The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant


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India has a varied continental climate. Tropical monsoon occurs from June to August, and post-monsoon or northeast monsoon season Oct-Dec. Dubai has a hot, sunny desert climate. Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm. At other times, sunhat, sun glasses and sun block are recommended. The cuisine in Rajasthan is predominantly vegetarian, with beans and lentils being the focus although chicken and lamb dishes are also widely available - you will see little to no pork or beef in the north of India.

The style of dishes is varied and delicious, from hot and spicy to mild and aromatic, you will notice the subtle variations in the food as you travel from place to place. Curry served with fluffy rice and flatbreads usually make up the main meal of the day with dry fruits, spices and yogurt being the predominant ingredients. Dubai is a fantastic place to sample Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as offering countless international dining options. Breads and slow cooked meats are staple, with hummus, tabbouleh and other delicious accompaniments served alongside. Desserts are flavoured with rose water, nuts and dried fruits.

Delhi has been the focal point to so many invasions and absorbed so many cultures that it perfectly captures the essence of India. Exploring New Delhi, you will see the Lutyens designed parliament building, drive past India Gate and along the beautiful tree lined boulevards of the diplomatic quarter. The Red Fort dominates the Old Delhi landscape, with walls and watchtowers towering above the local streets and alleys. The Taj Mahal is one of the worlds most beautiful monuments and built by Shah Jehan as a memorial to his favourite wife.

The brilliance and symmetry of this elegant marble structure, embedded with semi-precious stones and reflected in cool, clear pools, is guaranteed to take your breath away. Fatehpuhr Sikri is a deserted city to the west of Agra. Used in the 16 th century for barely twenty years as the court of the Emperor Akbar, the city was suddenly abandoned. Highlights include the Royal Palace and Audience Hall, both of which offer an excellent insight into the courtly life of Mughal royalty. Known as the Pink City due to its painted stone buildings, Jaipur is a lively and bustling place and is the capital of Rajasthan.

Outside the city stands the magnificent Amber Palace, decorated with marble, mirror work and mosaics, lays on top of a hill overlooking the city. Jumeirah Beach is a beautiful white sand beach located in the Jumeirah district of Dubai. It stretches along on the coast of the Persian Gulf and features a water park, numerous hotels with bars and restaurants for you to enjoy and a shopping complex.

Dubai's waterfront epitomizes the city's personality. The best way to see the trading port is from the water. You can book a cruise or hire an abra small boat and ask the captain to take you to Al-Maktoum bridge and back. Also take time to walk around the dhow wharfage on the Deira side of Dubai Creek, to the west of the abra dock. The Grand Mosque in Bur Dubai is home to the city's tallest minaret. It was built in the s in the style of the Grand Mosque, which dated from but was demolished to make way for another mosque in The new Grand Mosque's sand-coloured walls and wooden shutters blend perfectly with the surrounding old quarter of Bur Dubai.

Activity Level

Jumeira Mosque is known for its size and elaborate design. The best time to see it is at night, when it is spectacularly lit. Upon arrival in Delhi you will be met by our local representative before being transferred to your hotel by coach. After breakfast you will see all the sights and sounds of bustling Old Delhi, beginning with a cycle rickshaw ride through the city. After your ride, you will visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi, where you can see an eternal flame burning at the spot of his cremation.

There will be time to pick up some souvenirs and local bargains at the bustling and colourful market of Chandni Chowk before returning to your hotel. Built in the 11th century, era marked by invasions and battles, this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of The morning is an ideal time to photograph this spectacular building when the lighting is at its most dramatic. This famous mausoleum, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his favourite wife, is a highlight for many visitors to India and it is easy to see why.

In the evening you will travel to Jaipur and visit the deserted red sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri en-route. Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in and it served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from to Enjoy a full day guided tour of Jaipur — the Pink City. Today, you will transfer to Jodhpur, the second largest city in Rajasthan.

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Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, your local guide will be happy to suggest places to see and visit depending on your interests. Enjoy a guided tour of Jodhpur, the home of the Rathore rulers of the princely state of Rajasthan. Here you will visit Mehrangarh Fort, an imposing structure sitting on a hill, which was seen in the film The Dark Knight Rises. The tour will also bring you to Jaswant Thada, a beautiful monument built entirely out of white marble.

Today, you will transfer to Udaipur, also known as the city of the lakes. En route to Udaipur you will stop at where you will visit Ranakpur, which is home to some impressive palaces tucked away in the hills. Today you will have a guided morning excursion to the City Palace Museum and the spectacular garden of Saheliyon-ki-Bari, which is brimming with lotus ponds, marble elephants and gushing fountains. Following a morning at leisure, you will be transferred by coach to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Upon arrival in Dubai you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

You will have two full days to enjoy an independent stay in Dubai, a cosmopolitan city where the traditional and contemporary meet. Or you could relax on the beach - after getting lost in the Dubai Mall, which features over 1, retail stores! Treat yourself to 5-star elegance at the Courtyard Marriott Agra.

Completely new and ideally located near the Taj Mahal and other renowned India attractions, our hotel is ideal for a relaxing getaway. The spacious rooms and suites are among the largest in Agra and offer 5-star am The spacious rooms and suites are among the largest in Agra and offer 5-star amenities like high-speed Internet, luxury bedding, and flat-screen TVs.

All rooms and facilities are designed with a combination of traditional luxury and modern convenience to provide comfort and a pleasant stay. The hotel also features two restaurants where one of The hotel also features two restaurants where one of them is specialized in Indian cuisine, bar, pub, outdoor pool, fitness centre and spa. The Ummed Jodhpur is set amidst 28 acres of fantastically kept gardens and courtyards. It provides for the modern day explorer, a sanctuary to break away from the conventional and adore the romance of the bygone era.

With well appointed rooms and public spaces complimented with e With well appointed rooms and public spaces complimented with excellent service, the property offers an unparalleled experience for travellers. All rooms are modern decorated offering a comfortable and relaxing accommodation. Facilities include its unique and modern restaurant, a bar and a fitness centre In the immediate area, there is a wide choice of shops, cafes and restaurants and for further exploration, the JLT Metro Station is a 10 minute walk away. With its well —appointed guest rooms overlooking Dubai Marina and a range of onsite leisure facilities, Marina Byblos Hotel is an ideal base for sightseeing, shopping and relaxing in Dubai.

Charges may apply for certain facilities. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply. Because we arrived a day late to Dubai we missed our tour of the city. They arranged a private tour of the city for us. Because we had another flight change on our return trip your driver was unable to pick us up at the Savannah airport Collette arranged for another driver to meet us there. Our safari trips were awesome. Seeing lions, elephants, hippos, and all the many animals of Africa up close in their natural habitat definitely the highlight of the trip.

Itinerary was very good, accommodations were very comfortable and everything I could have wanted. Our guide was very knowledgeable, understanding, pleasant, patient and a nice person to travel with. Whenever I called for information they had the answers and went beyond the the simple reply. All were terrific , my favorite was Table Mountain in Cape Town magnificent. We all loved her - she made the bus rides so much fun. Great service. Our tour guide Desmond and Eddie in Zimbabwe were exceptionally good.

Their knowledge made the trip educational and their personality made the trip fun. Great adventure vacation. We also enjoyed the whale watching in Walker Bay. This tour was just fantastic.. Our adventure started on 26th September and it could not have been a better date to start.. The scenery travelling down to the Cape of Good Hope was stunning again Desmond and Stephan made sure we beat the crowds and were first there.. The penguins at boulder beach were amazing Table mountain.. Desmond and Stephan changed the itinerary to make sure we seen this at its best.

Stellenbosch is so sweet much prettier than we expected we stayed in the spier hotel which was just fab, right in the heart of the wine lands. Enterbeni game reserve Collette have allocation at hangclip lodge which is just the right size for the 20 guests that this tour takes. I cannot put into words how special this place is , I would never have thought that we could get that close to so many wild animals with the help of our game drives and Amos and Issac.. All the meals were taken in the main lodge which was a few steps from our room , which was just as well as there are no fences and you need to be escorted back to the rooms by the rangers..

Vic Falls.. The Victoria falls safari lodge.. The falls are something else again we visited at just the right time. We went on the afternoon when the rainbow is over the falls.. All our group took the optional river cruise on the Zambezi.. This was so special.. Desmond had booked the top deck , just for our group , the sunset is something we will always remember. Botswana A perfect end to the tour we had 2 land safaris and 1 water Safari.. I have never seen so many animals together Hippos, water buffalo and elephants..

All in all this tour is not to be missed.. If you are thinking about this tour There is so much included in this tour.. Thank you Collette tours and especially Desmond we had the time if our lives. Everything was handled smoothly.

Every activity we participated in was worthwhile, insightful, and exciting. The most memorable for me was the sunset cruise in Chobe National Park. We saw hundreds of elephants, water buffalo, zebras, giraffes,crocodiles, hippos, and many more. It was amazing to stop the boat and watch a troop of elephants walk by.

They met all my expectations and more. The guide allowed for variations in the schedule, working with the group to enhance all of our experiences. The meals and daily excursions were excellent. All aspects were set up to maximize the enjoyment of the tour for the participants. I cannot choose just one experience as a favorite.

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Each day provided one. Beautiful hotels and safari lodges to stay. Thankful for our scheduled group meals. Loved seeing the animals. Yes, l would recommend this tour and Colllette. It was not too strenuous. Meals included. Live,free animals. Good tour guide. Enjoyable evening shows. Great rooms. I can not begin to explain how wonderful a tour this was. We were totally taken care of with something happening all the time. Our guide Marleen was great she made certain everyone was taken care of.

She had to rearrange our schedule in Cape Town due to the weather and made everything work out perfectly. We were thrilled with the massive amount of animals we saw. I think it helped that we were there in their winter. The trip included a nice variety; touring a village, seeing the penguins at the Cape of Good Hope, wine tasting in the wine country, since it was winter we saw the whales as well as many animals viewed in very close proximity on the seven game drives. One caution for the winter trip bring hats, gloves, long underwear and dress in layers.

It will be cold. It was a trip of a life time. One the I have wanted to do for 15 years. I can not thank you enough for this great tour. The tour itself was great but I was not impressed at all with the service we got from this end. For example I phoned to ask about what type of clothing I should take at this time - was told take a raincoat. One couple from Wisconsin came with long underwear, mitts, hats, vests, etc. You fell very short on your advise on that question.

Secondly I was taking my 14 year old grandson. I discovered later that your web site said to check the African web site for what is needed. My own travel agent didn't even get the correct answer from you. Here is what you need, remember it and post it in your documentations: A consent letter from parents or guardians, notarized A full length birth certificate with parents names on it, properly notarized, but the original is best. A notarized copy of passports or other proper picture documentation of all the parents, guardians, etc.

Ensure that the consent form has all the countries you are travelling to, just in case you take a side trip. For example we took at the last minutes a boat trip to Namibi from Chobe, Namibi was not on the list, however only the Immigration person who was giving us the exit stamp noticed it and he did just smile. We did not know we would need all this stuff to go on a 10 minute boat ride across a river. This lack of help made our trip extremely stressful, plus I had to take a whole day of my holiday to travel from Darlington, England back to London to meet my daughter at the airport with all this paperwork.

Thank heaven they were also coming thru London at the time. On the plus side, our tour guide Marlene Neumann was excellent. She spent extra time ensuring my grandson was treated very special, he was the only young person. She deserves a lot of praise. The tour itself was wonderful, but would have loved to have gone in warmer weather. Well organized, good game drives and hotels. Too much food. We were well cared for on the tour. We stayed in excellent hotels and lodges.

Our tour manager, Ian, was attentive and always looking out for our safety. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was my wife chose the tour and I wasn't really interested in the destination. My favourite memories were seeing the animals, especially the elephants. My least favorite moment was the optional tour, the boat cruise on the Zambizi river.

I could have given that a miss. This was our third Collette tour. They are easy to work with. Any questions are handled promptly and professionally. We reviewed several tours, but this one included Victoria Falls, which the other South Africa tours didn't include. Our tour manager, Marlene, is a Cape Town native, and therefore knows the area well. We learned so much about South Africa's history and Marlene shared some South African folklore like how the zebra got its stripes.

There's always a special dinner of some sort Included in a Collette tour. This time there were two special dinners: one was a home visit.

We had a wonderful, traditional South African dinner with a Cape Town family in their home. We also had a terrifc meal and drum ceremony. Marlene got us through airports, customs, passport control in 3 countries with ease. Hotels were all top notch; included full breakfasts were wonderful. Marlene Newmann was Fabulous. She had a great balance of history and fun facts as well as the ability to make everyone in our group feel like family.

She was well organized and very conscientious. The family dinner was a highlight as was the intimate time with the elephants. We liked the information wallets that came prior to our departure, thought they were a nice touch, and well put together. We were pleased with every hotel we stayed in, the rating, and locations. Entabeni was amazing, the location, the very ambience of the place, and the staff.

We had a truly wonderful time there. The transport laid on was good in South Africa, but somewhat dated, and dubious in Zimbabwe and Botswana. The vehicles there were no where near as spacious, especially over the rear wheels, and several of the seatbelts did not function at all.

I don't expect you to necessarily sort out my visas, though it would have been nice, but I did expect you to know the full requirements of the visas namely the specific amount required to pay. Whilst I except that there can be changes made by any country in question, it shouldn't be too difficult to monitor this, and to keep your tour guide up to date via text or email. There was a lot of confusion at Zimbabwe immigration. The only other criticism I have is with the returning home flights.

Why couldn't our flights be connected? We flew into Johannesburg from Victoria Falls, and we should have simply gone through to connections for our return flight to Heathrow. Instead we had to go through the whole process of collecting our bags, booking in our bags for the Heathrow flight, we had to go through both immigration and security again. We did thankfully have plenty of time, but the queue for immigration and security was horrendous, albeit we were informed by a frequent visitor to Jo'berg airport things on that day were pretty good in comparison.

This would have caused you some extra work but in terms of customer relations it would boost the ratings I'm sure. In terms of the programme overall, I think you did well to provide a flavour of Africa in all aspects. The urbanisation experience was in the main very touristy, and I guess we did enough drive pasts to see the other side of Africa as it were.

I'm not sure out of Whale season that Hermanus had much to offer, other than restaurants and a nice view out to sea. Stellenbosch was nice but again a place for rich Africans, and tourists. I know amongst us the generic feel was that in retrospect we would have all preferred more time in somewhere like Entabeni. Overall we really enjoyed our experience and although in my terms it was a lot of money, we didn't feel undersold except as mentioned above.

We would certainly use Collette again should the opportunity arise, and happily refer them to anyone else. Without doubt Table top mountain the views were stunning. The game drives in Entabeni were fantastic, the guides were knowledgeable and knew where to go, it helps that this is a relatively small game reserve I believe something like 22, hectares. Victoria Falls were breathtaking, it was easy to imagine what it was that Livingstone fell in love with. Both Zimbabwe and Botswana are very beautiful countries but the poverty is obvious. The game drives in Chobe were good but not as good as Entabeni.

I would have bought one as it is a charity if the price had been sensible The meal in SA with the local family was actually a lot better than I anticipated, and we really enjoyed it, they were fantastic hosts. I thought the trip to the African village in Zimbabwe was interesting to a degree. The chief was a nice chap, who clearly likes talking or should I say preaching? I guess perhaps naively I expected someone in traditional dress, rather than a pair of jeans and an Adidas top.

I didn't really expect to see old tyres and stuff lying around As mentioned in another part of the review, I thought Hermanus out of whale spotting season was just another rich persons location that tourist go to for a spot of lunch. Overall on balance we enjoyed the whole experience though.

Fabulous trip. My husband took 5, photos! The Collette agents are always very knowledgeable and courteous. The accommodations were very nice and the food was good at most places. The areas visited were very interesting. In addition , the cost of the internal flights should be included in the tour price. Collette Support. The tour was great!

Our tour guide, Charl Chambers, was excellent. He was knowegable and nice. He knew the area well. I liked the excursions. There was one problem,however. South African Airlines. Both my partner and I became ill after eating the hot meal provided, he on the way over, and me on the return trip.

Also on the return trip, I received many bites, either flea or bed bug, on the area of my body that came in contact with the airplane seat. Please reassess your use of that airline. I particularly enjoyed the river ride in Chobe. We saw many elephants playing in the river. Hippos, too.

Collette always have superb tour guides who make your tour as enjoyable as it can be. The tour was a not stop tour of different experiences. Everything I expected was delivered travel between places was painless every place lived up to expectation saw lots of wildlife,the first Lion encounter was my most memorable experience being so close to wild animals. The trip was fine with a great tour leader, and fellow travelers.

I completed an evaluation and gave it to the tour leader on the last day of the tour. The rating would have been 5 stars, but there was a monumental screw-up providing me my travel material. I called and explained this problem to your office, and do not need to repeat the complaint. I just typed all my information and it disappeared. You already know my complaint about receiving the travel material in advance. Outstanding tour manager. All top notch from safaris, travel, bus drivers, accommodation! Trip of a lifetime!

From day 1 to the end of the trip we could not have asked for a more amazing experience! Loved every minute of it! Our Africa tour with Collette could not have gone any better. All of the hotel accommodations were outstanding.


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The actual trip was excellent but I did not like dealing with Colette. I have traveled all over the world and was never left without all my information until 2 weeks before the trip. I do lots of research and preparation and couldn't in dealing with your company. This frustrated and upset me to a great degree and made me sorry I had booked the trip with your company. I plain on another major trip with my daughters next year but probably won't consider using your company again.

The safaris were excellent and the hotels were outsanding. The first safari we went on was an evening one and a magnificent lion walked past the passenger side of the jeep went in front of it and sat in the road. His lioness and cubs were in the bushes on the side if the road. I thought the trip was well planned. We decided to arrive early and we were surprised, by doing that, we were not eligible for the free transfer to our hotel upon arrival. The only complaint I had was that I did not see the animals as close up as I saw them in Kenya The food was great and so were the lodgings. Well laid out tour-busy yet enough free time to do your own thing.

Hard call - loved seeing Victoria Falls even though they not at full strength. However, wildlife is my thing - lucky to see all the Big 5. Tour guide not experienced and knowledgeable. Not up to the standard experienced with Collett previously. Entire trip was excellant-knowledgeable guide, beautiful hotels, delicious food, amazing scenery. Definitely recommending this to friends. It was a once in a lifetime experience. There are no words to describe the morning we walked out our door to 3 giraffes eating in the yard.

Good itinerary and quality of accomodations. Favourite experience was our stay at Hang lip Mountain Lodge and game drives there. I especially liked the added experiences such as the dinner in a home, visiting a native village, the African dinner. Overall, an excellent value for the money. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. The only reason for the four stars was that the long trip to Hermanus to have lunch and then the long drive back was a waste of time.

It was a charming town but we didn't have time to explore it, and I didn't need more time to shop in Stellenboch. The lunch and wine tasting was outstanding and memorable. Maybe a trip and tour through another winery would have been more enjoyable than the long drive just for lunch. Well organised tour using very good hotels. Well paced tour with the right balance between for sightseeing and safaris. Seeing elephants in Chobe national park.

Including all gratuities in the tour price is a very good idea. However it only works if all members of a tour group are on the same scheme. It is is embarrassing when some members of the group are seen tipping those from the USA and some the British and Australians are not.

There was no information given as to how the gratuities that were included in the holiday price found their way to the intended recipients. Easy to book by phone with very pleasant staff. Queries always dealt with promptly. A very good tour which exceeded my expectations. Cape town is a great city and we felt very safe. The game drives were all excellent with very knowledgeable rangers. I would have preferred not to stay overnight in Johannesburg as it was just a hotel and shopping mall experience but understand that we had a flight to catch the next morning.

I would have liked to stay overnight in Hermanus. We had quite a long drive to visit there and only stayed 1. Inclusive tipping for British and Australians is a great idea but in practice it does not work. Everyone else is giving a tip and we just say thank you and walk on. Very embarrassing! So we give a tip and are in effect tipping twice. Inclusive tipping has to be for everyone or no-one.

My one complaint about Collette is the misleading information about the Zimbabwe Visa. Even after querying this with them the final information booklet which we received still stated a multi entry visa, which is wrong! It is a double entry visa obtained on arrival. Multi entry visas can only be obtained in advance. I had previously traveled to China with Collette in and been very happy with the quality of service, accommodations, and itinerary, so when I decided to try a safari in Africa, I chose a Collette small group tour.

The tour manager, Ian Pletzer, was exceptional in his ability to coordinate all the details so that everything went smoothly and in his commitment to making sure everyone's needs were met, including seeing to it that there were plenty of vegetarian foods available for me throughout the trip. All of the accommodations were excellent.

I am already looking at Collette's schedule of tours to plan my next trip. The very best part, of course, was getting to see so many different kinds of animals in their natural environment.

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The itinerary was great; Victoria Falls, Hermanus, and the game drives in Chobe and Entabeni were amazing. I appreciated the flexibility in scheduling that enabled us to rearrange some excursions until the weather cleared enough for us to go to Table Mountain. The river cruise on the Zambezi River was very relaxing, and it was fun to see hippos in the water. The Chobe and Entabeni lodges were especially nice since they made me feel close to nature.

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the magical travels of abra the elephant Manual

I hope to go on Collette's tour of Kenya and Tanzania next year. Traveling with a small group creates a warmer social environment than being with a large group, and everyone in this group was friendly and cooperative. We all appreciated the high level of service Ian Pletzer, our tour manager, provided. We have used Collette several times before and have become accustomed to their great service. We did not have to worry about anything from start to finish, which is what we like. One of the best, if not the best tour we have ever been on. The people I met and the Travel Director we had on my recent trip couldn't have been better if I had picked them myself.

The place we visited were outstanding. The places we stayed and visited was exactly what I would have put together myself He made the trip very interesting. It was the best tour we had so far. Jean, Tour Manager, was superb and very accommodating to all. She have the patience of an elephant. We had our accommodations with the animals. The lodging, excursions, travel to Botswana, Zimbabwe, and South Africa was efficient and pleasurable. Thank you.

The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant
The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant
The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant
The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant
The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant The Magical Travels of Abra the Elephant

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