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Your guide to safaris in the Okavango Delta Flying over the Okavango Delta is an incredible experience. The sheer size of the delta is hard to grasp when viewing it on a map or Google Earth and it seems endless when viewing it in person. When fully spread out it covers an area nearly 155mi by 95mi with 290 billion gallons of water. The elevation change over this huge area is only about 215 feet so that means the water slowly creeps in over months to reach its furthest extent. What would otherwise be flat Kalahari dessert is a rich mixture of grasslands, woodlands and papyrus swamps which consume some 60% of the waters with the rest mostly lost through evaporation. It’s heaven for wildlife and a real treat for any visitor. I traveled around extensively within the area and instead of getting lost in the details of each area I’d like to provide some basic observations about...
How to handle a travel emergency in your sleep We have guests who are sleeping in a tent on Kilimanjaro right now and we just received a call from Isaac Hilpman at Exito Travel that Air Uganda went out of business yesterday. So the flight they booked before they departed  from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, to Entebbe, Uganda 10 days from now no longer exists! Now it’s 12pm in Seattle, 11pm on the mountain, and they’re in the middle of climbing Kilimanjaro--all 19,000 feet of it, to the roof of Africa. They started their climb yesterday, and will return to Arusha, Tanzania on Sunday. Although there is emergency communication by radio with park rangers, they are otherwise out of touch until then.   So, while they were asleep on the mountain our team immediately went into action. With the assistance of Exito Travel we booked a new flight for them before everyone else on that Air Uganda flight made their alternate arrangements, arriving only 30...

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Dream Backpack for Peru and Patagonia A call to all you women (and men) hikers out there! I have always loved hiking and backpacking but more recently I have been preparing for my up-coming trip to Peru and, most importantly, the Inka Trail Trek that I will be doing as well as the hiking I intend to do around the Colca Canyon. With this in mind, I know that a lot of our travelers will be heading out soon for similar treks and I wanted to share my insight on my favorite pack that I can’t leave home without. I use the REI Venus 70 pack. I bought it back in 2010 and have used it while doing long trips around the northeastern jungle of Argentina, through Chilean Patagonia (Torres del Paine) and here in the Pacific Northwest Cascades while snowshoeing and doing longer summer backpacking trips. Packs made for women (especially on the smaller side)...

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Saucony Jazz – The ultimate travel shoe Whenever I travel I like to pack as light as possible. Things that are compact or are versatile enough to serve multiple functions are preferred. Ever since I got my first pair of Saucony Jazz several years ago, they’ve gone with me on every venture abroad that I’ve been on. Why? Well, frankly, because they’re not only the most comfortable shoes my feet have ever had the pleasure of walking inside of, they are versatile enough to take the place of traveling with both hiking and casual shoes. First released in the early 1980’s, the originals have regained popularity over the past decade. Saucony has revived and re-issued them for good reason. Their retro style makes them classy enough to wear walking around town, but their durability makes them functional enough to wear on hiking adventures. Just last summer on a trip to Central America I wore my Sauconys in...

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Into the Heart of Varanasi How do you connect with 1.2 billion people? In India, our local connections all started with Amit and Jessika Sankahla years ago, now a new family with their little daughter Siyana. Meet the Sankahla family in Kurt's previous blog. They have introduced us to their extended family, friends and so many acquaintances in local communities throughout India. Amit’s grandfather was a leading tiger conservationist in the 1950s whose work was supported by Indira Gandhi. Today, Amit follows in his father’s path taking Wildland travelers to his jungle ecolodges on our Tigers and Travels in India where we have seen many tigers accompanied by some of the region’s most exceptional naturalist guides and in local trackers. At Khana Jungle Lodge, we are welcomed by Dimple and Tarun, Amit’s cousins who have been running the lodge for 20 years and host us like family. In between the morning and afternoon tiger safaris Dimple gives cooking lessons and...
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Kurt Kutay
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Jonathan Burnham
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Rachael Garrett
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Gretchen Traut
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Anne Kutay
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Tim Hocking
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