Life is in the detail

For a different (and crowd free) take on a classic view – cross the Yamuna River at dusk to see the Taj Mahal glowing pink and reflected in the river.

Tom - Original Diver

Image of Tom Barber

Tom Barber

Original Travel Expert

I have extensive travel experience throughout Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, Far East and Europe.

My travels

Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die

  • Sudan. More pyramids than northerly neighbour Egypt and a miniscule fraction of the visitor numbers.
  • California for sheer diversity of special things to see and do.
  • Sao Tome & Principe, because it just sounds magical and unspoilt.

Best Moments

  • Diving Neptune's Arm off the coast of Mozambique and generally considered the best dive in the world. It didn't disappoint and we were surrounded by white tip reef sharks and groupers the size of Minis.

Weirdest Travel Moment

  • Chicken hearts in Brazil. Bleeurch.

Explore my blog posts

woman diving near coral and fish

Find a Happy Place

These past couple of months have been the hardest yet, thanks (if that's the word) to the double dose of winter and lockdown. Here at Original Diving, we're determined to stay as positive as possible, so we asked the team to each describe their 'Happy Place' - one blissful moment from their…

Baracuda and shark

Keep Your Distance

It's fair to say that there has been some confusion surrounding the loosening of the lockdown. We're confident that the Great British public will use their famed common sense to work things out - after all, this is the nation that elevated queuing to an art form - but in the meantime, we've…

Quiz

The Original Diving Quiz

Picture the scene. It's the Original Diving office Christmas party, and several members of the team start an impromptu round of the 'Guess the Three-Letter Airport Code' game. One of the interns is overheard to say: 'Wow, you lot really are travel nerds.' Thank you, Fenella - there is…

Yellow, White and Black Nudibranch

Nudibranchs - Facts About The World's Prettiest Slugs

Nudibranchs, sometimes more commonly known as "sea slugs" are some of the hardest creatures to spot on a dive. Although related to snails, these colourful little creatures have ditched the homes they carry on their backs as they have evolved. Similar to land snails, nudibranchs also leave a…

Coral Grouper

Diving the Remote Outer Islands of the Seychelles: Part II

Following on from Part I of Original Diver Neill's exploratory dive expedition to the remote Outer Islands, the team leave Astove to discover the virgin waters of Cosmoledo…

fish outer islands

Diving the Remote Outer Islands of the Seychelles: Part I

As someone who has been diving for over 20 years, I had heard talk of the remote islands of Aldabra, yet I have to admit I had no idea where they were. Once I found out, and once I found out it might be possible to actually get there, the adventure began. What started as a conversation with…

Gozo - Is it the Best Diving in the Mediterranean?

Having dived a few times in the Mediterranean, I have never been particularly impressed. So it was with a mixture of excitement and a small dose of pessimism that I travelled to the tiny island of Gozo next to Malta.

Gorgonian Sea Fan

The 11 Best Dive Sites in the World

Bucket lists are for landlubbers. If you're a diver, and the ocean is your oyster, then you NEED to dive these spots, arguably the greatest dive sites on our blue planet.

Diving in Alphonse, Seychelles

Alphonse: No Mangoes, Lots of Diving

400km south of the main island of the Seychelles, Mahe, lies the remote Alphonse group of islands - Alphonse, Bijoutier and Saint-Francois. Look at the area on a map and you realise just how remote a location this is.

Scuba diving the house reef

The PADI Bubblemaker Course

Do you remember your first dive? I most certainly do. It was in the Bahamas, aged 16 and with - in hindsight - a distinctly cowboy dive outfit, but within five minutes of being down I'd seen a shark off in the distance, and after 20 minutes, a turtle considerably closer. As you can imagine,…

Sandcastle on Beach

Top Family Diving Holiday Destinations with Young Kids

If, like me, you are in the phase of life where everything seems to revolve around nappies, nursery and obsessions with football (I have a 1-year old, a 3-year old and a 5-year old) then you will know that finding a suitable destination for a diving trip as a family can be tricky. If, also…

Blue Shark, Azores

The Best Way to Dive the Azores – our Exclusive Diving Liveaboard

For years, we've been desperate for an exceptional quality diving liveaboard in the Azores. Finally, we have one in the luxurious Water & Wind. What's more, we're incredibly excited to say that we are the exclusive UK partner for the boat - so if diving in the Azores is on the to-do…

Wadi Darmat, Oman

Access the Best Diving in Oman

Oman is often overlooked as a diving destination in favour of the more popular (and far busier) Red Sea. Here at Original Diving, we think it deserves more attention as it is a country that offers so much both above and below the waves.

Anemone Clownfish, Komodo, Indonesia

Luxury Komodo Liveaboard Diving

In June, I took a group of journalists on the diving adventure of a lifetime; a trip to experience Komodo liveaboard diving at its very best. I left the UK unbelievably excited and returned even more so and now I just want to go back!

Coral, Komodo, Indonesia

A Few Summer Diving Hotspots

Summer diving, this time in Komodo in Indonesia. Stunning. With weather in the UK in summer unpredictable at best and England out of the World Cup, it's about time to escape on a last minute summer diving adventure. Here are a few ideas to inspire!

Dhow boats, Mnemba Island, Indian Ocean

Magical Mnemba Island Zanzibar

Every now and again you come across a place that is so mind-blowingly beautiful that all you want to do is get back there as quickly as possible. On a recent research trip to East Africa I found one such place (two actually - Vamizi is the other one): the magical Mnemba Island Zanzibar. This…

Hawksbill Turtle, Mozambique

What is the Best Diving in Africa?

Neill has just come back from an amazing research trip to find the best diving in Africa. Here he discusses his top spots.

Group of Grey Reef Sharks

Neptune’s Arm – the best diving in East Africa?

I have just returned from a diving research trip to explore the best East African dive destinations in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Sharks Swimming

Original Diving Partners with Bite-Back Shark Conservation

Bite-Back Shark and Marine Conservation We are delighted to announce that we are partnering with charity, Bite-Back, to try and help the cause of shark and marine conservation. Every time someone books with us, we will be donating an amount to the charity; and if people want to donate more,…

Two fish underwater

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Come April 2013, Original Diving, which started life as Dive in Style, will be three years old. With over a third of UK businesses failing in their first three years, we are proud to still be here (though April is a few months away…) and are looking to 2013 with excitement.

Manta Ray and Diver, Socorro Island

Introducing Our Expert-Led Group Diving Trips

In short, the idea is small groups, big experiences. Our Expert-Led Journeys are a range of trips to diverse diving destinations around our extraordinary planet, each of which is an opportunity to experience a dive, marine life or natural phenomenon in the company of an expert who can bring…

Diving in Fiji

Luxury Diving in Fiji

Neill's just come back from a research trip to Fiji and he loved it. Here he shares some of the highlights of the dives, and the luxury dive resorts, he visited.

The Best Diving in the World? Part II

The second instalment of Tim's blog about the diving in Raja Ampat. It sounds pretty special. Read part 1.

Azure Window, Gozo

The Best Diving in Europe

It isn't often that you find somewhere so close to home (if your home is in the UK) that blows you away with the quality of diving.

Meet the rest of the team

We’re seasoned travellers who combine our personal insights and exceptional knowledge to create memorable trips and experiences.

Start creating your tailored trip today

Inspired by my trips or expertise? We are all seasoned travellers here with the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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