Meet Our Team


Arnie Hydamaka | Africa Specialist

Who is Arnie:
Arnie is the Africa Specialist here at Great Canadian Travel Company. He has been to Africa about forty times (he’s lost count) as a tourist, travel agent, and tour leader, and has slept on the ground under the African skies and stayed at some of the most exquisite safaris camps imaginable. Arnie grew up in Flin Flon, Manitoba and has a PhD in Food Science. Growing up he had an uncle who always threatened to send him to Timbuktu when we misbehaved at home. Later, he found out that Timbuktu was a real place and yes, he has now been to Timbuktu and back 2 ½ times. Introducing people to Africa is a passion of Arnie’s.

Top 5 Travel Experiences:

  • Being a trailblazer on first trip to Africa – Destination was Lake Turkana (Northern Kenya)
  • Lunch of fish (and sand) overlooking the dunes at Timbuktu
  • Witnessing the Migration with wildebeest crossing the Mara River and crocodiles awaiting lunch
  • Riding the Ougadougou Choochoo
  • Market day (Mondays) at Djenne, Mali

What is Arnie’s closing comment:
Arnie has a bad back and says it is because he has lugged over 50 elephants back from Africa (they’re wooden, of course!). When friends say “Wow, that means a lot of dusting” he asks them, “Who dusts elephants?”

New from Arnie Hydamaka

Africa on Safari

September 20, 2016 | Arnie Hydamaka

The more special your travel dream, the more we can help you get there! That has been the motto of the Great Canadian Travel Company since its beginnings in 1980 and was when I became associated with the company. I had a dream travel destination – Africa, and more specifically the legendary Timbuktu. Great Canadian Travel has since provided me the opportunity to travel to Africa on more than 30 occasions. My dream has earned me the designation of Africa Expert in the company.

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