Global Basecamps' Bucket List Volume 1: The Galapagos Islands

March 04,2012

We’re introducing a new series on the Global Basecamps’ blog highlighting travel experiences that we feel are bucket list worthy. This week we’ll be highlighting the Galapagos Islands, one of the world’s best wildlife and nature destinations. A Galapagos cruise is a truly once in a lifetime experience, where you’ll discover the island’s fascinating volcanic geology, unique flora and fauna, and breathtaking wildlife.

When to Visit

The Galapagos Islands are a great destination to visit year round. Peak tourist season is from December through mid January and mid June to early September. From December to May the water and outside temperature are warmer, though there is more rain during this period. You will experience light, short rains almost daily. The warmer water temperatures make swimming, snorkeling, and diving more comfortable, though there are fewer fish to see during these months. Sea lion mating season also falls during this time and in March and April you can see many newborn sea lions. February to April is a beautiful time of year to visit the islands, as all the flowers are in bloom creating a colorful landscape.

Isabela Island

From June to November the water and temperatures are much cooler. This attracts more fish and birds. It can sometimes be cloudy or windy during this time of year, though there is little rain. This is a great time of year for diving; you can see more fish and penguins. Keep in mind the ocean is not as clam during these months. The ideal time of year to visit depends on your specific travel goals. With warm weather from December to May and more wildlife viewing from June to November both are great times of year to visit.

Galapagos Tour Options

There are a variety of Galapagos cruise options ranging from budget to luxury, and lasting from three to eight days. The cruises include all meals and excursions. Our first class yachts have no more than twenty guests and multiple decks with spacious rooms.

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5 Reasons to Visit Japan NOW!

February 21,2012

Almost a year after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011, the country is still struggling to revive their tourism sector. However, as evidenced here Japan is quickly rebuilding and recovering from the destruction and tourism is actually doing better than expected, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. The Japanese people have handled the disaster exceptionally and are striving to bring tourists back to their incredible country. Here are five great reasons to start planning a Japan tour now!

Ski Season

With a 5-month ski season, spring is a great time to hit the slopes in Japan. With excellent conditions, varied terrain, and many easily accessible resorts to choose from, Japan is an ideal ski destination. Most resorts are typically open from December to March, receiving most of the snow in January and February, with plenty of snow left in March in April for some great spring skiing. Kagura resort has even been open until late May for the past few seasons. Gassan, in Yamagata Prefecture, has a very strange season that usually starts in April and continues through July. Though for most resorts, peak season is from mid-January through February. However, during most weekdays even the popular resorts remain relatively uncrowded.

Japan Skiing
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5 Off the Beaten Path Islands in Southeast Asia

February 14,2012

Koh Rong, Cambodia

After decades of isolation the 60 plus islands surrounding the southern coast of Cambodia remain largely untouched. Koh Rong is the biggest Cambodia island off the coast of Sihanoukville. The majority of the island is undeveloped, though there are plans to develop it into a luxury resort destination. Right now, travelers can visit for a day trip, or stay in one of the few small beach resorts. There is around 27 miles of beaches, one of the most beautiful being Long Set beach. There are seven bays on the island, all offering great snorkeling and diving. There are also several nearby islands, easily accessible by boat. Other activities include swimming, hiking and fishing. From the mainland, it takes a little over 2 hours to reach Koh Rong, but it is well worth the journey to experience this tropical paradise. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this incredible island before it becomes a tourist hot spot!

Koh Rong

Bantayan Island, Philippines

Visit Bantayan Island, located northwest of Cebu, where life is slower and you can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the beautiful beaches. Until recently, foreigners did not frequent Bantanyan. Though the tourism industry is growing on the island it still retains a secluded feel. There are no large shopping malls, major hotel chains, movie theaters, etc. There are a handful of restaurants and bars in Santa Fe, though Bantanyan is definitely not the place to go if you’re looking for nightlife. Bantayan is a place for travelers looking for a tranquil getaway and hoping to spend most of their days lounging on the beach. The warmth and friendliness of the locals allows travelers to learn about day-to-day life on Bantayan, where locals farm and live simply in bamboo houses. The island is just 7 by 10 miles, and has crystal clear waters. Renting a scooter is a great way to explore the Bantayan.

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Tanzania Safari Dos and Don'ts

February 07,2012

Tanzania is an ideal safari destination, with incredible wildlife and pristine wilderness. Witnessing the Great Migration is one of the highlights of a Tanzania tour. The great migration is usually in the Serengeti from December to September. During the dry months of December, January, and February the migration is a mass of hundreds of thousands of animals. While in the months of March, April, and May the migration splits up into different groups roaming around the Serengeti in search of fresh grasses. For the best wildlife viewing visit during the months of November/December to February and July to September. To avoid the crowds, consider planning your trip in May, June, or November. Here are a few of our Tanzania travel tips to consider when planning your safari.

Serengeti Giraffe

Dos

Pack light. Be sure your bags are less than 20kg, as that is the maximum weight allowed on most airlines. Bring a light suitcase that is easy to carry, as well as a small day pack to bring with you on safari drives to hold your camera, snacks, water, etc.

Wear neutral colored, lightweight clothes that dry quickly. Clothing in earthy tones does not attract insects and blends in with nature. Avoid black clothing, as it absorbs the heat. Bring a jacket for early morning drives and chilly nights.

Consider staying in a canvas tent, close to the wildlife and under the beautiful Serengeti night sky. Camping allows for great flexibility to explore more remote locations. Nasikia Luxury Camps are mobile camps that shift location, depending on the Great Wildebeest Migration. The luxury camps have ensuite bathrooms, running water, and hot showers. Whether you are looking for a luxury safari experience or are on a budget, we offer a wide range of camping options all allowing for prime game viewing.

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Green Honeymoon Ideas

January 17,2012

When planning your honeymoon and trying to create the trip of a lifetime, it can be difficult to narrow down the destinations. Below you’ll find some of our green honeymoon specials designed to create a truly once in a lifetime experience for you and your spouse.

Western Tanzania Safari

Greystoke Mahale

Venture off the beaten path in Northern Tanzania to Mahale Mountains National Park, where you’ll find the incredible safari camp Greystoke Mahale. Located on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, Greystoke Mahale offers a beautiful view of the Mahale Mountains, which is home to around 1, 000 chimpanzees. One of the highlights of the stay is tracking the chimpanzees through the forest and observing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Other species found in the forest include eight other primates, birds, and butterflies. Take a dip in one of the many waterfalls during a hike in the forest. The crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika are also an ideal place for swimming, as well as snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking.

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