Awaken Your Inner Explorer With A River Cruise

Viking River Cruises take travelers through the heart of Europe and other timeless destinations. Size does matter, at least in the world of cruise ships, but it doesn’t take Titanic alum to know bigger isn’t always better. Giant ocean liners can take people to touristic islands, but a smaller vessel can tackle the world’s great rivers like the Nile in Egypt, the Volga in Russia, the Rhone in … [Read more...]

South African Style: One & Only Cape Town

Cape Town is certainly one of the most picturesque places on the continent, and visitors to the Mother City are spoilt for choice when it comes to interesting or dramatic places to stay. A pulsating playground of sandy beaches and nightclubs, Cape Town is a one-of-a-kind city cradled between the scenic splendors of sandstone cliffs towering over the glittering waters of two great oceans. If … [Read more...]

Into The Heart of Marrakech

Jennifer Evans Gardner takes us on a soul-searching journey into the ancient "Red City." In Morocco, they shake hands from the heart. It was the first thing I noticed when I arrived in Marrakech. The man who came to pick us up from our hotel shook my hand warmly, and then touched his heart in the traditional greeting. The gesture moved me, and I was hooked. Just weeks before my girls' trip … [Read more...]

Five-Star Adventure: Samara Private Game Reserve

We all dream of the perfect trip to Africa: jeep safaris across the expansive plains with close encounters with the Big 5,  thatched-roof lodges overlooking watering holes, majestic lions wrestling with their cubs in the glow of sunset.  And while these romantic notions stir the soul, there are certain precautions one must take when traveling in South Africa, in particular regard to  those … [Read more...]

Home Exchange: The World Is Your Address

When planning a vacation, one of the first steps is invariably heading to a travel web site to troll the endless hotel listings. Usually the most expensive element of any one- or two-week trip, lodging doesn’t have to mean shelling out thousands to a sub-par hotel chain or choosing a vacation that requires you to suck up to your prickly aunt with the nice lake house. Home exchange sites have … [Read more...]

Summoned By Music, Mesmerized By Mali

A journey to Timbuktu and beyond for Festival au Desert, the world’s most remote music festival, reveals the people, music and magic of Mali. Beyond our camp, I could just make out a lightning-fast flurry of motion against flickering orange firelight – hands upon a drum, composing an insistent rhythm that froze me in my tracks to listen.  I twisted my feet into the Saharan sand beneath and … [Read more...]

Safari In Style At South Africa’s Lion Sands

Lion Sands, a private safari lodge in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province, meshes luxe touches with the true spirit of the bush. Peering through the gray-blue haze of a descending bushveld night, I crane my neck from the idling Land Rover’s passenger seat to see what has fixed the attention of my driver, Enoch.  Although something is certainly emitting the distinct smell of death mixed … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Serengeti Safari in Tanzania

Extraordinary wildlife, unique luxury lodges, and breathtaking landscapes make Tanzania’s Serengeti the most exhilarating African safari destination. An African safari ranks as one of the most thrilling and memorable travel experiences in the world. One of the hardest parts of such a trip can be deciding what area of this vast continent to explore. The time of year helps dictate most … [Read more...]

Shades of Morocco: Heure Bleue

An iconic retreat renders a colorful experience for guests lucky enough to find sybaritic shelter here in Essaouira. After bouncing along the road through olive and argan groves, a couple of hours later we arrived at our destination.  The massive Heure Bleue squatted on the southern edge of the medina. Despite its obvious historical credentials, it was not a sight of great architectural … [Read more...]

Marrakech Rising

A bridge between Europe and Africa, Marrakech embodies the mysticism of the East blended with the romanticism of the West, creating a dynamic city that is steeped in tradition, yet offers travelers unlimited modern luxuries. It feels as if time has stood still inside of the Old City; from the echoing calls to prayer, to the never-ending labyrinth of souks in the Medina, a visit to this Arab … [Read more...]