Wild Revolution: 20 Years of Tailor-Made Travel

In the age of the do-it-yourself doctrine, it’s easy to rule out travel agencies when crafting itineraries and booking trips. I for one have been slave to that philosophy, going so far as to mastermind our honeymoon to Italy, from flights and hotels to inter-city travel, tours, and car rentals. Admittedly, it was a supreme challenge requiring hours of tedious research, precious time I could have allocated elsewhere during that frenetic pre-wedding period.

The reality is that some travel agents have preserved their place in our DIY-driven society. Adapting to the changing nature of booking travel and earning the title of “travel professionals” or “travel consultants,” they straddle multiple platforms to help clients achieve a wide array of vacations.

In Lebanon, Wild Discovery has revolutionized the role of 'one-stop shop travel provider' to a superlative degree. This year, they’re celebrating 20 years of packaging holidays into memorable experiences, operating through a network of nine branches across Lebanon, Syria and the UAE coupled with over 100 travel collaborators worldwide.

Wild Discovery boasts a network of nine branches staffed by expert travel consultants

What makes Wild Discovery so wildly dynamic? In a nutshell, they've changed the way people travel. The experience begins in-branch, with a welcoming ambiance, well-versed staff members, and unquestionable commitment to quality, detail, personalization, and customer service. The extensive network of branches allows Wild Discovery to cater to customers across the country, offering a broad choice of destinations and, unlike other travel agencies, the ultimate caliber in customized and luxury experience. It is this unique level of comfort and opulence that has propelled Wild Discovery into a league of their own.

I know because I’ve enlisted their services four times in the past two years alone. That’s right – in the span of a mere 18 months, I embarked on a quartet of unforgettable expeditions I otherwise would never have fulfilled going it alone. No amount of independent study could have landed me those extraordinary experiences, which I enjoyed thanks to the imaginative team at Wild Discovery.

Wild Discovery Tourism & Travel was established in Lebanon in 1997
and is a subsidiary of Johnny R. Saadé Holdings

Let me explain.

While the vast majority of Lebanese travelers home in on Athens, Santorini and Mykonos when considering a trip to Greece, Wild Discovery thrust us into two Hellenic regions blazed far off the beaten path. Costa Navarino, situated in the 4,500-year-old region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese, teased us with its unobstructed views of the Ionian Sea and its perfectly unspoiled landscape. Beyond the setting, Wild Discovery devised a gastronomic tour of Greek meze, including a private cooking session with local ladies from the community.

Voidokilia Beach in Costa Navarino, Messinia, resembles the letter omega (photo source)

On a second trip, Wild Discovery steered us to another direction of Greek natural paradise, this time north to Halkidiki, destined for the tip of one of its jutting peninsulas called Kassandra. Again, an azure sea – the Aegean – and a luxury resort and oasis formed our veritable Garden of Eden. Wild Discovery organized our hike with a biodiversity expert, who led us through blooming forests extending to the beach wherein we discovered the Sani wetlands and a bird sanctuary.

The Sani wetlands are a bird sanctuary

Beyond Greece, I witnessed Cyprus through a totally different pair of lens, again owing to Wild Discovery's distinctive approach to travel. How often do we as Lebanese overlook Cyprus merely because it is a stone’s throw away? Larnaca and Limassol lose out to Lisbon and London when we brainstorm hotspots for a European getaway.

But Wild Discovery, in a three-day action-packed itinerary, painted the island’s mystique in a manner transcending the touristic. We were immersed in the nightlife of an authentic taverna. We toured the Pafos Mosaics which speak their own tales from the ancient Greek world. In brief, we dabbled with age-old customs in pulsating contemporary towns, seeing a side of Cyprus an Expedia ticket would never have lent itself to.

Classic Cypriot welcome treats served to guests: soujouko (corner left) and carob drink

Tailor-made holidays embedding culture, gastronomy, wine, and history are the bread and butter of Wild Discovery. Navigating the travel agency’s website alone gives you an impression of just how thematic trips can be, and no destination is too far-fetched! With tours under the headers of “Best of Argentina,” “Best of Chile,” and even “Mayan Route,” you can expect luxury, refinement, and spectacular historical heritage combined into one.

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature
Chile (photo source: Wild Discovery ME Facebook photos)

Ever yearned to tour the Persian deserts? Wild Discovery packs in picturesque desert scenes with beautiful sand formations, followed by a taste of culture, architecture, and lifestyle in major metropolises like Tehran and Kerman.

File:Dasht-e Kavir 2, Iran.JPG
The Kavir desert in Iran (photo credit: Klára Nováková/Wikimedia Commons)

Personally, I’ve always wanted to explore Cambodia, renowned for meditation, massages, spas, and placid blue seas. Wild Discovery pairs Cambodia with neighboring country Vietnam in a 12-day circuit suitable for families, newlyweds, and even large groups.

There’s no doubt that the tourism giant has shifted the way people embrace and consume travel, and as of last year, the company adopted a franchise model to serve more regions in Lebanon in a shorter space of time. The first franchise was launched in Tripoli (North Lebanon), striking a match between the drive of an independent business owner and the know-how of an established, brand-name entity.

This inaugural agreement will likely usher in a string of openings throughout Lebanon and the Arab region, underscoring both the maturity and youthfulness of Wild Discovery. Two decades of experience may render it a heavyweight in its class, but Wild Discovery continues to capture the raw, wild side of a bold young adult thirsty for new adventures and brave new worlds.

Let them chart out your next expedition, and you'll never go back to Expedia. I guarantee it. 

Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort (Kassandra, Halkidiki, Greece)

Follow Wild Discovery on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+

For Bookings & Reservations: +961 1 56 56 46
International Call Center: +961 1 560 960
Dubai Regional Office: +971 4 361 5191


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