What Being Brilliant Means
We believe that Ethiopia is one of the most interesting countries in the world. Its extraordinary diversity, sheer scope of humanity, topography and natural wonders can combine in a single itinerary to amaze, inspire, and humble anyone who visits.
It is both hugely uplifting and, at times, deeply challenging.
Our aim is to help travellers see Ethiopia as it is, in its resplendent glory, chaos and wonder. We want to tread a delicate balance between witnessing places as they are, with the respect that demands, whilst also enabling people to feel comfortable in doing so.
We travel so as to explore, gain perspective and better understand our world and our place within it. As such our aim at Brilliant is to have you return home having seen, explored and felt. Ethiopia will invariably throw challenges your way. Our goal is to support you at every stage of your journey. We want to minimise the hassle that too often marres explorations of the country, and use our depth of knowledge to design and deliver once-in-a-lifetime adventures that burst with exceptional experiences.
We hope you return home with a new perspective, having created memories you'll never, ever forget.
We know Ethiopia
Our team has extensive experience in the travel industry. We've spent decades working in Africa, having lead groups through Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya or designing incredible itineraries to Rwanda and South Africa, it's a region we're extremely passionate about. Of all the countries we've explored, and all the itineraries we've designed, there's something intoxicating about Ethiopia that brings us back there time and time again.
Beyond the African continent, our thirst for adventure has taken us to the furthest reaches of the globe. We've explored the polar ice caps of Antarctica and the Arctic, and trekked the national parks of Patagonia. We've even developed marine conservation projects that are still in operation to this day.
Of all the incredible places we've been, Ethiopia has had the biggest impact. Over the years, we've explored every corner of the country, and developed incredible relationships with dozens of incredible partners across the country. We still visit every year, and we hope to share our passion for the country with you, and create an experience you'll carry with you forever.
We work with a network of local partners
As tourism grows in Ethiopia, the quality of ground support varies dramatically. What's more, with so many unique experiences on offer throughout the country, it's essential that you're connected with the right specialists for your itinerary.
A big part of what we do is search for the very best local partners across the country. We've developed close relationships with dozens of exceptional partners, from trekking specialists to private charter plane providers, we can match your requirements to a network of ground handlers that are perfect for you. Plus, because we work directly with trusted partners in Ethiopia, your money goes to the local community.
On the cutting edge
We've explored every corner of Ethiopia and are working constantly to push the frontier of Ethiopian travel forward. Working with our partners, we're always charting new territory as we try to unlock new experiences to add into our itineraries.
We're constantly mapping out new trekking routes, evaluating new properties, and searching for the very best guides and drivers. There's lots of work left to do, but we understand the importance of crafting the perfect itinerary, and that means truly understanding everything that is possible within Ethiopia.
Mark first experienced Africa 20 years ago running around the bush and mangling the Swahili language with his team of very patient game scouts. This ignited a passion for the history, landscapes, biodiversity and people of the continent that has obsessed him ever since and seen him live and work across the continent. Ethiopia is the ultimate African destination for Mark, combining so many attractions he still can't decide which part of the country he likes best.
Mark has been crafting itineraries across East Africa for over a decade, and has lead countless tours across the continent, having developed relationships with some of the regions most extraordinary local partners.
Marc's first experience with Ethiopia involved three weeks traversing Ethiopia's bumpy roads, taking meditative walks along Lalibela's rural plateaus, and drinking Tej with the locals in a makeshift bar in the Bale Mountains.
Struck by the diversity of experiences available across the country, he became an instant ambassador of the country and is now committed to unlocking new experiences in under-developed regions, as well as supporting the sustainable development of the core destinations in Ethiopia.
Tom has a long-standing love affair with Africa. He started the award-winning marine conservation charity Blue Ventures (www.blueventures.org) in Madagascar, and has lived in several sub-Saharan countries over the years.
Tom has started a number of businesses with a social mission, working closely with local communities but also with a keen eye on environmental issues. In 2012 Tom built a house on the Kenyan coast and visits East Africa as often as he can.
Luke’s passion for adventure travel goes back to his explorations in Zimbabwe and Tanzania in his late teens. He’s subsequently been part of some of the travel industry’s great innovations, including leading roles in developing online hotel reservations and customer reviews.
More recently he’s been a champion of both regionally specialised travel propositions and a drive to connect travellers directly to the local guides and operators that run the trips. Having played a significant role in the tourism landscape of Antarctica, Arctic, and Patagonia, Luke's experience within the wider travel industry has supported the growth of Brilliant whilst keeping us laser-focused on our social mission.