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Number of Reviews: 161 Overall score: *****
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***** Written

TREKKING IN NEW ZEALAND

The trip was an unending variety of activities and experiences; physically tiring but without the stresses sometimes felt in non English speaking countries.  It was a superb trip but 3 weeks is barely enough time and I have returned home with a list of things/places to return and visit again or anew.
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Canoes on the Zambezi River, Zambia
***** Written

THE ZAMBEZI VALLEY

Aside from a VERY rocky start to the holiday (see below), this was an absolutely AMAZING experience, which the group took to calling HIPPO-DODGE-EM-US, CROC-IDYLLIC and ELE-FANTASTIC!  The Lower Zambezi was simply stunning; the repeated and close-up experiences with elephants were moving and gorgeous; the hippos were funny and beautiful and scary all at once; the vervet monkeys were cute and cheeky, as were the baboons; the warthogs and water buffalo were wonderful...I could go on and on!  Check out the song I wrote on http://www.monicamaxwest.com/web%20audio/Taking%20It%20Easy.mp3!
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Wildebeest migration, Masai Mara, Kenya
***** Written

PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

I can not imagine a safari where I would be given better opportunities for photography.  From dawn till dusk we were presented with all those things photographers want most: best light, ideal landscape shots, unhurried time to make the most of special opportunities with cheetah and leopards. And then the excellent camp with its brilliant accomadation and food. 
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Luang Prabang, Laos
***** Written

DISCOVER THAILAND, LAOS & CAMBODIA

A wonderful holiday! A good mix of exploring a little of the culture and history of Laos and Cambodia, relaxation and active pursuits for those who wanted the latter...me? I was happy exploring many and varied temples! The hotels /guest-houses were good and many of a much higher standard than I'd expected. The holiday was helped enormously by the group all being very friendly and fun and by having two great tour leaders. 
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Gentoo penguins, Antarctica
***** Written

INTRODUCTION TO ANTARCTICA

A spectacular destination that took a long time to reach and was made harder due to South American travel logistics. The ship experience was a lot more comfortable than I imagined it would be, and included plenty of activities
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Riding to Little Petra, Jordan
***** Written

PETRA & WADI RUM BY BIKE

A week spent visiting some stunning scenery and amazing historical sites in a beautiful and friendly country.
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Molden Peak overlooking Sognefjord, Norway
***** Written

WALKING THE FJORDS

The landscape was just out of this world - my jaw was almost permanantly dropped! I've seen a million pictures of the fjords so I thought I knew what to expect but actually, once you're there it's like stepping through a gateway to another world, simply awe-inspiring. No National Geographic image can quite prepare you for how small you feel. One lady on the trip was an artist and she took a sketch pad with her, which I thought was a wonderful idea. The guest house was another surprise - it's so quaint! And the dinners - well, it's lucky we were walking all day! Three course meals every evening, truly superb. Even the breakfast was seriously impressive - they bake their own bread so you have fresh rolls, and pick their own fruit from the orchard. The chef is a truly talented individual! 
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Feluccas sailing on the Nile, Egypt
***** Written

NILE CRUISE

In general it was a lovely holiday, relaxing and with interesting sights to see. Our guide was very knowledgable and timed the visits to sites of interest well avoiding the crowds. However, there were a lot of early starts and the first two days were very tiring as it was a late arrival to the hotel and then very little sleep on the overnight train journey to Luxor.
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Wildebeest migration, Masai Mara, Kenya
***** Written

PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI

This was hands down one of the best trips I have ever taken - guided or not. Paul and our three Kicheche Camp guides (James, Patrick and Charles) definitely put us through our paces - 4:30am starts, 14 hour days in the land rover and some serious miles on that road, but we were delighted. We probably managed to see more of what the Mara has to offer in that one week than most people see in a lifetime (and all in amazing, gold, sunrise/sunset light). The whole team was super dedicated to making the absolute most of every hour, and were extremely knowledgeable about the area and its animals and completely understanding of the need for just the right angle on that back-lit cheetah. Meanwhile, Kennedy, Abe and the team back at camp made sure that when we returned bruised, battered, and exhilirated, there was always a hot shower and a cold Stoney to welcome us. I cannot imagine doing the Mara in any other other way or with any other tour - as can be attested by the fact that all our most memorable sights (10 day old cheetah cubs, leopard with 3 cubs, cheetah taking down an impala) were pretty much witnessed only by our three vehicles. Truly amazing!
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Musicians, Havana, Cuba
***** Written

A TASTE OF CUBA

A very well run and interesting tour, getting a real flavour of a fascinating and unique country on the cusp of momentus change. The holiday was only let down by one night at one particularly poor hotel.
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