13 years with The Travel Specialists, General Manager Savio Pereira shares some ‘insider’ tips for travelling to each of our destinations. We read about Savios favourite Travel Specialist destination and get excited to learn about whats new in Zimbabwe. Finally, Savio leaves us feeling just the tiniest bit jealous about his next travel experience…
An incredibly tough choice … (very long silence)…
It would have to be Kenya
There is such a huge variety of scenery from the desert to the bush, from mountains to equatorial rainforests, from vibrant cities to beaches. The people are welcoming and hospitable and there so may colourful tribes. And then there is the wildlife!!! There is a huge variety of game and birdlife. If you had to choose one destination that had everything, Kenya would be it.
For Africa my tip would be to consider layers for dressing. Contrary to common perception, Africa isn’t always sitting at those higher temperatures. Depending on the seasons, temperatures can vary between an early morning start below 10 degrees into a midday temperature of 25 or even 35 degrees in some of the lower lying areas of Zimbabwe. If you’ve got layers to come and go on, you will have a very comfortable open-air safari experience.
Seek out a reputable tourism operator and plan your trip in advance if you are looking to see the very best of India and experience “off the beaten track” sightseeing. Avoid booking online and ensure you have a personal guide that can tailor a safe, enjoyable and memorable experience taking advantage of the colour, culture, history and diversity on offer in India.
Don’t overlook the food! Yes, there are many amazing archaeological sites, don’t forget South America is also well known for some of the best restaurants in the world. In the ‘Worlds Best Restaurant Awards for 2017’, restaurant “Central” in Lima came in at #5 with head chef Virgilio Martinez serving up incredible contemporary Peruvian cuisine. Coming in at #8, also in Lima, perfecting Peruvian Japanese is Mitsuharu Tsumaras restaurant “Maido”.
Although I haven’t been to Antarctica, I have a tip on good authority from Corporate and Leisure Supervisor, Jo-Ellen at Four Corners Travel who recently returned from an Antarctic expedition. With many of the landmarks and research stations named after Antarctic explorers, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with who they are before heading off. You will also regularly hear your crew members referencing the explorers during presentations and discussions. If you know who they are and what they did, you will have a fuller appreciation and understanding of their ground breaking explorations.
Despite Croatia having been accepted into the European Union, it has not yet adopted the Euro currency. All payments for good and services including extras paid at hotels must be paid in Croatian Kuna,(HRK) the local currency. Croatia will only accept Euro at hotels but then convert them for payment into Kuna. Restaurants and shopping are all paid in Kuna. Credit card transactions will be shown and converted from Kuna to AUD. Australian currency enjoys a very good exchange rate at the banks and there is no need to carry the Euro in Croatia. Current rate of exchange is just under 5 kuna for AUD $1.00 (01Nov17).
My Peru experience is a stand-out. I got to see and experience a lot of the country in a very efficient way. The food was exceptional. The people, welcoming and eager to showcase their country. I was impressed by the quality of accommodation and I was pleasantly surprised by such a well-developed tourism industry.
I have very fond memories of my trip to Goa. Located on the west coast of India, Goa boasts some of the best beaches in India. It was the first trip I had ever done where I sat back and did absolutely nothing but relax. It was a family trip. Beach, food, family and fun filled our days.
Yes there are some new lodges and camps that we will feature over the coming months and will appear in our 2018 brochure. Look out for Mana Pools and Kariba. There are also walking safaris now available in Zimbabwe. A great experience if you are looking to get closer to the animals and nature tracking across really beautiful terrain. Zimbabwe offers an “off the beaten track” experience where one avoids large crowds of tourists. It’s an intimate, almost exclusive yet very affordable experience.
Antarctica is at the top of my list. I’m looking forward to experiencing the remoteness, witnessing the wildlife and getting up close to the glaciers.
Next up would be Chile. I am keen to see the dramatic scenery and experience Atacama. I’ve also set my sights on trekking in Patagonia. Last but not least would be the Himalayas and embarking on the base trek.
My next trip is for pleasure with the family. We are exploring Canada and spending time in New York sightseeing, taking in a basketball game at Madison Square, jazz clubs and of course Broadway. Our final stop will be Hawaii where there will be a bit of sightseeing, but mostly relaxing beach-side with my wife whilst our daughters hit the outlets to shop till they drop. The countdown is on to spend quality time with family and catching up on some much needed R & R.