Travel London Lite Friday, 13 November 2009 13 Shanghai glamour IS SHANGHAI the new New York? We think so -- especially with the opening this autumn of a Peninsula Hotel. According to our spy its a haven of Twenties glamour and art deco loveliness, where walk-through dressing rooms and adjustable mood lighting are standard. For a great rate (180 per room including airport transfers and breakfast for two) visit before February. peninsula.com, 0800 2828 3888 Indulge in Ireland THE beautiful Tankardstown House, set among the rolling hills of County Meath, Ireland, has been invited to join luxury accommodation listing Blue Book Collection for 2010. To celebrate, it has an amazing offer of two nights bed and breakfast in a courtyard cottage, an evening meal for two at the Brabazon restaurant and an indulgent champagne afternoon for 226 per person, sharing. tankardstown.ie NewYearadventure START the New Year with an adventure break in stunning Snowdonia. This trip is tailored for solo travellers and includes three nights in a three-star hotel, abseiling, mountain biking, hill walking, indoor climbing and a rope course. All activities are guided and designed to suit a range of fitness levels. The price is 399 per person, based on a twin- share, and includes breakfast, lunch and dinner with wine daily. Departs 29 December. adventura.com, 0800 612 2202 Lap up festive fun SAVE 800 on a family holiday in Lapland this Christmas. Esprit Holidays is offering a two-night stay for four in snowy Rovaniemi, departing Gatwick on 7 December, for 1,899. It includes return flights, B&B accommodation at the Ounasvarra Cabins, transfers, a private family snowmobile safari to find Santa, gifts for under-12s, a visit to Santas Control Centre and the Joulukka Elf School, a husky sled ride and reindeer sleigh ride. santaslapland.com, 01252 618300 Takingoff... EDITED BY OLIVIA WALMSLEY All the facts, figures and advice you need to get your business idea off to a good start. Free, at the British Library. Find out how at www.bl.uk/bipc Business & IP Centre Join us for Global Entrepreneurship W eek 16 20 November 2009 Safari out: Tayo and Jane get very close to a lioness and, below, Maasai herdsmen with a real cool cat lunch on a high escarpment with the park spread out before us, we drove down to the Tarangire River, the only source of water in the park, where herds of wildebeest and zebra were congregat- ing, while families of elephants per- formed as they should, excavating water holes and swinging their trunks into their mouths. We also identified our least favour- ite creature -- the marabou storks, huge, cruel-looking birds, with wings like a cloak. They spread their wings on land and in water to attract smaller animals and fish to take shelter in the shade they provide. Then they eat them. Their heads and necks are feather-free -- because they spend all their time with their faces in the carcasses of dead creatures. We drove on past warthogs (like a cross between a pig and a tiny mam- moth), and a lone buffalo, and in the distance a family of four cheetahs -- a rare spot, and of some comfort to Tayo, who was beginning to fret about the big cat count. Just before sunset, we arrived at Migunga Forest Camp (moivaro.com), where we fell asleep to the almost deafening sounds of the wildlife, the cries of bushbabies and the strains of the local Pentecostal church. NgorogoroCrater THE early bird catches the lions, so, at 7.30am, we set out for the Ngorogoro Crater, a former volcano that exploded and caved in on itself to form a plain measuring 102 square miles, home to 25,000 large animals. Feetawaywereherdsof wildebeestand zebra, while pink flamingos were dotted againstthewhiteof asaltlake.Thomsons gazelles were keeping a wary distance from a lone hyena, and beyond, visible through binoculars, a black rhino sat amongthegrasses.Shortlybeforemidday, Tayocrackedandexpressedconcernthat thelionsappearedtobehiding.Asif their feline ears had picked up his worries, we suddenly spotted them, a female and an adolescent male, sprawling on the earth just20maway.WhenJacksontoldusthat because there is little shade in the crater, lions sometimes try to take shelter from the sun under safari jeeps, Tayo and I willedthelionstocometous. Incredibly, as we gazed on in awe, the lions stood up and began strolling towards us. Closer and closer they came, until they were circling our jeep, and young Aslan glanced up at me before settling himself down underneath the shady back left wheel arch, so close I could see his body moving with his breathing. I wanted to reach down and bury my hands in his glorious mane -- but since I am able to type this, you will know I thought better of it. Another safari jeep pulled up, but the lions preferred to stay close to us -- Tayo and I agreed they were definitely our lions. That afternoon, we took in pools full of hippos muddily lolling around, families of baboons grooming each other, buffalos right beside the path, and the aftermath of a kill, with vultures and a hyena tear- ing apart a buffalo carcass. After a cycle to the nearby Lake Manyara on our final day, with reluctance we made our way to Kilimanjaro airport for a flight back to Nairobi, but there was one more wildlife spot to come -- journalist AA Gill in safari gear at check-in, fresh from shooting a baboon that day. Tayo and I agreed wed like to set our lions on him. Three-day safari from 640pp, inc accommodation and food, see worldexpeditions.co.uk. Flight from London to Nairobi from 406 return, connecting flights to Kilimanjaro from 125 each way, see kenya-airways.com SEE THEM BREATHE MADE THIS SAFARI A ROARING SUCCESS Plain sailing: Jane against a backdrop of wildebeest in Ngorogoro Crater index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html44.html45.html46.html47.html48.html49.html50.html51.html52.html53.html54.html55.html56.html57.html58.html59.html60.html61.html62.html63.html