Not every island is a sand-and-sun beach destination where you go to crack open a good book, sip a tropical drink and forget about the worries of home for a few days. Some are full of wildlife and culture and things you can’t find anywhere else. Maybe they’re a little bit out there. Maybe they’re cold or the beaches aren’t anything to write home about. But they’re worth exploring. This week, we visit a few of them.
The world’s fourth largest island, Madagascar lies east of Mozambique and is home to 5 percent of the world’s wildlife and vegetation. While the beaches are great, there is a diversity of terrain from rainforest to desert, and much of the flora and fauna are unique to the island. Of the more than 200 bird species, about half are found only on Madagascar, which has almost 20,000 plant species, including seven types of the baobab tree. Lemurs leap from tree to tree, while chameleons cling to the branches, making for an entirely different kind of safari experience.
A teardrop-shaped island off the southeastern tip of India, Sri Lanka has recently opened up to the outside world after a 30-year civil war ended in 2009. Marco Polo called it “the finest island in the world,” and it yields treasures far beyond the many precious gems found in its soil. Its two dozen national parks are home to elephants, leopards, sloth bears, and deer. As far as human contribution, Anuradhapura served as the capital for nearly 1,500 years and is still a sacred site for Buddhists, while Sigiriya is an ancient rock fortress full of murals and gardens that was a revolutionary example of urban planning in the fifth century.
The seat of the Republic of China since defeat at the hands of the communists shortly after World War II, Taiwan has developed a unique culture that is a mix of aboriginal, Chinese and Japanese elements. With nearly 25 million inhabitants, it packs about 1,700 people into every square mile. At 1,671 feet, Taipei 101 in the capital city briefly held the title of world’s tallest building, though now it’s struggling to remain in the top 10. Street food is the hallmark of Taiwanese dining, with tofu, rice, pork, and vegetables all enjoying starring roles. Outside the city are temples in gorgeous natural settings reminiscent of a much older way of life.
There is a settlement with a couple dozen non-permanent human inhabitants at any given time on this island east of Tierra del Fuego and north of Antarctica. There’s even a church. But the main attraction is penguins. Tens of thousands of king, Gentoo and macaroni penguins share space with elephant and fur seals. South Georgia is also where Ernest Shackleton landed in a lifeboat on of one of the most harrowing rescue missions of all time after a wreck some 800 miles away, then hiked more than 20 miles to a whaling station for help. Not to worry, though, you’ll be safe in the hands of our Virtuoso partners.
About 50,000 brave souls inhabit this archipelago between Iceland and Norway, and it’s assuredly not for the beaches. An independent country in the Kingdom of Denmark (after a treaty with Norway in 1814), the Faroes play host to Europe’s largest puffin colony and dramatic waterfalls tumbling to the North Atlantic. There are several animal species that have evolved uniquely in isolation, such as the Faroe pony, strong as a horse but with a smaller stature and the Faroe sheep. The friendly population has an interesting blend of Norse and Celtic heritage and are fond of traditional saga-like songs accompanied by dance known as kvaedir, some of which are hundreds of verses long.
I had the pleasure of meeting Dave Hoffman of Hoffman Law Firm at the Camp Happy Days Gala. We both share a common interest in giving back to the non-profit organization. Camp Happy Days is a local charity in Charleston that helps children fight cancer by filling their life with hope and some fun. We at DMC Travel Tailor give 5% of our total profit to them and volunteer our time with them to help make this world a better place.
At the gala, DMC Travel Tailor donated a research and planning service as part of an auction item package. Dave Hoffman bid on it and this is how we met. I will be planning his next trip. When we got together we spoke about why he would like to use a travel advisor, the advantages of using one and the benefits he gets from travel. Dave Hoffman expressed that he would like to use a travel advisor to take the worry off his plate, creating a stress-free environment, saving him the valuable asset of time, while having a seamless trip created for him by a travel professional to avoid some of the mishaps he has previously encountered when planning a trip on his own.
Check out this video where Dave expresses why he thinks he would benefit from using a travel advisor:
DMC Travel Tailor is affiliated with Virtuoso, which is the leading luxury network in the world. Through this affiliation, we are able to offer clients exclusive perks and benefits they cannot find on their own. It also gives us access to global partners around the world we use to create WOW moments for our clients no matter where they want to go in the world. Some of the destinations we focus on include Africa, Australia, Italy, the British Virgin Islands and Fiji. We are also part of the Virtuoso Adventure Travel Community, specializing in adventure travel. This allows us to give you insight not only on where to go and what to do for a great adventure travel trip but also give you advice on what to wear and any equipment needed to bring.
Check out this video where we speak about that:
Some of the benefits of travel we discussed were learning other cultures, having eye-opening experiences that promote self-growth, bonding with family members and or loved ones and creating memories that last a lifetime, which is priceless. At the end of the day, you won’t necessarily remember what you have bought, but I bet you will remember the things you have experienced.
If you don’t have a travel advisor and would like to speak to one, please feel free to reach out to me, Stefany Di Manno Ceccato, Dream Travel Designer at DMC Travel Tailor. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and or by phone at (917) 653-9346. I would be happy to help in realizing your travel dreams!
Is Africa on your Bucket List? Micato, one of our Virtuoso preferred partners is a luxury safari company that continues to get rave reviews. Here are 7 reasons to go on a Micato safari.
1. World’s Best Safari Outfitter a record 9 times
They have been voted World’s Best Safari Outfitter 9 times by Travel + Leisure
You know the saying… “If something is not broken, don’t fix it!”
2. A highly credentialed Micato Safari Director accompanies every East Africa safari
Micato has their classic packaged safaris and they also offer custom-tailored safaris. Even on their custom safaris, they have a safari director who is with you for the whole trip. The safari directors are employees of the company. Micato feels this really makes for a personalized experience while attaining continuity. So much of the “magic” that happens in Africa is attributed to your guide.
3. Every departure is guaranteed
No trips are ever canceled. People can feel secure to book their flights once their trip is booked as it will go as scheduled.
4. No tipping, ever, from beginning to end
You don’t have to worry about bringing a certain amount of cash and finding the person you wish to tip at the end of the trip. This policy alleviates that stress altogether.
5. Micato’s 24-hour concierge team
They have a concierge team that is available 24/7 to help with any unexpected or unusual requests, making guests feel completely at ease while they are away, letting them focus on each precious moment of the trip.
6. Pinto family invites you to their home
Felix and Jane Pinto, second-generation Kenyans founded Micato in 1966. It started out as a small safari company. Since then it has grown into a big company, but they are committed to making their employees and guests feel like family. They live in a suburb of Nairobi and when you are there you will get an invite for lunch or dinner at their home. This makes for an authentic experience, not only meeting with a local, but also with successful business owners.
7. Micato pays for a child’s education for every Micato safari sold
They have a one for one commitment, for every safari sold; they send one child to school in Nairobi. Micato won a World Saver Award from Conde Nast for their education initiative in Kenya. Guests can visit the school in Nairobi and meet the children who have been privy to this Micato advantage. This is a special experience to be had for people to see some of the difference they are making to help bring more good into this world.
We at DMC Travel Tailor have a theme of Travel with Intention. We believe as Tony Robbins said, “The secret to living is giving.” This is why we contribute 5% of our profit to Camp Happy Days, a local charity in Charleston to help kids fight cancer. Everyone who books travel with us can feel good knowing that they are also giving towards a great cause. We would be happy to help you choose which Micato safari is right for your travel needs. Email Stefany, Co-Founder/Dream Travel Designer at email@example.com with any questions. Rest assured you will be in good hands. And if your dream is to go on a safari, why not also provide a child’s education and contribute to help kids fight cancer while at it?
“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” –Ben Carson
“For it is in giving that we receive.” –Francis of Assisi
About DMC Travel Tailor:
We believe in living life to the fullest. Travel is the gateway to self-transformation that touches your soul, connects and unites you with different cultures, fills your life with passion, realizes your fairytale dreams and gives you a story to tell.
What We Do
We are Stefany and Daniele, your Dream Travel Designers!
We believe in a personalized, custom-tailored travel experience that we create together. Our goal is to expand your world, rejuvenate you, and make you feel alive. We want to ignite your spirit with the memories of your adventures.
We contribute five percent of our profit to a charity and volunteer our time to make this world a better place.
Ask anyone who’s been on safari, and you’ll hear all about the transcendent beauty of sunsets, the majesty of the vast open spaces, the thrill of getting up close and personal with exotic animals. It’ll leave you with only one conclusion: You have to go see for yourself. As Richard Mullin said, “The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.” Now that’s it decided you’re going, the question is which area you should choose for your safari.
Kenya / Tanzania
When most people picture a safari, they’re thinking of East Africa. The great migration of wildebeest and zebras takes place annually across Tanzania’s Serengeti Plain and Kenya’s Masai Mara. Hundreds of thousands of animals make the trek in search of grass to graze on. The Maasai people provide an enriching cultural exchange. Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater is rich in wildlife, while Olduvai Gorge is a goldmine for the study of human evolution. Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya are the tallest mountains in Africa and make for excellent, if challenging, climbing.
Though it’s nearly 1,000 miles long, the Okavango River never does quite find its way to the sea, instead of crashing into the sands of the Kalahari Desert to form the sublime Okavango Delta, a maze of swamp, salt and lakes that provides a staging area for a dramatic interplay of animals large and small. Botswana attracts colorful birds, a huge migration of zebra and large numbers of elephants. The San people, the famed Bushmen of the Kalahari, share insights on their culture and its relationship to the natural world.
South Africa / Namibia
A safari in South Africa offers loads of advantages. First, you can pair it with time in the spectacular city of Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Winelands. Second, malaria-free reserves make it an ideal choice for families with young children. Private game reserves are packed with lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, and zebra. To the northwest, Namibia is a vast wilderness of sand dunes where elephants, lions, and endangered black rhinos manage to eke out a living and thousands of birds, including flamingos and pelicans, flock to the infamous Skeleton Coast.
Zambia / Zimbabwe
Separated by the Zambezi River, these two countries are more or less defined by water, making them excellent venues for abundant wildlife. The main attraction is Victoria Falls, “The Smoke That Thunders,” but each country also offers national parks filled with Cape buffalo, impalas, zebras and elephants, among many more diverse species. Zambia’s Kafue National Park is a great place for leopard-spotting, while Zimbabwe boasts splendid game-viewing along the shores of Lake Kariba.
Uganda / Rwanda
In the highlands of the Virunga Mountains that straddle these two countries, you’ll find an entirely different and rare game: gorillas. Only a few hundred mountain gorillas are left in their natural habitat, and they offer a fascinating study in primate behavior. It is in Uganda that Lake Victoria drains into the Nile River, and Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to traditional safari species. Rwanda is renowned for its wide variety of bird and plant species, including more than 100 varieties of orchids.
Have you always dreamed of one day swimming in the clear, turquoise waters of Fiji? Or maybe walking through the whitewashed buildings of Santorini? Or seeing and elephant walking by outside of your hotel room in Africa? Or hanging with kangaroos on the beach in Australia? Are there places on your Bucket List you would love to check off but don’t know where to start?
Many people would love to take their dream vacation but planning such a grand trip can be very overwhelming. There is such a large amount of work and research needed in planning such a large trip. There is transportation to think about, where to stay and itineraries to plan out. This can be a daunting task for many. You want to make sure every aspect is thought through and every detail is perfect, but do not necessarily want to spend the countless hours doing so.
Stop putting off your dream vacation and get ready to go on the adventure of a lifetime. Anywhere you want to go or anything you can think to do is possible with a little help. Sit back, relax and let DMC Travel Tailor handle all your luxurious vacation needs. Put your trust in Stefany to make all your dreams come true. She has had the privilege of working a job that allowed her to travel the world. With her extensive travel experiences and access to global partners around the world through her Virtuoso affiliation, she will provide you with an upscale and unforgettable dream vacation. DMC Travel Tailor will take all the stress and planning out of the mix for you. All you need to do is leave everything up to them and get ready to have the time of your life. Their mission is to provide you with WOW experiences and a trip of a lifetime with memories to cherish forever.
Daniele and Stefany also love giving back. They donate five percent to a charity they volunteer for called Camp Happy Days. Just think, while you’re on your dream vacation, you are also helping others.
Don’t wait any longer to begin making memories you will never forget. Check out their web page www.dmctraveltailor.com and begin your journey.