An Update from the WIT Blog

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At Willamette Intl Travel, our agents are working to accommodate the needs of our clients in this time of crisis. We’re getting people home, rebooking canceled travel plans, and providing personalized customer service.

If you’re a client and need to rebook your travel plans, please reach your travel agent at 503-224-0180. We have a 24/7 emergency service for clients in need. Thank you for your support and patience as we process client requests.

In our 40-year track record, we’ve responded to many travel emergencies over the years, so we’re trained in the art of crisis management. It means everything if we can offer our clients a sense of order and peace of mind in these times of confusion. As individuals who live and breathe travel, we fully empathize and understand the concerns that many of you are currently experiencing. Your safety and well-being are of paramount importance to us.

If you are calling about new travel plans, please be aware that airlines and many other vendors have closed or have limited availability through April 30. However, if you’re looking to travel after April 30, we look forward to discussing your trip plans with you.

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Photo by Kehn Hermano on Pexels.com

Here at the WIT Blog, we’ll be suspending blog posts until further notice to help reduce the number of emails in your inbox.   

Feel free to use this time to reconnect with yourself, family, friends, pets, nature, online shopping, and turn off the computer 😊  

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

To tide you over until the crisis clears, here is some light reading: 

Dogs Can Do Social Distancing, Too

Baby Elephant Rescue (Photos)

10 of the Best Travel Shows on Netflix Right Now

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Travel News: New Overwater Bungalows in the Bahamas, and More

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It’s been quite a whirlwind of travel news lately, but hopefully things will clear up soon. In this week’s travel news, we have a few lighthearted and cheery updates to share:

New Ride At Universal Studios Hollywood – The Secret Life of Pets

A new ride based on The Secret Life of Pets films will open at Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles on March 27. The new attraction. called The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash, it will feature 64 animated figures along with voices from the actors in the films. Riders will be seated within vehicles resembling cardboard boxes, like the box in which Max is found as a puppy. Passengers will travel along a track as if they were stray puppies, heading towards the Pet Adoption event in New York and the happy ending of ‘forever homes’. Visitors can also use the park’s Virtual Line technology which enables them to join the ride based on the next available time.

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Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com

Air New Zealand Unveils Beds In Economy Cabin

Good news for long-haul flights to New Zealand! Air New Zealand is planning to install beds in its economy class cabins on long-haul flights. The airline operates some of the world’s longest flights, such as the upcoming Auckland to New York service, which will take up to 17 hours and 40 minutes.

Banyan Tree to Open Resort With Overwater Bungalows In The Bahamas

Luxury resort brand Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts is coming to The Bahamas! The new Banyan Tree Bahamas on the island of Bimini. The new project, designed by renowned architect Chad Oppenheim, will be the first-ever resort in The Bahamas to feature overwater bungalows. The property will consist of 50 keys and 54 luxury residences. All of the hotel suites will come with private terraces and plunge pools, with hotel amenities including a signature Banyan Tree Spa and a series of curated events like music series and oceanside meditation gatherings. 

Reading for the Plane

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Photo by @Lodophotos on Pexels.com

5 Ways To Explore Ireland This Year

Is Gothenburg Europe’s Greenest City

The adoration of Ghent: art, history and flavours in Flanders

Why Georgia is one of the world’s most underrated skiing destinations

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Photo by Rudolf Kirchner on Pexels.com

In other news: 

Group Tours Banned From Amsterdam Red-Light District Windows

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Tanzania 2020 – Serengeti

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Christina and John recently returned from their biannual trip to Africa! Every year, they escort a small group of clients through countries from Kenya and Tanzania to Namibia and South Africa.

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From two spectacular safari days in Ngorongoro Crater, the group continues on to the Serengeti with Unique Safaris. A few days of game drives take them to Central and Southern Serengeti.

Central Serengeti

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After a final early game drive through the Crater, the group cut through on the Western Rim Road to Serengeti National Park. They’ll spend a few days getting to know the central Serengeti including the Sametu Kopjes, the Maasai, Simba and Moru Kopjes as well as the Seronera River Valley. 

Unique Safaris carefully arranges trips to coincide with the wildebeest calving season and herds that follow the rain clouds. The grasslands also attract zebras, elephants and antelopes – and with them, the predators.

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Central Serengeti is a protected area of around 12K sq mi, renowned for its wildlife. Around 70 large mammal and 500 bird species live in its diverse swamps, kopjes, grasslands, and woodlands. It’s also renowned as a being the home to the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo and black rhino. 

Christina and John’s game drive started from the main ranger gate through the various kopjes to Sametu Camp arriving in the late afternoon at Sametu Camp. Their drivers hug the backroads so as to avoid most of the vehicles and glimpse more wildlife!

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Southern Serengeti

The South part of Serengeti is a fragile grass habitat attracting pregnant females, Thomson gazelles and cheetah who love to prey on gazelles. The grass is rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all essential nutrients for pregnant wildebeest.

This time of year, it’s common to see around 750,000 pregnant females–a swarm migration that welcomes 10,000 births per day and 6 weeks of calving.

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This area is a bit less restrictive with off-road driving, so there is some flexibility to follow interesting wildlife. During these next two days we will have a chance to visit a number of key areas in the southern plains, including Lake Ndutu, Lake Masek, the Kusini Plains, the Moru Kopjes, and possibly Hidden Valley.

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Lake Manyara

As the group left Serengeti, the drive paid a visit to the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, stopping along the way to visit Olduvai Gorge, the site of Louis and Mary Leakey’s famous archaeological discoveries. 

At the end of the journey awaits Lake Manyara, the 7th largest body of water in Tanzania. This soda alkaline lake in the East African Rift is often populated with healthy flocks of flamingos.

Next time: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK

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