Epic 2017 End of Year Update
A word from Brad
Another momentous year…not sure where it has gone! This year was a first for Epic – we ran adventures to all seven continents (yes, we even ran a climb of Mont Blanc!).
For me personally the year started in Patagonia and Antarctica with a trek in Patagonia followed by our fly-in, fly-out Antarctica cruise. I then rolled onto Everest Base Camp in April and then to New Guinea and the Kokoda Track in June. July, August and September featured a number of safaris in Africa. One of these was our inaugural trek and paddle in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Interspersed with these trips I visited the US, Italy, the UK and Morocco.
Now finally back on “terra firma” for a while and looking forward to the festive season. That said I won’t be sitting still for too long as in late January I am back in Patagonia and Antarctica.
In memory of the year, I have put together this short Epic 2017 in motion video as I saw it guiding. Apologies that there is no footage of Australia. That’s Pedro’s domain.
The new year holds lots of promise. Among the numerous tailored private adventures in train, we have a couple of noteworthy undertakings on a small group basis, namely:
- A climb of Kilimanjaro, guided by Rob, in January
- A walking safari in the Serengeti with me in February
- A trek to Everest Base Camp with me in April
- Our inaugural group departure to Ethiopia, guided by Rob, in April
If you have interest in any of these please don’t hesitate to holler.
Thanks one and all for your ongoing support of Epic. Wishing you all the very best for the festive season.
Keep well and best regards,
Photo credit: James Vodicka – Diving right in! – Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef.
Update from Pedro
An unforgettable journey of a lifetime is to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef in tropical Queensland. The top 10 feet of ocean contains the brightest colours, a wide spectrum of small aquarium fish, giant clams and a high diversity of coral species.
A family from Texas I guided this year were totally blown away by the beauty of the GBR both above and below the water. The ultimate is to fly at 1,000 feet by helicopter to appreciate its enormity, then land to marvel at the vast array of incredible shades of blue at sea level before going beneath the surface to observe every colour of the rainbow plus fish of every shape, colour and size imaginable. These three perspectives in the one day leave a lasting impression on any one fortunate to experience it.
Photo: Maria Island Walk
Tasmanian walking adventures have been very popular this Spring. There have been fabulous wildlife sightings of wallabies and wombats on Maria Island, a highlight for many avid Epic hikers. A visit to Hobart is always a pleasant surprise with recent clients saying it reminded them of a smaller version of Maine, Portland. The eclectic MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) consistently ranks as a world class gallery and museum and is well worth a visit.
And not to be missed, the unique Seafood Seduction day cruise to Bruny Island off the coast of Tasmania, showcases the freshest seafood tasting on the planet. The Captain and crew jump overboard to collect sea urchin and abalone – along with dozens of oysters, crayfish and salmon sashimi straight from the source.
Photo: Amazing (wombat) wildlife encounters on Maria Island Walk.
Another highlight of the year, I have been recognised for a second consecutive year by Conde Nast Traveller as one of their Top Travel Specialists and ‘experience makers’ for 2017.
And America’s oldest travel agency, Brownell Travel, recognised me at their annual Academy as their most Passionate Preferred Supplier – one of only five honours awarded each year.
I am proud to be recognised for my expertise and passion – and for the epic journeys and experiences I help create for our valued clients and partners.
Please enjoy this short 2017 Epic Highlights of Australia & Indonesia video.
Update from Rob
One of the highlights of the year was without doubt the African bush adventure I enjoyed with my son. Spending time with a remote African tribe of traditional hunters and gatherers was an authentic cultural experience and insight into another way of life. Invaluable family bonding time and an unforgettable experience.
Another highlight was travelling with a family to Uganda to see the gorillas and then the thrill of seeing this family climbing and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro together. These moments are immensely fulfilling for our clients but also for us as private guides.
It may not be generally known but in addition to private and independent travel, Epic also tailors Corporate Experiences, to unique places and remote corners of the globe with adventure activities and challenges that take people out of their everyday environment and help them grow.
The most recent was a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro for the Middle Eastern branch of a world wide corporate group. The aim was to offer employees a meaningful adventure that challenged them personally, and provided a unique development opportunity for each individual and for the group as a whole. They also raised funds for their favourite philanthropic organisations.
The team was extremely well prepared and achieved great success in all their above objectives, hopefully returning to their work place with a renewed sense of achievement and purpose…and enhanced life skills.
“…I cannot thank you enough for such a wonderful trip up Kilimanjaro. What the team have been through in the past 7 days is incredible, the good bits and the bad bits!
… Ben was outstanding, I cannot say enough good things about him. He has compassion, strength, very good judgement and in difficult situations made difficult decisions for the best of the group and individuals. He went all out to help people, even when he wasn’t well himself and when he needed to be tough, he was, when he needed to show warmth and understanding, he did. In addition the porter and camp crew were incredible, I think they all blew us away with their knowledge, care, determination and support. Dean was also excellent, with great knowledge and patience and someone who we trusted implicitly.
Thank you again – Epic are on my ‘high recommendation’ list for sure.”
– Corporate Group/United Arab Emirates
Epic also gives an enormous amount of attention to the feedback we receive from our travellers. So, in response to concerns from returned adventurers over the amount of litter seen on the various Kili trails, we have now initiated a program to employ a Tanzanian porter dedicated to collecting litter for the duration of each and every Epic climb on Mount Kilimanjaro.
We hope that this will not only reinforce appropriate behaviours in our own clients as they climb but will encourage all others on the mountain to act responsibly.
Staying active whilst travelling is a growing travel trend. So in September, we tailored and privately guided a 6 day walking safari with camels in Northern Kenya for an intrepid group of women travellers. Such endeavours sound basic but at the end of each day of walking though incredible Kenyan landscapes, we were always met by extremely comfortable camps and sleeping arrangements – with some of the best food I have experienced on any safari and including cold beer, fine wines and warm showers! There is endless diversity in how people can experience Africa and, as we tailor make all trips, this completely depends on travellers personal tastes and wishes.
Wildlife safaris continue in all our destinations and through the Christmas and New Year period several groups will enjoy the wildebeest migration as they settle on the short grass plains of the Southern Serengeti – ready to give birth in late January and February. We have a great Green Season Tanzania safari experience for 2018 travel – please ask for details if interested.
Also in early 2018, we have a wonderful line up of trips ranging from Chimpanzee and Gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda to a unique journey into Ethiopia to enjoy the rich cultural experiences and breathtaking natural beauty of this incredibly diverse country.
Please contact us if we can help tailor your next epic journey of a lifetime.