Dear Fellow Adventurers,

It’s hard to believe we are almost a quarter of the way through 2024 - and already time for my first quarterly update on all things YellowWood. Hopefully, it has been a productive and successful start to 2024 for you - it certainly has for us, with this being our strongest year on record so far. Here are a few highlights to date:

In January, I hosted two webinars on The Silk Roads of Central Asia and one on Northern Spain which have proved to be very popular. Look out for a few more coming in Q2 - you can register HERE for our upcoming Malawi Webinar

The team attended the Destinations travel show in London Olympia over four days, where I co-hosted several talks on Northern Spain's incredible food & drink scene with international chef Andrew Dickens. It was a typically frenetic four days; with the highlight as always seeing so many of our existing clients there, and meeting many new ones.

[Image: Rachael, Sarah & Sam at the Destinations; travel show in London Olympia]

One overarching theme we took from the event was just how interested people are in Bhutan at the moment now the word is out that the tourist tax has been reduced from $200 to $100 per day - and as a result we recently launched a new cultural tour of the country:

Inside Bhutan's Hidden Kingdom

One of our groups in January embarked upon our 15-day Wildlife of Western Uganda Safari. It was Nitish's third adventure with YellowWood after trips to Ethiopia & Iran with us, and he captured some amazing photos from this tour.

To see more of Nitish's work please visit:

We have another truly unique and exciting confirmed departure over Christmas 2024 which includes gorilla tracking as well as some challenging hiking up into Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains:

Gorillas & Hiking Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains

Sat 20th Dec - Wed 31st Dec 2025

We had another group in Oman in February who really enjoyed the addition of two nights wild camping in the itinerary in both the perfect white Sugar Dunesand the orange sands of the Wahiba - even though they weren't able to spend the night in either due to torrential rain!

At the risk of flash floods our quick-thinking guide moved them to shelter for the night - it's all part of the adventure. 

[Putting up tents in the Wahiba sands of Oman... only to take them down again when the rains came]

I am heading to Malawi next month to experience first hand our incredible new adventure tour there - a highly affordable safari, in Malawi's superb big game reserves, followed by a few days at the beautiful beaches and islands of Lake Malawi, where we'll snorkel to see millions of its colourful cichlid fish (over 290 species have been recorded there). 

Perhaps you saw the extremely well-received coverage of this same adventure in The Telegraph recently.

Safari & Swimming at Lake Malawi


CLICK HERE to register for our upcoming Malawi Webinar 

I was working remotely for much of January & February in the lesser-visited Spanish Canary Island of La Palma this year. What an undiscovered jewel this little island is - as are many other part of the Canary Islands.

There is so much more here than just package hotels (if you know where to look in the more remote islands), and of course, they offer easy access to winter sun. We're now working on a new itinerary there, to be released in the coming months - watch this space...

We have more adventures running in 2024 than ever before -  CLICK HERE to schedule a call with me to discuss any of our destinations further. 

[Image: Overlooking the national park in La Palma, Spanish Canary Islands]

I have recently been re-reading Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits(1982). I read it in English when I was working on farms in Andalusia in southern Spain in my 20's, and this time I am reading it again (albeit much slower) in Spanish. It is a monumentally fantastic book tracing the lives of four generations of the Trueba family in a country which although not explicitly mentioned, is clearly based upon Allende's native Chile in South America. 

Reading this piqued my interest in the history of Chile and about Allende's experiences growing up there, so I was simultaneously reading Paula (1994), and autobiographical book by Allende which is named after her daughter who fell into a coma whilst still a young woman.

It is also an incredible book, tracing the life of Allende through Chile's turbulent past and especially interesting as her father was a first cousin of Salvador Allende, president of Chile, with whom Isabel and her family maintained a close relationship before the 1973 coup that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power - who's soldiers stormed the presidential palace killing Salvador (although 'the official version' states that he shot himself).

This piqued my interest further on Latin American history & politics so I started reading Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (1971) by Eduardo Galeano (guess who wrote the foreword) and it is one of the most important books I have ever read. 

Galeano's vision is unswerving, surgical yet immensely generous and humane, although I must warn you it is very tough reading when one fully understands just how dreadfully Europeans and later Americans have systematically exploited this region.

I can feel the call of Latin America once again, and we are considering itineraries in Colombia, Chile & Argentina. Where is calling you? 

Until next time,

Sam McManus, MD