Whether this is your first or third time renting a luxury vacation home, you may still be confused about how much to tip the staff. Luxury vacation villas generally provide more staff and a higher level of personalized service; therefore, warranting more generous tips than staff at a luxury hotel. You’re likely to be in more direct contact and come to know the staff by name. The amount you tip will depend upon the quality and quantity of service, length of your stay, and the size of your group. These recommendations are based on a five to seven-night stay. Follow these insightful tips and you won’t under tip or over tip.
A baby orangutan lay curled in the fetal position on the grass by the banks of the Sekonyer Kanin River. She’d lived in a cage in someone’s back yard for two years. Her mother had been killed by poachers and eaten so she could be sold for as little as $20. It was likely the orphan had witnessed the traumatic event. Now she was sick and her human owners no longer wanted her. She’d lost two families in three short years. She had a fever and wasn’t responding when touched.
A few days ago my friend Mary Ann Mollenkamp sent me a link to a blog post written by Innocent Uwizeye from the Art of Conservation. He described a hike to Karisoke Research Center, the former site of gorilla expert Dian Fossey’s 18-year research study of the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. Although our friendship with Dian spanned 2 short years before her death, it was a relationship that redefined our purpose and eventually led us to establish our own private nature reserves in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica and a life among its primates. What follows is our blog posts.
When you got to the Karisoke site was there an engraved marker on Dian’s grave? It reads in part, “No one loved gorillas more. Rest in peace dear friend…” I wrote the inscription on the marker and sent it to Rwanda through the US Embassy to be installed in 1986. We later learned it had been removed during the war for safekeeping but we don’t know if it was ever reinstalled. Can you let us know?
Today was an amazing day beginning with unloading two tons of watermelons from one of the many produce trucks that come in every day. Each watermelon needs to be washed by hand. We also mashed bananas, cornmeal and other grains into elephant balls for the older elephants who can’t chew fresh fruit. Each elephant needs about 100 kilos per day. Their are 40 elephants here – that’s 4000 kilos of food prepped everyday!
We were then rewarded with Lek taking us on an elephant walk. Her nickname means “little” but her passion for saving badly abused elephants is enormous. Nine elephants are blind in at least one eye having been punished for disobeying. I naively believed their mahout trainers had a loving relationship with their elephants but the opposite is true. Some elephants have severely swayed or even broken backs from decades of carrying tourists.