Elephant Tooth

What is David Solberg holding?!

As a member of the Association for the Promotion of Tourism in Africa I was invited to a special behind-the-scene tour of the Field Museum. Ever since it catalogued its first specimen in 1893, the Field Museum and their team of scientists have collected and researched thousands more.  Their collection is so big that less than 1% of it is on display at the museum!

Interestingly, while the Smithsonian and British Museum have more mammal specimens, the Field’s collection of mammals from eastern Africa is one the best in the world.  Their primate collection is the most heavily used aspect of the collection because of its diversity.

Probably the creepiest thing I saw at the museum were tanks of meat-eating beetle scouring the  bones of various animals.  I also learned that there is a species of shrew on Mt. Kilimanjaro that is not found anywhere else in the world!  Finally, guess what my future client, David Solberg, is holding in his hand?  ONE elephant tooth.  Can you believe it?

Yoga on Safari

Anne O'Brien on the cover of the Yoga Journal

Imagine a vacation full of life-changing sights, fascinating people, and jaw-dropping experiences where you return home feeling refreshed, invigorated, and relaxed. Ujuzi African Travel can now offer you just such a vacation with our new Yoga Safaris, launching March 2013 with the “Yoga Community on the Road Safari” to Tanzania.

“Yoga vacations are the only kind of vacations I want to take,” said Lisa Murray, owner and manager of Yoga Community in Sonoma, Calif. Lisa has been traveling on yoga vacations for several years, both as a yoga instructor and as a student of yoga.

“Other vacations you run around, do a lot of things, and there’s more emphasis on getting from this place to that place. It can be really overwhelming,” Lisa said. “Yoga slows everything down and helps you to appreciate what’s happening in the moment. It also helps avoid the aches and pains of traveling.”

Lisa collaborated with Ujuzi African Travel to design the yoga safari, selecting Anne O’Brien as the yoga instructor for the Yoga Community on the Road Safari.

“Anne’s experience in traveling and yoga make her the best choice,” Lisa said. “She’s extremely well-traveled. She’s a very accomplished teacher and people will feel well taken care of with her.”

Indeed, Anne’s qualifications make her a very high profile teacher. Her career as a yoga
teacher spans nearly 20 years, and she has trained yoga teachers for 12 years throughout Northern California and Mexico. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance, a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, and part of Nava Yoga, a yoga think tank of senior teachers and academics. She teaches at Yoga Community, but also nationwide at events such as Yoga Journal, Wanderlust Festival and the Omega Institute. She’s the yoga consultant to The North Face™ and, as if all that weren’t enough, she is currently completing a book on the history of Western women and their contributions to the practice of modern yoga. She has been featured in Yoga Times, The Yoga Journal (including the cover of the March 2012 issue), The Sonoma Sun, and the recently-released documentary film, YogaWoman. While researching in preparation for the safari to Tanzania, she has also formed a connection with the Africa Yoga Project, a program dedicated to empowering Africans and their communities through yoga.

But there’s no reason to be intimidated by Anne’s impressive resume, her skills as a teacher make her approachable and sensitive to her students’ needs. “Yoga is for people of all levels, all practitioners,” Anne said.

Anne has traveled and lived around the world, leading travel tours to places as varied as
the Turkey, Bali, and even a Yoga and Skiing expedition. However, the Yoga Community on the Road Safari is very unique, she said. “Anne Medeiros has really been ground-breaking in planning this. It’s more of a travel adventure with yoga. I’ll taper the yoga to both the skill levels of the people in front of me and the activities of the day. Some days will be more rigorous, and other days will be more restorative.”

The highlights of the trip will include safari in Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro
Crater and Conservation Area, Serengeti National Park, Lake Eyasi, and Tarangire National Park.

There’s also an optional extension to Zanzibar. Not to mention Ujuzi African Travel’s
accomplished safari guides, who can spot animals in seemingly impenetrable camouflaged
environments, and answer any question about wildlife, their behavior and habitat. See yourself topping off your safari with a luxurious beach vacation and a restorative yoga session every day. Then visualize yourself returning home feeling invigorated and relaxed.

Now that sounds like a vacation!

The Secret to Getting Up Close and Personal with Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas, as with most wild animals, are notoriously shy creatures, able to hide  themselves in the dense jungles of the Virungas Massif and ready to flee to higher ground if they feel in any way threatened. So how come tourists can get within a few meters of them? And how come researchers, not to mention television documentary crews, are also able to get within touching distances of the great apes?  Read more from earthtimes.org.