When you travel with Intrepid in Thailand, you will be given a very special cloth bag that is having multiple wonderful impacts, like helping grow forests and benefitting women’s livelihoods! You may well ask “How so?”
Since 2006, Intrepid Thailand travellers each receive a special shoulder bag, emblazoned with the call to action “Say No to Plastic” in Thai and English. The bags are produced by a women’s cooperative, Tae Moh Hai, meaning ‘Our Friends Hands’ in local dialect. The group live in a small village, Baan Sawaii, located in Sri Saket province, in north-eastern Thailand.
The Baltic States were a bit of a mystery to John Kirk, but they didn’t disappoint. John travelled on Intrepid’s Baltic Experience and in 15 days he visited 6 countries and enjoyed more surprises than he could count…
“The trip began with an unexpected highlight in Helsinki, the capital of Finland – it was a real gem. Our visit to the 250 year-old Suomenlinna Sea Fortress was outstanding, as was the walk to Senate Square with the imposing Lutheran Cathedral or Suurkirkko. Dinner amongst the stalls of the harbour market provided a tasty introduction to delicious local cuisine and beverages.
Wellington’s claim to fame is being the world’s southernmost capital city and it’s New Zealand’s cultural capital, but most who aren’t in the know assume Auckland or maybe even Christchurch are the country’s top dogs. They might be bigger in population, but Intrepid’s Oliver Pelling explains why Wellington makes up for it with plenty of local personality…
“Home to an artistic and creative young crowd and all the trendy cafes, bars, laneways, shops and hideouts that they like to hang out in, Wellington is a unique cultural hotspot. Boasting a vibrant cafe culture not dissimilar to the likes of Melbourne or London – though on a markedly smaller scale – this capital city has a buzz about it that resonates within travellers of all ages.
Many corners of our world have now been discovered and in each of these places we have set about solving their ancient mysteries. But there is still one great puzzle awaiting an answer, as Kate Drummond explains…
“Being a stepping stone between Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East, many great explorers have travelled through Turkey. Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Gengis Khan and Julius Caeser are just a few of the famous names, who were not only renowned leaders but pioneering explorers of their time. However the one who captured my imagination is a little known Turkish sea explorer, Piri Reis, whose claim to fame is one of the world’s greatest mysteries.
Could Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut have been an explorer at heart and a tourism trailblazer? In 1493 BC she commissioned an expedition to the ancient land of Punt, known today as Somalia, and this first female pharaoh commissioned public buildings and temples that continue to attract visitors to Egypt. Even her own temple adds wonder to the Valley of the Kings, as Intrepid’s Sameh Tawfik discovers…
“Plodding up the undulating hills on the back of a placid donkey has a tendency to become monotonous. However, glancing over the cliff to my right, I have a reminder of where I am and where I am heading. At the base of the steep cliff lies the great temple of Queen Hatshepsut and I know just over the next ridge is something even more spectacular.
We’re delighted that the Shackleton Epic has chosen Fauna & Flora International (FFI) as a conservation partner. FFI protects threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, based on sound science that take account of human needs. Older than the original Shackleton expedition, FFI was founded in 1903 and is the world’s longest established international conservation body and is a registered charity.
Operating in more than 40 countries worldwide – mainly in the developing world – FFI saves species from extinction and habitats from destruction, while improving livelihoods of local people.
Long before Google maps, Gortex and GPS, the world was a very different place. With so much land yet to be discovered, ‘Explorer’ was a legitimate profession on the census. These roguish, charismatic heroes would return, ravished and ragged, from months of exposure to the severest of earth’s elements – all in the name of discovery, conquest and endurance. And one destination above all had the allure to attract more than its fair share of explorers… Antarctica.
Nestled between the Polar achievements of Scott, Amundsen and Mawson, there is one story that stands out; not for its flag-planting, all-conquering race for recognition, but for its endurance and hope in the face of irrevocable isolation.
Ten travellers with an insatiable thirst for adventure are being offered the chance to follow in the footsteps of legendary British explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton by joining an epic 56-day Antarctic expedition to mark the centenary of his remarkable 1916 polar voyage.
The Shackleton Epic, which will be led by veteran British/Australian explorer Tim Jarvis, aims to be the first expedition ever to recreate Shackleton’s incredible 800-mile nautical voyage across the Southern Ocean from Elephant Island to South Georgia, and his subsequent crossing of the island’s mountains, using a replica lifeboat and only the equipment that was available to Shackleton at the time.
Mid last year the Horn of Africa was affected by one of the worst droughts in decades, with an estimated 12.4 million people in urgent need of food. We launched our Intrepid East Africa Drought Appeal through The Intrepid Foundation, and many of you responded to support Plan International’s efforts to ensure emergency food relief and essential items were supplied to devastated communities in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan.
So one year on, what has happened in those communities and how are they now?