Lions, Tigers and Tradewinds 2019

November 28 - December 21, 2019

Travel With Ease By Private Jet

Sit back, relax, and leave the details to us as you travel to seven countries in 24 days by private jet. You’ll travel in comfort and with peace of mind aboard a privately chartered, custom configured Boeing 757 aircraft for seven flights, each averaging four hours. Bushtracks’ three decades’ experience in private aviation has gone into planning the most efficient routing possible: flying you directly to each destination, and saving hours – if not days – of travel time if you tried to replicate this journey using commercial air.

These private, direct flights also ensure that the pleasures of five-star hotels and exotic locales aren’t interrupted by airport anxieties like long lines, connections, and baggage claim. Your dedicated flight crew will see to every detail aloft so you arrive refreshed and relaxed. Stretch out in flat-bed leather seats with ample legroom while your dedicated in-cabin flight crew serves gourmet meals and wine. Upon arrival your bags will be whisked away, delivered directly to your comfortably appointed room.

November 28 - December 21, 2019

48 Guests
24 Days
7 Countries

Traveling to nine carefully selected destinations by private jet, we’ll retrace the path of ancient trade routes in 24 days, making our way from Mount Etna to the Middle East and India, and on to Africa with island stops in between. It’s an exhilarating fusion of lions and tigers, maharajas and Maasai, and temples and tropical escapes that you won’t experience with anyone else.

Throughout we’ll enjoy the incomparable company of Expedition Host Carl Safina, a conservationist and the author of seven books, including Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, whose insightful work has been awarded the MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, among others.

Lions, Tigers and Tradewinds 2019 Itinerary

Taormina, Italy Day 1-3

November 28-30, 2019

With its panoramic Ionian Sea and Mount Etna views, ancient Greek and Roman ruins, and winding medieval streets, Taormina’s appeal dates to the 19th century, when it was a must-see on the European Grand Tour. Take a private walking tour past the city’s Arab, Norman, and Gothic architecture and learn about Taormina’s history. Later, stroll and browse the shops on the Corso Umberto I on your own. Explore the Teatro Greco, a 10,000-seat amphitheater from the third century B.C. still used today for performances from Sophocles to Sting. Outside of the city, sample wines at a family-owned winery whose vineyards grow on the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna.

Belmond Grand Hotel Timeo
3 Nights

Salalah, Oman Day 4-6

December 1-3, 2019

Salalah’s natural beauty dazzles: rolling mountains, white sand beaches, and the expansive Arabian Sea. The landscape masks a richly storied past dating back 5,000 years to the luxury frankincense trade, and further still to approximately 100,000 years ago with early human migrations from Africa into Arabia. Uncover the Dhofar region’s spice trade history with a visit to a modern frankincense forest, the Iron age port city of Khor Rori and the medieval port of Al Baleed. Explore the Najd Plateau sites with an archaeologist for a glimpse into humans’ prehistoric traces in the region. Time with the semi-nomadic Mahri people will reveal the traditional way of life in the Arabian Peninsula. Then barter with modern Dhofari merchants at Salalah’s largest and oldest market, the Haffa Souk: a centuries-old source for jewelry, kaftans, and hats, with the aroma of frankincense perfuming the air.

Al Baleed Resort Salalah
3 Nights

Jaipur, India Day 7

December 4, 2019

Arriving in Jaipur you will enter a fabulous realm of maharajas, majestic forts, and lavish palaces, interspersed with the bustle of bazaars and passing rickshaws. Soak in the atmosphere of the capital of India’s land of kings, Rajasthan, with a visit to two of the city’s highlights. At the historic center of the ‘Pink City’ is the opulent City Palace, a Mughal-Rajput-Hindu fusion architectural masterpiece with intricately carved gateways, meticulous gardens, and endless courtyards. The nearby Jantar Mantar observatory (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) houses astronomical instruments and the world’s largest stone sundial. End your day in royal fashion at a nineteenth century palace formerly home to a maharaja and his queen. As you feast your eyes on your stunning surroundings, you’ll delight your palate with sweet and savory Rajasthani dishes served at a private dinner in the palace’s verdant green sunken gardens.

Taj Rambagh Palace
1 Night

Ranthambore, India Day 8-9

December 5-6, 2019

A four-hour drive brings you to the Ranthambore National Park: a wilderness tucked between the rugged Aravalli and Vindhya hills, spanning 500 square miles of dense jungle, golden savanna, dramatic cliffs, and lotus-filled lakes with ancient ruins of palaces and temples. Once the hunting grounds of royalty, the park was the first of nine to be designated a Tiger Reserve in the early 1970’s. Today the park is considered the best spot to catch a glimpse of elusive Bengal tigers in the wild. The park provides a sanctuary for other wildlife including: leopards, striped hyenas, sambar deer, chitals, nilgais, common langurs, macaques, jackals, caracals, sloth bears, wild boars, Indian porcupines, mongooses, crocodiles and hundreds of bird species. Your visit occurs during the optimum time for sighting tigers, when the dry deciduous forest makes wildlife easier to see, with three guided game drives over the course of your visit.

The Oberoi Vanyavilas
2 Nights

Udaipur, India Day 10-12

December 7-9, 2019

Fly 40 minutes to the picturesque city of Udaipur, nestled along the shores of Lake Pichola and framed by splendid views of the surrounding Aravalli Range. Long the capital of the royal family of Mewar, the Old City abounds with lavish palaces and lakeside temples. Wander the twisting streets and uncover the city’s heart and heritage in its ornate architecture, intricate art and bustling bazaars. We’ll enjoy an exclusive lake cruise at sunset, and a private tour of the exquisite and imposing City Palace, constructed over a period of nearly four decades and comprising the largest palace complex in Rajasthan. Further afield, visit the Hindu temple complex of Eklingji and the Adinatha Temple at Ranakpur and hear insights into two of the Dharmic religions that originated on the Indian subcontinent. Back at the iconic hotel, the Taj Lake Palace, take in the stunning panorama of the placid lake from this restored 18th century royal palace of white marble seemingly floating in Lake Pinchola.

Taj Lake Palace
3 Nights

Mahé, Seychelles Day 13-15

December 10-12, 2019

A four-hour flight brings you to Mahé, the largest of the 115 Seychelles islands, a remote archipelago suspended in the sparkling blue Indian Ocean. The island’s quiet, white powdered beaches and striking granite rock formations give way to a mountainous interior, largely covered with dense cloud forest. Staying at an exclusive resort, your days can be as full or as unstructured as you desire. Diving is exceptional, amid sculpted granite rocks ablaze with colorful corals and an array of marine life. Critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles may be spotted underwater, and, between December and March, ashore as they come to lay their eggs on the beach. Discover three other stunning islands on a private boat cruise: Curieuse Island with Aldabra tortoises that can reach up to 550 pounds and 150 years old; Praslin Island’s Vallée de Mai palm forest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site); and La Digue Island and its L’Union Estate, a former colonial coconut and vanilla plantation.

Maia Luxury Resort & Spa
3 Nights

Masai Mara, Kenya Day 16-18

December 13-15, 2019

A three-hour flight by private jet followed by a short bush flight transports you to Africa’s famed savanna, where a Maasai guide will join you for cocktails and describe the traditional practices of the Maasai people and their enduring relationship with the land and its wild inhabitants. For the following two days, relax into a schedule of morning and afternoon game drives in an area unrivaled for its constant flow of wildlife. This is a uniquely beautiful time of year prized by photographers when November’s short rains transform the landscape into a green carpet. Wildlife babies are present, and you are likely to spot elephant families in the river, plus plains game like impalas, gazelles, topis, and warthogs with their young, as well as lions, leopards, and cheetahs on the hunt. View the landscape from aloft on an optional hot air balloon ride or stretch your legs with an optional Maasai-guided walking safari for an insightful and close look at this complex ecosystem.

Governors’ Camp
3 Nights

Accra, Ghana Day 19-20

December 16-17, 2019

Quintessentially West African, Ghana’s capital city is an eclectic blend of sandy beaches, jazz clubs, and a nascent arts and cultural scene. The city’s diversity is on full display after arriving off your five-hour flight as you dine at a Japanese restaurant designed by interior designer Hubert de Givenchy. The following day delve into Accra’s diverse past on a private tour that takes you to the historic district Jamestown and past the city’s Soviet-influenced national monuments, followed by a live performance at the city’s premier jazz club. Explore Ghana’s visual arts, starting with a visit to a gallery featuring a mix of works by established local artists, and the Fancy Coffin Makers. These coffins are uniquely Ghanaian folk art: hand carved ‘fantasy’ coffins ranging in shape from airplanes to animals, cameras to castles. Later, browse and barter for folk art, colorful textiles, masks, drums, beads, baskets and more at the Arts Centre.

Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City Accra
2 Nights

Marrakech, Morocco Day 21-24

December 18-21, 2019

A three-and-a-half-hour flight brings you to Marrakech, a city for the senses. From red baked-mud medina palaces and ramparts, musical street performances, the aroma of fragrant mint tea, and the taste of spiced everything (from ice cream to seafood), this legendary market town on the edge of the Sahara fascinates. Take an excursion into the Ourika Valley and into the remote villages of the Atlas Mountains where you’ll visit a saffron farm, a potters’ village, and enjoy a tea ceremony with a Berber family, before feasting on Moroccan dishes at a verdant oasis. The following day enjoy a private tour of Marrakech, including the Majorelle botanical garden, the Berber Museum, the Koutoubia Mosque, and Bahia Palace. After lunch, discover the souks of Marrakech, meeting dyers, blacksmiths, shoemakers and purveyors of spices before enjoying live entertainment at the Djemaa El Fna Square. The following morning transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.

La Mamounia
3 Nights

In Our Travelers' Words

At the end of the day our travelers are most qualified to describe the African safari experience, and they certainly say it best.

The Peacock Family
Multi-Generational Safari

"Our youngest, Emily is almost 7. And mom and dad are in their late 70's. And the rest of us fall somewhere in between - and I can tell you we ALL just had the best time! It's tricky to have a plan that appeals to everyone. The thought of our daily adventure was so exciting, that no one minded the early morning wake-ups - not even the teenagers! They were often the first ones on the jeep - as they couldn't wait to start the drive each day."

The Ousterhout Family
Family Safari

"My father-in-law had always wanted to go to Africa, and invited us all to go with him to celebrate his 80th birthday. We went with no expectations, and the trip was beyond anything we could have imagined. In each camp we were exhilarated to be so unbelievably close to animals. Our guides really turned the safari into an educational experience for the girls with in-depth discussions on not just the wildlife, but also history, culture, and the relationship between tourism and the environment. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip – but we hope to return."

Pat & Art Hoeft
Photographic Safari

"This was our first Africa visit; we'd thought about it for years and then in my husband's semi-retirement we thought that if we didn't do it NOW it would never happen. We arranged to travel with my husband's brother and wife. The photographic opportunities were myriad and truly stupendous. We were up and out in the Land Cruiser before sunrise each day to catch photos of wildebeests and, one morning, elephants, silhouetted with acacias on a ridge line as the sun rose. We ended our days with late-night nibbles with a choice of "one more for the road" and new friends from across the English-speaking world."

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