For clients looking to get up-close and personal with some wildlife, these itineraries will do just the trick.
4. Wildland Adventures in Madagascar
On Wildland Adventures’ new 12-day Madagascar: Land of Lemurs itinerary, guests will roam rainforests and mangrove swamps while on the lookout for various wildlife, including dozens of lemur species. Other highlights include engaging with the indigenous Antandroy tribe; sampling koba, a traditional sweet made from ground peanuts, brown sugar and rice flour, wrapped and roasted in banana leaves; riding a bicycle rickshaw; walking on primitive trails in dense forest areas; visiting Lemur Island, a private reserve that protects rescued and habituated lemurs; plus a visit to Ambohimanga, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is the ancestral home of the Merina kings and queens who united Madagascar under one rule.
Departures in 2019 are from the end of June to late November. Rates start at $7,890 pp. For more information, visit wildland.com.
3. Augustine Tours in Rwanda
For travelers equally interested in the culture and wildlife of their destination, Augustine Tours is offering a 10-day Rwanda Wildlife and Cultural Tour that includes chimpanzee tracking, birding safaris, and more. Highlights of this tour include a full day game drive and birding in Akagera National Park; a morning boat safari to Lake Ihema to see hippos, crocodiles, and various water birds; a city tour of Kigali; a visit to the Ethnographic National Museum with its archeological collections portraying aspects of Rwandan social and cultural history; and more.
While the best period for bird watching is from December to February, the game drive is a year round activity, especially recommended during dry season. Rates for this itinerary start at $2,270 pp. For more information, visit augustinetours.com.
2. Thomson Safaris in Tanzania
Brand new for 2019 is Thomson Safaris’ Taste of Tanzania itinerary, which highlights the best of the country’s wildlife while also exploring its culture from a culinary perspective, including a visit to the “spice island” of Zanzibar.
For three days, guests will explore the Serengeti plains, and complement the wildlife viewing with an off-the-beaten path visit to the village of Robanda, where they will learn how to make banana beer. In the afternoon, they will partake in a traditional goat roast with Maasai warriors. The journey continues through the Ngorongoro Crater—one of the only places on Earth where travelers can see all of the Big Five—and includes a stay at Gibb’s Farm, a property owned by Judi Wineland and Rick Thomson, the owners of Thomson Safaris. Guests will also get to go on walks through the organic farm where coffee, fruits, nuts and vegetables grow in volcanic soil, and try to spot some of over 200 species of bird in the area. At the farm, guests will also learn about sustainable agriculture through farm-to-table culinary activities in the bakery, gardens and kitchen. The tour wraps up with a trip to Zanzibar, where travelers will explore the spice farms for which the island is known, and go on excursions to Sone Town and the Forodhani Gardens night market.
Rates for this itinerary are available upon request. For more information, visit thomsonsafaris.com.
1. Classic Escapes in Borneo
While many travelers typically think of Africa when looking for a wildlife-filled travel experience, Borneo has much to offer. Now, travelers can discover this for themselves with Classic Escapes’ Treasures, Traditions & Nature’s Bounty in Borneo, Malaysia itinerary. Guests on this 12-day trip can expect daily outings for bird and wildlife viewing, visits to organizations working to protect endangered animal species, and meetings with locals to learn about the traditions and customs in this part of the world, all while staying in eco-accommodations at the Sepilok Nature Resort in Sandakan, the Borneo Nature Lodge in Sukau and Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley.
Rates for this itinerary start at $6,895 pp dbl. For more information, visit classicescapes.com.