Colors: Blue Color

Great Southern Rail has unveiled its newest Indian Pacific luxury rail experience, the freshly refitted and refurbished Chairmans Carriage. Visitors to Australia can now opt to travel between Sydney and Perth, via Adelaide and visa versa, in the Chairmans Carriage which features three Platinum Double and one Platinum Twin cabin.

But, for the ultimate in luxury and privacy, the Chairmans Carriage can be chartered for sole use.

The Chairmans Carriage was gutted last October with part of the refit including the realignment of the carriage windows to ensure each new cabin has a view on both sides of the train. The Carriage now offers a private lounge area equipped with TV and bar facilities.

This new service is the latest in a long list of enhanced options available on the Indian Pacific which this year sees:

  • The 100th anniversary of the completion of the Sydney to Perth railway line.
  • The introduction of NEW OFF RAIL EXPERIENCES between Sydney and Perth including Adelaide Hills – an intimate foodie tour featuring a local artisan chocolate or cheese producer, followed by dinner in the historic town of Hahndorf
  • NEW OFF RAIL EXPERIENCES between Perth and Sydney including Kalgoorlie – a theatre performance of “Paddy Hannan's Ounce of Luck” production, the story of boom and bust in this mining town, and Rawlinna – a special Outback breakfast hosted in this remote Nullarbor town.
  • BAILS & RAILS – a special cricket themed package combining the live action excitement of the Ashes with the experience of everything in between whilst travelling from Adelaide to Perth on the Indian Pacific.
At the end of the year the Chairmans Carriage will transfer to The Ghan, offering the same exclusive experience between Darwin and Adelaide, via Alice Springs and vice versa.

A massive increase in product choice, more affordable flights and guaranteed sun, has led to a major increase in family holiday bookings to Dubai in the first quarter of the year, says Travel Republic.

The leading online travel agent, has revealed booking figures for a Dubai holiday have increased by a dramatic 64% amongst families since the beginning of 2017, compared to the same period last year*.

And Dubai has leapt into Travel Republic's Top 10 destinations for 2017 with  an overall increase of 39% across all bookings year on year, with family holidays showing the biggest growth, and strong demand for all inclusive now available across a wide range of luxury hotels.

Ian Simmonds, Managing Director for Travel Republic, says, “The increase of family holidays to Dubai from the beginning of 2017 demonstrates an ever growing demand for new destinations that many families haven't been to before.”

“Dubai is a destination that has always seen growing popularity with Travel Republic customers, with the majority of our bookings coming from couple's holidays**, so it is particularly pleasing to see such a strong growth and enthusiasm amongst our family customers to take advantage of affordable flights and luxury accommodation in the jewel of the Middle East.”

The results announcement follows Travel Republic's biggest peaks campaign in the UK and Ireland at the beginning of 2017. The “Yours for the Making” campaign, showcased the reward holidaymakers get by creating a holiday experience that elevates their time away above and beyond the usual.

At 4321m Mt. Elgon has the largest volcanic base in the world. Located on the Uganda-Kenya border it is also the oldest solitary volcanic mountain in East Africa. The slopes of Mount Elgon are riddled with caves carved out by moving lava and the erosion of soft volcanic deposits.

The elephants enter the caves as a whole family and walk as far as 160 metres into the pitch darkness just to find a salt seam in the rock, very often with their young in tow. They then excavate the mineral-rich rock by using their tusks to chip off chunks of halite, slowly making the cave deeper and deeper over time. The elephant population of Mt. Elgon are the world´s only elephants to venture underground into huge, dark caves and pass down the unique culture of salt mining to their young.

15 years ago the Mount Elgon Monitoring Team was initiated by the BBC Natural History Unit to learn more about these unique elephants prior to filming Sir David Attenborough's 'The Life of Mammals'.

They found there were only one group of elephants coming to the caves and they announced their presence with 'rumbles' as a greeting call.

It is hoped that this process – similar to the technique used by Diane Fossey to habituate gorillas – will eventually make it possible for tourists to accompany these specialised rangers and experience the thrill of tracking elephants, whilst also providing funding for the further development of the park.

Mount Elgon National Park has a variety of other attractions to tempt the eagle-eyed traveller including immense cliffs, the Sipi falls, breath taking gorges, bubbling springs and some of the finest Arabica coffee in Africa. However, the cave elephants of Mount Elgon are a genuine wonder of the natural world and unmissable for any visitor to Uganda.

Experience world-class Bahamian art in beautiful surroundings.  The 13th Transforming Spaces Art Tour is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2, 2017. The weekend tour will include a morning and afternoon tour on Saturday, and a morning tour on Sunday. Each gallery will be curating its own exhibition for the event and it is expected that approximately 40 artists will be exhibiting their artworks at the various venues.

The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore observed World Spay Day to create awareness about controlling the increasing population of stray dogs through spaying (neutering) and also through chemical (zeutrtering). UVAS Vice-Chancellor Meritorious Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha led the walk while Dean Faculty of Veterinary Science Prof Dr Masood Rabbani, Prof Dr Aneela Zameer Durrani and Dr Asim Khalid and a large number of students, faculty members participated.

Alkhidmat Orphan Program arranged a training session for the Orphan Children of Aghosh Alkhidmat Rawalpindi. The session was aimed at sensitizing the children regarding moral values and volunteerism. Mr. Ali Sheikh, Deputy Coordinator AKF Mawakhat Program Rawalpindi and Ms. Zainab delivered lectures on morality and benefits of being a good human. Children enjoyed the learning activity and appreciated the training environment.

"It has come to the notice of the Zone 2 Headquarters reports making the rounds in national dailies that ‘Obasanjo Storms out of Police Event over Delay.’ In as much as it is a statement of fact that there was delay in the taking off of the First Special Training and Capacity Development Seminar held at the Federal Palace Hotel, yesterday March 2, 2017, due to exigencies of the policing job, the truth must not be skewed to suit personal or pre-determined stances."

Instagramming the world's highest peak is set to become much easier following Nepal's plans to create a free wi-fi zone at Everest Base Camp. Although at the moment paid-for wi-fi is available at various hotels and restaurants in the area, at 5,380m (17,600ft) it is expected to be the world's highest free wi-fi zone.

Slovenia, one of Europe's greenest countries, will explode with colour in May as the Bohinj International Wild Flower Festival returns with the theme 'Flowers and Bees'. This year's festival opening coincides with World Bee Day, a United Nations initiative created in cooperation with The Slovenian Beekeepers' Association. In recent years, Slovenia has been identified as a leading beekeeping destination, creating honey therapy (apitherapy) programmes to emphasise how bees positively impact human lives.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) has advised the application deadline for its scholarship program is Thursday, March 30, 2017. Scholarships are open to Caribbean students and industry professionals pursuing higher education or professional development in the hospitality and tourism field and are awarded with support from CHTAEF sponsors and supporters.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) presented checks totaling $70,000 to hotel associations in Haiti and The Bahamas to assist residents in both countries with Hurricane Matthew relief efforts. Recognizing the considerable hardship and damage which Haiti and part of the northern Bahamas faced in the aftermath of the hurricane, CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy called upon fellow hoteliers in the region to respond to the association's call for support.

Manly Beach will be the venue for Australia's rising Olympic hopefuls from four Olympic sports when more than 300 athletes take part in Australian Open of Surfing from Saturday 25 February – Sunday 5 March and 200 athletes participate in Volleyfest from Friday 17 March – Sunday 26 March. The Australian Open of Surfing will feature Whale Beach's surfing up-and-comer, Cedar Leigh-Jones who has Olympic Gold in her sights. She said, “Surfing's inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is a dream come true for my sport.

Jacada Travel are leading an industry-wide campaign to enforce the wearing of surgical face masks for people visiting the critically endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda and Rwanda. Gorillas are highly susceptible to human diseases, sharing 98.4% of our DNA. With no immunity to viruses such as the common cold, gorillas are very much at risk when in proximity to people.

Beginning March 1, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, located on the historic Harvard University campus, will join the Boston CityPASS program. For 20 years, CityPASS ticket booklets have allowed travelers to visit a destination's top attractions while saving nearly half off combined admission prices. Each 2017 Boston CityPASS booklet includes prepaid, discounted admission to the New England Aquarium, Museum of Science, Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center, and a choice between either a Boston Harbor Cruise or the Harvard Museum of Natural History.

Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan in collaboration with Spreading Smiles Community and Karawan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa arranged a one day trip for 98 orphan students of Aghosh Alkhidmat Peshawar. Children visited Bagh e Naran, Tatara Park, Qila Bala Hisar and Peshawar Museum. Students also enjoyed their lunch at Spring Night restaurant where they relished their heartiest food. Commandant Frontier Corp Peshawar gave shoes to all the students as gift.