Off the Beaten Track
There there, we know. The post-holiday blues have descended. The roads have turned into Christmas tree graveyards and there’s nothing but faint whimpers coming from the rush-hour tube. Only two options remain: will it be rehab or adventure? Adventure or rehab? Good man, now start by getting yourself down to the Adventure Travel Show at London’s Olympia on 25-26 January 2014. Packed with adrenaline-pumping ideas for rediscovering lost mojo, you’ll be flinging yourself off stuff in no time.
To get you in the zone, we’ve asked some of the Adventure Travel Show’s experts to recommend the best ‘out there’ destinations for 2014. Here’s what they came up with.
Join the descent on the Moa River, Sierra Leone
Become one of only a handful of travellers on this journey of discovery through one of Africa’s most beautiful yet misunderstood countries. Descend the virtually unexplored Moa River entirely by local canoe and on foot, wild camping from the border with Guinea to Sulima on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Become part of local village life which has remained unchanged for centuries. Arrive at the Tiwai Island Wildlife Sanctuary situated along the Moa River, a unique eco-tourism area where 11 both threatened and endangered primate species, including the pygmy hippopotamus roam. For relaxation, Sierra Leone is home to some of the worlds most stunning beaches.
Secret Compass: 16 days £2,299 land only.
Hike the national treasures of the Aloha Isles, Hawaii
Rising out of the deep blue waters in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, the Hawaiian Islands are isolated from any other landmass. Over time, wind and currents brought plant and animal life with over 6,000 species that can only be found here. Explore white, green and black sand beaches; giant craters, frozen lava lakes, lava sputtering volcanoes, stunning waterfalls, and ancient rock art sites. Paths will lead to incredible viewpoints overlooking the famous North Shore of Kauai, through tropical swamps and cloud forests, and the stark lunar-like landscape of Haleakela National Park in Maui.
World Expeditions: 14 days £2,290 land only.
Swim the islands of Thailand
Swim in the warm and gentle waters 500m off Phuket’s central east coast on an active holiday with a difference. Based on Coconut Island, there are few better places to take a unique swimming holiday, spending your days in the emerald water surrounded by the limestone karsts. Take two fully escorted swims a day to explore the stunning surroundings of Thailand’s islands, varying from 1.5k to 5k. Guests who are not as comfortable in the water are also welcome to relax and bask in the surroundings.
Coningham Rolls Swim Holidays, 6 days from £2,100 per person.
Rhino Charge and Masai Mara Safari in Kenya
The Rhino Charge is an exciting off-road challenge in Kenya with some amazing vehicles and a big event in the social calendar. The event which lasts a weekend and includes all the transport and meals and fun, followed by a classic safari in the Masai Mara and exploring part of the Great Rift Valley and visiting some of our great social projects in the capital and surrounding areas. The location of the rhino charge is always kept secret until the last minute so the overland trucks on hand for some adventurous travel in-country!
Adventure Alternative: 14 days, £1,995.00 per person land only.
Voyage to Antarctica off the beaten track
Take a classic Antarctic Peninsula voyage with a twist. With emphasis on adventure activities such as kayaking, camping, skiing and hiking, this is the ultimate white continent experience. Photographic experts will be available to guide you through making the most of the amazing scenery and wildlife opportunities on board Russian polar researcher vessel Akademik Ioffe. Cross the Drake Passage before delving into the experiences on offer. Take part in an expedition field photography program, go hiking, snow showing, sea kayaking and ski touring. An overnight kayaking experience takes you away from the ship for two nights camping, a great way to explore and view the icebergs in every direction.
Antarctica Bound: 12 days from £4,628.
Cycle through the beautiful landscapes of Kerala and tropical India
There are few better ways to explore the beautiful landscapes and wildlife of Southern India than by bike. Ride into colourful villages to experience rural life, cycle around old forts, religious shrines and the sanctuaries at Bandipur and Mudumalai to encounter elephants, tigers and leopards in the bamboo forests. Change pace in Kerela with a boat trip on the peaceful backwaters before the final coastal ride to Varkala where stunning beaches await.
Exodus: 15 days from £1,859.
London to Beijing ultimate overland expedition
Visit 17 countries on this epic journey travelling overland from London to Beijing. Take in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and finally China. Arrive in Gallipoli for ANZAC Day before joining the old Silk Road and heading into Iran, following in the footsteps of Alexander the Great. With plenty of time to explore some of the most iconic cities, the drive also takes a more scenic route than the motorway where possible, including following the Danube river.
Oasis Overland:17 weeks from £4,195.
The highest Trekking Peak in Nepal
Mera Peak at 6,476 meters is Nepal’s highest trekking peak. An ascent of Mera is not only about reaching an impressive summit but a combination of unique mountain trekking, exploration and Sherpa culture. Situated in an unspoilt part of Nepal the trek provides a varied mountain adventure, starting the journey through densely forested hillsides, Hinku Valley and Thagnak to base camp at 5,300m. Continue to the high camp set at 5,800m, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Nepal with panoramic views of Kanchenjunga, Chamlang, Makalu and Baruntse sweeping around from the east and Ama-dablam, Cho Oyu and Kangtega to the west. The giant faces of Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse appear in the north, an experience and achievement never to be forgotten.
360 Expeditions, 20 days £2,950 including flights.
LUSSO readers can get reduced price advance tickets to the Adventure Travel Show 2014 at Olympia for only £6 (saving £4 off the door price). Just quote ‘LUSSO’ when booking tickets online at www.adventureshow.com or when calling 0871 230 7159. (Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras).