The Global Basecamps Blog

Best of Basecamps: Shompole

7.19.2011

by ali

Shompole

Shompole Eco Lodge

Shompole eco lodge is located in Southern Kenya on the Tanzania border near Lake Natron, overlooking the Great Rift Valley. Much of the incredible landscape was shaped by volcanic movement. The lodge, situated on a private conservancy, is surrounded by 140,000 acres of Shompole Group Ranch, including a diverse area for wildlife and a buffer zone for human settlement. The lodge was constructed to enhance the natural beauty of the area with flowing water, smooth white walls, and mostly open air.

Each room consists of a cool-pool, informal sitting area, a bathroom, vast windows offering views of the volcanic mountains, and a high canopied roof. The rooms are designed to be open in order to take advantage of the breeze. The main lounge and dining area have a high thatch roof and overlook the Great Rift Valley. Guests can also enjoy their meals in the privacy of their rooms, at the main pool, or in the bush. If you wish to celebrate a special occasion the staff at Shompole can organize a candle lit dinner under the stars, which is sure to be a truly unforgettable experience.

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Off the Beaten Path in Southern Thailand

6.6.2011

by michelle

Our new Travel Specialist, Michelle Barth, spent 2 months traveling throughout Southeast Asia. She took a biking tour in Chiang Rai and discovered delicious food in Ubud, Bali. Here she shares with us one of her favorite locations in Thailand, Koh Lanta.Koh Lanta Eco Resort

With Thailand still attracting approximately 15 million tourists a year, most travelers head down south to soak up the sun on some of the world’s most famous beaches. Tourists have been flocking to destinations like Phuket, Koh Samui, Krabi, and Koh Pha Ngan for years. Yes, these popular spots have some of the best beaches, but an overdeveloped beach flooded with tourists isn’t my ideal vacation experience. If you are wondering what Phuket may have been like 10+ years ago, get off the main tourist track, and head to the beaches of Koh Lanta.

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Cultural Norms and Respect: Tanzanian Style

3.28.2011

by alexandra

At Global Basecamps we are major advocates of knowing before you go, as evidenced here and here. In order to truly understand and appreciate another country’s culture it is important to learn about their social norms and the proper etiquette there. As you start your journey to explore another country, don’t you think it would be nice to know a little about where and what you are diving into? When you are packing for your much needed vacation I urge you to take some time to research the cultural expectations and norms common to your host country.

Over the next couple of weeks I will give you some extra helpful information on what to know before you go, starting with Tanzania cultural norms and expectations. I will give you some advice on how to be a green and respectable tourist.

Tanzania

Disregarding the cultural norms and customs of the country you are visiting is extremely offensive to the local people. Your waiter, taxi driver, tour guide, and the local people will be greatly appreciative of you making the extra effort to understand their culture and demonstrating this. Even if you think you have already read about the culture, make the extra effort and learn about a certain cultural tradition that they have to make your experience that much better, and gain a deeper understanding of the local people and customs. There are plenty of dos and don'ts that people should know about before taking their excursions across the world. Simply being respectful to the local people and showing that you want to learn about their culture and day to day way of life will go a long way in enhancing your cultural experience.

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Cartagena & the Caribbean Coast

3.10.2011

by ali

Cartagena

Colombia offers a wide variety of travel adventures and terrain to experience with its tropical beaches on the Pacific and the Caribbean coastlines, snow covered peaks in the Andes, humid rainforests in the Amazon, dry savannahs in “Los Llanos”, and lush valleys that produce some of the best coffee in the world. In recent years Colombia has made a drastic turn around, once a place deemed too unsafe to travel for tourists the beautiful country’s tourism industry is flourishing. Colombia is ideal for those looking to explore historic cities, visit pristine tropical beaches, or simply relax in beautiful colonial villages full of Spanish architecture and history.

The historic city of Cartagena has long been a favorite vacation spot for many. The city offers unique festivals, colonial architecture, delicious restaurants, and beautiful hotels. Global Basecamps offers a Cartagena and the Caribbean Coast itinerary filled with visits to untouched islands, historic cities listed as UNESCO world heritage sites, local indigenous communities, night clubs, amazing National Parks, and isolated beaches perfect for relaxing. Some of the trip highlights include a Cartagena City tour, Tayrona National Park, Pink Flamingo Sanctuary, and the breath taking beaches of San Andres and Providencia Island.

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Julia Roberts and I at the Rimba Orangutan Eco Lodge

3.7.2011

by steve wilson

We are excited to have a guest blog post from one of our travelers, Steve Wilson. Steve is taking an amazing trip and is chronicling his adventures on his blog, A Hungry Man Travels. Follow his travels by reading his blog and checking out his photos. Thanks, Steve, for sharing your Indonesia experience with us!
Tadjung Putting National Park

Julia Roberts and I haven’t had the priviledge to meet, but we've been close to each other – inadvertently AND innocently I might add. If I had the chance to meet Ms. Roberts, the first thing I would say is “Hi Julia, did you know that you and I shared a room at the Rimba Orangutan Eco lodge in Borneo?" If that fails to get a reaction (and lets’ face it, it wouldn’t), I would then quickly ask her: "what were you thinking getting so close to that Orangutan in your documentary?" Ok, I wouldn't quite say it like that but I sure would have to wonder what would possess one of the biggest stars on the planet to do something even us nobodies were told over and over by the guides, signs, and locals not to do if you ever meet an orangutan, especially the King of Orangutans, face to face. Ah Julia, the crazy world you live in. I know in your documentary you weren’t giving us your world famous laugh when Kusasi, then the King of Orangutans, grabbed you and held on while the guides had to pry him off you and I don’t blame you – it probably wasn’t a good time for you I’m sure.

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