Ben Sims, who leads tours for overland travel specialists Dragoman, has won TourRadar’s top award as Adventure Guide of the Year 2018!
Ben, who guides for Dragoman in their iconic orange overland trucks which go all over the Americas, Africa and Asia; taking the road less travelled and getting away from the tourist trail, shares their mantra of "it's the journey, not just the destination".
Charlie Hopkinson of Dragoman describes Ben as a perfectionist. "He ensures that every detail of our overland tours that he leads in Africa are amazing. His passion and dedication shines through in every way and we are incredibly proud to see him nominated by TourRadar for guide of the year. He always goes beyond the call of duty, showing an endless enthusiasm, incredible knowledge about the wildlife that he encounters and an eye for detail in his dealings with every passenger. He is simpy top notch in every way."
Ben received 64 reviews on TourRadar, all at 5 stars, which is an incredible achievement and a mark of why he was chosen as the winner in the awards partnered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association. He commented, “From a young age I knew travel and exploration would be a large part of my life. I studied for a degree focusing on eco-tourism and human impacts on the environment and in 2012 I joined Dragoman Overland. I was combining all of my passions together: people, culture, wildlife, bush craft, wild camping, tracking, cooking, geography, off road driving and adventure. I chose Dragoman for their great reputation, their strong responsible travel ethos and also their extensive training programme. At Dragoman the leaders are dual role, meaning we do the mechanics on the expedition vehicles as well as drive and lead tours at the same time."
Ben has led successful trips throughout India, Nepal, Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and from Cairo to Cape Town through Africa. "Overlanding is all about the team experience and you get out of it what you put in. It’s a great way to travel. Travelling is my passion. It’s my life but what I love even more is showing other people what this amazing world has to offer."
As part of his prize, Ben gets to choose a charity to receive a $1,000 dollar donation. He has nominated the Sambhali Trust, a non-profit organisation founded in 2007 to promote self-esteem, economic independence, and the development of educational, vocational and social skills for disadvantaged women and girls within Rajasthani society.
Ben joins a band of other top notch Dragoman leaders to win awards for their skills. Julie Gabbott won the Wanderlust Guide of the Year Award for 2018, and other Dragoman crew have won Wanderlust awards in the past; Gaetano Barone (Silver Award 2011) Luca Alfatti (Gold Award 2012), Hannah Walker (Highly Commended 2013) and Charlie Jaques (Silver Award 2014).