With its picturesque beaches and beautiful blue waters, Ashok Solanki discovers that there are few more delectable places to unwind than the exotic ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar…
“One can smell the spices in the air, even though the island itself is still not in sight. It is said that in the old days pilots followed the scent of the spices to locate this tiny speck in the Indian Ocean. The ferry from Dar es Salaam takes just over 2 hours, but when you land on Zanzibar you step back in time to an, as yet, unspoilt and little-known paradise.
The 19 islands that make up the Galapagos archipelago are a genuinely unique travel experience. From amazing encounters with rare wildlife, to meeting locals who cling to their ancestral traditions, Intrepid’s Cara Brown discovered that these equatorial islands have a way of changing the way you think about our world…
“Crystal clear water, the sand between my toes and a hard-earned beer in my hands… welcome to the Galapagos Islands, situated 1000km west from the coast of Ecuador. It is my 2nd day on the beautiful island of Isabela and she is seducing us in every way. Let me start off by telling you that the Galapagos is not your average island getaway. As my eyes focus on the landscape that surrounds me I take in everything; white sandy beaches, volcanic rock, sentinel-looking cacti and lush farming lands.
In our search for new Global Gift ideas for Christmas, The Intrepid Foundation has come up with great gifts to give to your friends and family that will help people in need in other parts of the world. From toilets and pigs to learning tools for children with disabilities, you’ll be amazed how you can make a difference. With a range of prices to suit everyone, our new Global Gifts are not only affordable – they’re matched dollar-for-dollar by Intrepid Travel!
And what about solving your Secret Santa dilemma in the office? We all know those silly gifts are the thoughts that don’t count, so for as little as what you’d spend on lunch you could be supporting one of these great new Global Gifts…
“Take only photos, leave only footprints and steal only time.” But what about giving something back? The Intrepid Foundation has now given over AU$3 million to charities and community projects around the world. The majority of this money has been raised by travellers, with Intrepid Travel matching* their donations dollar for dollar. Many of these small, grass-roots charities are visited by Intrepid groups, and for some travellers the experience is such a highlight that they’re keen to find inventive ways to fundraise for the organisations when they get home.
Simon Saunders returned from his trip to China eager to help the Xi’an Huiling school for adults with learning difficulties. The school has no government help and relies on donations to support their students. Simon realised all the CDs he was storing could now be sold, since he had copies on his computer and iPod. With the help of an online store he sold enough to donate AU$270 to his chosen Intrepid Foundation project.
In October, Bruce McPhie clocked up 15 years full-time tour leading with Intrepid, making him the longest-serving Intrepid Group Leader in the world! This means that since 1997, ‘Lemon Juice’ Bruce has led 250 Intrepid trips, and shared the wonders of Vietnam and Cambodia with some 2,484 travellers from all around the world. In his words “I hope I’ve passed the apprenticeship”…
“When I first joined Intrepid I had no idea how long this new adventure would last. Looking back, I am amazed at how quickly the years have passed, how many diverse and interesting people I have met along the way, and how many incredible experiences I have had. It still feels surreal just to be here, still living this amazing life, and I have no wish for it to ever end!
Brazil is a country that inspires your sense of fun and adventure more than most. Its lively city of Rio de Janeiro is one big sensory overload, so Intrepid’s Angela Zuniga loved feeling, smelling and tasting her way around this fantastic town…
“Rio is a sensual city that demands as much time as possible to be fully experienced. From dawn to dusk and after dark, there is always something happening somewhere. I spent five fantastic days exploring the city and sating my sense of adventure.
Lonely Planet’s brand new coffee table book Great Adventures is packed with awe-inspiring photography and practical information on how you can embark on some of the world’s most thrilling adventures. We have picked five exciting journeys from the book to get your adrenalin pumping…
1. White-water sledge in New Zealand
If white-water rafting has you yearning for something more individual, white-water sledging might be just the ticket. Known variously as hydrospeeding, river surfing, riverboarding or white-water sledging, it’s rafting for one, clinging to the grips of a sledge as the river tries to have its wicked way with you. The classic white-water sledging river in New Zealand is the Kawarau, which flows midway between Queenstown and Wanaka after draining out of Lake Wakatipu. This river pitches sledgers through grade III rapids with inviting names such as Man-eater, Rollercoaster and Roaring Meg, the latter named for a prostitute who once worked the nearby gold fields.
Emily Mitterhuemer knows firsthand that trekking in Patagonia really puts you through your paces, but reaching your goals in this awe-inspiring region of South America has the greatest rewards…
“I know that hiking up a mountain is not for everyone, but bear with me for a moment. The feeling that you get when you have slogged your way up the toughest part of the trail and the perfect lookout point appears from over the ridge, is a particularly special one. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, not to mention privilege, to be in a hard to reach place that is difficult to achieve any other way. Patagonia is a particularly rewarding place to test your endurance and get back into shape (like you have been promising) with the added bonus of breathtaking scenery and the cleanest air imaginable.
The Intrepid Foundation’s funds distribution this year is so BIG that we are telling you about it over two articles. In 2012 we’re giving away a total of AU$427,333 with thanks to Intrepid travellers and matching donations from Intrepid Travel. Following on from last week’s Asia announcements, here are details of more beneficiary organisations, their fabulous projects and the amounts they will be receiving…