From chatting over dahl in Delhi to bonding over borsch in Bucharest, you can now take in even more culinary delights with local families across the globe.
Responsible tour company Urban Adventures has expanded its programme of ‘Home Cooked’ tour destinations following the success of their Home Cooked Delhi and Home Cooked Istanbul tours. The tours, which allow travellers to join local families for home-cooked meals, now include Bucharest, Kochi, Samarkand, San Jose and Kastoria.
On each tour (lasting around three or four hours), guests are invited to shop for ingredients in the local markets, join a family in their home, see how traditional and favourite dishes are created, and gain some new cooking tips (and perhaps lend a hand!), before sitting down to share a delicious meal. It’s a great way to connect with a country and its culture, and make new friends over the bonding experience of sharing a home-cooked meal.
The full list of Urban Adventures’ ‘Home Cooked’ tours (please note: prices are approximate according to the exchange rate at time of publication):
Urban Adventures is also looking for more ‘Home Cooked’ hosts from around the world. If you have met someone on your travels who you think would be a perfect host, they can apply by sending a photo of their family enjoying a home-cooked meal to Instagram using the hashtag #UAhomecooked, or by emailing the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Urban Adventures uses local guides to reveal unseen sights and attractions off the beaten track
It supports local businesses to ensure the majority of income remains in the local community
It uses local public transport on its tours
Tour group sizes are kept small to minimise the impact on the local environment and community
Urban Adventures works with a network of global partners who run tours in accordance with the Responsible Travel Code of Conduct
Built by nature travel and WWF partners Natural Habitat Adventures, the new Base Camp Greenland offers all the amenities of a deluxe African safari-style camp. Private tent-cabins will have heating, carpet, beds with duvets and pillows, en-suite bathrooms, and verandas with stunning views. A camp chef will prepare fresh meals and guests can gather in a communal area for dining and relaxing.
Natural Habitat founder Ben Bressler explained, “‘Til now, Greenland’s remote east coast, carved by glaciers and rent by deep fjords filled with icebergs, has been inaccessible to all but the hardiest of travellers. Base Camp Greenland is changing that.”
The camp enjoys a view of the Greenland Ice Sheet – the world’s second largest ice mass – where guests will have a close-up vantage point on the dynamics of global warming as glaciers spawn gigantic icebergs and meltwater rivers form in front of the ice cap.
The new ecolodge, which accommodates just 12 travellers at a time, is the vision of Natural Habitat’s Olaf Malver who has been to Greenland (a staggering) 26 times! He says the camp’s location is ideal, “It’s remote, majestic and nature feels huge here, like few other places in Greenland. Yet it is relatively easy to reach from Iceland.”
Travellers can book a four-night stay at Base Camp Greenland on Sermilik Fjord, the heart of a region known as the ‘Arctic Riviera’ for its many dry, sunny summer days – wildflowers will be in bloom on the tundra and pods of whales can be spotted from camp. Guests can enjoy a wealth of incredible activities and explorations including whale watching, sea kayaking, hiking, and visits to traditional Inuit villages.
Ever wanted to spend the night in a lighthouse in New York state? A treehouse in Laos? Or a cave hotel in Turkey? These are just three of the 10 most extraordinary places to stay in the world – according to travel experts Lonely Planet.
To accompany the launch of their first ever collection of world’s best hotels, Lonely Planet has revealed its top 10 list of unusual accommodation choices. We reported the Lonely Planet ‘eco accommodation’ list last week and now pick out some of the Goodtrippers-friendly options on the ‘extraordinary’ list: here are our picks…
Second in Lonely Planet’s list, this funky lodge is a must if you’re visiting Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. You can choose to stay in a traditional mud hut (en-suite and adorned with art made with the natural pigments found in the many termite mounds in the area), or a traditional grass hut (en-suite and constructed using the same methods as the original bushmen of Botswana). If you fancy it, camping facilities are also on offer. Walkways wind through the baobabs (which are lit up at night) to a pool and bar-restaurant. Spot meerkats and elephants while you sip your sundowner…
No. 5 in the Lonely Planet list, this eco-friendly lodge is located on the edge of the spectacular World Heritage site Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Cabins are nestled privately in the bushland, with wallabies bounding past the windows and wombats shuffling amid the trees. Locally sourced game, wine, cheeses and honey permeate the restaurant’s menu, one of Tasmania’s best. The view from the spa is a dense thicket of King Billy pine trees. Guests can choose from couples’ or family cabins, right up to suites with private outdoor tubs and fuel-efficient fireplaces.
Treehouses for grown-ups! These fantastic handmade orbs, suspended among the tall trees of west coast rainforest, are kitted out like cosy boat cabins inside (mod cons including iPod docks all present and correct) and are accessed by rope walkways and spiral ladders. You’re encouraged spend time in your swaying sphere to immerse yourself in the local wildlife – the chattering birds and squirrels, now on your eye-level. The site also has showers, a sauna, kitchen and barbecue.
This luxury resort by the beach is environmentally-friendly and remote – it’s one of few such lodges within the 328,000 hectare iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its spacious huts are scattered through dune forest, some with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. Whales frequently pass by, and Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles nest on the nearby beaches. Take a nature trek with a local expert, a deep sea dive, or simply relax in the spa or indulge in the lodge’s fresh seafood and salads.
Completing the Lonely Planet top 10 is this outstanding experience in Laos. Imagine waking to the sonorous call of the endangered black-crested gibbon, stretching in your bed a hundred feet up in the triple canopy, and nursing a coffee on your balcony as you watch the dawn mist crowd in over the jungle valley below. The tree houses, erected by conservation group Animo, are a thing of wonder straddling the giant trunks of strangler fig trees. You have to take a zip wire to ‘fly’ into your night’s accommodation! Dinner is delivered fresh from the nearby campfire, and music is the ambient sound of cicadas as fireflies dance in the night air.
To celebrate the launch of its first ever collection of the world’s best hotels, travel experts Lonely Planet have revealed its 10 best eco-friendly places to stay.
The list features a diverse selection of eco accommodation, as chosen by a panel of travel experts, from Lapa Rios in Costa Rica and Maison Anglaise in Morocco, to Bunlungula Backpackers in South Africa and Earthship Rentals in New Mexico, USA. All 10 of the outstanding eco-friendly places to stay have made impressive strides to minimise their impact on the environment and have made positive contributions to their local communities.
Lonely Planet’s collection of the world’s best hotels, also includes a top 10 ‘Extraordinary’ places to stay, and a top 10 ‘Best Value’ places to stay list.
LonelyPlanet.com editor Tom Hall was part of the expert panel who selected the finalists. He said, “We’re delighted with our first ever list of top hotels. This collection is one of a kind we believe, as it is put together by the most well-travelled people on earth. At Lonely Planet we’ve been giving recommendations to travellers about where to stay for 40 years. Our guidebook authors provide their honest opinion and never take freebies in exchange for positive coverage, so you can trust our reviews.”
The Lonely Planet ‘Eco’ list in full:
1. Lapa Rios, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica – This lodge lies in a private nature reserve that serves as a buffer for Costa Rica’s remote Parque Nacional Corcovado. It consists of 16 gorgeous bungalows with four poster beds, garden showers and private decks. Simply put, this is the promised land for nature lovers. (Read our Lapa Rios review here).
2.Bulungula Backpackers, South Africa – Feel like one of the family at this community-driven lodge. Bulungula Lodge is nothing more than a group of traditionally designed rondavels owned in partnerhsip with the adjoining community, but a stay here is an immersive experience. This is a place to unwind and disconnect, completely solar and wind-powered, and where a menagerie of animals wander the unfenced property.
3.Chole Mjini, Chole Island, Mafia Archipelago, Tanzania – Get back to nature with a treetop stay at Chole Mjini. This lodge is like nowhere else along the Tanzanian coast. Accommodation is in imaginatively designed tree houses – simple, chic and nestled amid the vegetation for maximum privacy. A short walk away are vine-covered 19th-century ruins, and beyond that, a lively village.
4.Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Aguas Calientes, Peru – In the heart of a patch of restored Andean cloud forest, is this hotel in the form of whitewashed cottages, scattered through a 12-acre site. The rooms are full of Peruvian fabrics, ceramics and art, but the real enchantment is the forest itself, a stupefying ecosystem of butterflies and birds, not to mention the world’s largest collection of native orchids.
5.EcoLodge Chepu Adventures, Chiloe, Chile – Perched on an overlook peering out onto three rivers and 140 sq km of sunken forest, is EcoLodge Chepu Adventures. The owners have designed everything at this eco-fierce property with the end goal of complete self-sufficiency, from infrared solar showers, to wind-generated electricity. Green-conscious travellers cannot get enough of the mystical kayak trips at dawn, the views and the barbeques.
6.Maison Anglaise, Taroudant, Morocco – Watch the sunset from the roof terrace of this tall medina house in the walled market town of Taroudant. Maison Anglaise is an excellent place to learn about Berber culture – the English-speaking staff organise visits to rural villages and schemes the guesthouse supports, including soap-making and beekeeping. It has been awarded the Green Key eco-label for its sustainable practices, such as using solar panels to heat water and serving locally grown produce.
7.Earthship Rentals, Taos, New Mexico, USA – If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live completely off the grid, then this is your chance. In the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains near Taos, lies a small collection of buildings that seems equal parts Gaudi masterpiece and Dr Seuss whimsy. These are the so-called Earthships, radically designed buildings made from recycled materials (think old tyres and glass bottles) and boasting impeccable green credentials.
8.Dana Guest House, King’s Highway, Jordan – Jordan’s top bolthole is also home to one of the Middle East’s most amazing views. Dana Guesthouse blends into the sandstone cliff face sitting on the 1,200m-high tip of Dana Nature Reserve. The guesthouse is run by Jordan’s Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and the staff are highly knowledgeable about the reserve’s natural wonders. The simple stone-clad rooms are designed to invite you to watch the sunrise light up the gorge below.
9. Nuli Sapi, Papua New Guinea – Nuli Sapi is located in a pristine area of mountainous rainforest-covered islands, tiny traditional villages and teeming aquatic life. The bungalows themselves are simple but comfortable and made entirely of bush materials, with a veranda perched over the water. Aside from admiring the tropical beauty, there’s much to do here. Nuli Sapi is deeply committed to the surrounding communities – locals can take you out bushwalking, snorkelling with manta rays, fishing, canoeing or simply for a village visit where you can learn about traditional cooking techniques.
10.Baikaler Eco-Hostel, Listvyanka, Russia – Siberian log cabin-style dorms, yoga and chill-out decks await you at this hostel. Russia isn’t exactly celebrated for its eco-friendliness, but the country’s only purpose-built hostel on the shores of Eastern Siberia’s Lake Baikal bucks the trend, big time. The enlightened owner has crafted a green sanctuary complete with solar-heated water, triple insulation, an electricity supply generated partially from solar panels, and energy-saving lighting and electrical devices throughout.
For more on the Lonely Planet’s top eco stays for 2014 click here
Have you stayed at any of the Lonely Planet’s favourite eco-friendly hotels and hostels? Tell us what you think…
I love North Carolina. I got married there. From the beautiful beaches in the east to the Great Smoky Mountains in the west, there is no state in the USA that offers such a perfect blend of cultural character and aesthetic beauty.
In the city of Greensboro, you’ll find the Proximity Hotel which is a perfect marriage of old-world Southern charm and the cutting edge of the modern green movement. Whether you see them or not, there are dozens of systems – from the lift which generates its own electricity, to the solar-panelled roof – that makes the hotel run on 40 per cent less energy than others in its class.
Speaking of class, every single one of the hotel’s 147 rooms exudes luxury. Complete with custom-designed furniture and commissioned art, every corner of the hotel is a statement to the fact that no expense was spared in making Proximity a top-tier destination hotel. Rooms vary from loft kings, to suites, to studios. There is something for everyone, and every room is beautifully furnished, lit and decorated.
Dining options include the hotel’s sister business, the award-winning Print Works Bistro, which offers a brilliant wine selection, including many by the glass. Three walls of windows set the atmosphere, and if you’re just in the mood for drinks, there’s an old-school bar.
After you hit the fitness studio, which is next to the pool, check out the spa or book yourself an in-room massage. Hang out in the cavernous yet exquisite social lobby – wifi is complimentary there, as it is throughout the hotel.
Take advantage of the complimentary transportation to local shopping or dining. Not in the mood to drive? Enjoy the garden or get up and go on the Greenway, the local biking and hiking trail right outside of the hotel.
Recommended for… Business travellers – called the “best small city for business travel” by Entrepreneur Magazine, the Proximity just might be the best hotel into which a business person could land.
Be aware that… There have been reports of harassment of tourists in certain parts of Greensboro. The area surrounding the hotel is safe, but as with any city, do some research before exploring the town.
High-efficiency Kohler plumbing fixtures saved two million gallons of water in the first year alone
Over 1,500 pounds of debris were diverted from landfills by recycling 87 per cent of construction waste
Cutting-edge technology and construction allows the building to operate using 39.2 per cent less energy than a conventional hotel/restaurant
Large, energy-efficient ‘operable’ windows provide natural sunlight to 97 per cent of regularly occupied areas
Over 390 different songbird species migrate through Long Point each spring and autumn rivalling that of the world-renowned birding hotspot Point Pelee National Park. Long Point is situated along the north shore of Lake Erie in Ontario, Canada. It’s the world’s largest freshwater sand-spit and reaches 42km into the middle of the lake.
“The only difference between Long Point and Pelee is accessibility to the public,” explains Zodiac boat captain Garrett Reid. “Most of Long Point is restricted access and in the past birding opportunities were limited because of this. Now we can take people right out to the tip where they can do bird banding. It’s a real authentic experience.”
During this 6-hour expedition guests are provided with lunch, plenty of time for birdwatching, time to explore the trails and an opportunity to see a demonstration on migration monitoring (bird branding and surveying) from the volunteers and biologists at the Long Point Bird Observatory Tip Research Station.
‘Trip the the Tip’ Expedition
You can go where the roads can’t take you and experience the legends and lore of Long Point on this 4-hour expedition. A number of stops include a look at Bait Island, the Long Point Company, the Old Cut, Pottahawk Point, Courtwright Ridge, the Bluffs, the Pratt Shipwreak, Gravelly Bay, and the south shore (where you can see the giant sand shoals). Guests can explore the ‘Tip’ before heading back to port.
Long Point – a world-class environment
Long Point is the largest freshwater sand-spit in the world – at approximately 64,865 acres, it holds a unique blend of long sandy beaches, grassy ridges, sand dunes, wet meadows, diverse Carolinian forests, marshes and ponds. In fact, it is so diverse that it holds more endangered species per capita than the rest of Canada! Its long and colourful history, and incredible beauty, are just a couple of reasons the locals have been trying to keep it a secret for years…
Designated as a National Wildlife Area, human access is restricted to only a few locations which are reachable by boat.
Long Point is internationally recognised as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. It was one of the first of 16 to be named in Canada. UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere programme has over 600 World Biosphere Reserves worldwide – this puts Long Point in the same league as the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands, the Sahara Desert, the Brazilian rainforest and many other special locations. To learn more about the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve click here.
Alongside the boat tours and birding, Long Point Eco Adventures offers a range of different activities including zip-lining, canopy tours, stargazing sessions at the observatory, wine tasting at the Burning Kiln winery directly across the road, guided kayaking and canoeing, and mountain biking. At the end of a hard day of outdoor pursuits, you can ‘glamp’ in the 4-star wilderness suites on site!
For more information including booking accommodation and activities, visit Long Point Eco Adventures and Zodiac Boat Tours via www.lpfun.ca
What could be more romantic than seclusion, tranquility and being close to nature? Luckily, those qualities are often in abundance when it comes to eco accommodation. From luxury eco resorts to cosy lodges for two, here are six of the best retreats for romantic getaways…
Frequently named as one of the best eco resorts in the world, this Fijian gem is luxurious to the hilt. Dedicated to sustainability, the resort owners respect the beautiful natural surroundings and take advantage of sensitve and traditional Fijian farming principles in its organic garden and surrounding land. Alongside the expected recycling, composting, solar power and water preservation, the resort runs a conservation programme looking after the reef on the edge of the resort, a designated marine reserve.
Romance factor: 25 individual bures (Fijian bungalows) are set in 17 acres of old coconut plantation – and each offer lots of South Pacific style. Go for the Honeymoon Point Reef Bure with its private hot tub overlooking the ocean. If you want to really ramp up the romance factor, you can book a day’s stay on the resort’s private island – packed off with a champagne picnic it’s the ultimate paradise for two!
The first of its kind in the UK, the new Ecopod Boutique Retreat is luxury self-catering in a modern geodesic dome, and a fantastic piece of low-carbon living. The pod, built with sustainable timber and minimal concrete, blends into the surrounding birch trees in this beautiful part of west Scotland. Heating is provided by a highly-efficient wood pellet stove; fresh water comes from a hill stream filtering through the forest; waste water is treated with the Biorock system; and the pod is equipped with energy-efficient appliances and locally-sourced produce and toiletries. Guests are offered a 10% discount if they arrive by train or bicycle.
Romance factor: The light-filled dome offers spectacular views of Castle Stalker (which appeared in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail!) and Loch Linnhe. The interiors are uber-stylish (think 1970s Eames chairs and other durable design classics); and the wood burner adds extra cosiness.
Boroka Downs offers secluded luxury in the majestic Grampians. As a nature based retreat it has been designed, built and is operated with environmental sustainability at its heart. The modern individual residences are low carbon – double-glazed, fully insulated, run on solar power, and each with their own rain water tank. Recycling takes place throughout and free range chickens take care of food scraps. Around 15,000 native trees and shrubs have been planted on the site in the past five years.
Romance factor: They promise seclusion and discretion throughout your stay… The bungalows are kitted out with all the latest mod cons plus sleek and stylish handmade furniture. You can relax in your private spa while enjoying the view through your glass walls. For serious romantics, Boroka Downs also offer ‘Elopement Packages’!
Arriving by long boat you’re bound to be greeted by smiles from the friendly staff of Golden Buddha Beach Resort. Everyone will make you feel welcome on this island, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities for time alone. The luxury beach bungalows, all with a sea view, were built using sustainable materials with sensitive land management and minimal energy usage in place throughout the resort.
Romance factor: You can fall asleep to the sounds of the local wildlife and nearby waves if you keep your bedroom wall open (but still enjoy privacy as each bungalow is placed well away from neighbours). Excellent, freshly prepared local food can be enjoyed in the candle-lit restaurant every night.
The resort owners know how to marry laid-back Jamaican style with environmentally-friendly tourism. Eco-friendly, low impact, organic, and green: Kanopi House treads gently upon the earth. The resort operates a ‘grey water’ system, processed along a lined reed bed, and uses sustainable, regionally sourced hardwoods. Furnishings, decor and artworks are produced from renewable Jamaican materials, and designed and handcrafted by local artisans.
Romance factor: You can gaze at the Caribbean sea from your chic tree house, before taking a stroll through a jungle of Banyan trees and flowering ginger lily down to a secluded, white sand cove. The resort’s private shoreline and coral reef is a haven for purple manta rays.
The rooms, restaurants and facilities of this paradise getaway are surrounded by more than 60km of white sandy beaches, a lagoon, crystal clear waterways, gardens, palm trees and fruit trees. In this magical setting, declared by UNESCO aquifer paradise for birds, live pelicans, herons, frigates and hundreds of species of animals that the resort is helping to preserve.
Romance factor: Enjoy delicious organic food in the restaurant, relax with specialised treatments in the spa, sunbathe on the beach, or take a boat for two out onto the lagoon to spot local wildlife. They also specialise in those fantasy-style beach weddings…
(This article was originally published in Ethics Girls magazine)
A decade ago, the concept of eco-friendly travel was, in many people’s minds, limited only to camping – roughing it under canvas whilst chopping your own firewood, communing with nature and truly ‘getting away from it all’. That will never lose its appeal for many, but 21st century ‘eco accommodation’ comes in many more guises.
From glampsites to luxury resorts, we are now spoilt for choice when it comes to eco (or green/sustainable/responsible – call it what you will!) places to stay on holiday. Here’s the Goodtrippers guide to selecting the right eco stay for you…
The Luxury Eco Resort: For those who love some indulgence on holiday… Usually found somewhere exotic like Thailand or Australia, luxury eco resorts offer beautiful rooms plus high-end facilities and services (massages, spas, room service) but are run on renewable energy, built from sustainable materials, and employ local people on good wages. Try Longitude 131 an award-winning eco-sensitive resort in the Australian outback near Ayres Rock run entirely on solar energy; or Golden Buddha Beach Resort on the Andaman Coast of Thailand which is built from sustainable materials, minimises power usage and provides good jobs for local people.
The Eco ‘Lodge’: Without the ‘bling’ of a luxury eco resort, the eco lodge is no less special. Often more rustic, an eco lodge could consist of a collection of separate ‘bungalows’ or huts in a style unique to its location – whether that be jungle, snowy mountain range, beach or lakeside. For outdoors enthusiasts, eco-conscious Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, Canada, offers six cosy cabins situated lakeside; or Our Jungle House in Thailand is an eco-friendly cluster of romantic treehouses.
The Ethical Hotel: Many hotels around the world boast environmental standards (reducing, recycling and reusing where possible) but some are going the extra mile to do something above and beyond what the average person would do at home. Bardessono is a LEED platinum-certified hotel in California’s Napa Valley, with a tonne of energy-saving technology, sustainable materials and recycling plans for a high-tech green stay; or try the 4-star Lancaster Hotel in London with its strong environmental and community policies, and its own Rooftop Honey Farm!
The Sustainable B&B: Cosier and more down-to-earth than your grand hotel, a sustainable ‘bed and breakfast’ will often keep it local with its own kitchen garden produce, handmade organic toiletries and low energy usage. One of only four officially certified organic B&Bs in the UK, the Orchard Farmhouse Organic B&B in the Dorset countryside offers an exclusively organic breakfast amongst the peace, quiet and picturesque views; for a chic city B&B The Zetter Townhouse in London sources water from its own borehole and uses eco-friendly paint throughout.
The Glampsite: If you can’t bear to be without home comforts, a ‘glampsite’ (glamorous camping site) is a million miles away from a leaky tent. Whether it be sleeping under the stars in a glass pod near the Arctic or snoozing under canvas on the African plains, these more unusual choices are hard to beat. Eco-conscious Campi Ya Kanzi in Kenya is a safari dream that is solar-powered and works in partnership with the local Maasai community; the cluster of geodesic domes of EcoCamp in Patagonia is packed with green technology allowing you to fall asleep under the stars; or try the Barefoot Yurts in East Sussex, UK, which are 90% built from reclaimed materials with solar lighting and a composting loo.
Wildlife specialist Naturetrek’s new 2013 brochure contains 14 new tours, including four new UK options.
Those 14 new offerings (see factsheet below for details) include a spring birdwatching trip to Sicily, a ‘Killer Whales & Northern Lights’ tour of Iceland, puma-watching in Chile, a visit to India’s little-known Satpura National Park and an exploration of Baffin Island in Canada.
Wildlife watching around the world
Elsewhere, the vast array of existing trips includes butterfly-viewing trips to Hungary and Greece; birding tours from Sri Lanka to Florida; jaguar-watching tours in Brazil; flora-themed visits to Kazakhstan, Norway and Ecuador; whale-watching in West Greenland and Monterey Bay; tours observing bears in Spain and Finland; and other itineraries themed around snakes, snow leopards, wolves, dragonflies, red pandas and much more.
In total, Naturetrek now offers around 350 tours to nearly every corner of the world. That includes the ever-expanding range of UK trips, which takes in the Shetland Isles, the Scillies and the famous Somerset Levels starling murmurations.
Most tours are open to enthusiasts of all levels, although some will suit a more experienced and knowledgeable traveller. New for 2013, Naturetrek is launching a range of Beginners’ Birdwatching Tours, aimed at those who are keen to go birding, but fear looking foolish amid seasoned veterans sporting well-used binoculars!
Small groups and solo travellers
The majority of Naturetrek trips operate in small groups (average 10-12 people; maximum 16); because these groups include many solo travellers, there’s usually a room-sharing option for those who don’t wish to pay a single supplement. Each group is guided by a leading, experienced ornithologist or botanist (often both), and each tour departs at a carefully-chosen time when the widlife-viewing experience will be at its most rewarding. Nearly all trips are also available (at a different cost) on a tailormade basis too, for clients who cannot make the set departure dates, or who prefer to travel privately.
For more information on any of Naturetrek’s wildlife itineraries or to request a copy of the new 2013 brochure, call them on 01962 733051 or visit www.naturetrek.co.uk. (If you’re in the UK, they’re based in rural Hampshire in a beautiful converted mill with a Site of Special Scientific Interest nearby!).
Run by wildlife enthusiasts with 25 years’ of experience – the founders are naturalists and conservationists turned tour operators
A commitment to sustainable tourism has been at the company’s heart since its inception
Tours involve small groups using local accommodation and facilities to help support the local communities
Naturetrek develops partnerships with local communities and naturalists, such as financing the regeneration of land in Nepal to create two ecotourism camps – Koshi and Suklaphanta
Some tours include charity donations to organisations such as Butterfly Conservation, International Animal Rescue and the Environmental Investigation Agency
They are currently developing other conservation and sustainable tourism projects around the world
They are expanding their range of UK-based (flightless) tours
NEW tours for 2013
Islay & Mull… In Style!: Your first stop is a four-night stay on Islay, popular with birdwatchers due to its numerous species of visiting Arctic wildfowl. Then there are two days spent on the smaller island of Mull, with its mountains, moorlands and vast sea-lochs, home to otters, birds of prey, rutting red deer and much more. Accommodation is on each island’s best hotel; that includes Mull’s wonderful Tiroran House Hotel.
Departing 31 October & 1 November; prices from £1,195 pp**
Wild Flowers of Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula: Enjoy coastal and inland walks during this three-night break in search of Cornwall’s botanical wonders. The Lizard Peninsula is one of the UK’s top sites for plant-life thanks to its diverse landscapes and geology. The trip includes Gew Graze Valley, known for unique outcrops of mineral-rich serpentine rock.
Departing 31 May; prices from £395 pp** The Yorkshire Coast & Moors
This long-weekend birdwatching holiday starts at the chalk cliffs of Flamborough and Bempton, home to over 200,000 seabirds. Then follows a stop at Filey Dams Nature Reserve, a botanical hub for well known British birds such as the tree sparrow, before time on those classic North Yorkshire Moors.
Departing 25 & 28 June and 2 July; prices from £450 pp**
The Wild Flowers of Upper Teesdale Upper Teesdale sits in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This four-day expedition covers a variety of environments, from low-lying hay meadows to rough grazing pastures and summit heaths on high fells. Discover which species make up the ‘Teesdale Assemblage’ while admiring the breeding birds of these remote moors.
Departing 21 June; prices from £450 pp**
Iceland – Killer Whales & Northern Lights: This five-day break centres on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula where, in winter, killer whale pods and seabirds congregate as large shoals of herring pass by. Watch the spectacle on land and out at sea, and then, after dark, look skywards to (hopefully) see the Northern Lights.
Departing 3 & 18 February; prices from £1,295 pp*
Lesbos in Autumn: Lesbos lies just a few kilometres from the coast of Turkey, and has a magnificent coastline that supports a diverse bird population. From a secluded-village base, this eight-day trip offers an opportunity to explore the island’s many migratory hotspots whilst enjoying some Aegean sunshine.
Departing 28& 29 September; prices from £1,295 pp*
Fjords, Arctic Birds & Northern Lights!… A Norwegian Coastal Voyage: Including a three-night cruise during which the Northern Lights will hopefully be seen, this six-day trip to the Arctic Circle observes the seabirds which occupy this most extreme – and scenic – region.
Departing 26 February; prices from £1,795 pp*
Spring Birding in Sicily: Within the beautiful setting of eastern Sicily, this seven-day adventure focuses on the spring migration of native birds such as the nightjar and hoopoe. From the 800-year-old converted farmhouse base, daily excursions are made to watch the birds amid the spectacular Sicilian landscape.
Departing 1 May; prices from £1,295 pp*
Inuit Adventure: Narwhals & Other Wildlife of Baffin Island: On a ten-day trip around Canada’s largest island, expert guides will lead daily expeditions on Inuit sleds to discover the Arctic’s most elusive wildlife. Baffin Island is the only place in the world consistently inhabited by the Narwhal, with its distinctive long, narrow tusk, while other sightings regularly include polar bears.
Departing 2 June; prices from £8,995 pp*
Eastern Canada – Whales, Bears & Fall Migration: Ranking among Canada’s most stunning landscapes, Quebec is home to large populations of wildlife such as beluga whales and black bears. This 12-day holiday features walks and cruises through the beautiful creeks and forests where these creatures are regularly seen.
Departing 9 September; prices from £4,395 pp*
Chile – Just Pumas!: This 11-day trip starts off in the Chilean capital, Santiago, before heading into the heart of the Andes. The route passes flamingo-lined lakes to reach Torres del Paine National Park and its glaciers and mountains – which provide a perfect habitat for the puma. Days will be spent devoted to exploring, and seeking out this iconic cat.
Departing 14 March & 4 April; prices from £3,995 pp*
Peru – Mountain Lodges Trek to Machu Picchu: The classic landmark of Machu Picchu is appreciated fully on this 12-day trip, with six days allocated to trekking slowly towards it across the Peruvian Andes. The route offers unique insight into the landscape and wildlife of the area while plotting a slightly different course to the classic Inca Trail.
Departing 10 November; prices from £3,695 pp*
Not Just Tigers! Satpura – Best of Central India: This is a ten-day exploration of one of India’s most scenic – and least-known – tiger reserves. While tigers are shy in Satpura National Park and thus rarely-seen, there’s a good chance of encountering other iconic animals, such as leopard, sloth bear, gaur and Asian wild dog, in the 1,500km² grounds. The park’s equally empty of tourists, despite its beauty and sheer remoteness being so stunning.
Departing 9 November, 21 December, 8 February, 15 March & 5 April; prices from £2,395 pp*
Wild Sri Lanka… In Style!: This 14-day holiday provides the chance to encounter Sri Lanka’s diverse wildlife – blue whales, leopards, crocodiles, wild boar, warblers and parrots included. You’ll also get to stay in luxury accommodation and admire some of the tropical country’s most impressive archaeological sites, including ancient Polonnaruwa.
Departing 19 November & 14 January; prices from £3,595*
* Prices include flights (London), transport, comfortable accommodation with all or most meals and guiding from an expert naturalist.
** Price includes transport whilst on tour, comfortable accommodation with meals (breakfast and evening meals as a minimum) and guiding from an expert naturalist.