Volcanoes Safaris' Ugandan Mount Gahinga Lodge Relaunch

JG Black Book's partner, Volcanoes Safaris, has announced the re-launch of its Ugandan Mount Gahinga Lodge – the culture and hiking lodge. Known for their expertise in gorilla trekking, now culture and adventure lovers can experience so much more!

Here's what guests can look forward to when they visit:

  1. Refurbished and upgraded lodge offers enhanced level of luxury accommodation set amidst pristine landscapes in the heart of undiscovered Uganda
  2. New lodge offers interactive experience with the indigenous Batwa community – unique to Volcanoes
  3. Adventure activities include volcano hiking, golden monkey and mountain gorilla tracking and bird watching

The newly refurbished and upgraded lodge will offer guests the opportunity to experience for the first time at a lodge the unique and ancient way of life of the Batwa Pygmies, widely considered to be the oldest surviving peoples of Central Africa.

Volcanoes Safaris

Nestled in the foothills of the Virunga volcanoes on the edge of Mgahinga National Park in Southwest Uganda, Mount Gahinga Lodge offers unparalleled quiet and respite from the outside world. Based around traditional African huts, 6 of the 9 bandas and the public areas of the lodge will have been completely refurbished by October 2013, providing an enhanced level of eco-luxury characteristic of Volcanoes. The remaining bandas will be completed by early 2014.

Volcanoes SafarisPraveen Moman, co-founder and Managing Director of Volcanoes Safaris, commented about the launch: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Volcanoes Ugandan culture and hiking lodge at Mount Gahinga – a lodge that encompasses everything from adventure to safari to ancient tribal culture. By bringing a new level of luxury to the heart of Uganda our aim is to open up this culturally rich and largely undiscovered part of Africa to anyone interested in wildlife, adventure and discovery."

Volcanoes SafarisFor those more interested in adventure, guests can take advantage of the proximity of the lodge to the Mgahinga National Park which offers:

  1. Gorilla tracking in Nkuringo at the southern end of Bwindi National Park or sometimes in Mgahinga National Park itself
  2. Hiking up the beautiful Virunga volcanoes of Gahinga, Sabinyo, and Muhavura, the former’s peak straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC whilst the latter soars up to 4,127 metres
  3. Gentle trekking through the enchanting bamboo forests on the lower slopes of the volcanoes to see the abundantly rich bird life, and up to the marshy craters at the peak to spot bushbuck and the elusive duiker
  4. Tracking the rare and endangered golden monkeys whose forest is also home to a great diversity of bird and animal life
  5. And after it all, return to the embracing comfort of Mount Gahinga Lodge for a massage inspired by local techniques and products.

Volcanoes SafarisWe can't wait to visit!

-the JG Black Book team


Travel Necessities: SteriPen Ultraviolet Bacteria and Pathogen Killing Water Wand

Not all water is created equal. While some locations have the luxury of having drinkable tap water, others do not. In some areas around the world, even bottled water may not be 100% safe to drink. The JG Black Book team found a simple solution: the SteriPen Ultraviolet Bacteria and Pathogen Killing Water Wand.

SteripenThe SteriPen is the perfect water purifier for the one-the-go traveler. It's small, it's portable, and it's easy to use.

You don’t need to deal with dissolving tablets or plug-ins; instead, you just stick the gadget into your glass or bottle, turn it on, and let the magic happen. After 50 seconds or so, the water becomes safe to drink!

Pricing starts at $129.95.

-the JG Black Book team

Photo Friday: PURE Life Experiences and Adventure Travel

PURE Life Experiences is a travel trade show that honors the world's most innovative, inspiring, and passionate creators of unique travel experiences. The JG Black Book team is proud to collaborate with these trailblazers every day. Since this year's PURE conference theme is "New Frontiers, New Challenges", we'd like to dedicate today's Photo Friday post to some of our adventurous partners - "the true mavericks of experiential travel".

Serge Dive, Founder of PURE believes, "As humans we thrive in pushing boundaries, whether they are territorial, physical or emotional. We want to explore the reasons why and ways in which travellers do this. The ‘New Challenges’ element puts into perspective the fact that the more mankind breaks into new territory and fragile eco systems, the more it is our responsibility not to damage them.”


Matiana TravelMatiana Travel

Micato SafarisMicato Safaris

Nomadic ExpeditionsNomadic Expeditions

Quasar ExpeditionsQuasar Expeditions

Peirce & LesliePeirce & Leslie

-the JG Black Book team

Quin Week: Photo Friday - Artistry on the Walls

Artistry flows through the Quin’s DNA and history. The Quin’s legacy is grounded in the artists who once resided where the hotel now stands. As Quin Week comes to a close, we would like to give you a sneak peek into the Quin’s captivating digital art wall. This 15- foot digital art wall will exhibit a curated collection of rotating mixed media, photography and film in the lobby.

Currently, the Quin is featuring the work of Robert Christian Malmberg. The art wall showcases four of his alluring pieces which he crafted using the Collodion technique. This wet plate process of photography dates back to 1880’s, requiring very intricate and careful procedures. With a highly specialized camera, a glass plate and exotic chemicals, the photographer develops the photo within minutes of capturing it. Only very few have learned this rigorous craft and the Quin is extremely fortunate of have Robert Malmberg showcase his work through the digital art wall.

Art Wall at the Quin

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Quin Week: A Quintessential Day in NYC

We often talk about living the New York dream here at the JG Black Book office, and we've had our fun trying to do it, but it's probably best we leave it to the experts. So we've turned to the Quin, because as one of New York's newest luxury lifestyle hotels, soon to open on November 11th, New York luxury can go from a dream to reality.

Jenene Ronick

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Quin Week: Travel Necessities - Playing Cards

Who wants to try their hand at braving the "Concrete Jungle?". We at JG Black Book know how to navigate the city but our friends at the Quin probably know it better than we do as they'll become the newest face of New York luxury lifestyle in one of the most iconic city centers, when the doors open next week. 

Join us as we kick off "Quin Week", a tribute to the city that never sleeps, and is always full of fun and games.

Quin Cards

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Travel Necessities: Wine Skin

Today’s Travel Necessities blog post is dedicated to all the wine lovers out there. Many members of the JG Black Book team are also passionate about wine. Some of us have asked ourselves the following question multiple times during our travels: Do I buy this bottle of wine and risk what it might do to the interior of my suitcase at high altitude, or do I leave behind the perfect and unique bottle? With the Wine Skin, you won’t have to forfeit either!  Wineskin

You simply take your bottle, place it into the Wine Skin (a bottle-shaped bubble wrap bag) and seal it up!

This gadget is air-tight, so in the event that the bottle leaks, the seal prevents any liquid from leaking out and ruining your other belongings. The bubbles prevent it from breaking in-flight, so the chances of the bottle leaking in the first place are also reduced.

Pricing starts at $11.95 (pack of 5)

-the JG Black Book team

New Partner Showcase: GHM's The Chedi Andermatt & The Chedi Sakala

We're gleaming here at JG Black Book because Bali and Switzerland will see luxury like it's never seen it before. Our friends at GHM (General Hotel Management) have set their sights on unveiling 2 new outstanding properties certain to keep guests happy, healthy, and hoping to come back for more. The Chedi Andermatt is GHM's first Swiss property and combines traditional alpine elegance with innovative and sumptuous modern architecture. The Chedi Sakala is GHM's third property in Bali, a pristine beachfront property which draws from the Balinese aesthetic. The Asian brand is synonymous with style, service and serenity and we're happy they've decided to join the JG Black Book team. Here's visually tantilizing sneak peak of what's to come:

The Chedi Andermatt
The Chedi Andermatt

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Travel Necessities: Apple Airport Express

Here at JG Black Book, we understand that airports aren’t the most exciting places to be: the long lines, the spotty Wi-Fi, the flight delays… Luckily, we’ve found a new travel gadget that may make the waiting experience a little more bearable. The Apple Airport Express is a Wi-Fi base station that functions as a wireless access point!

Apple Airport ExpressTravelers can simply connect the Airport Express to an Ethernet network, and then plug the gadget into an unoccupied outlet. Once the wireless access is enabled, the Express allows up to 50 networked users—so your colleagues or family members can also enjoy Internet access. While you wait to board, you can kill some time browsing your favorite websites or streaming your favorite movies.

The Express is not only sleek and trendy in design, but also handy and portable in size. The gadget is only 7.58 ounces, a perfect size for carry-on bags.

Pricing begins at $99.00.

-the JG Black Book team

Quasar Week - Foodie Friday: Best Chocolate in the World

So it's Friday. Which means it's cheat day right? Well, us JG Black Book-ers think Friday is the perfect date to indulge a little bit. There's nothing better than taking a mid-day break full of chocolatey goodness and preparing for a relaxing weekend. Thanks to our friends at Quasar Expeditions, we can indulge ALL day as they share with us, the best of the best when it comes to the creamy, delicious, guilty pleasure.

Chocolate is a pleasure, a passion and a global industry. When the Spanish Court discovered that combining New World chocolate with sugar produced such amazing results, they kept it a state secret for 100 years. Thankfully the secret got out and now the entire world loves chocolate as evidenced by how much we all spend on it.

Cacao Plant
Cacao Plant - Photo by Mathmuse

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