As we navigate ourselves through the Pandemic, a positive hope and ability for safe vaccinated-travel in near future is looking a possibility, with destinations slowly and cautiously opening borders, global vaccination drives, and with overall infections on decline, we hope to reach herd immunity sooner than later.
This is the time to start planning your bucket-list travel for 2022 and 2023. Infact the trips listed below (pandemic or not) have always required advance planning at least 12-months out due to limited availability, exclusive access, and complexity of itinerary and experiences.
We’re talking about those places with strict tourism caps; events that happen just once a year or once in a few years or even a lifetime for that matter; or the fabulous multi-stop journeys or family reunions that require elaborate coordination to pull off. For these trips, you want to start planning well in advance. Infact now we have got all the time to do just that.
The Golden Eagle and Naadam Festivals in Mongolia:
Golden Eagle Festival: Each year, Kazakh hunters from near and far attend the festival for competitions based on the speed, agility, and accuracy of their magnificent hunting eagles. This festival celebrating the Kazakhs’ honored golden eagle is also a celebration of Kazakh traditional heritage and is organized by the local Kazakh community and the Berkut Association.
Trip Dates: Sep 28, 2022 – Oct 4, 2022
Naadam Festival: This exciting Mongolian journey takes place over just 6 days but will fill your heart and spirit with a lifetime of memories.
As part of this exceptional journey, participate in the celebrations surrounding Naadam, Mongolia’s national games. Wrestling, horse racing, and archery are the three age-old competitions traditionally used to measure the courage and strength of nomads and warriors. Contemporary Naadam Games showcase the abilities of local men, women, boys, and girls, and are also a time when family and friends get together to celebrate the short, joyful summer season.
Trip Dates: Jul 9, 2022 – Jul 14, 2022
Trans Siberian Rail Journey by Luxury Train, Russia, Mongolia:
Rail cruising is a fantastic way to absorb the rich culture and cinematic landscape of the country.
Golden Eagle Luxury Trains is the world’s leading operator of exclusive, long-distance rail tours. They offer guests first-class customer service, a romantic exploration of the world’s most remarkable sites and a room with a view that constantly changes. Aboard this luxury hotel-on-wheels you can expect welcoming cabins, fine dining and elegant surroundings – no matter where you choose to explore.
The Journey (Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Ulaan Baatar Express, 11 Days), is a compilation of some of the most intriguing and stimulating elements of the world’s greatest railway journey and you will understand the appeal of the Trans-Siberian Journey.
Dates in 2022: May 1, July 24, August 21
Route: MOSCOW – KAZAN – YEKATERINBURG – NOVOSIBIRSK – IRKUTSK – LAKE BAIKAL – ULAN UDE – ULAAN BAATAR
Beluga Whale Photography tour at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, Canada:
Trip Dates: Jul 20 – Jul 29, 2023
Led by the team at Weber Arctic, embark to photograph one of the most unique beluga congregations on earth – 2000 whales every season in the shallow waters of Cunningham Inlet near Arctic Watch to nurse, molt, socialize and feed. This expedition is limited to 8 guests.
800 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge is your basecamp as you set out to photograph one of the last beluga nurseries on earth.
The adventure focuses on spending time at the mouth of the Cunningham River where mothers and young congregate in the shallow waters. We want to take time to teach and show you about the belugas moments, behaviours and really immerse yourself into their world. We will take opportunities to explore the coastline and photograph the whales as they travel in and out of the inlet and along the Northwest Passage; capturing all aspects of their journey as they play in Cunningham and travel the ice of the Northwest passage.
Stay at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge: Located 800 km north of the Arctic Circle on the shores of the Northwest Passage is the most northerly fly-in lodge on earth – Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge. Years ago, travel to the high Arctic meant a tent on the tundra. The construction of the lodge in 1992 changed all that – and now both our locations set a high standard for guest accommodation and comfort in Nunavut.
World’s Next Great Safari™ – Polar Bears in Arctic Canada:
Join the World’s Next Great Safari™ and take a walk on the wild side deep in the heart of polar bear country! Meet polar bears face-to-face and view beluga whales, all while enjoying world-class service, accommodations and cuisine from the comfort of the only permanent ecolodges on Canada’s Hudson Bay coast.
Churchill Wild owns and operates 3 remote ecolodges on the Hudson Bay coast, which is home to the largest and most accessible polar bear population on the planet. They pioneered Polar Bear Walking Safaris in 1993 and have been offering up-close polar bear encounters from July through November ever since with a 99% success rate, due to their wildly exclusive locations. They specialise in ground-level walking tours through the polar bear inhabited regions of Arctic Canada.
But you have a very short window to be able to experience this since the Churchill Wild Lodges are open in the summer and fall, with Seal River Heritage Lodge’s season running from July to November and Nanuk’s lasting from August through November.
They offer 5 months of polar bear viewing on Canada’s Hudson Bay coast at their three ecolodges, and during those 5 months there are 12 different polar bear tours and safaris to choose from.
It’s recommended that you start the booking process 12-18 months in advance, especially if you’ve got your heart set on a certain trip or departures. Bookings are now open for season 2022.
Land Expedition to Antarctica: Meet Emperor Penguins and visit the Geographical South Pole:
Trip Dates: Multiple Trips (no more than 10 trips in each season) November – January in 2022 and 2023)
The journey (limited to maximum 12-persons each expedition) is a luxury land based expedition, using a private jet Gulfstream G550 from Cape Town, South Africa, flying directly into Antarctica using a private air-strip at Wolf’s Fang Runway. This trip changes the entire perspective and approach to exploring Antarctica and presents you with an opportunity to visit the Atka Bay Colony of Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, which hosts almost 24000 of them, and till date no trip has been cancelled or unsuccessful to visit the Penguin colony.
All this is achieved in no more than 08 days, so it’s quick but experiential and takes you to the heart of the continent and sites which are life-changing.
Then it’s on to the southernmost point on earth – the South Pole!
The South Pole, the bottom of the earth and the holy grail of early explorers. At the designated marker there is no more east, south or west on the planet, only north, and you will be able to walk around the world in just a few paces!
Even now, reaching the southernmost point on earth is a feat that very few people have achieved. During the 7-hour internal flight within Antarctica on board the Basler BT-67 aircraft, we visit the South Pole, where you will have lots of time for photos and a chance to stamp your passport before flying back to 83º South Camp to rest and overnight on the plateau.
You stay at the Whichaway Camp (70º 45’ 49” S 11º 36’ 59” E), the only Luxury Expedition Camp in Antarctica, is unique and the perfect place from which to base your adventure.
There are 7 state-of-the-art sleeping pods that are heated and designed for two people in each. At just over 6m (20ft) in diameter, they are also spacious with a writing desk, wash area and toilet.
The rest of the camp comprises a shower pod, kitchen and three centralised pods that make up the reception, lounge and dining room. While the exterior is made from cutting edge materials, the interior has an old-world feel with rich textures. Here you can relax and enjoy the food from the award-winning chef.
Land on the North Pole in the World’s largest flying aircraft:
A historic endeavour. Never in history has an airship landed on the North Pole. Route from Svalbard to 90° north. A 36-hrs expedition to one of the most inaccessible place on Earth in the revolutionary Hybrid Airship: the Airlander.
Ocean Sky will take you on a pioneering expedition to land on the North Pole, as the first hybrid aircraft in history. A limited amount of tickets will be available for the true Pioneers of the world.
Expeditions launching in 2023/2024 (Trip duration is 36 Hrs).
OceanSky founded in 2014 is the company behind this exclusive expedition, from the conception to it’s final execution, is offering a unique itinerary to land with a hybrid aircraft on the North Pole. The crew and expedition leader have been handpicked for this Arctic experience, with knowledge about the exceptional flying conditions of the North and prior work in exceptional high-end experiential travel.
OceanSky has selected Airlander 10 as their preferred aircraft. The Airlander 10 is unlike any other aircraft. It is the world’s largest flying vehicle and it uses innovative technology to combine the best characteristics of fixed-wing airplanes, helicopters and static lift by helium. The combination creates a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft with abilities to explore the Arctic in a completely new way.
Passengers on the Airlander 10 can enjoy luxurious, private en-suite bedrooms and horizon-to-horizon views in the aircraft’s Infinity Lounge. The Altitude Bar will offer drinks with the ultimate view, and guests can enjoy fine dining in the skies.
Greenland: Glamping in Wilderness:
It’s said that once a traveller has seen the rest of the world, , there’s always Greenland. But with climate change undoubtedly stirring things up in this part of the world, I don’t think you should wait that long. Nature, at its most raw and powerful, calls the shots here, the world’s biggest non-continental island is actually more than 80% icecap, leading to the worlds sparsest population.
Greenland’s summer season has a short window from June till September each year, and with limited high-end properties and inventory to just a handful, you need to book a journey to Greenland in advance. So I am already proposing booking a tailor-made private journey for season 2022 or 2023.
Unique Stays in Greenland:
In a territory with no five-star hotels, Camp Kiattua, with only 5 tents, is Greenland’s first real luxury offering. Set amid sheer cliffs and waterfalls, high-spec tipis are bedecked with furs, sheepskins and Scandi furniture, and boast glowing wood-burners and hot showers. Initially conceived as a one-off holiday camp for a wealthy friend of Elon Musk, Camp Kiattua has since welcomed guests including the Jordanian royal family.
Newly built in the summer of 2017, the huts of Ilimanaq Lodge are situated on the edge of the coastline in harmony with nature in the first row, with unique vistas of majestic icebergs and impressive whales.
Ilimanaq Lodge comprises of 15 luxury huts with adjacent gourment restaurant and facilities. At Ilimanaq Lodge you’ll be right out there experiencing this little Greenlandic village in a comfortable setting.
Glacier Lodge Eqi:
Glacier Lodge Eqi is placed at the very spot where the French polar explorer Poul-Emilie Victor started his expeditions in 1948 to 1953. Since that time the glacier has receded somewhat, but the panorama and thundering sounds are certainly not lacking!
There is a total of 14 huts and 5 wilderness tents in Glacier Lodge Eqi. All huts and tents have private terraces and fantastic views of the glacier.
Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice
What’s really waiting for you in Iceland is a warming mix of black sand beaches, deep-green landscapes, vast glaciers, lively active volcanoes, spurting geysers and deafening waterfalls.
Jaw dropping scenery around every corner! Rivers, Lakes, Black Sand Beaches, Volcanoes, Glaciers… the list goes on.
Action and Adventure
There is always something to do in Iceland, even if you don’t want to do anything! Take a gentle Horseback Ride on the famous Icelandic Horse, glide across the glacier on a Snowmobile or put on your crampons and hike across the glacier.
In the summer, you can visit the inside of a dormant Volcano, or for a more relaxed pace take a helicopter flight across a more active one! And no trip to Iceland is complete without taking a relaxing dip in a Geothermal pool.
The Northern Lights
Midnight Sun – long days where the sun does not really set, and night time is just a distant memory! This gives you the best opportunity to make the most of the long days and experience as much as you can.
Click on this Blog link on Iceland for full details on Experiences in Iceland.
In search of Santa Claus and Northern Lights, Finland: Private & Exclusive:
Discover authentic, Finnish Christmas with an exclusive, tailor-made Christmas and Northern Lights Adventure in December 2021 or 2022:
Specially designed for families that wish to experience something truly different, this Adventure Journey will introduce you to some unique Arctic activities including the Northern Lights, stay in Glass Igloos and take you on a journey in search of Santa Claus.
Lapland is the largest, northernmost region of Finland. Its unique nature, range of activities and fascinating attractions offer unique experiences throughout the year.
In winter there are plenty of opportunities for skiing, snowmobile driving, husky ride, reindeer sleigh rides, snowshoeing and of-course meet Santa Claus and his reindeers at his hometown.
Portugal: Experience the Life of a Spy (An Extraordinary Journey):
An exceptionally curated and challenging experience (infact it’s a 7 days Journey) based on True Facts that occurred in Portugal through the second world war.
This amazing travel experience in Portugal, allows you to live the life of a real spy, without compromising the comforts and luxuries of 5 star hotels and private services.
The Spy Games, does not intend to be the exact reconstruction of facts, but rather a meticulously prepared experience that takes you to live the life of a real spy… without forgetting the suites in the best 5 Star hotels, meals prepared by the most prestigious chefs, stylish shows, and adrenaline.
Below is an overview of what all is included in this experience:
- This mission lasts 6 nights and 7 days, from the infiltration to the extraction day.
- Breakfasts, Lunches and Dinners are included, as well as most drinks, except lunch on the sixth day, where after your mission is complete, your chauffeur will be available throughout the day, for your team for A La Carte visits, for shopping day in style. Or… Anything you wish within the greater Lisbon area.
- All means of transport necessary to carry out the missions.
- The accommodation provided, is meticulously selected, and worthy of James Bond movies.
- You can expect to be toasted with champagne bottles, but for that, you’ll have to be the winner of each day, and be the first to finish the day.
- All expenses associated with the game itself.
- You can expect to be toasted with champagne bottles, but for that, you’ll have to win each stage, and be the fastest to finish the day.
- One Spy Kit per team.
- Arrival and departure transfers to and from Lisbon Airport.
- … A lot of surprising experiences.
Dates: Only a selection of dates in 2022. Refer to “How to Book” section of the Blog below for more details.
The White Truffle Festival in Piemonte, Italy
Located on the bank of the Tanaro river, in the heart of the Langhe and Roero wine district, Alba is a charming town famous for being home to a renowned international truffle fair, as well as the birthplace of delicious chocolate, spread Nutella.
The beating heart of Piedmont is the Alba White Truffle Fair, which takes place every October and November.
The white truffle season in Piedmont officially begins on 21st September, and from this date, the truffle hunters (trifolao) and their dogs are officially able to harvest. Part of the charm of the truffle is the knowledge of the hunt; the highly-skilled dogs must sniff out the unique fungal aroma, leading the trifolao to the source, where they then delicately extract the truffles before re-compacting the soil, completing the extraction.
For truffle lovers, the chance to visit the Fair is certainly one for the bucket list, and this trip offers that very opportunity. Piedmont is also home to incredible rich red wines, and on this tour, you’ll explore the Fair as well as the wines of either Barolo or Barbaresco as preferred!
At the White Truffle Fair, The ‘World Market’ is home to many stalls selling the best truffles from the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato Woods. With cheese and truffle fondue, pasta with shaved truffles, and many more delicious options, trying the food within the Fair is always recommended, and there will be plenty of opportunities to buy too!
Alba Truffle Kids: The fair offers a dedicated children’s area equipped with educational games made of wood and natural materials; a place to play where, together with their parents, the little visitors can discover, while having fun, our land, our magical hills which are UNESCO World Heritage, where “it’s nice to look at the moon”.
Then comes the experience of a lifetime, an emotional truffle hunting in the woods, following silently the expert “trifolau” (truffle seeker) and his faithful dog, and an awesome truffle based dinner in an enchanting restaurant with an unexpected panoramic view over the vineyards.
And to wrap it up comes this unique experience, focused on truffle, starts with an enjoyable cooking class in an ancient castle, preparing the typical dishes that better pair with the truffle, from raw meat to “tajarin” (eggs hand-made pasta).
Two of the region’s most grand properties are both part of the Relais & Châteaux collection. About 20 minutes north of Alba in Guarene sits Hotel Castello di Guarene , a medieval and Baroque castle that, in 2011, was restored into an opulent 15–guest room hotel and spa. And then there’s Relais San Maurizio, a former Franciscan monastery about a 30-minute drive east of Alba. In 2002, the compound was restored, now boasting a salt cave–equipped wellness center, a Michelin-starred restaurant with an organic garden, and 36 plush rooms and suites that once served as monks’ quarters.
Flowers and Tulips in Holland:
Holland’s once-in-a-decade World’s Fair of horticulture will run from 14 April to 09 October in 2022, with exhibitions from close to 40 countries.
Floriade Expo 2022, the World’s Fair of horticultural shows, will be the largest public event in the Netherlands. The exhibition, which takes place only once every 10 years, will make its third appearance of the 21st Century from April to October, 2022.
It is the park to enjoy the scent and colour of flowers, plants, vegetables and fruit. The Expo will offer inspiring country presentations, a spectacular greenhouse complex, a cable car over the Floriade park, pavilions with sustainable innovations and a vibrant arts and culture programme.
Floriade will be an extraordinary experience for young and old in 2022. Don’t miss it and book in advance!
The Expo’s location will be Almere, a modern “garden city” near Amsterdam (30 mins drive) that was built on land reclaimed from the sea.
While you will be visiting Floriade 2022, it may be a good idea to combine it with a visit to Keukenhof Tulip Gardens (opens from 20 March – 09 May), and to further finetune your travel dates, it can even include the Keukenhof Flower Parade scheduled to be held on 23 April 2022.
Every year at the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, more than 7 million bulbs are planted by hand in the autumn to flower in spring. There is a variety of 800 different tulips. A unique and unforgettable experience for everyone.
The Gardens are is located between the cities of Amsterdam, Haarlem, Leiden and The Hague and can be reached from the cities within 30 minutes by car.
Experiences in/around Keukenhof Tulip Gardens can include:
- The flower park has 32 hectares of flowers. There are also spectacular flower shows, surprising inspirational gardens, unique artworks and wonderful events.
- Keukenhof is also one big party for kids. They will have a blast with the treasure hunt, petting farm, maze and the playground. There is also a Miffy playground for little kids to enjoy. Visiting the flower park is a great day out for the whole family.
- The surroundings of Keukenhof Gardens are enchanting. Many different flower fields provide a unique experience every spring, and you have different ways of experiencing the area as listed below.
- Cycle along the flowering tulip fields.
- Renault Twizy GPS Tulip Tour.
- Electric Scooter Tulip Tour.
- TukTuk Private Sightseeing Tour.
- Helicopter sightseeing flight above the tulip fields.
- Keukenhof boat tour along the tulip fields in Holland.
- Visit a real tulip farm where you will see the colorful flower fields and meet the farmers. Most farms are not open for visitors but there is a great farm De Tulperij in Voorhout which is just 5 kilometers from Keukenhof Gardens, open for visitors during tulip season (March – May) in Amsterdam.
Trip Duration and Dates: I will recommend to plan your trip around the third week of April in 2022 to coincide with the Flower Parade on 23 April, Keukenhof Tulip Garden (Mar-May) and Floriade Expo (April-October), stay 7 Nights at a Luxury Hotel in Amsterdam, the best names and Hospitality brands have great offerings for your stay and experiences including The Dylan, Andaz Amsterdam, W Amsterdam, Waldorf Astoria, The Conservatorium, Hotel De L’Europe, Pulitzer Amsterdam and The Grand Amsterdam, a Sofitel Legend Hotel.
While you base yourself in Amsterdam, you can easily do private day trips to visit the Floriade Expo, Keukenhof Tulip Gardens, Flower Parade (since these locations are within 30-45 mins drive from Amsterdam) and many other engaging day trips such as Utrecht, Amersfoort, Leiden or Haarlem to discover even more about our Dutch heritage, including of course the city of Amsterdam itself.
Cruise and Floriade Expo: You also have the option of combining a Rhine cruise (from/to Amsterdam, 8 Days duration), which includes a visit to Floriade Expo, operated by luxury cruise liner Scenic River Cruises, offering Windmills, Tulips and Belgian Delights with Floriade Cruise with multiple departures between May – Oct in 2022.
Private Castle Stay Experiences in UK & Ireland:
Luxury Castle Rentals gives you an opportunity to stay in some of the most romantic and historic castles in the UK & Ireland. You live like kings in aristocratic splendor, enjoying your luxury vacation, in your private castle.
Each of the private castles on portfolio has been lovingly restored including all the modern luxuries one would expect. They are fully staffed and catered, offering world class cuisine using local organic ingredients often from the estates themselves.
The service is second to none with staff who care deeply about the wellbeing of their guests. You have choice to rent Irish castles, historic and contemporary Scottish castle rentals, castles to stay in England, or even castle hotels.
Some of the exclusive use castles are more intimate and cozy than you might imagine. Having been restored and fully modernized, they offer contemporary, modern living. They can be ideal for family vacations with a difference or a milestone celebration for a special birthday or anniversary.
The majority of them have been around for hundreds of years and have bundles of history and stories to be told as well as some very interesting facts about castles that you probably don’t know. Staying in an historic Scottish Castle is a completely unique way to re-live history. With fine portraits on the walls and beautiful antique furniture filling each room, everything tells a story and it is a first hand way to be able to experience and absorb such information.
Experiencing a vacation staying in a private house is different to staying in a hotel. It is more like being ‘lord of the manor’ for the duration of your stay. Where you will be the host to the rest of your family or friends who are with you.
The stately houses, castles are fully staffed and catered and offer an exceptional service to all their guests.
So in 2022 or 2023 if you are seeking a multi-generational family vacations, 40th, 50th and 60th birthday celebrations, then now is the right time to start scouting for your favorite Castle stay experience in UK (Scotland, Wales, England) or Ireland.
Wild Rwanda: Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the Big 5:
Experience one of Africa’s cleanest and safest countries. With lodges in parks visited by only a trickle of guests each year, Rwanda has emerged as an exciting safari destination itself. No longer is it relegated to an “add-on” to larger East African destinations like Kenya or Tanzania.
Rwanda is a unique destination in Africa which not only offers you opportunity to experience the gorillas, chimpanzees and golden monkeys, but also the Big 5 game, making it a complete safari experience in Africa.
An inclusive itinerary to cover all of above experiences will look like staying 1 night in Kigali, 2 nights Nyungwe Forest National Park at the One & Only, 3 nights Volcanoes National Park at Singita Kwitonda Lodge or at Bisate Lodge by Wilderness Safaris, and 3 nights Akagera National Park at Magashi Camp by Wilderness Safaris. A total trip duration of 9 Nights, stay in the best Luxury Lodges in Rwanda, with lodge to lodge transfers using the convenience of Helicopters.
It takes at least a few months of planning to execute the bare bones of such a trip, from securing required gorilla trekking permits to getting availability at the above list of best lodges in Rwanda, due to limited inventory mostly in single-digits, less than 10 rooms and high-demand.
There’s always high demand to visit during the dry seasons from mid-December to early February, and June to September, when hiking conditions are best and malaria risk lowest. So book now for season from June – September 2022 or 2023. Bookings are open.
Botswana’s Okavango Delta:
There are many destinations in Africa for a safari experience. But nothing beats visiting The Okavango Delta in Botswana for a life-changing, once in a lifetime safari experience.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the world’s largest inland deltas. While most river deltas usually lead to an ocean, the Okavango River empties onto open land, flooding the savanna and creating a unique and ever-changing inland delta.
At the start of the dry season in Botswana, around March, the water starts flowing into the Okavango Delta reaching its peak in July/August. This seasonal flooding in the dry season gives this wetland its unique ecosystem, sustaining a vast amount of animal and plant species. This is also the best time to visit the Delta for a safari.
The Okavango is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
It is made up of over 150,000 islands, some tiny, others more than 10km long. The largest island in the delta is Chief’s Island, once the private hunting reserve of a chief, it is now one of the best places to spot wildlife in the delta and home to the most sought-after luxury camp – Mombo by Wilderness Safaris.
Typically, the best time to visit is from May to September (dry season with high-water levels), and to trying availability at the best luxury camps in private concessions in the Delta can be a daunting task due to limited camp inventory, and high demand from all markets.
Luxury Camps in Botswana in high demand offering exclusivity include Mombo Camp, King’s Pool, Vumbura Plains, Jao Camp, Zarafa Camp, Duba Plains, Selinda Camp and Jack’s Camp in Makgadikgadi Salt Pans.
So the best advise is to plan a Botswana trip an year (12-months) in advance, to facilitate finding suitable availability at the preferred premium camps. Bookings are now open for season 2022 and 2023.
Namibia: A Flying Safari with Natural Selection in 2022:
Namibia possesses some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa, and a trip through the country is one of the great adventures.
The best way to experience it is on a flying safari with Natural Selection, a collection of owner-operated safari camps, united by the common aim of providing guests with unique and exceptional safari experiences and being a part of the conservation solution for Africa’s wildlife.
All camps are full of unique soul and colorful character, with extraordinary staff, located in the very heart of where the wild things are.
On a 6 or 8 Nights (with extension to Etosha) Privately Crafted Flying Safari, your first 2 nights will be at Kwessi Dunes, before you swoop over the vast Namib Desert and the towering dunes of Sossusvlei from above. You’ll touch down briefly for a beach lunch in Swakopmund, and then back to the sky for an incredible flight over the Atlantic Coastline and inland to the Hoanib Valley for 2 nights. Leave the plane behind for the spectacular drive to the Skeleton Coast where you’ll stay at award-winning Shipwreck Lodge for a further 2 nights, before you hop back in the plane for a final flight for an extension of 2 nights in the Etosha Heights Private Reserve, a 60,000-hectare private reserve that shares a border with the famous Etosha National Park.
Why you’ll love this Itinerary:
- Wake up at dawn and climb the blood-red sand dunes at Sossusvlei, before sleeping under the desert stars in the ‘stargazer’ rooms at Kwessi Dunes.
- Search for desert-adapted giraffe and walking through the maze of dry riverbeds and sandy plains in the Hoanib Valley.
- Get your heart rate going with the activities on offer from Shipwreck Lodge: with quad-biking, dune boarding, 4×4 drives and dune sundowners, there’s never a dull moment.
- Make your wildlife dreams come true and add on a couple of nights in Etosha, home to the highest concentration of animals in Namibia.
The best time to visit Namibia is from July to October, when the temperatures are just above 20°C and the chance of rain is low. This is also the best time for wildlife viewing, making it peak travel season with high-demand specially for unique lodges and camps like Natural Selection — so best advise is to plan in advance for 2022/2023.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climb, Tanzania (Private VIP):
Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain at 5,895 metres (19,354 feet) and one of the “Seven Summits” – the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.
There are a few epic peaks around the world, like Everest, that you could spend a lifetime preparing to climb. Summiting Kilimanjaro, however, is a much more accessible adventure—local outfitters typically advise a 3 to 6 months training plan for getting in shape.
There are different climb styles, standard, luxury and VIP for Kilimanjaro Climbs which means we can ensure you are matched with the right level of equipment to suit you. A VIP climb is what we propose and offer, which offers a proper bed, walk-in tents, a wash tent, and a loo tent.
A VIP private climb will include below services and equipment:
CREW: Senior Mountain Guide, Assistant Guide, Camp Crew, Cook and Porters
CLIENT TENTS: Walk in Client Tent, Full Size Sleeping Cot, 3 inch foam pad with Maasai, Blanket Cover, Pillow, Sleeping Bag (rated at -18°C Comfort Level), Thermal Liner
MESS TENT: Walk in Mess Tent, Lightweight Tables, Backed Camping Chairs
SAFETY DEVICES: Pulse Oximiter, Altitude Sickness Checklist, Fully Stocked 1st Aid Kit, Custom Evacuation Stretcher, Oxygen, Portable Altitude Chamber (Only on Western Breach Ascents and Crater Camp Stays)
OTHER: Full Trip and Safety Briefing, Toilet Tent, Shower / Wash Tent.
There are numerous routes up the mountain of varying duration. I favor the longest routes to enable sufficient acclimatisation to altitude to maximise the summit success and reduce the risk of medical complications. To that end I recommend the Lemosho Route which is conducted over 7 nights and 8 days.
The best time of year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is during the driest and warmest months: January, February, July, August and September.
Planning a private VIP climb to Kilimanjaro is no easy feat, and involves lot of planning, and most importantly to secure the best guides and equipment during the high-demand months. Plan now for 2022, as demand will be high from adventure seekers due to no Climb in 2020 due to Pandemic, and even 2021 is expected to go slow, and watchful.
Helicopter Safaris in Africa:
Linking the most exciting destinations that a country has to offer, helicopter safaris in Africa are an adventure of a lifetime. Each Heli-Safari trip is unique, it offers an opportunity to explore new lands, meeting traditional people along the way, encountering Africa’s most charismatic wildlife up-close, whilst being guided by the outstanding personalities that makes Africa so fascinating and special. From the Tibesti Mountains in Chad, to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, from the summit of Mount Kenya to the depth of the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia.
An exciting Journey worth considering is an Ethiopia helicopter safari through a medieval world of historical treasures and Christian places of worship, where little has changed in thousands of years. You fly low through a range of altitudes that has given this country such ecological diversity – from the highest point on the Simiens to the Danakil Depression that lies below sea level.
It is an adventure of a lifetime visiting the monolithic rock-hewn churches of Tigray and Lalibela. Discovering the endemic wildlife in the highlands, including Gelada Baboon, Walia Ibex and Ethiopian wolf. Touching down spontaneously to experience the most spectacular landscapes imaginable.
Rent your own Private Island, Tanzania:
You can always book and stay in beach front Private Villas like in Thailand, Villas or suites on Private Island resorts like in Maldives, or in Villas which are part of bigger Luxury Resorts.
But nothing beats the exclusivity of staying on a Private Island exclusive just for you and your family, with no other guests or no other resorts on that island. The island is small enough to offer complete privacy, and big enough to offer full service, facilities, activities and accommodate a multi-generational family of upto 18 guests.
Thanda Island located in the Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve in Tanzania started as a dream to find a small, remote, uninhabited Tropical Island off the coast of East Africa. Today, it is one of the world’s most exclusive private island getaways, and a paradise for you to enjoy in complete privacy with family and friends.
It is a secluded island offering 1 luxury villa (with 5 ensuite air-conditioned bedrooms) and two traditional open air 2-bedroom Bandas (double storey beach chalets which make great hangouts for teenagers in the family). This makes the island a 9-bedroom destination entirely for you and your family.
Situated in your own marine reserve, you have an incredible choice of thrilling water adventures, excursions and activities, including swimming with whale sharks, scuba diving, island tennis and exploring ancient Arabic history.
The Island at the same time, also immerses you in pure, natural pleasures, like strolling along your own private 1100 metre beach, dining on ocean-fresh seafood or exploring the 8 hectare island where the only sign of human habitation is the occasional, traditional fishing dhow in the distance.
Getting to Thanda involves a 30-minute flight from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island, then a 45-minute boat trip or you could charter a helicopter directly from Dar Es Salaam to Thanda Island, the ride takes 30-45 minutes.
Best time to book Thanda Island is from December – March, or September to October, 2022 or 2023. You can only book Thanda Island for exclusive use, need to book the full island, you cannot book on per room basis.
Afrochella Festival, Ghana:
Trip dates: 27 December 2022
Afrochella is a celebration of Africa’s diverse culture and the vibrant work of African creatives & entrepreneurs.
The festival is designed to elevate and highlight the thrilling and thriving millennial talent in Africa by introducing an interactive event that teaches, explains and explores various cultures through a pioneering approach. Afrochellans will experience art and creative activations from the continent, celebrate African music, and taste premium and cultured cuisine.
Family Safaris in East-Africa with the Elewana Collection:
What could be more exciting for a child than spotting their first leopard, learning how to throw a Masai spear, roasting marshmallows over a camp-fire to the calls of distant lions, or seeing brightly coloured fish through goggles?
A family safari in East Africa is a holiday to be remembered for life. All of the Elewana Collection properties welcome and accommodate children by offering flexible dining times, children’s menus and most importantly, children’s activities to help them see the wonders of Africa.
In this way they ensure that every member of a family group gets the most out of their safari. Our guides love nothing more than introducing children to the world that they love so much, showing them the animals but also imparting knowledge and a love of Africa which will stick with them for life.
Their guides will ensure that children have fun, grow an appreciation of their surroundings and encourage them to become the next custodians of this fragile part of our planet.
The Elewana Collection of 16 boutique lodges, camps and hotels is known for its unique accommodations in iconic locations across Kenya and Tanzania. Elewana crafts authentic and memorable safari experiences, providing the highest quality of luxury and comfort.
Morocco: Riads, Medinas, Atlas Mountains, Blue City and the Sahara Desert:
Morocco is well known for its bustling, vibrant souks and vast desert dunes, but there are many other hidden gems to experience and exciting places to visit in Morocco. A great trip is a combination of the combination of city, mountains, and desert give you a great overview of this diverse and memorable country.
Starting in Marrakech, this historic Imperial city brimming with modern European influence is a feast for the senses. You stay in the most luxurious Riad accommodation in Marrakesh, at the Royal Mansour:
Next is the Atlas Mountains, with red clay mounds and green valley’s where Berber villages cling cliffside is the perfect place to embark on some hiking. Experience stay at an authentic, but luxurious Kasbah in Atlas Mountains – Kasbah du Toubkal or Kasbah Tamadot.
Then head over the mountains and visit the magnificent and UNESCO listed fortress of Ait Ben Haddou, and the working oasis of Skoura. This is your gateway to the magical Sahara Desert. Stay in a Luxurious desert camp in Sahara Desert –
Finally, the blue city of Chefchaouen beckons, with its charming alleys and blue-hued doors, nestled in the Rif mountains. stay at Riad Cherifa or the luxurious Banyan Tree Tamouda Bay (90 mins+ from Chefchaouen).
Book now for 2022 (mid-March to May) or (September to October), to avoid disappointment with availability, specially when you decide to stay at the best, and the most luxurious accommodation experiences in Morocco.
A Nile river cruise on a Dahabiya, Egypt:
For any history enthusiast, a journey to Egypt’s ancient sites is the trip of a lifetime. There are a couple ways to do it—by land, or by Nile River Cruise. But I would recommend cruising it on-board a private Egyptian Dahabiya (traditional small-boat) booked exclusively for your family, or group of friends.
A cruise down the Nile on a Dahabiya Nile Cruise is the most exclusive and luxurious way to experience the river, minus the crowds you will normally experience on larger boats. These boats, known as Dahabiyas in Arabic, recall a past era of Egyptian tourism when the elite of Europe used similar vessels to explore the Nile Valley.
Your bespoke itinerary on-board a Dahabiya can drift you along the Nile with stops in Aswan for the High Dam and Temple of Philae, and Edfu, home to the shrine of the Falcon God Horus.
Due to its small size, you can dock more easily than a larger Nile cruise boat and there is the chance to see sites that are off the beaten track. One intriguing example is the Valley of the Workers, a self-contained village on the West Bank where the workmen who built the kings’ and queens’ tombs lived in mud brick houses with their families. The site gives archaeologists a view of how urban people lived in ancient Egypt. You can also visit the tombs that the workmen created for themselves, to admire the art in ordinary people’s tombs.
The best Dahabiya to book in Egypt is Sanctuary’s Zein Nile Chateau, which is a bespoke dahabiya, available only for charter. With only 4 cabins and 2 suites, it can take upto 12 guests and offers an epitome of style. It offers you the unique opportunity to tailor your Egypt cruise and each day’s sightseeing by offering an “a la carte” style touring itinerary.
Next preferred and with more choice of boats (5 boats, all equally beautiful, with 8-12 cabins each) who is is the Nour El Nil, their boats are built from the ground up by the co-owner Memdouh, a sailor with over 30 years of experience sailing the Nile. Their dahabiyas provide a unique blend of authentic architecture and modern luxury. Each dahabiya has its own character and atmosphere, but they all have comparable levels of comfort and luxury, thanks to the impeccable taste of co-owner and interior designer, Eleonore.
The boats by Nour El Nil can be booked either on a per-cabin basis, or on exclusive charter basis just for your family, or group of friends.
Pre-pandemic, Nile cruises were so quickly spiking in popularity that local operators were struggling to keep up with demand, making planning ahead crucial to nabbing your itinerary of interest. So book now for 2022 or 2023 and secure your preferred Dahabiya.
The best time to visit Egypt is from November through to March, as the weather is cooler. Nile cruise itinerary duration: 5-7 Nights between Luxor and Aswan.
National Parks in USA:
Despite the travel challenges of last year, incredibly some major national parks in US saw record visitor numbers and it’s looking like that trend will continue in 2022. The famous parks like the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Yosemite, and Yellowstone are essential to plan ahead for next year, as summer is the most popular time to visit. Months of July and August in particular bring the best weather and it’s a fantastic time to take in one of the most spectacular landscapes in North America.
Limited Luxury accommodations, from park campsites to nearby hotels, mean you’ll need to jump on the best places to stay. Infact some parks even applied visitor caps during COVID-19 to prevent overcrowding, and this trend can well continue in 2022 as well, specially during the busy summer months in the USA.
The best way to do it is by private air on an adventure journey over 10 days incorporating the most iconic national parks — Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Arches, and Yellowstone. Flying from one awe-inspiring landscape to the next on a timetable that works for your itinerary, explore each with private local guides, enjoying five-star hospitality along the way.
- View the astonishing natural wonders of Yosemite, including its towering giant sequoias.
- Hike the Grand Canyon with privately guided excursions customized to your interests, either along the rim or on the canyon’s floor.
- Spend a full day exploring in Yellowstone, site of Old Faithful and home to free-roaming bison and bears, with privately guided hikes tailored to your interests.
- Explore Grand Teton National Park with a privately guided wildlife-spotting excursion and horseback trail ride.
- Visit the secluded, and rarely seen, slot canyons of Secret Canyon, as well as the graceful natural arches of Arches National Park.
- Cruise on Lake Powell for a leisurely day on a private high-speed powerboat, going ashore for excursions or kayaking the placid waters
- Stay at iconic best in class accommodation during the trip at Chateau du Sureau, Amangani and Amangiri.
Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico:
Dates in 2021 and 2022: 2nd November
Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout much of Latin America, with traditions and rituals that vary greatly from one place to the next. It is a two day holiday that reunites the living and dead. Families create ofrendas (Offerings) to honor their departed family members that have passed. These altars are decorated with bright yellow marigold flowers, photos of the departed, and the favorite foods and drinks of the one being honored. The offerings are believed to encourage visits from the land of the dead as the departed souls hear their prayers, smell their foods and join in the celebrations!
Day of the Dead is an extremely social holiday that spills into streets and public squares at all hours of the day and night. Dressing up as skeletons is part of the fun. People of all ages have their faces artfully painted to resemble skulls, and, mimicking the calavera Catrina, they don suits and fancy dresses. Many revelers wear shells or other noisemakers to amp up the excitement—and also possibly to rouse the dead and keep them close during the fun.
Day of the Dead isn’t somber, it is a celebration: Instead of everything being dark and somber, as is commonly associated with mourning rituals, the holiday is bright and colorful, with decorations filling nearly every home and public space in the country.
It is common to have celebratory meals with family, as well as street parties with music and dancing. In many towns, there are celebratory processions involving masks, puppets, and colorful costume
The celebration in Oaxaca is perhaps the most sought-after among travelers: not only do a large number of Oaxacans participate in the event personally, transforming the city’s graveyards with marigolds, votives, and incense smoke, but there are lively parades that run through the historic city, which anyone is welcome to participate in.
Finding a hotel room during this time is usually quite challenging, also since Day of the Dead did not happen in 2020, due to pandemic, the dates in 2021 and 2022 will be highly desired.” In other words, start booking now.
Puma Tracking Safari, Patagonia, Chile:
Trip Duration & Dates: 6 Days Between June – August 2022 or 2023.
The puma – also known as the cougar, mountain lion, panther or catamount – is the world’s most adaptable big cat. The species can be found all the way from the Canadian Rockies to the tip of South America, making its home in a variety of forests, deserts, steppes, scrublands, grasslands and mountainous areas. There are plenty of places where one can spot a puma, but it is the windswept wilds of Chilean Patagonia that offer by far the best puma tracking experience.
The Patagonia Puma Tracking Safaris are available Year-Round, although I break them up into 2 seasons: The Regular Season from September to May and the Secret Season from June to August.
The Regular season corresponds to the fall, summer and spring of the Southern Hemisphere, and it is during this time of the year that you will find larger crowds in the Parks. In contrast, the Secret Season offers visitors a quiet and uncrowded setting, where the chances of seeing Pumas increase exponentially.
Easter Island, Chile:
The most remote island on Earth and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Polynesian Easter Island is a destination that not many get the chance to explore.
On this remote island stand some of the world’s most striking statues called Moai—some weighing nearly 80 tons and standing more than 30 feet tall—were sculpted to honor the ancestors of the Rapu Nui native people.
The overall vibe of Rapa Nui, as Easter Island is called in the local indigenous language, is magnetic and spiritual. It is like a beautiful outdoor museum.
Though famous for its more than 1,000 Moai, giant stone statues, the island has a lot to offer those who are looking for more – scuba diving in an indescribable-blue ocean, secret caves, horseback riding, scenic bike rides, and plenty of picturesque sites along the coastline.
An interesting time to visit Easter Island is during the Tapati festival: Dates in 2022 – Saturday 29 January – Saturday 12 February.
The Tapati festival consists of numerous dancing and singing competitions, as well as traditional sporting events such as swimming, canoeing, horse racing, haka pei and the island triathlon. There is also body painting and storytelling.
The main events take place each night on the stage at Hanga Vare Vare, while daytime competitions such as horse racing take place at different locations all around the island. It is a fabulous festival that involves everyone who is on the island at that time, locals and visitors alike.
Handicrafts are displayed and there are local looking competitions. On the penultimate day there is a procession and on the last day the king and queen of Tapati are crowned.
Best places to stay: Explora Rapa Nui or Nayara Hangaroa.
Duration: You can easily combine your 3-4 days stay in Easter Island with other iconic locations in Chile to include the Atacama, Santiago, Torres del Paine and the Winelands. Ideally 12-14 days trip to Chile completes the experience.
When to go: June/July is rainy season, January to March is high season and hotter, off seasons is less crowded and temperate weather.
Galapagos Family Cruises: The Ultimate Multigenerational Adventure, Ecuador:
Discover the best place in the world for kids of all ages to safely get close to animals in the wild.
The Galapagos Family Cruises on-board Evolution Luxury Yacht by Quasar Expeditions are designed for you to enjoy your Island adventure in the company of your loved ones. Second only to Disney Cruise Lines as Travel + Leisure’s Top Family Cruise Lines in the World, their Galapagos cruises are filled with days of activities for yourself, your children or your grandchildren so that you can relax together and take in all the wonders that will surround you. Children are especially enriched by the natural living legacy of the archipelago, where science suddenly becomes fun, accessible and unforgettable.
Children are admitted from the age of 5 years if accompanied by an adult who will take responsibility. Younger children are accepted under certain exceptions or in private charters.
Cruising with Quasar Expeditions is simply the best way to experience the Galapagos Islands aboard their small yachts – Evolution (32-guests) and Grace (16-guests). Quasar Expeditions offers the perfect blend of pampering and adventure with the most professional crew members in the islands.
Evolution Yacht is an ideal ship for a family cruises in Galapagos, with special family departures that feature Kids Club activities like stargazing and movie nights, plus child-oriented guides organize learning activities and provide children with a kids expedition journal for their entertainment.
Evolution operates two 8-day Galapagos cruise itineraries, which can be combined to create an all-encompassing 15-day cruise.
When to book in 2022: The Galápagos Islands are suitable for cruising all year round, but you will find that most dedicated Galapagos family cruises occur during the summer, over the Christmas/New Year holiday and on the Spring Break/Easter holiday.
Christmas and Easter weeks are extremely popular and can book up over one year in advance. Family cruises are also scheduled during the summer months, when kids are out of school. This is a great time to plan your trip, but the months of June-August are also very busy and should be booked 6-9 months in advance for the best selection of ships and cabin categories.
Family Adventure to Machu Picchu, Mountain Lodges of Peru:
Trip dates: Six departures in 2022, from March 8 to November 10, with duration of 7 days
This Multi-Sport Adventure to Machu Picchu is a thrilling 7-day family adventure through the Sacred Valley and Lares that offers a dynamic mix of sports activity options as you journey to Machu Picchu which includes hike, bike, kayak, stand up paddle, horseback ride, and zipline your way through the Andean highlands! On this trip you stay at the Mountain Lodges of Peru.
This fully guided, off-the-beaten-path, luxury lodge-to-lodge journey has an itinerary all geared for travelers seeking a more varied sporting experience than a traditional hike. It’s ideal for families and groups, with activities for everyone and meaningful cultural exploration and immersion.
Mountain Lodges of Peru (MLP) is dedicated to operating unique adventure Lodge to Lodge trips (trekking or multi sports activity) with an orientation for providing enhancing life experiences. This collection of lodges is nestled high in the mountains and is exclusive to guests seeking adventure while hiking the picturesque trails of the Sacred Valley surrounding Machu Picchu. So instead of overnight stay in camps, with MLP you get to sleep in their premium full-service Lodges along your route.
They operate four distinct lodges along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Each lodge has its own unique atmosphere drawing inspiration from Inca history, mountain spirits, music, and nature.
MLP can also customize journeys with a variety of Trip Extensions to iconic destinations across the region, from the Andean highlands to Amazonian jungles, and along the length of the country’s desert coastlines.
They also offer other trips including advanced trekking, yoga and wellness, and in-depth study of ancient Andean civilizations for a detailed understanding of archaeoastronomy.
VIP tour of World Disney World, Orlando, Florida, USA:
Crowds can get overwhelming, specially when it comes to Walt Disney World. Now and more than ever, we need to offer solutions to experience Walt Disney World in utmost comfort, style, and VIP services to whizz you through your favorite rides with your favorite Disney guide and fast track VIP services.
FOUR SEASONS ORLANDO & DISNEY PRIVATE VIP TOUR SERVICES IN 2022:
Stay at the Luxurious Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort and feel the magic with Disney’s Private VIP Tour Services which gives you freedom to see and do what you like, on your schedule, with the highest level of service.
You get to explore the parks with your own VIP Guide during a customizable experience filled with attractive benefits.
The team at Disney VIP Tour Services will plan the most efficient, enjoyable way to see and do all that’s on your list. Just tell your personal VIP Tour Guide what you’d like to see, and they’ll customize your day to your desire!
- A flexible start time, picked by you
- Visits to multiple theme parks in one or more days, if desired
- The ability to enjoy some of your favorite attractions efficiently, even repeatedly
- VIP viewing areas for parades, select stage shows and nighttime spectaculars
- Shared insight from your highly knowledgeable VIP Tour Guide throughout your tour
FIFA World Cup in Qatar 2022:
Dates: 21 November – 18 December 2022.
The venerable World Cup is an event like no other. The size, the preparation, and the excitement is unparalleled; as a result, the demand always seems to exceed the supply. Millions of people around the world will have dreams of experiencing this iconic event but unfortunately, there will only be space for a limited few.
2022 World Cup packages we offer are customizable, allowing guests to see Qatar and experience this illustrious tournament the way they want. The 2022 World Cup will offer up some wonderful experiences in addition to the incredible soccer and we think guests are going to be very impressed with the host country.
Qatar is an incredible travel destination but top quality accommodations are scarce, especially when compared to other World Cup host countries. In particular, hotels that rival the level and location of the Ritz Carlton Doha and the St. Regis Doha are extremely limited and demand is high.
Both these properties are part of our Luxury Travel Packages to the guests as part of their World Cup experiences. In addition to the luxe accommodations, the guests will also have their choice of match day experiences, exciting tours, airport and match transportation, and much more. In addition, all of the guests will receive the high-touch service including the services of our 24/7 multilingual on-site host team.
Saudi Arabia: Experience AlUla – The World’s Masterpiece:
In September 2019, Saudi Arabia opened its doors to leisure tourists from around the
world. This historic milestone is a key step in the implementation of Vision 2030, the
Kingdom’s economic diversification program, aiming to connect Saudi to the world,
build bridges between cultures and create prosperity for the future.
AlUla is the key location and focal point of your visit to Saudi Arabia which attracts much attention, and for valid reasons. It is unlike any other place on earth. Considered one of the oldest cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with great historical, geological, and geographical importance, AlUla is unique for the depth of its storytelling.
The World’s Largest Living Museum: There are traces of many who have built AlUla over millennia, from the capital of the kingdoms of Dadan and Lihyan, to the trading hubs of the Nabataeans and into the Islamic era. Much of AlUla’s epic rock formations, valley and sandy desert remains an untouched expanse, with discoveries yet to be made threaded through its rich and layered past.
Visit AlUla to experience the Winter Festival (December – March) at AlUla in 2021/2022. The first edition of the festival was in 2018. The last season in 2020 got disrupted due to the pandemic, so expect huge demand for festival in 2022. Exact dates awaited, to be announced soon.
Looking back at the last Winter at Tantora Season (2019/20), we remember a season full of spectacular concerts of world and regional music, exclusive sporting events, amazing art installations and first-class restaurants. Get a glimpse of what to expect by watching below highlights video.
Special Photo Tour Dates in 2022: 23 May, 06 June, 08 Aug (Private Departures also possible on any date between March – September)
Borneo is a paradise for anyone looking to combine wildlife, jungles and beaches. As diverse as it is beautiful, it is one of our favourite destinations and works for families, honeymooners, solo travellers and small groups alike.
Borneo, the planet’s third-largest island, harbors the oldest and tallest rain forests on Earth. Sheltered beneath their dense canopies are jungle rivers, waterfalls and a host of wildlife that leaps, darts and crawls in the emerald depths.
Endangered orangutans thrive in the lush vegetation, sharing branches and vines with leaf monkeys, wild gibbons, flying lemurs and more than 300 vibrant bird species.
Rare proboscis monkeys are at home in coastal mangroves where hornbills and sea eagles soar above. Tiny turtle hatchlings find their way to the sea on Selingan Island.
In the forest beneath Mount Kinabalu’s prominent peaks, pygmy elephants lumber through the underbrush while monitor lizards sunbathe on the banks of the Kinabatangan River. Wildlife flourishes in Borneo, and your safari in search of it will offer an adventure of a lifetime.
Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam: The Bill Bensley Trail
Proposed Trip Dates: Available as a Private Journey in 2022.
The Bill Bensley Trail is a special itinerary by Remote Lands, that will take you on a meticulously-planned journey, inspired to stay and experience Bill Bensley’s designed properties in Asia. You’ll stay at Bill’s magnum opus, Shinta Mani Wild in the Cardamom National Forest along with his other four celebrated hotels in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
Duration: 15 Days
Stay at Bill Bensley Design Hotels: Shinta Mani Siem Reap Cambodia, Shinta Mani Wild Cambodia, Rosewood Luang Prabang Laos, The Intercontinental Danag Vietnam, The Siam Bangkok
• Discover five of Bill Bensley’s favorite projects, from jungle camps to art deco urban palaces.
• Bask in the tranquility of the Mekong in Luang Prabang and enjoy the surrounds of the recently opened Rosewood Luang Prabang.
• Visit ethically with free-roaming elephants in Laos.
• Explore Angkor Wat, a wonder of the world, by foot and by helicopter.
• Glamp at Shinta Mani Wild, one of the most unique luxury properties in Southeast Asia.
• Venture into the thicket of the Cardamom National Forest with rangers to protect the vulnerable wildlife.
• Experience a private tour of Bensley’s home and office in Bangkok.
• Stay at the Intercontinental Danang, a Bensley beach masterpiece, and enjoy the playful monkeys and Vietnamese charm.
About Bill Bensely:
Since 1989, BENSLEY has been designing some of the worlds most iconic hotels, resorts, spas, homes and sometimes even palaces.
With a team of 150 interior designers, architects, landscape designers, artists and makers of all things beautiful – as well as his other half Jirachai and their six Jack Russells – BENSLEY has brought to life over 200 resorts, hotels and palaces in 30+ countries, and is on a never-ending quest to create their best work yet.
Over the years BENSLEY has become known as a hotel designer who integrates sustainability into all of his designs, and is now hoping to share this knowledge in the hopes that if the hospitality industry bands together, they might be able to do their bit in reversing climate change.
Japan off the beaten track:
Japan during Cherry Blossoms during March-April is the most popular time, and you do have an option of either joining a small group tour or a curated private journey designed round your interests. In 2022 visit to Japan during Cherry Blossoms will be most popular amongst international travellers since they have missed the opportunity to experience it for two years in 2020 and 2021 due to the Pandemic.
Now even Tokyo Olympics in 2021 will be conducted without any international tourists allowed, so everything shifts to 2022 and beyond. So expect a huge demand to visit Japan in 2022 and 2023 amongst keen discerning clients who have it on their Bucket List.
I am proposing a different take on Japan which offers you to experience it off the beaten track with focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan.
Shoguns and Samurai is a small-group guided cultural tour by Oku Japan (can also be upgraded to an exclusive private tour just for your family, around your preferred dates) exploring the highlights of central Japan.
The Shogun was the most powerful man in Japan for a long time, being the actual ruler of the nation while the Emperor was just a figurehead. Samurai were the personal guards of lords (so they technically weren’t nobility themselves). They tended to be armed with a variety of weapons.
This trip is a Journey through Central Japan which is a region of tall mountain ranges and fast-flowing rivers. It wasn’t until recently that roads reached the remoter villages, and today many remain remarkably well-preserved, and evocative of centuries past.
The journey takes you through Japanese history from modern Tokyo, known as Edo during Japan’s period of rule by the Shoguns, to end near Kyoto, Japan’s capital for 400 years and the repository of much of the countries cultural heritage.
From Tokyo you head first to Yudanaka Onsen hot spring where the famous “snow monkeys” come to enjoy the natural hot spring baths just like humans. In feudal times people travelling from Kyoto to Tokyo would use the Nakasendo way – the road through the central mountains – one of a network of ancient highways. We will visit one of the best preserved sections in the Kiso Valley, where the lovely villages of Tsumago and Magome have been immaculately restored.
This trip also presents to you an opportunity to experience stay in not just the modern luxury hotels in Japan, but also in Ryokan (traditional Japanese Inns), Shukubo (lodgings in Buddhist temples), and Minshuku (family run guesthouse).
- Explore Tokyo on a guided walking tour and visit Nihombashi – the ‘centre of Japan’.
- Stay at a hot-spring ryokan, bathe in natural thermal waters and see the snow monkeys of Yudanaka Onsen.
- See the exquisitely-preserved villages of Tsumago and Magome.
- Visit a sake brewery in Obuse and search for handicrafts in the lovely city of Takayama.
- Visit the old imperial capitals of Kyoto and Nara.
- Stay in monastery lodgings in the temple town of Mount Koya.
- Spend a night in one of the historic thatched-roofhouses in the village of Shirakawa-go.
Trip dates in 2022: 30 March, 16 April and 13 May Duration: 13 Nights / 14 Days
Program and Image Credits: Oku Japan
Raja Ampat Cruise, Indonesia: Best Dive and Snorkel sites on Earth
Aqua Blu sets the stage for the greatest luxury cruise expeditions in the Coral Triangle, presenting a brand-new cruise experience in the pristine East Indonesian Archipelago.
Aqua Blu is a long-range explorer yacht sailing the region’s most prized destinations, including Komodo National Park, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat on unforgettable 7- and 12-night itineraries.
Bookings are now open for 2022 and 2023.
Aqua Blu has 15 individually-designed suites in 3 categories across four decks. It offers 7-night coastal cruise expeditions to Raja Ampat, arguably one of nature’s finest masterpieces, Raja Ampat’s crystalline waters come painted in eclectic blue hues and bejeweled with emerald limestone islets.
Nutrient-rich waters here feed the world’s most bio-diverse marine habitats, with more than 1,500 species of fish and three-quarters of all known coral types. Even greater discoveries await in the lush forest –– the only place on Earth which the endangered Wilson’s and Red birds of paradise call home.
Every itinerary aboard the Aqua Blu luxury explorer yacht is designed to offer a highly-personal, enjoyable and all-encompassing experience of the mesmerising Raja Ampat region of East Indonesia.
Aqua Blu Raja Ampat cruises run from December through to February every year. Considering the sea conditions, these are the best month to sail, as this period also sees manta rays congregate at their cleaning stations, which makes for a truly marvellous sight.