’s works.
Highlights of “The Tauck Baseball Event: America’s Pastime” include a private, “after-hours” evening inside the National Baseball Hall of Fame with Ken Burns; special lectures by baseball experts, including author Daniel Okrent and baseball historian Tom Heitz; a period “Town Ball” game played with 19th-century rules; a visit to Cooperstown’s iconic Doubleday Field; and even a few swings in historic batting cages. There is also the opportunity to meet former major league baseball players Phil Niekro, Ozzie Smith and Doug Glanville.
Included in the price (from $3,690 per person, double occupancy, plus air) are three nights in Cooperstown at the Otesaga Resort Hotel, all daytime activities and evening festivities, all meals, all gratuities, airport transfers and ground transportation. www.tauck.com.