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

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