There’s a common perception among travelers that safaris are meant for honeymoons or special occasions—But a safari is actually the perfect solo trip. Unlike traveling alone in cities, which requires figuring out everything from how to get around to where it's safe to walk alone at night, to the dreaded table for one, on safari in the Serengeti, everything is taken care of. The team behind award-winning tour operator Extraordinary Journeys arranged all my transfers and, prior to my departure, helped me figure out how to get a visa (upon arrival at the airport) and prepare for the trip (get malaria pills). They even provided a duffel bag that would comply with the size and weight limits on the bush planes I’d be taking. All I had to do was pack it and show up.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
Fodor's Travel: The Complete Guide to African Safaris
Founded and operated by a mother-daughter team who have over half a century of combined safari knowledge, Extraordinary Journeys specializes in creating unique, custom safari experiences to Southern and East Africa. Itineraries mix and match safari camps, lodges, and private villas to create a true sense of being on an exotic adventure, with travel by private plane, 4x4, hot air balloon, horse and/or camel. The Extraordinary Journeys team has planned well over 4,000 unique safaris, but all bear the hallmarks of first-hand knowledge, personalized service, and social responsibility.DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
"The more I felt connected to the ocean, the more I saw how deeply disconnected most people are from it. Everybody loves staring at the sea, but it's an on-the-surface appreciation. That lack of connection has resulted in us behaving in some pretty irresponsible ways to the ocean, because we can't see the destruction," says Prinsloo, now 39, whom I met in-person last July while visiting Cape Town as a guest of Extraordinary Journeys, the exclusive U.S. tour operator for I AM WATER Ocean Travel. Prinsloo co-founded this travel company in 2016 with her long-time partner, Peter Marshall, an American world champion swimmer, to support her nonprofit and share their enthusiasm about all things aquatic in a sustainable and responsible way.READ ARTICLE
Taking place Dec. 15, the Maasai Olympics takes center stage in Extraordinary Journeys' newest fixed-departure itinerary, which will feature a three- or four-night stay at the intimate Great Plains Ol Donyo Lodge (Relais & Chateaux). The new limited-space itinerary is done in partnership with Great Plains Conservation and will take place between Dec. 13 and 17.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
This is where you’ll find Serengeti National Park, which, at 5,700 square miles, is so massive that the landscape changes from one part of the park to the next. Get a taste of both areas on a trip with with tour operator Extraordinary Journeys, which might start at Roving Bushtops in the Central Serengeti (famous for its prime wildlife viewing and typical flat plains) and advance to Serengeti Bushtops in the north (which is hillier and broken up by rock formations).READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
Aspire Design and Home
Elizabeth Gordon, the Co-Founder & CEO of the luxury travel operator Extraordinary Journeys, offers custom safaris in Africa. Explore the Anima Garden by artist André Heller. La Maison de la Photographie de Marrakech is a favorite museum with an amazing collection! Some of my top places to eat include Restaurant Le Jardin in Marrakech; Restaurant L’Oasis D’Or in Ouarzazate and Chez Michèle in Tinghir Gorges.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
Kenya: Let's start with the fact that we had never even heard of the Maasai Olympics, a biennial event that will take place this December, with sporting events like track, spear-throwing, and traditional Maasai high jump — all of which benefits wildlife and habitat conservation. We're in! If you are, too, Extraordinary Journeys will arrange everything for a trip from December 13-17, 2018.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
Extraordinary Journeys has just announced that it is partnering with Great Plains Conservation to offer a unique and rare vacation experience that includes attending this year's Maasai Olympics on December 15.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
If safaris are the stuff of dreams for many travellers, then Elizabeth Gordon has been living that dream for her entire life.
Born in Kenya, she spent much of her childhood exploring Africa with her mother Marcia, who spent decades building up an encyclopaedic, first-hand knowledge of the continent's best lodges. After Elizabeth had gained hands-on experience of running a high-end camp herself in Namibia, the pair joined forces to found Extraordinary Journeys, a multi-award-winning safari company that creates custom-made tours of Africa and elsewhere.
Lonely Planet asked her what it’s like to be part of a pioneering mother-daughter team, where she would go for a money-no-object trip, and how tour operators can play a role in protecting Africa’s wildlife...READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
This was part of a nine-day Instagram focus for Fathom Magazine, followed by a Fathom Magazine photo diary feature of writer Laura Itzkowitz's Tanzania safari with Extraordinary Journeys.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
The New York Times
Several travel operators offer both private and group trips for those with disabilities. “These preset itineraries take into account exactly what your needs are so you don’t have to arrange anything yourself,” Ms. Bliss said...several companies can arrange African wildlife excursions for travelers with disabilities, including Extraordinary Journeys...READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
WHY IT RATES: This new Australia itinerary includes a variety of unique and colorful experiences including interactions with local personalities and experts to provide optimal immersion.—Mia Taylor, TravelPulse Senior Writer.
The 12-day, 11-night Australian tour takes participants behind-the-scenes of Sydney's emerging and established neighborhoods, to the unspoiled beauty of Kangaroo Island, on an extravagant food and wine experience in the renowned Barossa Valley in a vintage 1962 Daimler, and ends with an African-style Australian Outback safari in the picturesque Flinders Ranges.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
Though it’s considered low season, March is an ideal time to visit the Northern and Central Serengeti before the rainy season, which usually starts around April. Leading safari outfitter Extraordinary Journeys recommends this time of year because you can go on game drives and not encounter another vehicle for hours or even the whole day. They partner with several lodges and tented camps, including the conservation-focused Singita, which has a handful of properties in Tanzania, and Bushtops Camps, which has a roving luxury tented camp that packs up and roams around the Serengeti tracking wildlife.READ ARTICLE DOWNLOAD ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Book a Safari in Tanzania
The instant the door opened and we stepped out of the plane, I took a deep breath. We had just touched down on a dirt airstrip in Tanzania's Ruaha National Park, and the air around us smelled of warm wood. The sky was immense; beneath it lay a primordial landscape of chest-high elephant grass, stubby baobab trees, and, in the distance, haze-clad hills that seemed to melt into the bright horizon.READ ARTICLE
Elizabeth and Marcia Gordon have recruited the best in the business for their team of creative and innovative safari specialists at Extraordinary Journeys. The team has deep roots in Africa, and decades of experience with safaris that is enhanced by frequent visits to the properties that they recommend. By working together, each member of the team lends specialized expertise to craft the perfect safari for every client, often mixing classic tented camps of yesteryear with luxurious safari lodges for these customized getaways.
Elizabeth is a wealth of information, and has three journeys that she feels are ideal for 2018…READ ARTICLE
Luxury Travel Advisor
Luxury Travel Advisor had the chance to speak with Elizabeth Gordon, co-founder and CEO of Extraordinary Journeys. She was born in Kenya, raised in Paris and worked in Namibia, before starting Extraordinary Journeys with her mother, Marcia. Gordon has visited over 40 countries and taken over 30 trips to Africa. She is active in the Association for the Promotion of Tourism in Africa and Safari Professionals of the Americas. Additionally, she was one Travel Agent Magazine's “30 Under 30.”READ ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: A-List 2017
If you want a specialized safari experience—a reptile-focused trip through southern Africa, for example—call Gordon, who was born in Kenya and worked for Wilderness Safaris in Namibia. Now in her mid 30s, she’s also particularly in tune with the demands of younger, time-crunched travelers.
Best for: couples/honeymooners, adventurers, families
Extras: In addition to go-to day trips such as the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Gordon can arrange exclusive experiences, such as a visit to Kiambethu Tea Farm, where travelers learn from owner Fiona Vernon how the Kenyan tea industry all began.
Other expertise: nature destinations in South AmericaREAD ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: The World's Best Safari Outfitters 2017
When it comes to planning an African safari, the stakes can seem pretty high. It’s not a trip one does every day — in fact, this type of vacation may well fall into “trip of a lifetime” territory. Expectations tend to be lofty, as do budgets. There might be multiple generations traveling, or perhaps it’s a honeymoon; either way, the experience needs to be seamless.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated safari outfitters on their staff and guides, itineraries and destinations, activities, accommodations, food, and overall value.
...and Extraordinary Journeys also placed for the second year in a row."READ ARTICLE
Los Angeles Times
Cuba continues to be a hot tourist destination in 2017. Luxury outfitter Extraordinary Journeys offers a customizable trip that includes a visit with Roberto Salas, photographer for Cuba’s government newspaper for nearly half a century. Participants meet him and see his private collection of images.
The eight-day trip includes visits to artists’ homes and studios, a walking tour of Havana, a tour of writer Ernest Hemingway’s 1950s haunts in a classic car, and sightseeing in the Spanish Colonial city of Trinidad and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cienfuegos.READ ARTICLE
Luxury safari specialists Extraordinary Journeys have expanded their expertise beyond Africa and with a new, carefully curated Cuba at a Crossroads itinerary... Highlights include curated art tours with visits to the homes and studios of contemporary Cuban artists, retracing Ernest Hemmingway’s favorite Cuban haunts in an old Classic American car, and meeting Roberto Salas, one of Cuba’s most famous photographers who had insider access to the Castro regime.READ ARTICLE
Los Angeles Times
Any trip to view Africa's wildlife is special, but there's a bonus involved in a trip to Kenya that's being offered by Extraordinary Journeys. A small group will have the opportunity to help with the first-ever game census being taken at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in the northern part of the country...READ ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: A-List 2016
For the third year in a row Elizabeth was chosen for Travel + Leisure®'s A List. The 15th annual A-List showcases the best specialists in the business—the people who have firsthand knowledge of destinations on the rise, can get you into sold-out hotels, and provide the best insider travel tips. Elizabeth was chosen as a specialist in East and Southern Africa, best for specialized safaris, millennials.READ ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: The World's Best Safari Outfitters 2016
When it comes to high-end safari planners, insider knowledge and impeccable organizing skills are standard. What separates the great outfitters from the very best is the ability to listen to clients and then create a trip that aligns with their personal desires and exceeds their expectations.READ ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: How to Plan the Perfect Botswana Safari
Planning the trip of a lifetime can be overwhelming, and with so many options to choose from, you’ll likely need to enlist an expert for a truly epic itinerary. For this trip, I turned to T+L A-List agent Elizabeth Gordon of Extraordinary Journeys.READ ARTICLE
The New York Times
The luxury Africa safari tour company Extraordinary Journeys has introduced a 12-day trip, Liuwa Plain: Remote & Untraveled Zambia. Showcasing top sites in Zambia, it includes one night in the capital, Lusaka; four nights in Liuwa Plain National Park; four nights in South Luangwa National Park; and two days in Livingstone near Victoria Falls.
Responsible safari company Extraordinary Journeys has introduced a new nine-day itinerary that promises loads of elephant encounters in Botswana and Zimbabwe. The trip begins with four nights at Stanley’s Camp, located in a private concession in one of the most game-rich areas of the Okavango Delta.READ ARTICLE
Covering an area of over a quarter of a million acres, Tswalu Kalahari is one South Africa’s largest private game reserves. It is owned by the Oppenheimer family, who have devoted years to conservation and returning the Kalahari to its prior glory (goodbye impala ranches, hello desert black rhinos)...Tswalu was recommended to me by the mother/daughter team of Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon of Extraordinary Journeys, who know just about everything about African travel.READ ARTICLE
The New York Times
Ape-watching meets the traditional African safari in Extraordinary Journeys’ new 12-day trip to central Africa. It splits its time between Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to endangered mountain gorillas, and Tanzania’s Serengeti region.READ ARTICLE
Visit Virunga National Park With Extraordinary Journeys: Riding on the heels of 2015 documentary Virunga—the story of what happens when UNESCO-designated World-Heritage site, and home to a quarter of the world’s 850 remaining mountain gorillas, gets caught in the crossfire of civil war—luxe travel outfitter Extraordinary Journeys is hosting small, privately guided tours through the extensive national park as part of a 12-day trip through Rwanda, DRC, and Tanzania.READ ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: A-List 2015
For the second year in a row Elizabeth was chosen for Travel + Leisure®'s A List. The 14th annual A-List showcases the best specialists in the business—the people who have firsthand knowledge of destinations on the rise, can get you into sold-out hotels, and provide the best insider travel tips. Elizabeth was chosen as a specialist in East and Southern AfricaREAD ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure: A-List 2014
We are so thrilled that Elizabeth has made it on to 2014's Travel + Leisure®'s A List of Best Travel Advisors in the Business! Travel + Leisure® editors evaluated hundreds of travel agents and picked their favorites for the twelfth annual A-List of Top Travel Advisors. “There's a reason we use the term advisor to describe the members of our 2014 A-List,” said Travel + Leisure News Editor and “Trip Doctor” columnist Amy Farley. “These destination experts offer much more than booking services. They offer insider insights, unparalleled access, the ability to create a seamless itinerary, and value.”READ ARTICLE
When it comes to bucket lists, viewing mountain gorillas in their native habitat scores high for a lot of people. Add cheetahs, and you get an even cooler experience. Extraordinary Journeys lives up to its name with a package that holds out the promise of checking off both species on your list.READ ARTICLE
Los Angeles Times
Extraodinary Journeys' latest safari has a philanthropic bent, raising funds to benefit Zeros for Rhinos. The initiative seeks to relocate 100 rhinos to Botswana's Okavango Delta from poaching zones in South Africa and Zimbabwe.READ ARTICLE
The New York Times
Extraordinary Journeys, the New York City-based safari outfitter, recently announced a new 10-day safari to Botswana and Zambia that is intended to benefit the Great Plains Foundation’s Zeros for Rhinos initiative.READ ARTICLE
National Geographic Traveler
Extraordinary Journeys' 'Untouched Africa: Gorillas of the Congo Basin' trip was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler magazine's "50 Tours of a Lifetime" in 2014. The selection process is very competitive and we are honored that our trip was chosen as one of the "most authentic, most immersive, best-guided and most sustainable" tours of the year.READ ARTICLE
The Who's Who of Safari Specialists: New York-based Gordon is a former pilot who lived in Kenya for 11 years and used to head up the travel division of the outfitting company F. M. Allen. For her, a safari is a family affair. Her husband, Saul, set up Park East Tours in 1966 with his brother, bringing in Kenya’s earliest safari travelers. Specialty: Gordon’s expertise runs from Malawi to Tanzania. Her custom itineraries mix high and low, a balance meant to shake up cocooned travelers and convince them that authentic tented trips are the best way to go.READ ARTICLE
Whether you’re a first-time explorer or a seasoned safari-goer, Extraordinary Journeys’ new Million-Dollar Safari will take you on an African expedition like no other. Led by the renowned private guide Mark Homann, the 36-day excursion (priced from $809,600 for a group of four) is an immersive voyage through some of the continent’s most exclusive regions, from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park to Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains.READ ARTICLE
Destination Weddings & Honeymoons
Worldwide Planning Guide: The prepaid-package route is ideal for complicated itineraries with multiple transfers, like an African safari or multistep trek through India or Asia. It’s also great if you don’t want to limit yourselves to group outings. For something more customized, work with a destination specialist to create a tour specific to your interests. Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon, the mother-daughter foundation of Extraordinary Journeys, say custom-planned itineraries “can be surprisingly affordable, and you won’t be stuck with people you may not care to spend your honeymoon with. Bespoke programs feature smaller properties not used on packaged tours, and you’ll meet other interesting people along the way – but on your terms, not because you’ve been thrown on a bus together.
This year, thousands of lucky Americans will check off a bucket list item by taking an African safari. We asked Marcia Gordon, who runs Extraordinary Journeys with her daughter Elizabeth, for her tips when planning this trip of a lifetime. With 30 years experience in the African travel industry, there's no one better than this veteran to give us the lowdown.READ ARTICLE
Extraordinary Journeys’ seven-day wine-focused honeymoon adventure in South Africa is featured in Wine Enthusiast’s "Honeymoon Hot Spots," highlighting the trip’s game drives, sumptuous wine-focused dinners and wine cellar journeys alongside private tours of vineyards in the Cape Winelands, a coastline drive to the Cape Peninsula, and a helicopter ride offering breathtaking views of the exquisite beauty of South Africa.READ ARTICLE
The Daily Meal
"We loved the personal attention we got at each of the properties," said one customer of Extraordinary Journeys. "It is all about getting the best service and feeling like you are getting special treatments at each stop. Everyone went out of the way to figure out what we liked and offer us experiences just for us."READ ARTICLE
So, how to even begin the planning process? I called in an expert—Elizabeth Gordon from Extraordinary Journeys a U.S.-based tour operator who specializes in safaris, and even has a honeymoon registry service. Rule #2: You need to book with an experienced tour operator, who can connect the dots of your itinerary together and work with you on budget. I told Elizabeth our priorities (learning about wine, seeing lions and leopards); she gave me feedback on various camps, and what their pluses and minuses were; and the trip began to come together. Here, a photo-diary of our 14-day African adventure.READ ARTICLE
Extraordinary Journeys Africa luxury African safaris mix and match various vacation elements to come up with unique custom itineraries. Extraordinary Journeys Africa has planned over 500 private trips to Africa, each one unique. Company staffers get to know you through phone calls and email, and put long hours into planning to details of your unique private luxury safari and making connections for you in Africa. In Addition, Extraordinary Journeys Africa is committed to the African communities that house their guides, hotels, and all-important wildlife. Among the company’s African projects are cultural exchanges, environmental sustainability initiatives, support of schools and hospitals, and reintroduction of native plant and animal species.READ ARTICLE
Town & Country
In this issue’s "A Trip to Remember," Town & Country asked "four top-notch travel companies to plan the ultimate honeymoon," and features a magical African honeymoon from Extraordinary Journeys. Beginning in the lively city of Cape Town and ending in the turquoise waters of Benguerra Island off Mozambique, this safari includes everything from the Cape Winelands and game drives in Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park in search for lions, elephants, buffalo and rhinos, to exotic islands in Zambia where the EJ team sends you on a helicopter ride to view the breathtaking Victoria Falls.
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Clemence recaps the highlights of her Extraordinary Journeys safari through the exotic wilderness of Southern Africa. “Knowing that it was our first visit to sub-Saharan Africa, Extraordinary Journeys, a mother-daughter company that specializes in bespoke safari trips, created an itinerary that took us to four different camps that got more rugged – and wildlife rich – as we went along.”READ ARTICLE
Travel + Leisure
As their name implies, Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon custom craft some pretty swoon-worthy adventures – to Africa, a place they know top to bottom (and all the secret spots in between) and that easily inspires dreamy visions of exotic animals, ancient baobob trees, and untamed landscapes where it’s impossible not to get away from it all.READ ARTICLE
Travel Agent's 30 Under 30 for 2010
Every year Travel Agent compiles a group of the “brightest young stars in the industry… who grasp the online universe, from social media to marketing to education and more. They’re ready to take on the world—one trip at a time.” Elizabeth Gordon, co-founder of Extraordinary Journeys, is featured as one of the thirty, as she was able to “keep a luxury-focused business afloat during a recession” by creating new products using specials in the market, lowering prices while maintaining quality, and implementing innovations that increase the company’s online presence.READ ARTICLE
Our wildest dreams of traveling to Africa became a stunning reality thanks to the team at Extraordinary Journeys, a boutique travel company specializing in Africa travel. Owners Marcia Gordon, an African safari expert, and Elizabeth, her Kenya-born, Stanford-educated daughter, created a luxurious itinerary around our personal tastes and interests. With their exclusive portfolio of small, spectacular properties and well-edited black book of the best guides and excellent connections, they design seamless, private adventures, going the extra mile to ensure clients feel special. Extraordinary Journeys is all about travel with a conscience. They work only with camps and lodges that practice conservation and partner with nearby communities. From thrilling wildlife encounters and breathtaking landscapes to volunteerism and impactful visits to local villages, they guided us thoughtfully to the heart and romance of East Africa.READ ARTICLE