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A F F L U E N T

GUIDE

T R A V E L L E R

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Africa & Middle East

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Visiting the Middle East

Ensure all your interests are taken care of

MOROCCO the jewel of north africa VISITING TANZANIA Recognising excellence in luxury travel SERIES

Glo b a l Tr ave l Awar ds 2 0 12

The experience of safaris, treking & more

Food&Culture lover? See what our have to say

experts


14 34 CONTENTS

Luxur y Travel Overview 14

Luxury Travel - Middle East

24

Luxury Travel – West Africa

34

Luxury Travel - Sub Sahara Africa

44

Luxury Travel - North Africa

52

Wedding & Honeymoon Destinations

62

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- Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

62

African Tribal Life

70

African & Middle Eastern Cuisine

80

Luxury Spas Africa

90

Global Travel Awards


126 116 Africa 116

Beautiful South Africa

124

Fairmont Zimbali Lodge Hotel

126

Exploring Table Mountain

136

Discovering Kruger National Park

144

Thanda Private Game Reserve

136

Hotel

146

Exploring Seychelles

152

Banyan Tree Seychelles Hotel

154

Safari Namibia

162

Chamelon Safaris

162

154

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186 166

Exploring Ivory Coast

238

Discovering Ghana

170

Exploring Egypt

246

Exploring Mali

176

The Ritz-Carlton, Sharm El Sheikh Hotel

250

Exploring Madagascar

178

Beautiful Morocco

258

Exploring Botswana

186

Food & Culture Morocco

260

Paradise Mauritius

194

Adventure Activities Morocco

268

Exploring Congo

202

Moto Adventures & La Casa del Mar

270

Juls Africa Zambia

212

Fes Excursion

278

Exploring The Gambia

214

LĂŠgendes Evasions

280

Nostalgic Naibor

216

Surfing Morocco

290

Nairobi Serena Hotel

218

Maison MK - Unique Luxury Hotel

292

Captivating Kenya

222

Exploring Cameroon

302

Exploring Nigeria

226

Safari Tanzania

308

Exploring Tunisia

234

Exploring Angola

312

Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa Hotels

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250


318

326

Middle East 318

Exploring Dubai

324

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai Hotel

326

Cultured Israel

334

Dan Eilat Hotel

336

Exploring Qatar

344

The Ritz-Carlton, Doha Hotel

346

Exploring Bahrain

350

Exploring Iran

354

Exploring Saudi Arabia

360

Al Faisaliah Hotel

362

Alwaseilah Tours

364

Exploring United Arab Emirates

370

Kempinski Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi

336 354 362

Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Competitions

SERIES

www.corporatelivewire.com/de-luxe/de-competitions.html


De Luxe

Editors Letter Time and time again we have seen people making the classic mistake where Africa & the Middle East is concerned – dismissing it as nothing more than a destination for desert tours and safaris. If you are dead set on sticking to this misconception then we aim to please with our coverage of everything from the Kruger National Park in South Africa through to camel tours in the Negev Desert of Israel. However, if you are looking for inspiration and want to open your eyes to the bigger picture then there is a whole new world out there to discover. Take Morocco for example, from huge mountain regions to wide beautiful beaches, which pass over to endless desert – you have everything you could possibly want to whet your appetite. While we are on the subject of appetite we have also thrown in a look at the famous cuisine of this fantastic North African country courtesy of Faim d’Epices. The Luxury Travel Guide – Africa & Middle East Edition is here to show you the spectacular variety that you can find across the entire region. Although we aim to take some of the strain off you when it comes to picking between the vital itineraries and must see attractions we also anticipate that we will cause a headache or two by serving up some unexpected treats and intriguing alternatives such as Iraq and Namibia. Yet again we have utilised the extensive knowledge and unbounded enthusiasm offered by some of the best experts from around the continent such as Deen Samson of Africa Origin in Ghana and the returning Andre Hunter whose company Hunter1 Enterprises offers a luxury concierge and security service across the Middle East. With over 100 years experience and several thousand accumulative tours our many experts live and breathe for this life so there really is no better way to unlock the secrets of your chosen destination. As well as our countless experts we have also tapped into the knowledge of our well travelled editorial team to take a look at everything from the pyramids of Egypt to the Winelands of the Cape. Given the fact that Africa has gained the royal approval – with Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooning in the Seychelles last year – it would be crazy for us not to follow up our previous guides feature on weddings and honeymoons. We have also continued to showcase the very finest hotels and spas as well as honouring those companies that have offered a standout service across the entire tourism industry with our Africa Travel Awards. For now though, the time has come to consider where your next excursion will take place. Do you want to go in search of the Big Five in the safari hotspots like Kenya and South Africa? Or maybe even the desert heartlands of the Sahara and Kalahari? Then there’s the colourful culture and tribal traditions dotted around the entire continent. Either way, we hope you enjoy this guide as much as we know you will enjoy your African & Middle Eastern excursion.

James Drakeford

SERIES

Chief Executive Officer Osmaan Mahmood Managing Director Andrew Walsh Editor in Chief James Drakeford Publishing Division Jake Powers John Hart Art Director Adeel Lone Designer Ben Rogers Staff Writers Haider Ali Mark Johnson Ehan Kateb Rohini Makwana Marketing Manager Sylvia Estrada Production Manager Sunil Kumar Account Managers Ibrahim Zulfqar Norman Lee Sarah Kent Steve Bevan Omar Sadik Competitions Manager Arun Salik Administration Manager Nafisa Safdar Accounts Assistant Jenny Hunter Editorial Enquiries Editor@corporatelivewire.com Advertising Enquiries advertising@corporatelivewire.com General Enquiries info@corporatelivewire.com Corporate LiveWire  The Custard Factory Gibb Street Birmingham B9 4AA United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 121 270 9468 Fax: +44 (0) 121 345 0834


LUXURY TRAVEL

overview


Get Peace of Mind The reputation of the Middle East has been somewhat tarnished over the years by on going conflicts between Israel and Palestine as well as wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Heavy-handed tyrants and controversial leaders such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran and Muammar Gaddafi in Libya haven’t helped matters either. Yet if you believe what the media tells you and decide not to visit, you’d be missing out on the journey of a lifetime. If you want to visit these beautiful cities and learn about the fascinating and unique cultures that are on display across the region but still feel that the risks and threats are all too present – we have found a happy medium. You can use your luxury concierge service to acquire that peace of mind by taking advantage of their bodyguard services, close protection service and VIP protection services.

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The Middle East is a region that is rich in history, and simply put rich in general. It is home to some of the world’s most significant cities and ancient ruins appealing to the culture vultures as well as the ultimate luxury in the oil rich nations on the Persian Gulf who have turned these archipelagos into something of a billionaire’s plaything. Whether you are a billionaire or not, come to the Middle East to enjoy the high life.

For those looking for the story behind the headline and where the bridges between ancient and modern civilisations are evident all around – then this is the place to be. For all the negativity that one reads about the Middle East, there are more than equal proportions of positives. One of the most enduring memories of the Middle East is likely to be its people. Their gracious welcome, their incredible traditions and boundless hospitality speak of an altogether more civilised age.

“Individuals, families as well as corporate executives, can access a very flexible, approachable, discreet and highly reassuring service, which quickly becomes the norm. Concierge level support, coupled with security and risk avoidance, can make a holiday, a business trip or a mixture of both, an absolute pleasure.“

Andre Hunter Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa - 15


The holiday is the easy part. It’s getting to the destination that can be somewhat daunting. First of all you have to contend with carting around copious amounts of luggage as you go from house to airport, and then there are the inevitable delays and overly-familiar security checks. You may also have the dilemma of what can we throw out if our luggage is too heavy? with many airlines being sticklers for their miniscule baggage weights at check-in. Forget all of the hassle. With private jets such as the Lear Jets, Falcon, Gulfstream, Embraer, Boeing and Citation you can travel in style. Not only will these luxuriously spacious aircrafts remove the nuisances of commercial airlines, they can also be arranged for you 24/7 – allowing you to depart or arrive whenever is convenient to you.

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If you want to fly into an immaculate airport – internationally acclaimed for its prestige – then you cannot go wrong with choosing the Dubai International Airport. Alternatively, choose from over 20 international airports across 14 different countries or better yet if there is another airport even closer to your destination private concierge services will make every effort to cater to your needs.

“Remember to ask for your preferred type of private jet for your charter flight. No aircraft is too big nor too small. However, we like to say that “Bigger is Better” when it comes to flying privately.”

Andre Hunter Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Cruise The Middle East The great thing about the Middle East is that once you have flown into one country you are not short of resources to get around. On the west of the continent you have the Red Sea while the south provides the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden for all your yachting needs. However, the very best excursions can be found across the east on the Persian Gulf. Dubai take their yachting seriously with the Mediterranean inspired Festival Marina encompassing 74 permanent berths with state-of-the-art facilities to accommodate 15 to 35 metre yachts. The custom-designed marina is at the heart of Dubai’s Festival City on the banks of the historic Dubai Creek while the waterfront promenade links the Festival Marina to the world renowned InterContinental and Crowne Plaza Hotels and Event Centre, a retail resort with more than 600 shops including 25 anchor stores and 100 restaurants and cafÊs, a 12 screen multiplex cinema and a variety of entertainment venues.

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Take a leisurely cruise along the United Arab Emirates and explore the tourist friendly coastal resorts in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Sha’am.

“We offer yachts of all sizes for charter services or for sale. We can accommodate all your yachting needs from small to super yachts. At Hunter1 Enterprises, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide exceptional customer service. Our support staff are second to none.”

Andre Hunter Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Where To Start We have talked about the significant cities and ancient ruins across the Middle East along with the ultimate relaxation in the confines of a luxury resort on the Persian Gulf – but if you are looking to combine the two experiences within one destination, you cannot go wrong with choosing Israel. When it comes to significant cities they simply do not come bigger than Jerusalem. It was here that two great monotheistic religions – Judaism and Christianity– were born as well as being home to Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Sunni Islam after the mosques of al-Haram in Mecca and al-Nabawi in Medina. Then there’s the Negev region with the countless historic natural wonders including the 200-million-year-old Makhtesh Ramon crater that is undoubtedly worth gazing upon.

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Those of you that have travelled to Israel within the last decade may think ‘yes it has the culture, but does it have the luxury?’ and in short – the answer is a resounding yes. For a number of years tourism in Israel appeared to be in decline and as a result the hotels began to follow suit. But now, Israel is booming again and the hotels have really upped their game. Whether you want to stay in archaeologically splendid Jerusalem, the historic Negev region or the bustling city of Tel-Aviv there are no longer any shortage in luxury accommodation.

“If you are starting your journey in Israel it may be worth getting a second passport as some nations across the Middle East will not allow entry to those visitors with an Israeli stamp in their passport.“

Andre Hunter Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa - 21


Lisa & Diane Scalia

Expert BIO Andre Hunter, Founder, Hunter1 Enterprises Andre Hunter, Founder and CEO of Hunter1 Enterprises, has a stellar reputation for providing and delivering his clientelle with an experience of a lifetime. Hunter1 Enterprises provides clients with exotic automobiles, yachts and jets. Andre Hunter with his impeccable integrity works on the side of the buyers promising to deliver whatever they can dream with the greatest peace of mind and freedom. Hunter has received praises for his abilities to maintain client confidentiality, while still maintaining a full level of customer service. Hunter has serviced doctors, lawyers, members of the clergy, businessmen and women, athletes and financiers. Hunter1 Enterprises is based out of Orlando, Florida however, services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week globally.

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H

unter1 Enterprises is an Orlando cally, nationally and international a superior level of luxury and lei East specialty providing safety a

Hunter 1 Enterprises provides the Close Protection services and V tective services at short notice anywhere in th vice, for clients requiring both low key and disc the shades in between.

In every part of the world where we provide Bo Protection services, we are able to access es international law enforcement and appropria which is comparable to that provided by the b


o, Florida based corporation, providing services lolly. Hunter1 Enterprises has a reputation for delivering isure services all around the world with their Middle and security with their complete concierge package.

e highest quality international Bodyguard services, VIP Protection. They have the ability to provide prohe world offering a complete protective security sercreet security, to high profile overt protection, and all

odyguard services, Close Protection services and VIP stablished high level links with regional, national and ate organizations, enabling us to provide a service best government protection teams.

The clientele of Hunter1 Enterprises ranges from celebrities, athletes, doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women and international financiers. Andre Hunter, a detailed and meticulous connoisseur of the finer things in life says “I devote all my energy to ensure that each one of my clients receives first class treatment.� Their primary goal is to deliver customer satisfaction to every experience. If you are travelling at a moment’s notice or with several weeks notice, Hunter1 Enterprises is prepared to create an experience with the greatest level of ease. Hunter1 Enterprises also can provide private butlers and assistants to further enhance the freedom and peace of mind of travel. Hunter offers up to level four private security with his travel packages, ensuring not only the privacy of his clients, but their safety as well. Andre Hunter is a name that has been and continues to be respected and admired for his level of integrity, creativity and customer satisfaction.

Contact Details

W: www.hunter1travel.com T: +1 877 719 5387 E: info@hunter1travel.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Luxury Travel

WEST AFRICA

Expert BIO Kwame Ansong, CEO, Sunseekers Tours In 2000, Kwame Ansong took over as CEO of Sunseekers Tours, a family business that he has been a part of since 1994. He has an unquenchable passion for conservation and ecotourism, and desires to share, through Responsible Tourism, the depths of West Africa’s cultural and historical diversity. His extensive experience in the tourism industry, combined with a background in marketing, is manifest in his skilfulness at showing you the very best that West Africa has to offer. His far-reaching knowledge of unspoilt tribal communities, their customs and rich history, make any tour of his a fascinating whirlwind adventure.

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Many people highlight the political turmoil and percei planned trip to West Africa can be as safe as any destin eyes to the real West Africa and experience the music, a mystique surrounding this glorious region.


ived danger, however, a well nation in the world. Open your age old traditions, dances and

Culture & Traditions According to the United Nations, West Africa is made up of 16 nations, including Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Benin. Although each country has its own set of values and identifications, many common cultural threads can be found among them. From the polyrhythmic compositions of Afrobeat to the staple diet of goat, yams and plantains – the similarities are striking. Almost as striking as the similarities are the many differences. West Africa has an abundance of tribes, many of which date back hundreds or even thousands of years. Even tribes that live in close proximity to one another maintain their own distinct cultural practices and languages. It is estimated that there are at least 250 tribes in Nigeria alone, while the Fulani – found throughout West Africa – are considered to be the largest nomadic tribe in the world.

“Unique rites of passage are celebrated across West Africa in a plethora of ways. Join the Asante people as they ritually suspend time to allow for regeneration and refreshment of our bodies; or see the beauty of a young Wala virgin whose mouth plate reveals the depth of her beauty.” Kwame Ansong Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“Don’t settle for just seeing the local people, but come and meet them one-on-one. Spend some time in communities, participating in normal village life or learning how to weave traditional Kente cloth! Spend time talking with voodoo followers and understand the python temples or fetish practices that determine their steps.�

Kwame Ansong

The People Witnessing the tribal and traditional activities across West Africa may offer an incredible insight into the people that possess this land, but nothing gives you the overall experience quite like immersing yourself in the communities by diving in at the deep end of village life. Discover that the transition from a boy to a man is a lot more difficult than passing your GCSEs or learning how to drive by learning the various skills that a father passes to his boy, such as the talking drum, which is used for communication and ceremonial celebration. Understand the voodoo traditions and ceremonies practised around Africa by visiting Benin, the birthplace of the religion. Most importantly, sit and listen to the Griot storytellers who use musical accompaniment to relay narratives about ancient ancestors, military battles and modern events for the most enthralling history lesson you will ever receive.

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“Visit West Africa’s renowned World Heritage Sites, from Ghana’s forts and castles which date as far back as 1482, to the 10 remaining Asante Traditional Buildings. Other World Heritage Sites in West Africa include Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary in Senegal, and Koutammakou, the famous mud towers in Togo.”

Kwame Ansong

UNESCO World Heritage West Africa has an abundance of colonial history, spectacular natural landscapes and cultural landmarks that have rightly made their way onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. With so many sites to choose from, we would advise starting with the fortified trading posts built along the Ghanaian coast between 1482 and 1786 followed by the Asante Traditional Buildings and Nzulezo village. After experiencing the grounds of the old British colony, get a different view from the French colony with a visit to Senegal. The Island of Goree was the largest slave-trading centre in Africa, while the Island of Saint-Louis played a massive role in shaping the culture and economy of West Africa today. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“Ecotourism, with emphasis on conservation, is a forte of West Africa. Meet the Tafi people of Ghana, who protect the Mona monkeys through traditional beliefs and taboos. Explore the protected biodiversity of bird life in Shai National Park, and experience the tranquil beauty of the Pendjari Biosphere Reservation in Benin.� Kwame Ansong

Ecotourism With the west coast teeming with Atlantic beaches and the tropical sun beaming in the sky, one of the highlights of a West African expedition is without doubt the conservation and ecotourism. Whether you want to discover the pristine tropical rainforests and savannah grasslands or marvel at the national parks and nature reserves such as the Mount Nimba Nature Reserve in Ivory Coast we can assure you that there will be more than plenty to keep you busy. The perfect photograph opportunity will also presents itself in the form of hikes and climbs such as the highest mountain in Ghana and the ancient caves of the Shai Hills.

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“Ghana and West Africa are the latest pleasure periphery for the cruise industry. Cruise in style along the beautiful, rugged coast; experience the unique canopy forest in one of Ghana’s virgin rainforests, and see the Senegalese Saloum Delta and ancient shellfish human settlements. This is the Cruise Industry’s unexplored frontier!”

Kwame Ansong

Cruises The great thing about a cruise around West Africa is that it allows you to experience the many different cultures and see the countless sights and attractions that you perhaps wouldn’t get the time to explore by land. Travel to ports such as Banjul, the capital of Gambia, where you can explore the attractive cathedrals, mosques and Gambian National Museum. Other ports you can look forward to calling in at include the harbour of Sao Tome Island and Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Highlights include cruising along Senegal’s Lake Retba, which looks like a giant pool of strawberry milkshake. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

S

unseekers Tours is a dynamic and innovative company trailblazing excellence in tourism from Ghana, and across West Africa. Sunseekers specialises in cultural, educational and adventure tours customised specifically for each group.

Their well-trained staff take pride in the standards of service, transportation and the experience each visitor receives, be it seeing the beauty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites; bird watching in unique national parks; exploring voodoo worship traditions; or experiencing the cocoa trail. Memories of these tours last forever, as West Africa is a patchwork of glorious diversity. Whether you are taking steps in Nzulezo’s stilt village, experiencing the Tamtam of the Tuareg in Mali, cooking a traditional dish in a Lobi-Wala farming village, or reliving history in Ghana’s Elmina Castle or Timbuktu’s Sidi Yahia, you’ll be amazed at the splendour and breathtaking diversity of culture, conservation and beauty that West Africa has to offer. Sunseekers Tours will open your eyes to West Africa’s palimpsest of glory.

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Contact Details

W: www.sunseekerstours.com T: +233 302 225 393 E: info@sunseekerstours.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Luxury Travel

SUB SAHARA AFRICA

Expert BIO Becx Whitefield, Owner, TripAfrica TripAfrica is an entirely owner run & managed company started by Becx Whitefield in early 2012. Becx has been involved in the tourism industry for over a decade, from guiding birding tours in Borneo to taking horse trails around Centenial Park in Sydney, Australia in the early days to settling in Africa in 2003. Becx spent five years living in Zambia where she woke each morning to views across the Zambezi River & battled the ‘elephant traffic jams’ on the way to the office. This was followed by a four month journey driving around Eastern & Southern Africa covering much of Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia before returning to Malawi to oversee the renovation of a new luxury lodge and set up horse trails in the land of tea estates. She then returned to work as head of sales for a UK based Africa specialist tour-operator for 2 1/2 years before establishing TripAfrica. TripAfrica allows the freedom to create the most wonderful, expertly designed African trips for everyone.

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Zambia – Home of the Un

Zambia is truly a hidden jewel in the heart of Africa, land home to no less than 20 national parks and 72 different of the mighty Zambezi, this wonderful, colourful, enticing n

Whilst the incredible, ethereal Victoria Falls – one of the S upon and can in no way be discounted, Zambia is the cles, wildlife hotspots & phenomena that only the adven After spending a few nights spoiling yourselves with the sp it is time to don the pith helmet and head into the wilds.


nknown

dlocked by its eight neighbouring countries, t languages & dialects and the birthplace nation awaits.

Seven Natural Wonders – has to be gazed motherland to many lesser known spectanturous at heart have the luxury to discover. plendour of these vast, signature waterfalls

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The biggest migration that nobody has heard of‌ Over in the far western part of the country bordering, Angola lies the incredible, spectacular Liuwa Plains – a vast floodplain of unending beauty. It is home to Lady Liuwa, who was until recently a lone lioness eking out her existence amongst the dominant hyena clans. It is also home to huge herds of migrating wildebeest and zebra. Throughout May these thronging masses envelop the plains, bringing with them a following of hungry predators that are only accessible by light aircraft. Liuwa remains well and truly off the beaten track for most.

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Which Luangwa? Many guide books and travel itineraries will include the famous South Luangwa National Park, an incredible gamerich ecosystem located in the eastern part of the country in the Luangwa Valley. South Luangwa has a big brother, a vast untamed wilderness rising high onto the escarpment and home to a well-protected and prospering population of black rhino. The North Luangwa National Park is hard to get to, difficult to get around and far from anywhere. It is paradise, and largely undiscovered by the tourist trail. With just a handful of, predominantly walking, camps and mobile safari operators a visit to North Luangwa offers the ultimate in safari luxury – almost total exclusivity.

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Northern Namibia Have you visited the edge of the world? A place with landscapes so huge and vistas so vast that they seemingly never end, all watched over by an enormous African sky of the deepest velvet with more stars than the air can hold. In the far north west of Namibia, bordering Angola to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west is an otherworldly land. A land of wilderness, rawness and an overwhelming sense of calm and peace. A land presided over by the unchanged Himba people who, while originally nomadic, are so intrinsically connected with the earth that they simply pick up and take their roots with them when they move. A land where elephant, lion, giraffe & human have become desert adapted in order to not only survive, but to thrive. This is an Eden, a secret, lost Namibia. This is the Kunene.

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Botswana - Where Water & Desert Collide Botswana is a land of contradictions, of opposites of juxtapositions. While 70% of this, not insignificant, landmass is covered by the Kalahari desert and vast, unending salt pans provide dizzying mirages, Botswana is also home to the worlds largest inland delta. In Botswana you will find impala limply waiting under a single, sparse thorn bush for unceasing sun to pale away and desperate, thirsty cheetah panting through the heat and yet just a few hours drive away you stumble into an oasis. The Okavango Delta is channel after channel of crystal clear, peaty, fresh water, greens so vibrant they most likely cannot be named, flashes of brightly coloured birds & frogs. Marsh dwelling lion chasing down muddy buffalo traverse water-locked islands and oxbows. Here you will find the magic and drama of two very different worlds. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lackadaisical Laikipia – Kenyas Peaceful Plateau The Laikipia plateau really is the best place to put your feet up and slumber. A stunning, wildlife rich plateau with views to Mt Kenya and encompassing some wonderful national reserves and conservancies, you could spend weeks exploring this lesser visited part of Kenya, but it is not all rest and relaxation. The greater Laikipia region is home to the annual Lewa Marathon, horseback and camel safaris, mountain biking and the ultimate in climbing – A Mt Kenya ascent. It is also home to probably some of the most stunning views in all Africa, several incredible ‘bush spas’, romantic star beds and very healthy populations of elsewhere endangered wildlife species. From following Grevy’s zebra on horseback or tracking leopard with a Samburu guide to relaxing with a bubble bath and Champagne with your own exclusive private views – Laikipia offers a unique something for everyone.

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The Magic Of Mahale – Tanzanias Secret Paradise Alongside the more famous parks such as the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania is home to some simply spectacular, yet almost hidden, National Parks. Mahale Mountains National Park is one such jewel, nestling alongside the vast Lake Tanganyika and banked by tropical rainforest this virtually inaccessible area is truly magical. From spending time tracking our closest cousins, chimpanzees, to climbing Mt Nkungwe, to snorkelling amongst a rainbow of cichlids in crystal clear waters – this wonderful National Park provides the ultimate inland ‘Robinson Crusoe’ backdrop, a paradise playground, an unforgettable, incredible experience that so very few have the luck to stumble upon.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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ripAfrica, established in early 2012 by Becx Whitefield, creates perfect tailor-made, bespoke travel itineraries throughout Eastern & Southern Africa, from hardcore climbs to the summit of Mt Kenya, Mulanje, Meru or Kilimanjaro to idyllic barefoot luxury beach stays on private islands, TripAfrica has the experience and passion to create the ultimate dream trip in Africa for everyone. Whether you dream of riding horseback through the African savannah, driving yourself through the wilds of Namibia or being guided expertly in some of the worlds most incredible wildlife hotspots you can see this dream come true with a TripAfrica experience. In addition to more famous safari destinations TripAfrica has some simply wonderful ‘secret safari’ itineraries taking in some wonderful hidden jewels offering an incredible combination of wildlife & wilderness that is bound to awe both the Africa virgin and the old-hand safari goer alike. Classic Cape Town escapes, marvellous Mara Safaris, tantalising Tanzanian adventures and beguiling Botswana Mobile Camps are just a few of the hundreds of possibilities that await you on this intriguing ‘Dark Continent’ and each will have you falling more and more in love with Africa and all she has to offer. Let TripAfrica take you there.

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Contact Details

W: www.tripafricatravel.com T: +44 (0) 1606 215549 E: safari@tripafricatravel.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Luxury Travel

NORTH AFRICA

Following a crazy year of political unrest in North Africa throughout 2011 it has become evident that this is a region under transition. Now that it is once again safe to travel we urge you to get out there and discover the rich cultures, dramatic histories and awe-inspiring natural beauty that they offer.

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A Little Bit of Change… The culture and traditions of North Africa are quite different to the rest of the continent and actually bares a greater similarity to those found within the Middle East. If you get out of the tourist traps of the big resorts you will enjoy the opportunity to explore small villages and learn about nomadic Tuareg and Berber settlements in Algeria and Libya. The Tuareg inhabit the Saharan regions of North Africa – Niger, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Burkina Faso. Although their numbers are unclear it is estimated that there are between 300,000 and 1 million of them. With a history dating back to the 5th century, the most striking attribute of the ‘free men’ is the indigo veil, worn by the men but not the women, giving rise to the popular name the Blue Men of the Sahara. Take a desert tour and if you are lucky you may catch one of their traditional dances called the ‘Tam Tam’ where the men on camel back circle the women while playing drums and chanting. You can find the Berber-speaking people across the whole of North Africa but the most fascinating cultural experience lies within Libya. Travel across towering dunes to feast with Berber locals and visit the UNESCO World Heritage centre of the oasis city in Ghadames to explore a Berber grain castle. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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A Little Bit of Familiarity‌

As far as Arab countries go, North Africa is home to the most liberal of the lot. Walking down the streets of Morocco can often leave you thinking you are in Europe as many of the streets are dotted with westernised communities and buildings while French is spoken throughout. Furthermore, an increasing number of Moroccan women are no longer prepared to completely cover themselves after marriage and in some Moroccan resorts and major cities such as Marrakesh, Essaouira and Agadir; you are more likely to see them wearing a dress or jeans than a hijab. Relax in the cosmopolitan Casablanca, catch a tan on the beautiful beaches of Marrakesh or explore the snowy peaks of the Atlas mountains. If you want a little bit of familiarity then Morocco is your destination.

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Many of these fasc in Tunisia and beca Third Punic War. W impressive range of 527-565 in Sham e cently with the Notr


Explore Ancient Ruins

eps of great rulers and their mighty civilisations as you forge through Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Your advenast will bring you to many discoveries of Phoenician remnants, Roman landmarks and ancient Egyptian wonders.

cinating wonders and ancient ruins carry an incredible story. Take the Carthage for example, it was founded by the Phoenicians ame a major power of the Mediterranean and a rival to the Roman Empire until its destruction in 146 BC by the Romans in the While that marked the downfall for the Phoenicians, it sparked the rise of the Romans within this region, bringing with them their f architecture and culture and a splendid collection of churches and monasteries. The St Catherine’s Monastery, built between el Sheikh is the oldest continuously functioning Christian monastery in the world while the influence can still be found more rere Dame d’Afrique, 19th century Roman Catholic church, overlooking the Bay of Algiers. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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Where To Start…

Experience a truly unique and epic adventure crossing North Africa from coast to coast – starting in Cairo and ending your journey in Casablanca. There can be no finer starting point than Egypt and if you do not have the time to cross over into any other country we would certainly advise sampling some of the seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in this exemplary country including the world famous Great Pyramid of Giza and the landmarks across Ancient Thebes, including its Necropolis. If nothing else, Egypt is a great place to explore all of the biblical tales and history lessons you will have heard while growing up. As many of you will know, the burning bush on Mt Sinai is believed to be the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments while you will also get the chance to visualise stories such as the Plagues of Egypt – albeit without all of the locusts and the raining frogs. Ancient Egypt was one of the greatest civilisations ranking up there with the likes of the Romans and the Greeks. The legend of Tutankhamen, Cleopatra and Hatshepsut have stood the test of time and will continue to be told in years to come. Explore the life of these iconic figures with visits to the Valley of the Kings and The Temple of Hatshepsut before crossing over to Libya on your venture towards the east coast.

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& Wedding Honeymoon Destinations

The Masai Mara & Breezes Bea

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ith the varied traditions across Africa and the vibrant culture o fascinating wedding and honeymoon destinations can be f Rather than pandering to the typical beach locations we ha tional ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking with the inclusion of game-rese thoroughly unexpected. Your wedding abroad will be one of the most rom so making sure you choose the right location is imperative.

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lthough wildlife in Africa can be accessed in a variety of countries, one cannot denigrate the popularity of the wildlife parks in Kenya. For an unforgettable honeymoon, combine exhilarating game-viewing in the Masai Mara with relaxation on the dazzling, powder-white sand beaches of Zanzibar.

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If you plan to get wed between July and October you will receive the added bonus of witnessing the wonderful migration of Wildebeest and Zebras along with the year-round opportunity to see some of the rarest creatures in the world.

Game-viewing h tive to the typic tions and as a r wildlife reserves packages that enchanting luxu

Breezes Beach of Zanzibar is a bottle of wine room on arrival side a palm-frin


n

Kenya ach Club & Spa

of the Middle East, some of the most found across this glorious continent. ave provided you with some inspiraerves, religious destinations and the mantic and exciting times of your life,

has fast become a popular alternacal sun and sea honeymoon destinaresult many of the national parks and s have adapted in order to provide t ensure a magical combination of ury and ultimate privacy.

h Club & Spa on the eastern coast a prime example. A complimentary and flowers will be waiting in your l and the luxurious location set benged beach is sure to set the mood. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Abu Dhabi, UAE

The Etihad Towers

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or a lavish wedding where money is not an issue, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates should certainly be taken into consideration. The T-shaped island on the Persian Gulf is something of a ‘billionaires plaything’ exclamated by the beautiful landscapes, pristine golden-sandy beaches and year-round sun. Among the many glorious resorts to choose from, the Etihad Towers is by far the most popular. Voted the winner by the World Travel Awards for the place in the Middle East to have your wedding, the hotel is a mixture of elegance and class pertaining the décor, yet extremely modern and flash with water fountains and plush bars. It caters to the rich and wealthy and applies extravagance to every facet in Jumeriah at Etihad Towers. The wedding season runs from October to March as it can get a bit too hot during the summer for an outdoor wedding – although people do still brave the sweltering heat to get married during this time.

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ven though game-reserves and religious destinations are growing in popularity for weddings and honeymoons abroad, the undisputed champion is still sun and sand. Within Africa and the Middle East the most stunning location to create your magical memories lie within the Seychelles. The Seychelles is one of the most romantic destinations on earth. Whether you perform the ceremony on the beach or in the gorgeous tropical gardens, there are many idyllic locations to choose from. For an even more intimate and private encounter you can hire out a portion of the beach and enjoy complete seclusion. If you are suffering from the pre-wedding nerves there is no better place to find yourself than the Sainte Anne Resort & Spa. Not only will you be able to relax under the complete VIP treatment in the spa room, but they will also take care of your big day to ensure that it passes by completely stress free.

Sainte Anne Island Seychelles

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Jerusalem, Israel

Cana Wedding Church

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ith wedding destinations attended by Jesus Christ himself – it is little surprise to find that Jerusalem continues to be one of the most popular destinations to celebrate the sanctity of marriage. For Christian visitors, the Cana Wedding Church just outside of Nazareth is among the most sought after locations in the world to get wed or renew vows. Here, according to tradition, Jesus performed the first miracle – turning water into wine – when he went to the wedding of a poor couple.

Many stories from various religious books began in Jerusalem so this holy land appeals to people from all backgrounds. For those looking to enjoy diverse architecture and a unique spot where the three monotheist religions converge, than Jerusalem is the place to be. The Al-Aqsa Mosque and King Solomon’s temple, as known to Muslims and Jews, alike are a great source of spiritual awakening.

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TehranIran

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e are all well aware of the bad reputation that Iran has garnered in the western media and can appreciate the reservations that many travellers may have about this destination, but if you plan your trip carefully, Iran can offer you the most incredible honeymoon while providing you with as many fascinating stories to tell as it will lifelong memories. Honeymooners fancying a taste for a Middle-Eastern city life will be enthralled with what Tehran has to offer. The Glass and Ceramics Museum provides an insight into the art galleries that present day Iran has amassed through to the relics that existed in Ancient Persia. Combine a wedding with your honeymoon and you will be able to get the pre-wedding stag do underway with a visit to the Matrix Paintball Club or take a skiing and snowboarding trip at Dizin on the north mountains of Tehran’s Gajereh region.

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AFRICAN

Tribal Life

Most cultures and nationalities around the world have undergone considerable amounts of change throughout the years as a result of invasion, adapting to the changes in technology or just simply developing different interests; but here in Africa there are more than 400 different tribes still living by the same fascinating traditions that their ancestors founded hundreds of years ago.

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Zulu – South Africa During the reign of King Shaka (1816-1828), the Zulu became the mightiest military force in southern Africa, increasing their land holdings from 100 square miles to 11,500. The South African tribe went on to garner an even bigger reputation when they managed to successfully fend off the military advances of the British Red Coats at the famous Battle of Rorke’s Drift in 1879, a feat later made into a film starring Michael Caine. Although they are no longer the force they once were, there is still plenty to see in terms of Zulu culture and history in South Africa including a visit to the famous Isandlwana Battlefields. The beating heart of the Zulu Kingdom can be found in the aptly named Zululand in the subtropical northern district of KwaZulu-Natal. This traditional Zulu village will give you the opportunity to communicate with the village elders, share some locally brewed beer, watch the traditional dance ceremonies and even swap the shorts and t-shirt with the intricate rainbowcoloured bead and wireworks that are a staple of traditional Zulu dress. Come here in September and you will be able to catch the biggest cultural event in the Zulu calendar – the ‘Umhlanga,’ or Reed Dance ceremony. Over the course of eight days, tens of thousands of Zulu women carry reeds to the seat of the royal palace in Nongoma amidst singing and dancing in a fascinating cultural display. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Oromo People – Ethiopia Although it is technically an ethnicity and not a tribe we still feel that you should experience the Oromo people in Ethiopia. Legend has it that an Ethiopian goat-herder was the first to discover the rich flavour and revitalising affects of coffee after noticing the energising affects it had when his flock nibbled on the plants. Whether that is true or not, it is widely regarded that the Oromo people were the first to discover coffee and undoubtedly the first to incorporate it into their daily lives. Visit the forest where coffee was first found, an ancient and important part of world history and economics. While you are here, explore the wilderness and meet the many other tribes that still inhabit these wild lands; the Gumuze, Nuer, Anuake, Meent and Surma. Experience life in western Africa as you shop the markets, explore the forests and falls, and get to know the local customs and traditions of village life.

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The Wayeyi – Botswana Even George W. Bush couldn’t refrain from joining in with the traditional dance of the Botswana tribes during his Presidential visit in 2003. Botswana is home to eight major tribes whose rights, leaders and languages are recognised in the Constitution, but there are also many more who fall outside of this group including the Wayeyi. The Wayeyi, or Bayeyi, are a Bantu people who live in the Okavango Delate area of the northern Kalahari. Their lives and livelihoods are regulated by the flooding and receding of the Okavango River. Come here to see the way they go by their daily lives, growing drought-resistant crops such as millet and sorghum and rearing cows, goats and sheep for their milk, skins and meat. One of the great aspects of African tribal life is the exhilarating craftsmanship with every tool and each accessory they possess; from their canoes, drums, furniture and jewellery it is all highly sophisticated and beautiful. While you are here, make sure you buy some authentic traditional basketwork and beaded items that you can cherish and remember your African adventure by. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Shambaa Tribe – Tanzania The Shambaa Tribe can be found in the Usambara Mountains of northeast Tanzania and have a history dating back over 200 years to the days when the Kilindi ruled supreme. Fascinate over the wooden sculptures and medicine gourds that are used in healing ceremonies and watch on as they take part in traditional rain-making ceremonies. Stay among the locals and share every aspect of their lives from food to fashion. Men wear kanzus (long, flowing white robes) and a small cap, or barghashia, on their heads. Women use lengths of colourful cloth known as khangas and kitenges as wraps for the body. As far as food is concerned, the Shambaa plant many different food crops adapted to the climate of the area, including tubers, medicinal plants, tobacco, beans and bananas. Their diet also consists of starchy foods such as rice, maize and sweet potato which is usually accompanied by beans, meat and vegetables.

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& Cuisine

African Middle Eastern

Going on holiday to a new continent can be very exciting and part of that excitement stems from sampling the different cultures and customs that it brings. Even when you are staying at an all inclusive hotel it is still part of the holiday experience to get out there and try the local foods. As a result, we have decided to serve up a platter dish offering some examples of fine restaurants and mouth watering cuisine found across both Africa and the Middle East.

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South Africa South Africa is most famous for their Biltong – a cured meat similar to a thicker version of beef jerky – but while this can be found in supermarkets and street vendors around the country, it is nothing more than a popular snack in between meals. For a real account of South African cuisine you should venture to Oudtshoorn, in the Klein-Karoo region of the Southern Cape. South Africa accounts for 80% of ostrich products worldwide and is currently home to 65% of the world’s ostrich population. Having farmed ostriches since 1864, Oudtshoorn is considered to be the ostrich capital of the world. Many restaurants in this area such as HEADLINES and La Dolce Vita specialise in this locally produced delicacy. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Senegal Senegalese food is a rich blend of fresh, local ingredients and multicultural flavours from France, Portugal, Portugal, the Middle East, the Americas and even Vietnam. Because Senegal borders the Atlantic Ocean, fish is an important staple resonated by the fact the national dish is Thiebou jen – a spicy stuffed fish simmered with vegetables seasoned with tomato paste, tamarind and habanero pepper. Make the most of the fresh seafood on offer in Senegal by visiting the port city of Dakar. There are rows and rows of restaurants to choose from but we highly recommend visiting Terrou-Bi. Located right on the sea, this chic garden restaurant serves highly recommended French cuisine mixed with subtle flavours of local produce. This is also the destination of choice for Dakar’s monied classes.

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Kenya Like many other East African countries the carte du jour in Kenya is reflective of the society and culture. In the inland savannah, cattle, sheep and goats were traditionally regarded as a form of currency and a store of wealth and as such they have not generally been consumed as food. Although meat based dishes are appearing on menus and in recipes more and more, the popular dishes are still heavily based around a vegetarian diet. While you are in Kenya make sure you try Ugali. This starchy, polenta-like side dish is relatively inexpensive making it a popular choice throughout East Africa. Although it is popular in neighbouring nations, we chose Kenya due to their ubiquitous pairing with Sukuma wiki. It may be a simple dish of Kenyan greens simmered with tomatoes, but this nutritious and tasty meal will give you a real flavour of East Africa. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Afghanistan Just like Japan (sushi) and Spain (paella) have their own variations of rice, Afghanistan also have their own take. In this country rice dishes are the ‘king’ of all foods and a lot of time and effort is placed into creating their rice, as they are considered the best part of any meal. The famous Chalow is a long grain white rice parboiled, drained and baked in an oven with oil, butter and salt to a fluffy completion while the national dish Palao is cooked in the same manner, but with either meat and stock qorma, herbs, or a combination of the two blended in before the baking process. If you are not overly fond of rice then don’t panic. Just because it is the most popular produce doesn’t mean it is the exclusive cuisine of Afghanistan. Another popular offering that you will find in this region is the Afghan kebab which can be found in most restaurants and outdoor vendor stalls throughout the country. The most popular meat used is lamb but the better restaurants tend to offer chicken or kofta too. When you think of Middle Eastern food Afghanistan may not be one of the first countries that spring to mind. Let go of your inhibitions and trust your taste buds.

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Lebanon Middle Eastern cuisine gained a global profile in the 1990s with the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and now the likes of Lebanese food can be found in supermarkets and restaurants worldwide. Lebanese food bears quite a strong similarity to Moroccan food along with the other Arabic countries as opposed to Persian nations. They are often based around lamb or chick peas and also share a lot of favourite dishes such as falafel and accompaniments such as hummus. Another similarity is their blend of herbs and spices which they use to season their dishes with. Allspice, cinnamon and sumac are among the hallmarks of Lebanese cuisine along with a greater reliance on herbs like parsley, mint and Zatar (a wild thyme herb blend).

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Luxury Spas

AFRICA

M

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Mazagan Spa –

Morocco

When it comes to Turkish Spa’s – Morocco is the only destination that can rival the original and as such, a visit would not be complete without going to a Hammam or ‘Bathhouse’. Marrakech may be the established destination to unwind – with many resorts across the city offering luxurious spa packages – but we stumbled across a real hidden gem in the port city of El Jadida on the Atlantic coast. The Mazagan Spa is a luxury five-star hotel with 500 rooms and suites amid the tranquillity of the soft sandy dunes and stunning ocean views nestled at the heart of the oasis. Begin your spa journey in the refreshing cool room before progressing to the swirling heat and aromas of the Hammam and the warm steam rooms. The specialist, known as Teyaba, will then begin the traditional scrub with black soap and Kiss (the traditional Moroccan Glove) finishing with a warm water rinse that leaves you relaxed, refreshed and revitalised. This unique relaxation temple includes 19 treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre, unique Moroccan beauty treatments and luxury products and an authentic hammam complete with marble and mosaic décor. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Karkloof Spa Wellness & Wildlife Retreat -

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Don’t you just hate it when you have to choose between adventure and relaxation? Well, now you don’t have to. The Karklo bines the two, offering visitors the chance to explore the 3,500 hectares of picturesque game reserve as well as making the with the 17 spacious treatment rooms surrounded by spectacular views of the valley.

From the moment you arrive, wildlife abounds in pristine, well-protected terrain. The reserve is home to buffalo, black and white life, and with roughly 300 bird species, it is a birding enthusiast’s delight. If you like you can spend the entire day out observing you can indulge in up to 11 hours of spa treatments per day, which means that you can enjoy up to 22 hours of spa treatments

The spa offers a uniquely African sensibility with the programs and treatments provided by a team of exceptionally skilled and from an exotic list of natural treatments and signature spa journeys uniquely created to uplift, revitalise and recharge your bo

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South Africa

oof Spa Wellness & Wildlife Retreat commost of the tranquil natural environment

rhino, hippo, and a variety of other wildg these wonderful creatures. Alternatively, s included in the rate for a one night stay.

d hand-picked Thai Therapists. Choose ody and mind. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

MAIA L

Situated upon 30 ac on the south-west co deep sense of wellb

As you begin to thin treatments on offer p

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Be sure to try the Tw presses and gripping


Luxury Resort & Spa – Seychelles

cres of lush tropical gardens on a private peninsula, the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa overlooks the secluded beach of Anse Louis oast of the main island of Mahe. Sunbathing on this beautiful and tranquil coastal resort alone is enough to send you into a being.

nk you couldn’t reach a higher sense of relaxation it dawns on you that there are a series of world-class therapy and beauty providing much more than just skin-deep relief by guiding you through accompanied yoga, self-Shiatsu and Qi Gong sessions.

wenty Dancing Fingers Massage – a traditional art with two therapists using firm techniques applied by thumb pressure, deep g techniques along the meridians to release energy and improve circulation. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Th Lisa & Diane Scalia

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he Spa at The Address -

Dubai Marina

Given the extensive luxury throughout the whole of the United Arab Emirates it is quite a remarkable feat to be highlighted as one of the most prestigious hotels in the region –The Address can boast that achievement. In part that is down to the truly splendid facilities on offer including the multi-award winning The Spa.

Escape to a world of serenity, tranquillity and gracious hospitality at The Spa. The 12 top of the range treatment rooms provide a complete menu of signature treatments for face and body, using pure and organic oils and products. Relax in the sauna and steam baths, and take in the peaceful views of the Marina. If you are travelling from Europe you may want to avert the perils of jet lag with the signature Jet Lag Massage involving the inhalation of eucalyptus oil, body brushing, a series of stretches and a massage that not only resets your body clock but also encourages healthy circulation, digestion and the elimination of toxins.

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Crowne Plaza – Kuwait

Revellers travel from all parts of the world to Kuwait to enjoy a luxurious holiday and yet many of them rarely ever leave the confine be known for its sightseeing attractions or even its natural beauty, it does however boast a first-class standard in luxury living.

If you want something a little different to the Turkish, Thai and Balinese spa’s that are highlighted around the world you should g whirl at the Crowne Plaza. Although there are over 50 treatment journeys to choose from, the entire spa experience focusses arou The Aquatonic Pool is the first of its kind in the Middle East offering a selection of water therapies. The Les Thermes Marins De S internationally renowned beauty therapists to the region with its whole range of therapeutic treatments. The Franck Provost Hair & status to the Spa by creating and offering the latest trends, services and products in coiffure and beauty.

Arabian and Ethnic influences are captured throughout the spa’s décor using the finest of natural materials and textures, creating is complemented by the soothing music, exotic aromas and dancing candlelight. With the Spa Aquatonic – guests enter into a wh meets West in luxurious surroundings.

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es of the hotel. While it may not

give the French inspired spa a und three key French concepts. Saint Malo introduces Europe’s & Beauty Salon brings celebrity

g an exquisite ambience which hole new dimension where East

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GLOBAL TRAVEL AWARDS W

SERIES

Gl ob a l Travel Awa rd s 2012

hether it is the hotel that you are staying in, the cruise of a lifetime or the safari that you have always dreamed about – across the continent there are thousands of companies out there that quietly help piece together your holiday to ensure you receive the time of your life. Now it is time to give them a little something in return. After careful consideration The Africa Travel Awards identifies and celebrates the achievements of the best of the best in all aspects of African travel.


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Airline of the Year 2012

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Safari Specialist of the Year 2012

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Luxury Concierge of the Year 2012

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Car Hire Specialist of the Year 2012

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Private Charter Company of the Year 2012

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Destination of the Year 2012

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Luxury Hotel Specialist of the Year 2012

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Luxury Boutique Hotel Specialist of the Year 2012

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Luxury Hotel of the Year 2012

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Luxury Boutique Hotel of the Year 2012

AZURA, Benguerra Island, Mozambique

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Luxury Business Hotel of the Year 2012

The Michelangelo Hotel, Johannesburg

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Luxury Hotel & Spa of the Year 2012

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Luxury Hotel & Golf Resort of the Year 2012

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Luxury Family Hotel of the Year 2012

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Tour Operator of the Year 2012

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Tour Guide of the Year 2012

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Adventure Specialist of the Year 2012

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Culinary Tour Company of the Year 2012

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Dive Specialist of the Year 2012

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Attraction of the Year 2012

Qatar Airways Kuoni Hunter 1 Lane Luxury Auto Rentals Ocean Independence Abu Dhabi (http://visitabudhabi.ae/en/Default.aspx) Five Star Alliance Mr & Mrs Smith Atlantis The Palm Dubai

Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town Arabella Western Cape Hotel and Spa Jumeirah Beach Hotel Sunseeker Tours Yoav Gal The Adventure Company African Relish African Dive Adventures Maasai Mara National Reserve


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Global Tr ave l Awar ds 2012

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Airline of the Year 2012

middle east & africa

n a relatively short time, Qatar Airways has grown to over 100 destinations worldwide, offering unmatched levels of service excellence that have helped excel the award-winning carrier to become one of the best in the world.

Travel by air has reached the point where it is now taken for granted in most corners of the globe. With a large number of passengers and more choice available in the skies today, airlines looking to maintain or grow their position in the marketplace must provide high-quality service with ever-increasing efficiency. In this highly competitive environment, Qatar Airways has continued to go from strength-to-strength averaging 30% growth year to year and flying one of the most modern fleets of aircraft in the skies today.

W www.qatarairways.com

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E holidays@qatarairways.com


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Safari Specialist Of middle east & africa The Year 2012

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stablished in 1906 Kuoni were the pioneers of long haul travel and have grown into the award winning luxury holidays specialist that you know today. Kuoni cover over 100 destinations across the globe from Maldives holidays to Thailand holidays. With many years experience in the luxury travel industry, Kuoni are have gone on to perfect the safari experience and can offer everything from specially designed packages to tailor made safaris. Whether you are looking for a safari and beach holiday, honeymoon safari, luxury safari, family safari, fly in safari, mobile camping, minibus, all inclusive or malaria free safari – Kuoni have the perfect destination for you. Kuoni pride themselves on offering tailor-made luxury holidays offering you unforgettable experiences and above all real service and value. No one knows the planet like them.

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Luxury Concierge of middle east the Year 2012 & africa

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unter1 is the luxury concierge service that offers it all. With access to over 5,000 private jets and airports worldwide, Hunter1 Jets’ executive jet service can meet the needs of the most discerning traveller. If you want a yacht charter or a luxury motor vehicle, they will cover that too. Hunter1 Enterprises also provides the highest quality international Bodyguard services, Close Protection services and VIP Protection. Their team of highly trained staff have the ability to provide protective services at short notice anywhere in the world, with a complete protective security service, for clients requiring both low key and discreet security, to high profile overt protection, and all the shades in between. Individuals, families as well as corporate executives, can access a very flexible, approachable, discreet and highly reassuring service, which quickly becomes the norm. Their concierge level support, coupled with security and risk avoidance, can make a holiday, a business trip or a mixture of both, an absolute pleasure.

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Car Hire Specialist of the Year 2012

middle east & africa

arklane is a name synonymous with style and luxury, offering European standards in quality and choice with their 5-star services in Dubai. Choose from the finest in luxury cars and chauffeur driven Limousine. With dedicated chauffeurs and the finest European built limousines, Parklane Limousine Service offers everyone the service of a head of state.

Parklane Car Rental offers the latest and greatest from the world’s leading sports and super car manufactures for you to enjoy. Whether it is a flaming red Ferrari or the cool sophisticated lines of an Aston Martin that makes your heart race, Parklane provide an unrivalled service in the UAE. With dedicated staff and the world’s most sophisticated brands to choose from, Parklane deliver the highest quality every time.

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Private Charter Company middle east of the Year 2012 & africa

cean Independence (OCI) is one of the largest yacht brokerage firms in the world. As a full-service company, they cover all aspects of owning, chartering, buying, selling, building and managing private or charter yachts.

Using their extensive knowledge and expertise, they will advise, consult and guide you every step of the way. With headquarters in Switzerland and offices worldwide, they offer a uniquely global perspective with the benefit of local know-how. All of their employees have many years of industry experience. From brokers to managers, from Master Mariners to those who have simply sailed since childhood, they all share an important passion with the Clients: a love of the sea.

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T +41 44 390 25 75

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Destination of the Year 2012

middle east & africa

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fom Abu Dhabi city’s famous  Corniche  to the Oasis City of Al Ain and the massive dunes of the western region’s Empty Quarter desert in Al Gharbia, culture, history and adventure are encapsulated in the emirate. Experience the architectural prowess of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a stroll through  Al Ain’s cooling oasis, or marvel at the history of an emirate dotted with ancient forts and historic sites – several of which have been listed as official UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

And whether you are making your first trip to Abu Dhabi, or are on a return visit, whether exploring the many natural islands, learning about the ancient sport of falconry, experiencing an adrenaline rush on the world’s fastest roller coaster, or marvelling at the austere beauty of the highest peak Jebel Hafeet, you will discover a destination intrigues, captivates and invites you back.

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Luxury Hotel Specialist middle east of the Year 2012 & africa

ith more than 100 five star hotels in Africa and a further 20 four star hotels across 16 different countries – Five Star Alliance offers the best in luxury hotels.

As an online travel agency for the world’s best hotels, Five Star Alliance help travellers find and book the ideal luxury hotel. They offer great recommendations, the best rates, and world-class customer service. Their experienced team has helped thousands of satisfied customers find the ideal hotel, and leaders of the world’s best hotels have joined their Editori al Advisory Board. Five Star Alliance offer the most comprehensive collection of hand-picked luxury hotels available anywhere - online or off. A unique focus and leverage allow them to offer exclusive rates and deals that aren’t widely available, and that beat or match virtually all other agents.

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Luxury Boutique Hotel middle east Specialist of the Year 2012 & africa

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he farflung wildernesses may not be the first place you’d expect to find some of Mr & Mrs Smith’s favourite boutique hotels, but they’ve braved the bushveld and scoured the savannah to bring you our pick of some of the most stylish safari lodges in Africa. Mr & Mrs Smith is a trusted boutique hotel expert and booking agent. The site provides more than 900 recommendations for intimate, hip and sexy properties around the world; the carefully curated hotel collection is anonymously reviewed by tastemakers, such as Stella McCartney and Cate Blanchett, who supply tongue-in-cheek, first-person accounts of their Smith-hotels stays. As well as providing entertaining insider content, Mr & Mrs Smith provide in-house travel specialists who are available by phone 24 hours a day on weekdays. Anyone can access the website, tap into the in-the-know recommendations and book their hotels at the best possible rates, but members have access to added travel perks, including money back and exclusive deals.

W www.mrandmrssmith.com T +44 20 8987 4312

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Luxury Hotel of the Year2012

middle east & africa

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tlantis is the majestic resort in Dubai situated on the Palm, a man-made island that has captured the world’s imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity. From the moment you arrive, you will be immersed in a dazzling world of imagination, pleasure and luxury of 5 star hotels. The resort offers relaxation and thrills for couples and families alike, including; unique marine habitats - The Lost Chambers, an exhilarating water park – Aquaventure, pristine white beaches, world-class cuisine in 18 restaurants, an indulgent spa (ShuiQi ) to awaken your senses, and cosmopolitan boutiques to shop until your heart is content. To stay or visit this landmark Dubai Hotel is to live out your dreams amidst warm Arabian seas.

W www.atlantisthepalm.com T +971 442 6000 100 - Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

E info@atlantisthepalm.com


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Luxury Boutique middle east Hotel of the Year2012 & africa

zura hotel is a castaway fantasy: a remote retreat of luxury thatched villas on the sunny shores of Benguerra Island. Join in with island life, and help out with one of the many conservation projects, or just sit by the clear blue lagoon and watch the tide roll in and out.

Just 16 villas are nestled along one of the last undiscovered stretches of beach in the world, with all the creature comforts you could wish for, sparkling private pools, Mozambican Butler-hosts to look after your every need, fish and seafood fresh from the ocean, a fantastic range of activities and experiences, an African spa to relax in, all at a community based project where the local islanders benefit as much as you. Azura is paradise found.

W www.azura-retreats.com/benguerra

T +27 (0)767 050599

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Luxury Business middle east Hotel of the Year 2012 & africa

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egacy is known for its collection of exclusive and luxury hotels, resorts, lodges, golf, executive suites and residential estates. Legacy’s focus is to become Africa’s leading lifestyle brand, committed to enriching the dreams and lives of all with whom it’s associated, driven by the simple adage to leave all who come into contact, better off than before they met. Their premier hotel is the Michelangelo Hotel, Johannesburg. The splendour of the Renaissance architecture at the heart of the rapidly growing Sandton CBD will leave a lasting impression from the moment you arrive. Located on Nelson Mandela Square, ‘Africa’s Business and Lifestyle Capital’, The Michelangelo is the very essence of status and success. The Michelangelo offers world-class facilities in a stylish and elegant setting with easy access to Africa’s finest shops, restaurants, cinemas and theatres. It is also a proud member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’.

W www.michelangelo.co.za/hotel.cfm?hotelid=13 102 - Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

T +27 (0) 11 282 7000

E michelangelo@legacyhotels.com


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Luxury Hotel & Spa middle east & africa of the Year2012

he Twelve Apostles is the luxurious get-away-from-it-all location in Africa. Here, you can be as active as you like – hiking through the mountain trails, working out in our fitness room, learning to dive – or finding serene peace in our Spa. There’s not much you can’t do at The Twelve Apostles to increase your fitness, raise your spirits, or soothe away your stress.

For those who like the outdoor life, there’s a heated infinity pool overlooking the ocean and a smaller secluded rock pool with mountain views. You can jog through park trails, settle into one of the many idyllic garden hammocks, swim or relax on nearby golden beaches, play golf, go fishing, or explore ancient shipwrecks.

W www.12apostleshotel.com

T +27 (0) 21 437 9000

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Luxury Hotel & Golf middle east Resort of the Year 2012 & africa

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he Arabella Hotel & Spa is situated just over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, South Africa. The hotel delivers grandeur in design and style that pays homage to the rare beauty that surrounds it. Luminous colours, soaring wooden beam ceilings and unique designs welcome you while attentive and gracious service enhances the experience of complete comfort and warmth. Embraced by the majestic Kogelberg Mountains and bordered by the vast Bot River Lagoon, the hotel invites you to indulge in a sensory experience that will leave you with treasured memories - beautiful aromas of fresh salty sea air and fynbos; distinctive sounds of exotic birdlife and enriching sights of emblematic green mountains and sparkling waters that meet an indigo sky.

W www.africanpridehotels.com T +27 28 284 0000 104 - Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Luxury Family Hotel middle east of the Year 2012 & africa

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umeirah Hotels & Resorts are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The company was founded in 1997 with the aim to become a hospitality industry leader through establishing a world class portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts. Building on this success, in 2004 Jumeirah Group became a member of Dubai Holding - a collection of leading Dubai-based businesses and projects - in line with a new phase of growth and development for the Group.

W www.jumeirah.com T +971 4 366 5000

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Tour Operator of the middle east Year 2012 & africa

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unseeker Tours & Trails is a small privately owned Inbound Tour Operator with offices based in Cape Town, South Africa. The Company was founded in 2000 and has since become very well known in the industry.   The owner, Bennie le Riche has been in the Tourism industry since 1994. Being a restaurateur as well as a Registered National Tourist Guide himself, he is well trained to provide the optimum travel experience to his clients.   Sunseeker Tours & Trails conduct tours and excursions in and around South Africa and also to their neighbouring counties, i.e., Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia.

W www.sunseekertours.co.za T +27 21 9194816 106 - Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

E info@sunseekertours.co.za


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Tour Guide of the Year middle east & africa 2012

oav Gal, 44, had been guiding and organising tours in Israel for 15 years in parallel to other activities, when he decided to establish Israel My Way in 2006, following his vision that people visiting Israel are entitled to explore the country in a different, unique, personalised way. Yoav’s love and attachment to Israel can be seen in every step of the tours he plans.

Israel My Way, is an Israeli tour-operator, specialising in upscale private tours in Israel for businessmen, individuals, families and groups. Each one of their tours are specifically tailor-made to the requests of each client offering a unique, different than the regular ‘template’ tour, taking their guests to the special, less known sites and activities across the country.

W www.israelmyway.co.il

T +972 77 300 5717

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Adventure Specialist middle east of the Year2012 & africa

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he Adventure Company offers over 250 activity holidays to many destinations spanning every continent. You could go on activity holidays in the summer to Mozambique, South Africa or Morocco. Or if you want a winter activity holiday you could try the Egypt holidays. If you wanted something warmer you could co on an African safari. You can select a destination from the globe to find your ideal holiday or click the destination list under the globe if that’s what you prefer. They have many perfect destinations for your adventure travel, whatever your needs.

W www.adventurecompany.co.uk T +44 (0)845 508 7966 108 - Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

E www.adventurecompany.co.uk/contact-us


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Culinary Tour Company middle east & africa of the Year 2012

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frican Relish is a proud member of the Bike & Saddle Eco-Active Network, which allows property owners to offer their guests a truly unique travel experience. Bike and Saddle® is Africa’s leading Eco-Active travel company that runs guided active journeys and short excursions in partnership with some of the world’s premier properties, from a two-hour guided cycle through Cape Town to an 11-day Cycle Safari in South Africa’s world-renowned game reserves. Through this partnership guests can enjoy world-class cycling and the culinary experience of a lifetime on a unique Cape Culinary Cycle!

W www.africanrelish.com

T +27 23 541 1381

E virna@africanrelish.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa - 109


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Dive Specialist of the middle east Year 2012 & africa

frican Dive Adventures was formed in 1994 and are the true Pioneers of Protea Banks. With 16 years of experience on Protea they have completed over 2,000 dives on the Banks. Among the sharks you will see during your dive are; Raggies, Zambezi’s, Tigersharks, Hammerheads, Duskys, Blacktips, Coppers, Spinner and Sandsharks.

They have three boats that can handle up to 30 divers at a time making it the ideal excursion for groups as well as individuals. African Dive Adventures are truly an international organisation with fluency in English, Dutch and African.

W www.sharkdiving.co.za T +27 82 456 7885 110 - Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

E sharksbeulah@gmail.com


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Attraction of the Year 2012

middle east & africa

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aasai Mara (Masai Mara) is known as Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserve, situated in southwest Kenya. Famous for the abundance of lion, the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Maasai people, well known for their distinctive custom and dress, it is without a doubt one of Africa’s most famous safari destinations. Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. The terrain of the reserve is primarily grassland and riverine forest with clumps of the distinctive acacia trees. It’s about 270 km from the capital city Nairobi and takes about 5-6 hours by road or 40-45 minutes by flight. The Maasai Mara Ecosystem holds one of the highest lion densities in world and this is where over two-million Wildebeest, Zebra and Thomsons Gazelle migrate annually. Its hosts over 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded species of birds.

W www.maasaimara.com

T +1 407 939 7718

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AFRICA


Beautiful

SOUTH AFRICA

A When the eyes of the world were firmly focussed on South Africa as they became the first African country to host the FIFA World Cup in 2010 they sent out a loud and clear message that the apartheid troubles of the past are well and truly behind them. It was also highlighted that the country has so much more to offer than just wildlife and mountain scenery, so here are some of the key picks on what else to enjoy.

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Apartheid Tour Just because the country has moved on in steeps and bounds doesn’t mean they have ignored their troubled past. A visit to Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island where he spent 27 years of his life in captivity is as inspiring as it is sad. The UNESCO World Heritage Site off the coast of Western Cape served as a place of banishment from the 17th to the 20th centuries and from 1961 it was used primarily to house those opposed to the apartheid government of the time. Today the island is no longer a prison and instead has been turned into a museum to share the stories and history of this great struggle. If you want to learn more about the history of apartheid, make sure you also visit the Red Location Museum in the New Brighton township of Port Elizabeth. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Wine & Culture South African wine has a history dating back to 1659 and its production is still booming today with many of the winelands all over the Western Cape attracting international appeal. Make sure you visit some of the top vineyards in Franschoek – the wine capital of the Western Cape – to witness the most scenically beautiful wine growing region in the world. If you are interested in red wines you should explore the seven wards of Stellenbosch where some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage and Shiraz are produced. For white wine, you should visit Constantia – the oldest wine growing region in South Africa – where they grow a wide range of grapes including the popular Sauvignon blanc. Anything can be catered for; from a day trip at a vineyard to an extended stay learning about the production and sampling some of the products.

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Beach Breaks Staying with the Western Cape region for a moment, the fabled Garden Route is one of South Africa’s main tourist attractions. Stretching along the Indian Ocean on the south coast from Mossel Bay to St Francis, this tour boasts stunning wildlife and untamed coastline. A perfect compliment to this route would be crossing over to Eastern Cape to visit the beautiful shores of Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth. With over 40 kilometres of coast it has a multitude of Blue Flag beaches. Head to Hobie Beach for swimming or to The Pipe at Pollock Beach for world class surfing. If you visit during the winter, the cooler climate might reduce swimming opportunities but it will increase the chance of seeing whales swim along the Western Cape coastline. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Hikes & Treks We are the first to admit that the iconic Table Mountain is without doubt one of the finest mountains in the world, but that’s not to say that it is the only one worth visiting in South Africa. The Drakensberg Mountain range in Durban offers some of the best hikes and treks that could compete with the best of them. The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a relatively new park combining a number of existing parks. Along the way you can stay overnight in the caves, explore the second largest waterfall in the world at the Tugela Falls and splendour over the beautiful backdrop of the amphitheatre.

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South Africa is a country that offers a tear-jerking insight into the battle against apartheid as well as being an adventure seekers dream and a sommeliers paradise. Whether you are looking for culture, history, adventure or relaxation – come to South Africa to be inspired.

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n KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast, under an abundant forest canopy, you will find Zimbali—Zulu for “valley of flowers.” A sanctuary unlike any other in South Africa, this charming and unspoiled region is a nature lover’s wonderland. Dappled shadows from the lush vegetation and cool breezes from the Indian Ocean the area’s beauty will leave its mark on your soul. Here, endless beaches and clear skies invite you to relax and dream. Within this subtropical paradise, set within the serene confines of a coastal forest reserve, you will find the highest expression of exclusive hospitality: Fairmont Zimbali Lodge. Whether visiting for business or leisure, guests will enjoy five-star service, including on-call butler service, ensuring an unforgettable African experience at our Durban resort.

A 50 hectare reserve within the estate has been demarcated as conservation areas providing a refuge to the rich variety of local flora & fauna. Pathways and wooden viewing decks throughout these areas allow our Durban hotel’s guests to interact with nature. Zimbali has several natural springwater lakes which create a beautiful habitat to the 85 species of bird, hosts of butterflies and a wide variety of indigenous plant life. Animal life within the forest reserve include bush buck, blue duiker, bushbaby, vervet monkey, banded mongoose and even wild pig. The eastern frontage of our Durban resort comprises a three kilometre stretch of unspoiled beach forming a natural golden boundary between the rich green forest and the warm blue Indian Ocean.

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Contact Details

W: www.fairmont.com/zimbali-lodge T: +27 32 538 5000  E: zimbali@fairmont.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Exploring

TABLE MOUNTAIN

Expert BIO Binny Ridgway, Owner, Ridgway Ramblers Binny Ridgway was born and bred in the English Lake District where her love of the great outdoors developed at an early age. On leaving school she spent two years travelling in Africa before stumbling across Cape Town where she realised the potential of the area for anyone who loves nature, and never went home! Her passion for sharing nature with others was quickly discovered while working as a river guide for several years whilst continuing her education by taking a National Diploma in Nature conservation and a BA in Environmental management. By 2008, having thoroughly explored the mountains of the Western Cape, Binny began Ridgway Ramblers in order to share the wonders of the area with others.

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Towering over the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, Ta Africa’s premier tourist attractions. The incredible view o pristine white beaches and icy waters aside, the walks and magnificent monument are some of the most varied and wonder this attraction has recently been named as one o Wonders of the World alongside the likes of Iguaza Falls a


able Mountain is one of South of the Cape peninsular and its d hikes afforded by this diverse in the world. It is little of the new Seven Natural and the Amazon.

Flora

Rich in biodiversity, the Table Mountain National Park is a vast explosion of colour making up part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site. As well as offering typical fynbos vegetation, you can also walk through afromontane forest with its 33 varieties of tree, and the ecologically significant Noordhoek / Kommetjie wetlands at the centre of Table Mountain National Park, home to some of the parks rarest floral jewels such as Bokmakieriestert, Erica heleogena and three endemic leucodendrons, all of which are numbered on the IUCN’s Red Data List. Wherever great flora is found, fascinating fauna isn’t too far behind. In the reserve, there are a number of ostriches and antelopes along with baboons and mesmerising insects such as the Mountain Pride Butterfly which are all worth keeping an eye out for.

“Table Mountain is a floral wonder. There are more species of plant on Table Mountain than in the whole of the British Isles. Whatever time of year to choose to hike there will always be something special to see.”

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“Walks on Table Mountain are so varied that there really is a hike to suit all ages and tastes. The Southern and Eastern slopes are thick with forest, whilst the North and Western slopes are towering cliffs with amazing views. On top of the mountain there are reservoirs, small rivers, amazing rock formations, beautiful plants. “

Binny Ridgway

Hikes There are many different hikes and trails on offer that your journey can be tailor made depending upon time, fitness, tastes or any other factor you may wish to consider. The more physically challenging and strenuous trails such as the Saddle Path zigzag up the side of the mountain while the more picturesque route from the other side takes a more leisurely stroll from Kloof Neck up to the Kasteelpoort Path. For something which is both relaxing and rewarding in equal measures, we recommend taking the Back Table Dam Circuit. Apart from the length of the walk, this is the least strenuous way to ascend and descend the mountain. Be sure to take a break to relax and unwind alongside one of Table Mountains five scenic reservoirs.

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“The Victorian history of Table Mountain is fascinating. There are 5 reservoirs built in the 1800’s to explore, and even an old museum containing all the equipment used to build those reservoirs, including a steam train! This is a fantastic destination for the kids (and the young at heart).”

Binny Ridgway

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History Muse over the captivating history of Table Mountain and learn how its dams were used to supply Cape Town with water at the turn of the 1900s. The Waterworks Museum can be found at 800 metres above sea level on the top of Table Mountain and contains fascinating memorabilia from the dam construction ranging from original tools and photographs through to steam cranes and loco payloads. Locomotive and railway enthusiasts in particular will be delighted as the well-preserved collection includes entire steam trains such as the small o-4-oT Industrial Locomotive which was imported from the UK at the end of the 19th century.

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Lion’s Head

Situated between Table Mountain and Signall Hill, Lion’s Head makes up part of the Table Mountain National Park. Peaking at 669 metres above sea level, it forms part of a dramatic backdrop to the city of Cape Town and also provides a spectacular spot to view Table Mountain from a distance. The most popular time to enjoy this hike is generally during the full moon where you will experience the sun setting over the sea and the moon rising over the mountains.

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“It is possible to spend the night on top of the mountain. The Overseers cottage is beautifully equipped with comfortable beds, hot and cold running water, inside fireplace and outdoor braai (barbeque area). Ridgway Ramblers transport your luggage for you so there’s no need to hike with a full pack.”

Binny Ridgway

Spend a Night Once you have enjoyed the spectacular view of the Cape peninsular during the daytime it can be somewhat tempting to turn back and return to the foot of the mountain because, let’s face it, can it really get any better than that? Well, actually, yes it can. Spend a night at the top of the mountain at The Overseers Hut and sit back and gaze at the ever-changing landscape of the city below. As the sun sets over the vast waters of the Atlantic watch as Cape Town glows pink and orange, and then as darkness falls witness the millions of city lights twinkling in the crisp air offering an incredible illumination that would put any casino in Las Vegas or a Christmas in Blackpool to shame. Breathtaking views, rugged cliffs, exciting scrambles and outstanding floral beauty are just some of the highlights of a walk on Table Mountain. Whether you are there for one day or one week, there will be more than plenty to keep you occupied. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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visit to Cape Town is not complete without a walk on Table Mountain.

Ridgway Ramblers is a small owner-managed company that specialises in small group guided hiking trails in the Cape Peninsula. Whatever your age or fitness level, Ridgway Ramblers will tailor make a hike to suit you and the time you have available. Binny Ridgway, who personally guides all the trails booked through Ridgway Ramblers is a fully qualified and registered hiking guide. She has extensive experience hiking throughout Europe and Asia. Having spent 20 years exploring the Table Mountain Chain, she knows all the mountain secrets and her greatest joy is to share this knowledge with others.

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Contact Details For those looking for a challenge is the 5 day Table Mountain hike which traverses the entire National Park. Each day hike is totally different with beach, forest, mountain and cliff trails all being included� Ridgway Ramblers arrange for your overnight gear to move from hut to hut and will provide you with professional guides and all your catering requirements and other logistical requirements.

W: www.ridgwayramblers.co.za T: +27 082 522 6056 E: binnyridgway@gmail.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Discovering

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Expert BIO Sam Mokeona, Owner, Summit Tours Sam Mokeona is the owner of Summit Tours and Safaris, offering services across South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. He focusses all of his attention on delivering at all times without any hustle along with working professionally to meet the high standards required by his clients. Sam is safe, responsible and doesn’t take any risks when driving. He is both courteous and informative and shows a great knowledge and understanding of the regions in which he tours.

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The Kruger National Park is the ultimate destination for the flora, fertile valleys, sub-tropical lowveld vegetation and wildlife. Over 1 million visitors per year flock to Kruger to ters with the wildlife in a natural unfenced environment. S relax while others want to experience nature in a more sp


e tourist seeking indigenous d a diversity of habitat and experience close encounSome visitors come here to piritual way.

Fascinating Wildlife

With approximately 148 mammal species, Kruger is one of the premier game-watching destinations in the world. It is possible to see all the classical African big game including; elephant, black and white rhino, hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, warthog and many antelope species. Large carnivores including lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog and spotted hyena are there too. This is one of very few places in the world where you can see the famous Big Five, Birding Big Six and Five Trees all in one day. Game viewing can be at its best during the dry winter months, however the wet summer season brings full waterholes, lush bushveld, many new-born wildlife and the summer migrant birds.

“When people refer to safari tours, the term Big Five and Big Six Birds frequently come up. This is because they are the most prestigious animals to enjoy in their natural habitat. The Big Five refers to the African: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. The Big Six refers to the kori bustard, martial eagle, lappetfaced vulture, pel’s fishing owl, saddle-billed stork and southern ground hornbill.”

Sam Mokeona

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“The largest of the Park’s camps, Skukuza lies jus off the southern banks of the Sabie river. Activities and facilities are abundant, featuring all the various services. Skukuza is a must for anyone wishing to have the full Kruger experience.”

Sam Mokeona

Skukuza Camp The Skukuza Camp is the capital of Kruger National Park. It is the biggest camp and one of the most popular resting places in the heart of the Big Five territory. Go on bush walks and game drives to see the myriad of birds and wild game. Use this as your base from which to pursue the Big Five and Birding Big Six. Lions are frequently spotted along this route, while at night you are likely to find Fruit Bats hanging under the eaves of the shop, and the Thick-tailed Bush Baby climbing the trees in search of gum.

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“The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park and consists of various private game reserves: MalaMala, Djuma, Lion Sands, Exeter, Sabi Sabi, Londolozi, Sinigita and Ulusaba. Attend a day safari, join a guided hike and walk, or take an early morning or night drive to experience South African wildlife.�

Sam Mokeona

Sabi Sands Lodge The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park. No fences are erected between the two parks, allowing the animals to roam freely and therefore have more space. You will enjoy ample opportunities to see the beautiful natural scenery, abundance of game viewing, excellent photographic possibilities and exploration around both the Kruger National Park and private game reserves. Make sure you visit the Sabi River and the Sand River, which both run through the reserve, as this is the most frequented spot by the vast wildlife thanks to its valuable water supply.

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“Shishangeni comprises of three camps, each offering visitors a different and unique experience. Either choose the Shishangeni Private Lodge, complete Lisa & Diane Scalia with a luxuriously appointed private game-viewing deck; the small, intimate bush retreat of Camp Shonga; or reside within the authentic buffalo dung walls of Camp Shawu.�

Sam Mokeona

Shishangeni Situated on a 15,000 hectare private concession of the Kruger National Park, this legendary wildlife reserve has the deserved reputation for showcasing some of the finest game-viewing on the continent. Shishangeni is legendary when it comes to experiencing unforgettable African safaris that evoke mystery, wonder and above all else, adventure. It is a place where the people love to enchant you with stories and rituals of the traditional Shishangeni legend, while you will also have the chance to share your stories with other revellers around a roaring boma fire under the stars of the African sky.

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MalaMala Reserve As one of the oldest and more established private reserves in the greater Kruger Park region, the internationally renowned and award-winning MalaMala Game Reserve truly set the standard. This large privately owned game reserve sprawls over 13,300 hectares on the Sand River neighbouring the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and sharing a common border with the Kruger Park. As the area with the greatest diversification of animal species on the African continent; the safari experience will allow you to learn about the mythology of stars while stargazing, gain new skills while on photographic safaris, discover the regions of nocturnal animals on night game drives, and brush up on your ornithology while visiting the popular bird regions during your bush walks. The Kruger National Park is an all-year-round attraction with plenty to enjoy round the clock. Fill your days with day safaris and spend your nights on game drives. You will never tire of sights to see in the modern day equivalent of Noah’s Arc. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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ummit Tours and Safaris can tailor a customised Kruger Safari to suit your exact requirements. Alternatively clients can also select an itinerary from their selection of Kruger Safari day trip packages.

They offer a range of day safaris to the Kruger National Park and surrounding private game parks either in traditional open 4×4 safari vehicles or in luxury air-conditioned minibuses thus ensuring visitors can enjoy their South African “Big Five” Safari in style. The reasonable and flexible pricing enables visitors to explore the area without racking up huge fees. Kruger exploration services are thus perfect for budget travellers, singles and for breakaway groups wishing to explore on their own terms. Summit Tours and Safaris will also arrange to pick up and drop off visitors at most of the Kruger’s southern camps enabling visitors to check in to a Kruger Camp for the night, relax and unwind after a long day’s drive then proceed to explore another area the next day.

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Experienced and highly qualified nature guides are on hand to ensure all guests are safe and informed on their surroundings. Summit Tours also offer excursions to all popular destinations in and around South Africa’s Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces as well as Swaziland and Mozambique.

Contact Details

W: www.summittoursandsafaris.com T:

+ 27 (0) 84 991 6783

E:

reservations@summittoursandsafaris.com

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s the world’s leading  luxury game lodge, Thanda Private Game Reserve offers guests a choice between the opulence of the main lodge and the rugged refinement of the safari-style tented camp. Both options offer  five star accommodation and service in very private surroundings. Accommodation packages at both the main lodge and tented camp include all meals and game activities and selected local beverages.

The main lodge encompasses nine bush villas which offer guests the epitome of self-contained privacy and sheer luxury. Circular in structure and reminiscent of a traditional homestead against a hill, each of the villas boasts a breathtaking view of the surrounding game reserve. 220 m² in size, each villa has its own spacious lounge area and master bedroom with an inter-leading fireplace. A thatched outdoor game-viewing deck (sala) and infinity pool offer refreshing solace from the summer heat. Each of the villas has a full en-suite bathroom complete with an enormous oval shaped bath and indoor and outdoor showers. The villas are all equipped with private bomas for an intimate and romantic dining experience. Should the urge arise to venture beyond your private retreat, the luxury lodge’s public areas include a library, business centre, finely-stocked wine cellar and cigar bar, as well as a choice of romantic dining venues in the heart of the African bush.

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Contact Details

W: www.thanda.com T: +27 35 573 1899 E: reservations@thanda.co.za Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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SEYCHELLES

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he 115 islands that make up the Seychelles offer luxury resorts and pristine coastlines. A speck on the map off the southern African coast, the Seychelles are an escapist fantasy.

Mahe Fly in to the Seychelles most populous island and visit one of the smallest capital cities on the globe. The capital city of Victoria offers the tranquillity of deep-sea fishing and mountain biking as well as a lively nightlife for those with something to celebrate. While you are on the island of Mahe you will

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probably be more tempted to relax on the world famous Beau Vallon Beach on the northwest coast, in front of some astonishing cliff faces, in the most brilliant sunshine. Even with its prestige the beach is rarely overcrowded, maintaining its quiet and relaxed atmosphere. The Beau Vallon is fantastic for snorkelling or simply kicking back and soaking up the suns rays.

Explore the Wildlife It is not just the coastline that illustrates natural beauty across the Seychelles. Across the mainland of the islands you will also find a fascinating collection of fauna and flora with almost 50 per cent of the land area set aside for conservation.


Among the many islands worth exploring is Fregate Island. Wildlife can be seen all over – in the skies, on the beach, in the water and in the trees. The private island is home to a number of species, some critically endangered, and one of which – the Fregate Giant Tenebrionid Beetle – are not found anywhere else in the world. This island is one of the most exclusive places in the world to see such rare species in the

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Vallee de Mai

Get the Royal Treatment

Considered by some to be the original Garden of Eden, we simply cannot mention the wildlife of the Seychelles without focussing on this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on the granite island of Praslin, the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve is a 19.5 hectare area of palm forest which remains largely unchanged since prehistoric times. The forest is covered by the Coco de Mer along with five other endemic palms and many endemic fauna species. See if you can spot the black parrot which is unique to the island of Praslin along with the other wingedwonders such as the Seychelles kestrel, the bulbul, blue pigeon and cave-nesting swiftlet.

With many of the 115 island uninhabited, the Seychelles lends itself well to private luxury. Ever since Pierce Brosnan booked out the entire Fregate Island at the peak of his James Bond fame in the 1990s this key component has been well and truly maximised. If money is not an issue then we highly recommend visiting the royal destination of North Island, which is now virtually unbeatable in the namedropping game. Chosen as the official honeymoon destination for Prince William and Kate Middleton they don’t come better than this. With only 11 villas on the entire island there truly is an intimate and romantic vibe.

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Aldabra The remote group of islands known as Aldabra is the world’s second largest coral atoll providing one of the most rewarding day trips in all of Seychelles. Consisting of four main islands of coral limestone separated by narrow passes and enclosing a large shallow lagoon, the Aldabra Atoll is a superlative spectacle of natural phenomena. The richness and diversity of the ocean and landscapes result in an array of colours and formations that contribute to the overall scenic and aesthetic appeal. Uninhabited and extremely isolated, Aldabra is virtually untouched by humans. There is a strict policy for access and all visitors must receive authorisation from the SIF Head Office prior to arrival. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Where To Stay:

Maia Luxury Resort & Spa Mahe may not offer the private luxury of the other islands, but with the largest airport in the Seychelles and easy access to the other islands by air and sea there is no question that it is the most convenient. Billed as an all-villa, six-star resort, the Maia Luxury Resort & Spa offers the ultimate relaxation and luxury.

Getting Around: Zil Air Eurocopters

If money is no object, the most stylish way to travel between the islands is in one of the sleek, black Zil Air Eurocopters with their cream-leater, air-conditioned interiors. Zil Air transfers are a little more pricy but they offer privacy and exclusivity meaning you will not have to share your journey with other travellers.

Where To Eat: Au Jardin d’Epices

One of the many great dining experiences at The Banyan Tree House in Mahe, the Au Jardin d’Epices is an eclectic restaurant with a homely, African ethnic vibe, serving international favourites in a casual setting overlooking the turquoise blue Indian Ocean and the idyllic surroundings of Anse Intendance.

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Contact Details

W: www.banyantree.com/en/seychelles/ T: +65 6849 5888 E: corporate@banyantree.com 152

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B

anyan Tree Seychelles offers an intimate retreat experience featuring its own signature blend of romance, rejuvenation and exotic sensuality. The philosophy behind the resort is based on providing a place for rejuvenation of the body, mind and soul – a sanctuary for the senses.

On the ground where the resort now stands, Peter Sellars, the famous British actor of the Pink Panther movies, and George Harrison, a member of the Beatles, first bought the site to make it their home in the Seychelles, attracted by the island’s warm shores and ideal climate, in 1974. After a period of political turmoil in the late 70’s when most of the island’s private properties were reclaimed by the state, the Banyan Tree Group saw the touristic potential of the area and decided to build the resort known today as Banyan Tree Seychelles in 2002. To preserve the original architecture and history of the site, in 2000 Banyan Tree enlisted the help of long time resident of the island, Madame Suzanne and her son Paul, who helped restore their former homes to the original state. Though Madame Suzanne has now retired, Paul still tends the ground and is happy to share interesting anecdotes of the famous celebrities he had the opportunities to meet during their stay at the Seychelles. The family commitment to the preservation of the island heritage continues to this day with Madame Suzanne’s granddaughters who recently joined the Banyan Tree family – Betty as an operator and Sherrile as a Bar Waitress.

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Safari

NAMIBIA

With a fascinating landscape characterised by vast open spaces, breathtaking scenery and great contrasts between ocean, dunes, mountains and deserts – the country is already jaw-droppingly stunning before you take into account the ‘main event’. With 26 parks and reserves, Namibia’s abundant wildlife is still unrivalled both in Africa and even around the world.

Expert BIO Heidi van Eck, Owner, Sunbird Tours Heidi van Eck was born in Windhoek, Namibia. Having travelled Namibia and Botswana extensively, as well as Zambia, Heidi decided to put her many years of experience in the tourism industry to great use, establishing Sunbird Tours in 1997. Through her exceptional ability of coordinating and putting functional and smooth tours together Heidi created a company that offers a vast amount of luxurious safari tours as well as luxurious flying-safaris to destinations across Namibia and Botswana. Heidi has also been involved in the aviation industry for several years and used to be a qualified pilot herself.

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Etosha National

As one of Southern Africa’s finest and most impo visit to the Etosha National Park should be at th itinerary. The majority of Namibia’s wildlife can be Lion, elephant, jarrah zebra, wildebeest, and nume bird species are prevalent in the Park. Even so such as black rhino, cheetah and leopard are o during the drier months between June and Novem draw in some of the biggest game herds creating tors to gaze upon. Rhino and elephants are ofte at Okaukuejo, while the newer waterhole at Halal range of wildlife.


l Park

ortant Game Reserves, a he top of any Namibian e found within this enclose: erous other antelope and ome of the rarest species often seen. If you attend mber, the water points will g the centrepiece for visien seen at the waterhole li is fast attracting a wide

“Etosha National Park is always good for fascinating game viewing. Big herds of zebra and springbok attract predators while elephants roam the plains and the bush.�

Heidi van Eck

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Namib Naukluft Park Africa’s largest conservation area is home to the world’s oldest desert and the Nakluft Mountain range attracting many visitors for its vast array of landscapes. Awe over the ‘moon landscape’ at the dried out valley in the east of Swakopmund before moving on to Dead Vlei to marvel at the 5,500 year old dead trees which have been almost perfectly preserved for a number of centuries due to a lack of moisture preventing decomposition. While wildlife isn’t the main attraction here, enjoy the added bonus of sighting the occasional springbok, oryx, hyena and gecko.

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“Around the Sossusvlei, in the Namib Desert, the shades of blue and red of the dunes and mountains are at their best in the early morning hours.�

Heidi van Eck

Sossusvlei While it is situated within the confines of the Namib Naukluft Park, this favourite tourist destination is worthy of a stand-alone feature within your itinerary. Reaching spectacular heights of 400 metres, the Sossosvlei sand dunes are recognised as the highest in the world. With the rising sun constantly altering the colour of the sand and the wind permanently reshaping the patterns of the Namibian dunes – this ever changing landscape continues to be the most photogenic spot and the scenic highlight of any Namibian mainstay.

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“Fish River Canyon is one of Namibia’s most spectacular geological phenomena, in the lower reaches of Namibia’s longest river, the Fish River. The Fish River Canyon is a massive 161 kilometres long and 27 kilometres wide.”

Heidi van Eck

Skeleton Coast Even though Portuguese sailors once referred to this region as “The Gates of Hell” there is nothing hellish about the splendours on offer here. Watch as seals congregate against a backdrop of sand dunes taller than skyscrapers with the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the shore. Explore further and you will find that the Skeleton Coast is home to a fascinating collection of wildlife including baboons, giraffes, lions, black rhinoceros and elephants. While you are in the North West, visit the Himban village of Kaokoveld and learn about this fascinating tribe dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Living as hunters and gatherers near to the Kunene River, witness some 20-50,000 people still following their semi-nomadic traditions.

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“Find the desert adapted elephants in the rugged and remote north western parts of Namibia. Here the Himba & according Diane Scalia people Lisa still live their ancient traditions.”

Heidi van Eck

Fish River Canyon In terms of size, the Fish River Canyon ranks second place behind the Grand Canyon in Arizona. However, once you take into account the dramatic canyon landscapes, spacious desert plains and the mighty Orange River – as an attraction, this comes second to none. Hike the challenging 85 kilometre Fish River Canyon Trail, which is broken down into five stages. Along the way you will enjoy the varying geological formations, sulphur pools and hot springs, an abundance of wildlife including klipspringer antelope and the rare Hartmann’s mountain zebra as well as a mini ‘Table Mountain’ and the Three Sisters rock towers. To attempt this trail in full, we recommend taking five days for completion. Namibia provides one of the best destinations for safari and wildlife vacations in the world. Splendour as the vast wildlife occupy ocean shores, woodland savannas, lush floodplains and picturesque deserts. This truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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UNBIRD TOURS is a Namibian based tour operator established in 1997 by Heidi van Eck. Together with her specialised Tour Consultants, she focuses on individual and tailor-made tours in Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. Being a frequent traveller by road and air, Heidi is the perfect resource in advising you on the optimal travel plan, ensuring you cover most of the spectacular scenery along your route; and in good time, arriving at your destination at a leisurely pace.

Sunbird Tours invites you to experience the diverse wildlife and the seemingly endless vastness of Namibia on a luxurious, relaxing and tailor-made Fly-in Safari. Their experienced pilots are also guides with a sound knowledge of Namibia and Botswana.

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Let them take you to Namibia’s most remote and beautiful places, many unreachable by road. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Fish River Canyon, the Skeleton Coast, the rugged mountains of the Kaokoveld, to name but a few.

Experience some of Africa’s greatest wildlife populations -- lions, elephants, buffaloes and vast herds of antelope - in the barren Etosha, the untouched Caprivi, in the magnificent Okavango Delta of Botswana. Explore the hidden treasures of Namibia with guides who have a sound knowledge of the country and her people.

Contact Details

W: www.sunbirdtours.com T: +264 61 272 090 E: Travel@SunbirdTours.com

They are also able to cater for mobility impaired guests.

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safari tour of Namibia will go above and beyond all of your wildest expectations. It is more than just your standard excursion. That is why Chameleon Safaris will go that extra mile to provide that magic touch. Whether you want to spend your time tracking rhinos, take a self-drive safari, or explore the country on horse back – the choice is yours. Rhino Tracking Namibia is home to one of Africa’s largest populations of the endangered desert black rhino and one of the best spots to view this fascinating creature is at the Grootberg Conservancy in the Kunene Region. Situated on the top of Grootberg Pass with stunning views of the enormous valley the landscape alone is something to behold. These prehistoric beasts have been fitted with radio transmitters and through the lodge you can participate in a 3/4 day rhino tracking activity. Not only will you have the chance to track black rhino but to see other game as well such as desert elephant, springbok, kudo, giraffe and many species of bird. Self Drive Safaris With its excellent infrastructure, unforgettable sights, sounds and smells coupled with good quality accommodation and rustic campsites – Namibia is set up for confident and adventurous travellers to throw out the standard itinerary and play by your own rules. Chameleon Safaris can assist you with all your self drive needs from hiring the correct (and most suitable) vehicle for your adventure, to itinerary planning, suggesting the best accommodation places or campsites along with the best routes to take to get the desirable results. The freedom opens up the opportunity to see each aspect of the country from the Chobe River above the Victoria Falls to the Himba Tribes in the North Western region.

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Horse Safari The well thought out and meticulously planned horse safari adventures created by Chameleon Safari will enable you to spend anything from one-day to two-week excursions, exploring everything that Namibia has to offer. Cross the oldest desert in the world, admire the Atlantic Ocean coastline and go searching for the Desert Elephant. As you camp overnight and gaze up at the stars while the horses munch on their hay and food you will realise there are is no better way to see the country and appreciate nature at close quarters. Endless Possibilities… That is just a flavour of the fascinating adventures that lie ahead with Chameleon Safaris. There extensive and creative programs include all of this and so much more. Family holiday packages, Fly-in Safaris, the Himba Experience and camping safaris are among the many other options along with tailor made safaris if your time frame does not allow you to join one of the scheduled tours. About Chameleon Safaris Established in 1995, Chameleon Safaris has evolved to its current size through commitment to service and dedication to providing for their clients needs. To continue providing this quality service, they have developed a dedicated sister company specialising in tailor made, group travel, self drive and special interest safaris, to further enhance the excellence of their products. Chameleon Holidays & Travel can deal with any tailor made request for Namibia, Okavango Delta, Victoria Falls, South Africa and Uganda. Chameleon Safaris, run by Jackie Burton and Bossie Coetzer with a small dedicated team of professionals, can offer you scheduled accommodated safaris to the highlights of Sossusvlei, Swakopmund and Etosha National Park. Chameleon is a dynamic safari company which caters to all kinds of travellers and supports the local population to ensure that the tourism dollar is spread to all levels of the community.

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Contact Details

W: www.chameleonsafaris.com T: +264 (61) 247 668 E: chamnam@mweb.com.na Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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IVORY COAST

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ou will never find a place more unique and attractive than the Ivory Coast. With its stunning picturesque views, vibrant and warm atmosphere, visitors will leave in ore of the country. There are several fantastic places in the Ivory Coast all of which boast specialities. The country is always developing and is at the forefront of exquisite and exclusive lifestyles.

Abidjan Serving as the capital for 50 years from 1933, Abidjan is the most fascinating city in the Ivory Coast. Known as the “Paris in Africa” Abidjan has been beautified by a number of luscious green garden squares and fascinating culture.

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The city can also be referred to as “The lagoon pearl” as it is situated on the Ébrié Lagoon, consisting of several peninsulas that are linked by bridges. These provide breath taking views of the clear blue waters and the city itself.

Gagnoa The city provides a wonderful break for those who enjoy the simple and quiet life. Gagnoa is at the central of agriculture, which is why tourists come here to enjoy their native delicacies and embrace real and traditional African culture.


Gagnoa boasts natural wonders which make your time here even more exquisite, especially its rich and healthful forests which are unspoiled to this day. Being in Western Africa you will find nearby beaches with perfectly soft golden sands with clear blue waters, which are perfect for aquatic activities.

Yamoussoukro Yamoussoukro, also known as “Yam� is the modern day capital. Although it has no embassies, government ministries or significant commercial activity, Yamaoussoukro is a tranquil retreat that still embraces the best of African culture.

If you are familiar with the Saint Peter Basilica you will be able to see the artistic and architectural inspirations from the renowned Renaissance masterpiece. When looking at the Basilica it is easy to understand why this remarkably stunning building is a popular attraction. Ivory Coast has fantastic views that are unique to the country. You will never be bored, even when relaxing as there is always something to do. Relish in the high-class resorts, explore real African culture or delight in the pleasures of their perfect beaches. You will not be disappointed.

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Where To Stay:

Hotel Ivoire

The Ivoire is by far the most lavish hotel in the Ivory Coast, located in Abidijan, this five star hotel is at the forefront of modern design and provides outstanding services. Guests can enjoy modern and simple designs with stunning views of Abidijan including the coastline; the president suite gasconades panoramic views of the city.

What To Do:

Court De Ivorie Golf Club There are several golf courses in the Ivory Coast but this is the most respected of them all. The Court de Ivorie golf course was once the European challenge tour event. If you can prise yourself away from one of their many excluded pools and over the top pampering in their spas, enjoy their several golf courses that will challenge and satisfy you.

Where To Eat: Le Grand Large

The Le Grand Large is a luxurious restaurant renowned for attracting celebrities. The restaurant offers a haute cuisine with a fine dining experience as it attracts world wide superiors, especially with its exquisite sea food dishes and the chef’s specialities.

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EGYPT

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gypt has long been one of the top tourist destinations in the Arab world, offering winter sun and an endless string of classical antiquity. More than a year on since the revolutions of the Arab Spring, we take a look at getting the best out of Egypt while ensuring that you travel safely and securely.

Cairo Unlike the other North African and Middle Eastern countries that disposed of their leaders, Mubarak merely handed control over to his cronies.

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As a result the Tahrir Square area of Cairo is still fervent with on going protests. Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that you simply cannot travel to Cairo – however it does mean that you need to pay extra care and attention while keeping your wits about you. Trips to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx are still easily accessible, while the locals continue to be warm and welcoming in amongst the lively activity in the bazaars and busy street life.


Aswan Aswan is traditionally one of the three big tourist cities on the River Nile along with the much larger Cairo and Luxor. Situated in the south of the country this great city was once the ancient Egyptians gateway to Africa and still hosts an abundance of fascinating sites and attractions today. Explore the shrines and the tombs in the West Bank from the Old Kingdom to the Roman period; and be sure to visit the Temple of Philae – the last ancient temple built in the classical Egyptian architectural style dating all the way back to 690 BC.

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Sharm el-Sheikh The Red Sea resorts of the Sinai Peninsula have been much calmer than the big cities making it a continued favourite among sun seekers all round. Stretching from the Suez Canal in the north to Sudan in the south, the Red Sea is some 1,250 kilometres long and flanked with superb beaches, mountains and desert. In fact, much of Egypt’s reputation as a winter escape stems from the likes of Sharm el-Sheikh.

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The reefs of Tiran and Ras Mohammed are known as two of the best diving-spots in the world with its clear waters and impressive range of barracudas, sharks and murrays that can be seen on a daily basis.

Luxor Luxor – the gateway to the Valley of the Kings – has been attracting visitors for thousands of years. Built on the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes,


it is home to some of the world’s most important archaeological sights. Since the revolution, tourism in this region has been hit hard which means that you can now explore the usually overcrowded ancient relics in complete serenity with the overall experience resembling that of a private tour. Highlights include tomb number 62 in the Valley of the Kings, which holds Tutankhamen’s mummy, while a tranquil sunset walk among the colonnaded courtyards at the Temple of Luxor is not to be missed. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Where To Stay:

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo Stay in the heart of Cairo, with views of the Great Pyramids to enchant you and ancient zoological and botanical gardens just outside your door. Enjoy authentic fine dining and opulent meeting spaces at Egypt’s premier address.

What To Do:

Luxury Nile Cruise Tour Upper Egypt’s most iconic sites on board the elegant Sanctuary Nile Adventurer. Offering an intimate and relaxed cruising experience on the epic Nile, highlights en route include Karnak Temple, a massive temple complex built on an imperial scale, and a visit to the West Bank of Luxor, where the most powerful leaders of the era were buried.

Where To Eat: Saffron Restaurant

Nestled between the Savoy and the Sierra Hotels is Sharm El Sheikh’s best kept secret – SOHO Square. This vibrant venue is host to a number of fine restaurants ranging from Indian to Thai, but our favourite is Saffron Restaurant for their range of Middle Eastern dishes from Lebanon to Morocco and plenty of Egyptian cuisine in between.

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ome to the crossroads of Africa and Asia where the mountains meet the sea, and watch the sunset from the back of a camel and see the starry sky as it was 1,000 years ago. The glistening Red Sea beckons you with unsurpassed diving opportunities and world-class nightlife tempts you into our Sharm El Sheikh hotel’s luxurious oasis. Setting the standard for luxury hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, The Ritz-Carlton features: 320 well-appointed guest rooms, including 35 suite, Outside dive center facilities and onsite house reef, Beautifully landscape and sparkling pools, Duck pond and a lazy river, Arabian massage tent overlooking the Red Sea and Award-winning Italian, Arabian and Japanese specialty restaurants.

Contact Details

W: www.ritzcarlton.com T: +20 69 3661919 E: sshrz.leads@ritzcarlton.com 176

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Beautiful

MOROCCO

Expert BIO

Abderrahim Chaair, Founder, Your Morocco Tour

Abderrahim Chaair   is the founder of Your Morocco Tour and expert in Moroccco travel and culture as he has been working in the field of tourism since a very early age. Born in Sub Saharan Berber village in the Draa Valley in the small town of Ouled Malouk, Abderrahim first started to guide tourists into the desert in the sand dunes of Erg Chigaga where he would travel for several days with camels and all the necessary camping equipment. He taught tourists to cook over camp fire, make sand bread and play the local drums – music of the Sahara. Now, Abderrahim takes his visitors countrywide and loves nothing more than meeting new people from different cultures, talking about everything, and driving and travelling with his guests in order to help them gain the best Moroccan experience ever.

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A three hour flight from the UK or an hours ferry from Spain easily accessible country for Europeans and a more than those travelling from further afield. While it can be enjoy Mediterranean climate provide the perfect getaway from


Marrakech

Undoubtedly North Africa’s most burgeoning upmarket destination with its vast array of stunning mosques, fascinating crafts and luxury living. Marrakech is ideally situated near to the foothills of the snow capped Atlas Mountains and only a few hours away from the foot of the Sahara Desert allowing a stunning contrast of landscapes which wholly justifies its position as the top tourist destination to set up base in Morocco. Whether you intend to spend the entirety of your journey in Marrakech or venture further afield there is more than plenty to see and do here from the marvellous minaret at Koutoubia Mosque and royal Saadian tombs from the 16th century alongside the Kasbah Mosque through to a buzzing nightlife scene where restaurants converge with dance clubs.

make Morocco an n worthy venture for yed year round, its m the Winter chills. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Fes

Lose yourself in the winding medina streets within this medieval labyrinthe. Morocco’s less-explored imperial city is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world providing visitors with a spectacular array of sightseeing opportunities that will simply awe and amaze. As an ancient walled city, Fes is often compared to the walled city of Jerusalem. Splendour at the abandoned earth-coloured kasbahs and fortified palaces, and jut through the warren of narrow passages, teeming souks, archaic industry and venerable mosques. This is where the ‘real‘ Moroccan experience happens, in a place where aspects of the Middle Ages live on to this very day.

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Agadir With a six-mile stretch of golden sand beach, Agadir is Morocco’s leading seaside resort. Occasionally falling into the tourist trap of chain hotels and bland English pubs, escape from the hotspots and explore the village communities where High Atlas mountains provide the backdrop to sights of farmers tilling the ground and herding their goats. The city is also surrounded by the Sahara Desert, numerous natural parks and secluded beaches – so kick back and relax on the beach or keep yourself occupied with everything from wet-biking to surfing. Agadir is the sunseekers paradise.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

Merzouga Experience the grandour of the Moroccan Sahara Desert with a visit to the village of Merzouga. Take a camel safari through the majestic paradise of beautifully sculpted sand dunes, plunging gorges, lush waterfalls and fascinating forests – a living Eden unspoiled by the modern world. To complete this memorable trip, be sure to stay overnight in a traditional Beduoin camp and also take some time out to explore the impressive 16th century UNESCO protectedKasbahs of Ait ben Haddou.

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Imlil Many visitors use the village of Imlil as the base for guides and trekking expeditions up Mt Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. With an altitude of 4167 metres above sea level, this exciting yet challenging climb is best enjoyed at a leisurely pace which is ideal given that lush vegetation, snow-capped peaks and tranquil valleys provide the calmingly glamorous setting along the way. Let go of all your troubles and take a relaxing break on the Kasbah roof, watching the subtle changes of colour of the surrounding mountains as the sun moves. Soon you will realise that life is about as sweet as Imlil‘s ubiquitous mint tea. Wonderful beaches, fascinating hikes and a camel safari through the largest desert in the world are just some of Morocco’s many distinguishing qualities. Enjoy a country that combines traditional aesthetics, artisanship and materials with the modern comforts that provide the upmost in luxury living. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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our Morocco Tour was born out of the love for Morocco, its culture, history and people. The company was established six years ago by Jana Pekova and now brings visitors in from all around the world.

Jana’s partner, Abderrahim Chaair is native to Morocco having grown up in a small Sub Saharan village by M’hammid. He guided tourists in the desert since his childhood before moving to Marrakech and touring with their guests all around the country. Now his vast experience of the country helps to tailor the ideal holidays for their clients.

P t s e r b s

W a i Y t t

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Providing tours to all the hidden corners of the country, visitors can explore the Imperial Cities of Morocco that played a significant role in Moroccan history and culture along with the extraordinary and wonderful landscapes of the Southern Morocco, passing the High Atlas Mountains, visiting old Kasbahs, breathing fresh air of green valleys to the camel trekking of the sunny sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.

Whether they are looking for a full tour, or just have a time for a short extension or one-day excursion, Morocco Tours offer innovative itineraries, daily departures and competitive pricing. You can even choose the style of accommodation, from basic to extra luxurious, and everything in between. The possibilities to customise your holidays are endless.

Contact Details

W: www.your-morocco-tour.com T: + 646 291 8924

+ 212 66 234 4816

E:

yourmoroccotour@gmail.com

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Food & Culture

MOROCCO

Expert BIO Michel Paillet, Manager, Faim d’Epices Michel Paillet, 47-years-old, managed a company in France specialising in shop-fitting before he decided to turn his attention to food. After arriving in Morocco, Michel met Aicha, who he describes as an exceptional lady. She accepted the task of teaching him all the secrets and resources of spices in her professional cooking school in Rabat. Michel has now gone on to conduct the Spice’s workshop by Faim d’Epices and loves nothing more than to share all of the awesome tricks and tips that he has learnt with all of his guests.

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Moroccan food is the most famous out of the North-Afric similarities to Lebanese, Algerian and Tunisian food and unique and different. Enjoy the earthy, fragrant, comfortin Morocco. It is time to tantalise your taste buds.


can cuisines. It shares many yet at the same time it is so ng and delicate flavours of

The Spices

Moroccan dishes use a wide variety of spices without ever being too spicy. The most frequently used ingredients are saffron, cumin, dry ginger powder, paprika, cinnamon and black pepper combining to give the dishes a reddish brown colouring that is synonymous with Moroccan food. It is not uncommon to find herbs such as fresh coriander and parsley thrown in too. One thing you will find with Moroccan cuisine is that every meal mixes flavourful sauces and zesty side dishes making fresh ingredients the order of the day. Moroccan’s go through their spice supplies so quickly you won’t ever have to worry about them going out of date.

“The “king” of spices, Saffron, is nicknamed “red gold” due to its price. We have a good production in Morocco, especially in Tiliwine, which is the area where the best saffron comes from. The special “Moroccan blend” is called Ras El Hanout, a mix which can go up to 85 different spices.

Michel Paillet

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“Couscous is a traditional community dish, served on Friday after the big prayer. It originally consists of vegetables, within one sort of meat (beef or chicken) and can be served with the “Tfayas” a kind of chutney with onions, dry raisins, cinnamon and orange blossum.”

Michel Paillet

Couscous Couscous is the Moroccan food that tastes so good they named it twice! It is a North African dish of semolina traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over the top of it. While it is readily available around the world, few people eat couscous quite as often at Moroccan’s and nor do they eat it in quite so many varied meals. Couscous could easily replace rice in a dish but people tend to get put off due to the gritty texture of the small semolina pellets. When cooked properly, couscous should be light and fluffy rather than gritty or stodgy. Come to Morocco and you can learn to cook this delicious meal to perfection.

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“Tajines, of course, is cooked in this curiously shaped clay pot. The most popular are the chicken tajine with red olives and preserved lemons or the tajine of lamb with prunes.�

Michel Paillet

Tagines Tagine is a Moroccan word referring to both the curiously shaped clay pot and the contents of which is being cooked. The device cooks using steam and generally consists of lamb, beef, chicken or fish flavoured with onions, garlic, aromatic herbs and spices, with optional extras including vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, and olives.. The unique texture and flavour of the dish, when cooked correctly, can be attributed to the shape of the lid allowing condensed steam to run back down into the base, keeping the food moist and tender. Once you have perfected this national favourite you can head to the nearest Moroccan market to buy a fantastic souvenir allowing you to treat the family to an authentic tagine on a more frequent basis. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

Mint Tea In England a cup of tea is for every occasion; from solving the troubles of the world to catching up with an old friend or business acquaintance. In Morocco this is the same story. However rather than drinking PG Tips or Earl Grey, their tea of choice is mint tea made out of green tea and peppermint. The national drink of Morocco is a sign of hospitality, friendship and tradition. Because this drink is so popular, it is served all day long, after every meal and with every conversation. Moroccan’s take great pride in their tea and will often quiz visitors over who makes the best cup of mint tea among their group of friends.

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“The ‘pastilla’ as a main course is a kind of cake, made with phylopastry and a sweet sauce. You can use pigeon or chicken as meat. The pastille can be served as a dessert and in this case, it’s made with milk.”

Michel Paillet

Pastilla This one may be a weird concept to those outside of North Africa but the Pastilla – also known as Bastilla – is a dessert based dish consisting of meat! It is an elaborate meat pie traditionally made out of chicken or pigeons inside phyllopastry dough. This delicacy combines sweet and salty flavours as the savoury meat is shredded and slow-cooked in broth and spices. It is then topped with a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Seriously, don’t know it until you try it. Unlock the mystery of Moroccan cooking by attempting some of the classics under the guidance of an experienced chef. Before you know it you will be using your very own tagine clay pot and enjoying a pastilla dessert with your friends over a cup of mint tea on a regular basis.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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lot of tourists and travellers come to Morocco – especially in Marrakesh – to visit the souks. Mesmerised by the smells and colours, visitors often overwhelm themselves by taking home rare spices without really knowing how to choose, store or combine them. In short, it is a difficult mission to try and reproduce at home the dishes tasted during their stay. That’s why Michel and Philippe, 57 years old, Chef, both Frenchmen and passionate about cookery and tastes, tried to find an idea where they could utilise their own expertise. Since November 2010, Faim d’Epices offer cooking classes so that visitors can learn how to use all these wonders and give you all

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Faim d’Epices is located in a beautiful farm, a few miles away from the craziness of the Medina, where the guests start, before learning a complete meal they will make by themselves under the leadership of the professional coach, Nezha. They will enjoy their bread, tajine or couscous, salads and crepes in peaceful tranquility under the shade of the terrace, surrounded by roses, lemon, orange and olive trees.

Contact Details

W: www.faimdepices.com T:

+212 (0) 6000 48 800

E:

contact@faimdepices.com

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Adventure Activities MOROCCO

O

Ma renc trad bee

Ou and with pre Me dat

Expert BIO Hassan Aaouid, Founder, Moroccan Views Hassan Aaouid is a passionate, enthusiastic and well informed individual who will go out of his way to design the best tours and other travel packages for his customers. He loves to share his experiences and expertise on all things Morocco. He works with not only the best but most suitable hotels to accommodate all types of travellers. Hassan understands the importance of designing cultural, environmentally friendly and fun tours. In addition to this he also likes to benefit local community through his tours whenever possible. With a global network of carefully selected partners Hassan certainly does his bit to promote sustainable tourism. All he asks in return is that visitors respect the local customs, culture and environment.

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Morocco is a land of mystery, a place where the sun is enigmatic. Discover a country whose landscape is uni regions to wide beautiful beaches, which pass over to en come to explore and experience the many beautiful view


Ouarzazate

any of you will have seen Ouarzazate without even knowing it, for this is the famous backdrop to Gladiator, Lawce of Arabia, Kingdom of Heaven and much more. With its iconic market place, the picturesque desert scenery, ditional Moroccan folk bands and UNESCO World Heritage sites – you can see why the city’s Atlas Studio has en chosen to shoot so many Hollywood blockbusters.

uarzazate was once the crossing point for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe d has had to fend off many sieges and attacks throughout history. The steep mountain hillsides are clustered h Kasbahs (fortified villages) including the 16th century fortress at Ait Ben Haddou Kasbah and the equally well eserved old palace and castle at Taourirt Kasbah. Although the sieges may have ended, castle life still continues. eet the owners whose families have often lived here for generations and they may share tales of French resistance ting back some 400 years.

warm and the people are ique. From huge mountain ndless desert – the time has ws of Morocco.

“Explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Ait Benhaddou, used as a backdrop for shooting more than 20 films and was one of the most important fortress strongholds on the old Salt caravans route where traders brought slaves, gold, ivory and salt from Saharan Africa to Marrakech and beyond.“

Hassan Aaouid

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“Take an amazing half day horse riding excursion from Marrakech Palm Grove with an English speaking guide. Pass palm trees and original villages on the way! You will enjoy the horse ride around Marrakech and at the same time discover the authentic local way of life.�

Hassan Aaouid

Exploring Marrakech Palmeraie The Palm Grove of Marrakech lies only a few kilometres out of town, on the way to Casablanca, and is one of the most visited sites of the Red city. Thirteen hectares of peaceful green serenity make this oasis of coolness well worth exploring. Take a half day horse ride or mountain bike excursion through the desert hills and authentic villages en route to Atlas Mountain via the best off-road scenic hills, lakes and fields. The highlight of this rewarding trip is the ride through traditional Berber villages made of a mixture of mud and straw. It is the perfect way to explore the authentic world of hospitality and warmth without venturing too far.

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“The Toubkal pick is the highest point of the Atlas mountain range, standing at 4,167 metres. We will pick you up at your accommodation and take you to Imlil, a berber village situated at 65 kilometres south of Marrakech at an altitude of 1740 metres.”

Hassan Aaouid

Hiking The Toubkal Pick At 4,165 metres the Jebel Toubkal is North Africa’s highest mountain and should certainly be on the list of must-climb peaks for any keen hiker. During the summer months you can take your time with this fascinating journey, making the most of the valleys and Berber villages as well as amazing panoramic views on the high Atlas Mountains. For something a little different, tackle this ascent during the winter months where you will enjoy a completely different experience. Assisted by mules and muleteers, you’ll trek along mule paths up into rocky cliffs high above the valley to the snowy peaks of Mount Toubkal, where on a clear day you will be able to see the entire Toubkal range. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“If you enjoy contrasting colours as well as the valleys of numerous waterfalls, this day trip from Marrakech offers a multi-coloured landscape. After leaving Marrakech, you will drive through the green orchards of the Haouz plain. In the Lisa Dianeoutlines Scalia background, the & imposing of the Atlas will stand out.�

Hassan Aaouid

Rafting in the Ourika Valley Combine the adrenaline-buzz of white-water rafting with the peaceful tranquillity of this picturesque destination and you will have one-hell-of-a-trip on your hands. This lush valley in the High Atlas combines delightful meadows shaded by poplars and weeping willows with clay villages and their colourful hills in the background. A trip along this valley is not complete without visiting the famous seven waterfalls at Setti Fatma. The beautiful scenery is sure to calm your nerves before you tackle the high-speed and bumpy rapids that will have you excited and scared in equal measures.

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See the Ouzoud Cascades If you like the seven waterfalls at Setti Fatma then we are sure you will love the fantastic views of the Ouzoud waterfalls falling from more than 100 metres into a sinkhole covered with calcareous rocks and overgrown with luxuriant vegetation. Take a trek along the winding footpath among the olive trees and wild monkeys or explore the surrounding green valleys and gorges of the El Abid River. If you time your visit right the kodec-moment should be completed by a rainbow overhead rising up thanks to the spray of water falling on the rocks. Each day brings different challenges and adventures. Unlock the secrets of the South of Morocco by exploring the many different landscapes and historic attractions throughout.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

M

oroccan Views offers the best adventure tours in Morocco including day tours from Marrakech, desert tours from Marrakech, mountain biking near Marrakech, horse riding and trekking in the Atlas Mountain.

From day one of operation, Moroccan Views has strived to offer customers the best possible vacation value, while maintaining an unsurpassed level of service. This includes giving personalised service to each and every customer - a policy which remains the highest priority. Moroccan Views is the assurance of a quality label: a nice and warm welcome around fresh made mint tea on your arrival. With travel advisers at your disposal, seven days a week, their prime aim is to give you all the information needed to start your Moroccan adventure.

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Contact Details

W: www.moroccanviews.com T:

+212 524 38 46 43

E:

contact@moroccanviews.com

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Morocco is a vast landscape with plenty of aesthetical appeal. With large stretches of desert to the unexplored mountains – it’s time to let your hair down and go off-road.

Sahara Desert

This unique twist on the classic Sahara Desert tour will see you climbing on the back of an off-road motorcycle rather than that of a laborious camel. Not only will this enable you to cover more ground and see all of the sights, it will also add an extra dash of excitement and adventure as you race through the virgin desert sand to the top of the 150 metre-tall Cathedral Dunes at Erg Chabbi. Along the way nothing can prepare you for the magic of riding through the famous Merzouga sands at sunset when the surrounding Red Dunes and the evening sky blend into one big beautiful amalgamation.

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Dades to Jbel Sanghro

As you ride along the route towards the Jbel Sanghro mountain range images will be ingrained in your memory forever as the strong red, green and white colours of this varied landscape provides a fairy-tale feeling. There is nothing more rewarding than following the route from Dades with its fast sections interspersed with rocky trails winding their way through major washouts and gullies. For all the thrill and adventure you also have luscious green valleys, picturesque mountain backdrops, exquisite gorges and twisting riverbed to gaze upon. Once you have cleared the populated areas alongside the river, you will then arrive into the Jbel Saghro Mountains passing Berber families in some of the most beautiful mountains in Morocco. From cultural enlightenment and thrilling rides to beautiful mise-en-scene – this journey has it all. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Ride & Glide

Share your time between motorcycling and paragliding in this unique tour which lets you gain a birds eye view while sailing overhead Morocco’s fascinating landscapes. Through teaming up with Alex Ledger – owner & active director of www.skyschooluk.com – you can undertake everything from learning the launch techniques and necessary safety aspects to the more experienced ‘pilot option’ giving you the freedom to fly one of the best Paragliding sites in Morocco.

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Contact Details

W: www.motoaventures-morocco.com T: +212 6 483 87639

+376 840 580

E:

info@motoaventures.com

Marrakech Express

Marrakech is a wonderful exotic place in the sun, with cheap flights from most main cities across Europe. As a result it has become one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the whole of North Africa. With many challenging off-road routes along the south of the region there is absolutely no reason why the seasoned biker cannot enjoy this luxurious destination too. Pass through the local villages and enjoy the twisting trails through lovely undulating countryside – stopping for a picnic along the way. Highlights include the old fortified coastal town of Essaouira with its well preserved ramparts; an old port where they keep their hundreds of blue sardine boats and still build large wooden fishing trawlers. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Charley Boorman in Africa Moto Adventures have joined forces with well known motorbike adventurer Charley Boorman (Long Way Down and By Any Means) and better yet, the English TV adventurer, travel writer and actor will actually be going along on the tours to guide and assist you while sharing anecdotes and endless experiences he’s had while travelling the world on his BMW with film-star friend Ewan McGregor.

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Contact Details

W: www.motoaventures-touring.com T: +27 837 748847

+376 840 580

E:

info@motoaventures.com

Join Charley on the road – along with Moto Adventures other experienced guides – for a bike trip of a lifetime. Ride topof-the-range BMW R1200 GS motorcycles and stay in great accommodation including a couple of nights in more local places so you get even more of an insight into the country and its culture. The lure of Africa is hard to define. From wild open plains to dense bush-land, lush rainforests to barren deserts and endless horizons broken up by mighty rivers supplying thundering waterfalls. This is where each day treats you to a spectacular sunrise and sunset, setting the heavens on fire and humbling you in its presence. Come and experience the grand nature, the stunning wildlife, the warm people and the constant adventure. Come experience first-hand the lure of this continent on a Southern Africa Tour with Moto Adventures & Charley Boorman. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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‘House by the Sea’

For those visitors looking to take the Marrakech Express we could not think of a better location to re-charge your batteries after a long day than La Casa del Mar. This small hotel is situated in one of the narrow bustling streets of the ancient fortified medina of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Luxuriate in the comfort and charm of the 5 bedroom guest house, all complete with en suite shower rooms, their own sitting areas and a beautiful roof terrace where you can have breakfast with uninterrupted views out over the rocky coastline. Even those who are not planning to ride the Marrakech Express should stay here. Set the alarm nice and early to enjoy a coastal stroll at sunrise along the 7 kilometre stretch of beach – a great way to start the day.

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Contact Details

W: www.lacasa-delmar.com T:

+212 (0) 524 47 50 91

E:

info@lacasa-delmar.com

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Welcome to Morocco

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orocco is one of the emerging travel destinations in North Africa, offering the perfect blend of mystery, beauty, history, culture and luxury. From the narrow streets in the ancient medinas to the amazing sand dunes of the Sahara, Morocco should definitely be on your “must visit” list.

Fes Excursion is a tour operator company, specialising in tailor made tours to Morocco. They pride themselves in ensuring your journey to Morocco will be one that you will treasure for a lifetime.   The company also provide a perfect transportation service for wonderful tours and excursions. Their aim is to make it possible for everyone who wishes to visit Morocco to come and make a holiday where you can get acquainted with the various establishments whether ancient or modern, along with offering you a pleasant stay in hotels of all categories; guesthouses, auberges, bivouacs or shelters along the routes. If you ever dreamed of visiting Morocco, this is the year to make your dream come true. Give Fes Excursions a few days of your life, and in return, they will give you a lifetime full of memories   If you want to live an unforgettable adventure with an optimised budget, then contact Abdel and your dream comes true!   Please check their suggested tours of Morocco for inspiration and ideas for your trip. The Moroccan tours may last anything between a single day to several weeks and can start at any time of the day, any day of the week, and anywhere in Morocco. Airport transfers are provided for all of their guests.

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Contact Details

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L

égendes Evasions are a tourist transport company based in Marrakesh. For the past nine years they have proposed day trips and tours from Marrakesh, specialising in individual and small groups.

Tour in comfort onboard their 4x4 Toyota Prado and Land Cruisers and enjoy the personal touch as each tour is tailor made to suit you. Philippe is the business manager and he will drive you to the most beautiful sites around Marrakesh. He is fascinated with Morocco and 4x4s and he will share his passion with you. Other drivers of the team speak English and French and have also collaborated with us Legendes Evasions for several years. His partner Lydia, takes care of business in society as well as day tours and tours around Morocco, with drivers from Marrakech. The  High Atlas is  the  most diversified and  richest  discovery around Marrakech. On this day trip you will discover the Ourika Valley as you take the mountain road towards the ski resort, Oukaïmeden. You will reach the Berber mountain villages by road or track before arriving for lunch in Asni, Imlil or to Ouirgane, according to your will and advice of the driver. In the afternoon, you will discover an agricultural plateau, before exploring Takerkoust Lake. Rounding the day off nicely you will return to Marrakech via the scenic rocky desert of ‘Agafay’.

Contact Details

W: www.legendesevasions.com T: +212 (0) 524 33 24 83 E: legendesevasions@gmail.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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E

xplora have a passion for the sea and a passion for adventure and are here to help you get the most out of your holiday in Morocco. They are lucky enough to have three centres making them easily accessible – two in Essaouira and one in Dakhla where they specialise in kitesurfing, surfing, windsurfing

and SUP.

Choose between a broad range of lessons from a beginner taster session, through to a week’s intensive package and progression courses. Explora run group, semi private or private lessons and have new equipment for rental. Through linking up with local experts, Explora are also able to offer quad biking, mountain biking and horse riding. To help make your holiday as easy and enjoyable as possible they can also organise full packages for you, which include your instruction, rental of equipment, accommodation and transfers to and from the airport. This means you only need to speak to one person to organise your whole holiday. Explora offer kitesurfing, surfing and windsurfing packages either for the weekend or the week, as well as adventure packages which mean you can experience a mix of activities throughout your stay. They have also started to run surf and kite camps to enable you to really progress with other like-minded people and have lots of fun along the way. Please check out their website for all the details and the dates for the next camps.

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Contact Details

W: www.exploramorocco.com T: +21 2 611 475 188 E: adventure@exploramorocco.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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N

aison mk is set in the Medina’s most exclusive neighbourhood, a stones throw from the souks and the bustling J‘emaa el Fna’ . This unique six bedroom riad adds a new twist to Marrakech style, and is a must for anyone who appreciates contemporary design and a cool vibe. Subtle, sophisticated and English speaking, you will be extremely well looked after here - the answer to anything at mk is usually yes! Stunning décor, a warm ambience, luxurious accessories, friendly and discreet service (intentionally overstaffed!) all in all a very hip home from home! You may have noticed the distinctive orange voiles of maison mk on the “Jamie does Marrakech” programme which was filmed on their breathtaking rooftop terraces with its views of the Koutobia and the Atlas mountains. The Jamie Oliver inspired one-to-one cooking lessons provide a fun way to learn. Home to the gastro mk restaurant – well known for its five course evening tasting menu and ‘full English afternoon tea’, and also the chic full time spa mk where you can indulge in both Moroccan and western beauty and wellbeing treatments. maison mk tends to showcase the very best to be had in magical Marrakech experiences. Pre Planning Kick things off with pre-planned concierge service and guidance in the UK and in Marrakech including Airport and Station transfers in air conditioned luxury taxis. Maison mk is just a short 12 minute taxi journey away from the international airport and will drop you off at the medina (old walled city) gates where maison mk staff will collect your luggage and guide you along the last 150 metres to the riad.

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Checking In & Out A refreshing drink will be provided upon arrival, along with a full tour of the riad and your room. The official times for checking-in and checking-out are 11am and 2pm, but these are flexible. You can stay in your room if its still available and if not you can have your cases stored, as well as continuing to use the riad and the facilities for showering, changing, etc.

The Facilities All rooms contain beds by the kings bedmaker with Egyptian cotton sheets and designer bed-throws, powerful air con and heating with remote control, and beautiful one off art pieces, along with complimentary dried fruits, nuts and mineral water. There are bathrooms with powerful rain shower and dual flush loo in every room, each stocked with local organic products, hooded fluffy bathrobes and slippers, and a well lit bathroom mirror & magnifying mirror. There is even a loo and shower for convenience on every other floor.

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Contact Details

W: www.maisonmk.com T: +212 (0) 524 37 61 73 E: stay@maisonmk.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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CAMEROON

W

ith vast rainforests filled with an array of animals, superb city atmospheres and sun-kissed languid beaches, Cameroon is a magnificent country to enjoy distinctive and fantastic experiences.

Kribi It is easy to see why Kirbi is Cameroon’s most popular beach resort. If you come to the beaches during the day you will be able to have the palm-fringed beaches with golden sand and clear blue sea virtually all to yourself. During the evening the city comes to life and provides a fun and relaxing atmosphere. Kirbi is a wonderful place to rent a boat for fishing in the Bay of Biafra.

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Whilst enjoying this relaxing past-time you can feast your eyes on the elegant vistas surrounding you.

Yaoundé Yaoundé offers eccentric plush green areas in a hilly setting. This lively city is the best place to embrace traditional and modern and African culture combined, in a relaxing environment. Be sure to visit the National Museum of Yaounde, which forms part of the Benedictine Monastery. The museum has a wonderful collection of masks, bronzes, wooden bas-reliefs and pottery. In fact the building is bursting with fascinating history. The church inside the monastery is beautifully decorated with Cameroonian textiles and crafts.


Maroua

Limbe Wildlife Centre

Trekking in the spectacular landscapes of the Mandara Mountains of Maroua is one of Cameroon’s best and most popular attractions. As you travel through the mountains you will discover large stone formations, plush green valleys, not to mention outstanding views that are second to none, and traditional hillside villages. Each village has something different to offer; Rjumsiki with its dazzling mountain scenery, Maga has unique domed houses made purely of clay and Mora holds a vibrant weekly market. Exploring the Mandara Mountains is a fantastic way to indulge in the best of nature’s beauty.

The Limbe Wildlife Centre has a renowned reputation as a superb haven for fascinating wildlife and beautiful plants; making it a highly popular attraction. Walk through the lively jungle-like habitat and catch a glimpse of stunning and rare monkey species including Preuss’ and gorillas. Awe over the visual splendour of the botanical garden filled with an array of colourful floras. The garden provides a picturesque and tranquil atmosphere that will refresh your soul. The stunning backdrop of Mount Cameroon enhances the beauty of the gardens.

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Where To Stay:

Le Meridien Douala Le Meridien Douala is a modern building surrounded by lush gardens offering a quiet haven. The hotel overlooks the gorgeous Wouri River. The harbour is just a few minutes away. Le Méridien Douala is ideally located near the city’s’ main commercial and banking areas so you are never too far from the action.

What To Do:

Golf in Likomba

Relax and soak up the calming atmosphere in a game of golf; a fantastic and popular sport in Cameroon. With an invigorating nine-hole course in Likomba both experienced players and beginners will find this to be an exhilarating course to play away.

Where To Eat: La Forêt Dense

Let your taste buds delve into sensational traditional Cameroonian dishes. This upscale restaurant also provides a pleasantly relaxing atmosphere with service that is second to none. La Fort Dense is set in the heart of Yaoundé and will leave you with no more wishes.

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Safari

TANZANIA

Expert BIO Roberto De Sibi, Owner, Kori Adventure Roberto De Sibi was born in Milan (Italy) and since he was a child he has shown great interest in wild animals and nature. When he was old enough, he started travelling around Africa, Asia and rest of the world for safari and trekking expeditions. The visit to Tanzania was love at first sight and after repeated visits, Roberto decided to make his passion a job and started Kori Adventure as a joint venture with his friend Greyson. Roberto is owner and executive director of Kori Adventure, but still takes the time to go in the bush with customers for safari.

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Home to the largest mountain in Africa and the biggest colle tional Parks and Games Reserves in the world – Tanzania brin drama and life to the beauty of the African wilds.


ection of Nangs a mass of

Kilimanjaro

Despite its close proximity to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro is a snowcapped mountain which looms over the plains of savannah. Kilimanjaro consists of three summits: to the West, the Shira Plateau, to the East Mawenzi Peak and the towering Kibo reaching heights of 5895 metres situated between the two. There are six recognised routes for climbing Kilimanjaro ranging from the popular Marangu Route to the little known yet incredibly scenic Lemosho Route. Pass through the Lemosho Glades where if you are lucky you will spot buffalo, elephants and some other big game animals along this side of the national park. We recommend spending at least five nights to complete your climb in order to increase acclimatisation and prevent altitude sickness.

“Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain and is one of the most accessible high summits in the world. Most climbers lead by our experienced guides reach the crater rim with little more than walking sticks, proper clothing and determination. It really is the roof of Africa.�

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“Serengeti with its Great Migration is Tanzania’s most famous National Park. The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World’. Selous, Ruaha and Katavi are true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago.”

Roberto De Sibi

Safari Tanzania collectively harbours an estimated 20% of Africa’s large mammal population among its 14 national parks. As a result, whether you go to the north, south, east or west you will find any number of parks all offering a diverse wildlife and impressive adventure through a serene landscape which blends forested streams, picturesque valleys and sandy lake shores. Most Tanzanian safari tours will spot the ‘big five’ which refers to the African: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo along with many of the other big mammals which reside here including the giraffe, gazelle and cheetah.

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Serengeti National Park The most popular safari is the Serengeti National Park stretching across sunburnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon. You would think that its considerable popularity would result in overcrowding, however the plains are so vast that you may be the only human audience as herds of zebras and gazelles trek for fresh grazing or when a pride of lions swoop upon their next meal. For something a little bit different, why not take a balloon ride and experience the spectacular bird’s eye view of the wildebeest and zebra migration together with attendant predators and pray.

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“After a safari or climbing, a beach extension in Zanzibar or Mafia is the perfect destination where you can relax and unwind on a white beach or experience activities like snorLisa & Dianeother Scalia kelling and diving in the Marine Parks.”

Roberto De Sibi

Beach Extensions Tanzania’s small archipelago of islands and atolls provide the perfect beach escape for all occasions. Mafia Island offers guests some of the best diving in the world, with nearby Zanzibar vying for visitors with its fascinating reefs, swimming with dolphins and a myriad of culture within the ancient Stone Town creating a tantalising experience not to be missed. If you want something a little more remote and peaceful, try Pangani. Whichever you choose, revel in the warm, clear, shallow waters of the Indian Ocean in amongst the white sands and exotic palm trees.

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Tribal Africa As if the fascinating scenery and natural wildlife wasn’t enough – Tanzania also offers travellers the chance to get a real flavour of African tribal life. There are approximately 120 tribal groups across the country, mostly comprising of small communities that are gradually being assimilated into the larger population. Visit the Masai Boma and see how they live off their herds of cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys. Learn about their fascinating way of life and, before you leave, take part in a traditional dance. The Masai are located near the Southern Serengeti providing the perfect detour en route to your safari adventure. Breathtaking landscapes provide exceptional photographic opportunities, while the awe-inspiring Mount Kilimanjaro enables a truly rewarding climb. The most fascinating feature in Tanzania however remains the unparalleled wildlife on offer. Visit Tanzania, where the wildlife rules the land. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

K

ori Adventure is the most experienced tour operator for safari, trekking and beach holidays in Tanzania. They offer all types of safari, including traditional driving safari to all Tanzania National Parks, Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru climbings, trekking expeditions, walking safari and beach holidays. In addition they offer a variety of safari that encompass cultural experiences to many destinations outside the parks. These include opportunities to walk in the natural beauty of Tanzania and visit local villages under the guidance of their experienced guides.

Kori Adventure pride themselves on their passion and experience along with attention to detail. All the programs are custom made to suit the particular needs of our customers.

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Contact Details

W: www.koriadventure.com T: +255 (0)759 888 883 E: info@koriadventure.com

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ANGOLA

R

elax on the golden sands as you over look the clear blue South Pacific Ocean. Sample the solitude in Angola’s vast and diverse wildlife parks or explore a country that is as rich in friendly culture as it is in history.

Luanda The capital, Luanda, is a diverse city just waiting to be explored. Perched on the scenic coastline, you can enjoy the best of both worlds as one side offers a vibrant and unique lifestyle whilst the other boasts stunning views of the sandbar colloquially known as the Ilha, in a tranquil environment. Whilst in Luanda, be sure to visit their striking mountains located just outside the city. On the way you can feast your eyes on the vast countryside. Luanda is as spectacular as it is exotic.

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Lubango This lovely remote area is off the well beaten track. Gaze upon one of the most exclusive areas of Angola. Lubango is home to some of the most cascading and sensational waterfalls, spectacular volcanic fissures and lively small city life.   The remote area features stunning Portuguese architecture including the beautiful churches and cathedral. Lubango is a real gem in Angola.

Benguela Delve into the heart of Angolan culture in the wonderfully diverse city of Benguela. You can indulge in the vibrant culture, befriend the locals and take part in numerous activities that you will cherish. Alternatively head to the coast and soak up the relaxing atmosphere on the expansive soft golden beaches with vistas of the horizon.


Be sure to visit the Buffalo Reserve located just out side of the city. Benguala’s pastiche is a wonderfully unique and unforgettable experience. Angola is very much the niche of Africa because it is a country like no other. The lovely remote land has a history to carry your imagination away. Be part of the diverse and wonderful culture that will simply capture your hearts.

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Where To Stay:

Hotel Tropico

Indulge in one of their many luxurious suites and feel fabulous with their fantastic services. Enjoy a beverage at their divine bar, or indulge in one their several restaurants all of which offer delicious international and African delicacies.

What To Do:

Club Nautico

Club Nautico is a classy restaurant that serves everything scrumptious with a particular focus on all things sea food as it comes fresh from the ocean. As the restaurant is situated on a luxury yacht, you can dine in high-class style whilst watching the gorgeous horizon and lively city.

Where To Eat:

Parque Nacional da Kissama See Africa’s unique and wonderful wildlife at the Parque Nacional da Kissma, a wildlife park that vividly resembles the animal’s natural habitat. This huge swathe of coastal savannah is home to elephants, water buffalos, sea turtles and palanca antelopes. This wildlife and picturesque landscapes will amaze you, after all there is a reason it is Angola’s most acclaimed wildlife park.

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Discovering

GHANA

Expert BIO

Deen Samson, Managing Director, African Origin

Mr. Deen Samson is the Managing Director of African Origin following several year experience in tourism and market research. He is a product of Kumasi Polytechnic and later went to The Travelex Training School where he had his IATA/UFTAA Diploma Certificate as a Travel & Tour Agent & Hospitality Management from university of Utara-Malaysia.   He is a seasoned professional, who does not only posses extensive tour planning skills, but also has a strong understanding and first hand experience of handling international tours for both the public and private sectors.   He started his career as a Secretary/reservation Clerk with Asfour Travels Group-Egypt before spending several years in top administrative positions working with African Vision Movement, an NGO in Liberia, and Green Card Solutions, a U.S.A Based company in Ghana. He has also travelled extensively attending food /CULTURAL and tour conferences.   He has managed a wide-range of clients including USAID, Linkages Project, Ghana Supporters Union, Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC, King Faisal FC, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Musician Society of Ghana and Ghana Chefs Association, as the official travel agency to Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES), Ghana Olympic Committee, Ghana Football Association, Kumasi Asante Kotoko soccer Club and Coca Cola Ghana Limited among others.

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This former British colony on the West Coast of Africa is ofte If this is your first foray into this splendid continent then you c a rich diversity and endless landmarks and sites to see.


en called ‘Africa for Beginners’. cannot pick a better place for

Upper West Region

The Upper West Region of Ghana is a very traditional experience. It is made up of villages, with their distinctive round huts, where communal activities go on as they have for generations. While you are here you will be able to join in with the fun in between visiting the numerous sights and attractions. See the Wicchau Hippo Sanctuary which is home to more than 50 hippopotamus, and visit the historic Gbollu Defence Wall which was part of the slave route in the 19th century. Be sure to visit the Wa Naa’s Palace in the regional capital of Wa. This magnificent palace is an architectural splendour that stands just as stately as it did when it was first built over 100 years ago.

“It is the gateway to Ghana from Burkina Faso, which is a traditional crossroads for the Trans-Saharan trade routes. An exciting introduction to Ghana, much of the landscape is broad savannah grasslands, dotted with the strange-looking baobab trees, or striking Sahel terrain.” Deen Samson Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“It has the largest collection of European trading forts (later used in the slave trade); the highest tropical jungles; numerous mines, picturesque villages and friendly people; and old architectural styles and vivacious festivals. The region’s water villages on stilts are amazing to experience. A visitor can charter a local canoe out to the village and actually stay over night in a guest house on the water.”

Deen Samson

Western Region The Western Region of Ghana is one of those places that truly has something for everyone. Whether you are looking for that relaxing beach break or want to explore the fascinating landscapes and beautiful architecture – this is it. The ranging terrains cover the highest tropical jungles to a vast array of stunning African beaches which lead on to the Atlantic Ocean. With such a large collection of rivers, lagoons, lakes, ponds, swamps and beaches, all lovers of beaches and water sports will feel at home on the Ghana west coast.

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“Tamale, the capital, is the country’s fourth largest city. It is the nerve centre of all commercial activities in the whole of the Northern Sector of Ghana. Tamale is an incredible juxta-position of the ancient and modern. The traditional architecture of round huts with conical thatched roofs are sights to see.”

Deen Samson

Northern Region The entire Northern Region is flush with natural beauty and an exotic culture. Its tropical climate sustains the Guinea Savanna vegetation made up to grassland, clusters of shrubs, short trees and a sprinkling of big trees like mahogany and baobab which provide excellent scenic hikes. It is also home to the country capital, Tamale. Be sure to visit here to see the Bongo (Moon Landscape) which is an unusual rock formation on the top of a hill that can be played like a bongo drum. Also be sure to venture to the Mole National Park to see the elephants, warthogs, and several types of monkey.

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“The estuary is an area of great scenic beauty with river and ocean beaches, and picnic spots shaded by palm tree. The sand bars are the nesting grounds for sea birds and endangered species of twitter are still found here.�

Deen Samson

Volta Region The Volta Region, on the border of Togo, is an example of bigger is better. It is home to the largest manmade lake in West Africa at Akosombo; the tallest falls in West Africa at the Wii Nature Reserve; and the biggest mountain in Ghana, Mount Afadzato. It is without doubt one of the most extraordinary scenic spots across the entire continent, let alone in Ghana. Rolling hills and valleys combine with rocky outcrops overlooking Lake Volta and the lagoons, rivers and waterfalls. Enjoy a nice leisurely stroll through the rainforests or relax by the tranquil Lake and enjoy the picturesque backdrop on offer.

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Historical Sites Ghana has an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites and a vast collection of historical attractions, many of which fall along the Gold Coast. The 11 famous UNESCO listed forts and castles dating back as far as the 15th century have been grouped under the Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions and consist of European-style fortifications from the old colonial period. Elsewhere, visit Accra to see the Danish castles and shanty towns side-byside in the Ghanaian capital; learn about the old slave forts along Cape Coast; and take a tour around the palace grounds of the Ashanti king in Kumasi. It may be known as being the ‘Africa for Beginners’ but you will soon become an expert for Africa yourself because once you visit Ghana you will want to keep coming back time and time again to this interesting and unique continent for years to come. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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frican Origin tour is a renowned up market tour operator, specialising in arranging tailor-made travel and flights to Africa, Dubai and the Indian Ocean islands.

African Origin Tours is a wider division of the African Origin Group of Companies offering a wide range of competitively priced accommodation and tours throughout Africa and the Middle East. Established in March 2000, African Origin has grown to become one of Africa’s leading online travel companies. They provide both last minute accommodation deals and extensive range of accommodation, touring and sightseeing products which are available year round. Having dealt with travel to Africa for over 10 years, they are trusted by more and more clients to create a memorable holiday experience. Tailor-made department can arrange any itinerary to suit a client’s needs and budget, and because they work closely with many airlines and properties, clients can always be assured of the best possible service and value.

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In addition to arranging tailor-made travel, African Origin Tours also offer dedicated honeymoon and wedding department for those in search of that once-in-a-lifetime trip. A specialised sports division offers superb sporting holidays and caters for the needs of those wishing to take part in or attend major sporting events in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. They also offer a flight-only department, servicing the requirements of those travellers who just require an air travel. The consultants have all travelled extensively throughout Africa and our recommendations are based on personal experience. African Origin Tours are fully bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority and hold an ATOL, which fully protects clients travel arrangements.

Contact Details

W: www.ao-tours.com T: +233 302 766 766 E: info@ao-tours.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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MALI

M

hile travel to the tourist hotspots in the north of Mali is currently ill-advised, this can work to your advantage because it gives you the chance to explore off-thebeaten -track in southern Mali.

Bamako Mali’s capital, Bamako is filled with colourful culture in a country that is rich with heritage. Appreciate the energy illuminating around the streets; from the top restaurants to the vibrant markets. With the best museum in the region - the National Museum of Mali, outstanding scenery, incredible nightlife and some of Africa’s finest musicians as a soundtrack, Bamako has plenty of reasons to linger.

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Djenne Djenne is one of the premier sites in West Africa, which sits on the stunning Bani River. Their mud -built mosque is simply astonishing as it is the largest of its kind, resembling fairy-tale architecture. Feast your eyes on the local’s traditional way of life and tourist attractions. Be sure to visit the Hand Of Fatmia, a spectacular rock formation that oozes intriguing history. Like Bamako, Djenne will capture your heart and keep you mesmerised with its pure beauty and fascinating culture.


Mopti From Djenne take a short journey to Mopti, pronounced Mohti this is a perfect base camp for exploring Mali as it is one of the most popular ports. Travelling along the Niger River in a Pinnance (flat bottomed boat) is an opportunity not to be missed.

Fill your camera with memories as Mali opens your mind and captivates your heart. Set yourself free in the fascinating culture, picturesque city and landscapes as well as the wonderful sight seeing spots that are unique and iconic to Mali.

As you cruise down the smooth waters, the atmosphere and lifestyles of the locals will charm you with its interesting and iconic beauty. The magical blend of the desert merging into the diverse city, and wonderful African lifestyles alongside the mighty river is like a beautiful world itself. Mopti is worth as much time as you can give it. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Where To Stay:

LAICO L’Amitié

This five star hotel is the most lavish place to enjoy your stay. Being in the heart of Bamako you are a short distance from top attractions. The hotel offers a contemporary style with outstanding gourmet restaurants and bars.

What To Do:

Take A Cruise

One of the main attractions in Mali is the Niger River. Cruise by boat or take a stroll and soak up the exclusive sights and charming sounds of Mali’s life and the world famous Sahara desert. This is by far the best way to see Mali.

Where To Eat:

Le Restaurant Du Grand Hotel Located in the Avenue Al Ouds in Bamako, the Le Restaurant Du Grand Hotel is the most exquisite place to dine. The restaurant offers haute cuisine of international and African dishes in a relaxing atmosphere. This restaurant truly resembles a fine dining experience.

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Exploring

MADAGASCAR

Expert BIO

Haja Rasambainarivo & Njaka Ramandimbiarison, Founders, ASISTEN Travel

Haja Rasambainarivo and Njaka Ramandimbiarison are two young Malagasy entrepreneurs engaged in the development of Madagascar. After a few years spent abroad earning valuable experience in the travel industry and exploring different parts of the world, they decided to found ASISTEN Travel with the mission to “provide in a sustainable and responsible way some authentic and high quality tourism products”. The two of them together have a very deep knowledge of their country and a creative spirit geared towards excellence. Their multidisciplinary team will be able to work hand in hand with you to design your dream trip in Madagascar. ASISTEN Travel is a “100% Malagasy” business.

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Often referred to as the ‘eighth continent’, Madagasc place on Earth. Many of its flora and fauna cannot b else in the world, while its long isolation from the neighbou provided a unique diversity of cultures and landscapes an exploration.


car is like no other be found anywhere uring continents has that are well worth

Antananarivo

With Madagascar’s major airport residing in the country capital there is no better place to begin your adventure than Antananarivo. Colourful houses climb up the hillsides with the harmonious blend completed by mauve jacaranda trees, red crown-of-thorn euphorbia and purple bougainvillea. Overlook the city from the Queen’s Palace atop the highest hill and watch as the locals tend to rice paddies extending up the city walls, rattle along the roads with their cattle carts and hang their washing out to dry along the canal banks. Many visitors bypass this city in the highlands due to its lack of tourist attractions but its untouched authenticity is what makes it so great.

“Often, travellers don’t take the time to stop here but there is a lot to discover and learn about its architecture, its history, the culture and the daily life of its inhabitants. The city gives off so much colour and energy. Antananarivo is also home to some of the finest gastronomy.”

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“Madagascar has a 5 star wildlife and flora which you cannot find anywhere else. The rainforest of Andasibe is a great place to introduce your self to lemur watching. There you will find the largest lemur species, the Indri Indri, and some unique reptiles such as the chameleons.�

Haja Rasambainarivo & Njaka Ramandimbiarison

Andasibe Rainforest

The most famous inhabitants of this tiny island are the lemurs. With over 70 varieties of these half-monkey-half-squirrel creatures, their appearance range from cute and cuddly to the utterly bizarre. The Andasibe National Park (Perinet Reserve) is the best place for spotting the indri, the largest of the lemurs, along with eight other species such as the grey bamboo lemurs, brown lemurs and woolly lemurs. As well as the endemic lemur, the Andasibe rainforest also offers some of the world’s biggest and smallest chameleons, numerous species of frogs and a splendid array of birds. Hike along the trails that weave through the forest early in the morning and hear the lemur calls which sound like a cross between a police siren and a forest whale-song.

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“Watching a sunset over the alley of baobabs would be one of the most unforgettable experiences. Don’t forget to take the time to give up your camera visor and watch the incredible show the nature can offer us.”

Haja Rasambainarivo & Njaka Ramandimbiarison

The Avenue of Baobabs Anywhere else in the world viewing a baobab tree would be considered a rare treat, yet in Madagascar there are hundreds of thousands of them. The most famous place to enjoy this spectacle can be found close to Morondava on the west coast of the island. The Avenue of Baobabs is a photographer’s paradise with an abundance of the native Madagascan tree standing in an almost straight line along a rich earthen path that is a pleasure to walk along. Soaring at heights in excess of 30 metres, this majestic scene is a joy to behold at sunset when the yellow glow of the sun contrasts the dark silhouette of the tree. Picture perfect. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“In the South of Madagascar, the Isalo massif was formed during the Jurassic era. This dry lunar landscape hides some canyons full of lush vegetation and wildlife. The is simply breathtaking.� Lisascenery & Diane Scalia

Haja Rasambainarivo & Njaka Ramandimbiarison

Isalo Massif Dating back to the Jurassic era, visit the Isalo National Park to enjoy a hike through the rugged landscapes of the Isalo Massif. Throughout time erosion has taken its toll on the sandstone rocks creating deep canyons and peaks bristling with weird and wonderful shapes. Known for its wide variety of terrains, take a stroll through the park grounds and enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls, canyons, caves and natural parks. For the most rewarding sight come here at sunrise or sunset when the whole vista unfurls with an unearthly red and pink glow.

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“The islands in the archipelago of Nosy Be, in the North East of Madagascar, are hiding some the most exclusive hotels in Madagascar. Besides the white sand beaches and the amazing undersea life, the surrounding islands are also home to the famous black lemurs.”

Haja Rasambainarivo & Njaka Ramandimbiarison

Nosy Be Archipelago The ‘Perfumed Isle in the West’ gains its nickname from the crops of strongly scented ylang-ylang flowers that fill the island. Nosy Be offers all of the typical Madagascan attractions, with the added bonus of incredible white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters to luxuriate in. Opportunities to go yachting, deep-sea fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking are plentiful, or alternatively pick up a good book and relax on deserted beaches and uninhabited islands. Despite drawing in thousands of sun-seekers each year, Madagascar’s premier beach destination scarcely ever feels ‘touristy’. Experience this unique biodiversity crossing no fewer than 4 microclimates. Start with the colourful capital in the highlands and explore Madagascar’s endangered rainforest before finishing on the beautiful beaches of the Mozambique Channel. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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E

stablished in Antananarivo, the capital of the country, ASISTEN Travel is an inbound tour operator specialised in the conception and organisation of high end trips in Madagascar.

Run and managed by experienced travel professionals, they mostly serve a clientele of independent travellers and travel agencies with tour operators from North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific. Based on your input and your interests, they will design your unique trip which may include the exploration of the amazing biodiversity, seaside activities, cultural and culinary experiences in the best and safest conditions. They also offer photography tours and off the beaten track experiences for the most adventurous travellers.

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ASISTEN Travel has a very proactive demarche to make sure their activities and customers preserve the environment, the fauna, the flora and the habitats. They only employ passionate Malagasy guides who are able to interpret and share the wealthy tradition and cultural heritage of Madagascar. You will be in safe hands and you will be able to trust the team’s creativity.

Contact Details

W: www.asisten-travel.com T: +261 20 22 577 55 E: info@asisten-travel.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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BOTSWANA

B

otswana holds three of the world’s richest diamond-bearing formations, but mining aside this country is a real gem. Here you can get up close and personal with some of Africa’s finest wildlife, explore their cities that are rich in culture and history or simply watch time go by on their exquisite beaches.

Gaborone Gaborone is a place where you can enjoy all the familiar modern conveniences of home and embrace the direct exposure of Botswana’s exhilarating culture. Gain entry into rural Africa where you can see wildlife in its natural beauty. Visit the Mokolodi Nature Reserve where you can see the best of African wildlife like the cheetah and hippopotamus. In fact Gabrone offers the best of both worlds.

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Kanye The traditional town is like a gem in Botswana. Be welcomed into this town that boasts cultural wealth that is second to none in the country. Kanye is home to some stunning historical buildings oozing with intriguing history, including the majestic UCCSA (former LMS). Kanye gasconades landscapes so exclusive and picturesque they can not be seen anywhere else in Botswana.

Molepolole Delve into an interesting mix of architecture, which reflects the changing nature of Botswanan society as tradition gives way to a more modern lifestyle here. Most of these changes are recorded (and compared) in Molepolole’s Sechele Museum.


Embrace an area filled with heritage and fascinating history as Molepolole is the town of one of Botswana’s principle and highly influential tribes, the Bakwena Tribe. It is easy to see why people come here for adventurous and also relaxing holidays. Botswana is a fantastic holiday you will not forget and you will want to embrace again.

Where To Stay:

Jao Camp

Architecturally pleasing rooms situated under a canopy of beautiful trees. The lavish rooms have panoramic views for you to watch the stunning views. All rooms have en suite bathrooms and are fully furnished.

What To Do:

Jao Camp Safari

The camp is in the Moremi Game Reserve which is home to elephants, buffalo, numerous birds and much more. The lavish camp also arranges boat trips, fishing and nature walks. Alternatively guests can enjoy over the top pampering in their excellent spas.

What To Eat:

Bull And Bush Pub

The exquisite food and fantastic atmosphere is what has kept this institution alive. They are particularly known for their thick steaks and cold beers. On any night the outdoor garden is buzzing with activity but you can also relax inside. This place will leave you wanting more. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Paradise

MAURITIUS

Expert BIO Ali Abdallah, Owner, Bon Voyage Ali Abdallah was born in 1984 to a German father and a Mauritian mother in Berlin, Germany. Having lived and studied in Europe, Ali gained a high standard education in tourism before turning his attention to Mauritius where he has developed his company into one of the most precious souvenirs for many travellers from around the world. Due to his dedication, passion and high quality service Bon Voyage Ltee is now the leading tour operator in Mauritius. Quality costs, but not a fortune with Bon Voyage.

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Mauritius is a little slice of paradise providing the fairy tale honeymoon along with being the perfect retreat to recha for its cobalt-blue seas, white sandy beaches and luxurio of opportunities to soak up the sun rays as well as expl fuelled adventure tours on offer.


e location for a wedding or arge your batteries. Famed ous living there will be plenty loring the more adrenaline

Enter the Lion’s Den… Enter the lion’s den and appreciate the beauty of the big cats in this close up, one on one encounter between man and beast. You can observe the lions, tigers and cheetahs as they leap playfully onto logs and climb up tree trunks, find out more about these majestic animals with a chat to their handlers and even get so close that you can touch these wild wonders. Be warned though, stroke them firmly otherwise they may think you are a fly and attempt to swat you away!

“Side by side with the king of the jungle. Not a joke, but a breathtaking once in a lifetime experience. Make your house cat jealous by hanging this unique photo in your living room. There are no words to describe this experience – a must do.”

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“Swim with Flipper and watch Moby Dick. Bon Voyage offers dolphin encounters and whale watching. Due to our highly professional crew, swimming with wild living dolphins doesn’t have to be an unfulfilled dream.”

Ali Abdallah

Swim with Dolphins…

After getting close up to the king of the jungle, tick off another item that often features on many people’s bucket lists by going swimming with the dolphins. Explore the spectacular lives of these fascinating creatures in their natural aquatic habitat before immersing yourself in the adventure of a lifetime swimming side by side with these magnificent marine mammals. While many facilities around the world limit you to a swim in pools or shallow water encounters, here you will have the opportunity to enjoy their company in the crystal clear waters of the open sea.

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“A hidden but no less beautiful side of Mauritius is the interior of the island. With its waterfalls, viewpoints and mountains you can either take pictures or do canyonning, hiking, via ferata, quad biking or zip-lining. “

Ali Abdallah

The Beautiful Cascade… The Interior portion of the island is home to lush green mountains, spectacular viewpoints and an incredible string of seven waterfalls that lends itself perfectly to all types of travellers. Nature and animal lovers can enjoy a leisurely hike taking in the magnificent views over the west coast and Le Morne whilst spotting the many exotic plants and birds along the way. The more adrenaline pumped adventure seeker may wish to divert their focus upon the multiple jumps, ziplines and abseils on offer at Tamarind Falls. This beautiful canyon suits everyone from the basic beginner to the hardcore adventurer. As you stand atop a 40 metre descent, all we can suggest is: “don’t look down!” Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“Explore the beauty of the blue lagoons, crystal clear water and endless white sand beaches. This paradise is truly heaven on Earth. Don’t let it be a dream, make Lisait &a reality.” Diane Scalia

Ali Abdallah

Explore the Lagoons… With a coast line almost entirely surrounded by a coral reef that protects the lagoons from big waves as well as from large, dangerous fish such as sharks and barracudas – the calm and warm crystal clear waters of Mauritius are more than inviting for snorkelling, underwater walks, swimming and diving. Go diving along the west coast and explore coral reefs, ship wrecks and multi-coloured marine life such as Damselfish, Boxfish an the Mauritian Scorpionfish, or head north to the Grand Bay area of the island which also offers parasailing, windsurfing and waterskiing.

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“Spend an unforgettable day on the most luxurious catamarans of the island with a high quality service on an all inclusive basis. We make you discover the beauty of the nearby islands around Mauritius. Live like a King… at least during your holidays.”

Ali Abdallah

Luxurious Catamaran… The sunsets seen on the north-west coat of Mauritius are legendary, and the best way to experience one is from the ocean. For the most perfect romantic encounter set sail on a private catamaran cruise where you will become overwhelmed by the mesmerising sunset mixing a palette of reds, purple, blues, pinks and yellow which reflects off the surrounding clear blue water. Cruise at a leisurely pace along the Coin de Mire to see its spectacular sea cliffs before sailing past Fort Malarctic, Cap Malheureux and other important historical sites of Mauritius. Whether you are on your honeymoon or just looking for a memorable way to round-up your trip, this enchanting experience is one not to be missed. With a beautiful setting, unique once in a lifetime experiences and an abundance of adventure – forget weddings and honeymoons, you could quite easily fall in love with Mauritius itself. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

B

on Voyage Ltee is the tour operator which combines a quality experience with reasonable rates. All the staff are professionally trained to satisfy every customers needs and they will always aim to leave no questions unanswered.

Their multilingual guides and representatives are fluent in English, French, German, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic and Urdu in order to assist guests from all around the globe. Bon Voyage aims to fulfil your dreams of a tropical island with unforgettable and unique souvenirs. Not everyone can organise your holiday with the expert knowledge, care and attention that Bon Voyage provides, so don’t experiment because your holiday should always be a cherished and memorable period of your life.

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Contact Details

W: www.bonvoyage-mauritius.com T: +230 760 69 46 E: ali@bonvoyage-mauritius.com info@bonvoyage-mauritius.com

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CONGO

D

elve beyond the facade and experience a country rich with wildlife, adventurous activities and vivacious culture. Explore rural Africa at its best, be in the habitat of fascinating wildlife or relax on their stunning beaches.

Brazzaville With top attractions such as the Basilique SainteAnne Of The Congo it is incredibly surprising to find that Brazzaville is a low key city, but that works to your advantage as you can explore the vast and diverse land in peace during the day. Just by looking at it this phenomenal building you will understand why it is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

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While you are here, delve into the world of royalty with a visit to the Palace Of The Parliament where large chandeliers, marble floors and grand pillars are a regular feature in the rooms. At night the palace illuminates with a golden glow making it look extra enchanting.

Pointe Noire The lively beach town of Ponite Noire has an abundance of lively bars and divine restaurants, including Cercle Naval which overlooks the scenic coastline and serves a fine selection of meat dishes. In contrast, the long golden sandy beaches provide an excellent place for pure relaxation with clear sky and charming blue waters as a picturesque back drop.


Loango Loango is a place of ultimate relaxation as the friendly locals take life at leisurely pace. Soak up the atmosphere on the gorgeous beaches and beautiful coastlines. If you can prise yourself away from beaches, visit the Diosso Museum, built in 1952 on the sacred site of all the Royals dating from the 17th century. Diosso is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Loango and the museum served as a Royal residence for the last king of Congo. Given its rich history there are so many fascinating tales to uncover.

Where To Stay:

Atlantic Palace

The hotel fulfils their idea that each and every guest must be treated as Royalty. Whether on business or pleasure, Atlantic Palace is voted to be the most to be an extremely lavish hotel. They will make you feel like a King or Queen.

Where To Eat: Osaka Restaurant

Let your senses indulge in exquisite Chinese food. The food is both delicious and healthy in equal measures. Most members of staff speak both English and French making it easy to communicate.

What To Do:

Odzala National Park The Odzala National Park is home to lowland gorillas, monkeys, Lions, elephants and many more to capture your heart. With guided tours of just four people you will not miss a moment of the beautiful animals in their natural habitat. With everything they have to offer here it is no wonder they are Congo’s most famous national park.

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Juls Africa

ZAMBIA

Lusaka

The cosmopolitan capital excursion. Not only is idea also the most convenient commodation. While you with its diverse suburbs an scene provides a myriad o African Rhythms in the citie ous cocktail bars that are is busiest at weekends and and learn about their lifest

Expert BIO Julie Limpic, Founder, Juls Africa Limited Julie Limpic founded Juls Africa Limited in 1988 as a car rental company before incorporating travel agency and tours into their services two years later in 1990. The company continued to grow under Julie’s guidance and expanded again to meet the demands of the clients by introducing Juls Lodging in 1998. During the 23 years Julie has been in business she has received many awards from local airlines, including two international awards in Geneva and Frankfurt.

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With all of the same national parks and wildlife attraction of the more recognisable African countries you could say in the rough. Forget the tailored and diluted tourist de raw and edgy Africa.


city provides the perfect base for any Zambian ally located near to the international airport, it is place to acquire a luxury lodge or decent acare here, make sure you explore the city centre nd enthralling culture. The lively arts and music of options ranging from the famous Rumba and es nightclubs to the cosy ambiance in the numerreminiscent of New York or London. The nightlife d offers the best chance to mingle with the locals tyle.

ns that are on offer in some y that Zambia is a diamond estinations and explore the

“Spend a night with us in Lusaka and sample some of the fine restaurants around or simply try Juls’ delicious home cooked meals which are available on request. Because of its perfect location, Juls Guest House is ideal as a transit stopover for those who need to break their journey en route to the game parks within Zambia, the Copperbelt, Livingstone, or as a temporary abode for those on short term assignments to Lusaka. “

Julie Limpic

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“We have a wide range of air conditioned vehicles ranging from saloon cars to four wheel drives and various sizes of mini-buses. We cater for the smooth inner city drive or the rugged country tour. Vehicles are available as Self-drive or Chauffeur-driven.�

Julie Limpic

Road Trip When a country has as much stunning nature and wildlife on offer as Zambia, it would be rude not to take advantage. Rent out a car or taking a chauffeured tour travelling around the adventurous and scenic routes found throughout this landlocked country. You would need to choose a 4x4 as the roads are often bumpy and covered with potholes. The advantage of choosing this method of transportation is that it will allow you to travel off-road. Go exploring in the unspoilt wilderness of the Zambezi valley, through which the sluggish Zambezi River flows past grassy floodplains and lush riverine forests. If you are lucky you will be entertained by the spectacle of the lions roar or baby elephants taking a swim.

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“Take in the beautiful sight from across the Kinfe Edge Bridge, where visitors can have the finest view of the Eastern Cataract and the Main Falls as well as the Boiling Pot where the river turns and heads down the Batoka Gorge.”

Julie Limpic

Victoria Falls Hear the roar and watch the mist descend as 546 m³ of water plunges downwards crashing into a 100m deep gorge below. The magnificent Victoria Falls is rightly on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is noted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and yet this magical experience is almost impossible to put into words. Although it can be viewed from either Zimbabwe or Zambia, we recommend choosing the latter. This scenic location is teeming with photographic opportunities. Make sure you do not miss the chance to take a cruise through the Zambezi River – which flows above the falls – in order to explore the beautiful banks and islands dotted throughout. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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South Luangwa While the Zambezi valley offers spectacular wildlife viewing in a natural wilderness environment you may opt for something a little more guaranteed to produce results. If that is the case you cannot go wrong with a visit to South Luangwa. This national park is often considered to be among the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world for its incredible concentration of game and fascinating landscapes throughout. There are 60 different animal species including zebras, giraffes and lions as well as more than 400 bird species. Be sure to seek out the beautiful Kudu with its majestic spiral horns and delicate face that will undoubtedly be the highlight of any safari tour.

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“The famous bat migration in Kasanka National Park takes place in late October each year. Witness the large numbers of gigantic straw-coloured fruit bats as they take over a small area of the Mushitu swamp forest near the confluence of the Musola and Kasanka Rivers. “

Julie Limpic

Kasanka National Park Away from the Game Reserves and the hunt for the African Big Five you can find a compelling collection of safaris ranging from elephant back and horse back safaris to canoeing and birding safaris. Get away from the typical tourism hotspots and visit the peaceful sanctuary of Kasanka National Park. If you time your visit well you will be able to witness a truly amazing wildlife spectacle, when up to 10 million bats descend on the fruit trees of a swamp forest. Take the bat safari and you will be able to get a view of all the action from your 60-foot high treetop hideout. Even though it is one of the smallest national parks in Zambia it also provides a phenomenal opportunity to explore the rivers, lakes and wetlands, forests, lagoons, meadows and dambos. What makes Zambia extra special is that you don’t have the tourist hysteria, enabling a more intimate and private encounter, while there is also the added bonus of spectacular attractions such as Victoria Falls which you will not find anywhere else. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

J

uls Africa is a family owned and run company based in Lusaka, that prides itself on providing personalised service to its growing clientele. It has emerged as one of Zambia’s outstanding Travel Agencies, representing all airlines, hotels and lodges in Zambia.

Their team are well trained in travel management and can take you anywhere in the world with ease. No booking is too difficult to handle or too much of a challenge. All it takes is a telephone call and your every travel need can be met.

Juls Travel and Tours understands the tourist industry along with the traveller’s needs. They are dedicated to making your travel arrangements smooth and enjoyable. With many years experience in designing tours anywhere in the region for individuals, couples, families and groups, they have the required knowledge to provide a tailor made service suited to your every desire.

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Contact Details

W: www.julsafrica.com T:

+260 21 129 3972

E:

julstravel@zamnet.zm

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THE GAMBIA

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he Gambia is one of the smallest countries in Africa but it has a rich and varied history, a strong cultural identity and a range of landscapes. If you can prise yourself away from the luxurious beaches and lavish resorts, enjoy the exhilarating activities throughout the country.

Bakau Bakau is full of liveliness and culture, the city is worth as much time you can give it. Here you can get the best of both worlds. Treat yourself in their fabulous shops and markets. Relax on Sun Beach where you can admire the dramatic coastline with red rock cliffs perched between golden sandy beaches overlooking luscious clear blue water. Sun Beach is a vista for Gambia’s stunning sun sets. Let the inner adventurer out to play in the Katchikali Sacred Crocodile Pool.

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The popular attraction is believed to have supernatural healing not to mention fascinating crocodiles, which thankfully are tame!

Banjul Banjul cleverly blends all walks of African life together. There are many intriguing colonial buildings including 22 July Square to awe-over. Look out for the War Memorial and stunning fountain that was built to commemorate the coronation of King George VI of Britain in 1937. Be sure to visit the Abuko Nature Reserve, which is like a jungle in the middle of a savannah. Feast your eyes on their 250 bird species, crocodiles, monkeys, hyenas and much more.

Kotu Kotu is home to exquisite beaches, elude in one of their several luxurious private sections.


Set your mind free on the golden sand of Kombo Beach, where the tranquil solitude is only broken by the soft breeze sifting through the palm trees and the gentle tide creeping in. If you can prise yourself away from the stunning beaches, enjoy a game of golf in one of Kotu’s several invigorating courses. Kotu is a fantastic place to relax whilst enjoying a quieter more refined way of life.

Where To Stay:

Coco Ocean Resort And Spa This outstanding  tropical beachfront  property  is all about over-the-top luxury and shameless pampering. With its professional spa and suites that combine traditional African furnishings with a contemporary style, all of which have stunning views of coastline and cultural surroundings.

What To Do:

Cruise The River Gambia The camp is in the Moremi Game Reserve which is home to elephants, buffalo, numerous birds and much more. The lavish camp also arranges boat trips, fishing and nature walks. Alternatively guests can enjoy over the top pampering in their excellent spas.

What To Eat: Negla Lodge

Cruising along the iconic River Gambia will be a day to remember and one of the highlights of your stay in Gambia. The majestic river is where you will have the exclusive opportunity to explore the nature, soak up the sun, be pampered on their plush boats, catch some exotic fish, indulge in delicious food and enjoy the best of Gambian hospitality. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Nostalgic

NAIBOR

The Masai Mara Reserve is Kenya’s leading wildlife attraction and Naibor is situated right in the heart of it. This premier destination is just a 20 minute drive from the nearest wildebeest river crossing, one of the greatest sights during the annual ‘Great Migration’.

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The Masai Mara Reserve Covering an area of over 1500 square kilometre, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a combination of very seductive elements – wide open landscapes, the migration crossings at the Mara River, the abundance of big cats – that make it an incomparable field of exploration and a notable creative pulse for the budding artist. The experience of seeing the unpredictable daily lives of the wildlife in their natural landscape is one that will stay with you for a long time. However, the experience of seeing over a million wildebeest thunder across the plains accompanied by 350,000 gazelles and over 200,000 zebras – that will stay with you for a lifetime. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Wildlife: Outside the Reserve Naibor’s location allows guests to experience wildlife from a prime position in the heart of the reserve yet within a short drive they can enjoy the freedom of the conservancy. Walking with Naibor’s knowledgeable and experienced guides and Masai rangers is a very popular activity outside the reserve, allowing for some really memorable moments and a chance to see the bush from a very different perspective. Game drives are also a great opportunity to witness the plentiful and varied wildlife that inhabits the surrounding area. Animals seen regularly in the reserve include lion, leopard, cheetah, black rhino, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, gazelle, wildebeest, and zebra among others. Birdlife is excellent around the camp and the surrounding environs.

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Look Out Hill & Relaxation During the Great Migration allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the beautiful location of the Look Out Hill. One of the Masai Mara’s most photogenic spots, the plain rift Look Out Hill draws in herds of zebra and wildebeest during the annual migration as they head towards the Mara River. This carefully chosen site is particularly impressive during sunrise or sunset and can be a great spot to reflect on your visit at the end of your stay. The new Naibor Spa offers first class massages, reflexology, foot scrubs, manicures and pedicures, amongst other luxuries. Situated in a nice shady spot on the banks of the Talek River, the Spa is an ideal way to relax surrounded by the natural beauty of the Masai Mara. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Conservation & Community Naibor is engineered to involve local communities in preserving their wildlife and environment whilst providing them with an alternative source of income. This enables these rural populations to benefit from their natural resources in a sustainable and non-destructive way. You can either get involved in the conservation projects during your visit or alternatively integrate yourself with the communities and get a fascinating insight into how these people live their lives. Another community project is the Naibor Shop, where the local community sell their hand made crafts and arts, providing the Masai people with a market for their artistic talents.

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Getting In‌ Naibor is accessible either by regular scheduled flights from Nairobi (40mins), Samburu, Lewa Downs and Nanyuki or by short private charter flights from Nairobi, the Mara or Amboseli. The nearest and best airstrip for Naibor is Ol Kiombo. The Camp can also be reached by road from Nairobi (6 hours). Please note that a four-wheel-drive vehicle is required.

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Style The Camp is a striking combination of contemporary style and comfort and muted bush colours. Spacious pale-canvas tents accommodate king-size beds of fig-wood with soft quilts, wide sofas furnished with bolster cushions and wool rugs, each positioned for the maximum enjoyment of the surrounding views and complete privacy.

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Accommodation Each guest tent is a private unit complete with shady veranda, his & hers wash basins, en suite bathroom with flush toilet and safari shower, filled daily with hot water on request. The tents nestle amongst a riverine forest and are spaced so that each has a unique view of the surrounding bush and wildlife. The tents are furnished with solid, comfortable furniture so that you have the ultimate in camping-luxury to come back to after exciting game drives. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

Little Naibor Located within the immediate vicinity of Naibor Camp, Little Naibor is made up of two spacious suites which are uniquely designed to blend in effortlessly with the surrounding riverine forest. Each tent contains 2 double or twin rooms both en suite with their own spacious bathrooms, inter-joined by a communal lounge and dining area. A dedicated team of staff caters to your every need. Both of these stunning tents have their own private bar and fire places set up strategically along the Talek River with complete privacy and spectacular views. Little Naibor can be booked and used as an exclusive private arrangement, or used in conjunction with the main Naibor Camp and its facilities.

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Naibor Wilderness Also located within the immediate vicinity of Main Naibor is Naibor Wilderness, made up of three luxurious double tents. Each tent contains its own en suite bathroom, King sized bed and are delicately furnished. Like Little Naibor, there is a dedicated team of staff who will attend to your every need. There is a private mess tent with light soft furnishings and spectacular views. Naibor Wilderness has a vehicle that will seat six people. This luxurious accommodation can be booked and used in conjunction with the main Naibor Camp and its facilities.

Contact Details

W: www.naibor.com T:

+254 (0) 20 2679594

E:

enquiries@naibor.com

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ustly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and is consistently voted ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi’ by airlines and international travel magazines alike. Despite its pivotal central location, the Serena Nairobi hotel remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa’s most vibrant capital cities. The interior décor reflects an entirely pan-African theme featuring art and inspiration from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa and East Africa. Offering a range of dining experiences, our hotel in Kenya is renowned for its ‘Mandhari’ fine-dining restaurant, which is rated as one of the Kenya’s finest. The Nairobi Serena Hotel also offers a world-class Conference Centre and the exclusive ‘Maisha’ Health Club and Spa.

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Nairobi’s undisputed business venue of choice - both for visiting executives and for regional corporate event planners, the Nairobi Serena offers an unrivalled choice of executive suites, global connectivity, business support, conference-planning proficiency, product launch expertise and high-profile international corporate events venues.

Contact Details

W: www.serenahotels.com T: info@serenahotels.com E: +254 20 2842 000 Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Captivating

KENYA

Expert BIO Tracey Bell, Owner, Overland Travel Adventures Tracey Bell started travelling in 2002, working and backpacking her way through the USA and Europe.  After working as an Analyst with the Department of Defence in Australia for four years and studying a Masters degree, a sharp career turn led her to the tourism industry.  She began leading tours on the Trans-Mongolian and Trans-Siberian Railways and along the Silk Road, travelling extensively through Central Asia (the “Stans”), Russia, Mongolia and China.  Since 2010, she has been in Africa travelling independently and working for various companies leading tours throughout Eastern and Southern Africa.  She loves to travel and is passionate about encouraging others to travel.

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Overland Travel Adventures provides philanthropic trave both volunteers interested in hands-on community develo travellers wishing to witness the enthralling wildlife and imm culture.


el experiences, catering to opment projects along with merse the incredible Kenyan

Tsavo National Park

The twin National Parks of Tsavo East and West together form the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest wilderness reserves in the world. At approximately 10 million acres, this single National Park is bigger than the island of Jamaica allowing visitors the chance to explore the grounds in total solitude.

“A great project operating in the Tsavo eco-system works around the human-wildlife conflict. Recently a donation allowed them to purchase desks, shoes and uniforms for children in the village, bringing huge joy to the community. Afforestation and de-snaring elephant traps are important activities that visitors can get involved with.�

Tracey Bell

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Tsavo East Start your adventure with a visit to Tsavo East to explore the vast open savannah and discover the only red elephant in the world. Although they are actually the same colour as every other elephant, they constantly appear red due to constantly dust-bathing with the Park’s vibrant volcanic soil. While it is most famous for its large number of elephants it is also known for spectacular herds of up to 1000 buffalo and sightings of lion, eland, giraffe impala, kudu and possibly rhinoceros.

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Tsavo West It is more mountainous and wetter than its counterpart with swamps, Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs adorned by picturesque volcanic landscapes covered in rocky outcrops and lava flows carpeted in long grass and dense bush. Not content with providing scenic beauty, see the hippopotamus glide through swirling shoals of barbell from the underwater observatory at the impressive volcanic Mzima Springs. After a long and tiring day exploring the fascinating wildlife in Tsavo East, escape to Tsavo West National Park for the most spectacular way to round off this trip.

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“Watching the sun rise with Kilimanjaro in view is one of Kenya’s most magical experiences. Surrounded by Masai villages, still living their traditional lifestyles, Lisa & Diane Scalia a visit to Amboseli provides a good mix of wildlife watching and culture.”

Tracey Bell

Amboseli National Park With many of the National Parks and wildlife reserves in Kenya offering spectacular opportunities to see elephants, buffalo, zebras and lions you begin to look for different ways to set them apart. If you want to observe herds of up to 100 elephants drinking from a swampy spring encompassed by the most incredible backdrop in the whole continent, it is safe to say that Amboseli National Park is the place to go. Roam the open, flat and dusty grasslands and see herds of leopard, cheetah and jackal grazing in front of the snowy peak of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Thanks to a pictureperfect setting and abundance of wildlife this is the second most popular game viewing destination in all of Kenya.

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“Kaya Kinondo has been set up as an eco-tourism project by local villagers whose ancestors used the sacred forest for traditional purposes. You can walk through the forest, learning about the ancient culture and rituals while soaking up the sense of how special this place is to local people.”

Tracey Bell

Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests The sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests consist of 11 forested sites spread over 200 kilometres along the south coast. It is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site thanks to its rich history and splendid biodiversity. Take a guided tour of the villages and sample the local cuisine. Explore the luscious greenery of the lowland tropical forests and see the beautiful Swahili architectural remains of the numerous fortified villages known as kayas. These villages were abandoned by the 1940s but they are now regarded as the abodes of ancestors and are revered as sacred sites. Kenya offers some of Africa’s best wildlife attractions along with the most fascinating landscapes consisting of beautiful mountains and deserts. Explore the national parks and embrace the tribal culture in one of central Africa’s finest destinations. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Community Projects When you visit an African nation teeming with natural beauty but see that many of the inhabitants are still living in a state of poverty there is something quite fulfilling about having the opportunity to give something back. There are a number of community-based organisations who provide the chance to do something special. In return volunteers often receive the cost of their food and lodging while also taking the chance to immerse themselves in amongst the local communities.

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“Founded by a group of young Kenyans, Amani Kibera works with young people in Nairobi’s slums. They have established a football competition, a women’s group and a library. The library hosts book clubs and tutorial sessions for students, while the women’s group helps get girls back to school.”

Tracey Bell

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

O

ta! It’s a Swahili word, meaning Dream! And Overland Travel Adventures wants to make your holiday dreams a reality.

Experience the amazing variety of cultures and lifestyles, through visiting communities and directly influencing the positive development work undertaken by local NGOs in East Africa. You will also see the brilliant array of wildlife and stunning scenery of this spectacular continent.

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Overland Travel Adventures is committed to supporting community-based organisations through facilitating visits to projects and providing the opportunity to make philanthropic connections. The organisations and projects they support fulfill the criteria of being started, managed and supported by members of the local community, making OTA one of the most ethical and responsible tour operators in the region. Overland Travel Adventures is dedicated to delivering quality tours with customer care being their top priority. They offer tailormade itineraries for individuals and small groups, working closely with clients to design the ideal holiday with a focus on safety and responsible travel principles. The tour guides and operators have extensive experience in the tourism industry, particularly in Kenya and East Africa. The company is based in Kenya so they understand the local conditions, ensuring your holiday will be enjoyable, safe and memorable. Create the dream; Live the adventure!

Contact Details

W: www.ota-responsibletravel.com T:

+254 738 878 211

E:

tracey@ota-responsibletravel.com

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NIGERIA

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ith 65 national monuments, 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a vast and varying landscape across the entirety of the continents most populous country – Nigeria should be a tourism heavyweight. The fact that it isn’t just adds to the appeal. Explore this raw gem for an unpredictable but rewarding trip of a lifetime.

The country capital is a bustling metropolitan which is frequently visited for its ample gold sand beaches and exhilarating nightlife showcasing the very best in African music. Take a trip to Lagos Bar Beach where you can enjoy a spot of horse riding, swimming, beach football or even a traditional African barbecue before sampling one or more of the myriad of bars that line the roads alongside it.

Lagos

Yankari National Park

As the second largest city in the whole of Africa – only second to Cairo – it is little surprise that Lagos is the most recognisable destination in all of Nigeria.

Yankari National Park is one of the few remaining areas in West Africa where wild animals are protected in their natural habitat making it Nigeria’s best national park and one of the most popular admission

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ecological tourism destinations in the whole of Africa. The North Nigerian savannahs biggest draw is the 500-strong population of elephant although the park still holds reasonable numbers of buffalo, waterbuck, bushbuck and plenty of baboons too. Aside from the animals, the Yankari National Park also offers incredible flora with the beautiful lush setting of the Wikki Warm Spring well worth the price of admission alone.

Osun Sacred Forest

the Osun Sacred Grove – on the outskirts of the city of Osogbo – is one of the last remnants of primary high forest in southern Nigeria and is now seen as a symbol of identity for all Yoruba people. The UNESCO World Heritage Site reflects the dynamic tradition and culture of these fascinating folk. The landscape of the grove and its meandering river is dotted with sanctuaries and shrines, sculptures and art works in honour of Osun and other Yoruban deities. As an active religious site, visit one of the five sacred places and nine worship points strung along the river banks to witness worship taking place.

400 years ago there were many sacred groves in Yorubaland with every town having one, but now that heritage is warring thin. The dense forest of Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Mambilla Plateau

Ogbunike Caves

When most people think of Africa they often conjure up images of dry arid landscapes with large stretches of emptiness. But if you come to the Taraba State in the far northeast region of Nigeria you will enjoy the complete opposite. The Mambilla Plateau – a northern continuation of the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon – has an undulating emerald green landscape bursting with wild exotic blooms that any hiker would find alluring. Explore the natural beauty of the lush vegetation, deep gorges and numerous ravines as well as spotting the cattle ranches, tea plantations and rolling, grassy hills along the way.

Deep in the valley of a tropical rain forest, behind the Ogba Hills of Ogbunike, is a fascinating site that lies very much off the tourism radar. Ogbunike Caves is a cluster of inter-connected caves that have been in use for centuries by local people for whom it has spiritual significance. It is a well known attraction which has featured on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 2007, yet even today very few travellers have ventured there in person. Explore the caves to see the large colony of bats of various sizes as well as spotting the incredible fauna across the site including deer, antelope, grass cutter, porcupine, alligator and snakes. In one section a stream flows out from one of the tunnels into the River Nkissa.

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Where To Stay:

Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel Built on the exclusive Victoria Island, the Hotel boasts spectacular views overlooking the Kuramo Lagoon with jetty access for dining cruises. Featuring 170 rooms including 8 opulently furnished luxury suites in three distinct styles – this is the place to stay when in Lagos for business or for recreation.

What To Do:

See A Nollywood Film With the second largest film industry in the world in terms of both value and number of movies produced per year, Nigeria has garnered an influential culture that has spread far beyond the continent it so proudly represents. While Nollywood may lack some of the glitz and glamour that Hollywood receives; its film industry is still worth exploring.

Where To Eat: Museum Kitchen

Like anything with the word Museum in the title – this restaurant scours the history of Nigerian cuisine to serve you up a traditional treat. To the strains of local music, you can sample dishes such as yam soup, pepper soup, fufu (fermented cassava), stockfish and snails.

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TUNISIA

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ith the Mediterranean Sea glistening on the North African country’s coastline, Tunisia truly is a sun seekers paradise. Beyond the sun, sea and sand it also boasts a rich cultural heritage dating back as far as the Phoenician and Roman Empires as well as being home to Luke Skywalker.

Carthage With a history stretching back nearly three millennia, the former Mediterranean powerhouse of Carthage is a magical destination worthy of its place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

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It was once the focal point of the Phoenician Empire when Hannibal stampeded across Europe almost capturing Rome before the Romans retaliated, razing the city in 146 BC, making it the capital of the Roman province of Africa. Following a number of years under Roman rule, it boasts some of the best Roman ruins found outside of Italy with a visit to the Carthage Museum simply a must. Be sure to visit the Antonin Baths which are the largest Roman bath ruins outside of Rome itself, along with the trips to the Roman Theatre and the architecturally splendid Acropolium situated on Byrsa Hill.


Tunis

Tozeur

Most people that come to explore the historical suburb of Carthage stay within the confines of the country capital, Tunis.

Star Wars may be set in ‘a galaxy far, far away’, but that doesn’t mean you can’t visit the locations for George Lucas’ ground-breaking fantasy. Situated on the south of Tunisia, near the Algerian border, is the popular gateway to several Saharan oasis villages and desertscapes famously captured in the 1977 blockbuster.

The city is divided into the old city, known as the medina, and the new city or ville nouvelle. Take a walking tour of the ancient buildings, mosques and gates of the medina. While you are here visit the Dar Ben Abdallah to explore the rich Ottoman history from the 18th century.

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Where To Stay: Dar Hi - Nefta

Dars are Tunisia’s answer to the Moroccan riad offering boutique hotels in traditional townhouses - and none come any better than the dar HI in Nefta. This contemporary accommodation evokes the beautiful landscape and architecture of its surroundings and offers nothing short of plush luxury.

What To Do:

El Jem International Symphonic Music Festival Sousse If you are looking for somewhere as rich in heritage as Carthage but don’t want to sacrifice the luxuries of sun, sea and sand then Sousse is the place to go. As one of the older cities in Tunisia it boasts all of the same historic attractions such as an authentic medina and traditional souk to take a leisurely stroll through while its location on the north east coast also allows visitors to kickback and relax on the long, sandy beaches bathed by the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Come to Tunisia to enjoy everything from movie culture to ancient history and everything in-between. This is more than just your typical sun-sea-and-sand excursion.

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The third century Roman arena was capable of holding 30,000 spectators in ancient times, and to this date it still makes the perfect setting for large-scale events. The annual El Jem International Symphonic Music Festival is worth catching for its fantastic musical experience in a uniquely inspirational location.

Where To Eat:

Restaurant El Mansourah Situated right on the Mansourah Beach just north of Kelibia, this restaurant has exquisite views that are as equally impressive as the delicious seafood and extensive wine selection which they offer.


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long a vast sandy beach, Hasdrubal Yasmine Hammamet  is a magnificent stopover where you discover the harmonious contrast of volumes of the magnitude and intimacy of spaces sculpted by water jets and light animate architecture, adorned by the luxury and refinement in every detail. Enjoy a day Spa and massage centre facing the Mediterranean where all is brightness, wellbeing and comfort. These are unique, privileged centres where one surrenders to the experience of peace and harmony, while being gently pampered with the delights of hydrotherapy and sea environment. Traditional thalassotherapy reduces, if it does not completely remove, the effects of stress, overwork and overweight. It relieves chronic rheumatisms, back pains, circulatory troubles while Floral thalassotherapy does even more than that! Experience has demonstrated that beauty, body and mind harmony, the awakening of the senses are the necessary complements to the success of your Health and Beauty treatment. After having evaluated your Health capital, Hasdrubal Thalassa’s professionals will give you the benefit of their know-how. Just let yourself be cradled in a cocoon of calm and relaxation.

Contact Details

W: www.hasdrubal-thalassa.com T: +216 72 244 000 E: hammamet@hasdrubal-thalassa.com

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Middle East


DUBAI

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litzy, glamorous, and over-the-top – Dubai lives for attention and luxury. It is materialistic beyond your wildest dreams and each traveller is treated like a VIP. From the stunning vistas and tranquillity of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, this Emirate packs a punch like no other country. The World Islands The World Islands is a famous set of artificial Islands highlighting the standard of extravagance; creating a fantastic archaeological achievement. The area is superbly shaped into all continents and countries. From a distance it looks like a small Earth.

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The World Islands are so exclusive that such kind of man-made islands can nowhere be found in the world leading to a new rise and expansion in real estate developments. Here you can develop an individual island into an epitome of personal or corporate bliss.

Hajar Mountains The Hajar Mountains are a wonderful way to experience the natural beauty of Dubai. The Hatta Rock Pools are the main attraction in the area and the crystal clear water forms between cracks in the rocks, which have developed along the riverbeds. These pools offer an invigorating and safe swim. Climb to the top where you will have the opportunity to meet new wildlife and floras, breathe in the


refreshing air and appreciate the beautiful vistas of clear blue skies, and rugged mountain scenery. Whilst by the Hajar Mountains visit the nearby Hatta village, which will expose you to the intriguing and colourful heritage of Dubai. Visiting these places is a truly stimulating expedition. Deira Covered Souk (District) The Deira Covered Souk sells everything you need for the kitchen, an array of textiles as well as everything to make you look stunning including clothing and henna; and much more. The district is filled with friendly people in a vibrant culture that you cannot help but thoroughly enjoy. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Jumeirah Archaeological Site

The Grand Mosque

This is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the United Arab Emirates and is brimming with a unique history. With origins in the sixth century AD, the settlement was once a caravan stop on a route linking Iraq and Oman and is interesting in that it spans the pre-Islamic and Islamic eras.

Artistic stained glass, marble floors, 45 small domes and nine large ones are just a few of the attributes that gives The Grand Mosque it striking appeal with a famous design. This is Dubai’s centre of worship and most important monument, not to mention the structure boasts being one of the world’s largest and stylish mosques. Like all Dubai mosques, except the Jumeirah Mosque, it’s off limits to non-Muslims. However, non-Muslims can admire the pure beauty of the palace-like style. In the evening the The Grand Mosque illuminates in the colourful sun-set, creating a picture perfect silhouette that lights up the night sky.

Pottery, tools, coins and other important traditional items were unearthed here. Whilst at the site, visit Al Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum. Throughout time this historic and versatile building has served as a palace, garrison and prison.

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Where To Stay:

Burj Al Arab

Unofficially known as the world’s only seven star hotel. Built on an iconic artificial island with a unique sail-shaped build, the Burj Al Arab certainly is an extraordinary building with interior so superb it will make your jaw will drop. The all-suite hotel represents the very finest in travel affluence.

What To Do:

Gold Souk

Dubai brags one of the largest retail gold markets in the world, selling everything from ingots to intricately worked jewellery and it is not difficult to discover a personalised item, or have one made. The charming gold adds extra glamour and eccentric style to the street-front stores and shopping centres.

Where To Eat: Ravi

A legendary restaurant where you will eat like a King or Queen. Delicious curries, perky dal (lentils) and fresh, buttery naan are amongst the many dishes that will send your taste buds straight to heaven with their mouth wateringly divine appeal.

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ach hotel room is designed with subtle oceanic and Arabic influences, complete with spectacular views of the azure waters of the Arabian Sea or across our beach and over the iconic Palm and magnificent Dubai skyline. 90% of the rooms are interconnecting making Atlantis the perfect choice for a family friendly holiday in Dubai. Atlantis is the majestic resort in Dubai situated on the Palm, a man-made island that has captured the world’s imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity. From the moment you arrive, you will be immersed in a dazzling world of imagination, pleasure and luxury of 5 star hotels. The resort offers relaxation and thrills for couples and families alike, including; unique marine habitats - The Lost Chambers, an exhilarating water park – Aquaventure, pristine white beaches, world-class cuisine in 18 restaurants, an indulgent spa (ShuiQi ) to awaken your senses, and cosmopolitan boutiques to shop until your heart is content. To stay or visit this landmark Dubai Hotel is to live out your dreams amidst warm Arabian seas.

Contact Details

W: www.atlantisthepalm.com T: +971 4 426 0000 E: info@atlantisthepalm.com 324

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Cultured

ISRAEL

Expert BIO Yoav Gal, Owner, Israel My Way Yoav Gal, 44, had been guiding and organising tours in Israel for 15 years in parallel to other activities, when he decided to establish Israel My Way in 2006, following his vision that people visiting Israel are entitled to explore the country in a different, unique, personalised way. Yoav’s love and attachment to Israel can be seen in every step of the tours he plans.                                   Yoav Holds his BA in economics from Ben-Gurion University, and his MBA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He lives in Haifa with his wife and two children.

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At the intersection of Asia, Europe and Africa – both ge – Israel has been a meeting place of cultures, empires and gan. Forming a cohesion of the past and present, this H mix of attractions for all to enjoy.


eographically and culturally d religions since history beHoly Land offers an eclectic

Pilgrimage

From the ancient region of Galilee with the holy sites of Nazareth to the birthplace of Jesus Christ– Israel is full to the brim with religious attractions for Jews, Christians and Muslims spread across the entirety of this holy land drawing in pilgrims from all around the world. Start your religious adventure with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the wall enclosed Old City of Jerusalem. Christian visitors will want to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; Jewish pilgrims will want to see the Wailing Wall, while Muslim travellers should visit Al-Aqsa Mosque where it is believed that the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. Depending on the nature of the group you will also have time to partake in religious services, masses and New Testament readings. Religious or not, the pilgrimage experience is an eyeopening cultural experience that will leave you in awe.

“Many of the tales shared in religious literature took place in Israel, from the place of the Binding of Isaac on Mt. Moriah – known today as the Temple Mount – to the village of Kana where Jesus turned water into wine. On a pilgrimage across this Holy Land you will be able to bring these stories to life.”

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“Get yourself on a boat party for a cruise along the lake where you will be able to enjoy music, wine and lots of dancing. Lying to the northeast of Nazareth, the lake itself is 13 miles long and eight miles wide and is the only fresh water lake in Israel.�

Yoav Gal

Sea of Galilee According to the bible, Jesus spent a significant amount of time and performed a number of famous miracles at the Sea of Galilee. It was here that he walked on water and performed the miracle of the Catch of 153 fish, making it a popular destination for Christian visitors from around the world. Regardless of your religion you can revel in the cultural significance of the holy places such as the Jordan River Baptismal Site mentioned in the Gospels and the Horns of Hittin where the Crusaders battled over the Holy Land. Alternatively, the Sea of Galilee provides a great place to relax with beaches, walking tracks and water sports to be enjoyed at your leisure.

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Camel Tour Covering the entire southern half of Israel, the Negev desert offers some of the best camel tours in the whole of the Middle East. Take a trip through time by following the famous Incense Route, established in the 3rd century to facilitate the lucrative frankincense and myrrh trade from Yemen and Oman in the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean. The Negev combines some truly breathtaking scenery with a fascinating insight into the old world as almost fossilised remains of towns, forts, caravanserais and sophisticated agricultural irrigation systems. This is a true, authentic Middle East adventure that should not be missed. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“Allow some time in Eilat. Jump on our 4-wheel jeep to a beautiful spot in the nearby desert mountains, unknown to most locals. There, among giant granite peaks, natural springs and Scalia fresh desert air is the perfect location to get acLisa & Diane quainted and learn a bit about Israel in this unique desert setting.”

Yoav Gal

Eilat Head to the very southern-most tip of Israel and you will find this sun seekers paradise. Eilat is well known for its excellent bars and clubs, but above all else it is a tourist destination devoted to sun, fun, diving, partying and desert-based activities. Relax on the beach with a good book or go swimming in the Red Sea. Visit the Underwater Observatory, one of the world’s largest seaquariums, to enjoy great views of sharks, sting rays and turtles or for the more adventurous, dive right in to the Coral Beach and swim among the many multi coloured fish.

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“One cannot really understand modern Israel without experiencing at least one day in the largest city in the country. Dive deep into the city’s heartbeat and celebrate through the night, dancing in one of Tel Aviv’s most popular clubs. “

Yoav Gal

Tel Aviv The cosmopolitan metropolis of Tel Aviv is very much a 24 hour city with its bustling environment and electric nightlife. During the day you can top up on your tan or go for a nice walk along the Tel Aviv Promenade or get your fix of retail therapy at the numerous markets and malls. In the evening, mingle with the chic clientele at the art galleries and museums before moving on to one of the literally hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs which go way into the early hours of the morning. The Israeli’s really know how to throw a party – gaining Tel Aviv the moniker ‘the City that Never Stops’. The appeal of Israel goes above and beyond the country’s ancient and holy past. Explore the Negev desert, relax on the beaches of Eilat and enjoy the buzz of Tel Aviv. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

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srael My Way (www.israelmyway.co.il) is an Israeli touroperator, specialising in upscale private tours in Israel for businessmen, individuals, families and groups. Each one of their tours are specifically tailor-made to the requests of each client offering a unique, different than the regular ‘template’ tour, taking their guests to the special, less known sites and activities across the country.

Today, they serve a growing number of clients from around the globe, who use their services for planning and executing their trip to Israel. They take care of everything relating to the visit – from the VIP service at the airport, detailed and original trip planning, top-quality tour guides in various languages, transportation in all sizes and levels, accommodations, coordinating meetings and visits, restaurants, conferences and so on. Serving the upscale clientele, they operate in a very high level standard of service and their tour guides are detail oriented, with an A to Z service approach and zero tolerance to mistakes making them stand out as the best in the country.

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Contact Details

W: www.israelmyway.co.il T:

+972 77 300 5717

E:

office@israelmyway.co.il

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ilat is Israel’s premier resort. Stretching along Israel’s Red Sea coast, Eilat hotels are close to gorgeous beaches like the Coral Reef – rumoured to be one of the Red Sea’s finest. A cosmopolitan city geared to fun, Eilat hotels not only feature nightlife that’s varied and plentiful, Eilat also brims with cafes, restaurants, and bars to suit every palate and any purse. A vacation paradise with year round sunshine, minimal winter and hardly any rain, Eilat hotels in Israel are almost temples to tourism with a lifestyle that is super casual, super active and totally laid-back! Days not spent diving can include a dip in the pool followed by a long sunbathing session or a visit to the in-house spa of the Dan Hotel Eilat where the ministrations of skilled professional will leave you totally rejuvenated. For the active holiday maker Eilat hotels offers every class of water sport: windsurfing, kite surfing and water skiing. You can also churn up foam in a speed-boat, or float off in the tranquil sail boats that dot the tranquil waters of the Red Sea - all you have to do is make your choice. For nature lovers there’s the thrill of exploring the Red Sea’s underwater world through Eilat’s fascinating and sophisticated underwater observatory, or a ride on one of Eilat’s new-generation glass-bottomed boats. Nature lovers can dive with dolphins at the Dolphin Reef or join desert safaris to Bedouin encampments. Other attractions: a wildlife nature park where rarely-seen desert creatures roam; the canyons of King Solomon¹s mines. And once the sun goes down and the fairy lights come on, a stroll from your Eilat hotel along the Northern promenade by the Red Sea will give you a gorgeous view of the mountains turning red and purple and the water changing colours to match the sky.

Contact Details

W: www.danhotels.com/EilatHotels T: +972 3 520 2552 E: Daneilat@danhotels.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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Exploring

QATAR

Expert BIO Hassan Mohd Hijji, Founder, Arabian Adventures Hassan Mohd Hijji founded Arabian Adventures and is a Qatari national, dedicated to present Qatar, its history and culture and its nature to the visitors of Qatar. His vision is to develop Arabian Adventures as a national tool for enhancement of Qatar to foreign visitors in a traditional way. Arabian Adventures specialises in products that will introduce visitors to the life of Qatar in a rich and colourful way through desert safaris, city tours, cultural and heritage tours, dhow cruises, fishing trips, night discovery Doha tours, transport and tours tailor-made to suit all kind of events, this includes all kinds of transportation for visitors at any event in the State of Qatar.

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Dese

Abandon th ing you to t back. As yo begin to re a picturesq quainted w volleyball b magical exp in the peac clear view o


ert Safaris

he tarmac for the sand dunes with this awe-inspiring journey takthe marvels of the inland sea near the Qatar-Saudi border and ou embark on the most thrilling 4x4 ride in your life you will quickly ealise that the miles and miles of sand dunes are more than just que backdrop for your journey. Stop along the way to get acwith the warm sand and enjoy a spot of sand surfing or beach before cooling off in the sky blue waters of the Gulf. Cap off your perience by spending the night out in the desert. As you relax ceful tranquillity of the cool desert night, lie back and enjoy the of the stars and the moon up above.

“The crossing of the desert is a real adventure and an experience to remember. You can choose the type of ride you want – fast and bumpy, to a smooth and casual route. Be sure to bring swimsuit, sunscreen and most of all, don’t forget your camera.”

Hassan Mohd Hijji

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“Enjoy the panoramic view of Doha city skyline on board a traditional wooden dhow. Sail close to Safliya Island and sun bathe on the beach, go swimming or dance and relax on board with a shisha. This is a must do for all visitors to Doha.”

Hassan Mohd Hijji

“Get acquainted retain its old world glamorous addres Qatar and one o

Dhow Cruises Once you have enjoyed the attractions Doha has to offer you during the day, take a Dhow cruise to splendour in the sights available by night. Away from the noise and pollution and hassles of daily life, relax your mind, body and soul with a leisurely trip out to sea. Enter the calm environment and the soothing atmosphere under the fascinating starry sky that Doha has to offer. As dusk falls and twinkling lights appear on shore, the cool, night air spells magic as silhouettes and shadows interplay with the lights. Once the sun sets, you can take a moonlit swim in the tranquil waters of the Arabian Gulf or simply enjoy the beautiful view of the nearby islands.

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with Doha, a rapidly growing city which has managed to d charms. Along the way you will see the Middle East’s most ss, the largest and most multi-dimensional cultural project of of the world leaders for multi-cultural activities”

Hassan Mohd Hijji

Doha Tours Explore the country’s heritage with Doha’s many Ottoman era buildings as well as marvelling at the more recent features such as the Pearl-Qatar, a glamorous Riviera-style-man-made island developed in an exclusive environment. The capital city of Qatar is a modern and rapidly developing city that has had copious amounts of money poured into its development, long before they bid for the Olympic Games in 2020 and won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Doha looks set to become one of the premier cities in the Gulf, and this further development on the profile of the city has only boosted their claim. Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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“Meet the experts at the Camel Race Track who will tell you all about camel training and racing. Racing season begins in October and runs up to May, with several racing events held in March and April. Even when there is no racing going on, you&can stand next to the track and watch the Camels go past.� Lisa Diane Scalia

Hassan Mohd Hijji

Heritage Tour See the Arabian Oryx up close with a visit to the Oryx Farm at Al Shahaniyah. Once threatened by extinction, these rare and elegant antelopes now live and breed as protected herds under the direct care and protection of the Qatari government. The Qatari national animal cannot be found anywhere else in the world in such large numbers and this is undoubtedly the best destination to admire the bovid in a national habitat. While you are in Al Shahaniyah visit the Camel Race Track to gain a unique opportunity to ride a camel and partake the traditional Arabian tea and coffee.

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Sightseeing As you venture north, you will unearth an increasing number of archaeological wonders on a discovery of old Qatar. First stop will be the city of Umm Salal Mohammed which boats the ruins of a nineteenth century fortress. It has been reduced to two towers, a mosque and other structures and examples of decorative elements, but it provides the perfect taster before following up with a visit to Al Zubara, the former capital of Qatar, where you will find the famous fort which was turned into a museum in 1938.

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Lisa & Diane Scalia

Q

atar was a best kept secret from the rest of the world for a long time until two brothers Hassan and Abdullah Hijji built a company that would become the pioneer in the country’s tour industry. From its humble beginnings as a freelancer in the late 80s, the company partnered with Qatar when it sought the possibility of promoting this tiny peninsula as a tourist destination in the mid-90s. Led by its founder and general manager Hassan Hijji, and equipped with a passionate and dedicated team of knowledgeable multinational staff, Arabian Adventures Qatar set forth to establish itself as a renowned provider of tourist services in the country. The company takes pride in serving most of the big events that take place in Qatar with creative approach and attention to details which is made possible through its steadfast liaison with service suppliers in the hospitality & travel industry as well as the municipal and government authorities.

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Among the many laurels of Arabian Adventures Qatar were those mainly garnered from national events such as: ∞ Guided tours, excursions and shuttle services for the International Sailing Regatta held annually in February at the Doha Sailing Club, an event which traditionally attracts leading mariners from around the world; ∞ Excursions and tours for the organising officials and their partners of the Qatar Tennis Asia Cup Tournament; ∞ Excursions, tours and shuttle bus services for delegates and their partners of the 1997 Middle East North Africa Economic Summit; ∞ Hosting of the first ever visit of the Costa Cruise Liner in Doha in 1996 with a full day arrangement for excursion and tour of passengers; ∞ Excursions, tours and shuttle bus services for more than 800 passengers of Holland America Line “Rotterdam”, the largest ever cruise liner to berth at the port of Doha ∞ Desert Safari trips for more than 800 guests and delegates of the Islamic Conference in 2000; ∞ Tours and Desert Safari trips for members of the French aircraft carrier “Foch” during its visit in Doha; ∞ Organising the FIFA 2004 Conference, including hotel reservation, excursion, shuttle bus service and gala dinner for delegates and their guests; ∞ City and heritage tours as well as desert safaris for leading German cruise liner customers for over 5 years; ∞ Organising desert safaris and city tours during the WAHO 2011

Contact Details

W: www.arabianadventuresqatar.com T:

+974 443 614 61

E:

admin@arabianadventuresqatar.com

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iscover The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Gulf. From the city’s traditions and culture to its modern amenities and exciting attractions, this five-star Doha luxury hotel provides guests with convenient access to all this unforgettable destination has to offer. After a day spent exploring, guests at The Ritz-Carlton in Doha, Qatar, can rejuvenate their bodies and souls at the hotel’s spa, indulge in an array of exceptional dining options or simply take in the view from their luxurious accommodations.

Voyage to an exclusive island resort, nestled on the shores of the sparkling blue waters. Grand, yet inviting, The RitzCarlton, Doha is an exceptional Qatar hotel that combines extravagant elegance with the warmth of a traditional Arabian welcome.

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The very definition of an opulent Middle Eastern paradise, and an idyllic setting for business or leisure travellers alike, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha hotel’s accommodations feature: 374 well-appointed guestrooms, each with sea or city views; 61 suites and 42 club rooms with free internet connection; eight exceptional restaurants and bars featuring fine local and international cuisine; a world-class Spa and modern fitness centre; indoor and outdoor swimming pools; two ballrooms, seven meeting rooms and a fully equipped business centre and 235-slip marina with club house for boats and 8 slip marina for jet-ski.

Contact Details

W: www.ritzcarlton.com T: +974 4484 8000 E: dohrz.leads@ritzcarlton.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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BAHRAIN

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ituated in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain boasts many fascinating spots, each with its own distinctive community and attractions to explore. Like the Tree of Life and the Qal’at al Fort both of which offer a fascinating and magical history that speaks for itself.

The fort consists of a mound created over hundreds of years by the locals. Authentically restored from the 1500s and very well maintained this magnificent build oozes creative and historical architecture and stories; making it worth visiting for both its impressive stonework and for the panoramic views over the city.

Manama

The Tree Of Life

The capital city of Bahrain offers visitors so much in terms of culture and phenomenal architecture. Come here to see one of the largest mosques in the world with a visit to Al-Fateh Mosque and follow that up with an exploration of Bahrain Fort – a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site – on the island’s North coast.

Situated just 30 kilometres south of Manama in the middle of a dry desert is this fascinating anomaly. The tree has managed to survive a staggering 400 years in the Muaskar desert. Not only has the acacia tree survived without a visible source of water, it has also exceeded its life expectancy by more than 300 years. The life of this tree remains a magical mystery that will stir and amaze your curiosity.

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Al-Areen Wildlife Park  Al-Areen Wildlife Park is a fantastic attraction to enjoy a day out. The park is home to unique and wonderful African wildlife. Come and embrace an exclusive sight of animals that are extinct in the wild including gazelles and oryxs, as well as hundreds of other creatures and bird species. It is worth making a trip to the wildlife park just to catch a rare glimpse of these elusive animals. Hawar Island  Hawar Island is an eye-catching retreat with fantastic water-sport activities including paragliding, waterskiing and surfing. You can sail to the island yourself or take a short boat ride, either way the journey will give you the opportunity to soak up the

sun in a calming environment with amazing vistas of the sea and mainland. Feast your eyes on the fantastic views of the horizon that Hawar boasts. The Island is an ideal place for a spot of fishing or you can discover hundreds of new bird species through bird watching. Inland the vibe differs as the locals give a friendly welcome in a vibrant and cultural atmosphere. Bahrain is a place where you can embrace traditional Middle Eastern culture as well as fantastic and exclusive attractions. The memories from your stay here will be treasured throughout your life.

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Where To Stay:

Al Areen Palace and Spa The Al Areen Palace and is the only all-villa private pool resort in the Arabian Gulf. Situated in an intriguing landscape of well-preserved forts, edifying museums and the oldest mosque in the Gulf - Al Khamis, Al Areen Palace and Spa’s spacious villas blend perfectly into their natural desert environment.

What To Do:

Bahrain Grand Prix – 19-21 April 2013 The exhilarating Grand Prix is a fantastic event that boasts an electric atmosphere not to be missed. The exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the circuit is a must see for everybody, especially motorsports enthusiasts.

Where To Eat: Salad Boutique

Far from just a salads bar, there is a wide variety of exquisite food here including: risottos, omelettes, all day breakfasts and mouth-watering desserts. Salad Boutique has wonderfully unique décor; making the restaurant an upscale and exclusive place to dine.

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IRAN

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ormerly known as Persia – this once great civilisation continues to be great for all visitors. Having been inhabited since the Stone Ages there are plenty fascinating historical attractions to explore alongside the many modern day attractions too.

See The Famous Tombs… There are many famous greats that rest in Iran such as the Hebrew prophet Daniel and the Persian polymath from the Book of Healing, Avicenna. During your stay you can visit the tombs and learn the legends of these iconic figures which date back as far as 529BC with the resting ground of Persian Emperor, Cyrus the Great. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most important monument in the former Persian capital city of Parsargadae.

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The archaeological site covers 1.6 square kilometres and includes a structure commonly believed to be the mausoleum of Cyrus, the fortress of Toll-e Takht sitting on top of a nearby hill, and the remains of two royal palaces and gardens.

Visit The Ancient Cities… The Persian Empire – often referred to as the Achaemenid Empire – spanned across most of Asia and the Middle East in the 6th century BC and was believed to be home to 50 million people or about 44% of the world’s population at the time, making it the largest empire by population percentage. The history of this great civilisation cannot be understated and as such the ancient cities of Persepolis, Pasargadae and Susa are all worth a visit.


Make sure you see the fascinating remains of this once glorious land and try to picture it in its former glory. The ornate Gates of Nations and the architecturally splendid Tachara Palace are among the many highlights.

Explore The Real Iran… As fascinating as the historic sites are – all they can do is paint a picture of the past and not the present. In order to explore the real modern day Iran, take trip to the bustling metropolis of Tehran. Located at the foot of the picturesque Alborz mountain range the country capital is teeming with culture given the large amounts of museums and art galleries on offer housing works from local heroes such as Reza Abbasi to the household names including And Warhol and Van Gogh.

If you get the time take a trip out to the nearby villages such as Zarabad where the tranquil countryside dotted with walnut trees, streams, cherry orchards and rice fields will give you the opportunity to mingle with the local villagers and get accustomed to the Iranian way of life. Delve beyond the façade and immerse yourself in this beautiful Middle Eastern nation. If you are travelling from a western country you may be shocked by just how cultural and creative it is along with how warm and welcoming the people of Iran can be.

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Where To Stay:

Abbasi Hotel

The Abbasi Hotel bares more similarities to staying in an old Iranian palace, rather than a hotel. With a history dating back to the Safavid period some 300 years ago its amazing traditional design is just one of the many glorious architectures you will find during your stay.

What To Do:

Go Skiing

With the Alborz mountain range overlooking the country capital there can only be one recommendation for things to do and that is winter sports. Whether you are interested in skiing or snowboarding the huge Dizin ski resort has a reputation for excellent snow, because of its high altitude and drier conditions.

Where To Eat:

Khayyam Restaurant Stop by the Khayyam Restaurant in Tehran after visiting the splendid dome-shaped Imamzadeh Seyyed Nasreddin Mosque. Originally part of the mosque, the 300-year-old building was separated when Khayyam St intervened. It was restored in 2002 and features a typically Iranian menu consisting of kebab, chicken and fish.

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SAUDI ARABIA

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audi Arabia is an emblem of everything most inexplicable and beautiful to the Middle East. The world’s last great forbidden kingdom is home to the most famous oasis, mosque and Islamic celebrations.

Asir National Park Set your mind free, breathe in the fresh air and embrace the beautiful vistas at Asir National Park. Overlooking Jabal Soodah – the highest mountain in Saudi Arabia – the park stretches from the Red Sea coast, across the picturesque mountains and into the eastern desert; giving astounding views that

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are exclusive to Saudi Arabia. There are a number of pockets of land separated by towns, villages and farms for you to admire as they are fenced off for protection. The park provides a fantastic opportunity for you to explore the beautiful flora, fauna and vistas of the open land.

Al-Hasa Known to be the largest oasis in the world; making it a realistic candidate as one of the seven world wonders. The Al-Hasa has an astonishing three million palm trees. With over 60 artesian springs, it is no wonder the palm trees grow delicious dates and draw in array of magnificent birds including the protected Houbara Bustards.


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Al Masjid Al Nabawi

Jizan

Built by the Prophet Muhammad himself, the Al Masjid Al Nabawi is believed to be the first ever mosque. The mosque is so iconic that the basic plan of the building has been adopted in the architecture of other Islamic places of worship throughout the world. One of the most notable features is the Green Dome placed over the centre of the mosque, which is believed to be the house of the Muhammad’s wife and is now his tomb. Over the years the mosque has been built into an amazing architectural building and the beauty is as radiant as its fascinating history. Unfortunately, this highly religious building is only accessible for Muslims and passport checks will be required in order to gain access.

Known as the ‘Fruit basket’ of Saudi Arabia, Jizan has a variety and abundance of its agricultural produce. With the women cooking up delicious cuisine as well as sensational perfumes and fragrances in a vibrant environment, prepare to be amazed. The region is famous for its hospitality, in which guests are fed until their hearts are content. Be sure to visit the annual Parrot Fishing Festival, celebrating the environmentally friendly and sustainable industry of artisanal fishing. Parrot Fishing Festival is as colourful, lively and vibrant as the Parrot fish itself.

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Saudi Arabia is a sensational beauty amongst the Islamic countries. The wonderful culture and vibe will captivate your attention and seduce your heart.


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Where To Stay:

Four Seaons

Enjoy luxurious comfort and intuitive service in the heart of the capital, Riyadh. The hotel is close to business sites, art centres and is in direct exposure of the brilliantly vibrant culture. The Four Seasons hotel is the epitome of luxury and will make your stay in Saudi Arabia sensational.

Where To Eat: La Brasserie

With an exquisite international cuisine served in a lavish and relaxing environment, it is clear that the delicious food is prepared with care as it is served as an art form. Chefs only use the freshest of seasonal ingredients. La Brasserie has a justifiable reputation as an ideal choice for a divine meal.

What To Do: Pilgrimage

Haji is associated with the life of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Pilgrims from around the world simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of Haji and perform a series of rituals, each with intriguing representations and individual meanings. This event is exclusively for Muslims only.

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n a city that gracefully melds tradition with sophisticated style, Al Faisaliah Hotel, A Rosewood Hotel defines the ultimate in modern elegance. The ultra-luxury hotel’s dedicated 24-hour butler service, offered to all guests, has elevated the art of personal service to new levels in the Middle East. Situated in Riyadh’s Olaya district, the peerless hotel boasts the largest column-free ballroom in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as six distinct award-winning restaurants, including The Globe and new La Cucina that delight visitors and locals alike. The property’s stunning new wing, Al Faisaliah Hotel-South, blends international contemporary luxury with a hint of local design throughout its exceptionally spacious five-star accommodations.

The award-winning Al Faisaliah Hotel-North has established itself firmly as one of the leading hotels in the Middle East. The hotel merges a more classic design with luxurious elegance. The lavish rooms and suites of Al Faisaliah Hotel-North start with Riyadh’s largest Superior Rooms at 45 square meters.

Contact Details

W: www.rosewoodhotels.com T: +54 11 4819 1100 E: alfaisaliah@rosewoodhotels.com 360

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Alwaseilah Tours

Your Gateway To Iraq

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arhaba! Grand Tours to Iraq!!! Whatever the purpose of your visit to Iraq – be it historical, religious, nature, or to meet one of the most wonderful people in the world – Alwaseilah Tours can offer;

- Entry visa to Iraq - Full package tours all inclusive - Kurdistan Mountain tours - Muslim, Christian and Jewish religious tours - Tigris and Euphrates Rivers trips - Local transports and airport transfers within Iraq - Culture Tours - Education Tours - Agriculture Tours - Hotel booking - All domestic tickets booking - Culture Sight-seeing in the Heritage cities If you are interested in any kind of adventure tours or services in Iraq, contact Alwaseilah Tours so that they can send you further details, itineraries and prices. All trips and excursions can be tailor made in order to suit the individual demands of each customer.

Contact Details

W: www.alwaseilahtours.com T: +44 (0)794 713 8673 E: info@alwaseilahtours.com Luxury Travel Guide - Middle East & Africa

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United Arab Emirates

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iscover a mix of countries that offer the comforts of your home and a taste of the exotic. Venture into breathtaking attractions like the heritage areas, magnificent Hajar Mountains, traditional towns, or indulge in a blend of everything; after that is what makes the United Arab Emirates so unique.

Paradise; this piece of heaven has found its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s largest garden. Here, the flowers beautifully form every colour of the rainbow and are arranged in a style that is the epitome of artistic horticulture. In fact the attractions of Al-Ain are much more stunning when you find yourself in the heart of it.

Al-Ain

Corniche Beach

Ain-Ain is a city just waiting to for you to travel the labyrinth streets and embrace the cultural diversity. Known as ‘Oasis City’ the beauty is radiant throughout the land. A ‘must see’ attraction is the Al Ain

Visiting the beaches in the United Arab Emirates is the highlight of any relaxing excursion. The Corniche Beach is so fantastic it has been awarded with the ‘Blue Flag’ status – the internationally renowned eco-label for beaches that guarantee clean and safe water.

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Let the silky blue ocean shores sweep you away with their peaceful sounds. Indulge in ultimate relaxation on their comfortable sun-loungers, soft golden sand and with an eight kilometres stretch you are certain to find a tranquil spot. At the Corniche Beach, every amenity imaginable is available. Fujairah  Embracing the natural radiance of the countryside in Fujairah is a great way to spend a few days. Take the exciting opportunity to explore the strong ancient forts that have been around for over 300 years, which slightly reveal the city’s history and leaves much to your imagination.

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Musandam

Burji Khalifa

Venture into a land of splendorous scenery such as traditional Arabian villages and dramatic mountainhugging roads. A boat trip is the best way to see the finest landscapes that Musandam offers including the towering cliffs that plunge into the clear turquoise, calm waters; you may even see some exotic sea creatures. This picturesque peninsula with its cultural eccentricities is well worth visiting. Musandam offers the best of both worlds as the lively city of Khasab is just a stone throw away. The colourful lifestyle is doing nothing less than brimming with vibrant culture.

Known to be a masterpiece of a statue the Burji Khalifa is an astonishing piece of architecture and engineering. Dubai’s own ‘Tower of Babel’ pierces the sky at a staggering 828 metres. The inside of the Burji Khalifa is like a world of its own mixing supreme offices and enviable apartments. The Observation Deck is much like the cherry on top of this fantastic monument. Catch an unbeatable view of the metropolis city that is Dubai. The Burji Khalifa is worth visiting for this attribute and its sheer size.

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The United Arab Emirates is a sublime series of countries where you can live the high-life. Their attractions, lifestyle, culture and history may just seduce you into a longer stay.


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Where To Stay:

Emirates Palace Hotel From the extravagant grand decor to the designer toiletries and impeccable service, your stay here will be truly sensational. Located near key sites, this five-star hotel perfects the very best of travel affluence.

What To Do:

Helicopter Tours

Get a superlative bird’s eye view of incredible landmarks around the United Arab Emirates; like the splendorous Liwa Oasis, vast desert land as well as monuments which are second to none. Not many people can say they have seen most of this country’s famous landmarks all in one day!

Where To Eat:

Al Dhafra Cruising Restaurant Indulge in an exquisite menu that includes fresh succulent lobsters, continental salads and an array of deserts to tantalise your sweet tooth. With the ethnic charm of the restaurant amongst the water’s serenity with the sea breeze softly whispering its secrets, your evening is certain to be memorable.

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very guest deserves the ultimate in Emirates Palace service, going beyond five star luxury, totally unique and tailored to your individual needs. Pinch yourself if you need to when selecting one of Kempinski Emirates Palace’s exceptional rooms or exquisite suites. It is time to surrender to uncompromising indulgence, legendary Arabian hospitality and the promise of a memory you will always treasure. With an incredible array of amenities – check out the Anantara Spa, a haven of tranquillity, that leaves nothing to be desired in respect of wellness. Luring you with intoxicating aromas and exotic elixirs in treatments delivering the promise of radiance, healing along with balanced well-being During the Holy month of Ramadan the Anantara Spa will be open until midnight upon request. For centuries Arabic culture has demonstrated its gift of personalised and exquisite hospitality. Combining this unique welcome with the finest global cuisine crafted by their multi-nationality chefs, create a dining experience beyond compare.

Contact Details

W: www.kempinski.com T: +971 2 690 9000 E: reservations@emiratespalace.ae 370

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Luxury Travel Guide – Africa & Middle East