Making a Difference                       View this email in your browser

Making a tangible and
an intangible difference
When I brought the chapter to a close on a fun filled and financially lucrative investment banking career, I held high hopes that Travel Sommelier would become a platform that would generate an X factor. In addition to being a pursuit that would deliver fulfillment and enjoyment to me personally, I wanted it to make a real difference in the lives of our guests who travel and to the wildlife about which we care deeply.

This video personifies what I was hoping for:

Elaine Falkenberg approached me to take a bucket list trip to Rwanda to track Mountain Gorillas. It turned out to be more emotive than she expected and has unleashed a force of nature…aside from returning to the rainforest she has become vested in Gorilla conservation and social upliftment of surrounding communities. It has been a complete upward spiral done in a hands-on, immersive and thoughtful way. 

The primary reason I invoke this story is because it underpins how important it is not to be an armchair traveler. To travel and to experience, to be in situ, is the only true way to experience the tangible - and intangible - aspects of travel that make it such an exciting pursuit.

So BE INSPIRED and travel well, travel often and travel with us!

Best Regards, Darren

Rwanda, The Gorillas, Conservation
When Dian Fossy first turned the spotlight of international attention to these enigmatic primates in the early 70’s, there were a mere 200+ Mountain Gorillas alive. They were critically endangered. Through sheer bloody dedication from a number of stakeholders and in no small part from tourism, there are almost 900 today. This is one of the greatest conservation success stories of our lifetime. I am privileged in the seat that I have to get to enjoy the very best that the African continent offers and few encounters are better than ‘Gorillas in the Mist’. I urge you to visit Rwanda, contribute in small or large parts to conservation efforts and/or enjoy the kindness and warmth of Rwandans through social upliftment efforts. 

And to our other primary conservation focus…Rhinoceros
Wilderness Safaris continue apace with their pioneering efforts to relocate Rhino from at-risk areas in Southern Africa to remote locations in Botswana where anti-poaching efforts are easier to coordinate and implement. We hope to be able to get customers involved in a hands-on way with a relocation next year. In addition, we have been in discussion with a different platform within the Rhino anti-poaching establishment, The International Anti Poaching Foundation (IAPF), a ‘Green Army’, focuses on combatting poachers in wildlife reserves in Southern Africa. For lovers of wildlife, it is imperative to get to Africa to see the BIG 5 before we are touting the BIG 4, a reality if poaching continues at this pace. We are happy to advise on visiting reserves and platforms that are supportive and diligent in protecting these gentle giants.
For more information on any of the items above or other travel requests please contact:
Travel Sommelier 
+1 203 286 8338
Darren Humphreys
Copyright © 2016 Travel Sommelier, All rights reserved.

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