This winter I had the amazing opportunity to experience a 3 day 2 night Tanzania safari at Mikumi National Park, the closest safari destination to Tanzania’s capital city of Dar Es Salaam. This is on the low end in terms of duration for a safari, but I found it to be just enough to satisfy the need for a “in the bush” experience. The excursion was booked through Sam’s Car Rental – including accommodations at the Mikumi Adventure Lodge, a full day game drive, and a visit to a traditional Maasai village.

The (Long) Route to Mikumi

Any Tanzania safari will require some form of transfer, with the most common “ports of call” being Nairobi, Arusha, or Dar Es Salaam. For us this journey would be a close to 7 hour traffic ridden drive east of Dar on the A5 motorway. Our chariot was a dated but comfortable Toyota Landcrusier, they type you see often across Africa.

To me, this leg of the journey was almost as fascinating as the actual safari. Seeing how starkly different these people live is an enlightening experience.

 

There is a drastic lack of infrastructure by western terms. It seems like the A5 is the lifeblood of these communities. Local life thrives around the road, with every 5 or so miles opening up to a vibrant hub of buildings resembling transportation hubs – with buses and motorcycles lining the roadway.

Mikumi Adventure Lodge: Home Sweet Home

It was the slow season for a Tanzania safari, so we had almost the entirety of the Mikumi Adventure Lodge to ourselves. The service was exceptional – all of the lodge employees were pleasant and helpful. The accommodations were also solid, likely some of the best appointed rooms available close to the park.

There was a pool that was under construction, which did not help us at the time but should be an amazing future edition. There is no air conditioning in the rooms, but there are large circulating fans on the ceiling. These worked surprisingly well, and kept the rooms comfortable and cool in the afternoon.

Mikumi Adventure Lodge Rooms & Grounds

 

As you can see, the rooms are well appointed and homey. Each cottage style space includes comfy beds and amble space for two or a family, with some rooms including a smaller bed for children or other additional guests. What you should expect from your Tanzania safari, like much of Africa, is that you will more than likely not always have access to electric power. Due to a lack of infrastructure and reliability, most resorts run diesel generators to either supplement or totally replace their utility company.

One of my favorite parts of getting back to the Mikumi Adventure Lodge in the evenings was the dining. There has an extensive menu that served both local and western favorites, always cooked to order and fresh. The wait and kitchen staff were very receptive to your requests and everything came out absolutely delicious. Plus there was no lack of local beers for your choosing…I became quite a fan of the “Safari” brand. It also happens to be the strongest…

The Game Drive & Seeing the King of the Jungle

The Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle and represents the pinnacle of off-road durability. (Sidenote: The military grade 80’s Mercedes Geländewagen is a close second). These are also quite prevalent in Africa, with ours having a ridiculous extended chassis and open passenger deck. When I first saw it, I was in absolute awe at the imminent experience of driving around the bush in this car. (Sidenote 2: This beast would also be very appropriate for cruising around Malibu…)

Mikumi Game Drive

Obviously, the most exciting thing about a safari is seeing the animals in their natural habit. It’s almost kind of nerve racking — one wonders if any of the “big 5” (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard) will even be out during our drive. Luckily for us, we hit the jackpot. Our Tanzania safari driver Richard was a young man that was very knowledgeable on the animals and very familiar with the park. With his help, we were able to see the king of the jungle, the African Lion, within the first two hours of our safari.

Maasai Village Visit – Tanzania Safari Highlight

 

On the last day of our Safari with Sam’s, we were meant to take a tour of a traditional Maasai village. I was initially a bit hesitant about this, as I’m not a huge fan of this sort of “human tourism.” However, after going through the experience I would recommend it to everybody. This is certainly a unique experience that you will not get on a typical Tanzania safari. Our guide was one of the Mikumi Adventure Lodge staff, and an actual member of the village. We showed up somewhere around 8am, and where able to see the village stir to life in the morning.

The people were very welcoming, showing as much curiosity to learn about us as we wanted to about them. All were dressed in the traditional cloth dressing and lent us a pair to fit in. We went a long with it, but let’s just say it’s probably not the best look for me. There were a mix of cows, goats, and chickens roaming the area around the village with some corrals in the middle for the various animals. One of the cutest things I’ve ever seen is when a little boy stole a baby goat away from it’s mother and ran to us for safety while the mother was in hot pursuit.

Maasai Village Tour Highlights

The homes were basically built out of tree shrubs and mud, with typically 3 separate rooms in each structure. One of the traditions that the Maasai hold are starting fires from the brush, something that is much easier said than done. Also fascinating, is the traditional dance that they performed for us. It entails standing in line and chanting Swahili phrases I did not understand and periodically coming up in front of everyone and jumping in place. Words don’t do it justice, but it was an impressive feat to witness.

Our guide had told us that the area in which the village was located was often frequented my lions looking to mate. Bow-chicka-wow-wowwwww. Now, seeing a lion on your Tanzania safari is certainly a priority, but probably not this intimately. We were told that lions often lurked around the village at night looking for food, particularly during the dry season when Mikumi park had a lack of other game to hunt. They would on occasion try to kill the village cows, and the Maasai have to essentially fight them off with spears. That. Is. Bad. Ass.

Huge Thanks To Our Sponsors For Making This Trip Possible…


Inspiration and insight can come in unexpected places. A perfect example are the 8 life lessons for men that I uncovered while on safari in East Africa. The Animal Kingdom can teach us much about our own humanity…

1. Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover

African elephants are very aggressive, unlike their Indian elephant counterparts. Our safari guide has seen some Indian people learn this the hard way…and end up in the hospital. Moral here is craziness can lurk under a facade of innocence…do with that what you will.

elephant safari

 

2. It’s tough being a bachelor

Impala alpha males are quite the misogynists. They live in communities of up to 20 females and their babies, asserting dominance over them all. They constantly battle against other males to maintain this role. The losers are called “bachelors” and live with each other, banished from the women. This is basically how my single friends and I operate when we go the the Bungalow. It’s cool impala bros, we feel your pain.

yp jetset safari

 

3. Be yourself everyone else is taken

Zebra’s stripe patterns are unique to themselves and themselves only, no two are exactly alike. It is a bold and individualistic life they live, and we should take there examples. Certainly, one of the most valuable of the 8 life lessons. A wise man I know once also pointed out how similar these majestic creatures are to the female sex (@ 1:06).

 

zebra safari 8 life lessons

4. A nice compliment to a woman can go a long way

The giraffe is the national animal of Tanzania. Apparently, it is considered flattering to liken an African woman’s looks to that of a giraffe. Our tour guide instructed us on how to say “You look like a giraffe” in Swahili. Unfortunately, we did not employ this pickup line “in the wild.” I would be keen to here from any of you guys that have.

 

5. Be careful where you put your banana

Baboons will not hesitate to be cheeky and steal food from you. Our guide had seen multiple occasions food and even cameras being stolen by these little scoundrels. Apparently they’re not at all afraid of women, so you gentlemen should be careful with who you let hold your bananas.

 

yp jetset safari

 

6. Politicians are hated in all countries

Tanzania elected a new president last year to a six year term. Richard seemed to be a supportive of his progressive reforms, including requiring credit cards be used for national tourism so that payments can be tracked. However, not all the locals shared this position, and felt much more like how I feel towards the new president-elect of the United States. Well, at least there currently no wall planned for the Zambian border.

 

 

7. Venue rules are there for your safety, you should follow them

I was told by our safari guide that if I signed a waiver I could basically do whatever the f*** I wanted to. Swim across the hippo pond? Sure. Steal a baby baboon? Go ahead. Provoke a sleeping Lion? Why not. You do so at your own (liability released) risk.

 

 

8. If you have to ask the question, yes you are too old for it

When a male water buffalo becomes elderly, he is shunned away from the group as it is believed he can no longer provide security and contribute to the herd.  This is kind of how I feel these days when younger friends or co-workers recommend a day drinking event like Santacon. Sorry, I can add no value to this gathering as I will probably want to get tacos and go home by 1pm…so you can go ahead and just stop the uber right now.

We’d like to thank our sponsors for making this trip, and subsequent enlightenment, possible. Cheers to…


A Slick Boutique in Belgravia

Nestled on a quite street across from the Eccleston Square Park, the Eccleston Square Hotel offers a sophisticated refuge in the midst of central London. The hotel sits close enough to Victoria station to be remain very convenient while still offering an escape. The high tech amenities in each room provide both business and leisure travelers with the latest in entertainment, communication, and climate controls.

The Property

The Eccleston Square Hotel is a hidden gem at the cross roads of Belgravia, Victoria, and Westminster. The neighborhood is distinctly British, with picturesque Georgian architecture lining the streets of St. George’s drive. I’ve stayed in a plethora of hotels across London, and the Eccleston Square Hotel is consistently on top of a short list of options. This preference is due to the following reasons:

  • A secluded location that is within walking distance of multiple tube stops
  • A FREE smartphone given to you during your stay, which allows free local and international calls. You may use it while traveling through London during your stay. How AWESOME is that??
  • Sleek rooms that I find ideal for the business traveler – the right mix of high tech efficiency and relaxing comfort
  • TVs in the bathroom mirrors. If you read this blog, you know this is my favorite SuiteLife gimmick.
  • A FREE Minibar and 24 hour in-room tea service (It’s brilliant, mate)
  • A warm and welcoming feel from this family run hotel

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The Signature King Room

The rooms are chic and well appointed with modern finishing and tastefully integrated technology throughout. Each room has a 46″ 3D TV, IPad, Free WiFi, plentiful charging ports, and other touches in select rooms.

 

Eccleston Square HotelEach of the Signature King rooms in the Eccleston Square hotel have a unique feature – either a private balcony, private patio, or elevated ceilings. The rooms feel light and airy – and somehow the modern decor seem to compliment the traditionally British feel of the hotel’s exterior.

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London is where YP JetSet was officially launched. Check out our Launch Party Galary and our tribute to the cars of London.

Oh Londontown

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As I left the Eccleston Square Hotel the London weather was it’s notoriously dreary self. It’s a consistent gripe that the British and expats that call this city home often like to bring up. However, I think it is one of the pivotal defining characteristics of this place. The cosmopolitan aura of London is somewhat contrasted by it’s traditional roots, and that dichotomy has been a huge inspiration in what YP JetSet has evolved into along the years. What hasn’t change though, is that the YP boys still preach the mantra to “Live Life Take Flights.”

 

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JW Marriott Marquis Miami

In the sinfully sexy city of Miami, there are a plethora of luxurious hotel options. One of our favorites is the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. The sleek modern accommodations are great for both business and leisure stays. Spectacular views from the rooms include the Miami river and the super yachts docked at the Icon across the street.

The Property

The JW brand is one of Marriott’s most prestigious, with the “Marquis” designation deeming the property ever more special. The JW Marriott Marquis Miami is housed in sleek skyscraper that is also home to the Hotel Beaux Arts, another luxurious Marriott property with a boutique feel. The hotel boasts an extensive amount of amenities across two floors of the entertainment in the building, which includes:

  • Mariano Bartolome Indoor Golf School including golf simluator and putting green
  • Virtual bowling alley
  • Media room with 65″ 3D screen
  • Billiard room
  • 10,000 square foot NBA approved basketball court
  •  2500 sf fitness center and on-site yoga studio

jw marriott marquis miami pool

Yes, the amenities are not lacking. And the view is as sexy as the city is. The one drawback is the shade situation at the pool…by the afternoon the deck is usually covered so get your tanning in early in the day

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The Large Suite

The rooms are chic and modern in their design and decor, which fits in perfectly with the glitz and glamour of Miami. Large HD TVs in the suites are well positioned throughout the rooms and have intuitive entertainment menus.

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

The JW Marriott Marquis Miami also happens to have one of our favorite hotel room “gimmick features” – in mirror TVs in the suite bathroom. It’s these sort of small touches that, although totally unnecessary, help set properties apart from one another and create a truly luxurious atmosphere in the rooms. Sometimes you just want to sip a beer in the bath tub and watch the game, ya know?

jw marriott miami marquis bathroom

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Sitting in an airport in the United State’s pacific northwest and watching the rain come down over the runway, my mind wanders to where I’d rather be. For instance, on a plane with a live DJ headed to the White Isle of Ibiza. That sounds like a pretty appealing proposition. Luckily, if you have the determination and the funds you can bring this fantasy to fruition.

The DJ duo of Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike are again making their summer pilgrimage to Ibiza for their “House of Madness” residency. In true capitalist fashion, they are offering a their dedicated fans travel packages that include flights, accommodations, and of course, tickets to their show at Amnesia.

Now we realize that there are many many options in regards to the revelry that you can experience in Ibiza. But this is something that is certainly unique. And it goes beyond the gimmick of an “in-flight-DJ”. We endorse this concept on a different level. Typically, flights are a very impersonal experience that get you from point A to point B. There seem to be two types of people you encounter: (1) “Oh my gosh I’m so excited for this! Where are you from? How long are you staying? We should TOTALLY hang out when we get there!!! (2) *Please excuse me as I put my eye mask on and pretend like you don’t exist for the duration of this voyage. I might acknowledge your presence as I get my carry on from the overhead, but probably not*.

Well, this seems to bridge the gap between those two extremes. Obviously, if you’re on a flight with a live DJ you are a certain type of person and have committed yourself to being social and real. I’ve met some pretty awesome people on flights that have evolved into great friends or professional contacts. Frankly, that doesn’t happen enough. The caveat though, is that the flights only leave to/from Brussels (just another excuse for you to visit another amazing city). So although it’s unlikely that you’ll find your next investor into your start up in Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike’s party flight, you just find someone who is just as passionate about tequila as you are. Cheers!

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Ibiza_Hotels

Need More Ibiza In Your Life?

Ibiza 1980s

Ibiza (it’s ee-bee-tha you tourist) is a wonderfully weird place.  Wonder what it was like “back in the day”?

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This is what it’s like to say “F*ck It” after a break up and losing your job. Fly to Ibiza and have the best week of your life…