Classic Botswana from A to Z

September 5, 2013

It's back to school season! To help make the transition a little easier, we've provided you with the ABCs of Botswana. From aardvarks to zebras, expedition leader Lex Hes has seen it all. "Aardvark, buffalo, cheetah, duiker, elephant, fruit bat, giraffe, hare, impala, jackal, kudu, lion, mongoose, nightjar, oxpecker, porcupine, quelea, reedbuck, steenbuck, tsessebe, vulture, wild dog, and zebra. Plus, I think I can safely add YOU to the list!"

Check out some images of this incredible wildlife below, and for more details on our Classic Botswana expedition, visit our trip page.







Wild dogWild dog


Top Birds of Rain Forests & Reefs

August 30, 2013

Our Rain Forests & Reefs expedition explores Belize, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. Costa Rica alone has over 750 bird species, and all countries have an incredible array of wildlife.

In Belize, you may see an anhinga which in the Brazilian Tupi language, means snake bird. Anhingas often swim with only their neck above the water, often appearing as a snake, ready to strike.

You may come across the beautiful, colorful scarlet macaw in Costa Rica, though it's also the national bird of Honduras. Their plumage is mostly scarlet, but blues, yellows, and greens are often mixed in.

In Panama, look for the red-legged honeycreeper; this songbird was likely introduced in Cuba, but has since been found in southern Mexico, Peru, and Bolivia.

For more information on Rain Forests & Reefs, visit our trip page.



Great EgretGreat Egret

Red-footed BoobyRed-footed Booby


White-crowned PigeonWhite-crowned Pigeon

Scarlet MacawScarlet Macaw

Chestnut-mandibled ToucanChestnut-mandibled Toucan

Reindeer Herding in Kamchatcka

August 20, 2013

Written by Rich Pagen

Beautiful low angle sunlight was reflecting off the green hillsides of Anastasiya Bay as Zodiacs left the ship bound for a shallow river mouth. This spontaneous after-dinner trip ashore was the result of scanning back down the end of the bay, where we noticed a dark line appearing on the horizon. This region of the Russian Far East is known for its seasonal reindeer herders, who bring their herds to the coast each summer. It’s impossible to know when and where to find them, but this evening we were in the right place at the right time.

We disembarked the Zodiacs at the river’s edge below a small camp with several tents, a campfire burning, and a few dogs roaming the outskirts. Our goal was to scale a low ridge, where we would sit and wait for the massive herd of over 2,000 reindeer to approach and eventually gather beneath us on the coastal plain.

Soon we were in position, with spectacular mountains looming across the bay across from us. Within minutes, the herders had the reindeer swirling in circles around them in the most magnificent display. Then, using rope to lasso the antlers, they captured a large male and with incredible skill and precision, killed the animal and began dressing it. It was a once in a lifetime happening, and something very special very few people have witnessed.

Centennial Celebrations & VIP Access in Central America

August 1, 2013

In February 2014, join us for a 15-day adventure in Central America. At the crossroads of two continents, this expedition reveals the wonders of five countries, including Belize, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama, and is ideally timed during the centennial year of the Panama Canal.

We are thrilled to announce that in honor of the 100-year anniversary of these historic locks, we have just enhanced this already-fascinating itinerary with a VIP tour of the five billion dollar Panama Canal expansion project that began a decade ago and is scheduled to be completed in 2015. You will go behind the scenes at the Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center to observe the four billion cubic meters of structural concrete that is being poured into the ditches that comprise the new set of locks from a vantage point rarely visited by the public, plus meet one of the authorities currently working on the expansion project.

In addition to your VIP tour and a daylight transit of the Panama Canal, additional highlights of this itinerary include:
  • Searching for Central America’s incredible diversity of wildlife during Zodiac cruises and nature walks—over 750 species of birds have been recorded in Costa Rica alone;
  • Meeting the Kuna Indians of San Blas and the Emberá Indians of the Darién who proudly preserve their cultural heritage; and
  • Snorkeling nearly every day, from Belize’s Half Moon Caye to one of the world’s largest marine parks in Coiba, Panama.

For more information, visit our trip page.

Spring Break in the Land of the Sami People

June 20, 2013

Looking for an interesting way to spend spring break (no run-of-the-mill Caribbean cruise or all-inclusive resort for this family!) that would inspire and educate their two middle school-aged children, Tobias and Kristin W. contacted our Private Travel team to plan a locally-hosted trip to Northern Norway’s Lapland region. The team went straight to work planning the perfect expedition for this adventurous young family. First, they secured one of Zegrahm’s ground operators as the family’s personal guide. Next, they arranged a mix of activities that would appeal to kids and parents alike. Here’s a peek at their personalized itinerary:

  • A night in Kirkenes at the Snowhotel with a private dog-sledding lesson and tour to explore this Arctic wonderland.
  • Snow mobiling through scenic wilderness for an overnight at a cozy backcountry lodge.
  • A fjords cruise to stay at a charming guesthouse to view the northern lights.
  • Three full days with Sven Engholm, an 11-time winner of Europe’s longest dog sled race and the family’s guide for immersing themselves in the Sami way of life, including meeting a reindeer herd and dog sledding.
  • An overnight stay with a Sami family in a traditional lavvu; this communal tent made of reindeer hide is the base of operations for a reindeer-drawn sleigh and ski excursion.

To learn more, contact our Private Travel team at