Posts tagged with "safari"

6 Trips to Broaden Your Kids’ Minds This Summer

Now that school’s out for summer, enroll the whole family in a crash course on nature and wildlife with Natural Habitat Adventures

Summer vacation may mean “no more pencils and no more books,” but it can also be a great opportunity for the whole family to learn something new together. Natural Habitat Adventures, the world leader in eco-friendly wildlife-focused expeditions around the globe, offers nature-centric trips designed to get explorers of all ages trading their tablets and phones for GoPros and binoculars. From sailing “Darwin’s Laboratory” in the Galapagos on a private ship to taking moonlit treks through the jungles of Costa Rica, Nat Hab’s family adventure trips are designed around conservation, curiosity and quality time – all disguised as a vacation.

Expand your family’s horizons with these summer experiences:

1. Go exploring in “Darwin’s Laboratory”

Come face-to-face with an outstanding array of wildlife, including sea lions, marine iguanas and giant tortoises on Nat Hab’s 10-day Family Galapagos Adventure. Made famous by evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, the Galapagos archipelago is the very best place for young explorers to learn about evolution, natural selection and how animals adapt to micro-environments. Sail aboard the National Geographic Islander, a family-friendly ship with a specialty research- and adventure-focused kids’ program on board. Record wildlife sightings in your field notebook, listen for underwater life via the ship’s hydrophone and stretch out in special family cabins designed to sleep up to three. Off-ship, don a wetsuit for snorkeling, paddleboarding and Zodiac adventures with your naturalist Expedition Leader, where you can come mask-to-nose with penguins, turtles and seals.
Priced from $7,650
Dates: July 20 & 27, 2019; July 4, 8, 18, 23, 2020; Aug 1 & 6, 2020

2. Seek out lions after sunset in the Maasai Mara

Make conservation the centre of the conversation on the Family Kenya Adventure, an 8-day, custom-crafted itinerary featuring the Maasai Mara’s charismatic creatures whose futures may be at risk. Learn about poaching and pachyderm rescue during a visit to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and make friends in high places at the Giraffe Center before heading along the Great Rift Valley into open grasslands. Stretch out in an unfenced luxury tented camp set in the middle of a Maasai Mara private conservancy, and go for guided walks under a sprawling blue sky while keeping your eyes peeled for zebra, hippo and elephant. Later, as evening falls, head out on a sunset game drive in search of lions and other predators to discover life on the plains after dark.
Priced from $7,995
Trip arranged upon request

3. Journey to Peru’s lost Incan Empire

Immerse your family in the emerald-colored jungles and incredible ancient ruins of the Peruvian Andes on a 7-day Custom Family Machu Picchu Adventure. Witness amazing feats of centuries-old civil and hydraulic engineering and learn about Incan astronomy and architecture while exploring the Sacred Valley between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Meet with local Quechua people in Pisac and learn about advocacy conservation projects from the students of Tikapata School. Stay in private stone casitas along the Urubamba River, and experience 15th-century life in Machu Picchu with tales from your private Peruvian guide. Later, compare ancient civilizations with natural Amazonian marvels in the world’s largest tropical forest basin, where kids will take riverboat tours in search of pink river dolphins, or go ashore to scout for the scarlet and green-winged macaws, howler monkeys and leaf-cutter ants that call the Amazon home.
Priced from $4,495
Trip arranged upon request

4. Safari closer to home in Yellowstone National Park

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife adventure without leaving the continent on Nat Hab’s 7-day Hidden Yellowstone Wildlife Safari. Learn how this North American ecosystem works, understanding the importance of ecological balance between predators and prey, and follow naturalist Expedition Leaders into lesser-known areas of the park where bison, bighorn sheep, bears and wolves live largely undisturbed by tourist crowds. See the secret lives of Lamar Valley wolves using a high-powered spotting scope and talk fire ecology—how nature recovers from the ravages of wildfires—with your guide. In an extraordinary natural setting selected for conservation by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1872, guests can engage in enlightening conversations about how hunting along Yellowstone’s perimeter affects the ecosystem inside the park, and why competing political interests threaten the park’s apex predators even to this day.
Priced from $5,295
Dates: August 27 & 29, 2019

5. Scout for sloths on horseback

With its neon-billed toucans, jungle-fringed rivers, mist-cloaked cloud forests and towering volcanoes, Costa Rica is like something out of a child’s imagination. Encounter geothermal phenomena and extraordinary tropical wildlife in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth on this Custom Family Costa Rica Adventure. Join scientists and conservationists at ecological research centers for some interactive exploration of the country’s rain forest ecosystem and discover how cacao beans are transformed into tasty treats with chocolate-making lessons. Soar above the forest canopy on a zip line, search for sloths while on horseback, brave a nighttime bat walk at the 850-acre Tirimbina Rainforest Center and take in the views at the Arenal Observatory Lodge, adjacent to the country’s most famous volcano.
Priced from $5,095
Trip arranged upon request

6. Dog sled across the Arctic tundra

No time for a summer excursion? Surprise the kids with a mid-term getaway to the planet’s “living laboratory” when it comes to climate change in the North. The Arctic tundra around Churchill, Manitoba is one of the nature’s last great frontiers—for now. Learn about its delicate ecosystem and the impact of a warming world on Nat Hab’s 6-day Churchill Arctic Family Adventure, where naturalist Expedition Leaders lead a family-focused adventure that’s all about pairing environmental awe with conservation awareness. Helicopter over frozen Hudson Bay in search of polar bears, race through the boreal forest on an authentic sled dog ride, and climb aboard Nat Hab’s special Polar Rover, a monster-sized truck specially designed for up-close wildlife observation—look for caribou and Arctic fox. In evenings, take in the stunning night sky—and if you’re lucky, the northern lights.
Priced from $5,995
Dates: Nov 16 & 18, 2019

For more information about Natural Habitat Adventures, visit www.nathab.com.

About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

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. 

The Royal Portfolio Announces The Farmstead At Royal Malewane

The Royal Portfolio has announced that the The Farmstead, an exclusive new safari lodge at Royal Malewane – The Royal Portfolio’s iconic first property – in South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park will open May 1, 2019.

Following the recently refurbishment of the existing Royal Malewane safari lodge, construction is now underway at The Farmstead, just a 12-minute drive south of the existing lodge. Liz Biden, owner of The Royal Portfolio who has designed and decorated all the interiors within the collection, has already acquired much of the eclectic furniture and original art for the new lodge. Commenting on the unique style, Liz Biden said, “Expect light oak, tin rooves, wrought iron and gentle hues of blue and white with royal blue, indigo and turquoise patterns adorning the fabrics of comfy sofas on wide verandas.”

Accommodations at The Farmstead will include three Luxury Farm Suites and The Farmhouse – a four-bedroom villa offering private services including a dedicated chef, butler, housekeeper, safari vehicle, ranger and tracker. The main lodge area will have a double spa treatment room, a gym, fire pit and vast deck where guests can relax and take meals while watching the abundant wildlife visiting the adjacent waterhole.

The Farmstead will offer the same exceptional safari experience with Africa’s most qualified guiding team as well as the same flawless service and cuisine that guests have come to expect for more than 20 years at Royal Malewane. Rates are fully inclusive of accommodation, meals, drinks, game drives and bush walks.

The Farmstead tells an important story of community enhancement in Africa. Royal Malewane agreed to a long lease of the land from the local Moletele community, paying a monthly rental to the community as well as a share of revenue as additional income. At the end of the long lease all buildings and the land will revert to the community with the option to work with The Royal Portfolio in perpetuity. Throughout the lease, The Royal Portfolio will employ members of the local community and train them to the highest Royal Portfolio standards while also involving the local community in conservation efforts to preserve the region’s precious wildlife.

Thomson Safaris

New York – August 2, 2018 – Thomson Safaris and Thomson Family Adventures have appointed Geoffrey Weill Associates to handle their public relations needs in North America, it was announced today by company President Geoffrey Weill.

Created 38 years ago by the dynamic married duo of Rick Thomson and Judi Wineland, Thomson Safaris specializes in personally crafted trips to Tanzania. To this day, Thomson Safaris uses only local guides in its hand-picked itineraries, offering access to people and areas of the Serengeti that other outfitters can’t.

The company’s Kilimanjaro Treks are some of the most highly respected tours in the region,with the most qualified guides and a 98% summit success. Committed to quality and care, all of their guides are Wilderness Responder Certified. A founding member of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project – an NGO advocating for the rights of porters, Thomson has distinguished itself by upholding the highest standards for the treatment and compensation of porters, launching such initiatives as Porter Appreciation Week in 2018.

Thomson Safaris is the recipient of both a “Tanzania Conservation Award” and “Humanitarian of the Year Award” from The Tanzania Tourist Board. Thomson’s sister nonprofit,  Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC), was started by Thomson Safaris co-founder Judi Wineland and a group of guests who wanted to bring educational resources to developing regions in Tanzania.

In 1998, with young children, Judi and Rick answered a need by creating Thomson Family Adventures, catering to families of all sizes and composition. Today, Thomson Family Adventures is still the only tour operator in the US exclusively dedicated to family travel. Pioneers in what is now a burgeoning niche market in the travel industry, Thomson Family Adventures now offers more than 90 itineraries and covers regions of North, South and Central America, Africa, Asia and Antarctica. The company also offers specialized tours specifically for teens and millennials, age groups often overlooked in the family market.

“We are thrilled to be adding Thomson Safaris and Thomson Family Adventures to our portfolio of unique travel products,” said Ann-Rebecca Laschever, Executive Vice President of WEILL. “Although they have been offering first-class safari and memorable travel experiences for several years, they are not as known in the industry as they deserve to be. We look forward to changing that.”

For more information visit www.thomsonsafaris.com and www.familyadventures.com.

ARKONIK × LR DEFENDER

ARTEMIS D110: Always on the Hunt for Adventure

This crimson station wagon will aid any explorer in their hunt for adventure. Complete with uprated suspension, snorkel, and a WARN winch, our ARTEMIS Edition will roam unhindered through forest wilderness or the concrete jungle. This D110 has been fully restored in Arkonik’s consistent pursuit of precision and durability.

1) Exterior Spec – KAHN® 1983 18″ alloy wheels | General Tire® Grabber AT3 tyres | Front bumper DRLs | LR Defender A-Frame nudge bar with twin LED spotlights | WARN® Zeon 12-S winch | Puma bonnet | KBX® Gloss Black grille and wing-top vents | Gloss Black chequer plate | Fire & Ice side steps | Raptor-coated steering & front differential guard | Safari® snorkel | Rear LED work lamp | NAS rear step | Front Runner® roof rack with LED spotlights, expedition rails and rear ladder | Uprated Terrafirma® suspension with 2″ lift kit

2) Interior Spec – Ruskin Inside™ Black & Grey leather trim | Recaro® Cross Sportster CS heated front seats | Matching Elite Loc-box & door cards | 2 Premium high back centre row seats | Bench seats in the load area | Evander wooden rim steering wheel | Alloy gear knobs and door furniture | Alpine® premium sound system with Apple® CarPlay | Black suede headlining & side panels | Ice White LED lighting package | Sunroof | Air conditioning

DISCOVER SOUTH AFRICA x TAX REFUND

It is that time of the year again, when Americans start preparing their tax returns, but there’s good news as most taxpayers can expect to receive an average refund of $2,895 according to the IRS. This year, South African Tourism is once again launching its Tax Refund campaign to encourage savvy travelers and adventure seekers to make the most of their refund with an out-of-this-world trip to South Africa. Partnering with the top US travel trade partners South African Tourism unveils six new exciting packages priced between $1,700-$3,200 to reflect the average tax refund. The packages offer a variety of experiences focusing on romance, adventure and culture throughout South Africa.

 

Today’s favorable exchange rate also guarantees US travelers’ hard-earned refund money goes further than ever in South Africa. South African Tourism is also excited to collaborate with TurboTax® this season on a blog post inspired by South Africa’s 10 most Instagrammable locations which will be live onwww.blog.turbotax.intuit.com/.

 

Whether a history buff, art and culture enthusiast, foodie, adventurer or nature lover, South Africa has something to offer every discerning traveler looking for an affordable vacation. This year’s exclusive deals include:

 

 

  • Gate 1 – 8 Day South Africa Tour with Game Drives & Flights — 8 days and 6 nights
Enjoy the best of Cape Town by exploring Table Mountain and then visit either the Winelands or Cape Peninsula. After a few days in the “Mother City,” head on to Johannesburg to transfer to the safari portion of your trip. You’ll be able to spot all kinds of wildlife while enjoying South Africa’s natural beauty. From US$1699/ Per Person Sharing (includes US $260pp savings with promo code SATD260).
This week, you’ll take a deep dive into exploring Cape Town’s gorgeous sites and vibrant culture. Whether biking through Cape Point, whale watching from the golden shores, or hiking Table Mountain, you’re sure to fall in love with Cape Town. From US $1,999* Per Person Sharing.
  • Great Safaris – Zululand Express Safari — 6 days and 4 nights
Explore the beautiful coastal town of Durban to see a different side of South Africa. Here, you’ll experience the historical melting pot of Indian and African cultures or spend a day relaxing on the beach. Afterwards, you’ll transfer to Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve to partake in game drives and learn about the Zulu tribe members that originally lived there. From US $2,195 Per Person Sharing.
  • Indus Travel – Super South Africa & Dubai — 13 Days and 9 nights
Guests can explore the vibrant city of Johannesburg and a guided tour to the Soweto Township, a cultural melting pot with a wealth of heritage sites that will fascinate any visitor. Visit Kruger National Park before continuing on to Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Then Visit Cape Town, regularly voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From US$2,799* Per Person Sharing.
Enjoy scenic beauty, culture and world class restaurants in Cape Town. Marvel at spectacular views of the Atlantic seaboard from the top of Table Mountain. Explore the Cape Peninsula, on a full-day tour that offers dramatic scenery and endearing penguins. From US $2,999* Per Person Sharing.
Experience the perfect mix of safari and city with this trip to South Africa. After 3 nights of game drives in malaria-free Pilanesberg Game Reserve, couples can retreat to the beach suburb of Cape Town to relax. From US $3,199* Per Person Sharing.

 

 

“South Africa is blessed with breathtaking natural scenery, world-class safari experiences, and adrenaline pumping adventure activities; and with celebrations around the Nelson Mandela Centenary planned throughout 2018, now is the ideal time to visit,” said Bangu Masisi, President of South African Tourism, Americas. “These packages from our partners showcase the variety of exciting travel experiences that are made possible by using your tax refund”. To book these packages or view additional South Africa travel deals, please visit southafrica.net/deals. For more information on South Africa’s rich and diverse offerings visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter and @VisitSouthAfrica on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

Natural Habitat Adventures

Get Wild This Green Season with Natural Habitat Adventures

 

From taking in lush, tropical landscapes to viewing new animal births during the Great Migration, discover where the grass grows greener around the globe.

 

Rainy season brings out a special bounty of nature encounters from flourishing flora to new fauna. Ecotourism leader Natural Habitat Adventures proves it’s easy to be green with trips to see some of the most incredible wildlife spring into action around the world. From experiencing sea turtles nesting and spotting whales along Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast to taking in breathtaking views of huge herds making a great circuit across the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania, see where the grass grows greener this season with Natural Habitat Adventures:

 

Natural Jewels of Costa Rica
10 Days | From USD$5,495
NEW! Green Season Departure: Aug 4 – 13, 2018

In July and August, “green season” is a time of new birth and plentiful transitions among Costa Rica’s lush rainforests, mist-veiled mountains, wild beaches and active volcanoes, containing some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth. Enjoy peak turtle season in Tortuguero, when Pacific green sea turtles settle into their annual nesting pattern. On the new green season departure, Nat Hab makes an extended boat expedition in search of whales, particularly humpbacks, and dolphins during time exploring around Isla del Caño. In Monteverde’s cloud forest, resplendent quetzals and three-wattled bellbirds feed on abundant ripe avocados at this time of year, creating some of the best opportunities to encounter these threatened species in the wild. Nature is especially lively during the green season—the extra moisture tends to animate more birds and mammals in the canopy, as well as frogs, interesting insects and nocturnal wildlife.

 

Botswana’s Green Season Photo Safari
10 Days | From USD$11,795
Green Season Departures: November 2018 to March 2019

Botswana’s prolific wildlife is legendary, so it’s no wonder that it is a top destination for photography-focused African safaris. There’s nothing like seeing it during the “green season,” when intermittent rains bring dramatic skies, new grass and new animal life. Join accomplished photographers and naturalist guides on an adventure designed to reveal Botswana’s abundant wildlife and staggeringly diverse ecosystems, from the fossilized salt pans of the Kalahari Desert to the emerald marshes and sprawling channels of the Okavango Delta. Photograph wildlife in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve as it bursts to life during brief summer rains: where lush grasses lure throngs of wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok and other prey, while the region’s legendary black-maned lion, cheetah and other predators follow in close pursuit.

 

The Great Tanzania Migration Safari
8 Days | From USD$9,995
Green Season Departures: Dec 2018 to March 2019

On Africa’s Great Plains, each year, boundless herds of wildebeest and zebra traverse the Serengeti in search of new grass that sprouts with seasonal rains, and to birth their young. Lion and cheetah lie in wait, finely tuned hunting machines ready to stalk and take down the weakest members of the herds. In the center of the world’s greatest ancient migration route, wildlife lovers will join a small-group safari led by expert expedition leaders to witness a primal spectacle as the drama of predator and prey unfolds before them. Enjoy unparalleled seclusion, comfort and vintage safari atmosphere at Natural Habitat’s remote private camp, immersed in the wonder of one of the world’s truly epic wildlife events.

 

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About Natural Habitat Adventures
Natural Habitat Adventures has been a leader in responsible adventure travel and ecotourism since 1985. From polar bear tours in Churchill to small-group Galapagos cruises, from Alaska grizzly bear adventures to African safaris, our journeys, led by professional naturalist guides, reveal the planet’s most extraordinary nature destinations. As the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company—and the conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund—we offer eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between. For more information, visit nathab.com.

APPLE × SAMSUNG

OF SMARTPHONES AND SUPREMACY —THE NEVER ENDING RACE BETWEEN APPLE AND SAMSUNG

Written by: Amardeep Singh

2016 and 2017 have been strange years for smartphone giants that seem to show no signs of backing out on every front. From Samsung‘s gadgets being seen as potential explosive bombs to Apple admitting its dirty tactics in slowing down its older phones for better sales, from Nokia making a valiant return with the 3310 to Google releasing Pixel. But before techies and phone savants declare their opinions on the best phone for the year as 2017 comes to an end, it’s important to review two of the most happening smartphones that had gripped everyone in hype.

IT’S ALL IN THE SPECIFICATIONS

The iPhone X debuted with a staggering size of 43.6 × 70.9 × 7.7 mm (5.65 × 2.79 × 0.30 inches) showing an absent home screen button when compared to the Note 8’s size of 162.5 × 74.8 × 8.6 mm (6.40 × 2.95 × 0.34 inches).

Initial advertisements by Apple boasted several of the phone’s  features such as a stunning 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display that shows a beautiful 2,436 × 1,125 pixels (458 ppi) home screen. Apple wasn’t just betting on visual appeal to be the main selling point but it seems that the new animated emoji( called animoji) clearly took the stage at the keynote speech.

The phone runs on an A11 Bionic  64-bit architecture with a 2716 mAh battery that Apple promises to power 12 hours of internet, 13 hours of video playback, 21 hours of talk time and up to 60 hours of audio playback. Cameras have seen a vast improvement in the latest release with a M10 motion co-processor being coupled with a dual 12MP rear (both with OIS) and a 7MP True Depth front that captures images up to 4K at 60fps. Video making too has been augmented with users now being able to shoot 1080p at 240fps. Beneath the silver or space Gray exterior the, the provides up to 64GB or 256GB of storage space and the newest iOS 11 framework.

All this for a standard price of nearly a $1000 which is likely to increase in the coming months as Apple hints the possible release of more color variants and even a rumored iPhone 9.

The Note 8 too isn’t much far in that regard when it comes to technology. While slightly heavier than its counterpart, the phone still takes the lead with a 162.5 × 74.8 × 8.6 mm (6.40 × 2.95 × 0.34 inches) size with a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display and a 2,960 × 1,440 (522 ppi) resolution. While the rear camera is no different than the iPhone ‘s12 MP feature, the front has an 8 MP capability. Early reviews stated that the phone hosts features to create videos at 4K at 30fps and 720p at 240fps. The Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (U.S.)/Samsung Exynos 8895 (international) processor allows for 22 hours of talk time, 13 hours of internet, 16 hours of video playback, and up to 74 hours of audio playback.

Available at three storage spaces of 64GB (U.S.) 128, 256GB (International) and two colors of midnight black and orchid gray, the phone will cost buyers $ 930.

VERDICT— WHAT THE PUBLIC HAS TO SAY

The iPhone X launch brought some radical changes to its generation of smartphones which were welcomed by some but ridiculed and criticized by most. Despite showing some amazing sales figures when compared to the iPhone 7 which was considered to be no less than disastrous on the public front, the Note 8 still holds a competitive edge against the former.

Buyers are specifically amazed at the uses for Google Assistant and the S pen along with several other features such as Bixy, peripheral ports and its special lock-in procedures.

However, newer versions of the Note 8 have attracted some hindrance after users reported that they were unable to charge even on plugging after using them for the first time. Users are also dissatisfied with facial detection, screen burning and short battery lives on the latest iPhone. And the company too seems to be on thin ice as it revealed details about slowing down ageing phones which took a big crunch at its stock prices.

But only time will tell if either company can maintain a stronghold of their investors and consumers as the year comes to another end.

Photo credit: Stuff.tv

VISIT DURBAN × ULTRAMARATHON

The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km (approx. 56 miles) which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world’s largest and oldest ultramarathon race. Registrations for the 93rd edition of the race open tomorrow, Friday, September 1 and close on November 30, or when the entry limit of 20,000 runners is reached. The Comrades Marathon 2018 theme is “No Turning Back” which encapsulates the grit, perseverance and determination it takes to complete. 

For the first time ever, the race will finish at Durban Moses Mabhida Stadium, host of the 2010 World Cup.

(Courtesy of Google Images)  


Wondering why Durban is an awesome place to race, then stay and play? Here are the top 10 reasons:

1. The Golden Mile

This 3.7 mile long sandy beach is by far the greatest attraction in Durban. Swimming is good all year round due to the warm, subtropical climate. Surfing is prevalent, dozens of pools can be found along the esplanade, and crafts can be purchased from seaside stalls. Exotic restaurants, nightclubs, and many hotels can be found beachside. For some of the best views on the beach, visitors can hop on a brightly colored rickshaw and cruise the Golden Mile, Zulu style.

2. Vibrant Afro-Indian Culture & Cuisine

Durban is a coastal melting pot influenced by African and Indian cultures and is home to the largest Indian population outside of India. In the Central Business District, visitors can stroll the Victoria Street Market where men in traditional kurtas and women in saris sell spices, curry powders, silk scarves, and more. One of Durban’s top culinary delights is the city’s signature dish of Bunny Chow, Indian curry housed in a hollowed-out loaf of white bread.

3. uShaka Marine World

Located at the end of the Golden Mile, this 40-acre theme park offers water rides, interactive animal shows, a snorkeling lagoon, shark cage diving, a reptile exhibit, shopping, myriad dining options, and more. uShaka Marine World is made up of five distinct sections: uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet ‘n Wild, uShaka Beach, uShaka Village Walk, and uShaka Kids World.

4. Moses Mabhida Stadium

With its iconic “arch of triumph”, Moses Mabhida Stadium is an engineering feat that provides Durban with a defining landmark to match the Eiffel Tower, Sydney’s Opera House, or the London Eye. Built in 2009, the 85,000 seat stadium played host to the 2010 World Cup and today is the site of large-scale sporting events, Essence Festival Durban, and six signature activities. These include The Adventure Walk, a 500-step guided climb to the top of the arch, and the Big Rush Big Swing, the Guinness Book of World Records’ tallest swing allowing the adventurous to free fall 772 feet into the stadium bowl while attached to a harness.

 

5. Essence Festival Durban

The Essence Festival returns to Durban September 26 – October 1, 2017. In its second year in South Africa, the festival will again showcase international performers; world-famous speakers; and local artists, chefs, and experts. Just a few of the big names who took part in 2016 included Steve Harvey, Yolanda Adams, and Kelly Price. A sister festival to the long-running New Orleans Essence Festival, the Essence Festival promotes climate of empowerment, inspiration, and entertainment.

 

6. Florida Road

Florida Road is the heart of Durban’s entertainment scene. The buzz in this shopping, dining, and nightlife district starts in the early morning at the bustling sidewalk cafes and continues throughout the day at a wide range of boutiques, galleries, and more than 30 eateries.

 
7. Zulu Experiences

Zulu people make up the largest ethnic group of South Africa, with an estimated 10 million residents in KwaZulu-Natal. Several opportunities exist to explore Zulu culture in the Durban area including Shakaland and PheZulu Safari Park, which feature replica Zulu homesteads where visitors can participate in traditional ceremonies, learn Zulu customs, try traditional beer, and enjoy energetic Zulu dance performances; and iSithumba, an authentic Zulu village in the Valley of 1000 Hills where visitors can venture into homes and establishments to meet, interact with, and learn from locals.

 

8. Inanda Heritage Route

The Inanda Heritage Route includes some of Durban’s most important, albeit little-known, historical sites providing a snapshot of critical moments in South African and Indian history. Stops include Mahatma Ghandi’s Phoenix Settlement; the gravesite of Dr. John L. Dube, the first-ever president of the African National Congress; and Inanda Seminary, the first secondary school for African girls.

 

9. Accessible Location

King Shaka International Airport is located just 25 minutes north of Durban’s city center, offering convenient international access and domestic flights to all major South African cities.

 

10. Proximity to Outdoor Adventures in Greater KwaZulu-Natal

Durban is the jumping off point to the Zulu Kingdom, and visitors can experience the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the abundant wildlife of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Park, and the wetland wonders of St. Lucia, by driving just two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half hours outside of the city.

  

ABOUT DURBAN

Located an hour southeast of Johannesburg by air, Durban is the beachfront gem of KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN). A bustling harbor city and popular surfing spot, Durban lies on the Indian Ocean and is South Africa’s third largest urban area. Remnants of British colonialism and a mix of Zulu, Indian, and Afrikaans traditions give the city a rich cultural heritage, while outdoor activities abound on the signature “Golden Mile” beachfront and in the lush rolling hills that encompass Durban’s suburbs. For more information, visit www.durbanexperience.co.za.

2017 RANGE ROVER EVOQUE CONVERTIBLE

​By Benjamin Reese + Vaughn Lowery 



There’s no question that the Land Rover is a hallmark manufacturer synonymous with traversing over the Earth’s most spartan deserts, tundras, jungles, badlands, city streets and/or country backroads with grace and elegance. The brand best known for building competent off-road luxury SUV’s with tremendous success is testing their hand in the cabriolet SUV segment with the new 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible. Birthed with the history and pedigree to back up its performance capability plus nothing but evocative styling to come across the eye – looks like they got a winner on their hands.  

This Range Rover takes a pretty healthy punch of accolades as standard; and jeez, do they ‘swing for the fences’ – an electronic rear differential, active torque biasing system, AWD with an active driveline and an all-terrain response system for sand, snow, gravel or mud situations. In the toughest of situations, watching over the mechanical hardware’s every move are active electronic systems which control everything from brakeforce distribution, torque vectoring, hill descent, stability control and roll. Essentially, it possesses the goods to overcome a majority of previously thought impossible scenarios. 

The Range Rover Evoque Convertible has a strong hunkered down stance over the road. The Yulong white color scheme looked fit for a Stormtrooper (Star Wars); and retracting the roof (acoustic insulated top folds flush in just 18 seconds at speeds of up to 29mph) will win the “wo/man of the show” award, which we won while stuck in Hollywood traffic. 

Leisurely cruising around in a convertible SUV was as blissful as it sounds, but this Range Rover aggressively moves for it’s size with frisky acceleration sprints. Hat’s off to a very dynamic 240hp turbocharged engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission which brilliantly disguises overall body mass. Darting around Los Angeles in the Evoque is no different than whipping around in a BMW 3 Series. 

Boosting overall stimulation inside the cockpit is a 660 watt Meridian Audio system with full Bluetooth connectivity and navigation system. The Evoque is a moving off-road lounge with configurable ambient interior lighting to set the mood on your expedition. We found our comfort levels equal with the top up or down thanks to dual zone climate control systems and milky oxford leather seats. 

For just under 60K, the 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible mimics the driving feel of both the Hummer H1 and BMW 3 Series – it’s quite magical. 

For additional information visit https://www.landroverusa.com/vehicles/rr-evoque-luxury-crossover/convertible/index.html