Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Palace of the Lost City

You're into the last few days of your African honeymoon and you've just flown into Johannesburg from Victoria Falls. You collect your bags, clear customs and immigration and in no time you emerge into the very impressive arrival hall. You've organised a private car transfer to Sun City and there standing in front of you is a broadly smiling African clutching a board with your names on it. It's always a relief to see your driver waiting for you when you arrive in a strange city, but by now you are no longer surprised by the efficiency of African tourism operators.

It's a hot afternoon, but your car is new and air-conditioned. The journey is comfortable and scenic and in under three hours you are pulling up at the main entrance of The Palace of the Lost City. You wanted to stay at one of the cheaper hotels there - Cascades, The Sun City Hotel or the Cabanas. (Not because you're tight fisted but.......Okay then maybe your are a little.) However your travel agent persuaded you to spend your two nights at The Palace. Now you can see why he recommended that if you're going to the trouble of driving to Sun City you have to stay at The Palace. You make a mental note to buy him a bottle of Penfolds Grange when you get back to Australia. The building glows with an inner golden light in the late afternoon sun and the it's many green domes stand out against the tawny hills behind. At the centre of a roundabout in front of the entrance is a magnificent copper sculpture. A pair of cheetahs are chasing a herd of leaping impala across a shallow pool of reflective water.

You are relieved of your luggage by a smartly uniformed porter and you tip your driver generously. The romance is really getting to you. You follow the porter into the reception hall and stand aghast at the towering dome above you decorated by a da Vinci-esque fresco, while the polished marble floor beneath your feet is covered with African animal scenes. Everywhere you look is opulence. In Las Vegas it would be tacky, but here somehow because of the quality of the art it is simply delightful. As you are shown to your room you pass more stunning works of art. There are sculptures, statues, paintings and frescoes - all depicting African scenes and wildlife. Your room, although the most reasonably priced is huge with what seems like a tennis court sized bathroom. There's a huge king sized bed and a double spa bath. That'll come in handy you both think. That evening after a relaxing bath you take a walk in the gardens. Looking back at the The Palace you are amazed to see flames from huge torches at the top of each domed tower. It's eerily atmospheric, like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie.

The next morning is beautiful, warm and sunny, cloudless and low humidity. After the most sumptuous breakfast you've ever had (and you've had a few) you decide to have a good look around the gardens in daylight. Here you find a precipitous waterslide and "The Valley of the Waves" - an enormous wave pool with a real sand beach. You spend most of the afternoon here, alternately relaxing in the sun and cooling off in the pool. You think next time you'll bring your golf clubs and have a bash around one or both of the two golf courses which have real Nile crocodiles in the water hazards. Now that's what I call a hazard!

That evening you visit the casino where you break even - about the best you can expect in a casino, but it was fun anyway. You also see a show and have a wonderful meal before strolling back hand in hand to the Palace through the fragrant garden with the awesome shape of the Palace of the Lost City with it's flaming towers as a backdrop.

The following morning after yet another tummy tingling breakfast you are transferred by private car to Madikwe Hills Lodge in Madikwe Private Game Reserve. You have never been game viewing in Africa before and have no idea what to expect. Your travel agent recommended this particular lodge and before your stay is over you have decided to upgrade his gift from a bottle of Penfold Grange to a full carton.

The lodge is set on a kopje (hill) of house sized boulders and the rooms are enormous. Nights here can be chilly and there is a real log fire in your room that is always miraculously blazing when you return to your room after dinner. In the morning, when it is even chillier you are more than happy to discover that there is underfloor heating to keep your bare feet nice and toasty.

Your first game drive is the evening you arrive. You wander up to the restaurant and are met there by the other guests, your ranger and your tracker. They run through the safety procedures - a few dos and don'ts and then you climb into the open four wheel drive vehicle. You are amazed to see that the African tracker sits on a seat bolted to the bull-bar. You are even more amazed at how close you get to the animals and at how still and cool the tracker remains as a large lioness sniffs his boots. Before the end of the first game drive you have already seen the "Big Five" - elephants, lions, buffalo, a pride of lions and later as you drive back to the lodge in the dark with the tracker wielding a spotlight, you see a leopard.

And so over the next couple of days you settle in to the gentle, hypnotic routine of life in a really good game lodge. At five-thirty in the morning there's a wake up call and you wander up to the main building for coffee and biscuits before heading out on your morning game drive. Then after a couple of hours you stop in a particularly scenic spot for coffee and muffins before continuing for a further hour or so. By ten you're back at the lodge for a huge brunch. Then the rest of the day is yours to swim, read, have a massage or do whatever people do on their honeymoon.

At about three-thirty in the afternoon you return to the main building for high tea. Sandwiches, quiche, samosas and cakes and then you're off on your afternoon game drive. Right on sunset your ranger pulls up and he and the tracker break out the drinks for a sundowner. You sip your excellent chardonnay and chew your biltong as you hold hands and gaze at yet another breathtaking African sunset. Then it's more game viewing and finally back to the lodge for a magnificent gourmet dinner of equal or greater quality than you would expect from any top notch city restaurant.

So after three days of this you are transferred by your ranger out to the Madikwe airstrip, seeing more game on the way. You waddle to the eight seater aircraft wondering how long it will take you to lose the weight you've gained in the last three days but not regretting a single gram of it. Then as the plane climbs away towards Johannesburg and your international flight back to Australia you see a herd of elephants trundling towards a waterhole, kicking up little clouds of dust as they go. To your surprise a tear springs to your eye and at that moment you know for sure that you will both return.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Flight of Angels

This is part two of your three part African honeymoon. To read part one please click on the following link.

You're on honeymoon in Africa - Cape Town to be exact, and you're having a wonderful, romantic time, apart from that little incident where you appeared naked at your hotel window in front of several dozen people innocently enjoying their breakfast. The police were very good about it all in the end. Quite understanding, and you were released on a good behaviour bond.

Next stop is Victoria Falls - "The Smoke That Thunders." There are few more romantic places in the entire world. An early flight from Cape Town, a quick change of planes in Johannesburg and before you know it you're descending into Victoria Falls airport, the spray from the falls themselves easily visible in the hazy middle distance. It does indeed look like grey smoke against the blue sky. You check into your room at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge which has great views across the bush to the waterhole and beyond. You've arrived in time for a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River yet another highlight. Once again on the boat you toast each other with a glass of wine while you watch a small herd of elephants bathing in the shallows on one side of the river and a pod of hippos grunting and yawning threat displays on the other. Meanwhile the entire scene is washed by a blood orange sunset, and again, closer this time there is a tower of spray from the falls.

That night back at the lodge you dine at the Boma - an African themed restaurant attached to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. There's a great buffet meal and some wonderful cultural entertainment with African dancers and some superb drummers. There's also a little market, a traditional story teller who roams from table to table and a fortune teller You even pluck up the courage to eat a mopani worm which is a little like a witchety grub. They give you a certificate for doing this and you deserve it.

The next day is busy. You start off with an early elephant back safari. You have an early transfer to the venue where you meet your elephant and your mahout. There's plenty of time to interact with your ellie before you set off on a very scenic ride through the bush. More romance as you share an elephant. When you return you get to give your elephant his breakfast before sitting down to consume your own - cooked out there in the bush. It's a lovely thing to do.

In the late afternoon as the sun is dropping and the heat of the day is waning you are again collected from the lodge and taken to the Lion Encounter venue. This is really special. You walk through the bush with a couple of half grown lion cubs and several men who are there to control them if they become too playful. You can stroke them (the lions, not the men) as much as you like and they (the men, not the lions) will take some wonderful photos for you. It is a tremendous thrill and is soooo much better than Thailand's tiger temples. For one thing these lions are being rehabilitated for being returned to the wild. Human contact is gradually reduced until they are ready to go their own way. The Lion Encounter programme helps to fund this work.

The following morning you a have a guided tour of Victoria Falls. You stroll around the formed paths holding hands while your guide points out the many interesting features, though at times you can hardly hear him for the thunder of the water crashing over the falls. It's a dizzying sight peering down into the gorge and you find the sheer scale absolutely breathtaking. Something else you find breathtaking is the stupidity of the lunatics throwing themselves off the Victoria Falls bridge attached to a rubber band. You stand and watch several of these fruitcakes do their thing and wonder how much they are being paid to do it.

That evening you take a helicopter flight over the falls - "Flight of Angels" as it is known. This is truly incredible. You're hundreds of feet above the great falls with the Zambezi River stretching away into the distance and "The Smoke That Thunders" boiling into the gorge far below. You can clearly see well into four countries from here. Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia and this makes you keen for more African adventures. Later that morning you fly to Johannesburg to begin the last week of your African honeymoon.

To be continued.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Naked in Cape Town

Not everyone wants the type of beach resort honeymoon where you stay in bed until 3pm and then struggle down to the pool bar for an couple of hours to slurp margaritas and tequila sunrises before a candlelight dinner and bed - as early as is decent. There are other far more romantic options.

Is there a more romantic destination for a honeymoon than Africa? I seriously doubt that there is. Imagine this. The wedding ceremony is over. Those embarrassing speeches by the Best Man and the Father of the Bride are just a memory. A painful memory perhaps, but at least they are behind you now. At last you are together, alone. The feeling is a combination of euphoria and exhausted relief.

Mad Uncle Bernie has volunteered to stay sober throughout the reception so that he can drive you to the airport. This, you feel is a mixed blessing because while it saves you the cost of a taxi, Uncle Bernie's driving is so dire that he is one of the few people on earth whose driving actually improves when he is drunk. As you cram yourselves and your four large pieces of luggage into the back of his FIAT 500 you are glad that you decided to take the travel insurance you had procrastinated over for so long.

Then, before you know it and somewhat to your surprise you arrive safely at the airport. You're soon checked in, through passport control and security and are sitting in your aircraft seat thirty-nine thousand feet above the Indian Ocean with a glass of pretty reasonable chardonnay in one hand and your spouses hand in the other. Suddenly life is looking not too bad at all. A quick transit through Johannesburg's impressive new airport, but it's dark by the time you reach Cape Town and all you want to do is go to bed. After all it is your honeymoon. You check into your hotel - The Victoria & Alfred at the Waterfront and trot off to bed for a good night's sleep...........or something.

Morning. A sliver of light is squeezing through the gap in the curtains. It plays with your eyes and wakes you. Your partner is still asleep, breathing softly with a gentle smile on his/her lips. You pad over to the window and throw back the curtain. Oh..........My...........God! Is that Table Mountain? It is. It feels a little surreal to actually be here in Cape Town. Seeing Table Mountain for real for the first time is a bit like seeing a familiar TV star in the flesh, only much less disappointing. It is much, much bigger than you expect. 1086 metres tall. That's well over 3500 feet. It's great grey buttresses tower over the city, crowding it towards the ocean. There's not a single cloud and the clear blue sky is reflected in the water of the harbour where boats are already coming and going and seals are lounging on a large buoy. You are so stunned by the majesty of this scene that you forget that you are standing naked in front of a second floor window, providing a fine morning's entertainment for the people eating their breakfast in the cafe down below. You hurriedly close the curtains and leap back into bed.

The romantic highlight of your Cape Town visit came during a tour of the winelands and the town of Franschhoek where the scenery is straight out of a Wilbur Smith novel. You eat a sumptuous lunch and drink a superb bottle of shiraz while gazing out across a green valley at a series of craggy, fairy tale mountains under a blue African sky with just a scattering of fluffy sheep clouds. You hold hands, you drink a toast to eternal love and you swear that you'd never forget that moment no matter what. You don't want the honeymoon to end, but you know it must and already you feel a little sad about having to leave Africa. Between that magical moment and the flight home though, there are many more exciting and romantic moments to be savoured.

To be continued.

Monday, February 27, 2012

From the Galapagos Islands to Uluru

I'll kick off this blog post with one of the best wildlife destinations the planet has to offer - The Galapagos Islands.  I'm always happy to recommend Abercrombie & Kent for their quality and inclusions. I know that my clients are safe in their hands and that they will have the best possible experience.  Here's a excerpt from the AK website.

"Come face to face with giant tortoise, kayak with sea lion and stroll pristine beaches alongside blue-footed booby on this Discovery journey to the Galápagos. Experience this archipelago on a seven-night cruise on board MV 'Eclipse,' one of Condé Nast Traveler's best small ships. End your journey with a visit to Quito's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that brims with colonial charm and Baroque architecture."

Small ship cruising always offers a more personal experience and on a wildlife adventure cruise, the smaller the ship the better. Please click on the (enormous) link below for more details.

The next stop is Africa. The Africa Safari Co has a fantastic tour for lovers of wildlife. It's a one off tour departing on June 6th 2012. It's a nineteen day tour and appropriately enough it's called "Game Parks of Africa." You will visit the best game parks and scenic locations in Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe. This is simply too good to miss. Click on the link below for further details.

Now here's one in India that my wife and I want to do very badly. India is such a beautiful country. Great architecture, lovely people, fascinating culture and wonderful food. And that's before you even see the wildlife.$100--per-pe/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=World+Deals+Trade+28+February+2012&utm_content=World+Deals+Trade+28+February+2012+CID_0b44fef95cc356caab02aad0fc6d13fe&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=CLICK+HERE+FOR+MORE+DETAILS

Finally today, here's a great deal closer to home. Territory Discoveries currently has a special deal at Voyagers Desert Garden Hotel at Yulara Village. which is the service centre for Uluru (Ayers Rocks). Frankly, accommodation at Yulara is all rather expensive, but this is a 4.5 star hotel and is inclusive of breakfast. The cost is $366 per person for 3 nights. see the link below for further details.

Australia's "Red Centre" is a very special place. The colours will blow you away. From the deep blue sky to the red sand and rocks. Take a walk around the base of Uluru for some lovely scenery and wonderful Aboriginal cultural sites. Sip champagne at sunset while you watch this stunning monolith change colour. Tour the incredible Kata Djuta range (The Olgas) and explore it's mysterious valleys. You really should take a morning camel ride through the desert too. This gives you a view of Uluru at Sunrise, away from the crowds - such a lovely thing to do. Wrap up though. It gets very cold first thing in the morning. Another must-do is the "Sounds of Silence" dinner. You are transported from your hotel to an isolated desert location for a wonderful dinner under the stars. There is music and stargazing too with a resident astronomer. It really is a very special night out. The cost of flights to Yulara vary from day to day. Please contact me for fares on specific days.

For further information on any of the products or destinations featured or to make a booking, please call me - Peter Emery on 0449 689 447. Alternatively call Ucango Travel on 1300 822 646 and be sure to ask for me by name, or just drop me an email.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Adventure & Romance in East Africa

It’s early morning and chilly. We stood in the four wheel drive vehicle, our heads poking through the open roof, cameras poised. A brightly coloured hot air balloon rose from behind a low green hill and climbed silently into the deep blue sky above Kenya’s Maasai Mara, rapidly overtaking the rising sun. However, the bulk of our attention was focused on a large male lion sprawled in the grass not five metres from our vehicle. He was doing what male lions do best – loafing. Now and again he’d open an eye or raise his huge maned, head to peer at us.

Then suddenly he was on his feet, alert and gazing intently into the distance. There was another lion, a male, and he was heading in our direction. Our lion began issuing deep guttural, rhythmic grunts, to which the approaching animal replied in similar fashion. There was going to be a fight; perhaps to the death. Fights between male lions can be brutal. Our lion began to walk slowly and threateningly towards the intruder, his head held low, grunting at he went. The intruder was a big fellow too. This was going to be quite a battle. They were thirty metres apart when our lion stopped and crouched. The other animal just kept coming, but more slowly now.

The tension was palpable. In the vehicle we held our breath. Then the two predators launched themselves at each other, but instead of tearing chunks out of one another they started to play, rolling together on the grass in a rough and tumble game, harmlessly mouthing each other and licking the other’s fur. These weren’t deadly enemies, they were brothers in arms. Literally brothers our guide said.

And that’s the beauty of Africa. It’s full of surprises. Every single game drive is different. You never know what is around the next corner. Africa is the home of adventure and romance and East Africa is the epicentre.

Kenya is heartbreakingly beautiful from the huge grassy plains in the south, home to the great wildebeest migration to the dusty deserts of the north. There’s Amboseli, famed for its great herds of elephants and soaring vistas of Mount Kilimanjaro. There’s the Maasai Mara – probably the most famous of all game reserves. You’ll see the “Big Five”(Lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalo and elephants.) here along the banks of the winding Mara River.

Head north beyond the fertile Rift Valley region and you’ll come to Samburu National Reserve. This is one of my favourites. It is a small, but scenically spectacular reserve classed as a tropical desert. It’s teeming with wildlife, much of it unique. There are not many other places where you’ll find the majestic Grevy’s zebra, the beautiful vulturine guinea fowl and the bizarre gerenuk antelope.

Half way between Kenya’s capital Nairobi and Samburu lays Mount Kenya. At 5199 metres (17,057 feet), its great sloping bulk topped with spires of rock and permanent snow dominate central Kenya. It can be seen for many miles. High on its slopes and across the valley, tucked in amongst the green folds of the Aberdare Mountains are some wonderful lodges with more unique wildlife and crisp, cool mountain air – quite a relief after the heat of the plains.

Across the border to the south of Kenya lies Tanzania. The vast Serengeti Plain is an extension of Kenya’s Maasai Mara, and it’s here that the great herds of wildebeest spend most of the year. Basically they follow the rain, spending September and October grazing on the lush grass of the Maasai Mara and for the rest of the year they follow a clockwise path around the Serengeti. Flying low over the Serengeti is something everyone should experience before leaving this planet. From a height of five hundred feet there are wildebeest everywhere you look, flowing towards the distant towering rain clouds in long black rivulets, their hooves stirring the fine dust which blows away like smoke on the wind.

Two to three million animals take part in this migration and to witness it stirs the emotions. I found myself with tears streaming down my face the first time I saw it. It’s a primeval, visceral experience that takes your breath away. Don’t miss it. Nearby is Ngorongoro Crater. It’s a veritable Eden of wildlife and is beautiful beyond belief. In the same area there’s also Olduvai Gorge. Known as “The Cradle of Mankind” the area has been the subject of much archaeological and anthropological research over the years. Some of the earliest human remains ever found were discovered here. It’s fascinating.

Most visitors to Tanzania only see the north of the country. It’s easily accessible by road or air from Nairobi. Please don’t make that mistake. You must see the south too. It’s not hard. A short flight from Nairobi or Arusha will get you to Dar es Salaam. From here you can hop over to the beaches and the history of Zanzibar, but best of all is the string of national parks that stretch westward from Dar. Mikumi, Selous, Ruaha and Katavi.

All are wild and woolly and far less frequented than those in the north of country. Mikumi is surrounded by tall mountains, Selous is based around a river system and has many water based game viewing opportunities. Ruaha has both mountains and rivers and is perhaps my favourite game reserve in all Africa. Katavi is the most remote of all the parks. It is a vast floodplain and the home to the last really big herds of buffalo in Africa.

Don’t assume remoteness means discomfort though. There are some wonderful camps and lodges, providing the best cuisine and five star accommodation. In fact, that is something you can rely on all over East Africa – comfortable accommodation, great food and something for every budget. But, however much you choose to spend; you’ll always get romance and adventure.

For further information on any of the products or destinations featured or to make a booking, please call me - Peter Emery on 0449 689 447. Alternatively call Ucango Travel on 1300 822 646 and be sure to ask for me by name, or just drop me an email.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Giant Grunting Sausages

How would you describe a hippopotamus to someone who had never seen one? The word hippopotamus is derived from an ancient Greek phrase meaning river horse, but that is no help at all. Hippos look nothing like horses, though as a general rule any racehorse I back tends to perform like a hippo. I think the best I can do is to describe them as a giant, grunting pork sausage on legs. It must be said though, that these pork sausages can be very dangerous. They are responsible for more human deaths than any other African animal except the mosquito. This is because they live in the same waterways that villages tend to spring up next to. The males can be very territorial and will attack canoes and boats that stray into their territory. At night the hippos leave the water to graze and people getting between them and the water can be trampled as the animals feel vulnerable on land and will rush back to the water for safety..

A wonderful place to safely observe this fascinating creatures is Foxes River Lodge in Southern Tanzania's Ruaha National Park. The lodge rooms are strong out along a stretch of the Ruaha River and the room at the end is right opposite the hippo pool, where a sizable pod of hippos like to spend their day, wallowing, grunting and generally enjoying themselves. You can safely sit on your veranda and observe them while you have a little downtime between game drives. That particular room is about two hundred metres from the main lodge building where meals are served. If you arrive back from your game drive after dark you are escorted to your room by one of the Masai security guards who will then come to collect you when you are ready to go for dinner and will take you back to your room once you've eaten.

If you're wondering what the Masai are doing in Southern Tanzania, it's because they loyally followed the lodge manager from another lodge in the Serengeti. You're perfectly safe with these guys escorting you and just occasionally you get to see a hippo out of the water grazing on the grass within the lodge grounds.
Here's a link to Foxes River Lodge as well as their other great lodges. All of which I can thoroughly recommend. Sorry, but you'll need to cut and paste it to your address bar to read.

Never let it be said that I don't offer variety. Take a look at the link below for details of an amazing tour through China and Tibet run by Travman Tours. I think it represents superb value for money and takes your through some the planet's most thrilling cultural and scenic sites.  Here's a quote from the Travman Tours website. 

"The fantastic journey takes you to explore mysterious Tibet & beyond, a land with remarkable monasteries and palaces. The Holy Express travels across the vast Tibetan grasslands and stunning snow mountain ranges."

Here's that link I promised you. Once again, you'll need to cut and paste it to your address bar.

For further information on any of the products featured or to make a booking, please call me - Peter Emery on 0449 689 447. Alternatively call Ucango Travel on 1300 822 646 and be sure to ask for me by name, or just drop me an email.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Snow Monkeys & Grizzly Bears

Many people think of Japan as being crammed with people, a wilderness void. That is far from being the truth. Japan is so mountainous that the vast majority of the nation remains undeveloped. The terrain has seen to that. It's a country of heartbreaking beauty with a fascinating culture and I just can't recommend a visit highly enough. Don't go believing the old stories of how expensive the place is either. It isn't, not these days anyway. Eat in the local restaurants and you'll find it's a lot cheaper than Australia. Of course if you want to eat steak and drink Aussie wine in your hotel it will be expensive. Heaven knows, it's dear here too. Here's a great example of what you can do. Just click on the (somewhat over sized) ink below.

Be sure to add on a visit to the beautiful snow monkeys too. Here's a  (even longer) link for that.$96--per-person/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=World+Deals+Trade+7+February+2012&utm_content=World+Deals+Trade+7+February+2012+CID_95c73c75358c9f1611d30e2dd12d3aa0&utm_source=Email+marketing+software&utm_term=CLICK+HERE+FOR+MORE+DETAILS

One of the planet's ultimate wildlife viewing locations is Canada's Knight Inlet.

Spectacular wildlife viewing amongst stunning scenery.

Knight Inlet Lodge has achieved a reputation for being one of the best places to view grizzly (brown) bears in the wild. This comfortable but rustic floating lodge nestles in the only protected cove on the 100 mile long inlet, and the only neighbours are bears, mountain goats, otters, seals and eagles! Each day is filled with a range of activities, and tours are accompanied by trained naturalists. Grizzlies can be viewed from specially built tree platforms overlooking the salmon spawning channels, or by boat. There are marine tours to the magnificent Johnstone Strait to see orcas, minke whales, sea lions, seals, dolphins and porpoises. For more information, please download the following PDF brochure excerpt :

Our final destination today is Madikwe Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Madikwe is interesting in that it is situated at the transition from low veldt country to desert and so contains species that are comfortable in either, or both. Federal Air fly there from Johannesburg, or you can drive there from the city in about four or five hours. There are plenty of excellent lodges there, but the two I particularly recommend are Madikwe Hills Lodge and Impodimo Lodge. Both are very comfortable and are surrounded by spectacular scenery and wildlife. At Impodimo there's even a herd of elephants that come to drink from the swimming pool and they don't care if you're in it. I must say that I prefer the game viewing in Madikwe to that in the Kruger area.

Here are links to the two mentioned lodges.

Photo above. A very rarely sighted pangolin at Madikwe Private Game Reserve. Just for a giggle, ask your game ranger to find one for you.

For further information on any of the products featured or to make a booking, please call me - Peter Emery on 0449 689 447. Alternatively call Ucango Travel on 1300 822 646 and be sure to ask for me by name, or just drop me an email.