Dear Vacations To Go Customer,

Alan Fox is on safari in South Africa with SITA World Tours and his second report, from the Kapama Karula lodge, is below.

Please scroll down to see this week's cruise deals.



"Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing."
--John Donne
 
***************************************************

I'm sitting on the back deck of my casita at Kapama Karula, looking down at the Klaserie River. This is the second of three lodges and private game reserves that I will visit on my safari. I arrived two days ago via a 15-minute bush plane flight from my last lodge.

There are mischievous, black-faced vervet monkeys in the tree at the end of the deck, watching my every move. I have dealt with their kind before--they're hoping for an opportunity to sweep down and run off with my cellphone.

There's a huge lizard moving along the bank on this side of the river and a solitary bull elephant grazing in the meadow on the other side. He wraps his trunk around a section of tall grass, tears it from the ground and shakes out the dirt before putting it in his mouth.

Kapama Karula is the finest of four luxury lodges sharing the enormous Kapama Private Game Reserve, just outside Kruger National Park. The lodge offers 12 lavishly decorated suites surrounded by trees and scattered across the property, ranging in size from 1,000 to 1,829 square feet.

Each suite features floor-to-ceiling windows, a private swimming pool on an elevated back deck, indoor and outdoor showers, bath, fireplace and every modern convenience.

There's a beautiful, new spa with infinity pool and a well-equipped fitness center. A spacious bar and lounge overlook the river. A library and a shop filled with local crafts and souvenirs round out the amenities. Guests do not lack for anything.

Gourmet fish, poultry and game dishes are served in the open-air dining room and in the boma, a traditional, outdoor enclosure for dining. The food here is truly extraordinary.

The grounds of the lodge are bordered by the river on one side and a mile-long fence on the other. With predators locked out, guests can walk unescorted to and from their suites, passing monkeys, mongooses and the most relaxed impalas within a hundred miles.

Game drive highlights have included close encounters with rhinos, a lion and a leopard. Rhinos are under tremendous pressure from poachers, who kill them for their horns, which can bring up to six figures on the black market. Misinformed end users in China and Vietnam believe ground rhino horn cures everything from cancer to hangovers. Middle Eastern buyers carve horns into cups and dagger handles.

On several occasions, our open-air Land Rover was surrounded by herds of African elephants, the largest land animals on Earth. Elephants can grow up to 13 feet tall and weigh up to 26,000 pounds. They look down on our vehicle and are not the slightest bit concerned by our presence.

Elephants are born blind, weighing 200 pounds or more, and calves can stand almost immediately. We saw a newborn elephant learning how to walk, staggering forward, backward and sideways as it was gently guided by the trunks of its mother and other adults.

Once they can see and walk, calves are as playful as puppies and are curious when they see a vehicle. They'll walk straight toward our Land Rover with ears flapping and trunk raised as if to trumpet until an adult nudges them in a new direction.

Elephants rarely stop moving and they don't look for trails, they MAKE them as they munch their way straight through the thickest part of the bush. Uprooted and trampled bushes, limbs stripped of bark and leaves, and the sound of trees cracking and falling are sure signs that elephants are close by.

A single elephant consumes up to 300 pounds of vegetation every day, and it takes up to 20 hours of eating to do it.

Elephants are intelligent and peaceful by nature. Despite their unmatched size and strength, they do not bother other animals, except in self-defense. They protect their young and each other. They adopt the calves of adults that die or are killed by poachers or other animals.

Elephants are said by some to have human emotions, to cry and feel loss and mourn their dead. They may return for years to stand by the bones of a fallen family member.

One herd was documented pushing and pulling the carcass of the family matriarch for a week after she died, as if to say, "Get up!"

Elephant families are led by the oldest female. When males in the herd near sexual maturity, they leave or are driven out of the family and will spend the rest of their lives alone or in loose association with other bulls.

The old fellow across the river may be past his days of mating. He's too massive for lions to bother and he should be safe from ivory poachers on this private game reserve. He could live to be 70 before he grinds down the last of his six sets of teeth and starves to death.

That would be a long and lucky life in the bush; a noble life.

Alan Fox



To view photos or a slideshow from this leg of my journey, please click here.



Alan Fox is traveling for the second time with the deluxe safari operator SITA World Tours. The company has more than 80 years of experience and specializes in guided travel to exotic destinations.

SITA offers upscale safaris throughout Africa on scheduled departures for small groups but will also customize a safari for as few as two people. They work with the best lodges and guides in each destination and take care of every detail.

The safari experts at Vacations To Go can help you find the perfect SITA safari. To see SITA safari itineraries in Africa, click here. To see all SITA tours worldwide, click here.



I'm pleased to present the following money-saving offers from Holland America, Norwegian, Silversea, Azamara and Disney. They include deep discounts and free shipboard credits, which are as good as cash on the ship and can be used toward onboard purchases not covered in the cruise fare, like shore excursions and spa treatments.

Holland America is offering our customers big discounts -- save up to 82%. Also receive shipboard credits of up to $200 per cabin on a variety of upcoming sailings. On select Alaska cruise tours in 2018, also receive a free drinks package and a free dinner for two in the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant.Past guests may see better rates on select sailings. See dates and prices.

Norwegian is offering Vacations To Go customers fantastic savings of up to 84%, as well as exclusive shipboard credits of up to $215 per cabin on last-minute 2017 voyages and many sailings in 2018. Book an ocean-view cabin or higher on select cruises and choose two of the following amenities: 1) a beverage package for two, 2) a specialty dining package that includes up to four meals for two guests, 3) 250 minutes of Internet or 4) a shore excursion credit of $50 per cabin, per port. Book by August 21. See dates and prices.

Silversea has reduced rates exclusively for Vacations To Go, providing discounts of up to 84% off a variety of last-minute departures. Your Silversea fare includes onboard gratuities, complimentary beverages (including wine and spirits) and butler service. Book by August 20. See dates and prices.

Azamara is offering our customers savings of up to 76% and exclusive shipboard credits of up to $1,000 per cabin on select sailings. Book by August 28. See dates and prices.

Vacations To Go is offering our customers exclusive discounts on Disney cruises -- save up to $1,000 per cabin. See dates and prices.

As always, these offers are for new bookings only and subject to availability. Restrictions may apply.



I have scanned all the sailings in the next 90 days, and listed below are all the deepest discounts according to type of cabin.

Inside Cabins

Click here to see all sailings offering inside cabins for at least 65% off.

Oceanview Cabins

Click here to see all sailings offering oceanview cabins for at least 65% off.

Balcony Cabins

Click here to see all sailings offering balcony cabins for at least 65% off.

Suites

Click here to see all sailings offering suites for at least 60% off.



Here are today's Top 10 Cruises, brand-new specials from the world's best cruise lines. Click the FastDeal # for details.

1) Caribbean, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Miami Nov 11, starting at $439, save 74%, FastDeal # 18726

2) Transatlantic, 13 nights on Norwegian, departs Barcelona Nov 5, starting at $499, FastDeal # 33760 (Norwegian does not provide brochure rates for this cruise, so we are unable to show a savings percentage.)

3) Caribbean, 7 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Galveston Sep 10, starting at $489, save 57%, FastDeal # 30113

4) Mexico, 7 nights on Princess, departs Los Angeles Nov 11, starting at $599, save 64%, FastDeal # 17959

5) Caribbean, 7 nights on Celebrity, departs San Juan Nov 4, starting at $599, save 50%, FastDeal # 20452

6) Bahamas, 7 nights on Carnival, departs Baltimore Nov 12, starting at $569, save 69%, FastDeal # 26409

7) Canada/New England, 9 nights on Royal Caribbean, departs Bayonne Oct 12, starting at $928, save 54%, FastDeal # 35771

8) Tahiti/French Polynesia, 7 nights on Windstar, departs Papeete Nov 2, oceanview starting at $1,879, save 74%, FastDeal # 27981

9) Alaska, 10 nights on Oceania Cruises, departs Vancouver Aug 31, starting at $2,299, save 71%, FastDeal # 19641

10) Mediterranean, 7 nights on Silversea, departs Athens Sep 3, balcony starting at $5,100, save 82%, FastDeal # 22911

For the best last-minute cruise specials in the next 90 days, please visit our world-famous 90-Day Ticker.
To search for discounts of up to 82% on cruises departing more than 90 days from now, click here.

To save up to 40% with escorted and independent tours, click here.
For river cruises up to 50% off, click here.
For discounts of up to 50% at hotels and all-inclusive resorts, click here.
For the lowest rates on Africa safaris from budget to luxury in quality, click here.

Once you've found a FASTDEAL, call us toll free at 800-338-4962 (US and Canada) and a cruise counselor will attend to your needs. Customers from the UK, please call toll free 0-800-098-8546. All other international customers, please email or call us at +1-713-974-2121.

Please email me your comments, suggestions and questions at alanfox@vacationstogo.com and I will respond the same day.

If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward this email to family and friends.

Sincerely,

Alan Fox
Chairman & CEO
Vacations To Go

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