Dear Fellow Adventurers, 

Autumn has descended upon the UK, and I am writing to you from the heart of the South Downs in West Sussex, where the trees are shining a fiery gold.

Since we resumed our small group adventures and private tailor-made tours over the summer, I have attended three adventures myself - in Morocco climbing Jebel Toubkal, in Kyrgyzstan hiking in the Tian Shan Mountains, and in Mongolia joining a remote eagle hunting festival in the far west of the country.

It was been a privilege to get amongst it again; working alongside our trusted local guides, chatting with clients and getting back into the swing of testing our itineraries - both old and new.  

[Image: Myself with client Derek and local Mongolian guide Baska taking in some sun on top of our 'Loafer' vehicle in Altai National Park.]

The rest of our team have been just as busy. YellowWood Operations Manager Katia Knight recently returned from a research trip to Georgia and has hand-crafted three incredible itineraries, both there and including neighbouring Armenia.

Her 'Festive Georgia' itinerary departs on the 4th January 2023, and is a deliciously unique way to experience the cosy celebrations around the traditional Orthodox Christmas. Katia has also written a fantastic blog post on her experiences there entitled 'Insider's Guide to Georgia'.

[Image: Katia with Georgian walnuts dunked and dragged through grape skins and flour - yum!]

Katia is heading out to Jordan next week to scope out a new itinerary for us there also.

A fundamental part of our business relies on our trusted partnerships with our local tour companies and guides. Many of them came to London this month for the World Travel Market, which afforded us the fantastic opportunity to spend time with both existing and potential new partners, as we look to source new and exciting trips for you.

All of these experiences have confirmed in mind stronger than ever the importance of sustainable tourism to so many individuals, wider communities and the natural ecosystems they support around the planet. 

A country that demonstrates better than almost any other the benefits of sustainable tourism is Costa Rica.

With a quarter of its land under the protection of national parks or reserves, the country has become a world-leading example of how linking tourism with a growing protected area network can lead to the simultaneous growth of both its socioeconomic and environmental sectors. You can read more about the history of the country's journey to reach this point here: Costa Rica: A case study of ecotourism

Why not see it for your self next year?

Forests & Shores of Costa Rica; an Ecotourism Adventure

Sun 9th Apr - Tue 18th Apr 2023

I have been reading The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958) by Laurens Van Der Post. It documents his search and contact with 'the bushmen' of modern-day Botswana, who have now been almost entirely wiped out by both neighbouring tribes and white settlers throughout history:

"I feel myself to have become a kind of improvised footbridge across the widening chasm between Europe and Africa. To me it was simply that the older I got, the more and more I felt that we had lost, there was a bushman in everybody, and we'd lost contact with that side of ourselves."

It is a remarkable and deeply poignant book. He also made a film documenting his contact with the tribe which you can find on Youtube

Until next time,

Sam McManus, MD