Submitted by Scott Rains of The Rolling Rains Report
I live in a small world - but it just got larger! By estimates there are maybe as few as 50 million of "us" in the world . Who're "us?" People with disabilities. People who use wheelchairs. So being part of such a small group, it is only natural that a few of us would know each other. We work together to make the world bigger for each other. Big is beautiful!
My 'accessible safari' in South Africa with Alfie and Epic Enabled made my world larger. It was a wheelchair-using English fellow living in Belgium who put me in touch with Epic, and an Indian with family in Brazil who told me more stories about accessible safaris. I was intrigued by the interest shown in my potential trip by travel professional colleagues - all of whom specialize in serving travelers with disabilities: a Canadian, an Australian, several Thais, a German, a Pakistani, and one temporary Nicaraguan. Two other professional colleagues' uniquely English and Chinese insights into South Africa convinced me to go.
It didn't hurt that I had a personal invitation from a tour operator in KwaZulu-Natal whose husband is a quadriplegic like I am. My story of apparent "over-researching" for the trip is not at all uncommon among travelers with disabilities. Studies show that we depend more on word-of-mouth recommendations when making the decision to travel than any other sector of the market. And the research paid off. I can heartily endorse Alfie, Sabine - the entire crew at Epic Enabled - because I traveled through the Kruger National Park with Epic (and on the way encountered a most uncomfortable traveler's health condition that Alfie unhesitatingly helped me resolve.)
Thank you Epic - and Alfie - for amazing wildlife, hearty food served on the pristine veldt, and a unique business that is driving the whole safari industry and South African national tourism to greater standards of excellence. Come to think of it, maybe my world just got smaller.
Now I'm also part of the small confraternity of travelers with disabilities who have taken a long walk down a country road with a wild lion!
(For more photos of this adventure, see The Rolling Rains Report Travelogues!)
Epic Expeditions has been running since 1992, helping many “Enabled” people who wish to experience the same sense of adventure and thrill which "overlanding" has to offer - the concept of Epic Enabled was born in 2001, with a focus on “Enabling” the “Disabled” traveller to experience the 'trip of a lifetime' in a highly planned and carefully structured way. For more information, visit www.epic-enabled.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.