Spending two weeks in Southern Africa with Ecotours international was a dream-come-true. Not only was the itinerary well-crafted, but it was rich with highly-skilled, personable guides, and hosts in the Kalahari Desert & Okavango Delta. Nicole’s years of experience and connections throughout the region made for an “insiders” experience - ripe with understanding, nuance, hard-earned tips & tricks, & more. This trip is worth every penny and then some.
They (the Bushmen) were deeply inspirational. We have nothing worthwhile to teach them. We have so much to learn from them. They are our origin, our home base, a people and place where we can get our bearings again and remember what’s important.
It is inspiring great hope for me to work closely with Dr. Nicole Apelian. Nicole’s closeness to the Indigenous people she supports, and the projects that promote their pride and culture are a worthy role-model for communities world-wide. Her understanding of San Culture and the positive impact of her approach to cultural tourism is causing measurable positive change for the Indigenous people involved while providing a life-changing and memorable experience for participants on her expeditions.
There is no experience one can compare to a tented safari in Botswana. To have experienced knowledgeable guides who can track animals, and know what is happening, not merely name the animal. One of the most memorable experiences was watching African Wild Dogs take an Impala, was an unbelievable treat. Our guide knew the hunting strategy of the Dogs, which allowed us to follow and observe without being disrespectful or disruptive. Also, to watch hundreds of elephants crossing a stream and the interaction of the females and youngsters was very emotional. Night drives seeing hundreds of Buffalo and the reflection of their eyes, which looked like one was looking down on a city of lights. To lie in your bed at night and listen to lions, zebras, hyenas, elephants living their lives so very close, seemed like a dream. Nicole’s experience, connections, and understanding and love of Botswana’s people and wildlife made this possible. There are many safari companies, some have good naturalists, but to have someone who has lived and worked in the country is invaluable, thank you.
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Above is a video made by one of our 2014 trip participants, Victor Wooten. Please press on the play button above to view.
My trip to Ecuador...with Nicole was simply amazing!! Everything we did immersed us in the culture of the area, and its beauty and wonders. I was looking for a very active trip and the activity level did not disappoint either. I loved the horseback riding outside of Quito. It was a wonderful adventure thru sublime forests, volcanic craters, lunch at the top with spectacular views, and even machete-hacking thru a narrow trail. Felt like an Indiana Jones adventure. I also loved the snorkeling that brought out island wonders otherwise invisible. I loved that we did not live on a boat but got to stay on each island and experience the unique culture of each; the people, the food, the scenery, the beauty, the sunsets & sunrises...I would not hesitate to plan another trip with Nicole. Hoping Africa with her is in my near future!