A New Year’s resolution to get some ticks on your travel bucket list is much more fun than trying to give up eating cake. Here is our selection of the top destinations to visit in 2018 – it’s time to turn those travel dreams into plans and fill that passport with stamps!
Nowhere does safari better than Botswana. Africa’s last truly pristine wilderness offers vast landscapes, big skies, and the opportunity for incredible wildlife experiences. The Okavango Delta is a mosaic of channels, floodplains, and islands, and is incredibly rich in game. Enjoy walking or horseback safaris, boat trips on channels and lagoons, or classic safari drives for close encounters of the herd kind. Chobe National Park plays host to the continent’s greatest elephant population, while the seemingly endless expanses of the Makgadikgadi Pans and Central Kalahari let your soul and imagination roam free. Warm, friendly people and an authentic sense of getting away from it all mean that Botswana delivers on moments of both relaxation and exhilaration, and can easily be combined with Cape Town or Victoria Falls for an extended southern African safari vacation.
Where to stay
Check into the newest property in the Okavango, Qorokwe Camp, to explore diverse Delta habitats and enjoy a tranquil mokoro excursion, or opt for safari opulence at the newly rebuilt Mombo Camp, home to some of the best predator viewing around.
Travel to the ends of the Earth – literally – on an Antarctic cruise in 2018. You’ll be blown away by the incredible vistas of sea, ice, and sky, and you can choose different activities each day. Zodiac inflatable boats give you access to remote beaches where you can walk among penguin colonies and whale bones, or spend more time on board ship watching out for albatross, whales, and seals. Antarctica is a photographer’s dream, with ice floes contorted into every shape and color imaginable. If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not try overnight camping, sea kayaking or back-country skiing? However you explore Antarctica, you’ll return with a new appreciation for the beauty of wild places, and a renewed commitment to help save them.
Where to stay
The new purpose-built, ice-safe polar vessel, the RCGS Resolute, will certainly float your boat. It’s due to launch in November 2018 and will be the last word in ocean comfort, as well as the launch pad for your Antarctic adventures.
There’s much more to the USA’s southern neighbor than weekend trips to Tijuana. Mexico is rediscovering its heritage and history and is ready to share them with the world. Savvy travelers are heading to Mexico for wildlife experiences including swimming with whale sharks (the gentle giants of the sea) where the Caribbean meets the Gulf of Mexico. Foodies can no longer keep Mexico’s delicious cuisine all to themselves – this is a country where you should come hungry! Eating your way through the street food stalls and top-class restaurants of Mexico City is a gastronomic adventure. You can head back in time to learn more about the fascinating Mayan and Aztec empires or explore the pretty town of Oaxaca with its beautiful churches, elegant plazas, and intriguing local street markets. Whether you want to fiesta or siesta, Mexico is the place to be in 2018.
Where to Stay
Located on the turquoise waters of the Sea of Tulum, on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Azulik Eco-Resort effortlessly combines style and ecological sensitivity and exudes positive energy. It’s a place to reconnect with Nature, and with yourself.
Cambodia is starting to emerge from the shadow of its better-known neighbor, Thailand, and absolutely deserves to be a destination in its own right. The headline attractions are of course the temple complexes of Angkor Wat. The world’s largest religious monument is a masterclass in ancient architecture – grand and harmonious. The temple of Beng Mealea emerges from the tangled jungle vegetation that threatens to overwhelm it, and it’s impossible to resist posing for a Lara Croft selfie there. Cambodia’s landscapes are dominated by carefully tended rice paddies and these fields offer a unique setting for a romantic candlelit dinner (it goes without saying that Khmer cuisine is divine). Exploring the countryside on horseback is a great way to work up an appetite, as well as to meet local people and learn more about modern-day Cambodia.
Where to Stay
The Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor in Siem Reap is the ‘grand dame’ of Cambodian hotels, with its manicured gardens, marble floors and antique Khmer furniture. Ideally, for visits to the temples of Angkor Wat, it’s also a sanctuary from the hustle of everyday life.
The ‘land of a thousand hills’ is a country which has risen like a phoenix from its past to become one of Africa’s leading lights. Rwanda’s most famous residents are the mountain gorillas (this was where Dian Fossey studied) but the people you meet will also make a lasting, positive impression on you. A private helicopter flight will reveal the patchwork quilt of fields and villages, among them the plantations that produce some of the world’s finest teas and coffees. Embark on a leaf- or bean-to-cup tour, or head to Akagera National Park to search for newly reintroduced lion and black rhino (more evidence of Rwanda’s renaissance). To better understand Rwanda’s tragic history, visit a reconciliation village to hear the testimonies of genocide survivors and the heart-warming stories of how lives, communities and an entire country have been rebuilt to emerge stronger than ever.
Where to stay
Bisate Lodge, on the fringes of the Volcanoes National Park, is both the best place to stay for mountain gorilla trekking and your chance to be involved in the rehabilitation of former agricultural land that is being reforested to increase the habitat available to these endangered primates.
If this blog post has inspired you to travel in 2018, contact us today and we can make it happen.