"Thanks for making our visit a great experience" (Larray & Linda from Oregon about the tour on Santorini)
Often, we receive very nice cards or other small signs of appreciation after a tour has ended. Here's an example from our recent tour tour on Santorini in May 2019.
‘wonderful memories of my trip to Ethiopia -- and especially Erta Ale!’
We just said good bye to Enku and our driver, Misfen, at Lalibela airport. This has been a most wonderful trip. Thank you so much for the organization and thoughtfulness behind all of it. It’s the best trip of my life, really!
Erta Ale was smoking fiercely last week. We did not see the lava lake, unfortunately, because of the fumes. However, our three days spent trekking on the caldera, observing the lava fields, hornitos, Pele's hair, fissures, etc, offered me much satisfaction. Last year, the lava lake was splendid, bubbling like a cauldron, but there was only time to see it once in the dark. So my two occasions on Ethiopia's most active volcano, last year and this, complemented each other and gave me full satisfaction.
Very best regards and many thanks,”
- Giannella G (from US) about her participation on our 14 days Desert, salt and volcanoes expedition in the Danakil depression, Ethiopia in December 2018.
advice for travelling to the Kurille Islands
"...My advice for traveling to the Kurile Islands is as follows:
- There are many rivers on the islands, they are full of fish, the fishing methods would not make "flyfishing monthly", however the caviar is excellent.
- Most Russian volcanologist's carry guns in the field, ostensibly for protection against bears, I only saw them used to shoot ducks for dinner.
- I had no idea how much remnant Japanese WWII enforcements were still there.
- The seaweed salad is excellent.
- If the border guards offer you their hooch, sip delicately, it is an acquired taste and you could probably run a truck on it.
Lois T." (Australia)
"...our awesome adventure together..." (Chris K., about the Volcanoes & Spices tour)
Group on Dukono volcano (image: screengrab of Chris' video)
Finally got through to finishing the holiday video, hopefully this acts as a good reminder of our awesome adventure together, for years to come.
Hope you're all doing well! "
Chris K. (Germany) about the recent Volcanoes & Spices tour in Aug 2018
Watch his great video: Video on Vimeo
"I'm glad to had shared those days with you..." (Roberto from Spain about the Krakatau Special Oct 2018)
Eruption of Krakatau with lightning 13 Oct 2018 (image: Roberto)
Vulcanian explosion of Krakatau 13 Oct 2018 (image: Roberto)
Strombolian eruption of Krakatau 15 Oct 2018 (image: Roberto)
"Hi Krakatau colleagues! I hope you all are safe after our last trip!
I'm just seated in front of my PC having a look once I've just back up twice my pictures, and preparing a quick selection to show them to my parents this weekend.
Let me say that I'm glad to had shared those days with you and hope see you in future in whatever adventure!
(Roberto C. F. G. from Spain about the 12-17 Krakatau volcano special)
Roberto's website: www.paisajesdelmundo.net
Instagram Nick: naturaabstracta
Valley of Geysers video screenshot (see link)
My second trip of 2018 was again a return visit to a place I had been before. This time it was to the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east of Russia.
September is normally a good time to visit Kamchatka....the weather is generally more stable with less rain and less mosquitoes. However, unfortunately this year like everywhere else in the world, the region was experiencing unusual weather patterns. The tail ends of the cyclones bombarding Japan were at times outreaching the peninsula. So on some days, particularly in central Kamchatka, mainly cloud and fog but sometimes rain obscured the views and prevented a proper exploration of the area.
However, there were times when the clouds/fog did clear and we did manage to see the volcanoes. This area is one of the most volcanically active region of the world but when eruptions occur they don't make national news headlines as they don't cause the devastation as in other areas due to the fact they are in remote uninhabited areas. Unfortunately the volcanoes at the times of our visit were relatively quiet apart from some degassing (Klyuchevskaya, Bezymianny, Shiveluch and Karymsky volcanoes) and some small ash eruptions from Karymsky volcano.
However, overall, I had a great time. In the end we did see all the volcanoes on the plan. We had good weather at Karymsky volcano and we were able to do some hikes in the surrounding area.
We visited the geothermal areas on Mutnovsky volcano (crater), Valley of the Geysers and the Uzon caldera which were absolutely fascinating. In particular, the geothermal area in the Uzon caldera against the backdrop of the autumn colours was just spectacular (one of the best I've seen in the world, on par or even better than those in New Zealand and Iceland....can't compare with Yellowstone as I haven't been there as yet).
We also saw 3 brown bears in the wild, one relatively close which was more interested in gorging on autumn berries than in us even though being aware of our presence.
We had a really good group on the trip and the food was excellent. I'm not normally a fan of salmon, but wild caught red salmon was in abundance in the region (caviar, smoked or cooked in different ways) and delicious. Another highlight of the trip was that we had a very interesting lecture from Prof. Ozerov at the institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Petropavlovsk on some of the research being conducted on how eruptions occur.
So the obvious question is 'would I go there a third time?'. The answer of course has to be 'yes'. Although Kamchatka is more developed and has better infrastructure now than in 2000, the area, in particular the central part with a large concentration of active volcanoes, still appears to be very remote and access still difficult (no proper roads .....requiring large wheeled 'army' type trucks or helicopters to get there) providing a real sense of adventure which is a great lure for me.
In addition, I would still like to see at least one of the volcanoes in this rather remote setting in full eruption. I can definitely see myself going there again, probably not in the immediate future but perhaps in a few years time.....but not 18 years later (lol!).
(Jay R., UK, about the Sep 2018 Kamchatka volcano expedition)
See: Jay's videos from the trip on Flickr!
‘We had a wonderful time in Ethiopia!’
Rebecca and Adam at the hydrothermal deposits of Dallol
Standing on the rim of the south crater in Erta Ale's summit caldera (image: Rebecca W)
Nighttime observation of the lava lake in the south crater (image: Rebecca W)
Overall it was an incredible trip and a very memorable time. Aside from the trip, your guidance this entire time was above and beyond - so impressed with your service Ingrid! I’m definitely happy to book travel with your company in the future and have shared VolcanoTours with some friends who have inquired about my photos.
The fissure site was interesting and exciting. The last visit to the caldera at night was the highlight for me since we saw the lava then! ... After staying the night in Dallol, we spent the morning exploring the different sites in the geothermal area. Very interesting and exciting to see! It was a great morning.
I cannot speak more highly of Enku! He was a wonderful guide: very knowledgeable, great listener, professional and tactful, and willing to be flexible with schedule. He was there for our every need as much as possible. I found base camp to be comfortable and the food prepared by the cooks to be very good.
- Rebecca W (from US) about her participation on our 8 days Volcanoes of the Danakil Desert in June 2018.
"Hello dear Ingrid and Tom,
Return in Manado and feedback: the trip was wonderful and all was perfect. Andi is a fantastic guide.
(Siegfried N., Germany, about the Volcanoes and Spices tour in July 2018)
‘...Few holidays will be more memorable than a week like this in Ethiopia...’
Simeon enjoying the natural spa experience at Assale salt lake
Peak down to the actively churning lava lake in the south crater of Erta Ale's summit caldera (image: Simeon B)
Danakil expedition leader Enku at the hydrothermal deposits of Dallol (image: Simeon B)
thanks for putting together this excellent 8-day itinerary! It is a perfect length of time to get a first feel for an amazing part of Ethiopia, a fascinating country well worth visiting for geology/tourism.
It was (very) hot, in the low to mid 40s C (100-110 deg. F), on most of the days but timing happened to coincide with full moon which was an advantage for the walk to/from base camp to Erta Ale and for the memorable short walk from the crater rim camp to the viewing cliff edge of the volcano at night. The varicoloured, amazing rock formations associated with salt and other halites influenced by hydrothermal activity near Dalol made a lasting impression and were an excellent photo opportunity even for amateur photographers.
Our guide Enku was great fun to be with and I appreciated hisbroad geological knowledge and enthusiasm for volcanoes. He has some key skills and experience of importance for negotiating with the Afar people to find a tailored solution within the constraints of the arduous conditions. His team was very capable and worked very hard to make our holiday a success. This included highly competent driving, at times over rough off-road terrain, in 2 well equipped vehicles, preparation of delicious food of very good quality for the hot conditions and in quantity that would suit the most healthy of appetites.
The information provided by Volcano Adventures was detailed and comprehensive. It is well worth reading through it all in advance to be prepared for a true expedition with hardships contrasted with delightful colourful experiences. Few holidays will be more memorable than a week like this in Ethiopia, in and around Erta Ale volcano. We went in the heat of the summer at the end of June - this time of year is recommended for the fit of strong constitution. The cooler time of year from November to March would appeal more to many but June, being the 'low season' had its own beauty.
All the best”
- Simeon B (from UK) about his participation on our 8 days Volcanoes of the Danakil Desert in June 2018.
'You have been great throughout the entire process with regard to communication and updates'
Again, thank you for all your efforts, but I have decided to withdraw from the entire trip and accept the full refund. You have been exceptionally helpful and diligent with your communications. I hope to make a journey with VolcanoAdventures in the future."
- Barbara O. (USA) regarding the cancellation of her Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas' expedition from 24 June to 1 July 2018 due to closure of Virunga NP.
"It was a wonderful experience"
I have not written you before because I came back home last Sunday.
IT WAS A WONDERFUL EXPRECIENCE. Yashmin is am absolute incredible person, so helpful and patient and overall full of knowledge.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE GIVEN US."
(Guillermo R., from Mexico about the Stromboli to Etna tour)
"it was great to have a guide who was so knowledgeable and competent"
Just a quick note to say how much Gwyneth and I enjoyed our first tour with you: I don't think it will be our last! A very impressive 'product'.
Yashmin was very solicitous of my mobility problems and I managed to achieve more than I thought. Everything was organised very smoothly and it was great to have a guide who was so knowledgeable and competent.
- Dave E. (UK) about their From Stromboli to Etna in May 2018
parfaite organisation de ce magnifique et extraordinaire voyage
De retour en suisse, j’aimerai vous remercier pour la parfaite organisation de ce magnifique et extraordinaire voyage qui s’est parfaitement déroulé et dont nous garderons des souvenir inoubliables.
Encore un grand merci
Bien à vous"
- François T. (CH) about his private customised Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in May 2018)
excellent privately guided 3 days geology tour on Santorini Island
Stefan and tour guide Ingrid at Santorini's famous red beach (image: Roxana H.)
"Dear Dr. Tom Pfeiffer,
there was an excellent privately guided 3 days geology tour on Santorini Island (8-10 February 2018) of which tour guide was the geologist Dr. Ingrid Smet. It was a great experience for me and my wife. Thank you for proposing that Ingrid should join us in this geological tour, she has conducted the expedition correctly and efficiently. The gallery of pictures posted on the VolcanoDiscovery.com website, taken by Ingrid during this tour, contains professional photos that will complete our collection of Santorini photos.
- Stefan H. (Romania) about a privately guided 3 days geology tour on Santorini in February 2018
The organisation throughout was brilliant, in an area where its anything but straightforward.
At the end of January 2018 the southern hornito was active again, creating a lava flow that fed the lava lake (image: Mike W)
Observing and photographing the lava lake at night (image: Mike W)
I just wanted to thank you for a really great week last week. The lava lake was incredible - particularly at night, and while I hadn’t been that fussed about seeing the mountain gorillas, they were pretty amazing so close-up and a real highlight.
Sam was outstanding throughout - he certainly had to put up with some slightly trickier times with his guests than I think he should have - but he kept an amazing sense of humour throughout and honestly did far more than anyone could reasonably have asked of him. Without doubt he’s the best guide I’ve ever had on any trip and I learnt a huge amount about Rwanda from him.
The organisation throughout was brilliant, in an area where its anything but straightforward.
Thanks for giving me my first opportunity (definitely not my last) to see lava (and to hear it - particularly at night, which I thought was amazing!).
Can’t wait to travel with you - and hopefully meet you in person - in the future."
- Mike W. (UK) about his Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in January 2018)
"... at times I felt genuinely sorry for those tourists travelling with other operators"
Anastasia and our Danakil expedition leader Enku at Dallol
Close up of the surface of actively flowing lava at the new fissure eruption site (image: Anastasia G.)
I wanted to express my sincerest gratitudeto Volcano Discovery for organizing such an amazing trip.
Everything was so wonderfully arranged and to such a high standard that at times I felt genuinely sorry for those tourists travelling with other operators.
Once again Volcano Discovery has proven that they are the best at what they do.
Enku is everything one wants in a guide: he is professional, extremely knowledgeable, helpful, well organized, but also he is a wonderful human being - nice, considerate, attentive and very kind.
I would also like to thank you personally for your invaluable contribution to this trip, for always staying in touch, answering every little question and making arrangements to suit our needs. Thanks very much for this.
I hope that I will be able to travel with Volcano Discovery again in the future and who knows, maybe meet you in person someday!
- Anastasia G (from Russia) about her participation on our Desert, salt and volcanoes expedtion to Erta Ale and Dallol, Ethiopia in January 2018.
"As a feed back for the tour: just perfect!"
just returned from the tour. It was fantastic. Very well organised and interesting with lots of impressions!
Enko is a very good guide with detailed information and also emphatic.
I can only recommend your company and the tour!
As a feed back for the tour: just perfect!
- Uwe S (from Germany) about his participation on our Desert, salt and volcanoes expedtion to Erta Ale and Dallol, Ethiopia in January 2018.
"one of the most memorable trips I have been on - all for good reason!"
my wife and I had a great time in Ethiopia and developed a great understanding of the people and country. Lalibela - especially at that time of year - was simply spectacular. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Enku, Tami and Lulu were fantastic and their knowledge (especially Enku) helped us gain a great understanding of Ethiopia. Even though we lost our logistics truck, Enku was able to make alternate arrangements so all was good there. Tami and Lulu were both wonderful and a pleasure to be around.
This will stay as one of the most memorable trips I have been on - all for good reason. Even with all the unexpected things that happened, we had a great time and those things are what makes the journey and memories. Enku and crew were fantastic and I think he is probably the best guide in the country.
- Mo V (from Canada) about his participation on our Desert, salt and volcanoes expedtion to Erta Ale and Dallol, Ethiopia in December 2017.
Nothing to complaint or suggest - just a big thank you!!!
this was a very nice tour, which i enjoyed very much. Nothing to complaint or suggest - just a big thank you!!!
Preparation and info in advance by you (incl. very quick and useful answer of any question) and your team was perfect. Driving and management in Ruanda and Congo was excellent thanks to Samuel. Food was excellent too - also the one cooked at Nyirangongo.
We were lucky with the weather and got dry up and down Nyiragongo as well as to the Gorillas and back. The views from the crater edge down to the magma lake were magnificent during all 3 evenings spent up there. And watching the gorillas was also very spectacular.
- Tobias F. (Germany) about his Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in January 2018)
The local staff were fantastic!
the local staff were fantastic. Sam - our main guide - was very reliable & handling local problems. The cook was excellent. The porters were very helpful when they saw people in trouble especially coming down Nyiragongo."
- Alan R. (UK) about his Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in January 2018)