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Trip Doctor Series: Trekking, Walking, and Hiking (Africa)

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We’re all for seeing Africa’s amazing flora and fauna from the comfort of a vehicle, but have you ever considered stepping out of the jeep and into the wild? As someone always looking for a way to turn up that adventure dial, I know I have. In our May issue’s Trekking, Walking, and Hiking Guide, we call out veteran outfitter Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia, which happens to be the home of the walking safari, for its standout mobile camping trek through a remote part of South Luangwa National Park. Spend your days tracking lions or observing buffalo along the Mupamadzi River bank, and evenings at a roving camp with walk-in tents and Mara campfires. robinpopesafaris.net; eight days from $4,388.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo credit: Monika Hoefler and Jens Schwarz

Hang 10th Street? Dude, Check Out the Crazy River Surfers

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Here's something you don't think about packing for a trip to Munich: Your wetsuit.

But according to recent reports from CNN and the BBC, the German capital has become the epicenter for an increasingly popular, and fairly-extreme sport: river surfing.

Granted, river surfing may sound like a feeble substitute for catching an ocean wave—but it isn't. On Munich's Eisbach—a channel off the Isar River—the churning waters create a rapid, one-meter wave that must be ridden stationary, so you have to jump on fast and stay balanced. (And it ain't easy—hence, this is meant for expert surfers only.) The river itself can be just 12 meters wide, too, so only one person can go at a time, often resulting in long lines any time of day. Adding a nice bit of masochism, the water's mighty chilly: Eisbach, after all, translates to "ice brook."

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T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: Singapore + Malaysia and Borneo; Peru

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Welcome to the second installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love. 
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

July Specials

Singapore + Malaysia and Borneo
The Highlights: Private full-butler dining in the Singapore Flyer; enjoying tea with a Malay family in Kuching; kayaking through the Borneo rainforest; and visiting the colorful Iban tribe in a traditional longhouse.
The Details: 10 days and 9 nights, from $5,900 per person—includes intra-tour airfare**

Peru
The Highlights: Tasting rare Tunki coffee and Peruvian ceviche in colonial Lima; observing sea lions and sea birds, such as the blue-footed booby, on the Ballestas Islands; and following in the steps of Hiram Bingham as you navigate the ruins of Machu Picchu
The Details: 10 days and 9 nights, from $4,995 per person**.

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Video: National Park Adventures

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Embrace the great outdoors with an affordable getaway to one of these national parks.

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Stay: Volcano House

Volcano House reopened in 2013 following a $7 million renovation that preserved the character of the original 1941 design. The rooms have beautiful views: some overlook Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, while others face native Hawaiian rainforest of ohia lehua and koa trees. This 323,400-acre national park is also great for wildlife spotting; more than 90 percent of the plants and animals here are found nowhere else on earth. Cabins from $55/night.

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Trip Doctor Series: Trekking, Walking, and Hiking (Peru)

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This month, travel to Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Andes is almost in full swing: if you’re headed to the region and haven’t already asked an outfitter to wrangle your Inca Trail passes, you may be out of luck this season. Luckily, there are plenty of other delightful ways to reach Machu Picchu, which we outline in our Trekking, Walking, and Hiking guide (May 2013). Here’s one of our favorites:
 
SALCANTAY TRAIL

Best for: Creature comforts.

Known as the back door into Machu Picchu, Salcantay is also the area’s highest path (it reaches 15,200 feet). Mountain Lodges of Peru, a string of stone-and-timber inns along the trail, is the only lodge-to-lodge way to reach the lost city of the Incas: take this route on a trip with Wildland Adventures (11 days from $3,800).

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of Mountain Lodges of Peru and Wildland Adventures

Trip Doctor Series: Trekking, Walking and Hiking

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I don’t know about you, but this fantastic spring weather makes me want to dust off my hiking boots and go explore one of the world’s most beautiful rural landscapes on foot. Thankfully, all I need to do for inspiration is to flip through the May issue’s Trekking, Walking and Hiking package. Every week this month, I’ll highlight a trip from our story that I hope might inspire you to take an adventure of your own.
 
Hike: Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks
Where: idaho, Montana, and Wyoming

Off the Beaten Path creates bespoke trips that combine the ragged peaks and pristine lakes of Glacier National Park with the abundant wildlife of Yellowstone. This spring the outfitter is partnering with Airstream 2 Go to provide top-of-the-line trailers as part of custom itineraries in the Rocky Mountains. Nine days from $2,900. 

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of NPS / Jim Peaco

Introducing: T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings

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Ever wanted to book a trip to a destination featured in T+L? Starting in June, we've made it easier than ever. We're announcing a new promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love. 
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• Limited-time savings for T+L readers.

June Specials

Zambia
The Highlights: A walking safari in South Luangwa's National Park; night game drives in the remote Chamilandu Camp; and spotting crocodiles in the Zambezi River.
The Details: 10 days and 9 nights, from $10,565 per person—includes intra-Zambia airfare**

Croatia 
The Highlights: Tour the vineyards of Hvar Island and the beaches of Korcula; explore the cobblestone streets of Dubrovnik; and head to Ston for taste of the local dish—oysters plucked straight from the Adriatic. 
The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $4,795 per person**.

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Surfing as Art and Lifestyle: Q&A with Saturdays' Colin Tunstall

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Any store can put out a catalog or a little circular that focuses on its brand, but few would dare print a full-color, oversized glossy and sell it for $25. That's exactly what Saturdays, a New York City-based surf shop has done with it's massive Saturdays Magazine.

The second issue (out now) is a celebration of all that's great about print: It's heavy, its pages make noise as you turn them, and it falls open with a satisfying "thunk." The magazine, which was printed in Iceland (watch this video of it coming off the press), is so massive you might not be able to fit it in your carry-on bag. But if you do, inside you'll find striking multipage spreads of surfers at work and at play, interviews with artists like Larry Clark and Christo, and projects from photographer Bruce Weber and designer Hedi Slimane. What you won't find is a hard sell for surfboards.

We spoke with Saturdays co-owner and Saturdays editor-in-chief Colin Tunstall. Here's what he had to say:  

What's a little surf shop with two locations in New York and two in Japan (the newest in Kobe) doing putting out a 300+ page oversized doorstopper of a magazine?
Colin Tunstall: I've always wanted to produce magazine. Before starting Saturdays I worked in publishing for 10 years. The concept was simple, we just wanted to produce something cool. We decided to focus on Q&A's with people we thought were interesting. We cast a wide net and embraced the variety of backgrounds, ages and locations of everyone to define the common thread of our lifestyle.

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Tour Operator Goes Over the @#$% Line?

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No doubt, the typical hipster might not be fired up to go on a backpacking tour after looking at a brochure with pictures of people who look like his Uncle Larry and Aunt Karen.
 
Geckos Adventures totally gets that, bro. The tour operator just released a new brochure that, to plenty of travelers, might seem refreshing: According to a post on Travel Mole, it uses photos taken by actual customers—like their target audience of ages 18 to 35—and speaks in a language that, Geckos assume, their clientele understands.
 
Actually, pretty much anyone can understand it. One part of the brochure reads, “may your heart be light, your step swift and your stories @#$%ing epic,” except, well, they didn’t use the funny symbols found on more family friendly travel sites.
 
While some industry folks are already raising eyebrows, the company defends its strategy: "We are not trying to be controversial for controversy's sake,” says the tour company’s managing director. “Our new branding has been carefully thought through to speak to our travelers openly and cutting out all the usual marketing fluff."
 
Fair enough, but the danger here—beyond offending a few Uncle Larrys and Aunt Karens out there—is that those coveted 18-to-35-years-old might just see it as a bit of calculated marketing... Hey, “just sayin.’”  (That is what the @#$%in' cool kids say, right?)
 
What do you think: Is this campaign smart, or will it f-bomb?

Photo by iStockphoto

The Alpina: New Luxury Ski Resort Opens in Gstaad, Switzerland

Alpina Gstaad

The jet-setting ski-crowd has been flocking to Gstaad, Switzerland for decades, but it’s been a century since a proper grand hotel entered the scene. (The early 20th century saw the openings of the Grand Hotel Park in 1910, the Grand Hotel Bellevue in 1912, and the Gstaad Palace in 1913.) Enter the brand new luxury resort, Alpina Gstaad, which opened its doors last month.

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