Epic Safaris: Serengeti's Big 5 & India's Tigers


Last week I had breakfast in Brooklyn with my sales rep from an extraordinary conservationist tour operator called andBeyond, who created an epic safari and beach honeymoon in Kenya and Mauritius for clients (and friends) of mine. The company was founded on the principals of sustainability, and environmental and cultural stewardship is not a fad for them; it's their entire business.

The happy honeymooners wrote this Virtuoso review of andBeyond: There couldn't be a better name for this company. Every experience we had on our Kenya Safari honeymoon was above... and beyond. From our tented camp experience at Kishwa Tembo, to the service we received at the camp, to the game drives themselves... the only word I can think of is MAGICAL. Yes, being in the Masai Mara would have been great in any situation, but it wouldn't have been magical like it was with andBeyond. They knew how to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And to that point... we had assumed that our safari was a bucket list thing... we were wrong. We'll be doing it for the rest of our lives. And we won't be safari-ing with anyone else. Thank you andBeyond!!

Below are two articles about andBeyond that may spark ideas for your own adventure to Asia, Africa, and South America - customized entirely for you and your travel interests and preferences!

Article excerpt below by Amy Cassell from 5/20/2022 can be found HERE.

Support Indigenous Communities on Safari in Tanzania

Spot the “big five” on a Serengeti safari.

Tanzania’s safari résumé is stacked: More than 40 percent of the country’s land, home to one of the densest concentrations of wildlife in Africa, is protected. A nine-day private tour with andBeyond is a bona fide highlight reel, sweeping travelers between the great Serengeti and less-explored corners of the country. Daily game drives provide plenty of action (and photo ops) – spy flamingos, giraffes, and tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park; scout for the “big five” in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area; and, between May and August, witness millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras move across the Serengeti’s plains during the annual Great Migration. Nights are spent winding down in five-star tree houses and camps, while other over-the-top moments include gourmet picnic lunches in the bush and sunset hot-air balloon rides over the Serengeti.

Indigenous communities in Tanzania and other safari destinations rely on tourism dollars for their livelihoods, so it’s crucial to travel with a company like andBeyond, which has a slate of initiatives to fund local projects. On this trip, travelers can meet nomadic Mang’ati people near Lake Manyara, dance with Maasai warriors in the Serengeti, and visit a collective in Arusha where people with disabilities make shanga (Swahili for “bead”) necklaces and other goods. They’re all cultural experiences that feel meaningful, not voyeuristic, especially because they champion andBeyond’s ethos – the company partners with the nonprofit Africa Foundation to support the economic development of rural communities. Departures: Any day through 2022.

Article excerpt below by Joel Centano from 5/11/2022 can be found HERE.

Look Back at Nearly 50 Years of India’s Project Tiger

Here’s how to honor the occasion and contribute to ongoing conservation efforts.

Launched in 1973, Project Tiger – India’s unprecedented effort to save its Bengal tigers from extinction – has led to wild success: Since its inception, the project has created 50-plus tiger reserves across the country and helped increase the wild tiger population from roughly 1,800 to 3,000. (For perspective, fewer than 4,000 tigers are estimated to live in all of Asia.) To celebrate Project Tiger’s upcoming 50-year anniversary, andBeyond Bhutan will host two small-group, 16-day tours that visit Ranthambore, Kanha, and Kaziranga national parks, where travelers can see tigers – and tiger conservation – in action. Even better: andBeyond will donate $1,500 per group to the nonprofit Tiger Watch. Departures: December 1, 2022, and January 12, 2023.

On the Ground

Aditya Panda – conservationist, wildlife photographer, honorary wildlife warden in the state of Odisha, and guide for both Project Tiger departures – shares his insights on the project’s golden anniversary and its significance.

On Project Tiger

This 50th anniversary is a conservation landmark – not just for India, but for the world. It’s proven that if the planet’s largest cat can be saved and revived among one of the world’s most densely populated nations, with enormous growth and development aspirations, then any species can be saved, anywhere.

On Sustainable Travel

It’s no coincidence that most of India’s most successful tiger reserves – those that consistently sustain large, breeding tiger populations – have had thriving wildlife tourism industries around them. Regulated tourism has played a major role in providing alternative livelihoods to communities that would otherwise depend on the tiger’s habitat for income, for example, for firewood collection and livestock grazing.

On Moving Forward

Project Tiger’s anniversary can be seen as a celebration of India’s successes and a call to action. We must applaud the increase in tigers across most of India, but at the same time, this is a moment to acknowledge that the increase is driven by a few very successful landscapes, while in others, tigers have continued to decline. It’s now time to focus on all aspects of tiger conservation, so that every inch of India’s tiger habitats can be restored, and the tiger can truly be revived across its existing range.

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