Yearly Archives: 2012

Assistance for Kumuka customers

Dragoman and Imaginative Traveller are sorry to learn of the plight of travellers worldwide affected by Kumuka going into administration, so are extending support to anyone affected in several ways:

~ Dragoman with its extensive range of overland trucks is briefing crew to pick up any stranded Kumuka passengers, offering on-the-road discounts of up to 25%;

 ~ Dragoman and Imaginative Traveller together offer an impressively wide range of overlanding and adventure travel holidays, and will strive to find the best alternative for any Kumuka customers;

 ~ Most Dragoman overland trips are already priced typically 20% cheaper than Kumuka in South America, but will ‘price match’ any equivalent Dragoman or Imaginative Traveller trip where necessary and possible.

Collectively Dragoman and Imaginative Traveller have over 50 years experience in adventure travel.

Both brands now sit under the same umbrella company Dragoman Overseas Travel Limited, which holds an Air Travel Organisers License (ATOL 4157), issued and bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure customers are protected.

Their combined Sales team are adventure travel experts with access to a wide range of trips, dates, flights, insurance and other associated services to help Kumuka customers.

Customers should call Dragoman or Imaginative Traveller on 01728 885171. 

 

 

Giza 3D Tours

Is this the ultimate in armchair archaeological adventure? Quite possibly. A brand new application launched this week allows you to take a 3D virtual ‘interior and exterior’ tour of the pyramids of Giza, Egypt – without having to leave your seat. 
 
The French designers, ‘Dessault Systemes’, say that "users will be able to roam throughout the necropolis, visit the carefully restored tombs, access shafts and corridors, as well as browse all the information on the occupants of each burial chamber, including the dates of discovery and objects collected".
 
 
Situated on the outskirts of Cairo, the Giza complex spreads over several square kilometres and includes the three Great Pyramids, as well as the Sphinx.
 
The oldest and largest of these, the Great Pyramid, was completed in around 2560 BC and is the most ancient of the famous Seven Wonders of the World and the only one to remain largely intact.
 
 
While there is no substitute for seeing the pyramids at Giza in real life, the virtual tour ould whet the appetite of those heading off to see these awe-inspiring structures for themselves on an Egyptian small group adventure as well as help them learn more about these amazing landmarks.
 
 

Why the ‘fly and flop’ has ‘flown and flopped’

As a leading adventure travel company, we admit to being a little biased when it comes to what we’d recommend as a travel option. Clue: adventure, culture and relaxation! 
 
A just-published survey on travel trends, though,  has uncovered that one in three travellers prefer a hotel ‘fly and flop’ poolside holiday, with one in five admitting they never leave the hotel complex at all.
 
It would seem that this lack of imagination when it comes to holiday options has a down side (you don’t say!), with one in five adults reporting feeling uncomfortable about being unable to give any insight into a country’s culture and traditions.
 
The findings also revealed four in ten tourists never get a true feel for their destination because they don’t ‘get off the beaten track’.
 
 
Eurocamp’s Chris Hilton, who commissioned the survey, says, " it’s a real shame to return from a holiday thinking you’ve not made the most of your time away.’
 
He added: ‘Certainly, our customers tell us that getting off the beaten track and exploring as a family can really enrich the holiday experience."
 
Which is what our customers have been saying for over 20 years! 
 
 

Remarkable women wanted for Channel 4 TV documentary!

Are you about to embark on a ‘voyage of discovery’? Have you reached ‘mid-life’ and are wanting to turn your life around? Have you done so already?
 
If so, then Channel 4′s prestigious documentary department would like to hear about it for a 2-part documentary with writer, actress and comedian, Sharon Horgan. 
 
(Viewers may remember Sharon’s last documentary, ‘How to be a good mother’ which aired recently on Channel 4)
 
"In the film we want Sharon to meet men and women who are battling the negative feelings associated with middle age in a unique and empowering way," say the producers. "We want her to meet people embarking on a journey of self-discovery, or anyone adopting on a new and remarkable approach to life, after a moment of crisis, whether it’s a divorce, kids leaving the home, or early retirement."
 
Does this sound like you? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Just forward your details to: mailto:rebecca@dragoman.co.uk
 

The ‘other side’ of Iran

It may be a destination that makes the headlines for the wrong reasons (it’s government, rather than its culture, landscapes, architecture or people), but, as a recent surge in bookings testify, for seasoned travellers it remains one of the great ‘must sees’.
 
From the exquisite Islamic buildings of Esfahan to the strange mud-brick towers of the ancient desert city of Yazd; colourful bazaars and shimmering deserts to cosmopolitan tea-houses in modern-day Tehran, there’s just so much to see.
 
Our two week adventure has proved a bit hit not just because it showcases all this magnificent but comparatively little-visited country has to offer, but because it gives travellers the chance to see ‘the other side’ of Iran. Fancy hanging out with the nomads in a goat hair tent – a genuine Silk road caravanserai? Or finding out about day-to-day life with a local family in the lovely oasis city of Kashan?
 
Come and discover for yourself why the people of Iran are famed for being amongst the most hospitable and friendly people on the planet.
 
 

Australasian war history

 
Tomorrow (25th April) marks one of the most significant events in Australasian war history:  the  anniversary of the landing of Australasian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.
 
Each year, New Zealand and Australian tourists flock to Gallipoli, Turkey, to commemorate those who lost their lives, and of course, to make a holiday of it, given that Turkey is the fastest growing tourist destination in the Middle East. 
 
Boasting a rich history and culture, 5,000 miles of stunning coastline (and oh, the warm, azure waters!) distinctive cuisine and more archaeological sites than seems fair, it’s no wonder that Turkey is such a hit with adventurous travellers young and not so young.
 
As an added incentive, we’re also offering up to 15% off trips that depart there before the end of December. Click here for more. 
 

Australasian war history

Tomorrow (25th April) marks one of the most significant events in Australasian war history:  the  anniversary of the landing of Australasian soldiers – the Anzacs – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

Each year, New Zealand and Australian tourists flock to Gallipoli, Turkey, to commemorate those who lost their lives, and of course, to make a holiday of it, given that Turkey is the fastest growing tourist destinations in the Middle East.

Boasting a rich history and culture, 5,000 miles of stunning coastline (and oh, the warm, azure waters!) distinctive cuisine and more archaeological sites than seems fair, it’s no wonder that Turkey is such a hit with adventurous travellers young and not so young.

As an added incentive, we’re also offering up to 15% off trips that depart there before the end of December. Click here for more.

 

Historic Visit

The world’s spotlight has been firmly placed on Burma this week, to coincide with David Cameron’s historic visit to the country, where he met Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at her Lakeside Villa in Rangoon. Since softening her stance on tourism to Burma, and sanctions being lifted, enquiries about our Burma trips have more than tripled. In this timely picture gallery, courtesy of the Telegraph, see for yourself what this stunning but until now, comparatively isolated country, has to offer the adventurous traveller.

 

Holi Moly

It’s certainly true that a picture can say a thousand words so, as India and Nepal celebrate what must be one of the world’s most colourful religious festivals this week – Holi – we thought we’d share this gallery courtesy of the Guardian.

If you haven’t experienced this riot of colour for yourself, where Hindus throw coloured water over each other and during which usually strict social norms are relaxed  (it’s wild!) why not book yourself in for next year? Holi falls on 27th and 28th March in 2013 and we’ve a stack of trips which co-incide, including our 14 day Road to Delhi trip and our 22 day North India Unplugged trip.

 

Photography on holiday

At Destinations last weekend there was a display of Ponting’s photos from Antarctica which conveyed the immense power a photo can have on the viewer.  The image of Scott and his ill-fated companions at the South Pole in front of the Norwegians’ tent is almost too poignant to bear.  Do go and see for yourselves – it’s at the Royal Geographical Society, it’s free and on now until the end of March.

There is also another exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery showing not only some of Ponting’s photos of Scott’s expedition but also Hurley’s images of Shackleton’s incredible experience on the same continent - now until mid-April.

With the bankruptcy of one of the world’s most iconic names, Kodak, it made me ponder on the changing face of photography when travelling.  We have gone from carefully clutching our rolls of film to be developed once we returned home to taking instant images on a variety of appliances (sometimes even a camera!) and being able to send these to anyone we like immediately, from halfway round the world.  Or upload them for public viewing. Or even use them to create our own personalised postcard – if you are still into sending snail mail that is.

Personally I believe that sometimes removing yourself from behind whatever appliance you are using to take images actually places you deeper into your destination.  Some of my most memorable moments have been experienced when, after a lot of swearing, I have been faced with a broken camera and have had to rely on eyeball memories alone. And other times I have simply just put the camera down in order to get closer to the place I am in.  Cruising to Antartica was one of those times.  On safari was another.

So maybe for that ultimate Kodak moment nothing else is needed except eyes and memory…..