Now that the weather is getting a little colder, it's time to think about where you want to go on your next ElderTreks adventure!
How about down south?
Cuba is a country in transition. In just the last few years there have been dramatic changes with small 'c' capitalism sweeping the country in ways that are changing the social and economic landscape to the point where some wonder if the Cuba of old will cease to exist in a few years. With borders opening up, a new relationship with the U.S, and the influx of new ideas and resources, much of what makes Cuba unique as a result of its former isolation may disappear.
Now really is the time to see 'authentic Cuba' before it changes.
Cuba is so much more than just its political history or its beaches - it is a country with a unique culture, rich history, warm and hospitable people, and a natural beauty that sets it apart in the world. And ElderTreks can take you there.
We make it our mission to deliver an authentic Cuban experience, having operated our insider tours to Cuba for over 11 years. On our trips, you'll experience the vibrant and colourful history of Havana, visit Hemmingway's old stomping grounds, have the chance to shop at private and local markets, and see first-hand the social programs that Cuba provides for its seniors and children. You'll visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Biosphere Reserves (Cuba is home to some of the planet's most diverse flora and fauna), and of course the historic sites that represent pivotal points in Cuba's political history.
© Mark Scott Johnson
But beyond the tour itself, it is our tour leader who makes all the difference, and Alex Nodarse, who has led our groups for over 7 years, is exceptional.
Raised in Havana where he earned his Biology degree, Alex brings more than just his expertise as a guide - he invites you into his life, sharing his own personal relationships with the Cuban people you will meet - guaranteeing you a glimpse of the country most visitors don't have the chance to experience.
With an ElderTreks trip to Cuba, you'll come home with more than just a tan!
Change happens quickly, so make 2014 the year to experience Cuba beyond just its beaches! Spaces are still available for our February 8th and 22nd trips but are filling up fast. See more details here.
If you really want to head south, now is the time to save on select Antarctic voyages that could save you thousands of dollars on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. But the deadline for booking these incredible last minute deals is November 22, 2013, so act fast! Call us at 1(800)741-7956 for more details.
This month, ElderTreks president Gary Murtagh has been touring with our Kingdoms of South Africa group, and while there the group paid a visit to the De Wildt Cheetah Centre where he met Zorro. And it turns out Gary is a 'cat person', because he adopted Zorro on behalf of Eldertreks and the Kingdoms of South Africa tour he joined.
The De Wildt Centre, recently renamed the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre after its founder, has been a leader in the study and preservation of cheetahs since its establishment in 1971. Having successfully bred over 800 cubs in their sanctuary, the Centre is instrumental in helping maintain what are rapidly dwindling cheetah populations in South Africa. In fact, numbers are estimated at less than 1000, only half of which roam free in the wild.
Balancing wildlife preservation along with human needs is a challenge, to which there are no simple solutions, especially when it comes down to a choice between a farmer feeding his family or killing a wild cat. This is where the Centre's research and partnerships have already helped: De Wildt has partnered with another South African program that raises Anatolian shepherd dogs that are used to help farmers protect their livestock from cheetah attacks. Using these natural guard dogs to protect livestock has reduced losses to predators from between 95 and 100%. Which means there is no need for farmers to kill cheetahs in order to protect their livelihood.
© Jon Mountjoy
As a tour operator, we take our responsibility to sustainable travel seriously, and by adopting Zorro, these funds help contribute to the Centre's ongoing breeding and preservation initiatives, not only with cheetahs, but also other endangered species. It's one more way ElderTreks gives back.
For more information on the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, click here.
Right now if you book select departures for 2014 - 2015, you could SAVE up to $1800!
Why not take advantage by planning now for your next great adventure, and save 15 - 20%?
For a complete list of trips that are available, click here.
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Like you, we love sharing our travel experiences with others, so why not visit us on Facebook where you can get daily travel tidbits, keep up to date with what we're doing, and learn about some of our fabulous contests. Just click here, and 'Like' our page.
Itís time for our annual Photo Contest on now until January 15, 2014. Submit up to 5 of your favourite photos from your travels, and you could WIN $1500 towards a future ElderTreks tour! Learn more here.
Here are some of our past submissions to help inspire you.
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