We are delighted to offer details of our 2018 tours.
A selection of our handpicked Garden Tours to Italy, France and Morocco feature to which we add our Natural History Tours to Northern and Southern Africa. This year we have added a new exciting tour to the gardens of Iran in April though it is now fully subscribed. We are taking names of those interested in our April 2019 tour.
For all our tours, numbers are limited to ensure a small, convivial group of participants and we recommend you enquire about availability. We can offer to hold places for you on option for eight days.
Our ever popular tour to the Secret Gardens of Venice and the Veneto in May includes an exceptional event. As well as visiting stunning hidden private gardens, we enjoy a day in the Laguna joining in the parade of Venetian boats led by the Mayor, the church leaders and their retinue for the Festa della Sensa, celebrating a very ancient, local celebration of the ‘marriage’ of the Adriatic sea and the city of Venice taking place on the first Sunday after Ascension Day. Atmospheric and colourful with only authentic boats being rowed, it is a real Venetian peoples’ day. We stay on the Grand Canal at the elegant Hotel Palazzo Stern in the Dorsodoro overlooking Palazzo Grassi overlooking a sensational rose garden.
Scotland features again in 2018 with delightful spring gardens of Dumfries and Galloway which benefits from the influence of the Gulf Stream. We stay on the coast in an exceptional country house hotel, Knockinaam Lodge. Early September, we visit the Gardens of the North between Inverness, Caithness and Wester Ross with exceptionally beautiful gardens and the best time to visit. Accommodated in superb lodge and a country house hotel, we enjoy the warm Scottish welcome and their cuisine with delicious locally sourced produce.
Our late autumn tours concentrate on natural history destinations in Africa which cover local flora and fauna together with geology and superb landscapes.
Morocco is fascinating. In October starting in Marrakech, we then cross the majestic Atlas mountains, descend the lush date palm Draa valley to the desert edge and spend three nights in luxury tents in the Sahara dunes. Daytime excursions on foot or by dromedary across the undulating dunes, we discover grasses, shrubs and even wild rocket. Lunch is cooked on hot stones and is enjoyed in the shade of a tamarisk tree. The desert is calm and serene, the night sky bright with stars. An unforgettable adventure.
Namibia has much to offer. It is a safe country with sustainable tourism ensuring a chance to discover both wildlife and flora in secluded wilderness areas. When wildlife is sighted on the reserves, only our vehicles are there to enjoy to observe either a mother with young or a kill. This is important to us.
Two autumn tours are planned.
In October we visit the mythical, protected Skeleton Coast Wilderness in the Kunene region, north west Namibia is exceptional in every way. Pristine and secluded with the only access by charter flight to Hoanib, our lodge. Beside visiting the remote coast, we discover desert-adapted elephant herds and giraffe browsing in the dry river beds lined with Camelthorn and Ana trees. Inland we support the Save the Rhino Trust by staying in a remote lodge to track wild black rhinos. Namibia’s indigenous ancient plant, Welwitschia mirabilis grows profusely in this region.
In November we head to southern Namibia to discover the red dunes of the Kalahari desert, the spectacular Namib desert with the huge dunes at Sossusvlei. We visit Fish River Canyon, an amazing geological phenomenon (the world’s second largest after the Grand Canyon) where quiver trees and red aloes (Aloe gariepensis) grow. Staying at a mountain guest farm well-known by star gazers gives a chance to sight rare mountain zebra and enjoy a botanical walk. This tour is known to have great diversity. We move on to the Atlantic coast and discover life in the dunes and survival techniques due to the mist coming from the cold Benguela current. Flamingoes, sometimes avocet and many sea birds can be seen at Walvis Bay. Our final days are spent at a fabulous reserve specializing in the rescue of cheetah and leopard orphans re-introducing them to life in the wilderness.
Full printed details of each tour can be sent to you upon request.
Our success is due to innovative itineraries and careful attention to detail. We are expanding our bespoke itineraries for private groups of friends and for horticultural societies.
Looking forward to meeting you in 2018.
I met Johannes, our guide, on a recent visit to the Desert Rhino Camp in Damaraland, north west Namibia.
We spent a full day wild black rhino trekking and were thrilled to have a close sighting of a mother and calf – registered by the Save The Rhino Trust monitors as Topknot and Troy.
Our tour to South Africa is always very popular. In 2018 a private group are taking this tour but we do hope to offer it again in Autumn 2019.View the 2017 tour…
Our 2018 tour is already fully subscribed. We are repeating this tour with a similar programme and dates in April 2019 which is the best time for gardens and wild flowers.
Please contact the office if you would like your name added to the priority list for our 2019 tour to Iran.