Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Update

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Updated 3 June 2020 The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to have a huge impact on the travel industry worldwide as many countries keep their borders closed, many airlines are grounded, and our government's travel restrictions are largely unchanged. As at 18 March 2020, the government’s travel advisory is ‘Do not travel overseas at this time.’ In response to these unprecedented conditions, and with great sadness, we are suspending all tours departing between 18 March and 31
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Chernobyl – an unlikely travel destination

Tour Leader Jim Gill led a group of intrepid travellers to Ukraine and beyond in 2013. This is his report of their sobering and fascinating visit to Chernobyl and Pripyat. As ‘alternative’ day trips go, there are surely few in the world that can match this one. We have driven, by choice, 100km out of Kiev – the beautiful Ukrainian capital – to the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster. Chernobyl. Its mere mention still sends a chill through the body, in much the same way as do Indi
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Bathed in Blessings: Timkat in Ethiopia

It is hot in Addis Ababa. Already crowds are beginning to gather in the historic Ethiopian capital, waiting under the bright, clear skies, men and women dressed in the traditional white shamma, their children playing beneath banners of red, green, and yellow—the colours of the Ethiopian flag. In the grassy fields of Jan Meda, to the northeast of the city centre, large tents have been erected and hundreds of locals and tourists swarm the area, anxious to catch a glimpse of the coming procession
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Research trip to northern South American a jaw-dropper

Travel Directors' tour mastermind, Tony Evans, recently completed the research trip for our forthcoming, 'South America: the Top End' tour. With high expectations he set off last December to put the finishing touches to what he was confident would be an 'out of this world' tour. He was not disappointed. This is his report of what he discovered on that trip. I am writing this in a cafe in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. It is a bright sunny day with temperatures in the early 20s, and all aro
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Easter and Antigua: a collision of colour

It is early morning, a few days before Good Friday. Low clouds hang over the mountains, a mist-white halo forming the backdrop to the narrow, cobblestone streets of Antigua, Guatemala. It is Holy Week – Semana Santa – and the city is alive with spiritual fervour. Outside the rows of pastel-coloured houses, hundreds of residents—men and women, children and the elderly—kneel as if in prayer, meticulously laying out colourful sawdust to create vibrant, patterned carpets that will, eventuall
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A Letter from Shiraz

Our Ukrainian-based, multi-lingual, and ever-popular tour leader, Anna Andrusyk, recently returned to Shiraz with our September Treasures of Persia and the Caucasus group. This is her brief account of re-visiting this remarkable Iranian city, after two years' absence. This magnificent and wonderful,  sandy-yellowish country with amazing ancient history and fantastic sightseeing, has greeted me in the same hearty way as it did two years ago. Once again, clad in my brightly-coloured scarf, m
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SUPPORTING CONSERVATION

In today’s conservation-conscious world, leaving a small or minimal footprint on the environment is an important part of responsible travelling and tourism. Actively supporting local communities and conservation projects, goes one step further. Travelling responsibly These days we are all very conscious of minimising any negative impact on the environment in the destinations we visit. This goes beyond correctly disposing of our litter – particularly those ubiquitous water bottles – and b
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Feeling the Heat in Turkmenistan

An intrepid group of Australians enjoy an exclusive dinner party in the Karakum Desert as the flames from the Darvaza gas crater warm the night air. Few places on earth inspire the same kind of awe and wonder as Turkmenistan’s Door to Hell. Located in the heart of the Karakum Desert—a little over four hours from Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat—the Darvaza Gas Crater has been blazing for almost half a century and shows no sign of stopping.  Sign of the Apocalypse, or Scientific Bungle
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Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

You may think you’ve seen and done it all when it comes to jet setting and sightseeing. You’ve climbed the Eiffel Tower, watched the sun set over Mt. Fuji, even gone on a festive sled ride through the frozen Russian tundra. However, one of the most meaningful and transformative travel experiences is being able to get up close and personal with a new environment, ecosystem, and culture—and what better way to do so than to come face to face with one of the rarest, most endangered creatures o
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