andBeyond launches WILDchild Eco-guide itineraries for teens and parents

December 13th, 2021

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, experiential travel company andBeyond just launched five new itineraries specifically for teenagers and parents, offering a chance to connect while making a difference on an incredible journey. The conservation-focused itineraries are available in South AfricaBotswanaMozambiqueTanzania, and Chile.

What makes these itineraries a “challenge” is that all of the teens will be challenged, as andBeyond’s guides are, on what they have learned while out on excursions, earning certificates and prizes that will be handed out at a festive ceremony dinner at the end of the trip. These excursions are a call to all aspiring conservationists, planet warriors, budding rangers, or any teen who loves the wilderness and its creatures and wants to leave the world a better place.

*This itinerary has been specially curated for a teenager (14-18) and their parent. In the spirit of giving back, the nightly rate for the teenager will only be at 50% of the adult rate.

South Africa

This four-night set itinerary takes place at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve with guests staying at Phinda Vlei Lodge. Teens and parents will mingle with their peers the first afternoon followed by a game drive and a dinner where the hosts will lay out the program for the next few days. This program comprises:

  • Twice-daily game drives
  • rhino conservation experience and a chance to assist the Phinda Conservation Team
  • Bush walks to learn the art of tracking
  • Astronomy lessons and tips on navigating by the stars
  • Going behind the scenes at andBeyond’s Ranger Training School to get a taste of ranger training
  • Pangolin Conservation Experience to join researchers as they locate a pangolin that has been reintroduced to the reserve
  • Dinner under the stars with Zulu drummers
  • An Africa Foundation Community Trip into the communities surrounding andBeyond’s reserve to see the long-term collaboration between andBeyond and the people of the area
  • A final celebratory dinner Eco-guide Challenge certification and prize ceremony

Dates: October 18-22, 2022 and March 6-10, 2023

Size: Group of 6-12 total

Rate: ZAR 72,500 per person sharing (already including the 50% off rate for the teenager)


This four-night set itinerary takes place at andBeyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp. After an introduction to the group and a game drive, the Botswana Regional Trainer for andBeyond will host a dinner and outline the program, which will include:

  • Game drives
  • A nature walk to learn ancient bushmen skills such as hunting, identifying plants for medicinal uses, survival skills, and bushmen games
  • Sunset drinks on the delta learning about the waterways and fishing
  • Post-dinner stargazing
  • Meet with a wild dog research team and track and interact with the dogs
  • Assist the teams in elephant-proofing baobab trees
  • Tracking rhinos that were translocated from South Africa through the Rhinos Without Borders program
  • Join an interactive cooking competition with the lodge’s chefs
  • Teen-only sustainability audit at the lodge, engaging with different staff members to find out how the lodge is leaving a light footprint in the Delta
    • Adults have the morning at leisure
  • Finale Eco-guide Challenge award ceremony

Dates: October 22-26, 2022

Size: Group of 6-18

Rate: $6,500 (based on one adult and one teenager sharing a room)


This marine-conservation focused itinerary takes place at andBeyond Benguerra Island and is perfect for ocean-lovers. The program consists of:

  • An introductory PADI diving course and scuba sessions
  • Sunset dhow sailboat cruise
  • Dinners on the beach
  • Diving at 2-Mile Reef to learn about the fragile marine ecosystem
  • Picnic lunch on an island
  • Dinner with the conservation team from Oceans Without Borders to learn about efforts to protect the water
  • Choose either a half-day catch and release fishing experience or another diving/scuba adventure
  • Meet the local community on the island
  • Sandboard on the dunes
  • A finale prizegiving and certification dinner

Dates: October 10-14, 2022

Size: Group of 8

Rate: From $5,020 (based on one adult and one teenager sharing a room)


This five-night journey focuses on the Serengeti National Park (after one night in Arusha). Activities include:

  • Stay at andBeyond Klein’s Camp with its sweeping views over the plains
  • Game drives through the Serengeti and the private reserve on which Klein’s sits
  • A nature walk up the Kuka Hills behind the lodge for a 360-degree view of the Serengeti
  • Engaging with an andBeyond guide trainer and local children during a conservation lesson to teach the importance of conservation at a young age
  • Learning the art of animal tracking and wildlife and bird identification
  • An astronomy session
  • A visit to an authentic Maasai village to learn the daily customs of villagers and the delicate balance between people and wildlife in these remote locations
  • Visiting a vegetable garden to pick fresh produce for lunch
  • A bush dinner with Maasai warriors displaying their incredible jumping skills
  • Helping prepare a bush breakfast

Dates: March 5-10, 2023

Size: Group of 6-18

Rate: $4,755 (based on one adult and one teenager sharing a room)


This four-night itinerary at andBeyond Vira Vira focuses on conservation and local culture through activities such as:

  • Horseback riding on the ranch
  • Chilean barbecue
  • River activities such as a catch-and-release fishing competition, rafting, or rock climbing
  • Parents have one morning off while teens work on a sustainability audit of the lodge to understand how Vira Vira is leaving a light footprint, including a tour of the organic vegetable garden
  • A community visit to learn about the local Mapuche people and enjoy a ruka (traditional Maphuche house) and weaving tour
  • An interactive cooking competition aided by the chefs
  • A visit to Villarrica National Park for a lesson in wildlife and landscape photography as well as a birding challenge
  • A finale prize giving and certification dinner

Dates: October 3-7, 2022 and April 3-7, 2023

Size: Group of 6-12

Rate: From $3,465 (based on one adult and one teenager sharing a room)


Napa Valley’s Cabernet Season: Why Go Now

December 8th, 2021

On the heels of Napa Valley’s harvest is Cabernet Season, which stretches from November to April. During this time, visitors can get a taste of newly released cabernets while taking advantage of the region’s slower pace, lower hotel rates, wider access to winemakers,  and new tasting experiences. Not to mention, nabbing reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants has never been easier. Photo opps are also endless with brilliant swaths of mustard flowers popping up everywhere. Here’s a Napa Valley winter travel guide blending new and noteworthy.

This year marks the 12th annual Winter in the Wineries Passport program. For $60 per person, guests receive complimentary wine tastings at 14 participating wineries in Calistoga, Lake Country, Pope Valley, and St. Helena. Other perks include complimentary corkage at participating restaurants and discounts at Calistoga hotels, spas, and shops. Visitors who are especially interested in St. Helena should consider the “Little Book of Big Experiences” wine passport, a $75 purchase with an $800 value. That gets you wine and food pairings, tastes of rare-batch wines, and private wine tastings at 14 of Napa Valley’s top wineries.

While Napa Valley’s wineries are always a draw, keep in mind that the vines only account for nine percent of the county—in other words, there are plenty of other activities to do beyond wine tasting. With off-season temperatures hovering around the mid 60s, it’s an ideal time for getting outdoors, whether that means hiking the trails that crisscross the Mayacamas and the Vaca mountain ranges, biking the Napa Valley Vine Trail, or lacing up your sneakers for the Napa Valley Marathon on March 6, 2022. Don’t miss a walk through the Napa Rail Arts District. Inspired by Wynwood in Miami,  the two-mile stretch of murals turned forgotten outdoor spaces into large-scale works of art.

No cool-weather visit to Napa Valley is complete without a warming spa therapy in the town of Calistoga – originally built around abundant, natural hot springs. Detox at the new outdoor treatment rooms at Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort & Spa or opt for the signature mud bath treatment at Four Seasons Napa Valley, which opened in November 2021.

America’s premier wine region not only lures visitors with its stunning vineyards and Michelin-starred cuisine, but also with its selection of accommodations – where the fireplace rivals the pool as the must-have amenity. The best rates can be found now through March enticing guests to stay longer and experience boundless activities. A selection of offers include third night free at Carneros Resort & Spa, Vista Collina Resort, Silverado Resort, Solage, an Auberge Resort, and River Terrace Inn while at Milliken Creek, Lavender Inn, Maison Fleurie and Estate at Yountville, travelers can enjoy 30 percent off two nights or more.


Why falconry should be your new favorite hobby

December 3rd, 2021

Falconry is certainly not a new fad. In fact, it dates back to 2,500 BC and is the oldest form of assisted hunting known to man. That said, it is new to many, especially Americans visiting the British Isles where falconry has remained a country house pastime for over a thousand years. If Alice, Pickles, and Alvin can’t convert Dromoland Castle guests into falconry enthusiasts, then head falconer Dave Atkinson certainly can.

Dave has created an incredible, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria-accredited mews filled with Peregrine falcons, hawks, and owls (including those beloved individuals named above). Guests go on “hawk walks” with Dave and learn about the history of falconry and get to experience the unique thrill of a bird of prey swooping low to the ground, wings spread, and alighting on their raised (and gloved) hand. Dave is a font of knowledge (not only about the birds, but also about local rock-climbing spots and surf breaks). He has been a passionate falconer since training his first sparrow hawk at the age of nine.

More recently, falconry has been tied to sustainability efforts. Like many other creatures, falcons have been increasingly threatened by habitat loss, scarcity of prey, and climate change. Falconers have long been advocates for sustainability as a means to protect these birds of prey (some of the world’s earliest avian conservation laws date back to the 14th century and were put in place to protect birds of prey). Since the 1970s when people began to notice raptor population decline, falconers have been some of the loudest voices in the conservation effort.

For a pop culture tie-in, The Rolling Stones can also thank falconry for one of their hits. Along with sharing some history about the pastime, Dave also shares the many words and phrases that are in our vernacular that come from falconry such as hoodwinked, haggard, being wrapped around one’s little finger, being fed up, being a boozer and of course, being under one’s thumb.

About Dromoland Castle

Set on 450 acres of parkland with 97 rooms and suites, Dromoland Castle dates back to the 16th century when it was home of the O’Brien family, whose lineage dates back 1,000 years to Brian Boru, one of the last High Kings of Ireland. Converted to a hotel in the 1960s, Dromoland Castle exhibits the best of its regal Irish heritage.

Rates at Dromoland Castle start at $352.