As it’s Christmas it seems only right to give gifts to people you like! So we have TWO free tour packages to give away to two lucky clients! Just enter our competition & you could win a 4-day/3 night 4WD self-drive adventure package to fabulous Dirk Hartog Island!
HO HO HO! WIN A FREE DIRK HARTOG ISLAND TOUR!
11 December 2017
DHI is a paradise within the Shark Bay World Heritage area for those who love fishing, swimming, 4WD’ing, beachcombing, kayaking & camping. Each prize is worth almost $700 & includes return barge transfers for your 4WD & trailer; camping fees at the DHI homestead campground & a bottle of champagne to enjoy on the beach at sunset!
You just need to write in 25 words or less why you want to win the prize! Make it funny, quirky, serious or downright tear jerking - all entries will be considered! Competition closes on January 31st so you have plenty of time to compose your winning entry over the holidays. Good luck & thanks so much to Kieran & Tory Wardle at DHI for their generosity!
DIRK HARTOG SCIENCE SAFARI REPORT
Now that we’ve transported you mentally to remote Dirk Hartog Island, we’d like to tell you about our inaugural Science Safari to this terrific destination! In conjunction with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions (formerly DPAW), we enjoyed a unique eco-adventure while making a valuable contribution to conserving WA’s precious wildlife.
Our enthusiastic voluntourists played an important role in a long-term project, “Return to 1616”, that is trying to restore the island to its original state. Several threatened species have been relocated to DHI & our environmentally-conscious gypsies set & checked traps & helped capture, ‘process’, record, release & monitor a range of creatures including Shark Bay mice, lizards, skinks, snakes & more. We also made a generous financial donation to the Dirk Hartog R&D program at the end of the tour.
Thanks to our budding scientists Geoff Connor & Linda Reynolds, Fettes Falconer, Suzanne Gallagher, Anne Gilkes, April Jenkins, Michael & Sally Lumsden, Ross McGillivray, John & Heather Richardson & Lesley Robinson who worked their backpacks off in the name of science!
And, of course, a huge thank you to the scientists & researchers from DBCA who organized & supervised the scientific activities – Keith Morris, Judy Dunlop, Mark Blythman, Kelly Rayner & Mark Cowan - while Tour Leader Jeremy Perks & Safari Hostess Angela Bunyan looked after logistics & catering.
Highlights included finding “Jesus” (an elusive rufous hair wallaby); enjoying fresh BBQ’d oysters; a lovely meal with the Wardles; kayaking & swimming in the bay; Anne’s gorgeous paintings; watching whales & dolphins; exploring the island on our ‘day off’; high drama with the ferry (a jack-knife, minor prang, boggings & wild winds which delayed our return to the mainland!); dodgy compressor, tyre & battery & the famous flying knickers!! There’s another DHI Science Safari planned for November 2019 but get in early!
EXOTIC MARIGOLD INDIA + SRI LANKA TOURS!
Great news! We’ve postponed our Exotic Marigold India tour until February 2019 in order to combine it with an exciting NEW destination – SRI LANKA! Join our Sensational Sri Lanka Safari either AFTER India or book it as a separate tour – it’s your choice!
Our 2017 India trip was fully booked & fantastic & we’re really looking forward to going back. We loved the history, colour, culture, scenery, wildlife, friendly people & incredible variety of quality experiences – not to mention the awesome accommodation in palaces, houseboats & fortresses just to name a few! Tap your well-tied turban here to read about our last visit: https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/International/Exotic-Marigold-India-Tour.
And if Sri Lanka tempts your travel buds, our local tour operator is currently designing a special itinerary for our first-ever discovery tour to this exotic & romantic island just a Bollywood hop from India. Numbers will be limited so make like a poppadum & pop up now!
RUDALL RIVER EXPEDITION ALMOST FULL!
As expected, our 2018 Rudall River (Karlamilyi) escorted & catered 4WD expedition is filling up quicker than a colony of cane toads! There are only THREE places left on our fun, scenic & challenging outback self-drive adventure to this remote & infrequently visited national park. The tour is happening from July 18 – August 1, starts in Newman & ends in Carnarvon. Read about it & book your place in the gypsy convoy by tapping your tyre lever here: https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/Australian/Rudall-River-Expedition.
HAVE A WHALE OF A TIME WITH THE GYPSIES!
We’ve always wanted to run a self-drive whale-watching tour but for a boatload of reasons it’s never happened! Whale watching season along our spectacular southern coast is from June to October & it’s the perfect time & place to see Southern Right and Humpback Whales. SO, we’re thinking of organising a self-catering Whalesong Safari in August 2018 to that beautiful part of the world!
It would be about 10 days’ in duration & suitable for 4WD’s, caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes or tents.There will be some 4WD activities but you could either temporarily unhitch if you’re towing, or if you don’t have a 4WD, jump in with someone else! The tour is just a ‘thought bubble’ at present but please let us know if you’re keen & we’ll put something together. Avast, me hearties! Thar she blows!
HAPPY DAYS ON THE HOLLAND TRACK!
Our Holland Track Expedition in November lived up to its reputation as being one of the favourites on our tour calendar. This five-day, ‘mini-outback’ self-drive adventure from Hyden to Coolgardie is the perfect opportunity for new gypsies to test-drive the tag-along concept & for experienced 4WD’ers & members of our “Frequent 4WD Club” to take a break & get back to nature with like-minded travellers.
A joint venture with RAC Travel, the tour was led by Jeremy with catering provided by Safari Hostess, Angela. Joining the convoy were Ken Hall & Bruce Glover, Steve Hoath, Chris & Barbara Jackson, Bob & Pip Jarvis, Ross McGillivray, John & Marian Meharry, Michael O’Connor & Wayne Smith, Jenny Rose, plus passengers in the escort vehicle Ann Schaap & Yeeda Topham.
Highlights (or should that be headlights?) included excellent identification of the prolific wildflowers by the aptly named Jenny Rose; experiencing only ONE flat tyre on the whole trip; Ken’s brilliant drone photography (his edited movie will soon be up on our website & Facebook page!); Pip’s surprise birthday party; starry starry nights; poems round the campfire; a spekky dust storm & the dubious debut of a Donald Trump toilet roll!
Loyal gypsies will remember that we’ve had some weather issues with the Holland Track in the past. Well, this time we missed by the skin of our teeth one of the WORST storms to ever hit Kalgoorlie! While Mother Nature caused absolute havoc in this Goldfields town, we were happily ensconced in our bush camp 100 kms away with a bit of rain & a few wind gusts. We couldn’t believe it when we drove back to civilization - it looked like Beirut! What will the next Holland Track tour bring? Snowstorm? Volcanic eruption? Or maybe a tsunami?? Join us & find out!
MOROCCO BY MOTORHOME SAFARI!
And now for something completely different – an exciting “Morocco by Motorhome Safari”! We’re teaming up once again with our friends at Self Drive Adventures in October 2018 to offer an escorted, self-drive, self-catering, 17-day discovery tour through one of the most exotic destinations in northern Africa!
Led by Jeremy & Jan & experienced local guides, our safari will begin & end in Marrakech & explore the picturesque Moroccan countryside in comfortable hired motorhomes. There’s also an optional three-day post-tour option to Casablanca so that we can ‘play it again, Sam!’ We can only take eight vehicles on this incredible journey & half the places are already booked! Don’t delay! Join the Marrakech Express today! See https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/International/morocco-by-motorhome-safari for more details & to reserve your place!
WE’RE OFF TO MYANMAR FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE!
By the time you read this, we’ll either be packing for, or winging our way to, mysterious Myanmar to explore the countryside & celebrate New Year’s Eve in Mandalay! After carefully considering the Rohingya issue & discussing it with the folks joining us, we agreed unanimously to proceed with our plans & make a donation to the Rohingya appeal. We are very excited about our first visit there & looking forward to seeing Yangon, Bagan, Lake Inle & Mt Popa & to experiencing the culture & cuisine We’ll have a drink for you as the clock strikes twelve on the Big Night! Happy New Year to you all!
TOUR GUIDE TRAINING BACK ON THE BOIL!
With the slow-down of the mining industry since the last boom, the demand is on again for our unique hands-on Tour Guide Training Course. We ran a fully booked session in December at our ‘bush classroom’ in Yanchep National Park & at the conference room at Yanchep Inn. Yanchep is the perfect venue for the 2½ day, live-in course as it’s less than hour from Perth, has a big campground, terrific bush tracks for practicing guided walking tours, a cultural program & plenty of wildlife.
The course was strongly supported by Tourism WA & WAITOC (WA Indigenous Tour Operators Committee) with attendees coming from all over the State & one participant from Victoria. A big thank you to our guest speakers, Derek Nannup (YNP), Prue Pike (Talk Social Media), Matt Bambach (Kimberley Safari Tours) & Ryan Mossny (Two Feet & a Heartbeat) and, of course, to our students!
Congratulations to successful ‘graduates’ Ted Carlton, Corey Khan, Karem Khan, Rob Marshall, Neil Maru, Lorna Meehan, Marrisa Mumberay, Preston Parker, Isobel Peters, Michael Ralston, Lachlan Raymond, Javen Rivers, Heather Walford, George Walley, Lee-Anne Walley & Kim Wilson. We wish you the best of luck with your future careers!
We’re planning to hold another Tour Guide Training Course in the autumn – details TBA. We also gave a number of talks about guiding-related matters over the past few months to the Rottnest Island Volunteer Guides Association & to delegates at a FACET conference (Forum Advocating Cultural & Eco Tourism). Thanks for inviting us, folks, it’s always a pleasure to give back to the industry!
MYSTERY AFRICA SAFARI LOCATION REVEALED!
We’ve led tours to Africa several times including Botswana, Kenya & Namibia so wanted to take you to a new & different destination on our next African wildlife safari. We’ve always loved East Africa but with political & security issues impacting on some of our favourite spots, we needed to choose our next location wisely.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE! We’ve selected a country that is safe, has outstanding game-viewing opportunities & awesome scenery (think golden savannah, soaring mountains, tropical beaches), offers diverse activities & has a well developed tourism infrastructure. Our 2019 mystery African destination is - TANZANIA!!
Located just south of Kenya, Tanzania is the home of the Serengeti (an extension of the famous Maasai Mara Game Park), historic Olduvai Gorge (known as the “Cradle of Mankind”), Ngorongoro Crater, wild & wonderful Ruaha National Park, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, the spice island of Zanzibar & much more.
We’re currently developing the itinerary for our “Return to Tanzania Tour” in 2019 & would love to have you along! Give us your best Tarzan yell & we’ll keep you posted as we finalise our plans!
PLANNING FOR THE CANNING IN 2019!
Jeremy’s gone on strike this year & is taking a break from the Canning Stock Route after a decade of running one - sometimes two! - marathon tours annually. We’ve been swamped with inquiries but it’s such a tough outback trip that he reckons that both he & the vehicle need a rest in 2018!
But there’s no couch surfing or putting your feet up allowed in the gypsy camp – we’re already planning our next Canning Stock Route Expedition in 2019! It will take place from July 3 – 23 & places are already filling fast. Read more about the mother of all 4WD tracks & book your place in the gypsy convoy here: https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/Australian/Canning-stock-route-Expedition-2017/
CUDDLE A CRITTER ON OUR PERUP SCIENCE SAFARI!
It’s on again! Our Science Safari to lovely Perup Sanctuary with scientists, researchers & conservationists from DBCA is happening from April 8 – 13, 2018.
Join us on this six-day “voluntour” in a rustic bush setting just outside Manjimup & help capture, ‘process’ and monitor a range of wildlife in the forests of WA’s Southwest. You’ll also work on flora-related projects, enjoy bushwalks, go bird watching, visit local attractions and learn about the local eco-system from the experts. At the end of the tour, partial proceeds will be donated back to the Department to support its important ongoing conservation and rehabilitation projects.
You don’t need a 4WD to participate & catering & twin-share accommodation in Perup’s cozy rammed earth guesthouse is included. To find out more or to book your place & become a ‘critter cuddler’, pat your paw here: https://www.globalgypsies.com.au/tours/Australian/Perup-Conservation-and-Science-Safari/
WILL TOWING TRAINING BECOME MANDATORY?
There’s lots of chat lately about making towing training & towing licensing mandatory for new caravanners. Although we can’t see this happening in the immediate future, it’s good news that the authorities are starting to realize that teaching ‘newbies’ how to tow safely is really important.
You wouldn’t drive a heavy truck without special training & licensing yet everyday people new to caravanning get on the road for the first time towing a unit behind them that can weigh up to three tonnes & sway around like a hula dancer or even ‘jackknife’ if it’s not controlled properly!
We’re keeping all four of our part-time professional towing trainers busy at present & expect the demand for towing training to just keep growing. We say ‘bring it on’!!
ANOTHER SPECTACULAR SILK ROAD SAFARI!
We’ve been working with Tashkent-based Miramax Travel for several years now to run our Silk Road Safari. We & our clients are delighted with their professionalism, enthusiasm, knowledge & organizational skills – sometimes demonstrated in very challenging circumstances!
In August, Anvar Nasirov, Dilmurad Sabirov & their team of professional guides escorted nine fortunate gypsies through western China, Kyrgyzstan & Uzbekistan & they had an absolutely wonderful time! It’s certainly a fascinating journey full of history, culture & magic moments, but you never know quite what to expect! Flights can be cancelled, roads can be closed, government policies can change – in an instant - & Plan B needs to be implemented! That’s when a good tour operator like Miramax really shines!
Thanks to clients Frederick Baker & Hans Weichbrodt from New Zealand; Ingrid Lejeune-Dirichlet from Germany & Norm & Marie Blackburn, Mal & Deborah Dickie & Gerhardt & Aileen Strumpher from WA for being such a happy group! Their tour highlights included staying in a yurt, learning about Islam & local culture, the mountain scenery in Kyrgyzstan, Anvar’s bubbly personality, the 1000 Buddha Caves, swimming in Lake Issyk Kul, the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall, Magao Caves, Bukhara & Kashgar – just to name a few! Public toilets were stars of the ‘low-lights’ list but no surprises there!
We’ll be offering another Silk Road Safari in 2019 led by the Miramax team & we know it will once again be smooth as you know what!
20 YEARS OF MEMORIES!
Sometimes we have to pinch ourselves! We can’t believe the amazing things we’ve seen & done & all the wonderful people we’ve met during our 20 years of running Global Gypsies. We are so very fortunate & never take for granted that it is YOUR support that makes it all possible.
We love what we do, are fascinated by the places we visit & never tire of delivering memorable experiences & spending time with you, our loyal clients. We’d like to wish each & every one of you a very happy Christmas - or whatever festivity you may be celebrating over the coming holidays. Have a fantastic 2018 & we hope we can share even a small part of the year ahead with you.
Until next time, happy travels from – Jan and Jeremy