Surrounded by Africa’s most incredible wildlife and completely caught up in the wonderful moment, Intrepid’s Zoe Rees felt like she was seeing the world through rose coloured glasses in Kenya…
“Pink? Not my favourite colour, but I have to admit that there are occasions on which I’ve enjoyed the colour immensely – brilliant sunrises and sunsets, the rosy hue of Uluru and stepping out of our safari vehicle at Lake Nakuru in Kenya.
Before me was literally a sea of pink flamingos that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was amazing to witness these unique birds frolicking, feeding and splashing around in the soda lake. Apparently it is Lake Nakuru’s abundance of algae that attracts the millions of flamingos, though I was even more amazed to find out I was there at a slow time and usually the flock is double the size!
For several years now The Intrepid Foundation has been supporting the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Asia Pacific Program and environmental protection projects in Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. Lee Tan from ACF has recently given an encouraging update on their marvellous achievements with our funds…
Haburas, a local non-government organisation in Timor-Leste, ran an Ecotourism conference in Dili in August 2009. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao announced that community-based tourism will be a national development priority for Timor-Leste and cited Tua Koin on Atauro Island and Veru Sere (at the eastern end of the country) as positive examples of this kind of tourism. Intrepid was very pleased to hear this news, as the last thing the country needs is inappropriate large-scale tourism development. Intrepid travellers can attest to the successful operation of Tua Koin Eco-lodge, with our groups staying here during our 15-day trip. It remains a very important tourism venture as well as an income generating activity for the community of Atauro Island.
Travellers to the magical region of Ladakh in Northern India will know of the spectacular Himalayan scenery, the monasteries with their colourful frescoes and prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and the gracious hospitality of people – many from Tibetan origins. Tragically, this area has also been swamped by the torrential monsoon rains that are flooding Pakistan.
Our friend Anshu Gupta, from The Intrepid Foundation partner organisation GOONJ writes: “I visited Ladakh shortly after this disaster and the area is certainly devastated – financially, geographically and more importantly psychologically. Imagine a place known for dry mountains and mud houses, where people had never seen rain water in the lanes. All they had seen was the melted water from the glaciers in the nearby Indus River.
What a thrill it is to arrive in the right place at the right time. It feels like a travel gift when on that very day a colourful Semana Santa street procession is starting up in Seville, or Aussie locals are licking their lips at the Broome Mango Festival and camel caravans are pulling into Pushkar for one of India’s most amazing fairs. Rather than leaving these incredible real life experiences to chance, planning your trip around a festival can be part of the fun.
It’s not easy to narrow it down, but here are our 5 best festivals for October and November…