Posts tagged with "Africa"

Hakkasan 2019 Pool Season

HAKKASAN GROUP REVEALS 2019 POOL SEASON OPENING DATES

World-Renown Hospitality Company to Launch Famed Pool Parties at Top Daylife Destinations

Global hospitality company Hakkasan Group heats up the Las Vegas daylife landscape with the announcement of its highly anticipated 2019 pool season opening date of Friday, March 8. Highlights of Vegas’ summer season is signaled by epic pool parties played by award-winning DJs including Calvin Harris, Tiësto, Zedd, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix and more at the internationally recognized destinations WET REPUBLIC Ultra Pool at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and LIQUID Pool Lounge at ARIA Resort & Casino.

Recognized around the world for its unmatchable pool scene, famed champagne showers and roster of high-caliber artists, WET REPUBLIC will welcome revelers to another legendary season launching its summer vision “A Pool Party Like No Other.” 

Coming off a successful 2018 season where WET REPUBLIC served endless amounts of champagne and was the go-to spot for bachelor and bachelorette parties, party-goers this year will experience why Vegas’ ultimate pool party is like no other as it welcomes its 12thseason and the most epic one yet.

Bathing suit-clad crowds are invited to bask poolside in two large pools and six private dipping pools. Guests can relax in spacious daybeds conveniently positioned to soak up the best rays throughout the day, escape with one of the 12 VIP luxurious Bungalows and ten deluxe Cabanas decked out with plush offerings including couches, giant flat screen TVs, ceiling fans, misters, personal model servers, premium bottle service, and more. DJs perform in close distance to the 4,100-square-foot sundeck, offering guests a perfect view from every angle.Complimentary Wi-Fi is also offered throughout WET REPUBLIC to capture all the Instagram-worthy moments.

Additionally, in true WET REPUBLIC fashion, guests can expect enhanced one-of-a-kind poolside bottle presentations hosted by a posse of model servers. Guests who order bottle service will be greeted with the fuss of a themed presentation paired with champagne showers and customized signage. To accompany the extensive mixology menu with signature cocktails like the Pool Bunny, Wet Splash and Rainstorm, guests can dine on sophisticated poolside menu offerings including Kobe Beef Sliders, Soft Tacos and Shrimp Cocktail, as well as shareable party platters ranging from Assorted Sushi Rolls to Buckets of Chicken Tenders and more.

Just down the iconic Strip, LIQUID, invites pool-goers to sun-soaked events all season long. Guests will enjoy VIP dipping pools, refreshing cocktails and an incredible talent lineup. Upon arrival, loungers can sink into one of LIQUID’s private cabanas, daybeds or deck tables surrounded by energetic sounds spun by highly-sought after DJs.

Hakkasan Group Pool Opening Weekend Schedule:

WET REPUBLIC Ultra Pool at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

Friday, March 8

DJ Shift

Saturday, March 9

Fergie DJ

Sunday, March 10

Mark Eteson

LIQUID Pool Lounge at ARIA Resort & Casino

Friday, March 8

DJ Buza

Saturday, March 9

Cutswell

Sunday, March 10

DJ Paradize

For the full lineup and to purchase tickets, visit wet.re/buytickets .

ABOUT HAKKASAN GROUP

Hakkasan Group is a worldwide hospitality company with establishments across North America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Its namesake is taken from its Michelin star restaurant that set the high-level standard for the group’s collection of diverse brands. Its ‘brand first’ philosophy builds restaurant, nightlife, daylife and soon-to-open hotels, resorts and residences into world-class hospitality brands, all with a focus on service, design, innovation and experience. Its restaurant portfolio includes Hakkasan, with 12 locations worldwide, Ling Ling, Yauatcha, Sake no Hana, Herringbone and Searsucker. Under the nightlife umbrella is Hakkasan, OMNIA, JEWEL and 1 OAK Nightclub; and daylife brands include WET REPUBLIC, LIQUID, and OMNIA. For more information, visit our website or connect with us on Facebook Twitter and Instagram @hakkasangroup.

 

Course Records Broken At Dubai Marathon

Getaneh Molla of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich won the 20th edition of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon today (Jan 25) with both athletes producing spectacular course records that rank among the fastest times in the history of marathon running.

In excellent weather conditions, Ethiopian Molla clocked 2:03:34, achieving the first sub-2:04 time in Dubai. He improved the former course record – set in 2018 – by 26 seconds and became the sixth fastest marathon runner ever. It is also an unofficial world debut record by the 25-year-old.

Second-placed Herpassa Negasa also ran sub-2:04 with 2:03:40, making him the eighth fastest of all time, while Asefa Mengstu completed an all-Ethiopian podium with 2:04:24 for third place. In a stunning women’s race, Kenya’s Chepngetich achieved the third fastest time in history with 2:17:08. Only Britain’s world record holder Paula Radcliffe and Kenya’s Mary Keitany have ever run faster as the 24-year-old smashed the course record by more than two minutes.

Underlining the quality of the field, Worknesh Degefa – the winner in Dubai in 2017 – broke the Ethiopian record by 15 seconds to become the fourth fastest runner ever in 2:17:41. Her compatriot Worknesh Edesa took third in 2:21:05.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council, the event once again underlined its status as a world-class IAAF Gold Label Marathon.

Molla smashing the course record on his marathon debut and Chepngetich’s duel with Degefa were the undoubted highlights. The Kenyan was having problems identifying her drinks’ bottles at feed stations, and regularly fell behind, which may have cost her the Kenyan/African record held by colleague Mary Keitany, the second fastest in history with 2.17.01.

Molla said he did not know what to expect from his first marathon. “I certainly didn’t expect to run 2.03,” said the new champion. “I was hoping for maybe 2.05 or 2.06 so this is a great win for me.”

While the spoils were shared between Kenya and Ethiopia in the elite Marathon, in the wheelchair category, there was a Swiss double with Marcel Hug and Sandra Graf winning in 1h:24m:09s and 1h:41m:03s respectively before the trophies were presented by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Sports Council Deputy Chairman Mattar Al Tayer and Standard Chartered UAE CEO Rola Abu Manneh.

As usual, more than 20,000 runners also took part in the associated 10km Road Race and 4km Fun Run as the Middle East’s biggest mass participation sporting event celebrated is 20th birthday in style. The event was streamed live with no rights restrictions and is available to watch on repeat at bit.ly/2019DubaiMarathon_Live.

In addition to Standard Chartered as title sponsor, the Dubai Marathon was supported by the Dubai Sports Council, adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Aquafina and Gatorade, Dubai Holding, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police and the RTA.

Thomson Safaris Announces New 2019 Itinerary

Thomson Safaris, the leading luxury safari operator in Tanzania, has announced a brand-new itinerary for 2019, which will highlight the best of the country’s wildlife, and explore its rich culture from a culinary perspective, including a visit to the “spice island” of Zanzibar. 

Guests will experience remarkable wildlife viewing on a safari through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and dive into Tanzania’s rich culture with fun, culinary excursions in Arusha, including a colorful local market visit and an interactive Tanzanian cooking demonstration.

For three days, guests will explore the iconic Serengeti plains, and complement the wildlife viewing with an off-the-beaten path visit to the village of Robanda, where they will learn how to make banana beer.  In the afternoon, they will partake in a traditional goat roast with Maasai warriors. The journey continues through the Ngorongoro Crater — one of the only places on Earth where you can see all of the Big Five — and a stay at Gibb’s Farm, the award-winning property owned by Judi Wineland and Rick Thomson, the owners of Thomson Safaris. The itinerary will also include walks through the organic farm where coffee, fruits, nuts and vegetables thrive in the rich, volcanic soil, and over 200 species of bird can be found. Guests will learn about sustainable agriculture through farm-to-table culinary activities in the bakery, gardens and kitchen, and, of course, they will indulge in farm-fresh cuisine.

This itinerary wraps with an adventure to Zanzibar, exploring the spice farms for which the island is known, along with excursions to Stone Town and the bustling Forodhani Gardens night market. Guests will cap off their final night with a sunset dhow cruise, featuring classic Swahili Coast dishes, drinks and a vibrant equatorial sunset. 

Trailblazing Women in Travel History

It’s not just men who love adventure and trailblazing into the unknown. Yet for some reason it’s men who’ve gained the notoriety of being explorers and adventurers, with the history books filled with pages of their exploits. But women aren’t the wallflowers they’ve been represented as through the years. Women, in both past and the present, have traveled from one end of the globe to the other using horses, cars, ships, planes, and trains. Today women are celebrating women…and all their accomplishments. And why wouldn’t being pioneers of travel be on the list of these achievements?

Most of these female explorers are forgotten when we look at those who have travelled into new territories and gone on amazing adventures around the world. Yet women have been travelling for thousands of years, with evidence going back as far as the 4th century. The earliest mention of a woman traveling is from 381 A.D. when the Abbess of Egeria travelled on foot up Mount Sinai. Her pilgrimage diary outlines her thoughts and experiences from those many years ago.

In the 19th century, wealthy Victorian women began to travel for many reasons, both personal and political. Still others travelled to locations around the world where they felt they could make a difference, engaging in the missionary work that men didn’t have time for. Many women travelled so they could research other cultures, writing books about their adventures. And not only did women travel to see the world, many are known for their efforts to advance feminism, leading the way for other women to follow in their footsteps.

From 1871 to 1885 Marianne North, a British naturalist and painter, travelled to six different continents where she painted flowers and plants. She voyaged by ship to South America, Asia, and Africa…travelling on her own when she couldn’t find a “satisfactory companion” to pursue her passion of painting the different flora around the world. Her paintings and letters to friends about her travel experiences are a great narrative of what travel was like for a solo female traveller.

Another well known explorer in the early 1900s was Gertrude Bell, who travelled all around Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. As a writer and an archaeologist, her books give women today a clear picture of what it was like to travel to foreign countries.

“All the earth is seamed with roads, and all the sea is furrowed with the tracks of ships, and over all the roads and all the waters a continuous stream of people passes up and down – travelling, as they say, for their pleasure. What is it, I wonder, that they go out to see?” – Gertrude Bell.

It’s easy to see that women throughout history have travelled for the same reason we do today – for adventure and to satisfy our curiosity to see the world. Spread across the years, we’re highlighting seven of the most influential and trailblazing women in travel. With their unique backgrounds, and their drive and determination, they’re a true inspiration for women around the globe.

South African Tourism

2019 will be a landmark year as South Africa celebrates 25 years of freedom and democracy. South African Tourism is encouraging travelers to make 2019 the year they discover everything that the country has to offer, from its wildlife, natural beauty, and dramatic coastlines to its world-class restaurants, art galleries, and compelling explorations of culture. It is a unique moment to reflect and acknowledge the country’s socio-economic progress since the end of apartheid and its journey to becoming one of the world’s most sought-after travel destinations.

The new year will offer a diverse array of authentic experiences from art, culture and adventure to exciting hotel developments and new itineraries. With the continued strength of the dollar to the rand, it’s the opportune time to travel to the destination!

Reviving Cape Town

Thanks to innovative solutions put in place earlier this year to combat the drought in Cape Town, the Mother City is open for business and looks towards a bright 2019 with water levels stabilizing and significant efforts continuing to play a key role in the conversation on conserving our precious water. The city’s diverse range of breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural experiences, world class food and wine, art, marine life, nature and much more, are all ready to return to the spotlight in 2019.

New Activity Offerings

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island Museum, is starting to offer tours to visitors upon request. A new exhibit at the Mayibuye History Centre at the University of the Western Cape are unique multimedia collections depicting images of the resistance and freedom struggles caused by Apartheid. The two historical exhibits offer visitors the ability to experience, learn, and pay respects to South Africa’s history and better understand the forward momentum the country has made.

Boosting Family Travel

South Africa is becoming more accessible for traveling families through updated regulations. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) announced on December 1st, 2018 that they are relaxing some of the regulations for children traveling to South Africa. The announcement comes at a pivotal point for family travel as the Festive Season, a time when many families travel with their children, is fast approaching.

  • As visas are not required for US & CAN travelers visiting for less than 90 days, generally, children (under 18) travelling with both parents will experience no additional questioning and will not be requested to provide any additional documents, over and above a valid passport.

  • However, if it may appear that you are not the parents of the child for any reason, documentation may be requested. It is suggested that you consider carrying a birth certificate which features the details of the parent or parents, or other documentation that might assist to prove the parental relationship such as a marriage certificate, adoption certificate etc.

  • For more details from the Department of Tourism click here.

News from the Bush

Located on the Kapama Private Game Reserve, the Relais & Chateaux safari lodge, Camp Jabulani, is opening “Little Jabu” in October 2019 that will house 12 suites. 7 are “Jabulani Suites” ideal for couples and 5 are “Little Jabu Family Suites” for families with up to two children. The award winning lodge is known for guided bush walks and Big 5 game drives as well as the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, a leading private research and breeding facility for endangered species in the country.

In the Eastern Cape, the renowned Shamwari Private Game Reserve has finalized the first phase of its extensive $25 million refurbishment of the Eagles Crag Lodge and the Riverdene Family Lodge. The second phase, due to complete November 2019, will see a new, flagship luxury tented camp, and the renovation of the historic Long Lee Manor, featuring 18 private luxury suites. The reserve offers visitors the opportunity to get behind the scenes of the conservancy’s volunteering efforts and environmental regeneration projects.

The Royal Portfolio announced that the The Farmstead will open May 1, 2019. This property will be an exclusive lodge at Royal Malewane, just a mere 12 minute drive south of it, and stand as The Royal Portfolio’s first property in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park. Accommodations will be provided in a main lodge as well as luxury villas and suites with rates inclusive of accommodation, meals, drinks, game drives and bush walks. It provides a completely different design style than the existing safari lodges in South Africa with light oak, tin roofs, wrought iron and gentle hues of blue and white defining the style.

Welcoming New Urban Retreats

Newmark Hotels, Residences, Reserves & Lodges, known for the noteworthy opening of Hallmark House in Johannesburg’s trendy Maboneng Precinct, is opening Stock Exchange – an eclectic city hotel in Cape Town’s most up-and-coming region, Woodstock. Set to open March 2019, it will boast just 33 apartment-style rooms with kitchens and will include a restaurant, swimming pool, gym and shops. The interior of the rooms celebrate local talent and the connection with the neighborhood. As a result, furniture and decorations items in the rooms will be pinpointed on a “design map” of Woodstock, allowing guests to purchase similar items and support the region’s artists.

Placed on the only tree-lined and fully pedestrianized avenue in Cape Town is Gorgeous George, a new hotel set to open early 2019. The new structure is the first hotel in the area to be a member of Design Hotels. Located between St. George’s Mall and Green Market Square, the goal of the hotel is to be a new cultural hub that reflects South Africa’s design scene.

Got Global Gifts?

THE GLOBAL GIFT THAT GIVES BACK – EMPOWERING AFRICA’S FEMALE ARTISANS

Did you know the artisan sector is the second largest employer in the developing world?  It’s true, and the majority of artisans are women who create handcrafted goods using traditional techniques passed down through generations.

Marketplace Africa, the ecommerce site created by Mall for Africa and powered by DHL, aims to put a global spotlight on these unique African-made products and their creators.  85% of the site’s goods are crafted by underrepresented female artisans from Nigeria, and soon Kenya and Rwanda, who can sell their handmade fashion, jewelry, home goods, and beauty products directly to the U.S. and consumers worldwide.

With Nigeria’s unemployment rate hovering at 14.2% and a staggering 89.5% of the country living in extreme poverty, it’s the female artisans who are making a positive impact on their country’s economy and future.

So this holiday season, why not gift different and buy global?  Choose a Blingshiki, a modern twist on the classic Dashiki, adorned with sparkling embellishments, or grab a pair of colorful Zig sandals.

When you purchase authentic African clothing and handicrafts directly from Marketplace Africa, you’re not just buying something beautiful, you’re investing in artisans who weave their rich cultural traditions into soulful creations. Empowering female artisans and boosting their communities is the real beauty of shopping at Marketplace Africa. And that’s a holiday gift that’s priceless.

Golf, apple Perez, 360MAGAZINE, sport

The most unique golf courses in the world

Golf is no longer the sole preserve of retired couples in Florida or middle-aged men discussing business deals over the 19th hole. Millennials are fast becoming one of the largest demographics enjoying the world of golf, and there are a number of reasons for that. Not only is golf a great way to get outside and enjoy some light exercise, but it can also be a low-cost hobby. With 6.5 million millennials playing roughly 100 million rounds of golf a year, young golfers are becoming a much more common sight on the green. If you’ve been looking at your hobbies and wondering what to try next, these unique golf courses reveal that every location is different. If you’re keen to try something new and experience a game somewhere unusual, then these unique golf courses might inspire you to start working on your backswing.

1. The longest course

The Nullarbor Links Golf Course in Australia is not for the impatient. If you prefer your games to be short and sharp, then you might want to avoid the world’s longest golf course. Roughly 850 miles long, it can take an astonishing four to six days to complete a single round. It’s nice to know that there’s time between holes to rest and relax, with some holes needing a 30-mile drive before you can tee off. One of the best features of Nullarbor is that completing the course means that you have crossed two time zones, and that’s one for the bucket list. If you’ve got the dedication, then a round of golf here might just give you the sense of real achievement that you have been missing.

2. For winter lovers

If you fancy having a go at the coldest round of golf in the world, then you might need to head 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Uummannaq Greenland Golf is where they host the World Ice Golf Championships, and competitors are required to learn how to spot the first signs of frostbite before starting their game. Players are also warned about the dangers of seal dens and crevasses as well, so this is not a course for the faint-hearted! This is a long way from those warm conditions in Florida, and you’ll need to look at some quality golf clubs that can cope in the extreme conditions.

3. Extreme wildlife

The Legend Golf and Safari Resort in South Africa is known as one of the world’s top luxury destinations, and for golf lovers, it’s perfect. Not only is the course located in the center of a large wildlife preserve, but it also has a wide range of challenging holes to play. That’s because each hole was designed by a famous golfing legend, meaning each one is unique and challenging while being located in the heart of the African spectacle. For those truly wanting a challenge, the par-3 Extreme 19th hole is only accessible by helicopter and requires a tee shot that ends in a green shaped like Africa, with a 1,200-foot drop.

The face of golf is slowly changing. If you’ve always thought of the game as something for other people, then it might be time to have another look. Great for your health, the perfect way to get outside, and suitable for all skill levels, golf could end being the next big millennial trend that you end up falling in love with.

Lionel Smit’s Divide Exhibition

By Krishan Narsinghani

As of late, South African Artist, Lionel Smit, hosted his first solo show on the West Coast of the United States of America in Los Angeles, CA. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Smit for his pre-night & VIP showing to discuss his art work and upbringing as a Caucasian male in South Africa.

The exhibition featured work from his studio in Cape Town, South Africa as well as his previous solo exhibition OBSUCRA, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami. This being the first of his work to be released commercially.

Smit was born in Pretoria, South Africa and later moved to Cape Town. There, he discovered his passion for the culture and history behind the city, specifically with the Cape Malay women. Smit explains how these individuals are genetically created in the sense that there is a mixture between the European, African and Malaysian bloodlines. This discovery can be related to many other countries which Smit used as a starting point to spark conversations on who we are and where we are going on an emotional level.

During the interview, Smit touched on his experience during apartheid as a White South African and explained, “everyone knew what was happening… but you lived in this bubble… and there was a whole generation that wasn’t responsible for it but still went through the same kind of motions. My idea was to steer away from that and create something that’s more universal and speaks to us on a universal level.”

Smit’s art will be available at ArtLife Gallery, located at 655 N. Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood until October 28th.

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EGYPT × HERITAGE TOURS

Experience Egypt with Heritage Tours

Award-winning private travel company expands its destination portfolio

Heritage Tours, leader in custom-designed private travel, announces the addition of Egypt to its growing portfolio of destinations.

Heritage Tours is widely respected for its expertise in providing clients unique and meticulously-tailored journeys to some of the world’s most fascinating and culturally-rich destinations, with a focus on authenticity and granting insider access that is otherwise unattainable. The company currently offers custom itinerary planning to Morocco, Sub Saharan Africa, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Africa, Israel and Jordan.

Egypt is back on the map and has seen the largest increase in international tourist arrivals in Europe and Africa with a 55.1% increase in 2017 alone, according to a report released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. With 8.3 million tourists in 2017, there is strong evidence that demand for travel to Egypt is on the rise, and the future looks even more promising. Today’s growing wine scene in north Alexandria, the launch of the Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Plateau, and opening of the St. Regis Cairo, are just a few of this year’s highly anticipated happenings. With a wealth of knowledge and established roots in Morocco, Sub Saharan Africa, Israel and Jordan, Heritage Tours seized the opportunity to leverage their expertise and further expand their capabilities in the region with the addition of Egypt.

Egypt is a time capsule – mysterious, mystical and mighty, from its Great Pyramids to its immense Nile River. Whether travelers are looking to immerse themselves in more than 7,000 years of history, visit the Great Pyramids, see the iconic Sphinx, explore lush oases in the vast desert landscapes or relax at one of the country’s iconic beachside towns, Heritage Tours develops specialized itineraries to allow every discerning traveler to awaken their inner explorer and embark on an extraordinary adventure.

The Heritage Tours team of experts offers a highly customized and personal experience. Below are just a few of the experiences offered:

• Take a private tour of Cairo to see one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Great Pyramid, and explore an ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and other mysterious and impressive pyramids and temples.

• Travel the Nile by motorboat to the Nubian Village on Soheil Island to meet a Nubian family and learn about their simple lifestyle, culture and traditions.

• Embark on a journey through the wine-making process in central Egypt’s Gianaclis, from the picking of the grapes through to the bottling and ageing process.

• Marvel at prehistoric rock art in the Swimmers Cave and the gem-like, yellow-green tektite of the natural phenomenon that is Silica Glass Field.

• Stroll along the main seaside road, Al Corniche, during a private Alexandria tour, savoring the affable nature of the city residents, charming European-style buildings and brightly colored fishing boats bobbing in the harbor

• Experience a lush oasis in the desert landscape –  Siwa, a veritable Eden of mineral springs, salt lakes, olive trees and palm groves.

• Take a trip to the bizarre White Desert to see The Valley of the Golden Mummies, a collection of approximately 250 mummies.

• Explore Al Moez Ldin Allah Al Fatimi Street in Cairo, believed to boast the greatest concentration of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world.

• Board a dahabiya, a luxurious sailing vessel that plies the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, for a private Nile cruise.

• Explore the world’s ‘largest outdoor museum of antiquities,’ beginning with a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Queens and the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut.

A rich mosaic of cultures, religions and landscapes, a private Egypt tour presents the increasingly valuable opportunity to become a more educated world citizen. Those seeking full cultural immersion in true comfort and style, while combining a deep sense of adventure and surprise, will relish exploring Egypt with Heritage Tours, where behind-the-scenes excursions led by local experts enhance each experience.

Each itinerary for every trip with Heritage Tours is unique and customized in advance however, a sample itinerary for an 11-day/10-night trip for 2 people to Egypt, starts at $5,395 per person. This includes breakfast every day and dinner on some nights.  Sample Itineraries for Egypt

For more information about Heritage Tours, please visit www.heritagetours.com or call 800-378-4555.

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Heritage Tours

Founded in 1995, Heritage Tours continues to set the standard in custom-designed, private travel. With Heritage Tours, travelers can discover the magic of some of the world’s most exciting destinations with an authenticity of local experience and insider access that is normally unattainable. Widely recognized within the industry, Heritage Tours was recently named the ‘#3 Tour Operator in the World’ by Travel + Leisure magazine and was nominated for the 8th year as the ‘Best FIT Tour Operator’ by Virtuoso. The company currently operates in Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Jordan and Africa and is part of JG Worldwide’s network of leading tourism brands. www.heritagetours.com

JG Worldwide

JG Worldwide and its global portfolio of distinctive brands maintain an unparalleled reputation within the tourism industry. Founded by entrepreneur and travel industry veteran Jena Gardner, the firm’s network of companies includes JG Black Book, a leading hospitality consulting firm, Heritage Tours and Revealed America, recognized as two of the industry’s top bespoke tour operators, as well as The Bodhi Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting environmental and humanitarian efforts related to travel and tourism sustainability. Headquartered in New York, JG Worldwide’s mission is to lead the world to inspired destinations and to harness the strength of the global travel industry to preserve the planet’s natural and cultural treasures. www.jgworldwide.com

CBD: An Alternative to Prescription Drugs?

In the modern world, our first approach to treating an illness is to find the most suitable pharmaceutical drug, which we typically get either over-the-counter or on prescription. However, while these medicines are normally effective, they can unlock a whole new box of issues, including dependency and side effects.

Becoming reliant on medication can be mentally unsettling, and nasty side effects like nausea and dizziness typically require further treatment, leaving patients on a cocktail of pharmaceutical-grade drugs before they know it.

In the case of opioid painkillers, dependency may even be life-threatening, with the risk of overdose frighteningly high. In 2016, abuse of prescription opioid painkillers and recreational opiates accounted for more than 40,000 US lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This cycle of illness, drugs, side effects and more drugs is wearing thin with many, and combined with the new wave of medical cannabis science, a clear divide has formed between those who favor prescription drugs, and those who’d rather take natural, plant-based medicines.

From a historical perspective, medicinal cannabis use makes perfect sense, with the herb being used for millennia across the world, but particularly in Africa and Asia.

Technological advancements have greatly developed our knowledge of cannabis, and scientists now know which compounds are responsible for various effects. For example, the psychoactive “high” mostly comes from a therapeutic cannabinoid called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, numerous other cannabinoids have medicinal properties, sans the hallucinogenic effects.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most studied and seemingly most useful non-intoxicating cannabinoid, and the market for CBD products has exploded in the 2010s, thanks in part to the relaxation of laws surrounding non-psychoactive hemp.

CBD over opioids
Opioid-based painkillers like Tramadol are now regularly prescribed for chronic pain, with stronger synthetic drugs such as fentanyl available on prescription for the most extreme discomfort. These drugs are designed to interact with opioid receptors in the opioid system. The pain relief from these drugs is substantial, however sustained use leads to increased tolerance, stronger doses and addiction.

However, CBD may be helpful for chronic patients, and also those who have ended up dependent on opioids, as the cannabinoid seems to exhibit anti-addiction properties by interfering with pleasure-reward mechanisms.

By elevating concentrations of anandamide in the body, CBD is promoting a neurotransmitter that works to ease both physical and mental pain. How CBD tackles addiction is less clear, but some evidence indicates that CBD is active in the opioid system.

Not all pain is the same – for example, some chronic pain is persistent and always at a similar intensity, whereas the worst effects of inflammatory and neuropathic pain tend to come from flare-ups.

For internal neuropathic pain, CBD vape oil and e-liquid treatment is ideal, because the relief comes very quickly. Meanwhile, lingering pain is economically and perhaps more efficiently managed by orally-consumed CBD products (e.g. capsules, edibles, coffee).

Experimenting with gels, creams and balms infused with cannabis or CBD is a novel method of coping with localized pain. These ensure that the cannabinoid receptors in the affected area are directly activated.

CBD: the new anti-inflammatory drug?
Immune system response is still not well that understood, and this has made it difficult to control. Researchers have struggled to find ways of influencing inflammation, but studies into the endocannabinoid system have found that immune system response is accessible via cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). Endocannabinoids look to signal a stoppage in inflammation, after a wound has fully healed or an infection is neutralized.

This discovery may be crucial, as the current leading class of anti-inflammatories (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs) are known to cause concerning side effects, including stomach ulcers.

The best CBD product for inflammation depends, unsurprisingly on the type of inflammation. Internal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which could be exacerbated by endocannabinoid deficiency, respond well to both CBD vape juice and CBD edibles, or even tincture oils.

For osteoarthritis, a form of inflammation which affects the joints, CBD creams and other topicals are likely to produce better results.

CBD’s promise as an antidepressant
Cannabinoid research is providing genuine hope for antidepressant researchers, after decades of stagnation in medication development. The current situation with depression medicine is far from ideal, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) slow to show benefits – for up to 40 percent of patients, these drugs may not even work at all. And then there are the side effects to contend with, which range from drowsiness to impotence. Depersonalization and derealization have also been anecdotally reported with SSRIs.

However, a glut of promising studies on CBD and the brain have found that the ECS could be important in correcting off-balance brain chemistry. The CB1 receptor modulates many variables, mood being one, and the bond between anandamide and this receptor is important for good mental wellbeing. Factors outside of the ECS also affect mood, but the potency of anandamide as an antidepressant makes the link with the CB1 receptor an essential one.

Some of the most exciting research on cannabinoids has been on their neuroprotective and neurogenesis properties. Studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex and cannabinoid treatments, which are associated with depression, have demonstrated that CBD is able to repair these regions of the brain, by restoring neuronal circuitry and helping to form new brain cells.

A 2018 study on rats carried out in Brazil showed that CBD was effective from the first treatment and for up to seven days after the last dose at blocking synaptic proteins which damage neuronal circuitry in the prefrontal cortex. Meanwhile, CBD-initiated neurogenesis in the hippocampus helps to regrow the brains of adult rats with depression. These results have not yet been replicated in humans, but rats are used for such studies because their brains are similar to humans. General memories and our autobiographical memory are stored in the hippocampus.

The only CBD products that aren’t suitable for managing depression are topicals, as the cannabinoids remain in the skin, and do not reach the brain.