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Dec 2013

Flight delay at Governors Camp Kenya

Posted by / in Africa, Blog /

Flight delay at Governors Camp Kenya

This fantasic picture of a Marsh Lion in the Mara was taken in Maasai Mara National Park, Kenya. It shows the plane that belongs to Governor’s Camp touching down on their airstrip with the Olololo Escarpment in the background. Governor’s Camp and its sister camp Little Governor’s are well-established camps set in a beautiful part of the park. Their air service is brand new and a great way to access the Mara.

Maasai Mara, or the “Mara” as it’s affectionately known, is Kenya’s most famous National Park. It’s particularly well known for the annual migration of a couple of million assorted zebra, wildebeest and other herbivores who move in to the Mara from the Serengeti following the annual rains (which stimulates the fresh grass to grow). The Mara is at its most busy from late July, through August and into September, which coincides perfectly with summer holiday dates! The most dramatic point of the migration occurs when the massed herds of herbivores cross the Mara River, home to massive crocs up to 19 feet long – many of whom eat just once a year, NOW.

Oloololo Escarpment – Maasai Mara’s natural boundary

In the background of the picture you can see the Olololo Escarpment. The Olololo Escarpment forms a natural western boundary to the Mara, rising sharply above the grassland to present a perfect vantage point, and an ideal spot to end a day’s safari looking back over grasslands that reach the horizon and teems with plains game.

Governors’ Camp & Little Governors Camp  – Luxury tented camp

Governors’ Camp sets new standards for the term  “luxury tented camp”.  37 tents line the riverbank, tucked into the forest and enjoying uninterrupted views over the Mara River. The surrounding wetlands teem with bird-life, hippo and crocodile right in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

Little Governors’  has 17 luxury en-suite tents tucked around a large watering hole. Little Governor’s camp is accessed by boat across the Mara River. Guest tents at Little Governor’s  have wonderful wooden decks with large verandahs which allow you to enjoy the constant game activity that takes place right in front of you.

If you would like any further information on Maasai Mara migration or Governor’s Camp, just contact us 

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Oct 2013

Book Bus Ecuador a Volunteer’s Story

Posted by / in Blog, Traveller's Tales /

Book Bus Ecuador a Volunteer’s Story

I’ve recently returned from a ten week trip to Ecuador, working with the Book Bus foundation in Puerto Lopez. We ran reading lessons and book-related activities in five schools in and around the town, helping to tackle the high rates of illiteracy in the area. The trip was extremely worthwhile, as although you cannot expect to change the world, in ten weeks there was a noticeable improvement among the students. In particular, some of the furthest behind blossomed with the one-to-one teaching, and started to catch up with their peers. The children are full of enthusiasm – they love the books we bring, and in a few weeks were greeting me excitedly on the streets to ask when we were next visiting their school.

Book Bus Puerto Lopez Ecuador 2

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Sep 2013

A Cow in the Playground

Posted by / in Blog, Traveller's Tales /

Sitting in a dusty classroom reading my favourite stories to Hindi-speaking children … teaching was never better than this for Jean Ashbury.

White cranes lined up on the school wall and eyed their insect breakfasts in the cow manure below. In the field beyond, camels the colour of dark chocolate foraged in the tops of acacia trees. Beside them, I could see the corkscrew horns of endangered black bucks and skittish chinkara deer (Indian gazelles) as they grazed in the scrub beside nilgai antelopes. In the playground a cow headed towards a classroom. And in the rafters above my head swifts flitted back and forth nest-building with twigs and scrap.

I sat on the steps outside a classroom with Haseena tucked in the crook of my arm. “Baloo,” she said in Hindi and pointed to the cover of the story book in my hand.
“Yes. A bear,” I replied.
“Yesyes,” she said dismissively. “B-e-a-r … bear.”


Haseena’s portrait VentureCo Tailor made travel

Haseena’s portrait of me!

I was at Haseena’s school in a small village in Mandore near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Four Book Bus volunteers and I were working on a pilot project to support learning English as a foreign language, and we were using favourite stories that British children read. Our aim was to teach with stories children enjoy instead of setting dry vocabulary and grammar exercises.

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Aug 2013

Five minutes with Jane Edwards

Posted by / in Blog, South America /

Dressage aficionado Jane Edwards joined VentureCo and the British Horse Society (BHS) on the Trail of the Incas ride in 2012. Here she shares her philosophy of horses, riders and The High Andes:


Can you tell us a bit about your working life in the Surrey countryside?

I am a BHSII (registered) instructor, and run a small friendly training establishment on the Surrey/Sussex border called Fernhill Riding. I specialise in training the rider to improve their skills in feel, balance and harmony. This not only furthers the training of themselves and their mounts, but also ensures horse welfare and promotes longevity in their ridden careers. Fernhill Riding has a good base of well-schooled horses to use for instruction as well as catering for those with their own horses. All training here is in the form of private sessions to encourage steady progress in a relaxed environment.

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Aug 2013

Generic Malarone now available

Posted by / in Blog /

This good news is just in from our wonderful “Travellers’ Health Partners” InterHealth: Malarone® is used to prevent and treat malaria and was patented in the UK by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Earlier this year the UK Patents Court revoked GSK’s patent for Malarone®. This paved the way for other companies to produce and sell what’s known as a ‘generic’ version of Malarone® in the UK at a lower price than GSK’s branded name, Malarone®.

Generic versions of a drug contain the same active ingredients as the originally patented drug. In the case of Malarone®, this means a combination of atovaquone and proguanil, and it is these two key ingredients which provide the name of the generic version: atovaquone and proguanil. This generic medication is fully licensed in the UK and is used in the same way as Malarone®.

For more information infomration please read this document

Photo Credit

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May 2013

Mount Toubkal Trek

Posted by / in Featured Posts /

A fundraising challenge for The Book Bus Foundation and CHICKS

Conquer the highest peak in North Africa in 2 days.

The Mt Toubkal trek is an extended mountain walk that lasts for 2 days. This trek, whilst strenuous at times, is suitable for anyone in good health and with a reasonable level of fitness.

Book Bus and CHICKS are organising a trekking challenge to Mount Toubkal in Morocco. On the 27th Sept a team of 10 trekkers will set out from London to fly to Marrakech. We will spend Saturday and Sunday climbing Toubkal (4,165 m above sea level) and a final day in Marrakech at a traditional hammam (Moroccan steam bath) to recover!

The trek (including flights) cost £746 and we ask each trekker to raise an additional £750 as a donation to the Book Bus. It runs from Friday afternoon to Monday, so you only need to take 2 days off!

The objective of this mountain challenge is to raise funds for your chosen charity. In addition to the cost of the trek we ask you to pledge a minimum of £750 which will be donated directly to the charity. Fundraising advice and suggestions are available from Book Bus or Chicks. For the Book Bus the raised funds are needed for the capital cost of a new Book Bus and to support our “Teaching the teachers” programme.

For more information on our partner charities

Included in the price is a Build-up Weekend in Devon where you can meet your leaders, fellow trekkers and the organisers. No previous trekking experience is required, but you do need to be prepared to get fit for the mountains.

For More information: Download the Toubkal Challenge Dossier (PDF 584kb).
Reservation: Download the Toubkal Challenge Booking Form (PDF 3.3mb).

Any questions please call us on 01822 616 191 or contact us via e-mail.


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Feb 2013

15 steps to help save the Galapagos Islands

Posted by / in Blog, Featured Posts, South America /

Please join us to get Galapagos on the right path.

Island Restoration

Conservation methods evolve just like the wildlife. In order to succeed, projects need to link everything from species management to habitat restoration and tackling the human issues.

*Ecosystem restoration
*Tackling invasive species
*Species specific projects
*Supporting cutting edge research
*Promoting Galapagos as a model for the world

Climate Change

As an island archipelago located where several currents meet, Galapagos is at particular risk from the impacts of climate change. Endemic species such as the Galapagos penguin could become extinct. Yet 50 years of research in the Islands could also provide vital insights into the nature of these changes and ways to manage and reduce their impact not just in Galapagos but for the world.

*Monitoring indicator species
*Marine management
*Waste and resource management issues
*Building a first class data bank & knowledge resource
*Minimising GCT’s own environmental impact

Social Issues

People are an established species within Galapagos and hold the key to its future. We need to ensure that the systems are in place to guarantee a sustainable future for the Islands and to find ways for people and nature to live and work in harmony.

*Regulating development
*Engaging the Local Community
*Sustainable employment
*Responsible tourism
*Education in the UK about Galapagos

Help save the Galapagos and join our conservation project on the Galapagos island of San Cristobal.

If you are unable to reach these enchanted islands then please make a donation to the Galapagos Conservation Trust

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Feb 2013

10 reasons to go to South America

Posted by / in Blog, South America /

Look at the back of all the travel guide books you can, and you’ll notice that the only one that says “the most exciting continent on the planet” is the one for South America. It goes on to say that if you’re jaded or bored with life, it’s the place to go.
Having been to 10 of the 13 South American countries, (and being half Venezuela so I’m a bit biased) I completely agree.
Here’s 10 reasons why:

1) It’s a super colourful continent: the people, their clothes, the food, the views, life itself there is in full colour.
2) The music: whether its Tango, Salsa, Merengue, pan pipes, drums or a mix, music fills the air wherever you go.
3) The Andes: the longest mountain range on earth; Stunning, high mountains to be looked at, trekked on, climbed, feared or admired.
4) Waterfalls: The Angel falls, Venezuela (world’s highest) and Iguassu falls, Argentina/Brazil border (huge.) Both very impressive.
5) The Amazon: The largest rain forest on earth; enormous, wild, the most diverse ecosystem there is, the Amazon river itself, anacondas, monkeys, morpho butterflies, tribal people, medicinal plants, canoe trips………
6) Islands: Los Roques, Venezuela is a Caribbean paradise. The Galapagos islands off Ecuador are renowned for the tame wildlife and Darwin’s theory of evolution, and Easter island in the remote Pacific off Chile is famous for its carved head statues with mysterious origins.
7)Beaches: Caribbean, Pacific, Atlantic. Miles and miles of beaches for all tastes, from chilled and calm with thatched huts, to big wave surfing, to the much feared Cape horn at the end of the world!
8) Crazy politics; no continent has a more fascinating political history, filled with revolutions, wars for independence and larger than life characters like Che Guevara and Evita.
9) The vast diversity of landscape: You can experience coast, mountains, desert and jungle all within a few days. It’s got it all!
10) The X factor: South America just seems to put a spell on people; an undefinable, infectious magnetic pull which draws you back to it again and again, and may be incurable requiring several return visits!
11) One for luck: 2 new ‘wonders of the world’: Machu Picchu, Peru and Rio’s Christ statue, Brazil. In fact, when it comes to ancient cultures and sites to explore Indiana Jones style, nowhere comes close.

Tempted? Why not go and find out for yourself.

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Feb 2013

Blog post 1

Posted by / in frontpage /

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