Tea plantations of Meesapulimala | Scott Pinnegar
If you’re the type of traveller who savours the journey more than the destination then 2018 should be an exciting year.
There are more destinations to visit than ever before and while many other 'top trips' lists focus solely on cities and countries that are ‘hot’, we know that our travellers are also looking for new ways to explore old favourites.
That’s why our 2018 ‘Best in Adventure’ combines a mix of must-see places and must-do travel styles that will help you immerse yourself into the extraordinary wilderness you’ve chosen to explore.
Mongolia – ‘Steppe' back in time
The land of nomads and no fences is not just popular with travellers looking to experience a vast array of cultural and wilderness experiences, it’s also in vogue with personalities looking to add to their own travel portfolios. In 2018 our travellers will be escorted in Mongolia by the likes of Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Adam Spencer and Mary Moody to experience the festivals, flowers and fascinating history of "The Land of Eternal Blue Sky".
Self Guided trips – Travel at your own pace
Everest Self Guided Trek: Soaking up the views above Namche Bazaar at the Everest View Hotel
Enjoy the best of both worlds – travel independently and benefit from an organised trip – on an adventure where you are the guide. Setting your own pace, stopping where you want, for as long as you want, and choosing a start date that suits you are just some of the reasons confident travellers have enjoyed our new Self Guided trips in Nepal’s Everest region, on Patagonia’s W trek as well as along the Overland Track and Larapinta Trail in Australia.
Russian Far East – Journey across the top of the world
Whale watching from zodiacs off the coast of Yttygran Island in Russian Arctic
There’s remote. Then there’s the Russian Far East. With voyages to the Canadian and Russian Arctic, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula, Wrangel Island and the sub Antarctic Macquarie and Campbell Islands in her Polar portfolio, our Polar expert Rachel Imber top pick for wildlife enthusiasts is the Across the Top of the World - Russian Arctic voyage.
“Only 250 people visited this region last year. On my trip I saw 70 polar bears in a couple of days, literally thousands of walrus and hundreds of beluga whales with their calves in just a day in Anadyr Bay. This is the most untouched and pristine of all the Polar regions I have ever seen.”
Full Pack Carrying Trips – freedom to really get off the beaten track
Full pack carrying trips, like Tasmania's South Coast Track, provide you the freedom to go where you want
If you want to go truly remote, well away from the main sign-posted trails, you’ll need to earn it. Full pack carrying trips offer freedom and flexibility, but you need to be ready to carry 20kg+ for multiple days. With your own gear and a portion of the group’s essentials packed, you can go anywhere. If you’re up for it then California’s John Muir Trail, the Grand Canyon, Tasmania’s South Coast Track, our new backcountry trek in Patagonia and even the Kokoda Trail (unless you hire a porter) are all possibilities in 2018.
Africa – much more than just an Overlanding destination
Our Africa program of adventures extends from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains down to South Africa's Cape Town and even across to Madagascar. While comfortable and purpose built safari vehicles do feature there are plenty of ways to explore this exciting continent under your own steam.
We've crafted trips to explore explore Kenya and Tanzania by foot, bike and raft, cycling the High Atlas mountains or through South Africa, or try a classic African trek in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains, Uganda’s Ruwenzori Mountains, to the summit of Mt Kenya or along one of five routes to the top of Kilimanjaro. Of course, a culinary journey is another way to experience a different side of a destination and our Food Lover’s South Africa combines active pursuits with gastronomic exploration.
Electric Bikes – pedal-assisted trips open to everyone
The electric bike craze that has swept Europe is slowly making its way across the world, for good reason. Electric bikes are the ultimate travel equalizer, allowing travellers of different fitness levels to achieve the same distances and climb the same hills. It’s opened up more possibilities to those who question their ability. We’ve introduced electric bikes in China and watch out for them in Vietnam. They’re also available in Tasmania, New Zealand and on 80% of our European cycling trips offered through UTracks.
Travel Responsibly – leave a positive impact on the places you visit
The choices you make can greatly impact the lives of so many in small communities in developing countries. When choosing a trip in 2018 make sure you avoid animal encounters where animals aren’t in the wild, don’t visit orphanages, help collect litter on iconic trails, or stay in sustainable accommodation, like our private eco-camps.
Our not-for-profit division, Community Project Travel, offers amazing opportunities to meet locals and enjoy authentic experiences that leave a long term positive impact. Help install cleaner cook stoves in Peru to make kitchens smoke free or rebuilding a school damaged by the earthquake in Nepal are some of the opportunities on offer in 2018. A marathon starts with a single step and your contribution, combined with every other traveller, can make a meaningful difference.
South India – consider the India you never imagined
South India's verdant landscapes include spectacular tea plantations to explore by bike
South India offers travellers so much to experience: the food, the verdant coastal landscapes, the legacies of Jewish, French, Portuguese and Chinese traders in the country's south is a stark contrast from the mountains and Mughal relics that dominant travellers’ attention in the north. With more of our own team planning trips to the state of Kerala than any other worldwide destination in 2018, the region has stood up and caught our attention. Explore it on a multi-activity itinerary, cycle from Goa to Kerala or combine it with visits to nearby Sri Lanka and the Maldives. However you plan to do it – just do it.
Boat Based Expeditions – unpack once on your floating basecamp
Boat based trips allow you to discover landscapes in style, like along the Mekong River between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap
A different sunrise – and sunset – every day. Reaching villages and exploring coastlines few travellers ever will. Unpacking your clothes just once! There’s no end to the advantages that small boats can offer when exploring rivers and protected coastlines. Whether you choose a luxury boat in the Kimberley, a traditional Dhoni in the Maldives, purpose built vessels to explore Myanmar’s Irrawaddy or the Mekong from Vietnam to Cambodia, active boat based adventures make the remote and unreachable accessible to travellers of various fitness levels, including family’s.