International Travel Developments: South African Villas, Israel's Dead Sea
(Portland, Oregon) – It’s date harvesting time along the Dead Sea, and a travel company is opening up its villas in South Africa to a larger audience.
The Dead Sea is an unlikely location for the start of the world's annual date harvesting. However, the salty and mineral-rich earth imparts a special aroma and sweetness to the fruit grown at the lowest point on earth. Assortments of Hiani and Barhi dates are picked during the first stage of harvest, and are often used to decorate tables during the Jewish New Year celebrations in Israel.
The date is also tied into the biblical history of the Holy Land--the popular Medjool date was considered to be one of the finest varieties at the time of Jesus, and many historians determine dates to have been one of the first crops grown at the Dead Sea after its seeds were found during excavations in the ancient ruins of Qumran.
For more information and to vote for the Dead Sea in the finals of the New7Wonders of Nature online competition, visit www.votedeadsea.com or www.facebook.com/VoteDeadSea. For more information about travel to Israel, visit www.goisrael.com.
Once reserved for the exclusive use of families or small groups, &Beyond is now offering individual guests the opportunity to book luxury suites in two of its private, sole-use safari villas. South Africa's Kwandwe Melton Manor and Phinda Zuka Lodge can now be booked on a room-by-room basis.
Both villas consist of four spacious and luxurious suites to ensure comfort, privacy and exclusivity, complete with a private butler and chef. A highly qualified personal ranger and tracker team is available to guide guests on exciting game drives from the comfort of a private 4x4 safari vehicle.
Located on the wildlife-rich &Beyond Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the heart of South Africa's Eastern Cape, Melton Manor offers a feeling of contemporary farmhouse luxury. Its inner courtyard pool provides the perfect place to relax between game drives, while the deep verandas of each of the four suites boast breathtaking views of the Great Fish River cliffs. Kwandwe is home to a diverse population of endangered animals, including South Africa's national bird, the blue crane. In addition to sightings of lion, leopard, rhino, giraffe and much more, guests may even experience a rare sighting of an aardvark or aardwolf on an exhilarating night drive in the pristine 54,360-acre reserve.
Zuka Lodge is set in the diverse 56,800-acre &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Surrounding a watering hole, often frequented by elephant, zebra and giraffe coming to quench their thirst, the Lodge offers a cool, coastal bush style. Four separate suites cluster around a central guest area with an open, interactive kitchen. Phinda is home to seven different ecosystems ranging from dry sand forest to wetland systems and mountain ranges. Some of the best cheetah sightings in South Africa occur at Phinda.