Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

I wish you a Happy New Year and Happy Travels in 2010.

Tom and I celebrated his 60th birthday with a fantastic safari to Namibia. It's the stuff dreams are made of; a once in a life-time experience. I highly recommend a safari to Namibia. I have posted lots of pictures on my websites and and also on Facebook:

Kristina Safari:
WinWin Vacations:

I have 3 albums on Facebook:

Namibia: Kulala, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland and Serra Cafema in Kunene

Ongava and Etosha:

Okonjima and Africat Foundation:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Namibia, Land of Contrasts

For Tom's 60th Birthday, I'm taking him to Namibia. Our itinerary looks like this:

19-Nov - Depart Seattle at 07:10am
20-Nov - Arrive Johannesburg at 05:05pm; Spend one night at the Intercontinental Airport Sun at the airport

21-Nov - Arrive Namibia; Spend one night at Olive Grove Guest House in Windhoek
22-Nov - Arrive at Kulala Desert Lodge for 2 nights
23 Nov - Balloon Safari over Sossusvlei Dunes
24-Nov - Spend one night at the Stiltz in Swakopmund; enjoy a desert tour
25-Nov - Arrive at Damaraland Camp for two nights in Damaraland

27-Nov - Arrive at Serra Cafema in Kunene for 2 nights

This is where the Himba people live. This Himba woman is putting a special cream of fat and ochre on her body, which gives them that beautiful and mystical red shine.

29-Nov - Arrive at Ongava Tented Camp, Etosha Pan, for two nights and at Little Ongava for one night

2-Dec - Arrive at Okonjima Camp for two nights and learn about their Cheetah Rescue program

4-Dec - Arrive at Hotel Heinitzburg in Windhoek

5-Dec - Arrive Johannesburg; drive to Madikwe for 5 nights at Jaci's Safari Lodge and Tree Camp
8-Dec - Celebrate Tom's 60th at Jaci's in style!
10-Dec - Depart J-burg at 9:05pm
11-Dec - Arrive back in Seattle

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bibi's Family Safari was a great success

This was the most fabulous family safari I have ever had the pleasure to escort. They were all full of fun and in high spirits every day. Everyone was ready to go and explore. There was no whining, no complaints, only smiles, jokes and WOWs!

I think the best way to tell their story is to let them do it, so I asked:
What was your favourite activity?
Here are some answers.

1. I liked the game drives in the Masai Mara the best and being so close to the animals was very special.

See all the hippos in the Mara river behind us?

2. I thought the balloon ride was the most exciting and memorable event.

3. The balloon ride above the migration was my favorite! Seeing all the animals from above was just awesome!!! the landing was cool too.

4. We liked all the activities; it was such a nice variety. The balloon ride was special though.

5. My favourite activity was the game drives all over, but the very best was with the guides in Tanzania because we got to know them for a long period and they were so good at seeing the animals.

6. It’s too hard to pick just one favourite activity; everyday brought something new and exciting.

7. The Serengeti and the Masai Mara were my favourite game drives, but my one single favorite activity was our visit to the village, J’s Paradise at Lake Victoria. What an eye-opening experience and one I will never forget.

8. I enjoyed the visit to the Maasai village

9. Spending time with Sokoine at Ol Tukai.

10. Visiting the Maasai village school was a highlight!

11. Seeing Charles Bies working at his craft and seeing all the animals and watching elephants at Ol Tukai …

12. Sokoine learning to play Uno was special …. The Hot Air Balloon over the Mara … everything!
13. Visiting Charles Bies, the Makonde woodcarver was memorable.

14. Every day was amazing. The best day was when we saw the lions kill a zebra because it was a once in a lifetime thing to see with your own eyes.

15. Game drives in the Serengeti. Balloon ride. Everything! Visiting the villages was incredible.
16. Loved the drives: Serengeti with the lion kill (what a thrill)!

17. Mara drives with all the lions, cheetahs and the Mara River crossing of the wildebeests.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Escorting Reg & Shell's family to East Africa July 12 - Aug 5th, 2009

Here’s the entire itinerary:

Sunday, July 12 - British Airways flight 52. Departing Seattle, Washington at 8:45 pm
Monday July 13 - Arrive London - Heathrow, England, UK at 2:00 pm
Stay at the Heathrow Marriott Hotel

Tuesday, July 14 -British Airways flight 65.
Departing London Heathrow, at 10:20 am and arriving Nairobi, Kenya at 8:55 pm.
Stay at the Tribe Hotel, Village Market in Nairobi.

Wednesday July 15 – Drive to Selenkay Conservancy. Amboseli Porini Camp, stay 2 nights.

Friday July 17 - Drive to Namanga border, a Ranger Safaris guide will meet us here and take us to the Mt. Meru Game Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania. Meet the group here.

Reg&Shell’s group

July 16, Day 1 – Thursday: Depart USA on Northwest Airlines/KLM
Overnight flight – to Europe!!

July 17, Day 2 - Friday: Arrive early morning in Amsterdam
Depart on KLM 569 / Northwest Airlines 8383
Depart Amsterdam 10:30am / Arrive Kilimanjaro 7:55pm (8hr 25min flight), local time
Overnight at Mount Meru Game Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania

July 18, Day 3 – Saturday: Full day safari in Arusha National Park with picnic lunch. Dinner and overnight at Mt. Meru Game Lodge; all meals

July 19-20, Day 4 & 5 – Sunday & Monday: 8:00am flight to Grumeti airfield in the Western Serengeti; 2 nights at The Mbalageti Serengeti Tented Camp, all meals

July 21 & 22, Days 6 & 7 – Tuesday & Wednesday: Game drive on route to Northern Serengeti; 2 nights at Migration Camp, fully inclusive of meals, local drinks and laundry

July 23, Day 8 - Thursday: Drive to Ngorongoro Crater via Olduvai Gorge (all day drive); 1 night at Ngorongoro Crater Sopa Lodge, all meals

July 24 & 25, Day 9 & 10 – Friday & Saturday: Game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater; drive to Lake Manyara; 2 nights at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, all meals

July 26, Day 11 - Sunday: Drive to the Namanga border with stop in Arusha for lunch, (4 hours including immigration) then 2 hours to Amboseli’s Ol Tukai Lodge, all meals

July 26-28, Day 11, 12 & 13 – Sunday, Monday & Tuesday: 3 nights at Ol Tukai Lodge, Amboseli, Kenya; game drives in Amboseli NP, all meals

July 29, Day 14 - Wednesday:
Early morning flight via Wilson airport, Nairobi to the OlKiombo airstrip, Masai Mara
July 29-31, Day 14, 15 & 16 – Wednesday, Thursday & Friday: 3 nights at the Mara Intrepids, Masai Mara, all meals

Reg&Shell’s group:
August 1, Day 17 - Saturday: 2Pm flight to Nairobi
Dinner at Pampas Grill Restaurant before your check-in at 7pm
Depart KLM 566 / Northwest 8566 at 10:10pm
August 2, Day 18 - Sunday: arrive Amsterdam at 5:30am

Tom & Kristina:
Saturday, August 1: Transfer to Naibor Camp for 3 nights. Pick up at OlKiombo at 2pm.

Tuesday, August 4 – Air Kenya flight from OlKiombo at 1400h, arrive Wilson at 1500.
High Tea with Kennedy and VAL
British Airways flight 64. Departing Nairobi, Kenya at 11:40 pm

Wednesday, August 5 - Arrive London - Heathrow, England, UK at 6:20 am.
British Airways flight 49: Depart London - Heathrow at 3:15 pm and arriving Seattle at 4:45 pm.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wonderful Kenya

It's early morning in the Chyulu Hills, where Campi Ya Kanzi is located between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. The full moon is still high in the sky, Kilimanjaro is already crystal clear in the far distance and who would stand there posing in front, but this lovely giraffe! What a picture perfect morning.

I've just returned from a conference in Kenya that included visiting 3 camps: Campi Ya Kanzi, SaSaab, north of Samburu National Park and Bateleur Camp in the Masai Mara, next to Kichwa Tembo, both operated by andBeyond.

This trip was an "eco-friendly" safari, learning more about sustainable tourism and philanthropy. Safari operators and individual camps are getting the message and learning from the pro who have always believed in this concept.

I was very impressed by what is being done to minimize the tourists footprints on the local environment and how the local people are involved with tourism to preserve their wildlife and cultures. It's a fine dance that involves everything and everyone. I can go on and on.

The time to go on safari is now. Tourism is way down and the local people depend on us to help them preserve their wildlife for our viewing pleasure. The deals are out there. I can make your dream trip come true, creating long lasting memories for you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On the Road again

I'm sorry about not blogging more often. Time seems to just fly.
It's time for another conference in Kenya. I will return on June 17.

Friday, April 17, 2009

28 new stamps in my passport

Imagine getting 28 new stamps and visas in your passport in just one trip!!! Here’s how to do it.
1 & 2. First off, get on a plane bound for South Africa. When you arrive at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, you will stay overnight here. The South African immigration officer will paste a visa into your passport (1) and then stamp it (2) for accuracy. Spend the night at an airport hotel.
3. The next day you depart South Africa and they stamp your passport out.
4. Next, you fly to Botswana and when you enter, you will get another stamp.
5. After a week or so here, when you depart Botswana they will stamp you out.
6. Then enter Namibia. You will get another stamp in.

Spend 3 days at Susuwe Island Lodge and then 3 days at the Ntwala Island Lodge in the Caprivi Strip.
When you transfer from Susuwe to Ntwala, although still in the Caprivi this is when it gets really interesting. If you can’t afford to charter a plane to fly the short distance across, you must do a road and boat transfer.

7. You depart Namibia at the Ngoma border and you get a stamp out.
8. Cross the Ngoma Bridge across the Chobe River and enter Botswana on the other side; here you get a stamp in.
9. From here, you drive to Kasane, about 45 minutes, where you stamp out of Botswana.
10. This where you board a small boat to Ntwala Island Lodge, but on the way you must stop at immigration and stamp back into Namibia at Impalila Island.

Spend 3 days at Ntwala Island Lodge.

11. To get to Zambia from here is really easy and takes only about 1-2 hours. You depart Namibia at Impalila Island and stamp out.
12. Enter Botswana at Kasane and stamp in.
13. Drive to Kazungula, 20 minutes, and stamp out of Botswana again.
14 & 15. Here you take a small boat across the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers where 4 countries meet: Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. On the other side, when you enter Zambia, you must purchase a visa, which gets pasted into your passport; then it must get stamped to be valid.

Spend a week or more in Zambia, including a few days at Victoria Falls, the adventure capital of Africa.

16. If you want to see Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwe side while in Zambia, and I highly do recommend that you do this, then you’ll have to purchase a visa to enter Zim.
17 & 18. You will stamp out of Zam., stamp into Zim., see the Falls; then return to Zam.
19 & 20. If you didn’t get a multi-visa when you entered Zam., you have to purchase another visa, which will get stamped to make it official.

21. At the airport when you depart from Livingston, you will get a stamp out of Zambia.
22 -24. If you’re flying out of Vic. Falls airport in Zimbabwe, you will get another stamp into Zim. at the bridge and out again at the airport. Hopefully you purchased the multi entry visa when you visited the falls!! If not, you have to get another visa.

25 & 26. You then fly back to Jo-burg and you may get another visa for S. Africa, another stamp in.
27. Spend the night at a hotel and stamp out the next day.
28. When you arrive back in the US, the immigration officer will stamp you in and you’re home again.

What a trip!!!!
My advice is this: Get the extra pages right off the bat when you apply for a passport if you intend to travel to Africa!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kristina is on safari again

I will be on safari in Botswana, Namibia and Zambia for a month from March 13-April 13, 2009. This is an independent study tour and I'm taking Tom with me. I have studied the camps we're visiting by taking a specialist course and need to see them in order to choose the "right" camp for you when you can go on safari.

We will visit:
Deception Valley Lodge in the Central Kalahari Desert, Botswana
Xakanaxa Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana
Kwando Kwara Camp in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Kwando Lebala and Lagoon camps in the Linyanti Wetlands, Botswana
Susuwe and Ntwala Island Lodges in the Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Norman Carr’s Kapani & Kakuli camps in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Sausage Tree camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
Tongabezi Lodge at Victoria Falls in Zambia; Here we hope to see the Lunar Rainbow appear over the falls after dark on our last night in Africa.

In my absence, Bob Kerr at Travel House will look after you. If need anything while I'm gone, please call him at 206-248-0900 or 800-809-0154 his email is bob at

Sadly, SAS is leaving Seattle for the last time on July 31, 2009. There have been many changes to the schedule lately. Bob will contact you if there are any changes to your schedule while I'm gone.

If I have a chance I will publish updates while on safari.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fly free between camps in Zambia

Here's a really good deal!

Fly free between camps in Zambia
A collections of the top camps in Zambia’s premier destinations, the South Luangwa, Livingston and the Lower Zambezi have joined together to offer an unbeatable safari deal:

Stay a minimum of 10 days at any of their camps and fly free between them.
10-13 nights: fly free between any 2 destinations
14 plus nights: fly free between any 3 destinations
Choose from six company’s lodges and camps:

  1. The Bushcamp Company
  2. Chiawa Camp
  3. Chongwe River Camp
  4. Robin Pope Safaris
  5. Norman Carr Safaris
  6. Sausage Tree Camp

Applies to 2 people and 10 nights minimum
Does not apply for July, August & September
Book before March 31 2009
New bookings only

Call to book at 206-297-7179 or 877-297-7179
email me at Kristina.Trowbridge at

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deals, Deals, Deals

So Many Deals!
If you're not travelling now; you are missing out on all the deals. Everyday I get bombarded with deals to sell to you; I'm sure you get a lot of these deals yourself. I can sort it out for you, but I'm not going to spray you with it. You must contact me with a somewhat specific request and I will find a deal that is just right for you. I deal is not a deal, if it doesn't suit your needs and desires.

That being said, I have to pass this along: Hot off the press from Kenya.

A 6 nights / 7 days high quality road safari visiting Selenkay Conservancy, Amboseli, Lake Elementeita, Lake Nakuru, Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Masai Mara.

*Departs every SUNDAY - Minimum 2 people*

This seven day safari combines 2 nights Selenkay/Amboseli Porini Camp
Clik Here - for camp details, with walks and night game drive, game drive in Amboseli for viewing elephants close up, 2 nights at Sunbird Lodge Click Here - for details with walks along Lake Elementaita and a full day in Nakuru to see the flamingos which is also an excellent chance of seeing rhino and leopard. This is followed by 2 nights at Mara Porini Camp Click Here - for camp details, with walks plus night drive and game drive in the Maasai Mara, famous for lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Stay in the exclusive
Porini Safari Camps in Selenkay and Ol Kinyei and the intimate Sunbird Lodge at Lake Elementaita
All game drives in 4x4 safari vehicles (not vans), with experienced driver-guides
Selenkay: walk with Maasai warriors to visit an authentic village, night game drive, exclusive wilderness area with no other tourist vehicles
Amboseli: views of Kilimanjaro, best place for viewing elephants at close range
Lake Nakuru: spectacular scenery, excellent for rhino and leopard, huge concentration of flamingo
Ol Kinyei Conservancy: one of the most scenic parts of the Mara eco-system with resident big cats
Masai Mara: the most famous wildlife reserve in Kenya, excellent for lion and cheetah
At Porini Camps all meals and drinks included as well as sundowners, night game drives and escorted walks

PRICE IS $2,195.00 per person


PRICES include minivan road transfer to Selenkay Porini, Amboseli park fees and conservancy fees, Drive to Nairobi for lunch at Village Market, 4x4 road transfer for 2 nights at Sunbird Lodge, Lake Nakuru National Park in 4x4, conservancy and park fees included. 4x4 road transfer to Mara Porini camp arriving for lunch. 2 nights Mara Porini Camp, park fees and conservancy fees included. All game drives in 4x4 vehicles, full board and free mineral water, house wines, beer and soft drinks (Porini only). Flight Mara to Wilson.

International airfare is not included, travel insurance is extra, gratuities are at your discretion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A long day at EWR

I needed to be reminded by what the balloon Victory captain in the Masai Mara said when we had to abort the take-off: “It’s better to be on ground wishing you were up there, than to be up there wishing you were on the ground”.

Airports are no fun these days! I’m sitting at EWR, lovely Newark Liberty Airport waiting for the next flight from Seattle to arrive, so I can fly home. It’s a lovely Saturday morning in New York, cold and sunny. I’ve been here since 5:45 in the morning and now it’s still only 2pm. My morning flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems. The next available flight is at 6:15 pm, assuming it arrives on-time. So, I’m spending this lovely Saturday held captive in tiny Terminal A at EWR for over 12 hours. Not Fun!!!

I flew to New York to attend two Africa events in conjunction with the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Both these events were outstanding and well worth coming to New York for. Both events were sponsored by APTA (, the Association for Promotion of Tourism to Africa. There were many great speakers and discussion panels. I made some new connections and reconnected with some old friends. I stayed at Hotel Chandler, a cute little boutique hotel just 2 blocks from the Empire State Building. The beds are heavenly albeit the rooms are small and the bathrooms are tiny. This is New York, not Africa where a standard tent is larger!!!

However, flying has become an ordeal. Security is tight. I cannot recommend it J, but of course we have no choice but to fly. Security is tight. There are no amenities. People carry on huge bags and the overhead bins fill quickly. I just wish the terminals would be more comfortable and some sleeping areas were available. 12 hours is a long time when waiting. SeaTac Airport has been much improved, but Liberty is old and uncomfortable. There’s nothing to do, no internet cafĂ©, no interesting shops and there are no good places to eat.

I’m happy to be safe and waiting 12 hours beats landing in the Hudson River.