23-Nights Wildlife of the World by Private Jet - Private Jet
$99995 per person
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always been and remains the Eternal City.
Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world. With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory began.
Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.
Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short, precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.
Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left in a safety deposit box in your hotel.
Shopping For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles, designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente, open in the late afternoon on Sundays.
Cuisine Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria, you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.
Other Sights Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the sights not to be missed:
Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as a symbol of Italy’s unification.
The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.
Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.
Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.
St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square. In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.
St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days. As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow. It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely you may have to wait in line to enter.View Full Itinerary
One of Asia's great economic successes, Singapore has fused diverse cultures into one dynamic nation. Behind high-tech industries and high-rise buildings lives a society with an ingrained sense of conservative Confucian values. Beneath the westernized modernity beats a totally Asian heart. Strong beliefs center around extended families, filial piety, discipline, respect and Asian work ethics. Singapore’s name, meaning "Lion City," can be traced to the 13th century, and today there is the mythical Merlion, half-lion, half-fish, standing guard at the mouth of the Singapore River as the symbol of Singapore. A recent advertising campaign billed Singapore as "A Fine City."View Full Itinerary
The holiday resort of Nosy Be has colonial French atmosphere galore. Nearby is the island of Nosy Komba and its free-spirited lemurs.View Full Itinerary
Phinda Game Reserve
This private game reserve was formed along the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park - one of Africa's most ecologically diverse regions. Its variety renders it perfect for an escape of luxury and adventure. Catch a glimpse of Zulu life, past and present by visiting a traditional cultural village aligned to the Phinda reserve. In addition to vehicle game viewing where leopards are often seen, go rhino tracking on foot in this reserve. Watch turtles laying their eggs on a remote beach and dive amongst them on the coral reefs. Hippos inhabit ancient waterways and canoeing past them can be quite a thrill. Even horse riding is an option.View Full Itinerary
For a small island, Sri Lanka has many nicknames: Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient. This colorful collection reveals its richness and beauty, and the intensity of the affection it evokes in its visitors. Head for the rolling hills to escape the heat of the plains in the cool of tea plantations. The entire island is teeming with bird life, and exotics like elephants and leopards are not uncommon. To top it all off, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and costs are low. Marco Polo considered Sri Lanka the finest island of its size in all the world, and after exploring the country's fabled delights visitors will agree. The coastal stretch south of Colombo offers palm-lined sandy expanses as far as the eye can see. Try the Kandyan dances, a procession of elephants or the masked devil dances. Find enough ancient and inspiring architecture in the cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to satisfy the inner archaeologist.View Full Itinerary
Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 AD by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha clan, the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh. The pink color was used at the time of making to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of Mughal cities - and repainted in 1876, during the visit of the Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and the adventurous visitor willing to go into the inner lanes can discover a whole new world not visible to the tourist-in-a-hurry.View Full Itinerary
Ranthambore National Park
The Ranthambhore National Park stretches across an area of 1,334 sq km on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert. Once the hunting grounds of the erstwhile ruling family of Jaipur, today it is one of the last sanctuaries of the big cat, the Royal Bengal Tiger. Ranthambore actually consist of not one, but three, wildlife preserves: the Ranthambore National Park itself, the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary and the Keladevi Sanctuary. Ranthambore is an oasis of dense dry deciduous forests amidst a vast tract of semi arid scrub and thorny desert vegetation surrounded by the hills of the Vindhyas and the Aravalis. An ancient fort lies within the park boundaries of Ranthambore, adding to its charm. Ravines, nallahs, water bodies and waterfalls add to its beauty and offer many natural hideouts for tigers and the other wildlife endemic to this park. Part of Project Tiger (one of Asia's most important conservation efforts), Ranthambore is the favorite haunt of wildlife buffs and professional wildlife photographers from around the world who come to see tigers, panthers, wild cats, hyena, jackal, marsh crocodile, wild boar, bears, many species of deer and a rich birdlife of over 300 species, including the great Indian horned owl. Ranthambore encompasses three lakes: Raj Bagh, Malik Talab and Padam Talab, where aquatic birds can be seen.View Full Itinerary
The island of Borneo is the third-largest island in the world. It is divided among Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, and known by different names: Borneo, Brunei and Kalimantan, to name a few. Borneo is comprised primarily of dense areas of rain forest and mountainous regions, with significant river and cave systems. It has among the most diverse flora in the world, with nearly 11,000 species of flowering plants and 700 species of trees recorded to date. Borneo is home to unique wildlife and endangered species, making this destination a paradise for nature lovers. Borneo also offers many adventurous outdoor activities such as scuba diving, caving, adventure treks, mountain climbing, rafting and more.View Full Itinerary
Even in the best of times, Kigali, Rwanda's capital city, didn't have much for visitors to do, other than visiting its food market in the town center, enjoying the views (the city is built on a series of steep hills) or taking a walk.
These days, the market again bustles with activity. However, prices of imported goods are very high in this landlocked capital, where almost everything, apart from local produce, must be flown in or shipped from the distant coast. Visitors can buy local arts and crafts in Caplaki, a tourist market.
The city's most compelling and disturbing landmark is the Gisozi Genocide Museum situated on a site where at least 250,000 residents of Kigali were killed during the 1994 genocide. Another site is the Natural History Museum, housed in the former residence of the German explorer and zoologist Dr. Richard Kandt.
Kigali was established in 1907 as a small colonial outpost.View Full Itinerary
Volcanoes National Park (Parc National Des Volcans)
This park, 15 mi/25 km east of Gisenyi, protects the Rwandan portion of the spectacular Virunga Mountains, which straddle the borders with Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Virunga is not a mountain range in the normal sense of the word but rather a chain of isolated freestanding volcanic cones strung along a fault line in the Rift Valley. Sometimes also referred to as the Birunga or Bufumbira Mountains, the chain is composed of six inactive and two active volcanoes, all of which exceed 9,840 ft/3,000 m in altitude. The tallest are Karisimbi (14,783 ft/4,507 m), Mikeno (14,553 ft/4,437 m) and Muhabura (13,537 ft/4,127 m).
Few national parks in Africa can be explored on foot, but this park north of Ruhengeri offers a reward worth the hike through its dramatically beautiful, albeit rough terrain: the chance to observe a family of mountain gorillas, the rarest—and largest—of the four gorilla subspecies. About 700 mountain gorillas live in the wild (roughly half of them in Rwanda), and naturalists have habituated seven of the 20-odd families in this park to the presence of tourist observers. Many people regard visiting these gentle giants (up to 485 lbs/220 kg) in their natural habitat to be the single most-extraordinary wildlife experience in the world. The park can be accessed on organized gorilla-tracking tours, which are limited to seven groups of eight people daily. Gorilla-tracking permits cost US$500 per person in cash (including park entrance fees but not transportation and lodging) and should be booked as far in advance as possible.
Other activities include a visit to a habituated troop of golden monkeys (an endangered bamboo-eater whose range is essentially restricted to the Virungas), as well as day or overnight hikes to the various volcanic peaks and a day trip to Dian Fossey's grave at her former research center high in the misty mountains. As a precaution, armed soldiers accompany each tour.View Full Itinerary
Male AtollView Full Itinerary
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Price are per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability and change without notice. Prices reflect land only accommodations, airfare is additional. Blackout dates/seasonal supplements may apply.
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