Travelling around the world for first-hand experience – that’s a thing Travel Advisors do. Among the latest groups of consultants that had the opportunity to do just that are this group over at Travellers Choice.

We recently got our hands on a couple of the Travellers Choice travel scrapbooks and discovered that Africa made up some of their latest adventures.

 

IN EGYPT…

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Interacting with locals is one of the most attractive features of any Peregrine Adventures tour, but – as a group of Travellers Choice members recently discovered on an exclusive Egypt Adventure educational – sometimes the most memorable moments happen when you’re alone.

As part of their eight-day educational the Advisors were looking forward to a mid-afternoon visit to Abu Simbel, but thanks to a serendipitous delay, they arrived later than anticipated.

“The crowds had just completely disappeared,” says Lucinda Metcalfe from Maria Slater Travel. “It was ridiculous because it was just us, on the banks of the Nile, standing beneath these four enormous carved statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple.”

There were, however, still plenty of opportunities for interactive experiences during the tour, including a boat ride to a Nubian village for dinner with a local family.

“It was nice because it didn’t feel too contrived,” says Metcalfe. “It was like we were Nubian friends who had just turned up for lunch. Everybody we met was lovely and trusting, and one shopkeeper even asked us to look after her shop while she popped out to get something.”

There was, however, one encounter with a local that was a little disconcerting.

Kerry Fiske from Clayfield Travel Professionals was on the outskirts of Cairo, taking a camel ride around the Pyramids of Giza, when she attracted the attention of an amorous local.

The journey also included visits to Aswan and Luxor, from where the group explored the temple complex of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings. But for Fiske the real highlight was the group’s overnight journey up the Nile on a white-sailed felucca.

 

IN SOUTH AFRICA…

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Unexpectedly close encounters with wild animals can stir some deep emotions – mostly notably fear. But for Endeavour Travel and Cruise’s Jill Faircloth it led to some sweet tears.

Travelling on an exclusive Travellers Choice educational tour of Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana as guests of The Africa Safari Co., Jill stepped into Nehimba Safari Lodge in Hwange National Park to find herself almost face-to-face with a group of curious elephants.

“I just got such a shock to see them so incredibly close. And for a moment they stopped and we just looked each other in the eye,” says Jill. “Let’s just say there were tears. And I don’t think I’ll ever get over that moment.”

It wasn’t the Advisors’ last encounter with the almost-always graceful creatures. On one evening the group watched male elephants jostling by the side of a swimming pool.

The nine-day tour included a night in the Zambezi Sands River Camp beside Victoria Falls, a ride on The Elephant Express train and a short voyage across the Chobe River travelling past hippo and crocodile to reach Chobe Water Villas in Namibia’s Kasika Conservancy. Along the way the agents saw everything from lion and leopards to zebra, wild dogs and jackals.

What stood out most for Shane Wedding from Port Lincoln Travel and Cruise in South Australia was the relaxed and casual nature of Africa’s extraordinary animal experiences.

 

Spot anyone you know in South Africa or Egypt?