A bit about me
I was extraordinarily fortunate to spend five years in Botswana and South Africa in the 1970’s working as a professional Safari Guide, managing camps and leading safaris in the Okavango Delta, Namibia and Zimbabwe. A long way from my Northumberland home!
The 1980’s saw me back in London managing ExplorAsia, the Tiger Mountain group of company UK marketing office, promoting and organizing travel throughout the sub-continent including wildlife, trekking and cultural vacations. Tiger Mountain were one of the pioneers of adventure travel and conservation tourism. They established the first ever trekking company and ran treks and climbing expeditions throughout the Himalayas in India and Nepal.
They also had a series of wildlife lodges and camps including the iconic Tiger Tops Jungle lodge, world leader at the time for environmentally sensitive tours which included and supported the local communities. Having been on the main Board of Directors I resigned in 1991 to start up my own company World Wide Journeys and Expeditions which grew, acquired other companies and emerged in 2003 as The Ultimate Travel Company.
My favourite place
Anywhere new? Having spent much time in Africa, lately Kenya, with its big skies, engaging people and freedom, it continues to be a big attraction. It may sound clichéd but simply thinking of the sounds, beauty and aromas of an African sunset makes my skin tingle. But then I love variety, the bustling streets of Havana, the peace and tranquillity of the Himalayas, the grandeur and solitude of the Antarctic, the drama of the Galapagos Islands and the hypnotic charm of the Irrawaddy are all equally captivating and enthralling.
My favourite hotel
Whichever one I am in at the time!
My most memorable experience
Scuba diving in the Galapagos surrounded by dozens of Hammerhead Sharks desperately hoping they had read the same guide book as me, which reported that there had never been a shark attack in the Islands!
My top tips
- Travel lightly, with an open mind and a sense of humor. You never need as much clobber as you imagine and laundry service is invariably good and quick.
- Be prepared for behaviour and attitudes that differ from what you may be used to at home. Just because they vary from what you consider the norm does not mean they are wrong. It is wasted energy being stressed or agitated on vacation due to minor delays, misunderstanding or the occasional hiccup. Most of these situations will have an amusing side if viewed from the right angle.
- Leave phones and emails switched off as much as possible. It is amazing how life can continue without your involvement.
- Above all have fun, keep your eyes, mind and heart open and absorb as much as you can.