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Author: Mark Keenan
I find it hard to describe what a safari experience in North Sumatra is like for those who enquire. I’m often asked, ‘How was your trip?’ or ‘Did you have a good time’ but rarely do I reply with anything more than a stupid grin and ‘it was brilliant’ or words to that effect.
The problem is that I am so enamored with North Sumatra and what we provide at RAW, that I struggle to put my experience into words. I can’t easily tell you how incredible the place is, how warm the people are, how yummy the food tastes, or how incredibly life changing the whole experience can be. Nor can I easily summarise just how much you do and see in two weeks. Well, not unless you are prepared to sit through a three-hour slideshow and accompanying David Attenborough style monologue. Sometimes pictures speak louder than the written word. Well, my words anyhow.
So it is lucky that every time I head to Sumatra, I am joined by free-spirited, adventurous people who put their faith in our company, in our knowledge, and in our North Sumatran friends to show them a once in a lifetime holiday. This is what of our recently returned guests thought of her time away with us:
'The reward at the end of a long and bumpy drive to Tangkahan – our first glimpse of the elephants and Green Lodge, our home for the next week. Instantly we relax, leaving behind the western world as the peaceful atmosphere works its magic. The days stretch out before us, filled with river tubing, jungle trekking, playing with the elephants, excellent food and great company. Who would have thought being on the go from morning until night could be so relaxing? Bathing the elephants, a traditional cooking class, sleeping in a cave, a night walk in the jungle, playing games and swimming with children from the village, the highlights of this trip are endless. And just when we thought nothing could top the experiences we already had, off we went on the four day Elephant Jungle Patrol. Four lovely days of riding through the jungle on elephant back, watching for Orangutans and other wildlife. Each night at the camps was spent getting to know our amazing jungle guides and mahouts. By the time we reached Bukit Lawang we were more like a family than just friends. It was an experience that touched the soul and the memories will never fade'.
- Alison Beal March 2012
This sort of feedback validates all of the energy we put into Raw Wildlife Encounters. I’d like to thank all of my March guests for an incredible fun packed trip, for their support of RAW, and especially to Ali for sharing her heartfelt words with us. I’m sure my family would love to hear of my adventures expressed as eloquently as this.
Unfortunately for them they will just have to sit through another ‘Sir Mark Attenborough’ slideshow instead.
All the Best!
Mark Keenan – RWE Tour Leader