Whales and grizzlies in Canada
Imagine gliding along the cool waters near Vancouver Island surrounded by the sea’s largest mammals – humpback whales and orcas. On this amazing trip, you’ll spend three nights kayaking in the company of these giants, observing and understanding their behaviour in their natural environment while seabirds and bald eagles fly overhead. At the end of each day, return to your comfy base camp before heading to the Great Bear Rainforest to watch brown bears (grizzlies) catching salmon in the Xakwikan River as you kayak nearby. Offering sanctuary to bears, both black and brown, wolf, deer and beavers, this natural habitat is one of the most unspoilt rainforests in the world.
• Wildlife Worldwide offers Kayaking with Whales and Grizzlies from £3,345pp sharing, including 3 nights’ FB at Orca Base Camp, 3 nights’ B&B at Black Bear Resort and 2 nights’ B&B in Vancouver, return international flights from London and transfers. Book online at Wildlifeworldwide.com; 01962 302086.
Spot the big five in Kenya
When it comes to ultimate dream destinations, a Kenyan safari has to be near the top – and certainly one to tick off if it’s for all the family. The best way to take in this African destination is with a planned tour and this 10-day trip exposes you to some of east Africa’s wildest destinations. Firstly, enjoy a few days game viewing and exploring the Maasai Mara, looking for the big five – leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo – roaming freely on the African plains, followed by a hot air balloon ride for a completely different view. In Lewa, you’ll explore a beautiful natural park, which is home to one of Kenya’s most successful rhino conservation stories. Fun family activities include horse riding, walking safaris, waterfall treks and some rest and relaxation on Diani Beach, before a quick scuba or snorkelling session.
• The Coral Tree Travel Kenyan Bucket List Family Safari and Beach Holiday starts from £5,500 per person, including all domestic flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and activities for 10 nights, book online at Coraltreetravel.com; 01242 908 720.
The magic of the Northern Lights
The iconic Northern Lights are one of nature’s most magical highlights. However, you’ll need to be patient – the auroras can be unpredictable. Finland is one of the best places to catch a glimpse, and although you can see them there all year, mid-October to early April is ideal. The skies are at their darkest then and will allow you to see the contrast better. Many hotels offer excursions or glass-roofed rooms in which to stay and experience the stunning phenomenon for the perfect night under the stars.
• The Aurora Zone offers a three-night Muotka-Fellside Auroras trip, which includes Northern Lights hunting, a husky safari, reindeer experience via a snowmobile, cold weather clothing, accommodation at the Wilderness Hotel Muotka and meals, from £1,475 per person, departing from 2 December 2021 – 17 March 2022. Find out more at Theaurorazone.com; 01670 785012.
Trek the Inca Trail in Peru
Machu Picchu is always at the top of any adventure seeker’s bucket list. The ancient city set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru offers some of the most stunning views you’ll ever see. The most amazing way to fully experience this UNESCO heritage site is to hike the world-famous 26-mile, stone pathway through the Andes, right to the mountain-top settlement of Machu Picchu. While the end result is worth it, it’s not a trip for the faint hearted. You’ll encounter rocky paths, insects, dramatic peaks, various climates and, at times, a very tricky terrain over the four-day trek.
• Inca Trail Trek, from £1,185 for nine days, including four-day trek, guide, meals, transfers and accommodation departing 16 April 2022 (return flights start at £1,081pp with Explore.co.uk; 01252 883760).
Ride the Bullet Train in Japan
Enjoy the need for speed on the famous Shinkansen, AKA the Bullet Train. Experience the best of Japan on a self-guided tour, going from city to city on a network of high-speed trains that reach a top whack of 200mph. Starting in Tokyo, enjoy the neon, futuristic hi-tech city before heading to Hakone for a mix of tradition and culture. When skies are clear, the views of Mount Fuji across Lake Ashi are truly spectacular. The next stop is Kyoto, home to the legendary cherry blossom, where pink petals cover the trees from late March to April to mark the start of spring. Here you can enjoy tea with Geishas before boarding the train to Hiroshima, where a tour of the Peace Park is a reminder of the country’s past.
• Best of Japan 15-day self-guided adventure includes 14 nights accommodation, transport across Japan, tea ceremony, breakfast, admission to temples and shrines. From £2,020 per person – book via Insidejapantours.com.
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