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May 2018

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RFP: To design and construct the Maldives Stand at the International French Travel Market (IFTM) Top Resa for the year 2018

N + J Couple photoshoot at Baros Maldives and their favourite sunset cruise, Nick and Jenn was a young Friendly couple from Singapore visited Maldives for their honeymoon in Maldives, Photo by Asad, http://asad.photographyLocation: @barosmaldives http://barosmaldives.com

Top Resa 2018 RFP
Top Resa 2018 Floor Plan

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RFP: To design and construct the Maldives Stand at the TTG Travel Experience 2018 – Rimini, Italy for the year 2018

N + J Couple photoshoot at Baros Maldives and their favourite sunset cruise, Nick and Jenn was a young Friendly couple from Singapore visited Maldives for their honeymoon in Maldives, Photo by Asad, http://asad.photographyLocation: @barosmaldives http://barosmaldives.com

TTG 2018 RFP
TTG 2018 Floor Plan

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FUSHIFARU MALDIVES ANNOUNCES FIRST MMA RETREAT WITH ONE CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHTER, SAIFUL MERICAN & MALDIVIAN MUAY THAI TRAINER, KAI

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Fushifaru

Fushifaru Maldives announces its first MMA Retreat in collaboration with professional MMA/ Muay Thai and ONE Championship fighter, Saiful Merican and Maldivian Muay Thai trainer and Fushifaru Wellness Guru, Kai this June 19th – 21st, 2018.

With over 130 fights to his name, renowned ONE Championship fighter and former World #1Muay Thai kickboxer (57KG) Saiful Merican, will be bringing his ring-ready techniques and drills to the island for guests to sign up and test their strength, stamina and agility on the beach. Joining him will be Maldivian expert trainer, Kai, who will be bringing her signature brand of strength conditioning and training to the retreat. A certified trainer for over ten years, Kai has participated in various sporting events, conducts her own bootcamp in the Maldives and retreats around the world, including running a marathon barefoot in Athens.

Mixed Martial Arts, or more popularly known as MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world. It encompasses both stand -up and ground skills using techniques from various other martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, Muay Thai, Sanda and many more. As the Vice President of the Mal aysian MMA Association (MASMMA), Saiful is one of the country’s pioneer professional MMA fighters. He transitioned to MMA in 2013 after competing in hundreds of Muay Thai fights from the tender age of 11. “I wanted to test myself and keep learning other disciplines. MMA workouts challenge your mind and body to push yourself to its limits,” says Saiful. The customized workouts are designed to train your entire body with a focus on strength and endurance. The intense combat drills test one’s physical and mental stamina. Experience what it’s like to train like a pro athlete and recover after with our spa treatments curated exclusively for this retreat.

Our VIKs (Very Important Kids) will not be left out on this retreat! Kids aged from 6 -12 can join the MMA Kids Retreat to learn and adopt a great active and healthy lifestyle through mixed martial arts. Not only will they learn self confidence and discipline, they will have fun doing it! Fushifaru’s ‘Family Fantastic Offer’ where up to two kids under the age of 12, stay and eat for free on the same board basis as their parents, would be the perfect reason to book.

Fushifaru 3-Day MMA Retreat includes:
19th June

  • Warm Up & Stretching
  • Wrap Hands
  • Stand Up Techniques – Muay Thai Shadow Boxing
  • Muay Thai Pad Work
  • Technique Drills
  • Strength & Conditioning (with Kai)
  • Wrestling Drills
  • Cool Down
  • 60 Minute Fit Body Massage – Designed to encourage blood flow, stretch muscles and ease joints

19th June

  • Warm Up & Stretching
  • Ground Techniques – Jiujitsu Drills
  • Takedowns
  • Boxing Drills
  • Strength & Conditioning (with Kai)
  • Cool Down
  • 60 Minute Fushi Deep Tissue Massage – Perfect for post-intense activities to target those deeper layers of muscles, connective tissue to help increase muscle flexibility

21st June

  • Warm Up & Stretching
  • Running
  • Shadow Boxing
  • Stand Up & Ground Techniques (incorporating both Muay Thai & Jiujitsu)
  • Light MMA Sparring with Saiful
  • Strength & Conditioning (with Kai)
  • Cool Down
  • 30 Minutes Tension Release Back Massage – Focused on releasing muscular tension in the back and improve circulation.

Book MMA Retreat package with the best price: info@letsgomaldives.com

HEYLHI SPA, FUSHIFARU MALDIVES - AERIALFushifaru Sunrise Beach Pool Villas

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Maldives

Vote for Maldives at World Spa Awards 2018!

On the Dhoni

Voting is underway for the World Spa Awards 2018, with the Maldives being nominated for the coveted title of Indian Ocean’s Best Spa Destination.

Votes can be cast online before August 17.

Winners will be announced at the World Spa Awards Gala to be held at The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort in Maldives on October 26.

Maldives has consecutively maintained the Indian Ocean’s Best Spa Destination title for the past three years, since the World Spa Awards was founded. In 2016, Maldives also won the World’s Best Spa Destination award.

Spa and relaxation are one of the main segments of Maldives tourism and the destination is popular for the world’s top spas.

Maldives had the world’s first underwater spa opened at Huvafen Fushi resort in 2004. This addition to the spa segment of the destination took the spa industry to another level.

World Spa Awards was launched in 2015 as the sister event of World Travel Awards, which is known as the Oscars of the travel industry. The World Spa Awards was developed to foster a new era of growth in spa tourism.

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Gili Lankanfushi announces beginner surf programme

On the Dhoni

Gili Lankanfushi has announced a special surf programme designed for beginners.

The ‘Gili Goes Surfing’ offer is valid for stays of minimum five nights from now until the end of September.

The three-day surf programme is designed for beginners, with a one-hour lesson in the calm lagoon on the first day, followed by two days of surfing with a guide at the nearby surf break.

“For thrill seekers, embark on a guided journey of surfing with a surf programme designed for beginners. Begin the surf with a lagoon lesson and proceed to the next level by riding a wave, as you are guided by a professional instructor from Tropicsurf,” an announcement by the resort read.

“Discover some of the best surf sites in Maldives and experience this sanctuary away from the world in an adventurous way like no other. Begin a new adventure with us and create your very own Gili Story with memories that will last a lifetime.”

In addition to the surf programme, the rates include:

  • Daily gourmet breakfast at the Main Restaurant
  • Round-trip speedboat transfer
  • Sunset cocktail party (every Wednesdays)
  • Daily sunrise yoga sessions
  • Steam and Sauna at Meera Spa
  • Non-motorised water sports activities

Set on the private island of Lankanfushi in the North Male Atoll, Gili Lankanfushi Maldives is an intimate coral island in a sparkling lagoon, with jetties threading across the water out to spacious villa accommodations, where ultimate privacy can be found. This luxury resort is just a 20-minute speedboat ride from the main Velana International Airport.

At Gili Lankanfushi, an idyllic personal hideaway is one of 45 spacious, rustic overwater villas crafted from natural wood and glass. A palette of sparkling blues paints the horizon, the ocean stretching to infinity wherever on the island. The open design, with indoor and outdoor living space, allows guests the freedom to be themselves, the sound of the sea and warm breeze soothing all senses.

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Kenya Travel Guide: An Introduction

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“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up and was not happy” – Ernest Hemingway.

Kenya is one of those destinations that truly capture the heart and soul of Africa. Seas of golden savannahs conceal stalking predators while giraffe, zebra and antelope alike graze unawares on open plains. Traditional villages sit beneath the snow-capped slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and seem to have a palpable energy, spilling over with a melting pot of proud and ever-smiling tribal people. And despite its increase in tourism over the past few years, Kenya is not a new destination. Travellers have been visiting Kenya for years, seeking its exceptional wildlife experiences that make the most incredible memories – even Queen Elizabeth holidayed here in the fifties before she was crowned.

In a snap shot

  • Capital City: Nairobi
  • Population: 44 million
  • Flight time from the UK: Approx. 9 hours direct from the UK to Nairobi Airport
  • Currency: Kenyan Shilling
  • Language: Swahili, English
  • Time difference: GMT + 3 (2 hours ahead of British Summer Time)
  • Visas: Required
  • Best time to travel: July to February (peak migration period in July to October)

10 things you didn’t know about Kenya…

  • It’s old! Kenya’s Great Rift Valley was formed over 20 million years ago by the movement of the earth’s crust.
  • It’s big: Stretching 580,400 square kilometres, its more than twice the size of the UK.
  • There haven’t always been people: Palaeontologists believe the first humans inhabited Kenya about two million years ago.
  • It’s historic: Kenya is home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Fort Jesus, Mount Kenya Forest, Lamu Old Town, The Sacred Kaya Forest, Lake Turkana and the Great Rift Valley.
  • It’s very ‘green’. There are over 65 national parks and wildlife reserves in Kenya.
  • There’s great coffee: Tea and coffee are Kenya’s largest exports – despite Kenyans not being big coffee drinkers themselves.
  • They’re smart: Kenya has one of the highest literacy levels in Africa. Approx. 85% of its adult residents can read and write.
  • They’re polygamous: Like many African countries, Kenyans have more than one wife. Men are required to pay a dowry to their chosen bride’s family.
  • They’re connected: Kenya has the second most active Twitter community in Africa.
  • It’s got royal roots: Queen Elizabeth was staying at The Treetops Hotel with Prince Philip when her father, King George, died. So she technically became queen while in Kenya.

Find out more

Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

The post Kenya Travel Guide: An Introduction appeared first on The Edit.

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Kenya Travel Guide: Health & Travel Information

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Planning on travelling to Kenya and wondering about vaccinations and visas? We’ve done all the homework for you… Read on for information on health and safety as well as the passport details required for your visit to Kenya…

 

Health & safety

Malaria medication

As Kenya is prone to malaria, make sure you take all the necessary precautions. The highlands are a greater risk while Nairobi is a low risk area (see this malaria map for more info).  Visit your doctor at least a month before your departure to discuss the right malaria prophylactic for you. The most common pills include mefloquine (sold as Lariam) that’s taken weekly, the antibiotic doxycycline that’s taken daily, and atovaquone-with-proguanil that’s also taken daily (sold as Malarone).  Your doctor will be able to advise further on which of these pills is best for you, and what the various side effects can be.

Malaria prevention

Prevention is always best – make sure you are protected against mosquitoes by covering your arms, legs and feet as much as possible in the evenings. As it’s believed that mosquitoes are naturally attracted to dark colours, pack plenty of light coloured trousers and long-sleeve shirts. Most lodges will have mosquito nets above the beds but it’s also worthwhile investing in a good quality mosquito repellent with DEET.

Sunshine & hydration

Pack high SPF sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the bright glare of the equatorial sun. Beware of dehydration by making sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Stick to bottled water which is widely available and is usually provided by your lodge.

Vaccinations

Kenya is a yellow-fever zone and you’ll need to show your yellow fever vaccination card when you leave Kenya. An International Vaccination Certificate (IVC) only becomes valid ten days after you’ve had the vaccination, after which it is valid for ten years. You should also make sure you are up to date with your childhood tetanus and polio protection: you will need a booster every ten years.

Travel information

Passports

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the end of your holiday and make sure that it has at least two blank pages in it.

Visas

British travellers will need a visa to visit Kenya. This can be obtained on arrival at the airport (cash only). To save time, we’d recommend downloading the application form, and have it filled in ready for your arrival or you can even get your visas online in advance from the Kenyan embassy or high commission – in person or by post. We’d recommend checking with the Kenyan embassy website to see the most up-to-date information.

The Kenyan Embassy in London

45 Portland Place, London W1B 4AS | 020 7636 2371 | kenyahighcom.org.uk

Travel insurance

We’d recommend taking out a good travel insurance policy before travelling to Kenya. A typical insurance policy usually provides cover for loss of baggage, tickets and cash up to a certain limit, as well as cancellation or curtailment of your journey. Planning to enjoy adventure sports? Check that your insurance plan covers diving, climbing, etc.

Find out more

Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

The post Kenya Travel Guide: Health & Travel Information appeared first on The Edit.

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Kenya Travel Guide: Culture & Coast

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Curious about Kenya? This unique destination is a melting pot of diverse and fascinating and human history that dates back as far as six million years ago. Today there are over 70 different ethnic groups in Kenya. Read on to discover some unique facts about Kenya’s culture and coast:

Culture & traditions

Visiting Kenya is an incredible cultural experience where you can mix and mingle with ancient African tribes. Meet the Maasai people (semi-nomadic) and a host of other tribes such as the Samburu, Swahili, Turkana and Kikuyu tribes. In Nairobi, about 40% of the population is Kikuyu—a Bantu tribe home to over six million people.

Food & drink

Kenya is steeped in local tradition and the foods and it is definitely recommend to try out the local food and drink while you’re here. Sour milk is the most common while the foods consist largely of meat, potatoes, vegetables and fish. Definitely try nyama choma – roast meats served on a wooden platter with ugali (cornmeal porridge) and kachumbari – tomato and onion relish. Head to the coast for delicious roasted cashew nuts and great seafood flavoured with coconut, tamarind and local spices! You’ll also find plenty of fruit (bananas, mangoes, coconut and passion fruit) and deep-fried snacks here, including samosas, pancakes and more. If you’re in Nairobi, stop for some street food – cassava chips, roasted corncobs and roasted termites. Chai tea is also popular and Kenyan beer brands include Tusker and White Cap while palm wine is popular on the coast. Did you know that most drinks are served at room temperature in Kenya as the locals believe it is unhealthy to drink ice-cold drinks?

The Kenya coast

Stretching 500 kilometres long, Kenya’s coast is blessed with rustic coral beaches and tropical waters. Known as the Swahili Coast, a beach escape is the perfect way to start or end off your Kenyan safari adventure. Spend your days relaxing on the soft white sands of your hotel beachfront, head further afield to the quieter and more isolated sands of Msambweni or enjoy a sailing trip on a traditional dhow – the choices are endless. Whatever you do, make sure you add a trip to the coral reef in Watamu Marine Park, home to more than 600 different species of fish as well as endangered sea turtles that nest on the quieter beaches here. The wildlife spotting opportunities are impressive here – keep your eyes peeled for whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins and even Humpback whales (July to September).

Mombasa

The main port of call for your holiday on the Kenya Coast, Mombasa is an intoxicating mix of cultures with an old town that was built back in the 1500s from coral rock. As it was built by the local Swahili tribesmen, the town is an exceptional example of Swahili architecture with dramatic archways, impressive Islamic-inspired doors and large balconies. There’s plenty of history to be found here – visit the 16th century Fort Jesus (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), shop for souvenirs at the Akamba Handicraft Industry Cooperative Society (providing jobs for 10,000 local people), explore the Mandhry Mosque (the oldest Swahili building in the town) and barter for bargains at the Spice Market and Main Market.

Find out more

Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

The post Kenya Travel Guide: Culture & Coast appeared first on The Edit.

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Kenya Travel Guide: Wildlife & National Parks

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Did you know that Kenya is home to more than 50 different national parks that stretch cross-country from the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria? In fact, close to 8% of the country is protected by national parks and reserves where you’ll find everything from herds of elephants to hordes of pink flamingos and big cats on the prowl. You’ll find 23 national parks and 28 national reserves to choose from on land as well as a further four marine parks and six marine reserves and four sanctuaries. Most of these parks are not fenced which means the animals are free to roam freely. Each park and reserve is open to private visits.

Struggling to decide which parks to visit? Here are Best at Travel’s Recommendations…

Best at Travel recommends

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve: the most famous and most visited of Kenya’s parks, this is one of the best places to see the Big Five and witness the annual wildebeest migration.
  • Amboseli National Park: Kenya’s second most popular park. Visit for exceptional wildlife experiences and views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
  • Tsavo East National Park: Great for wildlife spotting along Kenya’s coast.
  • Tsavo West National Park: Taking up 30% of Kenya’s total park area, this is one of the largest and easily accessible from Mombasa.
  • Nairobi National Park: A great way to see wildlife without straying too far from the city. This park and rhino sanctuary is perfect for shorter visits or twin-centre holidays!
  • Mount Kenya National Park: Hike the slopes of Kenya’s highest mountain to see incredible snow-capped peaks and glaciers and some of Kenya’s wildlife on the endangered list.
  • Samburu National Reserve: To spot the rare Kenya leopard
  • Mount Elgon National Reserve: To spot cave-dwelling elephants in the Rift Valley
  • Lake Nakuru National Park: For lake views and a chance to see over 400 species of birds, including the iconic greater and lesser flamingo flocks

Entry fees

National park and reserve entry fees are in US dollars and can be paid in dollars, pounds, euros or Kenyan shillings (cash only). You will be charged per person per 24-hour visit. Entry to the eight most popular parks is done by a pre-loaded smartcard called a Safari Card but if you are visiting the parks as part of an organized safari, this will all be handled for you.

Unusual wildlife

There are some phenomenal wildlife experiences to look forward to in Kenya. In addition to herds of elephant and lion, leopard, rhino, and buffalo (The Big Five), you may also spot a host of unusual wildlife on your Kenyan safari. Spot rare red elephants of Tsavo and the endangered black rhino. Our game viewing highlights include the aardvark, pangolin, caracal, serval and fierce honey badger. Did you know that you get more than one type of giraffe in Kenya? Keep an eye out for Reticulated giraffe in Samburu National Reserve, Rothschild giraffe at Lake Nukuru and Maasai giraffe in the open plains! 

Game viewing

If you’re staying at one of our lodges, two game drives will be included in your stay – one in the early morning and one in the late afternoon. Each lasts approximately two to three hours and offers the chance to track wildlife throughout the reserve. Most lodges offer both a dedicated ranger and a wildlife tracker who will track the footprints of your chosen animal to give you an unforgettable safari that’s tailored to your interests.

Different safaris

Want to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time? Scenic flights are a great way to see Kenya from above. Note that getting around by internal flights will be pricey but you will get to see much more of Kenya. Want to enjoy a bird’ eye view without the hefty price tag? A hot air balloon safari at sunrise is one of the best ways to experience the savannahs from above – the silence is incredible! A one-hour balloon flight can be added to any safari in the Maasai Mara – chat to your specialist about including this in your itinerary.

There are countless ways to game view in Kenya, from workouts for horse riding and cycling to camel-assisted safaris. The more daring may opt for a guided walking safari where you can explore the parks less known for their predators, such as Hell’s Gate and Lake Bogoria, on foot. You can also hike Aberdare and Mount Kenya at your own risk.

The great migration

The annual wildebeest migration should be a highlight on every Kenya bucket list. From July to October each year, the Maasai Mara is a hive of activity when over two million animals make their way from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. We’d highly recommend travelling during this time as the game viewing is unparalleled – at no other time of the year is the wildlife so concentrated. You’ll get to witness predator action on land and in water – by big cats (the Maasai Mara is home to the largest concentrations of lion in the world) and by crocodiles as they try to cross the Mara River. Don’t want to miss the action? We have a variety of mobile camps where you can follow the migration as it moves.

Find out more

Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

The post Kenya Travel Guide: Wildlife & National Parks appeared first on The Edit.

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Kenya Travel Guide: When to Travel

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Planning your holiday to Kenya and wondering when to go? There are a number of deciding factors to keep in mind when planning your safari, depending on the focus of your holiday. Discover the recommended times to visit Kenya for the great migration, the best weather and the best game viewing conditions. We’ll have you planning your Kenya holiday in no time!

Best at Travel recommends

In our opinion, the best time to travel to Kenya is between July and February. This is the dry season (best for game viewing) and it also includes the peak migration period from July to October. Because if you’re going to come all this way, we think it’d be a shame to miss the migration the destination is so famous for. Game viewing is at its best during the dry season when the animals gather in numbers around the watering holes to drink.

Weather

Set on the equator, Kenya has one of the best climates in the world. The country enjoys warm, sun-filled days with daytime temperatures between 20 – 25 degrees Celsius. The coastal area near Mombasa tends to get rather hot and humid but the cool sea winds keep things cool. There are two wet seasons – short rains in November and December and longer periods of rainfall from March to April.

Safari seasons

Most of Kenya’s national parks experience just two rainy seasons: the short periods of rainfall in November/December, and the heavier rainfall of April/May. The best time to view the animals is during the dry season when they gather around the watering hole to drink. Safari high season runs from July to November when the wildebeest migration is at its peak but it is often more affordable to visit during the low season (April and May). High season differs at the coast (September to January) with December/January being the hottest time and the Christmas period is extra crowded. If you’re a birder, aim to visit from October to April when the migrant species have arrived.

Find out more

Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

The post Kenya Travel Guide: When to Travel appeared first on The Edit.

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Kenya Travel Guide: What to Do

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Planning a trip to Kenya and wondering what to include in your itinerary? Kenya has a host of exciting activities, attractions and villages that offer their own unique experiences. Of course the major attraction in Kenya is the great migration of zebra and wildebeest. However Kenya also has an array of activities to take part in for the adventure lovers amongst you – anyone fancy caving, diving or mountain biking through the bush?

What to do in Kenya

  • Enjoy a hot air balloon safari over the Maasai Mara at sunrise for a safari that’s a little different
  • Visit Giraffe Manor in Nairobi where the endangered Rothschild giraffe roam the gardens and will often pop their heads in and join you for breakfast
  • Snorkel and dive the coral gardens along Kenya’s Swahili coastline
  • Sail away on a traditional dhow boat at sunset
  • Explore the 6th century Fort Jesus near Mombasa’s Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Visit the David Sheldrick Rhino & Elephant Orphanage
  • Climb the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya
  • Go golfing at Sigona Golf Club and Nyali Golf & Country Club
  • Visit the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi – get up close and personal with these friendly giants
  • Explore the Lamu Museum to get a dose of Swahili culture
  • Visit the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, home to 80 endangered black rhino
  • Visit Karen Blixen’s House & Museum – the home of the author of Out of Africa
  • Go to Kanderi Swamp – home to a resident pride of lions and elephants
  • Visit Bio-Ken Snake Farm & Laboratory – one of the world’s most famous snake research centres – Go on a snake safari – Kenya is home to 100 different species of snakes
  • Visit Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary – home to 150 elephants
  • Spot crocodiles and hippo at Mzima Springs
  • Climb Nugulia Hills for a view of the Rhino Valley
  • Go on a cheese tour at Brown’s Cheese factory in Nairobi
  • Explore the Gedi Ruins – an abandoned city tucked with a forest on the coast of Kenya
  • See the Marafa Depression – an unusual canyon called “the place broken by itself”
  • Visit Kitengela – a glass fantasy land in the middle of the desert – an abundance of colourful dragons and butterflies sculptures all built with recycled materials
  • Ride an ostrich at Maasai Ostrich Farm
  • Explore the Nairobi Railway Museum

Find out more

Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

The post Kenya Travel Guide: What to Do appeared first on The Edit.

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Kenya Travel Guide: Where to Stay

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Kenya is home to an abundance of parks filled with lodges and tented camps to suit all budgets. Looking for a place to spend your honeymoon, tick off the bucket list and enjoy the ultimate safari – even with the little ones in tow? We’ve got a range of hotels, camps and lodges to suit you. We’ve asked our experts to advise the best places to stay, whether you’re travelling as a couple, with friends or as a family…

 

Best for Honeymoons

Kicheche Mara Camp

Kicheche Mara Camp

Leave the world behind on a one-of-a-kind safari experience at Kicheche Mara Camp. Tucked within an olive grove in Acacia Valley, there’s a just a handful of tents at this intimate camp. All meals, including three-course dinners, are included and you can be as sociable as you wish – sharing stories around the campfire or dining by candlelight in the privacy of your suite.  Find out more.

Mara Plains Camp

Mara Plains Camp

An exclusive safari if ever there was one, Mara Plains Camp is built for seclusion with just seven luxury tents offering all the creature comforts of a boutique hotel. Ticking all the boxes for a romantic safari, the suites come with stand-alone copper bathtubs overlooking the open bush. Get up early for sunrise nature walks or a blissful hot air balloon ride and enjoy exhilarating night-time safaris after dark. Find out more.

Best for Family-Friendly

Cottars Private House

Cottars Private House

Cottars Private House is perfect for families and large groups looking for their own piece of wilderness – complete with a dedicated game ranger and game viewing vehicle. Run by a family with their own children who have grown up here, the camp is well-suited to kids of all ages. Nannies are available for babysitting and children can join in the Maasai Warrior School where they will learn how to track animal footprints, sing songs in Maa and practise the arts of spear-throwing and fire-making. Plus, there’s a fantastic private swimming pool! Find out more.

Sarova Shaba Game Lodge

Sarova Shaba

Tucked away beneath the trees of Shaba Game Reserve, Sarova Shaba Game Lodge is the ultimate retreat for all ages. Set along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, the camp is the only game lodge in the reserve, meaning you can enjoy game viewing pretty much all to yourself! Kids will love the activities here as much as the parents – from camel safaris to the Ozone Rangers Club where kids can enjoy mini-soccer, walks with the resident naturalist, board games and kiddies’ movies each evening. Find out more.

Best for Game Viewing

Karen Blixen Camp

karen Blixen Camp

For an unforgettable safari, head to Karen Blixen Camp, an intimate camp named after the author of Out of Africa. Designed like the original explorer camps from the 1920s, you can experience some of the most incredible wildlife without even leaving the camp. Set in a private concession of over 900 hectares, you’ll spend your days on the lookout for leopards, grunting hippos and endangered African wild dogs. Find out more.

Elephant Pepper Camp

Elephant Pepper Camp

For an authentic Kenyan safari, Elephant Pepper Camp is the perfect choice. Nestled on the wildlife-rich northern fringe of the Maasi Mara, this boutique camp promises close-up encounters with all sorts of animals, from zebra and giraffe to wildebeest and lions – sometimes even in the middle of the camp! Two game drives are included per day and you can also challenge yourself to a guided bush walk with highly trained camp rangers. Find out more.

Best for Instagram

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

For a Kenya holiday with a difference, make sure you include a stay at Giraffe Manor – where endangered Rothschild giraffe will join you for breakfast. Set in Nairobi, it’s the perfect property to kick start or end off your safari holiday. The colonial-style rooms bring about the appeal of the 1930s and large windows allow these gentle giants to pop their heads in and say hello. Plus the home-cooked meals on your Full Board plan means the giraffes won’t be the only ones coming back for more. Find out more.

Best for Beach

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa

Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa

Extend your holiday with a beach escape in Mombasa. With sprawling grass leading right down to the beachfront, Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort and Spa is the ultimate coastal break in Kenya. There’s everything you need right here – three restaurants serving the freshest seafood, a beach bar with resident DJ, a kids’ club with daily activities and five swimming pools so you can enjoy a new sun tanning spot every day of your stay. Find out more.

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Want to plan a trip to Kenya? Visit our website to view our tailor-made itineraries or give us a call today to get expert advice from our travel specialists. See our best Kenya offers.

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Maldives-Holiday

Mauritius Travel Guide: Best of Cuisine

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Mauritius is a food-lovers paradise! Thanks to its diverse cultural make-up, cuisine on the island takes its inspiration from around the world. You can eat noodle-and-rice dishes from Asia, delicate pastries from Europe or fresh tropical flavours from the island itself.

And if it’s culinary experiences that you’re after, you’ve got plenty of opportunities! Go rum tastings at L’Aventure du Sucre, visit the Bois Chéri tea plantations in the south of the island or sit down to dinner at a tables d’hôtes (privately hosted meals in a local home).

Five things to eat (and drink) in Mauritius…

  • Fresh Fish and Seafood: take advantage of the bounty served up by the Indian Ocean
  • ‘Heart of Palm’ salad: made with a vegetable harvested from the inside of a palm tree
  • Gâteaux Piments: translated to ‘chilli cakes’ these are deep-fried balls of lentil and chilli
  • Dholl Puris: this roti-like dish is a popular street food snack which is mixed with either savoury or sweet toppings
  • Rhum Arrangé: rum flavoured with local fruits and spices

Where to Stay: One&Only Le Saint Geran is a gastronomes delight with five restaurants serving Creole cuisine, tasty seafood, pan-Asian dishes and more – plus cooking lessons

Find Out More

Mauritius Travel Guide: an introduction

Beaches: our top picks

Nature & Wildlife: from waterfalls to giant tortoises

Adventure & Watersports: getting active

Heritage & Culture: a social melting pot

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Maldives-Holiday

Mauritius Travel Guide: Best of Heritage & Culture

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Mauritius is a melting pot of cultures, religions and ethnic groups from all across the globe including Europe, Africa, India and China. Add in the fact that the country has been colonised at different times by the French, British and the Dutch and you’ll see Mauritius has rightly earned the nickname, the “Continent Island”.

The end result is a delightfully mixed cultural heritage that is perhaps best displayed in the capital, Port Louis.  Here, Indian temples, colonial houses and Islamic mosques sit side by side. Smell spices in China Town or walk through tea plantations in the countryside. We also love watching the evening sega shows that take place in many resorts across the island.

How to get your cultural kicks in Mauritius…

  • Euréka House: a colonial-era plantation house from the 1830s complete with wrap-around veranda
  • Pamplemousses Botanical Garden: the oldest botanic gardens in the southern hemisphere
  • Grand Bassin: a sacred Hindu lake also known as Ganga Talao which is one of the most important pilgrimage sites outside of India
  • Sega shows: once the dance of slaves, sega is an important part of Mauritian culture
  • Cap Malheureux: home to the ocean-side red-roofed Notre Dame Auxiliatrice church at the northern point of the island

Where to Stay: Veranda Paul & Virginie offers you the chance to engage in Mauritian culture with a number of excursions. Have lunch in a local home or go fishing aboard a traditional pirogue boat.

Find Out More

Mauritius Travel Guide: an introduction

Beaches: our top picks

Nature & Wildlife: from waterfalls to giant tortoises

Adventure & Watersports: getting active

Cuisine: what to eat and drink

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Maldives-Holiday

Mauritius Travel Guide: Best of Adventure & Watersports

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Take a break from your sun lounger and swap your flip flops for walking shoes. You’ll soon find out there’s plenty to do in Mauritius beside work on your tan! Watersports enthusiasts will find an endless number of activities available from stand up paddle boarding and kayaking to windsurfing.

Searching for that rush of adrenaline? Get your heart pumping as you quad bike in the Frederica Nature Reserve, zip line through the treetops or dive into the waters surrounding the island. And if that isn’t enough, you can try an underwater walk and go on glass bottomed boat rides!

These are our cannot-be-missed activities in Mauritius….

  • Snorkelling alongside frolicking dolphins – arrange for an early-morning excursion and avoid the tourist crowds
  • Descend beneath the Indian Ocean in a mini-submarine where you’ll see turtles swimming and shipwrecks on the ocean floor
  • Saddle-up and go horse riding along the beach or for the more adventurous, swim with horses!
  • Sail off towards the horizon with a sunset catamaran cruise – we recommend splashing out for a champagne cruise
  • Take to the skies and see Mauritius in all its glory from the air with a helicopter tour over the island

Where to Stay: Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa will keep you active with complimentary watersports, mountain bikes for hire as well a diving programme

Find Out More

Mauritius Travel Guide: an introduction

Beaches: our top picks

Nature & Wildlife: from waterfalls to giant tortoises

Heritage & Culture: a social melting pot

Cuisine: what to eat and drink

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Maldives-Holiday

Mauritius Travel Guide: Best of Nature & Wildlife

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Mother Nature didn’t just stop at creating beautiful beaches when she designed Mauritius. Step away from the coastline and you’ll find a mountainous interior where nature reserves are filled to the brim with waterfalls and exotic creatures. Here you can swim in rock pools or go hiking high into the hills.

And if it’s wildlife you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. Mauritius has saved more bird species from the brink of extinction than any other country including the rare pink pigeon and the Mauritian kestrel. You’ll also find dolphins in the ocean, fruit bats in the skies and giant tortoises ambling slowly on the ground.

Our top nature and wildlife spots…

  • Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth: a unique volcanic geological phenomenon where seven different coloured sands come together
  • Charmarel Falls: this 90-metre single drop waterfalls cascades into a ravine
  • La Vanille Nature Park: an animal breeding park where you can see giant Aldabra tortoises
  • Isle aux Aigrettes: an uninhabited island turned conservation project and thought to be the last place dodos where seen
  • Black River Gorges National Park: the largest national park in Mauritius home to many endemic species

Where to Stay: Sugar Beach Resort & Spa can arrange excursions that’ll get you up-close to the natural beauty of Mauritius including glass-bottomed boat rides

Find Out More

Mauritius Travel Guide: an introduction

Beaches: our top picks

Adventure & Watersports: getting active

Heritage & Culture: a social melting pot

Cuisine: what to eat and drink

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Maldives-Holiday

Mauritius Travel Guide: Best of Beaches

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Mauritius has all the right ingredients for day after day of serious sun-worshipping. Think white coral sands fringed by swaying palm trees and lapped by turquoise lagoons – all with a backdrop of dramatic volcanic mountains. It’s no wonder that 100,000 Brits visited in 2017.

With an extensive coastline stretching more than 330 kilometres, you’ll have your pick of beaches to choose from. The north coast is lively and a prime watersports area, go east for less crowded gems, the south is famed for its high cliffs and high waves, while the west is a popular surfing spot.

Can’t decide which sun-soaked beach to head to? Here are Best at Travel’s favourites…

  • Flic en Flac, west coast: popular with families and locals for its calm, shallow waters making it perfect for swimming
  • Le Morne, west coast: overlooked by Le Morne Brabant mountain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Belle Mare, east coast: considered one of the most beautiful beaches on the island
  • Grand Baie, north coast: filled with bobbing boats, this beach is lively, buzzing and full of activity
  • Blue Bay, south coast: this protected marine park is one of the best spots for snorkelling

Where to Stay: LUX* Belle Mare sits on the powder-soft sands of the widest stretch of beach on the island and one of the best along the east coast

Find Out More

Mauritius Travel Guide: an introduction

Nature & Wildlife: from waterfalls to giant tortoises

Adventure & Watersports: getting active

Heritage & Culture: a social melting pot

Cuisine: what to eat and drink

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Maldives-Holiday

Mauritius Travel Guide: An Introduction

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It has been said that “Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius”. And with miles and miles of pristine sands, a coastline surrounded by turquoise-coloured waters and emerald-clad mountains rising in the middle, it’s not hard to see why.

In celebration of 50 years of independence in 2018 (and being named one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Countries to Visit), we’re encouraging you to explore Mauritius beyond the beaches. Hike through tropical jungle, go birding for endangered species found nowhere else on earth and dance to the rhythm of sega.  Read on with our Mauritius Travel Guide…

The Basics

  • Flight Time from UK: 12 hours (direct from London)
  • Time Difference: GMT +4 (daylight saving not observed)
  • Currency: Mauritian rupee
  • Language: English, French and Creole
  • Visas: 60 day visa, issued on arrival
  • When to Travel: while one of our favourite winter-sun destinations, Mauritius is great any time of year; peak season (October – April) is hot and humid, while winter months (May – September) are warm and dry
  • Weather: the island has year-round sunshine and it’s very own micro-climate, meaning it may be blue skies where you are, but showering a few miles down the road!

 Did You Know?

  • The country is the size of Surrey
  • Mauritius was home to the now extinct dodo: the last sighting of the flightless bird was back in 1662
  • There are more tourists in Mauritius than locals with 1.36 million people visiting in 2017 compared with a population of 1.26 million
  • You’ll never be more than 45km from the ocean at any point on the island
  • Mauritius is surrounded by the world’s third largest coral reef
  • The national flower Trochetia boutoniana (Boucle d’Oreille) only grows on a single mountaintop, Le Morne Brabant

Find Out More

Beaches: our top picks

Nature & Wildlife: from waterfalls to giant tortoises

Adventure & Watersports: getting active

Heritage & Culture: a social melting pot

Cuisine: what to eat and drink

The post Mauritius Travel Guide: An Introduction appeared first on The Edit.

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Maldives

Maldives to develop airport in Lhaviyani tourist hotspot

On the Dhoni

Government on Tuesday awarded a contract to leading resort operator Kuredu Holdings to develop a domestic airport in the tourist hotspot of Lhaviyani atoll.

At a ceremony held at Hurawalhi Maldives resort’s 5.8 Undersea restaurant Tuesday evening, tourism minister Moosa Zameer and Kuredu Holdings director Mohamed Moosa signed the agreement to develop the airport on the island of Madivaru, which had previously been used for military training.

Minister Zameer told reporters that Kuredu Holdings will invest USD 13 million to develop and bring the airport to operation in a year. The project involves reclaiming some three hectares of land from the lagoon of Madivaru, building a 1.2-kilometre runway, and a training academy for aviation officials from flagship carrier Maldivian and seaplane operator Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA), he said.

“The company can also develop a city hotel to incentivise the airport operation. I’m told they will utilise that option,” the minister said.

Tourism minister Moosa Zameer speaks to reporters at the ceremony. PHOTO/ HURAWALHI

The minister stressed the need to develop an airport in the atoll to boost tourism.

Lhaviyani atoll has one of the highest concentration of tourism activity in the Maldives, with eight resorts including Kuredu Resort Maldives, Komandoo Island Resort and Spa, Hurawalhi Maldives, Palm Beach Island Maldives Resort and Spa, Atmosphere Kanifushi, Kanuhura Maldives, Fushifaru Maldives and Cocoon Maldives already in operation. Several new islands in the atoll are being developed as resorts, including the soon to be launched Kudadoo Maldives Private Island by Hurawalhi.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, Moosa, who is amongst the leading businessmen in the country, hailed the government’s ‘Nation First’ policy and said the airport project aligns perfectly with his goal of improving the socio-economic conditions of the country. Once completed, the airport will open dozens of new job opportunities for the atoll’s youth, he added.

Kuredu Holdings developed Kuredu island as a tourist resort in 1995-1996, and assisted sister company Komandoo Holdings Pvt Ltd to develop Komandoo island as a resort in 1997-1998. Kuredu Holdings owns and operate hotel resorts in the Maldives, and is currently developing several new resorts.

Over a million tourists from across the globe visit the Indian Ocean island nation every year to holiday in one of the 120 resorts and 400 plus guesthouses located in all corners of the country. The multi-billion dollar tourism industry, which is the country’s main economic activity, relies heavily on the domestic transport infrastructure, especially air travel.

Maldives, the most dispersed country on the planet with 1,192 islands spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometres, already has 11 airports, including three international airports. The government has contracted both local and international companies to develop additional domestic airports across the archipelago in a bid to boost tourism.

Main photo: Avas Online

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Maldives

Cocoon Maldives welcomes Michelin-starred Chef Matteo Vigotti

On the Dhoni

Cocoon Maldives has hosted a special dining event with Michelin-starred Chef Matteo Vigotti.

As part of Cocoon’s Gourmet Weekend series of visiting chef programme, Chef Matteo showcased premium Italian food gastronomy from May 6-14.

Chef Matteo is the executive chef of the acclaimed restaurant of Peck in Milan, and is well known for creating sophisticated Italian food and innovation in the kitchen.

Cocoon Maldives kicked off its Gourmet Weekend series in February with renowned Italian Chef Simone Zambon. Similar events are set to take place throughout the year, with celebrity chefs from around the world participating in this series, headed by the resort’s Executive Chef Giovanni De Ambrosis.

Cocoon Maldives, located in Ookolhufinolhu Island in the northern Lhaviyani atoll, blends the best of Italian design with the Maldives’ stunning natural beauty. The five-star resort, which officially opened in March, houses 150 villas that are exclusively designed by Lago, one of Italy’s finest design firms.

The resort, accessible by a 40-minute scenic seaplane flight from the main Velana International Airport, features three restaurants and two bars offering a variety of cuisines from around the world and romantic dining experiences.

The Cube Spa at Cocoon Maldives, meanwhile, is located in the heart of the island to ensure maximum privacy and intimacy, and offers variety of relaxing and rejuvenating treatments with qualified masseurs from Bali.

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