What makes a bucket list destination? Is it lush greenery? Steep, winding canyons? A sense of adventure? Truthfully, it’s probably a mix of all these and more. But it’s also the impression these special places impart on us.
Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Here’s a list of some of the most incredible destinations to get you started.
Get a New Perspective on Africa
Many people have misperceptions about Africa. Among them? That the continent offers one, homogenous experience to travelers. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Setting out on any one of the travel experiences listed below, you’ll find a continent as diverse in culture and people as it is in geography and wildlife.
Some of our favorite regions to explore are:
Kenya & Tanzania
- Best known for their Serengeti and Maasai Mara parks, these two regions offer unparalleled animal-viewing experiences, with plenty of elephants, giraffes, and lions always nearby.
- For those interested in getting an up-close look at wildlife while experiencing a storied culture, visit the world’s first community-owned and -directed wildlife conservancy. The Nashulai Maasai Conservancy and surrounding Maasai villages offer the perfect opportunity to engage with nature and the people of the Maasailand.
Zambia & Zimbabwe
- For travelers looking for a more personal experience, the safari lodges of Zambia and Zimbabwe offer quality wildlife attractions minus the crowds. Both regions, as well Kenya and Tanzania, offer all-inclusive deals. Meals and expeditions are included daily and provide a great balance of comfort and adventure.
- For those looking to bask in natural splendor, head to the border between the two regions and experience Victoria Falls, one of the largest, most majestic waterfalls in the world.
- With its sweeping vistas and looming mountains, The Cape Winelands region is a treat for the eyes and palate. Visitors can sign up for a bike tour that traverses the natural beauty of the area while stopping at wineries along the way. Or take the Wine Tram, a trolley that ferries travelers to and from the Franschhoek vineyards.
- South Africa is also home to the famous Kruger National Park, where visitors can squeeze in a day of safaris. The nearly five-million-acre park is renowned for diverse vegetation zones, each offering guests the opportunity to view iconic African wildlife such as leopards, rhinos, elephants, and more. Kruger’s exclusive safari lodges also afford visitors unparalleled wildlife viewing opportunities, all from the comfort of an amenity-filled luxury suite. It’s the best of both worlds!.
- To really get a sense for the breadth of the land, guests can hop aboard one of the many luxury trains operating throughout South Africa. The Blue Train, Shongololo Express, and Rovos Rail all offer tours filled with world-class dining, elegant interiors, and majestic vistas of the rolling countryside.
Get to Know the Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands have long been a nature lover’s dream. Here are a few rewarding ways to experience them.
Island of Santa Cruz
- For travelers with a passion for the sciences, Charles Darwin Station lives up to its namesake. Here, visitors can wander the trails around the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, where a fascinating project is underway to bring the pinto species back from extinction. Beyond tortoises, the island is home to all kinds of wildlife, from turtles, sharks, and rays to different migratory birds.
- For first-rate kayaking, visit Elizabeth Bay. Ships aren’t allowed, so you can paddle your way through a labyrinth of large mangrove trees, meeting penguins and iguanas as you go. For snorkeling aficionados, this volcanic crater boasts an array of fascinating marine species such as tiger snake eels, white-tipped and hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, sea turtles, and sea lions—who are anything but camera shy.
- Most of the archipelago’s iconic birds are found on Genovese Island, providing great opportunities for birdwatching. From blue-footed boobies to sharp-beaked ground finches and great frigate birds, the island offers visitors a plethora of avian species to catalog as well as some of the most beautiful panoramic views around.
Cruises & Lodging
- While large ships are banned, the Galapagos Islands do offer a variety of smaller guided cruises that visit multiple sites. And because navigation happens at night, travelers can optimize their daytime excursions.
- There are a few hotels located on some of the main islands that give guests the opportunity to shop and explore the local culture and cuisine. Here are our favorites:
- Finch Bay, Galapagos Habitat, and Golden Bay on the Island of Santa Cruz
- Iguana Crossing, La Casa De Marita, and Albemarle on Isabela Island
- Golden Bay on San Cristóbal Island
Why You Should Book in Advance
The easing of pandemic restrictions has intensified the desire to travel, which means choice destinations and dates are filling fast. Book now for 2022 to ensure the best experience for your bucket list adventure.
How The Travel Team Can Help
We get to know our travelers and customize trips to appeal to your interests. We can explain the distances between and time needed in each area to cover the highlights and help you decide on a length of stay. We also arrange the trip to your liking, from full-fledged, detailed itineraries to more leisurely paced getaways. Most importantly, we are available to you as needed throughout the travel experience, from initial planning until your return trip home.