Off the Beaten Path
Welcome to our online newsletter.  May it provide you with ideas & inspiration!

SPECIAL PLACES -  Ichobezi Houseboat                                                        

We have a new favorite way to view wildlife. . .

Ichobezi Houseboat  on the

Chobe River in Botswana!

On your next Southern African safari, we recommend you include 2-3 nights on the Ichobezi Houseboat.  We love taking a break from safari camps in the bush to enjoy the comforts and views from this wonderful floating safari lodge.

Elephants!

-the houseboat provides a perfect platform to watch huge herds of elephants sauntering to the river's edge and frolicking in the water, while the baby eles chase each other around.  In the dry season, it's not unusual to see thousands of them!

New Perspectives and R&R from the Decks

-kick back with a cool drink on the deck while guides explain the behavior of the elephants and other game

-watch fisherman pass in their traditional boats (mekoro)

-enjoy sundowners while taking in the breathtaking sunsets

Speed Boat Game Drives
-see baby crocs (1' long),  big crocs (15'), hippos, large herds
of Cape buffalo, Water Monitor lizards, lion, antelope (puku, sable, Red lechwe...), hyena, baboon, monkeys, African Fish eagles, Pel's Fishing owls, loads of aquatic birds & much more

Being on top of the World
-well, maybe not the world but by climbing the large baobab tree on Impalila Island you can look out over 4 countries
(Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe)

TRAVELTIPS - Major Delay in Processing Passports!                                      



Stories of passport application nightmares have been circling;
trips have been missed, money has been lost and frustrations are high.
Don't get stuck in this mess!
 

So, what exactly is going on?

Earlier this year a law was passed requiring all Americans traveling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and even Canada to have a valid passport.  This caused a major rush and "the pile" of requests turned into a mountain.  Unfortunately, all signs show it will be some time before "the mess" gets cleaned up.  

To further compound the problem, the passport requirement is set to broaden and include ALL travel outside the US by land and sea,  beginning in January 2008. 

If you don't have 3-5 months to wait for your passport, consider using an expedite service.  They aren't cheap but may be well worth the investment.  Processing times for expedited passport services are based on your date of departure.  It is possible to get a quick turnaround of 24 / 48 hours.  You'll need to pay a fee to the expedite company along with expedite fees to the government.  A number of companies offer this service.  One I recommend is Passport Visas Express.com.
 
SOJOURNERS' TRAVEL EXPERIENCE                                                              


 

Kendra    The Post Travel Blues
by Global Sojourner Laurel from NYC


I don't consider myself a pessimist, but when packing for a trip I have been known to dwell about how quickly the trip will end. In my head I'm thinking that although I'm about to get on a plane for South Africa now, in three weeks' time I'll be back in my tiny NY apartment unpacking and going back to work.  So after planning our itinerary with Global Sojourns, off I go to AfricaI have the trip of a lifetime - fine wines, elephants, giraffes, beautiful sunsets, amazing local people and lots of laughs.  Now and then as we're enjoying our sundowners in Botswana or Namibia, my mind starts to wander.  I think about my real world, the reality of going back to work, 500 unread emails, going to the dentist, paying my bills.  But then the sound of the water lapping against our houseboat, or the sound of an elephant trumpeting kicks me back into the reality of the moment and I continue enjoying my trip.  Even on the long plane ride back to NYC, I still feel like I'm on vacation.  Using my reward miles, I sit in first class, enjoying my warm nuts and glass of cabernet, watching movies, and reclining in my swanky seat as the people in coach struggle to feel their toes.  Going through customs, still got the vacation buzz going strong!  Then I take the last leg of my long flight from Atlanta to NYC and Delta loses my luggage.  Hence the beginning of my "post travel blues."    
 
Taking a cab from JFK to the Upper West Side, I'm already in a fog, sooo many people, so much consumption, no elephants.  I go to work the next day, and I feel like I can barely speak English, it's like starting my job all over.  I have forgotten people's names, I can't remember my passwords and I have the 500 unread emails.  Uggh.  Everyone's asking to see my pictures but somehow I feel like those are so personal and I don't want to share.  They won't understand the meaning behind the photo, why I took it, what the sunset felt like on my face, in my eyes.  Friends will fast forward through my three weeks of photos in about three minutes and then say "Nice trip!  How much?"  I feel like my life lacks meaning, living in New York and working at MTV when people in Africa are dying of AIDS and malaria.  Everyone wants to get together with me, but I'm feeling very introspective and all I want is my solitude.  I go through my souvenirs and I can still smell Africa!  Please don't go!  As I do errands - pharmacy, Whole Foods, laundromat, I take notice how lucky I am to have the means to buy my medications, my organic produce and my laundry services.  I then think about all the Africans that don't even have clean water for daily life and that brings me down.  I find myself embarrassed by my priveleged lifestyle after coming from a continent so beautiful yet so desperate on so many levels.  Then I struggle and wonder how I can come to terms with this feeling?  
 
Now, after a little over a month after coming back from my trip, I've slowly but surely fallen back into my life pre-Africa.  I enjoy my flat screen TV, my wineclub, my fine dining experiences.  But in the back of my head, I still have a piece of me that is still in Africa, remembering all my experiences and feelings, and I now see everything differently.

RESPONSIBLE SOJOURNER                                                                             

co2offset

 For those of us with connections to Africa, the July Vanity Fair issue represented a good starting point for the mainstream and especially those who plan to travel the continent to see the complexities of its history and  obstacles of its future. It has always been our philosophy at Global Sojourns to dig deeper into the places that we visit to maximize the experience, our understanding and the ways we can make a positive difference.

To read the Vanity Fair July issue, click here.


TRIPS IN THE WORKS                                                                                   

Machu Picchu/ Mountain Lodges of Peru
  *Just a few spots remain!

*NEW dates: October 12-21, 2007

We''ll experience the first Trans-Andean lodge to lodge trek to Machu Picchu.  Instead of camping on the much traveled traditional route, we be staying in cozy eco-lodges on this pristine new route to one of the most spectacular sites in the world.  Also, we're benefiting from the introductory season special rates! For more info, click here.
                    

Tanzania Exploratory

Join us in exploring the plains of Tanzania!  Details to come. Winter 2008

Mountain Biking in Mongolia

Join Peter in celebrating his "special birthday" on this adventure.  Details to come.  June 2008

JUST FOR FUN                                                                                           
DID YOU KNOW... 

The airlines lost 10,000 pieces of luggage
per day in 2005?


More reason to limit yourself to a carry-on!

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We hope you've enjoyed our newsletter, Off The Beaten Path and that you will share it with friends.  We hope to provide you with travel ideas, stories and tips that inform and inspire.
 
If you would like us to design your next trip, contact us at macy@globalsojourns.com or 703-528-2992.  Check out our website at www.globalsojourns.com.
 
Priscilla Macy
Global Sojourns


Global Sojourns customizes itineraries for individuals and small groups to Africa and around the globe.  Through a commitment to responsible tourism and relationships with local experts, we provide you with trips that balance outdoor adventures with cultural insights and authentic interactions with local people.  We are passionate about our work and providing you with fun, meaningful and memorable travel experiences.