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Oct 2019

The Amazon just got closer

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, South America, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Amazon Jungle, Peru.
Visiting the Amazon is a Bucket List event and one of the lodges we always recommend, and many clients have visited, is Tambopata in Peru. For birding and wildlife, this is the best. It began life as a research centre but has morphed into a comfy jungle lodge, with outstanding guides.

The bad news is that Tambopata Research Center (TRC) used to be a real mission to get to: 1 hr flight from Cusco, over the Andes and down into the hot, sweaty jungle; a road and canoe transfer and 8 hrs later you arrived. TRC just got closer thanks to a recently improved road, it now takes just 3 hrs to reach.

A 3 night stay is ideal for most people.

Timings are now:
Puerto Maldonado Airport to Rainforest Expeditions office – 5 mins by shuttle-bus
Office to Puerto Filadelfia – 1 hr by road
Puerto Filadelfia to TRC- 2hrs 30mins by boat. (This will come into effect from 1st November 2020.)

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Oct 2019

Lady Gorilla-guides

Posted by / in Africa, Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Many years ago while travelling in Uganda I met a guide with ambition: jog on through the decades to 2019 and Kazinga is a well-respected tour operator in Uganda with outstanding guides. It’s still run by that original founder/guide, Felex Musinguzi and Felex and his team look after all Venture Co clients visiting Uganda.

Our most popular trip (max 6 clients) is the 15 day Highlights of Uganda.

And to this day, we have never had a bad report.

Felex is a forward thinking chap and has been instrumental in establishing a formal guide qualification in Uganda, not dissimilar to the highly respected qualification that exists in South Africa, the Professional Filed Guide. He has gone one step further and pushed hard for more female guides so we can now guarantee a lady-guide.

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Jun 2019

Top Ten Travel Tips

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, frontpage, Tavistock Travel Agents, Traveller's Tales /

Last week I met up with a friend who has been flying airliners for a couple of decades; here’s a summary of our top travel tips:-

1. Write your name, address, phone number and email address on a sheet of A4 paper, laminated it and put it inside your suitcase, just in case your baggage tag falls off.

2. Photocopy your passport and leave the copy with your next of kin at home. It’s also worth keeping a copy on your phone.

3. Don’t order a vegetarian meal: apparently veggies hardly ever get upgraded, because there might not be a suitable meal available up front. You’re also more likely to be moved to the bigger seats if you’re in the airline’s frequent-flyer scheme, and don’t have any special dietary requirements.

4. Carry your phone charger and international plug adaptor in your hand baggage. Planes can be delayed or diverted so avoid the risk of a dead battery in strange countries. And turn off data roaming before leaving the UK.

5. Keep a change of underwear in your hand baggage. It won’t take up much space but will tide you over till the shops open if your main bag is delayed or disappears.

6. Make a copy of your travel insurance policy and carry it in your passport. After all, it isn’t much use if no one knows who your insurers are. Tell your travel companions where it is and leave a copy at home with your next of kin. Do all this and sod’s law states you won’t ever need it!

7. Keep any prescription medicine in its original packaging, ideally with a copy of your prescription, in case you’re questioned at customs. If you’re found carrying a stash of hard-to-identify pills your immigration experience is unlikely to go well.

8. Never fly in shorts – because you never know where your plane might land. A recent Swiss Air flight from Zurich was heading for Los Angeles where it was 21°C and sunny. But after a technical issue it spent nearly 12 hours in Greenland – where it was -21°C and snowing.

9. Don’t fly in flip-flops either. Emergencies are incredibly rare but if they happen you want to be in sensible shoes.

10. If you use the safe in your hotel room put a single shoe inside it, along with your valuables. Looking for that missing shoe should remind you to empty the safe when you pack to leave.

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