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Where are you going next?

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Old Aug 31, 17, 6:19 pm
  #2911  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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in April (in addition to above june trip)

Durban ZA - Oyster Box
Six Senses - FIJI

Sucker for punishment, I know. But right near all the great diving/surfing spots.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 6:28 pm
  #2912  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
Just back from Villa Honegg, Alpina Gstaad and The Connaught

Next week we fly off again:
  • The Lanesborough
  • Ellerman House
  • Singita Lebombo
  • Singita Sweni
  • Saxon Hotel
  • Miavana
  • Four Seasons Joburg
Look forward to your trip report on Miavana, especially how it compares with the North Island. Looks like you will fly from Johannesburg to Nosy Be?
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Old Aug 31, 17, 6:36 pm
  #2913  
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KrazeeJoe, may i ask if have you found any hotels especially amazing recently? MacMyDay was extremely positive re vitznau in switzerland. also in switzerland, seems alpina (not as perfect for MacMyDay) has some residences in hotel inventory, one of which is/was in one of their smaller chalet buildings.

guess i'll post here, not remote thread
white desert (Antarctica) new charter >
$14,000 x 14 pax day trip charter gulfstream
4-5 hours on ground, Wolf's Fang runway
vs occasional (not yearly) scheduled >
$10,000 per person day trip (not gulfstream)
8 hours on ground, Schirmacher Oasis
white-desert.com/adventures/greatest-day

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 31, 17 at 7:05 pm
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Old Aug 31, 17, 8:38 pm
  #2914  
 
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
KrazeeJoe, may i ask if have you found any hotels especially amazing recently? MacMyDay was extremely positive re vitznau in switzerland. also in switzerland, seems alpina (not as perfect for MacMyDay) has some residences in hotel inventory, one of which is/was in one of their smaller chalet buildings.
Just came back from the Brando. One big plus - no mosquitos as they have been eradicated using novel methods.

Also went to Bisate Lodge in Rwanda. The villas are very comfortable, good to relax after long gorilla trekking.

Went to Alpina a couple of years ago. My kids loved their swimming pool and the Japanese restaurant.

Will try out Vitzau. Looking for ideas of where to go next. Thanks for all the posts here.

white desert (Antarctica) new charter >
$14,000 x 14 pax day trip charter gulfstream
white-desert.com/adventures/greatest-day
Looks good for people with busy schedule, but still need to be flexible as weather is so unpredictable in Antarctica. Although Ilyushin is older and less comfortable, somehow I find it more dependable to fly to extreme environment.
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Old Aug 31, 17, 8:48 pm
  #2915  
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awesome to hear re bisate, new wilderness safaris premier in rwanda !
they also have a new premier camp in kenya called segera.
unfortunately theyre no longer involved with congo gorilla camps.
also seems they dropped their top Wilderness Collection sub brand

saw a recent great report here for great plains conservation zarafa.
kind of confused re renovation status at mombo and little mombo.
cant recall what andbeyond was opening, if any were top luxury

ill definitely do white desert day trip in future (not soon)
new $64K isnt bad vs $20K, hope they do more shorter

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 31, 17 at 9:37 pm
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:16 am
  #2916  
 
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
kind of confused re renovation status at mombo and little mombo.
Planned to go to the Mombo/Little Mombo this summer but was told renovation will only finish by the end of the year. Hopefully will be ready for next summer.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:38 am
  #2917  
 
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Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe View Post
Look forward to your trip report on Miavana, especially how it compares with the North Island. Looks like you will fly from Johannesburg to Nosy Be?
If only it were that simple. It's JNB > TNR, stay over night, TNR > SVB > DIE (nicely named), then a helicopter from there to Miavana. On the way back you can do direct from DIE > TNR, then it's another overnighter before TNR > JNB and yet another over nighter before home. It's added an extra 3 days to the trip. Whilst booking I was told that they guaranteed they would have a direct plane from JNB > DIE, yet the airliner apparently pulled out. Easily the most difficult hotel to get to that I've been to.

Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe View Post
Just came back from the Brando. One big plus - no mosquitos as they have been eradicated using novel methods.

Also went to Bisate Lodge in Rwanda. The villas are very comfortable, good to relax after long gorilla trekking.
Both properties on my list, with Bisate Lodge somewhere I hope to visit next year. What's your quick summary of Brando vs North Island?
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:51 am
  #2918  
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I'm counting on it! We're scheduled to stay there next September (along with Duba Plains Camp and Zarafa Camp) - we've been assured by management that it will be complete by the end of 2017, so hopefully we can rest easy.

Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe View Post
Planned to go to the Mombo/Little Mombo this summer but was told renovation will only finish by the end of the year. Hopefully will be ready for next summer.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 9:10 am
  #2919  
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its unfortunate it seems brando does have not real access to other islands in atoll

will be interesting to see if any of the planned residences seem especially nice
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Old Sep 1, 17, 9:39 am
  #2920  
 
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we are going to Bisate next month! anything you would highlight? or any activities not to be missed besides gorilla trekking? Would love to hear your feedback!!

Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe View Post
Just came back from the Brando. One big plus - no mosquitos as they have been eradicated using novel methods.

Also went to Bisate Lodge in Rwanda. The villas are very comfortable, good to relax after long gorilla trekking.

Went to Alpina a couple of years ago. My kids loved their swimming pool and the Japanese restaurant.

Will try out Vitzau. Looking for ideas of where to go next. Thanks for all the posts here.



Looks good for people with busy schedule, but still need to be flexible as weather is so unpredictable in Antarctica. Although Ilyushin is older and less comfortable, somehow I find it more dependable to fly to extreme environment.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 10:36 am
  #2921  
 
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Originally Posted by MacMyDay View Post
What's your quick summary of Brando vs North Island?
North Island has better beach and service is more personalized with butler. You get to drive around in your own buggy.

The Brando villas are smaller but more modern in design, which I like better. You have to ask for buggy to pick you up - could take a while if occupancy is high. The sea is calmer as it's inside atoll, good for swimming and kayaking. I liked the food better at the Brando, although the fine dining was a little disappointing.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 10:49 am
  #2922  
 
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Originally Posted by poohbear0218 View Post
we are going to Bisate next month! anything you would highlight? or any activities not to be missed besides gorilla trekking? Would love to hear your feedback!!
You can ask to stay in Villa 6 and choose to do difficult gorilla trekking if you are very fit. Otherwise ask for lower villas as the Lodge is located on steep slope with lots of stairs.

Some people do Golden Monkey trekking which I didn't do. The Bisate Lodge can arrange a visit to the local village and meet local people - I found the experience quite interesting.
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Old Sep 1, 17, 12:54 pm
  #2923  
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Originally Posted by poohbear0218 View Post
we are going to Bisate next month! anything you would highlight? or any activities not to be missed besides gorilla trekking? Would love to hear your feedback!!
Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe View Post
You can ask to stay in Villa 6 and choose to do difficult gorilla trekking if you are very fit. Otherwise ask for lower villas as the Lodge is located on steep slope with lots of stairs.

Some people do Golden Monkey trekking which I didn't do. The Bisate Lodge can arrange a visit to the local village and meet local people - I found the experience quite interesting.
We didn't stay at Bisate, but did stay in Dec 2014 at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. Review (and details about our 2 gorilla treks): http://www.flyertalk.com/hotel-revie...ge-rwanda-1683

Sabyinyo also had quite the steep hillside walk to reach the main lodge, let alone to reach the various cottages and suites.

If the stairs at Bisate to higher elevation villas are of any concern to you, trust me when I say that you definitely do not want to do a "difficult" gorilla trek! (All people staying at any and all lodges and camps meet at the same start point for all gorilla trekking.) The estimates are just that: estimates. Gorilla families can move quite a bit from the moment you are assigned one, so there are no guarantees!

Difficult means about up to 3 hrs each way trekking to reach your assigned family. We did moderate...and ended up trekking 3.5 hrs to reach our Susa A family. (It was another 2.5 hrs back down, making for an extremely tough day!) I don't recommend that to anyone. It was traumatizing...but still worth it once we got there. It was so tough that we almost considered not going the next day, despite already having bought the permits! (We did go the next day, but fortunately were assigned an easy trek for that.)

Moderate means about up to 2 hrs each way trekking to reach your assigned family.

Easy means about up to 1 hr each way trekking to reach your assigned family. That is still likely to be tougher than the climb to your cottage or villa at the lodge!

The higher you go up the mountain/volcano, the more beautiful it becomes. But also steeper and denser. Tougher trekking.

We also had organized and paid for permits (much cheaper) to do the golden monkey trekking for our 3rd day...but we cancelled that after our 2nd day of trekking. Instead, we spent the 3rd day relaxing at the Lodge and enjoying the beauty of the setting. Trust me: the treks can take a lot out of you. Of course, @KI-NRT also were at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge at the same time, and they had much easier treks to reach the same families that we did. Lucky ********! So you never know.

We did spend time at the Genocide Museum in Kigali. Highly recommended. See review above.

On the other hand, had we not had the ridiculous 3.5 trek, we wouldn't have enjoyed this incredible scene on Christmas Day 2014 (that's me in the blue, moments after I stumbled directly onto the 650+ lb Silverback!):




Last edited by bhrubin; Sep 1, 17 at 4:23 pm
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Old Sep 1, 17, 5:09 pm
  #2924  
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The Silverback is impressive! What an unique experience
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Old Sep 1, 17, 7:11 pm
  #2925  
 
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post

The higher you go up the mountain/volcano, the more beautiful it becomes. But also steeper and denser. Tougher trekking.
We chose easy and got easy (relatively speaking) trekking. Porters are highly recommended - not only do they carry your backpacks, they pull you up when it is too steep for you to climb.
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