Happy New Year! Some travel ideas and inspiration to warm your heart!

The planet is changing, with temperatures on the rise. As a travel business—and travelers ourselves—we are a part of this reality. We have a responsibility to mitigate our environmental impact, both in the way we operate and the way we help you explore our beautiful, fragile planet.

Travel is an immense privilege, and it should always be done with respect for the environment and local communities. When done properly, with care, thought, and compassion, it can be a force for good—but all travel needs to take this approach.

There’s no quick fix for the planet, but there’s no planet B either, and we have to act now if we’re to have any meaningful impact. By taking steps to travel more responsibly, we can do more for our planet in 2024.

~Cindi’s Group Trips for 2024 2025 2026~


New!! Just added: Svalbard June 3-10 2025 7nts to from Longyearbyen.  Pricing starting at: twin porthole $5950.00 per person on up.

M/V Plancius North Spitsbergen Explorer – Versatile landscapes, sea ice & wildlife

This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen’s visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and many opportunities to spot whales, polar bears, seabirds, walruses, and other such wildlife. Enjoy the fantastically beautiful landscapes, adventurous landings, and shoreline hikes.


Papua New Guinea: 10nts ~ Milne Bay aboard Oceania Liveaboard, February 6-16 2025 Group Trip~ Space available, this is a fabulous trip!!!

Mobulas and Orcas, Sea of Cortez, Mexico, June 14-21 2025 Group Trip-sold out


Kalimantan (11 Days/10 Nights), Damai 2 Liveaboard Scuba Diving, May 25-June 4 2026 Group Trip New! Very excited to finally dive this part of Indonesia! Space available!

CHAD: March dates to be advised


Some travel inspiration for 2024 and beyond!

In need of some sun and warmth? 😊 Have a look below:

Seychelles~ Alphones Island resort: Another secret from May 1-Sept 30 is the stay 7/pay 5 time. You will love me forever! This is the most sublime, out there place you can be with off the charts pristine diving!


French Polynesia: Book ahead as this place fills fast! Best diving on Rangiroa & Fakarava- Lots of options

For you! https://www.divediscovery.com/tahiti/divetours/tuamotos-diving-package.php

And humpback whale swims from July through October, we need to book now!

Sardine Run~ South Africa, we can book this now for  mid June to end of July. Then add on a safari! https://www.divediscovery.com/south-africa/divetours/sardine-run.php

WHALES!!! Hurry we have some space for Humpback whale swims in Silver Bank for this:

~ Mar 23-30: ten spaces total in Standard (6 sp) and Deluxe Twin (4 sp) Cabins

~ Mar 30-Apr 6: four spaces total in Deluxe Queen Cabins

San Ignacio Mexico- Gray whale love! Various dates still available https://www.divediscovery.com/mexico/divetours/san-ignacio-pacific-gray-whales.php

Socorro~ limited space for 2024- March, May & June. Best big animal diving, always a surprise to be had!

Italy!!! YES my grandparents are from Italy, I have been many times. I have a fabulous operator who offers off t

OFF The beaten path ‘real Italy’ just how I love it!

A different approach to the normal overcrowded, over loved places. This is for people who have been to!

Italy before and looking for a more authentic experience. to small hidden villages and borghi* where people still carry on ancient tradition, food recipes and timeless life-style practices still unknown to mass tourism.


The Luxury of Africa


Africa does have a heart and a soul. It exudes warmth and energy, a primal spirit of being on the sharp edge of nature in a way that few other places worldwide can. Everyone knows what I say, “There is NO place like Africa!”

Sure, we survive in market crashes, pandemics or election cycles, but here,

the savannas are awash with survival and the lessons of how to survive!

The most gratifying comment I hear repeatedly, “I had no idea!” No idea how profound an experience on a safari would be. This is the Luxury of Africa!

Whether it’s the Maasai Mara in peak season, summer on the Serengeti, or Maccu Picchu, over-tourism has become one of the biggest issues in travel. But with careful planning and a little flexibility, it can be avoided.
The first option is choosing a different place entirely.

Instead of a safari in Kenya or South Africa  consider Zambia or Botswana, where the footfall is much less, and many wildlife experiences are similar.

The other option is choosing the right time to travel. The Maasai Mara in Kenya and Tanzania’s Ngorongoro are spectacular destinations worth visiting—just not in peak season (July to August) when traveler numbers reach saturation point.  Instead, travel in the shoulder (or, as we like to say, Secret) season with fewer people and better prices. Here are a few examples:

Kenya: May, early June, and October-November

Tanzania: October-November to March for the Northern Circuit

South Africa Greater Kruger in May as well as other wonderful safari reserves.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda: Many travelers avoid gorilla trekking during the low seasons of March to May and November primarily because they can’t endure the rains that make environments unnavigable. However, we think trekking mountain gorillas during the rains is better because the low season has many advantages. Less expensive flights, discounts on accommodations, more space, less crowds, and available permits! Cooler temps, and gorillas forage  on lower slopes as more fruit near buffer zone! All bonuses!

For those of you I have planned safaris for, you know my ‘secret’ is to travel in the shoulder season of May in Southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia!) After the rains have ended, before the cold of winter begins, as well as High Season pricing!

Others are catching on, now would be the time to plan a safari for 2025 for May travel!

Instead of busy destinations, visit lesser-known areas, such as Zambia, and take a walking safari.

One of my favorite small safari companies, with extremely genius owner-guides, as well as guide trainers; they work with photographers in a big way. Simple camps, the way it all began. Real Africa!

Here is a sample below- of course we customize all safaris to meet guests time lines, needs and desires and level of accommodations.


Zambia’s parks are blessed with low visitor numbers, as such they never have too many vehicles at sightings, and most times none at all!

Sample luxury:

We customize all trips, length of time, level of comfort, specific interests or simply wanting to be in the ‘bush’!



Other magical places in Africa:

Madagascar! We have some fantastic well priced scheduled departure in the best areas to see many types of lemurs, as well as scuba diving off Nosy Be, however our NEWEST find is Ils St Marie: https://www.africa-discovery.com/madagascar/safaris/ils-sainte-marie-beach-package.php

Combines well with: https://www.africa-discovery.com/madagascar/safaris/1000-views-madagascar-safari.php

See our page with many options: https://www.africa-discovery.com/madagascar/

Soon to come, my trip report from Dominica with our EPIC Sperm Whale Swim trip 2 weeks ago!!! Check back on our website for Trip Reports, you don’t want to miss this 🙂

For 2024, I wish you all profound journeys!

Happy New year from the team of Dive & Africa Discovery Travel!

Cindi LaRaia

email us for information

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AUGUST SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2023 ~ Dive & Africa Discovery Travel

AUGUST SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2023 ~ Dive & Africa Discovery Travel

24 August 2023

I hope Summer has been great and you have had some wonderful family and friends time together! I just returned from an extraordinary trip to Kenya & Tanzania with a group of 7.

I have to say, it was one of the very best wildlife experiences I have had!

It has been a long time since I was in Kenya and it was truly remarkable.

Tanzania was equally beautiful in Tarangire National Park as well as Central Serengeti with all the big cats. Trip report coming soon; I have not even started to look at images
off my dslr camera yet and what I posted on Instagram and Facebook were all from my i-phone!!!

We have some ideas and inspiration for diving and Africa!

Continue reading …

Dive and Africa Discovery Holiday Newsletter 2023

HAPPY NEW YEAR to 2023!!

What was the best part of 2022 for you?

We have some tasty temptations for you with Scuba Diving Adventures and Africa Safaris! Get OUT of the incessant rain out west and freezing cold and snow everywhere else!


Humpback whales of the Silver Banks!

End of January to early April

We have space in the top Whale Season dates from End of January through beginning of April! Check with me asap this is a fantastic trip to snorkel face to face with these gentle beautiful giants! Listen to the singing males entice the females with love songs!

San Ignacio Luxury Glamping ~ Kiss a Gray Whale baby and Mama!!!

End of January to early April

Lots of love to go around here!

You have not lived until you have these gorgeous loving whales blow into your face!! Giggling madly as they turn and look at you!! You can touch their Baleen also! They love it! Mama’s bring the babies to the boats for love!!!

Space in camps from end of January to early April!

Ojo de Liebre Camping ~ Fly in gray whale trips beginning in San Diego to Laguna Ojo de Liebre

Once again offering 4, 5, 6 & 8 day gray whale trips, flying to Guerrero Negro.

Flight time is only a couple hours. So smooth!

Departures & end dates can be arranged any Monday, Wednesday or Friday.                   *some space is still remaining if you are ready to go!!!

Accommodation - Gray Whale Watching at Laguna Ojo de Liebre, Mexico

INDONESIA, May 21-30 2023 group trip, all Raja Ampat & Misool~Dive Damai 2

Cindi has space in Master cabin 6 or a lovely twin share, double cabin!

Join me on this trip.

Look at this beautiful boat!

RED SEA ~ New Red Sea Aggressor IV

3 great itineraries! Starting March 4 through April 29 2023 don’t miss this wonderful special starting at 899.00 per person!

We also offer fantastic land tours in Egypt; Cairo and Nile Cruise,

marvel at the antiquities from long ago!

It is TIME to go!!!

Something very different, Columbia- diving the wild waters of Malpelo on the Ferox! Not for the feint of heart! Thousands of hammerheads, silkie sharks and more!

If you are a shark lover, this is a must do!!

Your adventure awaits!

South Australia Great White Sharks~ The BIG ONES are here!

Winter/Spring:  The Giant Great White females come to the Neptune Islands

(which for us in the Northern Hemisphere is June thru November).

Summer/Autumn: The days are warm and long, the male Great Whites are circling

fur seals and sea lions! (December thru May).

We can combine a super fun Great white shark trip on the liveaboard which are from

3 to 5nts long as well as;  9 dive days on location with a variety of dive sites

showcasing the underwater wonders of South Australia, including Hopkins Islands,

for the playful Australian sea lions.  Kangaroo Island, for weedy sea dragons and stunning reef, often with dolphins, and local jetty dives to observe the rare and beautifully ornate leafy sea dragon.

Great White Shark Cage Diving, South Australia

INDONESIA ~ Kalimaya! A new dive resort on the edges of Komodo National park, on the island of Sumbawa. This is a gem, I love this area for diving!!

It’s a 5 star PADI resort, owned and operated by professional divers!

No other resorts in this area, super remote and the best of the best in this area!

Many of us have dived Komodo many times. You will recognize these amazing sights: Sangean Volcano, black sand and bubbles. Gili Banta, high voltage and mantas!

West Komodo, current and pelagics! Something for everyone here!

Baja Mexico! The best of:

Snorkel: with sharks, orcas, whales, whalesharks, humpback whales, mobulas you name it. The seasons tell the story, something different comes in with each passing month!

Dive: Cabo Pulmo with Bull sharks, and thousands of fish! Lapaz with whalesharks, mobulas and more! The Sea of Cortez remains The Aquarium of the World, words from Jacques Cousteau! It’s a water paradise!

We can arrange liveaboard diving, snorkel trips with the top operators in the area, and scuba dive land based in Cabo Marine Park and Cabo Pulmo!

Also Day trips all over for sea kayaking in sea of Cortez, swim with sea lions, hike in the Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve! The Reserve is home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal life and up to 30% of species are endemic. Stay in Todos Santos with our partner and enjoy all these wonderful day trips and more!!

Papua New Guinea ~ Raw adventure in the highlands with a rare look into festival & Ceremony called Bingla Ingu!

Not seen since 1979, not the commercial festivals that have been well marketed such as in Garoka, Mt Hagen, Rabaul Mask festival etc.

This is new, brought back to life from my partner in the highlands of PNG from her people, her language her tribe.

July & September of 2024.

It will combine well with the other festivals for extended cultural visits.

The festival is funded by European Union – SPC Cultural Grants.

Our New Festival Product is called Sipuu-Waa (Simbu) Cultural Festival.

The Festival will include the Bigla Ingu Festival ( Pig Killing & Food Ceremonial Exchanges in the Simbu province), Tumbuna Pasin Show, Kids Traditional Festival and Bilums and Bilas Festivals and you will see the main arena Singsing and Dance.

For those of you who love PNG ‘ The land of the Unexpected’ with its magnificent diving and outstanding culture, you will want to know more about this.

Its Real and Raw.

Some images from last month’s festival! I have videos and load of images just sent to me! Let me know, it’s pretty spectacular! I will have this up on our website soon.


Africa has so much to offer. For those who have been to Tanzania and Kenya;

now maybe time to venture southward to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe & Namibia! Each of these countries have so much to offer, all unique and different!

Budgets for all.

Have you ever locked eyes with a gorilla? There are not only mountain gorillas, but lowland gorillas! Did you know that? The main difference between lowland and mountain gorillas is the lowland gorillas have lighter and shorter hair whereas Mountain gorillas are darkly colored with much thicker longer fur.

We offer lowland gorilla trips in Gabon & Congo.

Uganda and Rwanda have the mountain gorillas.

Which is which?

For those of you who have been all over Africa;

something very unique is waiting for you if you can go this March!

CHAD- It’s definitely a whole new experience!!!

Zakouma National Park- ask for details.

It’s not too late to plan an Africa Safari for this year- 2023! We have time!

Southern Africa is best from April- May through to November!

East Africa is best from July thru to end of October!

This is the epic migration time!

We custom create the best areas based on time and budget.

So many camps and lodges to for every budget!

West Africa~ for those who love love culture;

it is THE most epic place for so many dancing, masks and festivals, it will make you dizzy!!

Wonderful driving itineraries with our partner who has trail blazed this entire side

of West Africa for 40 years!

Ghana, Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau the list goes on!

Even a 58 day Trans Sahara and West Africa for those with time!

Or pick out segments to join!

Its truly inspiring and you will never experience anything like this!!

Click the email us button below to get more information on one/many of these

awe inspiring adventures.


A word from Cindi:

“Make everyday count, tomorrow is not promised!

Get out there, dream big & live like there is NO tomorrow!!!”

Cheers and Joy from the Dive and Africa Discovery Team!

Cindi LaRaia

Email us

Dive Discovery
655 Irwin St Suite B #1030, San Rafael, CA 94901
phone: 1-800-886-7321, (415) 444-5100

Angola, Namibia & Botswana Expedition, 12 Nights


NEW itinerary- just added to our website!

Angola, Namibia & Botswana Expedition, 12 Nights

Angola is a large, developing country that borders Zambia, Namibia,
the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Congo.
Largely closed off for the last few years, it’s an almost mythical destination and
one of the continent’s most diverse.

The landscapes range from beautiful beaches on the coast and pristine tracts of miombo woodland and open floodplains in the southeast, to highland plateaus, jungles and vast lakes and rivers.

2020 will see the launch of our new flying safaris to Angola.
The first trips of their kind, each will be tailor-made to suit all interests but most will follow the paths of the rivers that feed the Okavango and Kwando river systems from their sources in the Angolan Highlands to the Okavango Delta in Botswana and finally,
to the sands of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.

The Source to the Sands is a 12-night itinerary and the ultimate Angolan expedition.
It begins with three nights in a simple mobile camp in the source lakes regions of the Angolan Highlands, in the company of National Geographic explorers and scientists,
followed by two nights in the Cubango Reserve, which straddles both the Cuatir and Cubango rivers, and a day trip to the Cuito Cuanavale battlefields.
From there, it’s into Namibia to spend two nights on Nkasa Island in Nkasa Rupara National Park, then across the border into the Okavango Delta for three nights.
This epic journey ends in the Makgadikgadi where the waters dissipate into the sands at Meno a Kwena camp on the fringes of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

A safari to Angola is not about seeing the Big Five.
It’s a conservation journey through raw Africa where nothing is premeditated or orchestrated. The country is one of Africa’s most remote and little-known wilderness areas and the future of some of the most iconic wildlife areas, the Okavango Delta and the Lower Zambezi in particular, depends on the Angolan Highlands and what is done to protect them as the country rapidly industrializes, post-civil war.

ImageCOST: from $20,500 per person on sharing basis
This itinerary is fully customizable based on the number of people and travel dates.

To be a part of this adventure expedition or to get more details,
click the email us button below
or click the link above.

Email us


Africa Discovery
P.O. Box 9807
San Rafael, CA 94925

Stay 9, Pay 6. Botswana Green Season Jan-Mar 2020

Botswana green season

Botswana Green Season

9 Night Machaba Special

Stay 9, Pay 6
An extraordinary value!!

3 nights at Machaba Camp – Luxury Tent
Machaba, in the game rich Khwai area of the eastern Okavango Delta, overlooks the Moremi Game Reserve.
Nestled within the riverine vegetation along the Khwai River,
the camp boasts on-going game sightings due to its prime setting.
Meandering forest pathways link to the open-plan, tented main camp ideal for socializing or dining while absorbing the picturesque scenery. A pool, set to one side of the camp, affords welcome relief during warm days.
Activities include morning and afternoon game drives (off roading and night drives permitted), visits to the local community and short mokoro excursions. Guided walks are subject to the availability of a qualified walking guide.

3 nights at Gomoti Plains Camp – Luxury Tent
This extraordinarily beautiful area is home to large herds of buffalo, a healthy lion population and the largest population of giraffe in Botswana.
Offering both land and water activities, guests may enjoy game drives, walking (guide dependent), birding, boat and mokoro excursions (water – levels dependent). Due to its position on a game path, there is the added excitement of animals wandering through the camp. Perhaps cool off in the camp pool, when not on game experiences.

3 nights at Ngoma Safari Lodge – Suite
Located within the Chobe Forest Reserve, bordering the Chobe National Park,
Ngoma Safari Lodge commands panoramic views over the Chobe River and Caprivi floodplain.
Between exciting game drives through Chobe, night drives in the Forest Reserve concession, and cultural interactions, unwind on sundecks or viewing decks, keeping an eye out for the large herds of elephant and buffalo for which Chobe is world-renowned.
The lodge was developed together with the community and has a direct and positive impact on this community.

2020 pricing:
USD $4875.00 per person sharing
No single supplement

Valid Jan 11 – Mar 31, 2020

Click the email us button below to get more information or to book this beautiful Green Season Special.

Email us

Botswana green season

Africa Discovery
P.O. Box 9807
San Rafael, CA 94925

Namibia Green Season 2020- up to 40% off


Namibia Green Season
Why to travel during Green Season?!

1. Winter Sun. Escape the damp and dismal northern hemisphere winters, and enjoy warm sunny summer days with average min/max temperatures of 17/29 ºC.

2. Avoid the crowds (a relative term in Namibia) of the high season and ensure you can stay at the venues proposed with the true feeling of Namibian peace and solitude.

3. When and if it rains, enjoy short spectacular afternoon thundershowers which only last an hour or so.  This is great to watch and rarely causes any great inconvenience.

4. It is the best time from a weather perspective to explore Namibia’s Skeleton Coast.

5. Experience the ‘season of bounty’, with a green and flowering desert when all forms of life look strong and healthy.

6. Observe the calving season for most antelope species and the resulting heightened activity among predators.

7. Look out for spectacular birding opportunities with many migratory species flocking in to enjoy this time of warmth and abundance.

8. Look out for antelope species which also tend to congregate in larger herds at this time of the year, allowing for great wildlife photography.

9. Breathe the air which is crisp and clean as the rain has generally cleared the dust in the air, allowing for great landscape photography.

10. Enjoy the cloud cover which diffuses the otherwise harsh light conditions and makes the country look truly benevolent, especially when there is also some grass after the early rains.

11. Share the excitement and enjoyment of the Namibian people when they welcome the rains that ensure future good grazing as well as plentiful wild fruit and other natural treasures.


“Green Season” is between mid-January to the end of March 2020.
Because this is considered the “rainy season” and off season,
crowds are less and prices are reduced to up to 40%.

Here are some select destinations that are especially exciting
to visit during the Green Season!


2 nights Desert Hills Lodge
2 nights Strand Hotel
3 nights Camp Kipwe
1 night Okaukuejo Resort
3 nights Mushara Lodge
2 nights Okonjima Bush Camp

Green season cost: $3464.00 per person twin share
(High season cost is $4914.00)


1 night Strand Hotel
3 nights Shipwreck Lodge
3 nights Hoanib Valley Camp

Green season cost: $7105.00 per person twin share
(High season cost is $11,064.00)


3 nights Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (with ballooning)
3 nights Mowani Mountain Camp
3 nights Ongava Tented Camp

Green season cost: $8237.00 per person twin share
(High season cost is $11,614.00)


3 nights Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (with ballooning)
3 nights Shipwreck Lodge
3 nights Ongava Tented Camp

Green season cost: $10,266.00 per person twin share
(High season cost is $14,907.00)

*** price based on 2 people

Why not experience the Namibian Summer (Green Season) and get the deal of the year?

For additional information or to book one of these Namibia adventures,

Email us

Namibia green season

Africa Discovery
P.O. Box 9807
San Rafael, CA 94925