Claire takes a novel approach to helping endangered gorillas

A gorilla collecting money at Audley

A gorilla collecting money at Audley’s recent cake sale

In November 2013, Claire, one of our ticketing agents here at New Mill went on a gorilla trekking trip to Rwanda with Audley.

On her return, and knowing that she’d like to help with gorilla conservation in some way, she recently completed the Gorilla Run. Along with nearly 1,000 other people (naturally all dressed in gorilla suits) she ran the eight kilometer course in London in order to raise money.

As if this wasn’t enough, prior to this she also organised a cake sale here at Audley – always a favourite with staff. This, together with the run means she has managed to raise over £1,000 to date, a great achievement.

The proceeds of her efforts will go to The Gorilla Organisation, a UK based charity at the forefront of gorilla conservation.

Well done Claire.

Claire describes her encounter with a troop of wild gorillas in Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains

Claire in Rwanda

Claire in Rwanda

The weather was perfect: it wasn’t raining or too hot so the gorillas were quite active. After maybe an hour and a half of hiking up the mountain we had our first glimpse of the group.

First, we saw a few females and adolescents, then a mother and maybe a three year old infant. Finally, the huge silverback male turned up. It’s very hard to describe quite how amazing it was to see them all and so close as well.

They seemed very relaxed and quite accepting of us. Some people have asked me if I felt scared or anxious but I can honestly say no, not at all. In fact, I felt truly exhilarated and in awe that I was getting to spend an hour with these wonderful wild animals in their nature habitat.

The group sat around grooming each other and eating bamboo and other vegetation. A few times the adolescents got quite close to us and we were told to step aside so there would be no contact with us (gorillas are susceptible to human viruses such as colds).

Claire's cake sale at Audley

Claire’s cake sale at Audley

At one point two of them got quite playful and whilst running by us one of them grabbed my leg as if to steady himself on the uneven ground. I couldn’t believe this had really happened. I was filming them at the time and you can hear the surprise and elation in my voice.

After the group dispersed into the jungle slowly, and with the guides showing us the way, we followed them into another clearing where they had settled again.

This time the young ones were up in the trees above, climbing and swinging happily. I had my back to them whilst filming when one of them suddenly released the branch he had just climbed down on, instantly catapulting all the leaves into the air and then back down onto our heads. We really were in among them all and it felt incredible.

A silverback photographed by Claire

A silverback photographed by Claire

In this clearing there was a mother and tiny baby, who we could just about see poking his head out of his mother’s arms: he was adorable.

When our hour was up the guides told us we had to leave them. I can freely admit at this point I had tears in my eyes as I was totally overwhelmed with emotion and sadness that I had to go.

It truly was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.


If you would like to find out more about an Audley tailor-made trip to see wild gorillas in Rwanda, please ring one of our specialists on 01993 838 580 or contact us online.

Alternatively, browse our Rwanda or Uganda gorilla trekking guide, which also includes itinerary ideas, all of which can be tailored to suit your individual preferences.

India team take part in FRANK Water fundraising challenge

Some members of the India team in our London office

FRANK Water are making a splash for World Water Week this week (1st – 7th September) and our India team are joining them.

They’ll be bravely giving up all tea, coffee, squash and juice for a whole week to raise money for the ‘Join Jon‘ fundraising campaign.

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World cup charity events raise money for charities in Latin America

One of the fantastic cakes made for the charity cake sale

One of the fantastic cakes made for the charity cake sale

Our Latin America team have been busy fundraising over the last couple of weeks for their favourite charities.

They held cake sales in our Witney and London offices, raising over £270, and also a penalty shoot out between the different departments in our Witney office (strangely the South America team won!).

The total raised is just shy of £500, meaning we could pay for a nurse at Casa Mantay in Peru for three months, or buy food for everyone at the house for ten days.

We will be splitting the money with Amigos de Santa Cruz in Guatemala, and many families will benefit from the nutrition classes that the association gives.

Find out more about the charities we support on our website.

cake-sale-420

Tour de Audley for the charity SSNAP

Tour de Audley

Tour de Audley

In the true spirit of the Tour de France, 35 Audley staff members will take part in a bike ride this weekend to raise money for charity.

Covering roughly 80 miles, from the New Mill office in Witney, to the new London office in Shepherd’s Bush, the aim is to raise as much money as possible for Oxford based charity SSNAP.

The Charity supports sick and premature babies in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

To find out more or to make a donation, please visit our ‘Tour de Audley’ charity page.

Good luck everyone!

(29/7/2014) To date we have raised a staggering £3,500 for SSNAP – an Audley fundraising record!

Tour de Audley

Audley celebrate being double award winners this week

We’ve had a great start to the week, scooping two awards: from the Which? travel survey and the Oxfordshire Business Awards 2014.

Which? travel survey

Which? Holiday Companies June 2014 logoThis year, we were the only company to achieve 5 stars all-round in the Which? travel survey. Stars are awarded for customer service, accommodation, description matching reality, and value for money.

We also received a joint top customer score of 93 per cent, reflecting customers’ overall satisfaction. Which? members praised us for our ‘superb’ planning and personalised itineraries.
 
Oxfordshire Business Awards 2014 Employer of the Year

And, last Friday we took home Employer of the Year in the Oxfordshire Business Awards 2014.

Judges from The Blue Law by Darbys were impressed by our investment in people and how we endeavour to create a collaborative culture.

Visit the Audley website to find out more about us.

Singapore Airlines just got even better

Singapore Airlines

Enjoy greater standards of entertainment, comfort and hospitality with Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is one of the world’s leading carriers as evidenced by their five-star rating from SKYTRAX as well as direct feedback from Audley clients.

Operating the A380 and newly delivered Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on its long-haul routes has allowed Singapore Airlines to introduce new cabin products across its classes.

The airline now features one of the world’s most advanced in-flight entertainment systems, with larger screens and touch-screen handsets, as well as more spacious and comfortable seats in First, Business and Economy classes.

Singapore Airlines is now setting the industry benchmark for premium air travel.

New routes

silk_air_B737SilkAir, the regional wing of the airline is launching services to two new Southeast Asian destinations, increasing its network to 47 destinations in the Asia Pacific region.

Its thrice-weekly services will operate to Kalibo in the Philippines, and between Mandalay and Yangon in Myanmar.

In addition, SilkAir will operate 35 times weekly to Phuket in Thailand, up from the current 30 times weekly, while in Australia, services to Darwin will be increased to five times weekly, a rise from the current four times weekly.

Finally, in Indonesia, services to Palembang will be increased to five times weekly and subject to slots approval, and services to Balikpapan will also increase from the current six times a week to daily flights.


If you would like to find out more about an Audley tailor-made trip to a destination in Southeast Asia, please ring one of our specialists on 01993 838 100 or contact us online.

Good luck at the Triathlon European Championships Fiona!

Fiona taking part in a triathlon

Fiona taking part in a triathlon

Qualifying to compete for Great Britain in any sport is no easy feat and considering Fiona had no intention of getting involved in the first place, makes qualifying for the 2014 ETU Triathlon European Championships even more impressive.

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Audley Travel US hosts its official launch event

Audley ice sculpture at the Boston launch party

Audley ice sculpture at the Boston launch party

Audley Travel’s Boston office officially made their presence known last week at a launch event hosted at the Meritage Restaurant in the Boston Harbor Hotel. Continue reading »

Audley team take part in charity Monster Run

The Monster Run team

The Monster Run team

A group of nine intrepid Audley staff took part in an adventure race on 17th May at Charlbury (Cornbury Park) Oxfordshire.

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Our new London office is officially open!

New London office official opening

New London office official opening

Today marks another milestone in the history of Audley Travel. Our new office in Shepherd’s Bush is now up and running.

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