Swirling mist surrounds our Lords Safaris 4-wheel drive vehicle as we clamber out of our makeshift tents and get ready for our second mesmerising day in the Great Australian Outback. Eerie shrills of the kookaburras, high in the hazy crimson sky, can be heard as the sounds of the dawn chorus echo around us.
I’ve never been one for early morning starts, but this tour is most definitely unlike any I have ever been on – a genuine once in a lifetime experience! We are about to embark on another adventurous day to the mysterious and ancient Aborigine territory known as Arnhem Land access here is restricted to a select group of tour operators – led by the esteemed tour guide Sab Lord of the tour company Lords Safaris.
This unusually fascinating territory, with its astonishing scenery, cultural diversity and ancient history, was handed over to the Aboriginal peoples by the Australian government in 1931 providing us with a rare and uncommon perspective. My expectations of Australia are probably the same as most – red earth, dusty, long straight roads and eight foot tall termite hills but this experience with Sab Lord simply blows me away!
With Sab’s guidance, we soon encounter the characterful indigenous Aboriginal inhabitants of the Outback and marvel at the panoramic views of floodplains, vast escarpments and native wildlife which turns us all into avid photographers! Collectors of rock art in the group also love learning about the local Aboriginal art and history and are obviously able to purchase their own pieces from a place called the Injalak Arts and Crafts Centre. I still have my painting hanging up at home. We travel between sites in a comfy luxury 4×4 vehicle (essential!) and especially enjoy the cold beers at sunset from the custom-made trailer and fridge-freezer which I have to say I think is a nice touch!
Sab Lord, with his iconic ‘Crocodile Dundee’ personality, friendly enthusiasm and strong links to the locals has led him to become arguably the most popular tour guide in Australia – unique is how I would describe him. He’s spent the past 25 years educating, and indeed entertaining, visitors in the Northern Territory as well as Western Australia. Please note though, he cannot possibly lead every tour himself!
Lords Safaris are accredited under the Australian Tourism Accreditation Program and have won a host of awards for their inspiring safari experiences, including Sab Lord’s award for ‘Outstanding Interpretive Guide’ at the Northern Territory Tourism Awards in 2006. To book one of his tours click through to Australian specialist – Bridge & Wickers or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to speak to David Marriott.