introducing
History

Richard Mobilio founded Calidex in 1987 to introduce friends to a legion of unusual travel destinations and cultural encounters. Over the years these special places and activities have excited an increasingly wider circle of interest. Richard, a licensed pilot, mountaineer, naturalist and former Marine diving instructor, has traveled in over 180 countries and explored dozens of remote archipelagoes from the Burmese Mergui Islands to the French Marquesas. He and the Calidex network of local professionals lead the Calidex journeys. Here's what makes the Calidex experience different:

Multi-Leg, Multi-Interest Journeys

A typical Calidex itinerary focuses on a single major geography such as East Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia or the Amazon Basin. In addition to the core trip, the journey may offer one or more stand-alone, back-to-back segments that appeal to various interests—for example, a week of scuba diving and/or a multi-day mountain trek. Core trips normally feature special wildlife and visits to remote villages for exceptional tribal encounters. Participants can match their available time, budget and interests to the core trip plus one or more trip legs, and travel from one to five weeks in the region.

The experiences excerpted below are drawn from past Calidex adventures:

• Natural history—wildlife encounters Track Komodo Dragons in the bush on Indonesia's Rinca Island; ride an elephant into India's Kanha National Park to find Bengal tigers; wrinkle your nose in a ripe and raucous penguin colony on South Georgia Island; watch glaciers calve in Argentine Patagonia and guanácos pose in Chile's Torres del Paine Park; cross Lake Baikal in an ex-Volga River gunboat skippered by a former Russian submarine captain to see the world's only freshwater seals; wait at snorkel-depth in a shark cage in Gaans Bay, South Africa for Great Whites to strike the baits...

• Folk cultureunusual tribal contacts, the performing arts and gastronomy Barter for shields with Asmat ex-headhunters up the rivers of Indonesian Papua; hike to penis gourd-wearing villagers in New Guinea's central Baliem Valley—perhaps the world's most bizarre attire; jump with the Maasai on the rim of Ngorongoro; follow San Bushmen as they hunt across Namibia's Kalahari Basin; observe Hindu cremation rites unfold on the burning ghats of Varanasi, and watch spell-bound as colorful Kathakali actors perform in Cochin, India. Ethnic foods are always memorable, from fermented mare's milk consumed in the company of Mongolian nomads to the superb local wines in Chile, Australia and South Africa. Lunches and dinners ashore are generally not included in trip pricing, so all are free to sample the local menus as they wish.

• Outdoor sports—scuba-diving/snorkeling, canoeing, trekking, sailing, etc. Eye the grey reef sharks circling overhead on a dive in Myanmar's (Burma) Mergui Archipelago; sail the islands of Vava'u in northern Tonga; sea kayak into hidden lagoons tucked inside the dramatic karst isles of Thailand's Phang-Nga Bay; trek on the Kamchatka Peninsula's erupting Karymsky Volcano and climb Mt. Kinabalu in Malaysian Sabah...there are many choices!

Group Composition

Every Calidex trip is escorted by an experienced Calidex staff member. Land trips typically depart with a maximum of ten group members, more on some expeditionary ventures at sea. Typical Calidex travelers range in age from their forties into their seventies. Those who travel repeatedly with Calidex share two essential traits: flexibility and curiosity. One-of-a-kind travel experiences with an expeditionary edge involve some risk and unpredictability by their very nature. In many third-world countries planes don't always fly on time, nor do the locals always share one's sense of urgency. The happy Calidex trip participant is a versatile, flexible and reasonably fit individual with a keen sense of adventure for whom learning never stops.

Pace, Lodging & Transport

Calidex touring days can be long. Seeing what's around the next corner or beyond the next hill may frequently extend the day. Outdoor activities are usually moderately challenging; those that are especially strenuous are structured as separate and optional trip extensions.

Depending on availability, trip accommodations are as non-spartan as the itinerary will allow: four-star hotels in the cities & towns, tents in the bush when necessary. Calidex prefers to book small traditional hotels and inns with historic roots and exceptional locations. Given our emphasis on comfort and quality, Calidex trips are not designed for the fiercely budget-conscious.

Ground transport in the field is often via four-wheel drive vehicles. On safari in Africa, Calidex 4WDs carry a maximum of four persons—no overloaded minibuses. Past trip transport has included camels, elephants, horses & mules and dogsleds along with trains, rafts, canoes, Chinese junks, dugouts & pirogues and Russian oceanographic research ships converted to comfortable expeditionary cruising.

Trip Pricing

Compared to other adventure travel company itineraries, Calidex trips in the same venues will typically be less costly and include more special features. The reasons? Calidex departs from typical industry practice in a variety of ways. For example:

• On a Calidex expeditionary vessel charter, everyone pays the same price regardless of cabin amenities. There is no"Cabin C, B, A, Deluxe" tier-pricing, which is standard cruise-industry policy. Couples draw lots for their double-occupancy cabins, and singles in the draw are matched up based on gender. Every Calidex traveler gets a chance to win the best "owner's cabin" accommodation on the vessel;

• We depend on word-of-mouth marketing to carry our message—not expensive trip catalogs, media advertising or travel show appearances;

• We work directly with our in-country, on-the-ground partners to execute the trips—there are no agency middlemen to drive up costs;

• Rather than fly in U.S. or European independent contractors as experts whose wages and travel expenses inflate trip prices, we partner with outstanding English-able local experts who share their knowledge and interpret the natural history and culture;

• We offer only a limited number of trips each year, which keeps overhead low and enables us to deliver the very best personal attention to the traveler.

What we save, we put back
to enrich trip content.
The result?
Calidex journeys that
produce exceptional value.

Come Join Us!

The Calidex aproach to small-group expeditionary travel continues to yield outstanding trip content at reasonable cost. We invite you into an exhilarating world of discovery and new sources of inspiration and wonder. Come join us!


Contact us at
CALIDEX • P.O. Box 2213 • Morgan Hill • California • 95038 • Tel: 408.867.3586 • e-mail: info@calidex.com • web site: www.calidex.com
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