Due to overwhelming demand, our travel agency is unable to process requests as usual. We are doing our best to accommodate everyone, but the volume of requests is simply too high for us to keep up with. We strive to provide the highest quality services to our customers and we kindly request that you only contact us if you are ready to book a trip. Thank you for understanding.
Margot Kalinowsky | Tour Programmer / Administration
Who is Margot:
Margot is a retried preschool teacher. During school breaks she was fortunate enough to travel extensively to all four points of the world. Sharing travel adventures with her Husband Ian and her Sons David and Derek is the greatest thrill. However recently she has enjoyed travelling with many of her family members and friends. This is of course add to the excitement of trave To date Margot has travelled to over 54 countries.
What are Margot’s TOP 5 travel experiences:
Experiencing the abundant wildlife on African safaris. From being mesmerized by the tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebras during the great migration on the Serengeti to waking up to visiting elephants, baboons or hippos outside her tent or gliding through the Okavanaga Delta in a Mokoro (Canoe) Africa and its wildlife is magical.
Once a teacher always a teacher. Interacting with children learning through the eyes of a child teaches us so much about the world. Listening to children sing and dance is always a highlight. Children make Margots’ heart sing.
Margot Loves the endless opportunities Northern Canada has to offer. From kayaking with beluga whales and sleeping out on the tundra looking for the magnificent polar bear. Experiencing 24 hours of sunlight and celebrating Indigenous People Day in Najuaat on the Arctic Circle.
Participating in some amazing adventures in Peru. From sleeping at a research centre in the Manu Rain Forrest, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, to sandboarding in the desert to sleeping on a island in Lake Titicaca. Peru has it all.
However, her most magical place in the world is her family cottage at Lake of the Woods, Ontario. She has spent over 50 years enjoying its beauty and sharing in its endless adventures and wonderful family memories. Margot feels truly blessed to have all of her extended family as her cottage neighbors.
What is Margot’s closing comment: “The world is your Oyster!”
What would you do if you saw a 12,000 pound elephant Bull walking towards you? Run, cry, scream??
I found out what I would do when I was lucky enough to be on a walking safari in the Linyanti region in Botswana.
Before leaving on our 2-hour hike we went over the rules and expectations. The rules are simple. Do not walk in front of the guide, walk in a single file, do not touch the leaves on the trees, do not be loud and noisy, and most importantly, keep your eyes open on the most amazing walk you will ever take.
A walking safari and a jeep safari are very different experiences. While on the jeep you are always looking at the horizon, up in the trees, outcrops, bushes rivers, etc., focusing on the large macro experience and, in general, large animals and birds. However, when on a walking safari it becomes the smaller micro creatures, bugs and fauna you are watching for. A walking safari is like being a page in a book whereas a jeep safari is like being a chapter in a book.
Wop wop wop goes the helicopter blades. I am sitting next to the pilot in a small 4-seater helicopter ready for take off. Headphones on, buckled in, my heart a pounding! I calm myself and silently tell myself I can do this!!!!!
Within seconds, and with a couple of jerks, we have lifted off and are flying over the runway, over Belmond Eagle Island Lodge towards The Okavango Delta in Botswana. For the first few minutes I am breathless from the beauty, the fear I am experiencing and the fact that I have no door beside me and I literally feel like I am going to fall out.
I slowly start letting myself relax and begin to enjoy this most incredible experience I am having. From flying so low I have unbelievable views of the endless Delta. In flood season the Okavango Delta has an area of 15,000 kilometres. The vast number of colourful small islands, river (creek) channels and hippo highways (paths the hippos walk through at night to forage for food) is never ending. It truly was fascinating to see the areas from the air that we normally drive through on Safari.
Hearing that every time I walked down the gang plank onto the ship made me feel so at home. It was even a warmer welcome when I was offered a hot towel and a glass of hot Gluwein (mulled wine) to refresh myself. I was on an Ama Waterways 7-day Christmas Market Cruise down the Danube River. Wow did I have some fun!Read More >
Wow. You can see and do a-lot of things when it is light out for 24 hours in the day. We have had a marvellous day of meeting, sharing and being involved in the community. I have never been so warmly welcomed by so many people. The kids are so keen on knowing what your name is and why you are there. By the way, I wrote this note at 11:35 at night after having just come in from playing soccer with some kids. We actually heard the kids’ laughter into the wee wee wee hours of the night. Read More >
When in Glasgow last month I had an evening to myself to enjoy the city. Being a solo traveller, I was not thrilled about sitting in a restaurant on my own, so I decided to find something unique to do. I had done walking food tours in others cities, so I was thrilled when I booked a tour with Walk Eat Glasgow. Read More >
One thinks of the smooth, peaty, rich taste of Scotch when thinking of the alcohol of choice for Scots and the symbolic drink of Scotland. However the new trend is the distilling of gin. For hundreds of years Scotch has been distilled in oak casks in the Highlands of Scotland. It takes at least 3 years for a genuine scotch to be distilled and bottled, with the majority being distilled for far longer. Today, there are over 120 Scotch distillers in Scotland. Read More >
Who would have thought that in 2012, Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris in The Outer Hebrides was voted by The Sun Newspaper one of the “Top Beaches of the World”? One thinks of the Caribbean, Floridian, Thai, Fijian sand beaches as being the most beautiful and softest sand in the world. However, in the Outer Hebrides there are hundreds of stunning deserted beaches to walk along. I have been lucky enough to have walked on many beaches around the world but beach walking in the Outer Hebrides was a totally different experience. Read More >
“Welcome welcome, welcome welcome,welcome welcome we are all greeting you…….”
Wow, what a wonderful way to be greeted. Twenty five healthy, happy, talented and beautifully uniformed grade 6 students gave me a musical welcome like I have never had before. I was in the small village of Ngamo Zimbabwe, on the border of Hwange National Park.
What would you do if you saw a 12,000 pound elephant bull walking towards you? Run, cry, scream, cry?
A few years ago, my husband and our two teenage sons were lucky enough to be on a walking safari in the Linyanti region in Botswana. Doing a walking tour at an African safari camp is a family travel experience I would highly recommend. It was truly interesting for both age groups, adults and teens (and an activity that appeals to both parents and their children is sometimes pretty hard to find!).
Before leaving on our 2 hour hike we went over the rules and expectations. The rules are fairly simple. Do not walk in front of the Guide, walk in a single file, do not touch the leaves on the trees, do not be loud and noisy, and most importantly keep your eyes open for the most amazing walk you will ever take. Read More >
They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle and it hadn’t been that long ago since I had been on a bike, so I decided that doing a bike tour of Dublin would be a great idea. I did not think through the fact that that would mean that I would be riding on the wrong side of the road, through downtown Dublin traffic, and on many cobble stone roads. However, how hard can that be????? Read More >
It is pitch black. I open my eyes, but wonder if they’re actually open. That’s how dark it is. The noise of the night is even still active. The crickets and frogs are the quietest noises compared to the roars of the lions, the giggles of the hyenas, and the squawks of the Francolin bird that has gone on all night. Read More >
Winter is coming… well, not really, but my train is coming to Dublin station. It’s 7:20 in the morning and I am on a Railtours Ireland train for a 2 day, 1-night trip to Belfast, complete with a Game of Thrones and Giants Causeway tour.
Some believe that the Northern Lights represent one’s ancestors looking down at them, keeping watch. Having seen them at Blachford Lake Lodge, I believe that now too. Nothing beats seeing these dancing ribbons of light in the sky.
Always pack an extra pair of underwear, socks, shirt and pyjamas in your carry on!
I have been lucky enough to have travelled extensively around the world and on all of those trips, I can count the number of times I have had my luggage lost on the fingers of one hand. Every time my luggage was lost, it was quickly found and delivered the next day, at the latest. However, that all changed on my recent trip to Ireland.
What can one learn from walking in another’s shoes (or in this case, bare feet)? More than I could have ever imagined!!! When in the Deception Valley area of Botswana with my husband and our two teenage sons, we were fortunate enough to spend the day trekking through the Kalahari Desert with a fascinating father and son team from the local indigenous San Tribe. Read More >
Planning a holiday for yourself or your family may be exciting, but it can be complicated and, dare we say, stressful. Here at Great Canadian Travel Company we have seen it all – and we know exactly how to put your mind at ease. Here are a few examples of how you can start the planning for your next adventure. Read More >