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DEPARTURES What’s new this month, from hot European music festivals to steak in Buenos Aires

ESCAPE THE DAILY GRIND AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM

58 The Caribbean

“Think animals wandering up to your tent and enjoying cheeky sundowners under the stars”

“Caribbean? Great! Cruise? Grandma”

33 Secret Garden Party, UK

“There’s crazy experiments, parades and performance art, and more fancy dress than you could shake a fairy wand at”

Selous, Tanzania

42

14 Photography 16 Instant Anorak 17 Means Of Escape 18 Head To Head 20 In Brief: Vegas 23 Cotswolds 24 Reader Questions 26 Alternative Safari 28 Checklist: style 30 Checklist: gear 32 Festival Baby

EXPERIENCES Beat around the bush with a choice of great safaris 42 Safari Special Spot the big five and more with top safaris 52 Senegal Get fit on Senegal’s sandy beaches 58 Cool Cruising Nine Caribbean islands, one big boat 64 Summer Alps Cheese, cow fights and e-bikes in Verbier

foodism

“Unlike most beauty contests, however, this will result in actual physical combat” Verbier, Switzerland

64

Eat your way around the world with our tasty guides and tools 74 Foodie Madrid 80 Reviews 81 Taste of London

COMPETITIONS Your chance to win epic trips 88 Win £500 worth of Airbnb vouchers 90 Win a week in Austin, Texas 92 Win five nights in the Maldives


ED I TOR ’ S WO R D N

ever before have I stayed in a hotel where I’ve been able to gaze out of the window and say: “I can see my house from here”, but I have now. Almost. If we’re being pedantic, I’m now able to say: “I can just about see the vague area where I imagine my house probably is.” Because when you’re looking down on London from the Shangri-La hotel, which occupies floors 34 to 52 of the Shard, the view out over London and beyond is genuinely extraordinary. It exposes, miniaturises and distorts what you think you know pretty well already until you see it from the sky. In that respect, staying in the starkly modern, Asian-flavoured Shangri-La is a kind of vertical escapism – not of the kind you’ll usually read about on these pages, but it’s undeniably a way (albeit an expensive way; rooms start at £450) of looking at a destination from a completely fresh perspective, and that’s what escapism is all about. That being said, there’s only so much getting away from it all you can do when your house is a well-aimed paper plane’s throw away, so this month we’re donning our best khaki and heading out on safari in Africa and beyond – read our round up of the best of the (wild) bunch on page 42. And if your idea of the perfect African M E D I A trip involves a little less conservation and EDITOR EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Jon Hawkins a little more action, Lucy Fry’s story of an Mark Hedley ART DIRECTOR COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR extraordinary fitness adventure in Senegal Matthew Hasteley Mike Gluckman ASSOCIATE EDITOR SALES DIRECTORS (p52) takes some beating. Unless you’ve Cathy Adams Mike Berrett, Alex Watson SUB EDITORS got a head for heights, in which case I SALES MANAGER Chris Borg, Laura Chubb Will Preston know just the place… e SENIOR DESIGNER PRINT ADVERTISING

ESCAPISM IS ABOUT SEEING A PLACE FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

Lucy Phillips

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2 Imogen Rowland’s travel writing has seen her cross the Tanzanian bush in search of wild dogs and making coconut chapatis in the Maldives. Despite this, her geography is still appalling, so she let somebody else navigate the Caribbean. [p58] 3 Lucy Fry is one of those foolish journalists who says yes without thinking. As a result, her travel assignments tend to involve one of three things: heights, water and exercise-induced exhaustion. This time she just, er, walked with lions. [p52]

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1 Laura Millar‘s career as a journalist has seen her wrangle with D-listers, track down impossible causes and talk people into appearing naked in magazines. And watching cows fight each other in Verbier. [p64]

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INSTANT ANORAK MEANS OF ESCAPE HEAD TO HEAD IN BRIEF: VEGAS UK TOP FIVE ASK THE EXPERTS SAFARIS CHECKLIST: STYLE CHECKLIST: GEAR FESTIVALS


DEPARTURES

ROCK AND ROLL DANNY MACASKILL’S EPECUEN

Photograph by Fred Murray

“This place is a ghost town.” – a phrase rooted in hyperbole and usually reserved for rubbish clubs, but in the case of Buenos Aires suburb Epecuén, it’s entirely accurate. One of the few genuinely deserted towns in the world, its population left when the adjoining salt lake flooded, only for it to recede again years later, leaving the town empty, salty and ramshackled. Extreme sports stars tend to have an opportunistic streak, so it’s no surprise that when MTB trials icon Danny MacAskill heard about Epecuén’s fate, he packed up his bike and headed down to this eerie, decrepit playground. Luckily, he brought a cameraman along for the ride. The resulting film, Danny MacAskill’s Epecuén, is a must-see. See the film at redbull.com

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Instant ANORAK June and July's summer shenanigans include running with bulls, getting down and dirty with mud and oil wrestling, sun in Russia (gasp!) and a Portaloo shortage

THE LAST TIME SOMEBODY DIED DURING THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS IN PAMPLONA, SPAIN, WHICH TAKES PLACE AT THE START OF JULY

120 tonnes

5,487

The amount of garbage removed daily from June's Distortion fest, Copenhagen

The number of toilets for 135,000 people at Glastonbury, in June

THE HOTTEST TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED ON EARTH, IN CALIFORNIA’S DEATH VALLEY, ON 10 JULY 1913

2.2 million The number of visitors to the Boryeong Mud Festival in South Korea, in mid-July

THE NUMBER OF CONTINUOUS DAYS OF SUNSHINE IN SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA, OVER THE SUMMER

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8

652 200,000

56.7ºC

2009 The edition of the oil wrestling competition in Edirne, Turkey, this July. It was first held in 1362

THE NUMBER OF OYSTERS THAT ARE CONSUMED AT THE KNYSNA OYSTER FESTIVAL IN SOUTH AFRICA, EARLY IN JULY FOR MORE, SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM


DEPARTURES

WEIRD world Dispatches from the frontline of the bizarre. This issue: cultural car parks, Moses-like miracles and silly Swedes DETROIT, US If this isn’t the world’s grandest car park, we don’t know what is. Detroit’s Michigan Building was once an impressive cinema, a monument of unrivalled elegance built in the French Renaissance style. But thanks to the city’s fall in fortunes, it has been turned into a car park to save it from the wrecking ball. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘drive-in cinema’…

MEANS OF ESCAPE One man showed an icy determination to invent a bike-sledge, and it took off ... locally #10 VELOGEMEL

PHOTOGRAPHS by Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor, Getty Images; Panos Pictures, Bjoern Steinz

Ah, Grindelwald, the picturesque Swiss villiage in the Jungfrau region, found below the north face of the 3,970-metre high Eiger. And home to a rather unusual mode of transport, which has never really taken off – and that’s not because it doesn’t have wings. The Velogemel – the first snow bike – was invented over a century ago by Christian Bühlmann in the Alpine resort. The carpenter – who suffered from polio as a child, which restricted his mobility – became increasingly frustrated that the freedom he could enjoy in the summer, thanks to his trusty bicycle, was removed in the winter because of snowy conditions.

Determinedly channelling his disgruntlement and using his skills, Bühlmann created the bike-sledge (gemel means toboggan in the local dialect) and proudly arrived at the patent office in Behn with his design on 1 April, 1911. The clerks must have thought it was an elaborate April fool, but it wasn’t. The Velogemel had a wooden frame with two runners steered at the front by handlebars, and the seated position allowed the rider to push off with their feet and hence move forward in a manner similar to that of the first bicycle. Grindelwald natives still use it to commute between home and work ... but not to climb the Eiger.

JINDO, SOUTH KOREA Several times a year on Jindo Island in South Korea, the sea mysteriously parts, allowing visitors to walk the 3km from Jindo to a nearby island. It’s caused by “tidal harmonics”, which means the water level lowers thanks to the gravitational pull of the moon and the Earth’s rotation at certain points over the year. The ‘dry road’ remains for about an hour before vanishing. Spooky.

BÅSTAD, SWEDEN In 2007, bars in the Swedish town of Båstad (no laughing) banned the spraying of champagne to maintain public order. In protest, Sweden’s super-wealthy youth turned to ‘vaskning’ – paying for champagne and throwing it down the sink to show their (debatable) social desirability. It’s apparently the key to attracting ladies. Tip to the fellas: we’d rather just drink it.

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Head to

DEPARTURES THINK WE’RE WRONG? HAVE YOUR SAY AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM

HEAD

This month we’re heading to South America to size up Argentina’s capital against Brazil’s largest city. Which will emerge as the victor?

BUENOS AIRES Population: 3 million

SÃO PAULO Population: 11 million

Nickname: Paris of the South

Nickname: Land of Drizzle

INHABITANTS

INHABITANTS

Theatre-goers, wine drinkers and European throwbacks reside in Buenos Aires. Oh, and a few famous football players, too. And Pope Francis was born there. 8/10

Owing to the sheer size of the city and the frequent rain storms, most São Paulo dwellers spend their days stuck in traffic jams, in skyscrapers or in queues. 5/10

WHAT NOT TO SAY IN BUENOS AIRES “Ugh, not more steak”

WHAT TO SAY IN BUENOS AIRES

WHAT TO SAY IN SÃO PAULO

“I love Maradona – he’s way better than Pelé”

“This sushi is the best I’ve ever tasted”

WHAT NOT TO SAY IN SÃO PAULO “So, where’s Rio?”

DO

DO

Make like Diego Maradona and trip over to La Boca neighbourhood, home of Boca Juniors’ La Bombonera football stadium and colourful houses. The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (mnba.gob.ar) has paintings from the likes of Cezanne and Picasso, but if you want to soak up the sun you’re in the right place: Plaza de Mayo and Plaza Dorrego are the best squares to hang out in. 7/10

Sao Paulo is one of those great cities that’s built for living, not sightseeing, so rent a bike and cycle some of the 30km of car-free lanes. Stick around for Samba Saturday, where heaps of bars pump out samba music and dance. Plus, there’s plenty of places to spot architect Oscar Niemeyer’s work – head to skyscraper Copan, and don’t miss out on the bar at the top. 8/10

STAY

STAY

If you don’t fancy one of the city’s ‘love hotels’, rentable by the hour, check into boutique Home Hotel (homebuenosaires. com), complete with retro accessories and Chilean wool rugs. For something more luxe (and painted in pillar-box red), try Faena (faena.com), created by local hotelier Alan Faena. 8/10

The fashionable Fasano (fasano.com.br) is one of the city’s trendiest choices, housed in a cosy brick building with a chic jazz bar, Baretto, to boot. Elsewhere, the design-focused Hotel Unique (hotelunique.com.br) is shaped unusually, like an edam cheese, and has a seriously slick rooftop pool and bar. 8/10

EAT AND DRINK Steak and Malbec feature heavily on a Buenos Aires foodie hitlist – but competition for the best ‘parilla’ (steakhouse) is tough. Try La Cabrera in the trendy district of Palermo. 8/10

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EAT AND DRINK

8/10

AND THE WINNER IS... Argentina’s capital, by a slice of steak

7/10

As São Paulo is home to the biggest Japanese settlement outside Japan, the sushi is top notch. The city does a mean pizza too: try old-school Speranza (pizzaria.com.br). 7/10


Get two-for-one and stay in the New York New York Hotel in Las Vegas

DEPARTURES

WINGING IT INSTANT GUIDES FOR THE LAZY TRAVELLER

OMAN DO: DESERT 4x4

in BRIEF

LAS VEGAS There’s plenty new to see and do in Las Vegas, a city that has always refused to rest on its laurels, says Chris Borg

W

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But aside from the casinos, what will entertain once you’ve left the comfort of your room? It’s got to be a show, hasn’t it? This year, in the city that has hosted epic performances from the likes of Liberace, Frank Sinatra and Noel Coward, there’s Britney: Piece of Me, starring the singer in the Planet Hollywood resort’s huge theatre. And if you want something more al fresco, why not take a stroll down to the 550ft High Roller (see what they did there?), the world’s highest ferris wheel, at The LINQ, the Strip’s all-new outdoor shopping and dining district. Really, some things could hardly be more Vegas. e

NEED TO KNOW British Airways offers flights from both Heathrow and Gatwick and five nights in a five-star hotel from £679pp. ba.com/lasvegas

STAY: DESERT CAMP When it comes to desert camps, Oman knows how to do it properly. Resting and recuperating from all the 4x4-ing in a chic, luxury tent in the middle of the desert delivers a five-star hit of Omani culture. Plus, when settling down for a night in the great outdoors, it’d just be plain rude not to have a sundowner underneath the stars…

WANDER: SOUKS Oman’s capital Muscat is a modern, buzzing city, and there’s nowhere better to see daily life unfold than in the Old Muttrah souk. Expect glittering metals, fragrant spices and fancy silks – just be prepared to haggle hard. Powder Byrne’s four-day camping adventure to Oman starts from £2,520pp. powderbyrne.com

Photogtraph by Purepix / Alamy, Yadid Levy / Alamy

elcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, says the giant road sign that’s been boasting about this epicentre of gambling and glitz since 1959. They’re not prone to underselling themselves, these Vegas showmen, and they’ve got a point. After all, there’s nowhere on Earth quite like this: it’s a one-off place, an assault on the senses that’s not too gentle on the wallet, either. But Vegas is proud of the fact that it is not, and never has been, the sort of place to keep quiet. The hotels and casinos lining the Strip are constantly being reshaped and remade – they are ever bigger, brighter, newer, plusher. Visitors to Vegas will always find new places to go and new things to do. The Cromwell, for instance, bills itself as the Strip’s first boutique hotel, with just 188 rooms and a restaurant from Food Network chef Giada de Laurentiis. And at the Nobu Hotel within Caesars Palace, a high-end, Asian-fusion breakfast in bed can include soba pancakes with pecan miso butter.

There’s far more to Oman than just sand dunes, although they provide the backdrop to some of the most adventurous activities in the Gulf state. Get behind the wheel of a 4x4 to blast up and down the dunes, before paying a visit to a local Bedouin family at sundown to enjoy some famed Arab hospitality.


EXPLORE SAMOA, THE TREASURED ISLANDS. Heading down under to Australia or New Zealand? Make the most of your stay and add on Samoa, the Treasured Islands of the South Pacific. Just five hours direct from Sydney or Brisbane and less than four hours from Auckland you will find a tropical paradise. Take the road less travelled and experience authentic Polynesia and the islands’ fascinating culture. Wind your way around the islands and discover spectacular waterfalls, dramatic blowholes, stunning coral reefs and crystal clear lagoons where you can swim with turtles. Warm and welcoming, Samoans adhere to a 3,000 year old tradition called Fa’a Samoa which places great emphasis on traditional family values and respect for their environment. Fa’a Samoa. The Samoan Way. www.samoa.travel

P *P 5 9 ,1 2 £ M O R F S T H SAMOA: 11 NIG Please contact www.austravel.com or call 0808 231 3397. *CONDITIONS APPLY. SEE WWW.AUSTRAVEL.COM FOR MORE DETAILS

To Sua Giant Swimming Hole


BE A GREAT WESTERNER. Explore the Cotswolds by train this summer. Book now at firstgreatwestern.co.uk


DEPARTURES

UK TOP FIVE

COTSWOLDS There’s more to this quintessential English favourite than holing up in a cottage. Try music festivals and football in the river for starters... Photography by Dennis Barnes/ Getty; Craig Cohoon Water Sports

1. Music: Cornbury Festival A smaller, more eclectic cousin to its grand old neighbour, Glasto, the Cornbury Festival (4-6 July, cornburyfestival.com) is more like a country fayre with added drums. This year’s event promises a great line up as well as a super-relaxed family weekend. The Feeling, Jools Holland and last year’s X Factor winner Sam Bailey are all on the bill, alongside home-baked cakes and Morris dancers. Our advice? Rent a comfy yurt or teepee in the glamping area.

2. On the town: Cirencester A day in the beautiful Cotswolds capital can easily whizz past in a blur of boutique shops,

afternoon teas and stomping around the Parish Church of St John the Baptist (which, despite appearances, isn’t a cathedral). Make sure you swing by upmarket bistro Made By Bob (foodmadebybob.com), spearheaded by the former head chef of Bibendum, Bob Parkinson, which is making waves in the town.

3. Action: Cotswolds Water Park Unfortunately, this water park doesn’t have flumes or a wave pool. There aren’t even any rapids. But what the Cotswolds Water Park does have is lakes – 150 of them. That means it’s great for spotting the local wildlife (birds, otters, even beavers) as well

ABOVE: The medieval Church of St John the Baptist in Cirencester. LEFT AND BELOW: Raymond Blanc’s hotel-restaurant and the all-white Blanc de Blanc suite. BOTTOM: Boating in Cotswolds Water Park

as loads of water sports. Try your hand at windsurfing, sailing or get pulled along in a big inflatable banana, if you can hack the pace. waterpark.org

4. Food: Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons Forgive its tongue-twister of a name, as this top-flight hotel and restaurant hybrid is a real treat for the taste buds. Owing to its prime location in the Cotswolds, many of the ingredients that end up on your plate at Raymond Blanc’s two Michelinstarred restaurant have been grown locally, with some of them even coming from the individual gardens within the grounds. The intimate hotel is one of the UK’s most luxurious, with only 32 rooms, and plenty of sprawling lawns to take a turn around and breathe in the clean Cotswolds air. Rooms start from around £500pn. manoir.com

5. Sport: Bourton Football in the River

Photograph by ###

It wouldn’t be a quaint English spot without an eccentric sporting event (see also toe wrestling in Derbyshire or black pudding throwing in Lancashire), and the Cotswolds delivers here, too. Every year, Cotswolds village Bourton-on-the-Water hosts a football match between Bourton Rovers players in the River Windrush. Yes, in the river. Why? No need to sweat the details when you can have fun joining the thousands of fans lining the banks and enjoy the surrounding village fete. Expect to get wet – part of the point of the match is to soak the spectators. e 25 August, 2014. Free. Kick-off at 4pm, fete from 11am. bourtoninfo.com

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reader QUESTIONS Fill up on pierogi and find the best party in Poland, or seek romance (and retail) in Dubai – with the help of the experts from Insight Guides OLD Vs NEW: Poland’s Warsaw is brimming with old-world, Renaissance-style charm, while Dubai (BELOW LEFT) is a futuristic playground for visitors

My friend is moving to Warsaw, Poland and we want to visit him in August. What’s good to see/eat when we are there? Gemma Shannon

My fiancée and I are planning to go to Dubai this summer. What should we do while we’re there, and will the fact that we’re not married yet make any difference? Russell Smith Dubai poses no real problems for an unmarried couple, but public displays of affection between couples – whether married or not – should be avoided. Some unmarried couples, when booking a hotel in Dubai, prefer to use the man’s name only and to say they are married if asked. The iconic Burj Al Arab, Dubai’s seven-star hotel, is top of the list for most visitors. Access

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is restricted to guests or diners at the hotel, but you can get in by booking a table at the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor (minimum spend £52 per head). Nearby is Wild Wadi Water Park, where you can cool off in the various pools and slides. Dubai is known for its shopping, and the Gold Souk in Deira, with 700 shops, offers a vast range of jewellery. Haggle hard for the best prices. Or, to escape the fierce heat, duck into the air-conditioned malls. The gargantuan Dubai Mall is the world’s largest and home to the Dubai Aquarium, filled with sharks and rays. Don’t forget to take an abra (water taxi) across Dubai Creek to get a sense of traditional Dubai in the atmospheric Bastakiya quarter. For eating and drinking, get romantic at the classy Pierchic, set on its own pier in the sea. For a more laidback vibe, Barasti Beach bar is right on the seafront, but gets rather rowdy with lots of Brit expats on the weekend. All answers by Rachel Fox, head of content at Insight Guides. insightguides.com

ASK US Every month we’ll be giving away an Insight Guide for each question answered. This month, it’s Spain. Email experts@escapismmagazine. com or tweet us @escapismmag

Photographs by Luis Davilla/ Getty; spreephoto.de

An obvious starting point is the Old Town and Royal Castle. Despite its appearance, much of Warsaw’s Old Town is in fact quite new. Around 85% of it was destroyed during World War II, and it was rebuilt over the next 30 years, its medieval layout and Renaissance façades lovingly restored. Located in a lovely site between the Old Town and the Vistula River is the Multimedia Fountain Park, where you can ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the spectacular water shows featuring co-ordinated music, lights and beautiful shapes. The Royal Way is the elegant 4km route along which the Polish monarchy travelled south from their official residence, the Royal Castle, to their summer palace of Lazienki. The route is lined with palaces, churches and other fine buildings.

The observation tower of St Anne’s Church offers great views of the Castle and Old Town. An essential stop is the Warsaw Uprising Museum. Even if you’re not usually keen on history, it’s a fascinating look at Warsaw’s bid for liberation from Nazi Germany in 1944. For going out in the evening, we would suggest Mazowiecka Street, close to the Old Town and with plenty of bars to choose from (such as Paparazzi or Mono Bar) and, if you want to go clubbing, you’ll find Opera, Platinium and Enklawa nearby. Two districts new on the nightlife scene are Powi le and Plac Zbawiciela. And, very importantly, what to eat in Poland: pierogi is the most famous Polish dish; look for restaurants Pierogarnia or Zapiecek. Many restaurants will translate this as filled dumplings or ravioli, but neither term does the pierogi justice. They can be filled with meat, cheese, mushrooms, potatoes and cheese (called ruskie) or can be sweet (filled with fruits). Also worth sampling are shabowy – the Polish version of pork chops – and bigos, Poland’s true national dish made from fresh or fermented cabbage, Polish sausage and mushrooms.


ONE WAY FROM Belfast International to Malta

*


alternative SAFARIS Been there, done that with the Big Five? Safari doesn’t begin and end in the Serengeti – we’ve picked out six alternative safari experiences that will get you up close and personal with some of the world’s most impressive wildlife

1. COSTA RICA WHERE Costa Rica WHAT Sloth, iguana, toucan, macaw, green turtle WHY Despite being the same size as some of the more diminutive US states, Costa Rica packs a mighty punch when it comes to biodiversity. Its name means ‘rich coast’, and it’s not kidding: around a quarter of the country is dedicated to conservation refuges and national parks, and its rainforests and mangroves provide the ideal home for the notable numbers of exotic birds, sloths and sea turtles living within its bountiful borders.

WHERE The Galapagos Islands WHAT Blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, penguins, sea lions, hammerhead sharks WHY The gorgeous Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, famed for their unusual endemic species (think giant tortoises and blue-footed birds), enjoys a year-round wildlife cycle, starting with the arrival of nesting birds and sea turtles in the first three months of the year. Towards the middle of the year, land iguanas and turtles begin hatching, and at the end of the year, whales and dolphins come out to play. Plus, you can swim with marine iguanas and even dive with large groups of hammerhead sharks throughout the whole year. It’s a world’s-worth of biodiversity, all in one small collection of islands.

3. AUSTRALIA WHERE Australia WHAT Marine wildlife WHY If you’ve exhausted the wildlife on land, head underwater to the famous Great Barrier Reef. It’s the world’s largest coral reef system, stretching almost 1,500 miles, and supports a massive amount of marine life. Large parts are protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which helps to limit the impact humans have on it each year. Everything from dolphins to dugongs (a waterdwelling mammal related to the elephant) live among the reef – grab a snorkel and dive in.

Photographs by Alamy

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2. GALAPAGOS


DEPARTURES

6. SOUTH AFRICA WHERE South Africa WHAT Marine Big Five: shark, whale, seal, penguin, dolphin WHY After seeing the Big Five in Kruger, migrate south to Cape Town for South Africa’s marine Big Five. From July to November, South Africa’s Cape Peninsula is filled with migrating whales as well as plenty of seals and dolphins – they’re best seen in all their magnificent glory on a boat trip with a marine biologist. Not forgetting South Africa’s famous penguin colony and various seabirds living on the rugged cliffs of the Western Cape and Robben Island. And, for the ultimate aquatic adventure, get up close and personal with great white sharks in Gansbaai – famous for its shivers (yes, really) of great whites.

4. BORNEO

Photograph by ###

WHERE Borneo WHAT Orangutans, proboscis monkeys, birds WHY Borneo is famous for its population of orangutans, but the island has one of the most varied ecosystems in the world, with marine reserves, pristine coral reefs and plenty of non-ginger primates, including the proboscis monkey, which is endemic to Borneo. As for those orangutans, there’s no better place to see them than in the sanctuary at Sepilok, which works to rehabilitate orphaned orangutans and reintroduce them into the wild. Visitors can actively get involved with conservation efforts.

5. NORTHERN INDIA WHERE Northern India WHAT Tiger, marsh crocodile, macaque, lemur, leopard, bison WHY Thanks to India’s varied climate and terrain, it’s home to some of Asia’s most distinctive and exotic wildlife – including the majestic tiger. With around 80 national parks and 440 animal reserves set among lush jungle and rolling hills, there are plenty of opportunities to spot the myriad birds and beasts that call India home. Don’t miss Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, known for its tigers.

HOW TO DO IT

• South Africa: The South Africa

• • • • •

Horizons tour with Bales Worldwide balesworldwide.com India: The Wildlife of India tour with Virgin Holidays Worldwide Journeys Galapagos: The Ecuador and Galapagos tour with Virgin Holidays Worldwide Journeys Borneo: The Highlights of Borneo tour with Virgin Holidays Worldwide Journeys Australia: The East Coast Explorer tour with Virgin Holidays Worldwide Journeys Costa Rica: The Highlights of Costa Rica tour with Virgin Holidays Worldwide Journeys Visit virginholidays.co.uk/ tours, call 0844 557 3859 or book in store.

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GUYS

checklist

THE RUCKSACK BURTON CANYON PACK, £55. Mixing simple, vintage style with modern-day organisation, this rucksack is the best of both worlds. It’s even got a laptop case in the front. burton.com

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2

3

1 ON RUNNING, Cloud, £110. Light and comfy, with a unique lacing system and a sole made to react precisely to your movement. on-running.com 2 SUPER, Racer Dark Havana Sunglasses, £110. 1970s-style design and with Carl Zeiss lenses, these sunnies are sure to get you noticed. opumo.com 3 BANANA REPUBLIC, Heritage Sweatshirt in grey, £39.50. T-shirt or jumper weather? This classic sweater bridges the gap. bananarepublic.co.uk

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DEPARTURES

1

2

3

GIRLS

1 ZARA, Coated biker trousers, £39.99. If you’re in need of camouflage in the savannah, these trousers are just the ticket… zara.com 2 DIOR, Glisten Two Havana, £185. Metallic, tortoiseshell, cat eye – these stylish sunnies wrap up three trends in one. sunglasses-shop.co.uk 3 OFFICE, Kylie leopard print espadrille, £45. Match your shoes to your safari holiday with these leopard print espadrilles. office.co.uk

THE WEEKEND BAG TUSTING WEEKENDER BAG, £620. An extra-tough sail canvas weekend holdall from the quintessential British brand that’ll survive the wilds of both the airport and the Serengeti. tusting.co.uk

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DEPARTURES

Gear

The shark-print design, complete with moulded branding, rubber sole and a cushioned footbed with textured pattern for grip, is hip – but these flip flops show that you are doing your bit for the planet, too.

THE FOOTWEAR

Using a traditional thong-style flip flop, these grey-blue beauties boast a soft, synthetic strap. So fear not: you won’t need to buy a new pair after they snap immediately, leaving you looking daft.

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MITIME

GASBUDDY

TIPPING BIRD

ICAMPSITES

FREE IOS

FREE IOS, ANDROID

FREE ANDROID

£1.99 IOS, ANDROID

For the smoothest journey mitime wakes you in good time for your flight, taxi or train, and then monitors your route for disruptions. Should problems arise the clever app suggests alternative routes. mitimeapp.com

Road trippin’ in America or Canada? You might find this app a life saver. As you can probably guess GasBuddy will inform you of the nearest petrol stations, and will also sniff out the cheapest fuel. gasbuddy.com

When abroad, tipping etiquette is a minefield. Get it wrong, and you risk greatly offending. But worry no more: Tipping Bird flies in and provides vital tipping conventions and hints on a country-bycountry basis.

This little wonder will help you locate campsites throughout Europe. With over 8,500 locations to select from and reviews from thousands of fellow users providing the low down, it’s a superb tool. autoguide.com

Photograph by David Harrison

TOP TRAVEL APPS

HAVAIANAS CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL FLIP FLOPS, £17.99. Scot Robert Fraser was behind the worldwide phenomenon of Havaianas, after he cofounded parent company Alpargatas in 1883. A clever rebrand in the 1990s led to their surfer-dude boom, and these new examples are fruits of a partnership with Conservation International, which is mindful of overfishing, sedimentation and climate change. Happily, a percentage of sales goes to protecting marine ecologies. havaianas-store.com


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is born We love festivals, and we know you do too – that’s why we launched festival BABY. It’s the new hub for festival lovers, giving you the download on the best music festivals around the world, from who’s playing, what to do when you’re there and basically how to have the best time ever. Plus, we’ve got daily ticket giveaways to world’s best festivals…

FESTIVALBABY.COM #FESTBABY


DEPARTURES

WHAT’S HOT

festivals Love music festivals? Love Festival Baby. We’ve got your ticket to a year of music – and here’s a flavour of festivals at home and abroad to kick it off. If they don’t float your boat, check out festivalbaby.com for more…

HENLEY FESTIVAL ENGLAND, 9-13 JULY

LOVEBOX ENGLAND, 18-19 JULY If you can’t escape the city, Lovebox is the highlight of the London festival calendar. Started by dance act Groove Armada, the festival sees big names such as Duke Dumont and MIA pack out the main stages at Victoria Park, but some of the best fun can be found in the parties spread throughout Lovebox. loveboxfestival.com

Photographs by: (Melt!) sf@stephanflad.com; (Henley) 2013 Satureyes; (SGP) Andrew Whitton Photography 2013 Photograph by ###

The antithesis of your mud-caked, cider-soaked music fest, the Henley Festival is a black tie soirée that takes the basics of a summer bash – live acts, flowing booze – with a huge dash of class. Ergo, in place of the beer tent you’ve got the Lanson Champagne Lawn and smooth crooners gracing the floating stage this year include Roxy Music legend Bryan Ferry. henley-festival.co.uk

MELT! GERMANY, 18-20 JULY A small, intimate festival held among the industrial clutter of a disused mine, the festival has a cult following among devotees who have seen its stock and popularity rise since it started in the late ‘90s. The lineup is as offbeat as the scenery, with alternative rock, electronica, soul and hip hop all represented. meltfestival.de

SECRET GARDEN ENGLAND, 24-27 JULY Embrace your inner freak at this garden party. Pranksters Bearded Kitten will be organising contests (hotdog eating, mud wrestling, dance offs), Guerilla Science will do crazy experiments, there will be parades and performance art, and more fancy dress than you could shake a fairy wand at. secretgardenparty.com

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COMPETITION

WIN THE BEST SUMMER EVER Summer calendar looking a little empty? No matter, as we’re recruiting an official festival correspondent to party the season away at the UK’s top music gigs. You can thank us later…

NEED TO KNOW

HOW TO WIN

Too many festivals to choose from this year? Thankfully, we’re not going to make you choose, as we are sending you to some of the best as our official correspondent. We’ve put together an epic lineup of festivals and one lucky winner will attend them all:

To win a summer of festivals, head to festivalbaby.com/ competitions/best-summer-gig. See the website for more details and full terms and conditions.

◆ Feel the love at music and art

festival Latitude ◆ Experience the merriment and

madness at Secret Garden Party Norfolk’s Sundown ◆ Rock your way through the August

Bank holiday at Leeds Festival ◆ Round it off with a trip to the Isle

of Wight for Bestival You will be our ears on the ground at each festival and while living it up,you’ll be capturing the best moments and sharing them with us on Twitter and Instagram. Consider it the best summer job you’ve ever had…

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Photograph by ### Illustration by Mika Korento / krnt.wordpress.com

◆ See the sun set on the summer at


J U LY 9 T H - 13 T H 2 014

In partnership with

STARRING JOSS STONE BURT BACHARACH B RYA N FER RY THE JACKSONS REBECCA FERGUSON AND THE OVERTONES www.henley-festival.co.uk


The Sky’s The Limit When there are fantastic deals on flights and nights in the best hotels with British Airways to shout about, what happens in Vegas doesn’t have to just stay in Vegas…

L

as Vegas is used to being talked about in superlatives. But it’s not just about the biggest and the brightest – although Vegas does big and bright like no other city in the world – it’s always been about the best. And that’s something the Nevada capital has always known a thing or two about. One of the top tourist attractions in the world, Las Vegas continues to draw millions of visitors each year thanks to an intoxicating combination of world-class chefs, a huge variety of gaming options, dazzling musical performances and non-stop sunshine. And with great deals available on flights and hotels in Las Vegas with British Airways, there’s never been a better time to visit.

VEGAS IS NOT ABOUT THE BIGGEST OR BRIGHTEST – ALTHOUGH IT DOES BOTH BIG AND BRIGHT WELL – IT’S ABOUT THE BEST 36

This is the city that constantly reinvents itself, and even the Vegas veteran will never run out of things to do, especially given the fresh and exciting happenings this year. The Strip’s newest and most seductive hotel, The Cromwell, is bringing back the spirit of Las Vegas of old: a heady cocktail of late nights in elegant surroundings. The boutique hotel, opposite Caesars Palace, is one of the most exclusive hotels in Las Vegas. With only 188 rooms, it has a more intimate feel than many of its neighbours, and boasts the Strip’s only rooftop pool area – home to the uber-exclusive Drai’s Beach Club – and celebrity chef Giada de Laurentis’ first-ever restaurant. Guests looking for iconic Caesars Palace hospitality with a Japanese twist can stay in the world’s first Nobu boutique hotel, which celebrated its first birthday this year. The intimate 181-room property, situated within Caesars itself, is a masterful collaboration between Caesars and Nobu and is backed by Robert de Niro. And this year, it’s set to get even better as Nobu opens the luxurious 10,300 sq ft Nobu Villa atop the hotel, offering panoramic views over the Las Vegas Strip. Or, if you’re desperate for all the famous glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in the heart of Las Vegas continues to entertain guests with its reputation as one of the most fun-loving hotels in the city. So much so that it’s snagged Britney Spears for a two-year residency, with her sold-out Piece Of Me show – it’s guaranteed to be a hit. But it’s not just the hotels that keep reinventing themselves. A new addition to the Strip skyline in 2014 is the High Roller – part of $550m open-air retail, dining and

WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS: Caesars Entertainment has many new attractions in Las Vegas this year, including new boutique hotel The Cromwell, the Nobu villa within Caesars Palace and the High Roller, as part of the exciting LINQ development.

The Deal Save up to 30% on accommodation and receive free breakfast at Caesars Entertainment hotels when booking flights and three or more nights with British Airways. Terms and conditions apply. ba.com/lasvegas


Promotion

BRITISH AIRWAYS

LAS VEGAS IS THE CITY THAT CONSTANTLY REINVENTS ITSELF. THERE IS ALWAYS NEW AND EXCITING THINGS TO DO entertainment district the LINQ – the world’s tallest observation wheel, offering spectacular views over Las Vegas during a 30-minute flight. The LINQ is connected to Harrah’s Las Vegas and Flamingo Las Vegas, allowing guests to move easily between all three. The Las Vegas shopping experience is set to ramp up this year too, as Bally’s unveils its Grand Bazaar Shops – a world-class collection of shops, with new restaurants and bars.

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At the other end of the Strip, opposite the Fashion Show Mall, sits the gilded pair of The Venetian and Palazzo hotels. These two luxury hotels offer a high-class Las Vegas experience, from the quality suites that come as standard to the wide range of superlative dining options. Taking its inspiration from the elegance of Venice, The Venetian is about as near to the endearing glamour of Italy that you’ll find across the pond. Only in Vegas can you be chauffeured

WHEN IN VENICE: The stunning Palazzo tower has all the glitz and glamour of its neighbour, the Venetian. Together they offer a huge range of excellent restaurants, shows and activities.

around the Grand Canal in a mock gondola, sailing underneath the Rialto Bridge. The Venetian also pays homage to its Italian heritage with an exclusive Da Vinci exhibition, featuring many of the Renaissance painter’s inventions, anatomical studies and worldrenowned paintings, in a splendid Italian setting. It’s The Venetian’s excellent dining scene that really impresses. From casual restaurants such as Buddy V’s Ristorante and world-class fusion restaurant SUSHISAMBA, there are restaurants to suit every palate. The Venetian is joined by a wealth of celebrity chefs, too, including Mario Batali,Wolfgang Puck, Joe Bastianich, Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, behind the hotel’s newest restaurant DB Brasserie. And don’t miss the legendary Rock Of Ages show. If you book for more than five nights at the hotel through British Airways, you’ll even receive complimentary tickets. Meanwhile, the Palazzo’s resident show – Panda! – is a dazzling acrobatic performance from the Chinese National Acrobatic Troupe. Look no further for top-class after-show entertainment than Tao, a multi-level bar, restaurant and nightclub, dominated by dazzling acrobatic performances and pyrotechnics. But it doesn’t just get going after dark, as Tao Beach is a premier pool party experience, welcoming big-name DJs from all over the world. With 10 flights to Las Vegas a week with British Airways, and great deals on out-of-thisworld hotels and experiences, you could soon be enjoying the 24/7 bacchanalia that is Las Vegas. ◆

AT THE END OF THE STRIP SITS THE GILDED PAIR OF THE VENETIAN AND PALAZZO, WHICH OFFER A HIGH-CLASS LAS VEGAS EXPERIENCE 38


Promotion

BRITISH AIRWAYS

The Deal Get up to 25% off accommodation when booking flights and five nights, plus free Rock of Ages tickets if you travel during the months of July, August, November or December. Terms and conditions apply. ba.com/lasvegas

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You make ANIMALS FEEL LIKE they’re on safari. KRUGEivRe • 5

4 nts • All Inclus

LION SANDS GAME RESERVE

FROM

£2,429pp *

01 Dec ‘14

IN-STORE 0844 557 3868

VIRGINHOLIDAYS.CO.UK *Prices are for departure dates stated and are per adult based on two adults travelling with return economy flights, sharing a Luxury room. Includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are correct at time of print and are subject to change. Prices advertised are for online bookings only; when booked in-store or by telephone a higher price may apply. Peak season and weekend supplements may apply. Savings where shown are per adult and are the maximum saving within the date shown. Price includes saving. Offer applicable until 30 Jun ‘14. All offers are for new direct bookings and are subject to availability and Virgin Holidays standard terms and conditions. Offers cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount including Tesco Clubcard points. Paying by VISA/MasterCard will incur a charge of 2% of the value of the transaction. Paying by American Express will incur a charge of 2.6% of the value of the transaction. All calls charged at 5p per minute at all times from a BT landline including VAT. Charges may vary from other networks or mobile networks. Offer valid for Virgin Holidays division of the Virgin Holidays Group only, for definition visit virginholidays.co.uk/ourfamily. ATOL protected (2358) and ABTA (V2043). All the flight and flight inclusive holidays featured are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotel and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate


GET MORE ADVENTURE AT ESCAPISMMAGAZINE.COM

EXPERIENCES Photograph by YAY Media AS / Alamy

42 50 52 56 58 64

TOP SAFARIS SAVING THE RHINO SENEGAL FITNESS ALTERNATIVE NYC COOL CRUISING SUMMER ALPS

WALKING TALL: The giraffe might be the tallest living animal, but the species still doesn’t qualify for the ‘Big Five’. They’re found all over Africa, and when out on safari you’re almost guaranteed to spot one. [p42]

41


You make ANIMALS FEEL LIKE they’re on safari. KRUGEivRe • 5

4 nts • All Inclus

LION SANDS GAME RESERVE

FROM

£2,429pp *

01 Dec ‘14

IN-STORE 0844 557 3868

VIRGINHOLIDAYS.CO.UK *Prices are for departure dates stated and are per adult based on two adults travelling with return economy flights, sharing a Luxury room. Includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are correct at time of print and are subject to change. Prices advertised are for online bookings only; when booked in-store or by telephone a higher price may apply. Peak season and weekend supplements may apply. Savings where shown are per adult and are the maximum saving within the date shown. Price includes saving. Offer applicable until 30 Jun ‘14. All offers are for new direct bookings and are subject to availability and Virgin Holidays standard terms and conditions. Offers cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount including Tesco Clubcard points. Paying by VISA/MasterCard will incur a charge of 2% of the value of the transaction. Paying by American Express will incur a charge of 2.6% of the value of the transaction. All calls charged at 5p per minute at all times from a BT landline including VAT. Charges may vary from other networks or mobile networks. Offer valid for Virgin Holidays division of the Virgin Holidays Group only, for definition visit virginholidays.co.uk/ourfamily. ATOL protected (2358) and ABTA (V2043). All the flight and flight inclusive holidays featured are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotel and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

42


Experiences

SAFARI

Photograph by ###

Few things in travel beat the thrill of coming faceto-face with the animal kingdom’s biggest stars. Cathy Adams and Laura Chubb track down epic safaris to suit every taste 43


“MUSIC journey WITH

MANY

is a

destinations

Joss stone chose round the world experts as official travel partner for her total world tour.

Best for: The Big Five KRUGER SAFARI, SOUTH AFRICA

Kruger isn’t the classic for nothing: South Africa’s showstopper is bigger than Ireland, the most popular safari destination in the country and home to more than 147 species of mammals. A Kruger Safari with Exodus includes game drives and walks to spot that all-important pentad and more. There’s also a special conservation departure where you can help out with micro-chipping rhinos. Nine days from £1,949pp includes breakfasts, dinners, accommodation, safaris and flights. exodus.co.uk MOMBO CAMP, BOTSWANA

Overlooking the floodplains of the Okavango Delta, Mombo Camp sits pretty in Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve, which combines drier, wooded areas with the area’s signature, wildlife-teeming lagoons. Game drives will help you stalk the Big Five. Four nights is £4,363pp, including fullMoremi Game Reserve is known for particularly high game densities, thanks to the year-round water supply provided by the lagoons of the Okavango Delta.

board and transfers. originaltravel.co.uk SINGITA SASAKWA LODGE, TANZANIA

Just as essential a safari experience as The Big Five – which Tanzania naturally offers – is the annual Great Migration of wildebeest and zebras, which sees more than two million animals surge between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. At Singita Sasakwa Lodge, you can watch the spectacle from a sprawling veranda, before bedding down in luxury cottages, each with an infinity pool. Rates from £1,107pp, including all meals and beverages, accommodation and transfers. singita.com

Best for: Luxury FOUR SEASONS SAFARI LODGE SERENGETI, TANZANIA

When the Four Seasons sets up camp in the Serengeti, you know it’s going to be good. Infinity pool overlooking a watering hole? Check. Traditional Maasai spa treatments overlooking lions roaming the bush? Check. If you’re looking for no-expenses-spared African luxury, well, you’ve found it. Rooms start from £722 a night. fourseasons.com/serengeti

0800 188 4506 roundtheworldexperts.co.uk

MNEMBA ISLAND LODGE, OFF ZANZIBAR

Why settle for just the bush when you can peg a beach break onto the end? That’s where private Mnemba Island comes in – it’s


SAFARI

three miles off the coast of paradise island Zanzibar, and only lodge guests reside here, providing your very own stretch of Indian Ocean. Plus, you’re only a short flight from the heart of the Serengeti for that safari. Rates start from £470pppn on an all-inclusive basis. andbeyond.com

“LIFE journey is a

WITH

MANY

Experiences

destinations

VOLCANOES LODGES, RWANDA

Rwanda has one big trump card over the Serengeti and Maasai Mara – its chimpanzee and gorilla populations. From your base at one of Volcanoes’ eco-safari lodges in northeastern Rwanda, there’s gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans and game drives around Queen Elizabeth National Park in neighbouring Uganda. At the camp, relax on terraces with views over misty volcanoes in classic ‘bush chic’ surroundings.

we’re not just here for the stars. for your multi-destination journey, trust a company who are the experts.

Rates start from £375pppn. volcanoessafaris.com/lodges

Best for: Budget ADDO ELEPHANT PARK, SOUTH AFRICA

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Giraffes are a frequent sight; a pool with a view at the Four Seasons Serengeti; forget the Big Five and track gorillas in Rwanda; sunset over Addo Elephant Park in South Africa; and glamping at Mombo Camp in Botswana

If you’re looking for a safari that won’t totally blitz your bank account, steering clear of the big names and driving your own vehicle will go a long way. Addo Elephant Park, just north of Port Elizabeth (handily near the end of the Garden Route), is South Africa’s third-biggest national park. Despite the name, it’s not just elephants here – there are also lions, hyenas and rhinos, alongside abundant antelope and zebra. Park entrance costs around £11pp. Game drives are available from £16pp. sanparks.org

Photograph by ###

SOUTH AFRICA’S KRUGER NATIONAL PARK IS BIGGER THAN IRELAND

0800 188 4506 roundtheworldexperts.co.uk


Experiences

A SPECIAL SAFARI IN ZAMBIA OFFERS SIX DAYS’ HANDS-ON TRACKING OF CARNIVORES MAJETE WILDLIFE RESERVE, MALAWI

Celebrate World Lion Day on 10 August by heading to Majete Wildlife Reserve to get up close with the lions. Over the weekend of 9-10 August, stay at Mkulumadzi Lodge in the country’s only Big Five park and learn all about tracking the big cats. Costs £210pppn on a full-board basis, inc. activities, park fees and transfers. robinpopesafaris.net ADVENTURE CAMPS, TANZANIA

In the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania, bed down in a rustic tented camp, smack-bang

SAFARI

ABOVE: The misty mountains of the Virunga volcano range in Rwanda. Stay at eco-safari camp Volcanoes Lodges (previous page) and see this view every day. BELOW: A lioness crouches in the bush, Botswana. The country is also good for spotting the rare black rhino

in the heart of the action – think animals wandering up to your tent, and enjoying cheeky sundowners under the stars. While here, try a safari along the Rufiji River. Rates start from around £250pppn at the Selous Impala Camp. adventurecampstz.com

Best for: Conservation ZAMBIAN CARNIVORE PROGRAMME

You won’t just be watching the animals at Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park – this specialist safari offers a hands-on six days of tracking and surveying carnivores including lions, African wild dogs and their prey. You’ll get

to go a-wandering in one of the bestknown national parks for walking safaris, checking out giraffe, elephants, hippos and more on the way.

While in Zambia, don’t miss Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi River plunges 328ft into a steeply walled gorge. Try the 364ft bungee jump off Victoria Falls Bridge.

Seven nights cost from £2,320pp, including all safari costs and a donation to the programme. robinpopesafaris.net WILDLIFE RESEARCH IN SOUTH AFRICA

Two weeks from £1,195pp, including all meals, accommodation, training and permits. gvi.co.uk GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK, MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park is one of the world’s largest conservation areas, thanks to a huge conservation effort that’s been going on over the past few years. As a result, it now boasts small colonies of lions, leopards, elephant, buffalo and

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Photograph (bottom left) by Fotofeeling/Westend61/Corbis

Join a wildlife conservation team with social enterprise GVI and you’ll be posted to one of two animal-rich regions in South Africa: Limpopo in the north or “garden province” KwaZulu-Natal. You’ll be asked to play an active role in the research and conservation of reintroduced predators and large herbivores on a private game reserve, receiving training in the use of equipment, adjusting to life in the African bush and getting acquainted with all the major game.


Experiences

SAFARI

ABOVE: Set up at India’s luxurious Jawai Leopard Camp and take drives to see the spotty cats that roam the remote Aravalli Hills. BELOW: A baby croc shouldn’t cause too much angst in the waters of Gorongosa. Watch out for mum, though...

zebra. Visitors can see conservation in action on game drives around the park. Park entrance for international visitors costs around £10pp. gorongosa.org

Best for: Off the beaten track ODZALA FLY-IN SAFARI, REPUBLIC OF CONGO

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Nine days from £6,369pp including full-board accommodation, transfers, park fees and flights. expertafrica.com XUGANA ISLAND LODGE, BOTSWANA

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a unique African oasis of lagoons and grassy floodplains, which means you can leave the 4WD parked up and explore its snaking waterways by dugout canoe. Xugana Island Lodge is a hush-hush hotspot offering reedthatched, lagoon-facing chalets with private viewing decks, so you can linger over the vista without even leaving your lounger. Lodges start from £522pppn in high season, including accommodation, meals, local brand

drinks, and safaris. desertdelta.com JAWAI LEOPARD CAMP, INDIA

A spectacular safari doesn’t have to automatically mean Africa. In between Rajasthan’s ‘blue city’ of Jodhpur and stunning town-on-a-lake Udaipur, Jawai Leopard Camp pitches its tents in the remote Aravalli Hills, where leopards roam the rocky ridges. Along with leopard-spotting (sorry) drives, there are swimming pools to cool the dusty heat and a spa on site, should all that being driven around leave you in need of a pampering. Three nights in a luxury tent from £1,050pp on a full board basis. originaltravel.co.uk

KENYA ADVICE As we went to press, the FCO warned against all but essential travel into parts of Kenya. For the latest guidance and advice, see fco.gov.uk or ask your travel agent. If you choose to travel against the guidance, check you are covered by your travel insurance.

Photograph (bottom right) by James Byrne

ONE-UP YOUR MATES AND HEAD INTO THE THICK JUNGLE OF THE CONGO TO TRACK THE GORILLAS

Spotting lions and leopards is all well and good, but if you really want to one-up your mates, head into the thick jungle of the Congo to track the country’s abundant gorilla population. Not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo – locked into a long-running civil war – the Republic of Congo’s vast swathes of impenetrable rainforest and inhospitable swamps have kept the humans out and the gorillas thriving, giving you the chance to see huge groups of the great apes.

Rajasthan in India is home to some of the country’s most colourful sights: blue city Jodhpur, gold city Jaisalmer in the Thar Desert, and the walled pink city of state capital Jaipur.


Quote ‘Escapism’ to receive a 20% discount on all bookings & travel until March 2015

The Luxury of Choice Addo Elephant National Park www.riverbendlodge.co.za


THE HORN IDENTITY BLACK RHINOS CAN LIVE FOR UP TO 50 YEARS

Africa’s black and white rhinos remain under threat from illegal poaching, but even tourists can help guarantee they don’t disappear forever

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he ‘Big Five’ of African game animals – lion, cape buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhinoceros – is what every safarigoer wants to see. Yet the term’s origins lie in hunting (the five were the most desirable trophies), and one member of the group remains particularly vulnerable thanks to demand for its prized horn. Five species of rhino exist, and each one is on the IUCN Red List of threatened species – of Africa’s two species, the white rhino is near threatened and the black rhino is critically endangered. Black rhino numbers fell below 2,500 in the mid 1990s, and though that figure has doubled thanks to conservation efforts, the species remains under threat from poaching, habitat loss

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and demand for rhino horn (which can sell for upwards of £80,000 per kilo) in traditional Chinese medicine. Black rhinos in South Africa alone are being killed at such a rate that deaths could overtake births in the species by 2016, though anti-poaching measures – both in Africa and in the biggest black markets for illegal rhino horns – and increasingly severe penalties for poachers offer hope. It’s also possible to contribute to the conservation of these remarkable, primitive-looking animals as a visitor to their native habitat. Some reserves, including Phinda [see panel, right] in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, even allow tourists to join park rangers in the vital and difficult task of darting, tagging and marking rhinos. If these species are to survive, the input of responsible tourists could be crucial. e

MPH

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SPEED BLACK RHINOS CAN REACH


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NUMBER OF RHINO HORNS GOING TO ILLEGAL MARKETS IN ASIA FROM AFRICA BETWEEN 2009 AND 2012

RHINOS

PHINDA RESERVE Located in the north of the KwaZuluNatal province, Phinda Private Game Reserve offers a unique opportunity to see a thriving population of black rhinos in their natural habitat, while contributing to the future survival of the species. Guests can join rangers as they tag the animals with GPS trackers, enabling them to monitor the movements and behaviour of the reserve’s rhinos. Phinda’s lodges provide easy access to other game and wildlife, including cheetahs, birds and the Big Five, with worldclass amenities and incredible views. For more information, go to virginholidays.co.uk and to book, phone 0844 557 4321.

1.8m

MAXIMUM HEIGHT OF A BLACK RHINO

1,004 668 402

448 333 122

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A CENTURY AGO, IT’S BELIEVED THERE WERE AROUND 100,000 BLACK RHINOS IN AFRICA. THOUGH NUMBERS HAVE DOUBLED IN THE LAST 20 YEARS THANKS TO CONSERVATION EFFORTS, THERE ARE STILL ONLY 4,880 IN THE WILD

RECORDED NUMBER OF RHINOS POACHED IN SOUTH AFRICA

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BRA NCH

Why strive for a summer bod in a stuffy gym when you could get a tan too with a holiday workout in stunning Senegal? Lucy Fry scales dunes, lifts tyres, and tries a spot of Senegalese wrestling

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Photograph by Š Barry Lewis / Alamy

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t’s Monday morning and I’m smashing gloved fists against boxing pads held by a Herculean personal trainer. “One, two three, roll!” he yells, as I fail to execute yet another set of punches. For some this may be the usual way to start the week, but wait: the sand between my toes reminds me that I’m not in a windowless gym. Rather, I’m on an adventure holiday in Senegal. This West African beauty boasts a toasty tropical climate (generally 26 to 32 degrees), while posing no jetlag for Brits (local time is just an hour behind the UK right now). Having only gained independence in 1960, the legacy of French colonialism is still evident, both in the soft, vaguely recognisable local Patois language of Wolof, and the numbers of visitors from France. Apart from the population clusters in industrial centres, there is a real sense of space here – one can drive for miles with sandy scrub on either side, only occasionally swerving to avoid the odd bicycle or antelope. Such emptiness is perhaps unsurprising, since Senegal, the boundaries of which bite down like a mouth on the tiny Gambia, was deemed in 2012 to give home to 13.1 million people within its 75,955 square miles. When you consider at least 2.5 million live in and around the capital Dakar, you get the idea. Here in the small, bush village of Toubacouta, just a 25-minute drive from the Senegalese-Gambian border, there’s barely any sign of modernisation whatsoever. Things are, on the surface at least, much like I imagine them to have been decades ago. But in one corner of the village is the luxury resort of Les Palétuviers (paletuviers.com), where both Wi-Fi and hot showers are available, along with massage treatments and hydrobike hire. It’s a destination cherrypicked by Fitness Travel Company founder Robert Tynan, who runs small group holidays aimed at getting people in shape and empowering them. “I fell in love with Senegal when I first travelled here. It’s not necessarily the first place you’d think of as somewhere to get fit, and that’s exactly why we picked it,” he tells me, as we feast on a break fast of eggs, bacon and lentils. Senegalese cuisine And here, on the is heavy on primary edge of the Saloum crops including Delta National Park, lentils, peanuts, sweet potatoes, found three taxi black-eyed peas and rides and one rather couscous. Fresh fish chaotic boat crossing from the Atlantic is also prominent. from the Gambian

SENEGAL

capital of Banjul (where our plane landed), is an unexpected, secret fitness playground. It’s the mixture of the water, beach and grassland that provides everything we need to train our bodies, caveman-style. Dune running? That’s what people did before ‘hill running’ became an actual training method, I discover, as we take a boat to a deserted beach, to charge repeatedly out of the water and up some small, steep sandbanks. How about some tyre flipping? It’s weight-training-in-disguise for the bum, legs and back (and more fun than lifting dumbbells). All of which, since we do it barefoot and on sand, causes some well-worked (read: stiff) calf muscles the following day. And this is never truer than after a game of ‘flag rugby’ on a private island hideaway, as I find out the day after our overnight trip to Plage D’Or (75 minutes by boat from our base). We take time to relax here, too: enjoying a bonfire, fresh oysters and a silent night in simple, square beach huts. Next morning my muscles might be tense, but my mind is unwinding, finally. Other chosen missions during the trip

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE … Just a 10km jog, cycle or drive from Les Palétuviers, the Fathala Wildlife Reserve (fathala.com) is one of only five places in the world where visitors are allowed to walk freely (for 30 minutes) alongside lions. Though you’ll only walk with two at any one time, all of the five of the resident felines have been trained from birth by their South African guide, who commands them with nothing more than the tone of her voice and a light stick. “Go and sit behind him, he’s friendly,” she tells me, pointing at the one lying on the floor. I inhale, nervously. This “baby” lion is only approaching two years old but already reaches to above waist height on the average person. I guess it’s about as safe as hanging out with huge, powerful, carnivorous cats can get, I think, and settle down behind him, my hand on his mane. “Relax,” the guide soothes, adding mischievously: “They like their meat tender and relaxed.” Good to know.

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included: a hot and sticky run through Toubacouta; various educational resistancetraining sessions; a cycle ride on some fairly rickety bikes; a kayak trip around the bay; a mini triathlon; some more kickboxing; and a lesson in Senegalese wrestling. True story. Almost everything we learn can be taken back home and worked on in some way, shape or form. Movement patterns are broken down, taught and explained, with gym-style alternatives offered. We’re incredibly lucky to have celebrity personal trainer Gus Olds leading the pack. Usually residing in central London, and boasting clients including the Great British Ski Team and the Great British Tennis Team, Olds apparently has X-ray Others to have vision that would benefited from the impress even the guidance of Olds most cynical. include Britain’s Strongest Man, “You run like the Great British Start terminator,” he says, Rowing and England as we jog across Polo. He also trains in mixed martial arts the West African grasslands. “There’s no movement in your thoracic spine. And it’s partly causing the issues in your hips.” An important conversation ensues (along with some guided hip-mobility work) during which time I learn more about my body and hormonal make-up than I have my whole life. I listen, really trusting the holistic approach of this health guru, who gives me realistic take-home goals and a personalised eating plan. “It’s kitchens, not crunches, that get you abs,” Olds suggests. But nutrition is of paramount importance out here, too. The menu is based on dishes high in the ‘good’ fats, as we feast on locally sourced white fish, cooked and seasoned, melt-in-the-mouth beef and, of course, plenty of nutrient-dense green vegetables. That, along with snacks of fruit with peanut

FIT FOR MORE?

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To reach Les Palétuviers with Fitness Travel Company, guests must fly to either Banjul in The Gambia (involving a boat trip, taxi ride and border crossing, it takes three hours) or into Dakar, Senegal’s capital, and travel by bus and car (approximately four hours on bumpy roads). Banjul is recommended.

‘YOU RUN LIKE TERMINATOR,’ I’M TOLD BY MY PERSONAL TRAINER CUM HEALTH GURU butter (all natural, no added sugar, and made locally) keeps us fuelled for each physical challenge. This way of eating helps each of us shift fat, build lean muscle tissue and boosts mood and promotes sleep. Everybody looks and feels different by the end. Of course the 30-degree sunshine helps, as well as the portion control and press ups. But crucially, I realise routine and discipline on holiday isn’t so bad after all. Unlike with drastic detox retreats or military-style bootcamps, there’s a genuine sense that some changes might stick. Staying off processed food and switching on my abdominals in each exercise should give me a half-decent chance that it won’t all go to pot (belly). However, downing a fresh ginger juice with spicy, raw honey, delivered to my door before morning training among the mangroves? That’s the stuff of Senegal, baby. And it’ll lure me back, no doubt. e

Photograph by © Hemis / Alamy

Fitness Travel Company offers: Magical Senegal, departs 28 June. Eight days from £2,450pp. Fitness Croatia style, departs 4 July. Eight days from £1,985pp. Thailand adventure, departs 20 September. Eight days from £5,950pp. All based on two people sharing. For more information see fitnesstravelcompany.com

GETTING THERE AND AWAY

SENEGAL


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NEXT LEVEL NEW YORK 1. GO VINTAGE Brooklyn Flea

Think shopping, think New York – but it doesn’t start and stop on the boutiques and department stores of Fifth Avenue. The Brooklyn Flea takes place twice a week – in Fort Greene on Saturdays and achingly hip Williamsburg on Sundays – and has a huge variety of vendors stocking everything from vintage clothes, jewellery and homemade crafts to antiques and old records. Vendors rotate, but try to track down Bad Postcards for brilliant – and sometimes brilliantly bad – vintage postcards from the mid20th century. Predictably, being in Brooklyn, it’s also a good place to wolf down some of the best street food in NYC and, by extension, the whole of the US. Fort Greene Flea, 176 Lafayette Ave (Saturday 10am-5pm); Williamsburg Flea, 50 Kent Ave (Sunday 10am5pm); brooklynflea.com

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New York City is made up of five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx and Queens. If Brooklyn were a city on its own, it would have the fourth largest population in the US.

There’s far more to the city that never sleeps than the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Madison Avenue. Just try these hidden NYC gems for size

2. FIND NYC’S LIGHTHOUSE

Little Red Light House You’d think if there were a bright red lighthouse in the middle of NYC we’d all know about it – well there is, yet somehow we don’t. The Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse is tucked away on the north shore of Manhattan, under the shadow of the George Washington Bridge, and though it was due to be demolished in the 1950s, it still stands proudly on the banks of the Hudson today. You can climb the iron stairs to the lantern room at the top, where the lens still functions – useful to know, just in case you’re planning on sailing your boat past at night. Fort Washington Park, 178th Street and the Hudson River, Manhattan; historichousetrust.org

3. WATCH AN OUTDOOR MOVIE South Street Seaport

Sure, you can watch films outdoors in London, too, but much as it pains us to say it, you just can’t beat the views from the Manhattan shore out along the Brooklyn Bridge, with some of Manhattan’s oldest architecture as a cinematic backdrop. South Street Seaport, in downtown Manhattan, screens free films throughout the summer, with food trucks, pop-up bars and DJs before the screening. Get there early and bring something comfortable to sit on if you’re planning on sticking it out to the end of the show. Front Row Outdoor Cinema; southstreetseaport.com


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4. GET ON TRACK The High Line

What do you do with a disused bit of freight train line that once carried goods above the streets of the Meatpacking District, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen? You turn it into an urban park, of course, and in doing so create a trendsetting piece of green space sprinkled with flowers, art installations and relics of the old railway. Amazingly, 161 out of the 210 plant species in the first section of the High Line are native to New York. From Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues; thehighline.org

5. GO TO THE LOO IN A TARDIS The Way Station

A bar in New York might be the last place you’d expect to find Doctor Who’s preferred mode of multi-dimensional transport, but Brooklyn’s the Way Station is home to exactly that. Described by its owners as a ‘Nerdvana and Music Venue’ the Way Station’s more than just a geek novelty with a Tardis that doubles as the entrance to its toilets – check out its cocktail list, including the inevitable sonic screwdriver, a Who-themed twist on a classic. 683 Washington Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn; waystationbk. blogspot.co.uk

GETTING THERE New York has some of the best hotels on the planet. Speak to a Virgin Holidays + HIP Hotels guru to book your perfect trip. To book, go to www.vhiphotels.co.uk, call 0844 573 2460 or book an appointment with a Travel Guru.

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ey g rin rent c nd iffe s a es ’s a d sea s rin at high e lu n? Th the b of bea on s e k b ag ari wee m C e i the es a r u nj und rav o t c aro nd b u b ng la p l e ppi Row h t n’ d ho gen a c n o ps isla Im i sh ut er. e h B s ui ret. oget r C ba lt ca ry a sto

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ut you’re so young. You have your whole life ahead of you. Why now? Why? While my colleagues’ comments sounded a tad overdramatic back in the UK, here, in the moment, I’m starting to have second thoughts. Staring up at the biggest ship I’ve ever seen, about to jump onboard for a week-long cruise, I’m in two

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Fantastic voyage Thankfully, we soon see a greater range of ages as people flock toward the dock and, once our sea legs have been appraised (or, rather, our cruise cards issued), it’s all aboard. First impression: it’s huge – 14 passenger decks huge – and I know that I’m going to get very, very lost. Voicing my concern, Hannah tries to reassure me: “Don’t worry – the stairwell carpets are colour-coded! And evennumbered rooms are ‘port’ side, both of which are four-letter words.” Erm, OK. So now all I need to do is work out which side is port (clue: also four letters). And, for that matter, which way is forwards. Once we have located our room – a balcony suite on deck nine – we tour the ship, passing the four swimming pools, skirting past a multitude of restaurants (12 at last count), a theatre, umpteen bars and shops galore. They really have thought of everything, and, while part of me feels nervous as I The southern half of watch the island St Maarten is Dutch, of St Maarten shrink while the northern into the distance and side comprises a French collectivity. the Caribbean Sea The old saying goes, widen ahead of us, ‘Sleep on the Dutch I’m feeling confident side, eat on the French side’. about spending a week on the water. Our first stop is Tortola – the biggest British Virgin Island at a rather diminutive 19x15km. We’re on land for mere moments before we board a smaller boat, this time to take us to nearby Virgin Gorda – a tinierstill speck on the horizon. When we arrive, the captain tells us we should venture through the Baths to seek out Devil’s Bay, the best spot on the island. The Baths are in fact a jumbled collection of giant volcanic boulders that sit in the shallows, which we gamely scramble over and clamber around, sometimes up to our knees in water. But

Photograph by ###

NOW I’M IN TWO MINDS. CARIBBEAN? GREAT! CRUISE? GRANDMA.

minds. Caribbean? Great! Cruise? Grandma. Months previously, my friend Hannah and I had drunkenly decided that a cruise was the only way we were going to island-hop in the Caribbean without a Beyoncé-style budget, and had boldly signed ourselves up for some winter sun. But now, standing before Ventura – one of P&O’s largest vessels – doubts are creeping in. So far the people we’ve seen in the queue are all nearer my parents’ age than ours, and my main concern is suddenly that I don’t know how to play quoits – or, for that matter, what quoits are. I have a feeling this solemn fact might ostracise me from social circles in the next seven days. But, despite their concerns, the echoes of my colleagues’ words are only half true. While we are young to be jumping aboard (30, compared to the average British cruising age of 56), recent research by the ABTA, the UK’s leading travel association, showed a surprising leap in the number of holidaymakers aged 16-25 planning on taking a cruise. So we aren’t completely deluded in our bold decision to join the seafaring masses. We hope.

CRUISING


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Experiences

Devil’s Bay is worth the effort when we emerge – paradise-like with velveteen sands, swaying palms and glowing blue waters. We laze here for the morning, sharing the bay with a handful of other intrepid explorers and feeling rather pleased with ourselves.

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A funky finale The week races by in a blur of exotic isles and lazy days at sea, until we reach our final port, Barbados. We spend the day whizzing

through the treetops at a zip-lining centre in the Walkes Spring plantation, but the main event is saved for after the sun goes down. Fortune has it that we’re here in time to catch Oistins Fish Fry – a small fishing town during the week, every Friday Oistins transforms into a town-wide party serving up local specialities including marlin, macaroni pie and potent fruit punch (made with the island’s most famous export, Mount Gay rum). Once we are sufficiently stuffed, the music begins and soon everyone is dancing wildly in the open air. We spot plenty of familiar faces from the ship – passengers of all generations throwing shapes to the reggae and calypso mixes in merry abandon. And I realise that, far from our age making us feel like outcasts, it’s actually meant we fit in perfectly – because, after a week at sea, everyone is feeling young at heart. e

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Photograph by ###

Life at sea Back on Tortola, we spend the afternoon at Josiah’s Bay – a virtually deserted and utterly beautiful beach. We feast on vegetable rotis, conch fritters and honeystung chicken at Tortola is Spanish for Naomi’s Little Secret, a gem of a beach ‘turtledove’, named for the distinctive shack, before hitting birds flying around the water in awe when Christopher of the fact that no Columbus first came ashore. Sadly, few one has built on the of them remain hillside that shelters centuries later. this incredible spot. When the time comes we’re reluctant to leave, but sail-away is at 6pm and we’ve been told in no uncertain terms that the ship waits for no one – a promise I’m not keen to test. Life onboard, as it turns out, is equally good fun. During the next two sea days there is no shortage of things to do. Films are screened daily in case you feel the need to sit in a darkened room (an opportunity I take up one morning after a particularly heavy karaoke session the night before) and there’s a well-equipped gym, an opulent spa and even a casino if you fancy a flutter. I had been worried that I’d feel trapped onboard, but it turns out it’s hard to feel claustrophobic when the ship is this size. Plus, while we are definitely at the younger end of the age spectrum, our fellow cruisers welcome us into their fold, swapping stories

of days onshore over black tie dinners. Yes, it’s all a bit retro, and there are more sequins here than on the last series of Strictly Come Dancing, but that’s all part of the charm. Even the food is a pleasant surprise. I thought thanks to the sheer number of passengers (around 3,100 at full capacity) it might be more akin to school dinners than fine holiday fare, but we enjoy Asian-fusion curries at East (menu designed by Michelinstarred chef Atul Kochar of Benares fame) and decadent platefuls of chateaubriand and lobster risotto at The White Room, the exec-chef of which is none other than celeb restaurateur Marco Pierre White. By far my favourite thing about cruising, though, is that each morning you throw your curtains back and are greeted with a new view – be it of a different island to discover or acres of ocean. Curaçao is our next stop, and the sight I’m greeted with is the pastelcoloured buildings lining the harbour. We’ve booked a kayaking trip for the morning and, once we’ve paddled our way out to a small shipwreck, we snorkel with a fabulous array of brightly coloured sea creatures. When I occasionally come up for air, pelicans swoop around me, diving for fish that have dared to swim too close to the surface. This is quintessential Caribbean.

CRUISING


NO SNOW? NO PROBL

Photograph by Š funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy

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VERBIER

What is there to do when you find yourself in a Swiss ski resort out of season? Plenty, finds Laura Millar, from e-biking over the Alps to watching burly men blowing on big horns, all while eating lots (and we mean lots) of cheese…

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n a hot and sunny day in the middle of a daisystrewn field attached to the pretty little village of La Fouly, high in the Swiss Alpine region of Verbier Saint-Bernard, two females are eyeing each other up, menacingly. Tessa and Tara are spoiling for a fight – both petite, with dark hair and long-lashed, brown doe eyes, they’re vying to be voted Queen of the Alps. Unlike most beauty contests, however, this will result in actual physical combat, with our dainty contenders stepping into a ring and indulging in a somewhat unladylike encounter to gain supremacy. There’s a lot of grunting and shoving, but in five minutes it’s all over, and Tara is triumphant, having made Tessa back off with her tail, quite literally, between her legs. Triumphant, too, is her owner – for Tara, Tessa, and the 12 others who are

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UNLIKE MOST BEAUTY CONTESTS, HOWEVER, THIS ONE WILL RESULT IN PHYSICAL COMBAT

taking part in today’s tournament are all prized Swiss Herens breed cows. Every September, there is a festival celebrating their return down the mountains for winter. Herens cows are known for their rich, creamy milk, tender beef, and the way they fight, horn to horn, Though it might over the best patches look funny, the of grazing land. Alpenhorn had a Hence the serious purpose in the 17th century, organised cow fights, when it was used which bestow on for communication the winner and her between mountain owner not only the communities. Queen of the Alps title (and a massive ribbon she can wear round her waist), but also the knowledge that her value has skyrocketed – Queens can fetch over £25,000 at market. Other prizes are awarded for the cow that produces the most (and best) milk, while the festival – called the Désalpe – also celebrates other iconic Swiss traditions, like the green-uniformed brass band who parade by on horseback, the moustachioed, burly Alpenhorn players (you have to be burly: those big horns measure up to three-anda-half metres long), and the many, many Raclette stalls. Ah, Raclette. If you’ve never tried it, it’s basically one of the best things in the Western world: tangy, milky cheese held in front of a heater which makes it drip and pool oozily onto the plate, to be consumed (or best plunged into head-first) with vast amounts of potatoes, bread and gherkins, washed down with crisp, local Fendant wine. Never let it be said that the Swiss don’t know how to entertain out of season. Snow-free shenanigans The Verbier Saint-Bernard region is, of course, best known for skiing. Between late November and April, the sleepy village of Verbier’s population swells from 3,000 people to become a teeming ski resort of 30,000. It’s part of the ‘Four Valleys’ area which, in total, offers over 410km of runs, at an elevation of up to 3,330m. Frequented

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by the likes of James Blunt, Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, Lawrence Dallaglio and Richard Branson, you might well want to come here in the summer purely to avoid them. The scenery around Verbier is Sound of Music charming; lush green grass surrounds the rolling mountains, which are peppered with impossibly pretty wooden chalets, the balconies of which all boast bright flowers. In the distance loom the spectacular snow- and ice-slicked mountains: Mont Blanc, Grand Combin, Dent Blanche, the Matterhorn, and more, sticking up like jagged teeth and daring intrepid climbers to scale them. Thankfully, on my first full day in the region, I’m sticking to the scenic bike trails that sit at around 2,200m, reached by cable car from Verbier’s Médran lift station. Five of us are going e-biking – or electric biking – along part When staying in of the 200km of Verbier, you’ll want accessible trails in to be close to the the area. I’m fine on Médran gondola, the village’s main two wheels as long as point of access I’m on a flat surface, for ascending into but there will be the surrounding mountains. several little dips and

VERBIER

ABOVE: With no snow to slow your progress, Verbier is a summer playground that’s ripe for hiking, biking and, if you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie, paragliding from the peaks

rises on our planned ride to La Chaux, the highest point of the ride being 2,260m. Then we’ll head back to Verbier via La Croix de Coeur, a peak that offers magnificent views over the valley. On an e-bike, however, dips and rises are child’s play. You can turn the three ‘gears’ off, or switch between them to give you the extra oomph to tackle hills and inclines: the electric-charged engine kicks in, meaning you need to do less pedalling. It’s genius,

and I’m instantly converted, to the extent that I feel I can go on much longer and further than the 12 miles we cover. Whizzing along the side of the mountain, looking out over the valley below, offers an endless range of jaw-dropping, panoramic views, while our ride is soundtracked by the melancholic clanking of cowbells, and the odd butterfly darts in and out of our path. We have lunch at the restaurant at Le Croix de Coeur peak, which in summer

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THERE’S STILL APRÈS-SKI, EVEN WITH NO SNOW GETTING THERE > Return flights with Swiss from Heathrow to Geneva start at £143, visit swiss.com. > For more information and to find accommodation, visit verbier.ch. > A one-day lift pass for the Verbier area is £20.33 during the summer months (early June to late October). > Verbier Bike Club provides tours in the region, bikeclubverbier.ch.

plays host to tired hikers, bikers and paragliders. As we bask on the sunny terrace, sipping local rose wine, we watch those braver than we are hurl themselves off the side of the mountain, suspended only from a curved piece of fabric. That’s far too much like hard (and scary) work; trying to do a few cocky BMX-style moves on the way back down into the valley is as intrepid as we get. More cheese, please That evening, after more reviving local wine (it’s so good that the Swiss don’t export it, preferring to keep it for themselves), we move to the resort of Champex-Lac, a picturesque village which skirts a large, shimmering lake. We visit a beautiful botanical garden, the Flore-Alpe, which cultivates over 3,000 species of plants, and dining that night at the nearby Hotel du Glacier, we are offered the seasonal ‘Menu Chasse’, or ‘Hunter’s menu’. The local hunting season, which goes on throughout the autumn, results in delicious specialities such as deer, mountain goat and hare. After a bracing morning walk around

Confusingly, Raclette is both a cheese and a dish. The dish is melted cheese scraped onto plates and eaten with gherkins, pickled onions and dried meats – yum.

the lake, we travel on to the valley town of Le Châble, which hosts an annual Raclette Festival. It’s like all my Christmases have come at once. There are long trestle tables lined up in a vast hall, topped with stands manned by local producers who all insist their Raclette is the best. Obviously, you

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Experiences

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have to try as many as possible to see who’s right. Rounding off the evening at a very amusing nightclub called Dzarbys, it appears the Swiss are still excellent at the art of après-ski, even when there’s no actual ski to go before it. On my final morning, I make a pilgrimage to the Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard in Martigny, before catching the train back to Geneva airport. An airy, modern fourstory building, it charts the history of the Great Saint Bernard Pass, which used to be the only means of traversing the Alps from Italy to Switzerland. Hardy Saint Bernard dogs became integral to the Great Saint Bernard Hospice, a hostel situated next to the frontier of Italy, which offered rest to weary travellers who’d managed to brave the treacherous weather conditions. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the dogs were used to rescue those who struggled in the snow. Of course, these days anyone getting into difficulties on the mountains is more likely to be hoisted skywards by a rescue helicopter rather than be dug out by a friendly, slobbering canine, proferring a miniature barrel of brandy. On the ground floor of the museum, several dogs are still kept and bred; they are placid, good-natured creatures the size of small ponies. As I pet a behemoth named Hester, who, standing on all fours, comes up to my hips, I ask how old she is. I’m taken aback to find she’s a veritable baby at only nine months – but I imagine she’d hold her own in a cow fight. Take note, Switzerland: cows versus Saint Bernards could be the next big tourist attraction! Like I said, the Swiss really know how to entertain themselves out of season… e

ABOVE: The La Croix de Coeur peak, at 2,174m, gives great views over the valley. Pull up a seat at one of the many restaurants at the top and enjoy the spectacular views over the mountains.

The most desirable villas in the heart of the Mediterranean

Actually, the barrel of brandy around the neck of a rescue Saint Bernard dog is apocryphal, all thanks to the imagination of British painter Edwin Landseer.

+44 (0)20 7377 8518 www.TheThinkingTraveller.com At the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards 2007-2013: Best villa rental company | Best on the ground service Best range of villas and facilities | Best presentation of villas


Home Comforts Forget staying in a bland hotel room facing the car park. Get inspired with one of Airbnb’s unique properties from around the world that provide a very different view

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hen you book a property through Airbnb, you’re no longer a traveller – you’re at home. And with Airbnb, you have access to more than 600,000 of these homes – properties include houses, flats, treehouses, boats, castles, igloos and everything in between – in hundreds of countries around the world. In fact, you’ll never want to settle for an ordinary old hotel room again. Whether it’s waking up and throwing open the French doors to reveal the Galata Tower in Istanbul, or pushing open the skylight for a vista across Amsterdam’s skyline, Airbnb has a property to suit every view you could want. Get inspiration for your next holiday by visiting airbnb.co.uk/views, which lists some of the more unique Airbnb properties and rooms with breathtaking views around the world. To give you a taste, you could soon be checking into an old windmill in Kent for just £150 a night, or hiring out a romantic treehouse in Italy for the weekend, all for only £100 a night. Browse the wishlists at airbnb.co.uk/ wishlists to find collections of unique properties. From top Airstreams to hire – a vintage camper overlooking the beach in Melbourne, anyone? –

Check In To wake up to a different view on your next holiday, get browsing airbnb.co.uk/views.

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to the best glamping retreats everywhere from North Yorkshire to Seattle, you’ll wake up with a totally fresh perspective. Adding to that new perspective, your property host will often suggest hidden gems in the local neighbourhood away from tourist traps, so you’ll start to feel like a local the minute your feet hit the welcome mat. Plan your next adventure today at airbnb.co.uk/views, and prepare to wake up to a very different tomorrow. ◆

ABOVE: How does starting the day with breakfast overlooking the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul sound? Or sharing your afternoon view over the Kent countryside with a cat? Find a new view for each day of the year at airbnb.co.uk/views


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WHETHER IT’S WAKING UP TO THE GALATA TOWER IN ISTANBUL OR A VISTA ACROSS AMSTERDAM, AIRBNB HAS A PROPERTY TO SUIT EVERY VIEW IMAGINABLE 71


WELCOME TO foodism A TRIP THROUGH THE LATEST GLOBAL EATING TRENDS AND DESTINATIONS. IT’S THE WORLD ON A PLATE

74 FOODIE MADRID 80 REVIEWS 81 TASTE OF LONDON 82 SPARKLING WINE


There’s more to Spanish cheese than manchego – make sure to experiment

Pile Spanish cured meats on bread with piquillo peppers and a drizzle of olive oil

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foodism

Spain is home to the largest date palm grove in Europe, in the town of Elche in Alicante

SMALL PLATES, BIG CITY Madrid may be known for traditional tapas, but its small plates are now getting a thoroughly modern makeover, finds Mike Gibson

Photograph by ###

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foodism

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s with most people who live in London, I’m all too familiar with sharing plates. In fact, I can’t seem to get away from them. In the past few years, the familiar starter and main has largely been replaced by smaller courses, brought out at the chefs’ leisure and shared between diners around the table. Hell, even burgers have successfully downsized to sliders. If you traced back the origins of this ‘family style’, sharing food craze, chances are you’d find yourself in Madrid – and after a short stay in Spain’s capital city, it’s clear exactly why that is. I soon become accustomed to the convivial atmosphere that gives sharing food culture its anchor. It’s been the only way to eat here for centuries, and with good reason.

>> TIME STANDS LAZILY STILL IN TINY TAPAS BARS BOTIN 17 Calle Cuchilleros; botin.es

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TABERNA DE CONSPIRADORES 7 Calle Cava Baja; conspiradores.com Taberna de Conspiradores comes highly recommended by locals, and serves tapas at its most traditional. Situated on Madrid’s Cava Baja, it’s quiet, unassuming, and at the same time welcoming and homely. Prepare to eat richly and feel stuffed as the waitresses bring out endless platas of hearty, moreish tapas.

Miguel, too, is five minutes’ walk away – a feast for the eyes, not to mention the taste buds. Crowds of hungry locals and swathes of tourists peruse expanses of snacking food under vaulted ceilings; huge beds of seafood, meats and olives make up a mouthwatering canvas, and visitors graze on small portions of moreish morsels. Cava Baja, so I’m told, is the best street in the city for tapas, having been its spiritual home for hundreds of years. Putting this theory to the test, I find myself in La Taberna de Conspiradores, in a tiny room I have to hunch to enter – perfectly at home on a street that translates as the ‘small cave’ – eating proper roots tapas. In keeping with tradition, a small >>

Photograph by © SBMR / Alamy

Sobrino de Botín is one of the oldest restaurants in the world. Opened in 1725, painter Francisco de Goya worked there before going to art school. It’s famed for its cochinillo asado, or roast suckling pig, a Madrilenian staple that’s still served there to this day.

For a start, the city itself feels like it’s remained unchanged for years – food vendors filled La Plaza Mayor in the 1600s, and locals still come here for tapas today; people walk in the shadows of various huge, decadent cathedrals, palaces and museums; time seems to stand lazily still in the tiny tapas bars that dot the streets. I find myself in Madrid during Gastrofestival, a city-wide event which, for a month between January and February, gets foodies in a fluster with gastroculture, gastrofashion, and, naturally, non-stop feasting. Food is celebrated in markets, cinemas, museums and pretty much every other cultural centre you can think of, the city providing a thorough self-examination of its culinary scene. And there’s a lot to examine – Madrid is a patchwork, a grouping of distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own identities, and each of which feels totally different from the other. I’m staying in Barrio de las Letras, on the vibrant Plaza de Santa Ana, surrounded by voguish cafés and restaurants – I’m informed that Danny DeVito’s favourite shrimp place is just around the corner. Famed market El Mercado de San


A Taste of Jordan – with the experts MasterChef Travel is an inspiring new collection of culinary holidays, revealing the wonders of the world’s great food destinations in the company of fellow food and travel lovers. The holidays are carefully designed to demystify the ingredients, techniques and dishes at the heart of the region. They also include plenty of time for exploring its most captivating sights. And best of all, they include time with culinary experts who share their passion for cooking and provide an authentic understanding of their region’s cuisine to broaden your culinary horizons.

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foodism ME Madrid’s roof terrace looks out over the warm orange of Madrid’s rooftops

ME MADRID REINA VICTORIA 14 Plaza de Santa Ana; melia.com This hotel in the middle of the La Plaza de Santa Ana, in the city’s food centre, oozes sleek modernity. One of the Melia hotel group’s five-star ME locations, it’s all clean, straight lines and airy lobbies. As well as its sprawling roof terrace and bar, its restaurant Ana la Santa brings traditional Madrilenian tapas up to date with inventive flavours and combinations. Doubles from £220 per night + VAT.

>> plate is given free with a caña (that’s a half-pint of beer to you and me – refreshingly not frowned upon to order in Spain), before the orders are taken and the platas are brought out sporadically. Fried potatoes are heavily salted and dusted with paprika; the chorizo swims in oil, honey and wine. It’s heavy going and it’s rich, but it’s very tasty, and hugely comforting to eat. This kind of tapas is what Madrid has thrived on for centuries, eaten at any time

>> THIS TAPAS IS WHAT MADRID HAS THRIVED ON FOR CENTURIES 78

of day, for lunch, dinner and the snack in between. I was skeptical, but it really is ubiquitous, in the same way as the siesta, or the late night (or should that be ‘very early morning’?) partying. For a capital city, the culture is absurdly relaxed. But, even despite the time warp, the city’s food scene is doing what that of every major cosmopolitan city is in the 21st century: it’s globalising, and it’s evolving. In hipper parts of town, there are ultracool, ultra-modern tapas bars springing up on corners of tree-lined streets, where diners sit on stools at high tables and cocktail lists are written in faded fonts on A3 paper menus.

GASTRO BAR LE CABRERA 2 Calle Bárbara de Braganza; lecabrera.com

One of the new breed of tapas bars, Le Cabrera, in the city’s Retiro District, serves up arty tapas with culinary flair, visual verve and vigour. It’s tapas, but not as we know it.

Txirimiri is recommended as the best of the new-school tapas in the city (sample dish: ceps croquettes with truffle and Ibérico ham), and it’s done what not many have – expanded its single restaurant to three across different Madrilenian barrios. Even at the Thyssen-Bornemisza art museum, after a tour, I’m treated to lamb carpaccio with a garlic and artichoke puree, every part of it first described passionately and in painstaking detail by the chef. The premise of all of these is largely the same – small-plate dining – but as you’d expect, the plates are artful, not rustic, the portions carefully measured, not liberally thrown on. A smear of jus here; a delicately balanced pile of parfait there. These are identifiably Spanish flavours, but given the cosmopolitan treatment. And I have to say, it works. For quintessential Spanish tapas, there are plenty of holes in the wall serving delicious, homely plates, as they have been for decades. But my lasting impression of Madrid’s gastronomical culture is one that’s slowly cultivating the seeds of change. Reductions and herb-infused cocktails might not be classic Spanish fare, but they’re a welcome reminder that every capital city can be a site of cultural and gastronomical evolution. And as for the new school of Spanish sharing plates? They may be challenging tradition, but a little competition never hurt anyone. And anyway, there’s plenty of room for them to dine at Madrid’s table. e


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REVIEWS We discover culinary coups in rising areas: Dalston, Battersea and King’s Cross

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Rotorino’s chocolate cake with honeycomb, pistachios and soured cream

ROTORINO

Chain restaurants once conjured up images of fast food behemoths or kitsch identikit diners. These days, not so much. Each of Vietnamese chain Pho’s restaurants has its own head chef and its own personality, and its latest venture on Battersea Rise is a great weeknight dining spot. Start with at least one deep-fried starter – we opted for excellent tender fried baby squid (£6.50) and homemade pork and lemongrass meatballs (£6.25), before rich noodle platters and a giant, warming bowl of the spicy Pho that lends the company its name (£7.95-£9.25). The chain may be growing, but there’s no weak link in sight. – Mike Gibson

434 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA; rotorino.com Appealing to discerning foodies while staying cool enough for the East London crowd is no easy feat, but on first impression Rotorino, on Dalston’s Kingsland Road, ticks both boxes. A first foray into hipster territory for Dock Kitchen owner Stevie Parle, Rotorino’s menu is full of southern Italian sharing plates – highlights include buffalo mozzarella with broad beans (£6.50), pistachio casarecce (£7.50) and sasso chicken (£24.50 for two) – with an eclectic wine list from consultant Ruth Spivey (if you spot her, make sure you ask to see her ‘secret’ list). If you’re not eating, the bar at the front makes a great place to hunker down, serving a mean brandy negroni, and a great selection of craft beers. It is East London, after all. – Krista Faist

Take a big group and order up a Viet feast at Battersea’s Pho

KARPO 23-27 Euston Rd, NW1 2SD; karpo.co.uk

In my halcyon student days, places to go in King’s Cross were limited to the dodgy pub on Pentonville Road, followed by the Big Chill until it kicked you out unceremoniously at 3am. Now things are different, and N1 is a seriously trendy (and foodie) postcode. Karpo, an easygoing bistro set in the multicoloured Lego brick-esque Megaro Hotel on Euston Road, is the latest

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manifestation of its evolution. The food is simple – think small plates of buffalo mozzarella and pesto (£6) and crispy cod cheeks with tartar sauce (£5), followed by cosy, warming main dishes. The loin of Herdwick lamb (£18) was super tender, with artichokes and hazelnuts giving it a good crunch; while the spiced monkfish tail (£18) was pleasingly playful. If you’re after a laid-back dinner before the train home, you’ve found it. – Cathy Adams


foodism

WEAPONS OF CHOICE COOL AID Halo Cooltouch, £495

HAIL TO THE CHEFS This year’s Taste of London festival features appearances and masterclasses from some of the world’s best chefs. Here’s three to watch…

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f you’re like us, your stomach’s been rumbling ever since foodie haven Taste of London’s list of vendors and exhibitors was released. As well as those, though, there are also some excellent chefs who’ll be giving guests a taste of their skills with intimate and hands-on demonstrations. Here are three you won’t want to miss this June.

THE DETAILS Taste of London is held in Regent’s Park from 18-22 June. To see the list of exhibitors or to book tickets, visit london.tastefestivals.com.

Ben Tish Charcuterie bar Salt Yard’s head chef will be showing his skills at both the Electrolux Taste Theatre and the Stubbins Kitchen Garden, a brand new outdoor cooking stage complete with fire pit.

Monica Galetti Having worked with Michel Roux Jr for over ten years, Monica Galetti knows all about the pressure and scrutiny of a high-profile kitchen. She’ll be cooking up a storm at the Taste Theatre and the Cook Skills Theatre.

Bobby Chinn As well as taking residence at his House of Ho stand, the Vietnamese chef will be serving up a demonstration at the Taste Theatre on the evening of 20 June. f

The Halo Cooltouch proves that safety can still be cool – quite literally. This innovative barbecue prioritises safe operating temperatures while also increasing efficiency. Looks-wise it’s part-barbecue, part-UFO, with a design that enables the coals to stay hotter for longer. halocooltouch.com

SLIDE AWAY Weber BBQ Slider Press, £12.99 Misshapen, falling apart and generally a bit ham-fisted, the homemade barbecue burger can emasculate your cookout. This summer, instead of huge patties, why not opt for sliders at your barbecue? This slider press will keep them at least slightly presentable. weberbbq.co.uk

WHAT A TOOL Esschert’s Garden BBQ Tools, £40 This excellent tool set from Esschert’s Garden means business. It’s got all the essentials and comes in a rugged green case (outdoorsy, army rugged – honest). A must for any truly committed BBQ chef. johnlewis.com

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foodism

FRANCIACORTA SATÈN, CANTINE BIONDELLI

CHARLES HEIDSIECK ROSÉ RESERVE CHAMPAGNE

So-called to describe the satin smoothness of this sparkler, Satèn is made with 100% chardonnay, and dishes up delicious, delicate notes of pear and white peach. £26.95; bbr.com

Made from the three major champagne grapes, this deep rosé is matured for more than three years and has a complex nose of jam and gingerbread. £43.53; charlesheidsieck.com

DIGBY FINE ENGLISH 2009 VINTAGE ROSÉ This sparkling brut rosé, made with British pinot noir and chardonnay, is light and exuberant, with notes of strawberries. English sparkling wine continues to make its presence known on the global stage. £39.99; digby-fine-english.com

Sophisticated summer sipping starts with a sparkle. Here are three of our favourites to bring you some frothy fun (if not sun) this season

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Photograph Photograph by David Harrison by ###

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Wild at Heart Kenya’s running camps and marathon packages make the safari holiday into something much more, and Sport Tours International’s packages combine leisure and endurance racing in a unique setting

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ou might never have thought of spending a holiday running through bountiful African plains, but these days more and more holidaymakers are taking to adventure and fitness holidays, and Kenya’s array of world-class running facilities makes it the perfect destination. Since 1956, Kenya has won 56 Olympic medals in long-distance running, and this rich heritage means there’s nowhere better to go for training and guidance. Its world-renowned running camps cater to all experience levels. Whether you’re preparing for a marathon, or you just want to combine the sights and sounds of the safari with some endurance training, you’ll be able to hone your skills with some of the best-

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AFTER TRAINING ON THE TRACK, YOU CAN TAKE TO THE PLAINS TO RUN AMONG THE BIG FIVE WITH THE SUN BEATING DOWN

known names in running history, with camps at altitude providing one of the most testing, but rewarding, environments possible. After training on the track, you can take to the plains to run the Lewa Marathon among the animals with the sun beating down on you. And in between the endurance, you can enjoy the surroundings and the wildlife native to this incredible country. A host of safari experiences will allow you to see some of the most diverse and enchanting animals Kenya has to offer. If you’re looking for an active holiday with a difference, Kenya has all that you need and more. For a holiday package which includes entry into the Lewa Marathon, see right. ◆ For your chance to win a ten-night running and safari holiday like no other, visit kenyapromos.co.uk/run.


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A six-night package starts at £1,259pp and includes a trip to the Aberdares Highlands and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, entry into the Lewa Marathon, two days’ safari at Samburu National Park, a stay at The Ark at Aberdares and lunch at the Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi. Accommodation, transfers and all meals included. Call 0161 703 8161 or visit sportstoursinternational.co.uk/ running/kenya to book. Direct flights are available from Kenya Airways; visit kenya-airways.com.

Cheetah, lion and elephant photographs by ©davidlloyd.net

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ABOVE: World-class DJs and hitmakers including David Guetta, Avicii and former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso are taking to the Ushua誰a stage for the 2014 summer season

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Promotion

USHUAÏA IBIZA BEACH HOTEL

The Beat Goes On Head to Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel for the best party on the White Isle, as world-class DJs and music producers take to the iconic stage for a summer to remember

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ack for another year, Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel promises yet another summer of exhilarating non-stop musical and visual performances – starting with a smasher of a line-up for the 2014 season. Acts already confirmed for this summer include hitmaker David Guetta, who will be taking a regular residency on Mondays until the end of August, followed by Dutch start-up I Am Hardwell, who will take to the stage every Tuesday in his first Ushuaïa residency. Former Swedish House Mafia members Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso, Dutch trance producer Armin Van Buuren and Swedish remixer and

BACK FOR 2014, USHUAÏA PROMISES YET ANOTHER SUMMER OF EXHILARATING NON-STOP MUSICAL AND VISUAL PERFORMANCES

music producer Avicii will also be regulars on Ushuaïa’s legendary stage, with weekly residencies every Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday respectively. Saturday nights will be dominated by Ushuaïa’s underground rave colony, ANTS, while the Friday residency is still under wraps – although Snoop Dogg is set to make an appearance on 15 August. While the world-class DJs might change, one thing remains constant at Ushuaïa: expect unique high-energy performances, dazzling pyrotechnics and astounding acrobats, all to the sound of Ushuaïa’s beat. ◆

Check In USHUAÏA IBIZA BEACH HOTEL

For more information or to book, visit ushuaiabeachhotel.com. To buy tickets for any day parties, visit ushuaiaibiza.com/tickets.

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WELCOME HOME Enter our competition to win £500 of Airbnb vouchers, and wake up to a different view on your next holiday

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ou’re waking up to the first morning of your holiday. You throw open the nearest window, and you’re greeted by a vista of lush green jungle, a sweeping cityscape or miles of grassland – a far cry from the bland, characterless hotel room you’ve become accustomed to. Welcome to the Airbnb revolution. With over 600,000 unique properties – from castles and igloos to treehouses and boats and everything in between – listed on the site, it’s easier than ever to wake up to a different view tomorrow. And we’ve made it even easier for you by giving away £500 worth of Airbnb vouchers to one lucky escapism reader to spend on renting one of the lodgings on Airbnb. Whether it’s sleeping in a typical

WELCOME TO THE AIRBNB REVOLUTION – AND WAKE UP TO A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE 88

Rajasthani home and waking up to a view of India’s bustling metropolis Delhi, or bedding down in a traditional ‘badak’ in Bali, each property will make you feel at home the moment you step over the threshold. Plus, Airbnb hosts will often give tips as to the secret, hidden places to see in the local neighbourhood – meaning that you’ll get more than just a good view out of your window; you’ll get a fresh perspective on the local community, too. And if you’re stuck for inspiration on where to go and how to spend the £500, browse through Airbnb’s ‘wishlists’ – virtual collections of properties boasting some of the best views in the world. Still not sure where to go this summer? Enter our competition and start dreaming of that unique view to wake up to tomorrow… For more information, go to airbnb.com/views

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: You could spend the £500 credit on a guesthouse in Bali; a Rajasthani-style home in Delhi; an igloo in Greenland or a terrace view over the Sydney cityscape.


COMPETITION

HOW TO WIN To win ÂŁ500 worth of Airbnb vouchers to spend on a booking, just answer this one question: how many properties does Airbnb list? To enter, visit escapismmagazine.com/ competition/airbnb-vouchers. For more details and terms and conditions, see the website.

Photograph by ###

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LIVE AND KICKING With major festivals and performances all year, no wonder Austin’s called the Live Music Capital of the World®. And you could win an amazing trip to experience it for yourself

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t takes serious attitude to call your city the Live Music Capital of the World®, but then Austin has attitude – and live music – to spare. The Texas capital lives and breathes its title, with SXSW, Austin City Limits Festival (ACL) and Fun Fun Fun Fest all taking place during the year. ACL 2014 takes place at Zilker Park in the heart of Austin over the weekends of 3-5 and 10-12 October, with headliners like Outkast, Pearl Jam, Beck, Eminem, and Skrillex taking the stage. If you can’t make it to ACL, be sure to check out Austin acts touring the UK this year. Hear singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson, country troubadour Sam Baker and the indie-rock sounds of White Denim. For those who like their music combined with extreme sports, the first X Games Austin was held this month, and events included skateboarding, BMX and rallycross, and nightly gigs featured acts like Kanye West,

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the Flaming Lips and Gary Clark Jr. Austin hosts the X Games for the next five summers. If you missed the party, expect highoctane thrills when Formula 1® comes to town for the United States Grand Prix® in the autumn. But there’s plenty of live music to keep you entertained in the meantime. For more on Austin’s live music scene, festivals, sporting events and more, head to AustinTexas.org

EXPECT HIGH OCTANE THRILLS WHEN F1 COMES TO TOWN FOR THE US GRAND PRIX® IN THE AUTUMN


COMPETITION

THE PRIZE You and a friend could be travelling in style with Virgin Holidays, with a seven-night stay at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in Austin and return flights with United Airlines. Plus, one runner up will win a pair of Monster DNA headphones. To enter, and for T&Cs, go to escapismmagazine. com/competition/austin-texas

NEED TO KNOW

GET LOST IN AUSTIN: Austin City Limits Music Festival (ABOVE) attracts vast crowds to the Texas capital; live music is a fixture throughout the year

Virgin Holidays is all about getting you back to your best, unearthing the inner you, and unleashing your mojo. Put on your best cowboy hat and head into the Wild West for an experience bigger than Texas itself. With United Airlines you can fly to Austin from six UK airports, offering you more convenience and flexibility.

Photograph by ###

Make your Austin escape to the exceptional comfort and enviable location of the Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin Downtown, an upscale hideaway nestled among this amazing city’s best sights and attractions.

Photograph (main image) by Ashley Garmon

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INTO THE BLUE With white sands, crystal seas and blue skies, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort is a paradise – and we’re offering you the chance to win a five-night trip to this jewel of the Maldives

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here are times when an allaction, adventure-style holiday ticks all the right boxes – but sometimes one spent sitting on some of the most beautiful, idyllic beaches in the world in a sumptuous resort is just the tonic to restore a tired and stressed mind and body. Located on the southernmost tip of Addu Atoll in the Maldives, Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa’s six kilometres of picturesque coastline will lift you away from the stresses of your routine. Boasting picture-book beaches and crystal-clear azure shores, the resort is made up of beautiful thatched huts, mostly built on stilts directly above the sea, where the waves will carry you to sleep at night and gently wake you in the morning. The resort also offers plenty of activities and facilities for the more adventurous holidaymaker. It’s home to the Maldives’ only golf resort – nine holes set on a lush,

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sun-drenched landscape lined with coconut palms, suitable for any experience level and with a fully-equipped pro shop. If the sea and sands don’t quite quell your stress, CHI, The Spa will. With massage, exercise, hydrotherapy, and mind movement treatments set over the resort’s ‘spa village’, you can sink blissfully into relaxation while overlooking the Indian Ocean. The resort also offers exceptional dining options. Guests can eat freshly caught seafood straight from the Indian Ocean, along with other local produce, in torchlight under banyan trees, or in-villa for a more intimate and personal experience. We’re offering you the chance to win a stay at Villingili – see right for details. From luxury beach retreats to chic city breaks and bespoke tours, call Trailfinders to start planning your holiday today on 020 7368 1350, or visit your local Trailfinders Travel Centre. For more info on Villingili, visit shangri-la.com.

THE WAVES WILL CARRY YOU TO SLEEP AT NIGHT AND GENTLY WAKE YOU IN THE MORNING


COMPETITION

HOW TO WIN We’re taking one lucky reader and their guest to this beautiful resort. The prize includes economy flights and 5 nights’ half board accommodation and is valid for travel from 10 June to 31 October 2014, excluding departures 16 July to 19 August and 27 September to 10 October. Subject to availability. To enter, visit escapismmagazine. com/competition/shangri-la. For T&Cs, see the website.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The resort’s picturesque coastline; lush trees line poolside areas; luxurious villas suspended on stilts above the ocean; a massage overlooking the Indian Ocean; lush green vegetation

Photograph by ###

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After Bite Fast relief from bites and stings. Don’t let bites and stings stop the family fun – take After Bite away with you. Easy-to-apply, fast-acting After Bite provides instant relief from the effects of mosquitoes, bees, wasps, nettles and jellyfish. From Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Lloydspharmacy and good chemists everywhere. Online at www.afterbite.co.uk Contains ammonia 3.5% w/v. Always read the label.

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P O RTA B L E H OT E L

MAKE THE MOST OF THE SUMMER AND HEAD TO SOME OF THE UK’S BEST EVENTS WITH SNOOZEBOX GLASTONBURY, 25-29 JUNE

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5 nights’ hotel accommodation for 2 people. 15 minute walk to Gate A. £1,995 excludes Glastonbury tickets.

BRITISH GRAND PRIX, 3-6 JULY

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4 nights’ hotel accommodation for 2 people, half board, live entertainment, free parking. Hotel situated at Vale. £1,500 excludes event tickets.

EDINBURGH FESTIVALS

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Event hotel at Fountainbridge close to the Grassmarket, Edinburgh from 31 July to 25 August. Rooms from £99 per night. FIND OUT ABOUT ALL OUR EVENTS AT WWW.SNOOZEBOX.COM OR CALL US ON 0845 092 0174 TO BOOK YOUR ROOM AND CLAIM YOUR 10% DISCOUNT.

M ESCAPIS OFFER 10% OFF

A COMPACT AND CLEVERLY DESIGNED HOTEL ROOM WHEREVER YOU NEED IT Each Snoozebox room has a double bed and a bunk, an ensuite bathroom, free wifi, aircon/heating, fresh linens and towels, personal safe, power sockets, key card access and daily housekeeping. escapism readers can claim a special 10% discount by booking now using the codes above @snoozeboxhotel

❖ To advertise in this section please call Chloe on 020 7819 9999

snoozeboxhotels


FREEDOM FOUND... Allow yourself to imagine a simpler, more beautiful place, like nowhere else in England.

www.visitislesofscilly.com

ICONIC, DESIGNER SWIMWEAR AND HOLIDAY LIFESTYLE BOUTIQUE WWW.VERITELOUISESWIMWEAR.CO.UK

Unique gastronomical adventures in Sicily and its Aeolian Islands... www.aeolianadventures.co.uk 07704 136 539 A 7 night and 6 day all inclusive cooking and winetasting holiday, with cooking lessons, vineyard tours and trips to local producers, with a chance to explore the islands and their volcanoes! Each week long adventure is run in small intimate groups with a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 10 people

â?– To advertise in this section please call Chloe on 020 7819 9999


Lugenda - Escapism Ad.pdf

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2014/04/22

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Flight BA63

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Arrive into Entebbe at 22.50 It’s time for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi!

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Best time to see Gorillas: All year round Wildlife seen: Gorillas, Chimps, Tree-climbing Lions + Leopards

www.wildlifetrails.co.uk and 0800 9994334

HORIZON HORSEBACK Family safari

Tailormade riding holiday. Enjoy the thrill of riding in the African bushveld with your children. Safe environment and varied activities to keep the whole family busy.

Contact: laura@ridinginafrica.com +27 (0)83 4191929

â?– To advertise in this section please call Chloe on 020 7819 9999

food&travel.indd 1

www.ridinginafrica.com 2013/12/18 3:02 PM


REAR VIEW

ICE WORK An alternative look at the world Wearing an ultra-thick wetsuit (presumably) and armed with a decent watch, this adventurous diver is one member of Rolex’s expedition party for Deepsea Under the Pole, exploring below one of the toughest climates on the planet – the North Pole.

Photograph by Clément Infante / underthepole.com

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STAYS IN

VEGAS Whether you’re planning on touring the Grand Canyon, exploring Las Vegas’ legendary nightlife and casinos, or whisking your partner away for an exciting romantic weekend, there’s something for everyone in Las Vegas. Take one of a combined 10 flights a week from Heathrow and Gatwick, and enjoy great savings when booking your flight + hotel together.

5★ The Cromwell Up to 10% off accommodation Flights + 5 nights hotel from £899pp 5★ Flamingo Las Vegas Up to 30% off accommodation Flights + 5 nights hotel from £679pp 5★ The Venetian Resort & Casino 25% of accommodation + FREE Rock of Ages tickets Flights + 5 nights hotel from £799pp 5★ The Palazzo 25% of accommodation + FREE Rock of Ages tickets Flights + 5 nights hotel from £799pp

Book now at ba.com/lasvegas

Availability may be extremely limited, particularly during peak periods. Price is in GBP per person based on two adults sharing accommodation on a room only basis and include return flights from LGW to Las Vegas. Prices correct as of 27 May 2014. Bookings must be made by midnight 25/06/14 for selected travel between 15/11/14-18/12/14. 10% off accommodation valid for travel until 31/12/14. 30% off accommodation valid for stays between 1/11/14-29/02/15. Lower discounts available for other dates. 25% off accommodation and free Rock of Ages tickets valid for stays between 1/07/14-31/08/14 and 1/11/14-31/12/14. Maximum of 2 free tickets per room. Some payment methods attract a handling fee. Holidays are ATOL protected (number ATOL5985). For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com.


Stay in the height of luxury immerse yourself in the 5H luxury of the Venetian or Palazzo, where every key opens the door to a luxurious suite. Book flights + 5 nights hotel and enjoy up to 25% off accommodation plus receive free rock of ages tickets.

Book now at ba.com/lasvegas

Availability may be extremely limited, particularly during peak periods. 25% off accommodation and free Rock of Ages tickets valid for stays between 1/07/14-31/08/14 and 1/11/14-31/12/14 for durations of 5 nights or more. Maximum of 2 free tickets per room. Some payment methods attract a handling fee. Holidays are ATOL protected (number ATOL5985). For full terms and conditions, visit ba.com.

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Escapism - 10 - The Safari Issue  

Escapism Magazine - Issue 10 - The Safari Issue

Escapism - 10 - The Safari Issue  

Escapism Magazine - Issue 10 - The Safari Issue