Well situated Johannesburg guest lodge offered good value for money

Photos by Juan Cooper

One of the common areas at The Parkwood

A bathroom at The Parkwood

One of the water features at the Johannesburg hotel

A quiet corner for a meeting

The living area in one of The Parkwood suites

During a visit to South Africa one of our teams stayed at The Parkwood Guest Lodge, a 16-room luxury oriented property within an upscale Johannesburg neighborhood. They appreciated the property’s quiet ambiance, comfort and luxury oriented suites and the hotel’s location within easy reach of restaurants and shopping centers. Click here to read about their stay at The Parkwood Guest Lodge

Expandable carry-on bag, my new favorite traveling companion

Article and photograph by Josette King

I have long nurtured the fantasy of one perfectly versatile suitcase that would take me across the country or to the far reaches of the planet, preferably in carry-on only travel mode. When the complexity and length of the itinerary required more, it would expand just enough to carry all my travel necessities to my primary destination, then gracefully retract to its carry-on purpose for shorter side trips. And of course, it would hold much more than a carry-on bag ever could, and take all the abuse a memorable trip can dish out without adverse effects.

Enter my new Briggs & Riley Baseline 20” Carry-On Upright, an expandable wide body suitcase. Sized to meet most major airlines carry-on requirements for domestic as well as international travel, it also featured a zipped expansion gusset that extended its capacity by almost 25 percent to become a checked bag able to carry the necessities of an eight-week, winter into spring European trip across the Atlantic. Its interior was a masterpiece of thoughtful design. Wide enough to accommodate side-by-side two neat stacks of sweaters and shirts, it also had a small zipped garment bag compartment fitted in the case’s lid.

Briggs and Riley Carry On

Its sturdy construction allowed it to withstand less than ideal traveling conditions. It was dragged across the cobblestones of Bruges in a downpour (yes, its ballistic nylon exterior is water repellent), and up one flight of stairs in the Paris metro. It even became a handy stool when I found myself traveling in the corridor of a German high-speed train. Click here to read an article about the Briggs & Riley Baseline 20” Carry-On Upright.

Eastern Cape safari lodge had luxurious comfy suites, foodie meals

Photos by Gary Cox

The Kichaka pool and water hole

There were two daily game drives at Kichaka

A common area at Kichaka

There was game viewing of the small and large varieties at the lodge

Kichaka, an Eastern Cape, South Africa luxury game viewing lodge with 10 suites, offered visitors to the region excellent meals, luxurious suites with lots of privacy and twice daily game drives. Elena and Gary thought it was a great place for a romantic getaway and for visitors to South Africa’s Wine Route wishing to get a taste of game viewing in a luxury environment. Click here to read our team’s detailed article about the Kichaka Luxury Game Lodge.

South African lion whisperer tells his story

Part of the Pride My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa book cover

Although Kevin Richardson had a reasonably normal childhood in Johannesburg, South Africa as an adult he became extraordinary by virtue of his ability to interact safely (mostly) with predators in captivity. Lest we think rubbing nose to nose with male and female lions and hyenas in an enclosure, handling a lion cub while sharing space in the same enclosure with the lioness mum, filming commercials and entire feature length movies, often outside the safety of a park enclosure, is something any zoo staff member can do, it’s not.

It is dangerous work. No one, not even Kevin Richardson, denies that. How and why is this possible? In Part of the Pride My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa, published in 2009 (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99) he discusses his growing years and the path that led him to his amazing interactions with some of Africa’s big cats raised in captivity at the South African Lion Park and the Kingdom of the White Lion. With the help of Author Tony Park, he shares his experience as a self taught lion whisperer.

Kevin Richardson with his lion family (back cover of the book)

The 243-page hardcover book, easy to read in his candid first person style, is divided into 14 chapters, a prologue and an epilogue. For lion lovers and fans of Richardson’s work (some videos on YouTube show him in action) the book answers many questions. It made us eager to watch the two film projects mentioned in the book including White Lion: Home Is a Journey due out soon.

Photos courtesy of St. Martin’s Press

Click to buy Part of the Pride: My Life Among the Big Cats of Africa