Friday, December 31, 2010


The sights, the sounds, the smells. This city of 1,000 minarets is also known affectionately as the city of "beep beep". I've never visited a city with traffic quite like this. The drivers make their own lanes as they weave in and out, between other cars and pedestrians. If there was a sound to the city, this one would have to be beep beep!

Once you look past the pollution and grit of the city there is much beauty to be found. Sailing on a felucca, a single-masted wooden boat, is a charming way to enjoy an afternoon on the Nile river. When the sun goes down Cairo looks beautiful with the colorful lights of the city reflecting off the water. There is much to see and do in Cairo and the surrounding areas. Of course, a visit to the famous Pyramids of Giza is a must. While there, take a camel ride! About an hour drive from Cairo will take you to the ancient cities of Memphis and Sakkara, where you can view the oldest, step pyramid. It is fascinating to see these structures in person and realize that these huge wonders were all built by hand. Take time to visit the Egyptian museum where the Treasures of King Tut are on display. A new state-of-the art museum is under construction and is slated to open in 2012.

There are so many Temples and Tombs to visit all throughout the country. My trip with my family was arranged with our local partner, Egyptian Express. They helped craft a perfect itinerary, which allowed us to see as much as we could in the time we had. We flew to the city of Aswan in Upper Egypt, our starting point for a cruise on the River Nile. I was surprised to find that this city has a population of close to one million people. We enjoyed the Nubian museum and the shopping in the Spice Market. We also had a chance to fly down to Abu Simbel and visit the great Temple of Ramses II.

Our Nile cruise ship was the Amarco II, one of the most luxurious ships on the river. The rooms and baths are very spacious, and free internet was a plus. This is a relaxing and interesting way to explore the area. You can visit a few sights each day while the ship moves slowly northward to Luxor. Once at Luxor, we visited the famous Temples of Karnak. This is the best preserved complex in all of Egypt. We also visited the Valley of the Kings, and actually went down into the tomb of King Tut where all of his treasures were discovered. His mummy lies on display there. During the trip, we were escorted by our Egyptologist guide, Ossama. He took care of every travel detail in addition to sharing as much information and history we could handle. This was a wonderful way to explore Egypt!

Tip: Entry requirements for U.S. citizens are a valid passport and a visa. The visa is easily purchased upon arrival at the Cairo airport for $15.00.

Best time weather-wise to travel is September - April, when it isn't unbearably hot. Do bring a sun hat whenever you go, because there is not much shade when visiting the monuments.

Thinking about traveling to Egypt? Give us a call to plan your next travel adventure!
Bee Kalt Travel 248-288-9600

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a fabulous city that some people compare to San Francisco. It has an exciting waterfront, temperate climate and the imposing backdrop of Table Mountain. There is so much to see and do, you could easily spend a week or more here. We recommend at least three or four nights in order to get the most out of your visit. A visit to Cape Town can be easily combined with a safari, either before or after your city stay. Where to stay? There are several luxurious hotels we recommend.

The Mount Nelson hotel is the grande dame of the city. She has been host to the likes of Winston Churchill and Leonardo DiCaprio since her opening in 1899. The pool and gardens are a lovely place to enjoy on a sunny day.

The Cape Grace hotel is located at the V and A Waterfront. This is a spectacular location if you like to be close to the hustle and bustle of the harbour and shopping area. It's soothing lobby is a welcome oasis after a day of touring or shopping.

If you like the idea of a resort hotel in the middle of the city, then the One and Only Cape Town is the one for you. Palm trees and a lagoon surround the tranquil pool area. The rooms are the largest in Cape Town, starting at 678 square feet, all appointed with the latest in high tech gadgetry.

Book any of these hotels with us and receive exclusive amenities such as complimentary breakfast daily, upgrade upon arrival and more!

Call the travel specialists at Bee Kalt Travel to book your next Africa vacation!
tel: 248-288-9600 or email:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Londolozi, South Africa

My journey continued with a charter flight out to "the bush", where it is not advisable to reach out and pet the kitties. Federal Air provides flights from its own private terminal at the Johannesburg airport. It's a pleasure to check in with their friendly staff, and wait in the comfortable lounge or the outdoor garden patio before flight time. They have a nice selection of complimentary snacks and a lovely gift shop to help pass the time.

I landed at the Londolozi airstrip in less than an hour, where I was met by my Ranger and taken on a short drive to my home for the next two nights. Londolozi is a private game lodge situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. Londolozi welcomes couples and families and is run efficiently and enthusiastically by the Varty family, who have owned the property since 1926.
There are five different camps to choose from, each with varying degrees of luxury and intimacy, depending on the individual needs and desires of the guest.

I stayed in Varty camp where my suite had an elegant, rustic feel to it. I loved the dark wood wrap-around deck with private plunge pool. I also liked how the entire length of the suite was fitted with glass or door walls. Even the huge indoor shower had a wall of glass, looking out onto the wilderness. It brings the outdoors indoors - but you are cautioned to keep your doors latched or a curious baboon might find his way in!

Johannesburg, South Africa

I traveled to South Africa recently with the deluxe tour company, Swain Tours. They planned a seamless trip, with timely meet and greet services upon arrival and pleasant, knowledgeable guides throughout. My itinerary included Johannesburg, a safari and Cape Town. I stayed at my favorite hotel in Jo'burg, The Westcliff. Beautiful accommodations, excellent service and delicious food are hallmarks of this resort-like hotel in the city.

I enjoyed a new tour offered called "Walking with the Lions". I must admit to being skeptical when first hearing of the tour. I do not support activities that exploit animals, or animal interactions that exist solely for the purpose of entertaining tourists. This was not the case at Cullinan. The farm we visited, run by Colin McCrae and his family, is working toward the conservation and re-population of the African lion. I was surprised to hear of the dramatic decline in numbers of lions, from a quarter million to only 20,000 left in the wild. Through his program, visitors are allowed unprecedented access to these beautiful creatures. The goal of his breeding program is to have a genetically diverse group of cats, and to create conditions where the lions' instincts will take over so they will be able to be released into the wild. You are only allowed to walk with lions under one year of age. I felt very safe, with many handlers accompanying us on the walk. My favorite part of the day was when we were able to hold and feed 3 week old baby lions! They were so cuddly and cute - it was an amazing experience!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cruise News You Can Use!

There are several new ships debuting in the next few months, which will add more entertainment options and activities to the high seas. We've already seen the entrance of Celebrity's new Eclipse. Her sister, the Silhouette, will join the line next July. Oceania's new 1,200 passenger Marina will begin sailing in January, and has already been selling out! Royal Caribbean is proud to debut the Allure of the Seas next month. The Allure is the sister ship to the Oasis of the Seas, which you can read about in a previous post. It is the largest passenger ship afloat, with an almost 6,000 passenger capacity, and more activities, shows and restaurants than any other vessel. We will be visiting the Allure and the new Seabourn Sojourn in November and we will report back with our impressions!
What does all this mean to the average cruiser? There are great deals to be had on the older ships! And these days, with all of the new builds, old can mean last year's model. We have seen some amazing pricing lately: $600.00 per person for a week in a balcony stateroom on a premium cruise ship! The best bargains are for travel in the off-peak times, early December or January. Call our cruise specialists to find out more!
Tel: 248-288-9600

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Canyon Ranch - much more than a spa!

I've just returned from Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. This was my 10th visit in as many years and it maintains its status as a top spa resort in my book! The word 'spa' does not begin to describe it. It is a "health resort" where you can try all types of fitness classes, hike in the morning, bike in the afternoon, meditate, have a full medical evaluation by some of the country's best doctors, and finish the evening with the most delicious piece of warm chocolate cake with creme anglaise. Oh yes, I will not forget to mention the spa treatments! All types of massages, facials and body treatments are available. I love the basic Canyon Ranch body massage, but if you want something really special, try the Canyon Stone massage or the Thai massage. It's a pleasurable way to while away 100 minutes!

A typical day might be an early morning walk, followed by a nutritious (and delicious!) breakfast, cardio class, stretch class, strength class, lunch, maybe a lecture on Astrology or Orthotics, relax by the pool or do more classes. The ever-helpful Program Advisors assist each individual guest in planning his or her stay and they will make suggestions of how to get the most out of the Ranch, depending on what the guest is looking for. Different people will take away different things from their experiences, whether it's a physical change, spiritual change or just pure relaxation that they came for.

I always try something new each time I visit, either a new class, fitness challenge or spa treatment. This year I went to the Desert Drumming class. The best way to describe it is a room full of gals beating on large fit balls with wooden drumsticks. It was fun, and somewhat amusing as we followed the instructor's choreography of beating our own, and our neighbors' balls, to the music. Last year I tried the Goat Butter body treatment. It was a wonderful way to end an active day: being slathered in a rich goat butter from head to toe, wrapped in warm towels, and lowered into a water-bed to relax for 30 minutes. It was a great floating sensation, and my skin had never been so soft afterward!

The Travel Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel can help you book your next spa vacation at the Canyon Ranch!
Receive complimentary upgrades and special amenities when booking with us.

For more information call 248-288-9600 or email:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yoga Cruise

I have always greeted September with mixed emotions. It signifies the end of summer for us in the Midwest - the end of lazy days and time to get down to work. However, the start of a new school year is always very exciting. A new year, a fresh start, and new beginnings. I think about what positive changes I can make for the coming year. This has led me to combine two of my favorite activities: cruising and yoga!

I invite you to join me, and Suzanna Ran of Yoga Therapy of Michigan, for a transformational experience aboard the Radiance of the Seas. Sail into the New Year relaxed and rejuvenated. Sunrise and sunset yoga classes will be offered as well as workshops in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian healing science. Learn the importance of keeping your body and mind in balance and harmony.
Trip date: January 13 - 17, 2011
Pricing from $550 per person, based on double occupancy

Contact me today for more information! Space is limited.
Telephone: 248-288-9600
See our website:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Travel Ideas

Each August we attend Travel Mart, where Virtuoso travel advisors come together with our hoteliers and suppliers from around the world. It is a fabulous opportunity to meet and establish personal relationships with the people who help us create memorable travel experiences for you, our clients. In addition to networking and training, we learn about what's new in the world of travel!

We have some great ideas for planning your next vacation:

Want to get away from it all on your own private island? Sir Richard Branson rents his home on Necker Island, in the BVI's for your exclusive use. You can invite up to 28 of your closest friends and family to join you at a rate of $53,000 per night. Price a little steep? Take advantage of their 'Celebration Weeks' in September, October and February. This gives couples a chance to experience the resort at the more affordable all-inclusive rate of $25,000 per week!

The Ritz Carlton Cancun now offers an optional all-inclusive program. You can enjoy their new extra wide sandy beach this winter, the result of a beach reclamation project.

Puerto Rico has a brand-new luxury resort opening this November in the Rio Grande area. Enjoy 2 miles of pristine beach, lakes, rivers, boating, biking, golf and more all at the St. Regis Bahia Beach. No passport is necessary for travel to San Juan!

A lovely country house called Coworth Park will be opening in September, just a 15 minute drive from London's Heathrow airport. Of note, Sony laptops will be provided for guest use complimentary in all of the rooms.
You can split your stay between here and central London, where at the Egerton House you can learn how to make the perfect martini from their famous barman, Antonio!

Interested in going a little further afield? We can arrange a trip to the North Pole! These expeditions depart April - July.

If you love wildlife, flora and nature, and have already been to Africa, may we suggest Orion Expedition Cruises? Check out their new itineraries to Borneo in August, September and December of 2011. The orangutans are waiting...

Book any of our Virtuoso partners with Bee Kalt Travel and you will receive VIP amenities, ranging from upgrades to complimentary breakfasts, spa services and more!

Contact our travel specialists today to arrange your next adventure!
Telephone: 248-288-9600

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Seabourn Odyssey

Seabourn cruise line has five luxury ships sailing all over the world. Three of its ships are luxury yachts holding only 200 guests. Their two newest vessels, the Odyssey and the Sojourn, hold 450 guests and offer more dining and entertainment options than their smaller sisters.

I recently traveled on the Odyssey for a week, sailing from Istanbul,Turkey to Athens, Greece. This was my first visit to Turkey and I found the people to be exceedingly warm and welcoming. I enjoyed the ports of Dikili, Kusadasi (where we visited the ancient ruins of Ephesus) and Bodrum (a lovely harbor town known for its nightlife). The cruise line treated everyone to a evening concert at Ephesus. The ancient amphitheater provided a beautiful backdrop, lit by the sunset, as we listened to a classical music performance. These types of complimentary experiences are offered by Seabourn on many of their sailings.

The Odyssey is an all-suite ship, most with private verandahs. Everything is included in your cruise fare: all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and gratuities. You can take advantage of the gym and fitness classes at no extra charge and they even have complimentary self-service laundries aboard. The staff provides impeccable service and the gourmet dining is delicious, varied and abundant. The suites are very comfortable with marble baths and separate stall showers. There are magnificent suites to choose from, some with private whirlpool tubs and expansive balconies. There are connecting rooms available for families.

Cruise vacations give you the opportunity to visit many places with ease, and unpacking only once. You can visit the ports by going on ship-sponsored shore excursions or by booking a private guide. Visiting places with a knowledgeable guide can greatly enhance your experience. We can arrange private guides and touring in most cities around the world!

We truly enjoyed our days touring with guides from United Travel Services in Turkey. Nevzat in Istanbul and Fahti in Kusadasi were both able to give us so much information on the past history of the region and also modern day Turkey.
We also enjoyed "winging it" one day in Santorini. It's fun to walk down winding alleys and perhaps discover a little cafe or a great hidden gift shop!

Good to know: U.S. citizens require a valid passport and a visa to enter Turkey. Visas are easily obtained at the Istanbul airport upon arrival, for a fee of $20.00.

The cruise specialists at Bee Kalt Travel are ready to assist you with planning your next Seabourn cruise or cruise vacation.
Please give us a call at (248) 288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is an exotic and exciting city at the crossroads of the world. This is the only city in the world straddling two continents, Europe and Asia. With its rich history of being the capital of three empires, there is so much to see and do while visiting here!

Spend a day touring mosques, synagogues, churches and palaces. Experience how the Sultans lived with a visit to the Topkapi Palace. Here you will see intricate tile work, rooms where the harem girls lived and a fabulous collection of jewels and decorative objects.

No visit to Istanbul would be complete without walking through the famous Grand Bazaar, with its selection of jewelry, ceramic tiles, leather goods, pashminas and, of course, Turkish rugs! Other activities could include a visit to the Spice Market, a ride on a gulet (traditional wooden sailboat), or pampering yourself with a real Turkish bath.

Where to stay? We have some fabulous recommendations. The Ciragan Palace is the site of an original 19th-century palace built by Sultan Abdulaziz. Many of the rooms and suites have views of the Bosphorus, which has a never-ending parade of ships, ferries and boats passing by.
The Four Seasons Bosphorus is just down the street and also has a perfect waterside location. This hotel opened just two years ago and has all of the amenities you would expect from a luxury hotel. Their sister property, the Four Seasons Istanbul, is located in town, in what was a former prison building.
The Ritz Carlton Istanbul stands on a hill with commanding views of the city and the Bosphorus strait. It has a wonderful spa and a beautiful indoor pool for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing.

Book with Bee Kalt Travel and receive VIP amenities at all of these Virtuoso hotels: complimentary upgrades at check-in based on availability, complimentary breakfast, welcome gifts and more!

Please call our travel specialists today for more details!
Bee Kalt Travel (248)288-9600 or toll-free 1-800-284-5258

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Club Med - a great family vacation!

This is not your mother's Club Med. Gone are the days of paying for drinks with beads and the spartan rooms with unlocked doors. Club Med, in its current incarnation, is a fabulous all-inclusive resort with renovated rooms and exclusive suites. It is a perfect place to take the family, or a multi-generational family group!

The many Club Med resorts located in the Caribbean or Mexico offer a variety of activities to keep everyone in the family happy: sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, spa, fitness classes and even a circus school! All of this plus gourmet dining, beverages and nightly entertainment included in one price.

Celebrate a special occasion or just take a well-deserved vacation. Take advantage of the WOW sale going on now: 7 night all-inclusive land package starting at only $799.00 per person!
Call us today to book your next Club Med Vacation!
Sale ends August 30th, good for travel through December 16, 2010.

For more information please contact the travel specialists at Bee Kalt Travel!
Phone: 248-288-9600 or toll-free 1-800-284-5258

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Travel Insurance

In these turbulent times Mother Nature has thrown at us earthquakes, floods, mudslides, and volcanic eruptions. All of these unfortunate events have hampered travel in recent months. This is the perfect time to remind you of the importance of travel insurance. It is the unexpected that you are protecting yourself against. Most insurance policies cover you if you can't travel due to an illness, or a death of an immediate family member. In addition there are plans you can purchase to cover you against penalties for cancellation for any reason, for business reasons, and even some that will cover traveling pets!

Rates of coverage are based upon the traveler's age and the cost of the trip. It is usually a minimum cost which will provide peace of mind and protect your travel investment. You shouldn't have to worry before or during your vacation!

Contact the travel specialists at Bee Kalt Travel for more information about travel insurance or to plan your next vacation!
phone 248-288-9600, email:

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Phinda Game Reserve - KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

This 56,800 acre private game reserve is managed by andBeyond, formerly known as CCAfrica. This company runs luxury safari camps and lodges all over East and Southern Africa. Phinda is an hour and 45 minute flight from Johannesburg. It can also be accessed by road from Durban, or the smaller Richard's Bay airport or seaport.

There are four lodges and two private use homes located on the Phinda reserve. Each has its own personality to appeal to different people and tastes. Vlei lodge is perfect for couples or honeymooners. Only six individual romantic suites comprise this property, each with its own private plunge pool and views of the open grasslands. You can watch the Nyala and Kudu grazing in the fields from the privacy and comfort of your own verandah.

I loved my chalet at the Forest lodge. At first glance, these rooms reminded me of the cabins I stay in at a family camp in Northern Michigan. All similarities stopped as soon as I climbed the steps to the porch, complete with lovely outdoor seating area. Sliding glass doors lead to a newly renovated suite, in calming colors of cream and beige. Comfy sofas, fluffy comforters, terracotta-colored tiled baths with free standing tub and separate shower all made for a wonderfully luxurious haven to retire to. The room was equipped with everything you could possibly need in, or out of, the bush: I-pod docking station, plugs to charge your batteries and cell phone (if you're so inclined), air conditioning, safe, fully-stocked minibar (included), robes and slippers.

The location of Forest lodge, in a tree-filled sand forest, was a very different environment than that of the Mountain lodge. The family-friendly Mountain lodge is perched high atop a hill with sweeping views of the entire reserve. The beautifully renovated rooms and suites are scattered throughout the property, connected by stone pathways that meander between waterfalls and lush vegetation. Each suite has a private plunge pool, outdoor shower, spacious living areas and ensuite baths. I was impressed by the included bath amenities: in addition to the usual soaps and shampoos, Phinda also provides a wonderful body scrub (perfect after a dusty game drive!) and citronella oil. Luckily, I didn't need the latter item because I never saw a mosquito! The main lodge is centered around a peaceful courtyard and houses the dining room, bar, gift shop and internet lounge.

My favorite choice for families or a group of friends traveling together would be to stay at the Homestead. This stylish, private safari villa has a dedicated team of staff, including a private ranger, tracker, butler and chef. All this to cater just to you and your guests! This is the perfect place for someone looking for very personal service in an intimate atmosphere.

To book your next adventure to Phinda Game Reserve, call the African Specialists at Bee Kalt Travel!
Phone 248-288-9600 or Toll-free 1-800-284-5258

Tip: During the South African Winter months of May - August, it can get very cold in the early morning and evening, especially when driving in an open-air vehicle. We recommend dressing in layers, and include a warm hat, scarf and gloves in your packing list! In the afternoon, when the sun is high in the sky, it's warm enough to swim, so toss in that bathing suit too!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Singita Sabi Sand

My African adventure continues! I left the eco-lodges behind to head for the bush in South Africa, specifically, to the ultimate in safari lodges, Singita. The Singita name is synonymous with unsurpassed luxury. Wine cellars, gourmet five-course tasting menus, fitness center and spa, expansive suites with private plunge pools. If you can tear yourself away from your suite, they offer fabulous game drives each day.

If you prefer a little pampering while on safari, Singita is the perfect choice. I flew to the Sabi Sand game reserve on a Federal Air charter direct to the Singita airstrip. I left Johannesburg, and in less than an hour, I was greeted by the charming Marc, my guide for the next two days. Upon arrival at Singita Ebony, I was welcomed with a cold towel and drink, and taken to my suite. The decor is Colonial in style with dark woods and rich-colored fabrics. I had a cozy sitting area with fireplace, gorgeous four poster bed, indoor/outdoor showers, deep-soaking tub, dressing area and a huge deck with my own private pool. The room had a wall of windows facing the grasslands, through which I could watch the passing wildlife.

No time to relax before the afternoon game drive! A lovely tea is set out prior to the drive, this one included mini hamburgers and bite-size stuffed potatoes. Off to the bush with Marc expertly driving, and Mishack, tracking from his perch on the front of the safari vehicle. I had a fantastic game-viewing experience while at Singita. I saw the Big 5: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino, in addition to giraffe, warthogs, zebra, impala and more. I learn something new every time. On this particular game drive, I learned that a group of rhino is called a "crash" of rhino. Do you know what a group of giraffe is called? (see answer below)

Sundowners are a tradition while on safari in Africa. You take a break from your drive, usually as the sun is going down, and enjoy a cool drink. Again, Singita proves to take these moments very seriously. No beer and pretzels here, I was served a selection of pates and dips to go along with my favorite safari drink, the classic Gin and Tonic.

More surprises awaited, as we drove up to a candlelit dinner set up under the stars for all of the guests at the lodge. A decadent five-course meal with wine pairings was the perfect finish to this perfect day!

Our clients receive VIP amenities of a Spa or Gift shop voucher and an exclusive gift only when booking with us. If you would like to know more about Singita or African Safaris, call me today!
Bee Kalt Travel 248-288-9600

(answer: a journey of giraffe!)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Uganda

Continuing the saga of our 8-night safari in Rwanda and Uganda, here is the last installment.
We had one more gorilla trek in Rwanda before heading across the border to Uganda. This final trek in Rwanda was to visit the 17 member Kwitando family. We departed in a downpour, but by the time we reached our family, the skies had cleared, giving us some good photo opportunities.

Here, we watched family groups playing together and grooming each other. It was so much fun watching a baby rolling around and doing somersaults!

Our last trek, in the Bwindi National Park in Uganda, was the one I had been most nervous about. This area has the reputation of being the most difficult trekking because of thick vegetation and steep terrain. After our first hike (see Day One gorilla-trekking), this was a piece of cake. We did travel uphill, at a steep incline, for about 40 minutes before reaching the Rushegura family. We followed their trail of banana peels to their resting spot. This one was our best viewing yet! We observed a huge Silverback, many mothers and several babies eating and playing. It is fascinating to be able to be so close and just watch them in their natural habitat. Our one hour allotted time flew by, and it was time to leave them.

We spent some time shopping in the small village next to the park. You can pick up local handicrafts, basketry, and T-shirts with the saying: Mzungus in the Mist. I found this one particularly funny, mzungu being the term for white person!

We drove to Bwindi, a six hour drive from Kigali. The border formalities did not take long. U.S. citizens must purchase a visa upon arrival in Uganda, current price is $50.00 per person. No visa is required for entry into Rwanda. Uganda offers spectacular scenery, hiking, treks to the endangered Golden Monkeys, big game safaris and more!

For more information about Rwanda, Uganda or adventure travel, call me at 248-288-9600

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 2 - Gorilla Trekking

We started out a little stiff from the activities of the day before, but excitement was building as we KNEW we would see the gorillas today! The Warden assured us we would have an easy group to reach.

We were assigned Group 13, so named for being the 13th habituated gorilla family in the park. Our driver dropped us at the starting point. We had to cross an extremely muddy and wet field. The kind of mud that threatens to pull your boot right off your foot when you sink into it! We scampered over the rock wall into the edge of the forest. We only walked about 15 minutes when, in the distance, I saw a large gorilla swinging from a vine - just like in the movie Tarzan!

Our guide gave us our instructions: leave your belongings with the porters, only carry your camera, no flash photography, talk softly, and do not point (which is really hard NOT to do!). He informed us that he would make sounds that basically told the animals "we come in peace".

We followed our guide, Olivier, who showed us the Silverback, the largest, oldest male leader of the family. We actually got to see two Silverbacks that day. The second one had come over to try and woo away a female and perhaps start his own family. There was a lot of chest-beating and grunting going on between the two. I actually got a fright when the biggest guy stood up and barreled right toward us. He ended up walking past without a second glance. I think my heart stopped beating for that split second. I quickly regained my composure to follow him to a clearing, where he easily pulled down small trees, stripped the branches of their leaves, and stuffed them into his mouth. We also got to observe mothers, babies and juveniles during our all too brief visit. The one hour allotted time went by very quickly.

It was a very special experience and one that will stay with us for a long time. Gorilla-trekking allows proximity to the animals that you don't normally get on a regular safari. Most people who are fit and able to walk over uneven surfaces can do it.

If you would like more information on gorillas or safaris, give me a call!

Bee Kalt Travel 248-288-9600