North Korea is one of the most isolated places on earth and one of the last bastions of Communism. However, there is so much more to this beautiful country than that; there are the beautiful people, untouched countryside and amazing scenery which make it a dream holiday for any budding photographer.
Richard Beal was Explore tour leader of the year in 2010 and now leads our North Korea Adventure Tour. He wrote a blog on his experiences of this little-visited country.
Untouched by foreign visitors since the 1970s, we relaunched our Angola Adventure Tour last year. Jane Westwood is an Explore Operations Manager and she travelled on the first departure.
“The tour delivered on every level from the Tour Leader to the vehicles to the itinerary and was a great introduction to an unknown country. It was very much back to basics with a tour through the ‘real Africa’. It felt like a journey through an undiscovered region with only the local tribespeople for company – absolutely no sign of any tourists until we reached the Angolan coast which was a week into the tour. Many of the group thought that this was the best tour they had ever done in terms of exploring an unknown country and terrain and reaping the benefits of a very diverse landscape and people.
For me the highlights were Iona National park with its swathes of yellow grasslands and backdrop of rocky outcrops of mountains. It was beautiful in a very remote way and the scenery was stunning. Not much in the way of wildlife but great wide open spaces. I also loved camping on the beach at Baia das Pipas next to a traditional fishing village. The walk along the beach at sunrise was wonderfully atmospheric and the camping area beneath the rocks bathed in yellow light from the rising sun was spectacular. The actual driving along dirt tracks, dry river beds and rocky canyons was also a highlight. We had plenty of time to appreciate the surroundings as we were only able to cover about 20km an hour!
This really is a fabulous opportunity to explore an unknown country and experience the colours and textures of Africa. The bush camping is a plus as it allows you to experience the real Africa and get close to the nature and the people of the country. It is one of the few locations left where there are precious few tourists around. If you are prepared for the long journeys and the basic conditions you will be rewarded by the diversity of the landscapes and terrain. This is the chance to participate in a real exploration of an emerging African country. Angola is Africa at its rawest and that is what makes it such a unique country to visit and I recommend to everyone that they give it a try, especially if they’ve already experienced some of the other parts of Africa.”
Sudan is one of the largest, and least visited, countries in Africa. It’s home to more pyramids than Egypt, but you can often visit them without another person in sight. Our Sudan Adventure Tour travels through the scenic Nile Valley and into the desert and uncovers Sudan’s unspoilt cultural and historical heritage. We visit well-preserved sandstone temples, tombs engraved with images of the pharaohs and the many pyramids of the Royal Necropolis of Meroe. We also experience the warm hospitality of the Nubian people and stay in a traditional village house.