travel guide 2020 Onshore and offshore destinations â€“ your conscious-living travel guide. Compiled by Carolyn Enting
Maasai Mara reserve Kenyan ecolodge Campi Ya Kanzi is located on a 283,000 acre Maasai Mara reserve and just 48km away from Mount Kilimanjaro. See lions, elephants, buffalos, giraffes and antelope on safari, and cool down in the pool.
Campi Ya Kanzi, Kenya
This luxury camp in Kenya is an ecotourism leader as well as being the ultimate African safari experience. It’s 100 per cent solar, carbon neutral, and was built in partnership with the Maasai community and is situated on a Maasai-owned reserve spanning 283,000 acres of wilderness. Regularly voted as one of the top eco destinations in the world, it offers 5-star luxury, wilderness and wildlife with an authentic immersion in Maasai culture. From here you can see Mount Kilimanjaro (48km away), and you’re at the foot of the Chyulu Hills best-known as Ernest Hemingway’s ‘Green Hills of Africa’. Activities include game drives in an open land rover, escorted game walks, bird watching, horse riding, Maasai village visits and bush breakfasts, picnics and dinners. A one-hour flight from Nairobi or Mombasa.
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, UAE Just a 45-minute drive from Dubai and another world away from its big city neighbour, you are surrounded by nature at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa but have all the luxuries. Each private suite looks out over the desert and has its own private pool. The water in the pools is safe for the local gazelle to drink. Yes, they get that close. Arabian oryx are plentiful here also, though they were almost hunted to the brink of extinction between the 1940s and the 1960s. The population is now back to healthier numbers since the establishment of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the first National Park in the UAE, in 1997. Activities at Al Maha include guided desert and dune safaris, nature walks, falconry, wildlife drives, horse riding and a sunset camel ride. anantara.com
Anantara Dhigu, Maldives Since the dramatic and devastating bleaching event that swept the corals of The Maldives in 2015, the teams at Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli, have been working to restore life to the reefs. Stay at Anantara and you can play your part, too. Through the Holistic Approach to Reef Protection (HARP), guests who want to contribute can help with coral planting activities.
travel guide 2020
Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia At Three Camel Lodge there are no telephones or access to internet. It’s a place where you can gaze upon unobstructed views of the desert and the Gobi-Altai Mountains from the privacy of your deluxe ger. The ger’s oculus (central opening to the sky) allows for spectacular stargazing from the privacy of your bed. Three Camel Lodge has 40 gers, each handmade using latticed wood covered in layers of felt and canvas. Each ger has a wood stove and hand-painted wooden beds, private bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower. The Lodge has purified water refilling stations, recycles its organic waste, and has helped fight animal poaching and unauthorised removal of dinosaur fossils from paleontological sites in the area. It also helps struggling nomads, and every staff member, including management, is Mongolian.
Bolontiku Boutique Hotel & Spa, Guatemala Serving organic and international cuisine, Guatemalan rainforest retreat Bolontiku Boutique Hotel & Spa overlooks Lake Petén Itzá. It’s a place where contemporary comfort blends with traditional Mayan chic, though you will probably want to stick to swimming in the pool as the lake has crocodiles.
slh.com and bolontikuhotel.com
travel guide 2020
Talanoa Treks, Suncoast
A visit to beautiful Belize can be made even more beautiful with a stay at Hamanasi which is nestled between the mountains and the Caribbean Sea. Here you can sleep amidst the jungle canopy in a treehouse or enjoy an ocean view from a beachfront room. Situated on 45 acres of beachfront property, with land set aside as a private nature reserve, Hamanasi has four eco zones – Beachfront, Littoral Forest, Pond and Savannah. Hamanasi allows only reef-safe sunscreens on the property and during all tours. Green Globe certified.
Navigate through the dramatic peaks, pristine forests, sparkling rivers, remote villages and the unique history of Fiji with Talanoa Treks – Fiji’s only dedicated hiking company. Your guides, accommodation and food are all provided by the communities you visit on the trip to reduce the impacts and maximise the benefits of your visit – as your adventure should be great for you and equally as great for the communities.
Explorer’s Inn Ecolodge, Peru
Not your usual jet boat ride, the Sigatoka River Safari is a cultural journey up the Sigatoka River of Fiji’s Coral Coast. You will visit one of the 17 villages along the river – a different village is visited each day to minimise the impacts of tourism in this remote part of the world. Upon reaching your destination, you are given a warm welcome by the villagers and invited to take part in a kava ceremony before having a village tour and a traditional Fijian lunch. Your safari will directly assist in the development of these rural communities and enable the people of Navosa to share their ‘Bula Spirit’ with people from around the world.
This award-winning ecolodge in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon has been welcoming travellers since 1975. Its location in Tambopata National Reserve, is considered by some scientists as the most biodiverse places on Earth. The ecolodge is spread out in a series of thatched bungalows, which are raised to protect from flooding. It is also situated at the confluence of the La Torre and Tambopata Rivers, 40 miles upriver from Puerto Maldonado. Here you will get the opportunity to see giant river otters. It’s also a bird-lover’s paradise – 620 species have been recorded in the area immediately surrounding the Inn.
Sigatoka River Safari, Coral Coast
Gaiatree Sanctuary, Taveuni Nestled on Taveuni – the ‘Garden Island’ of Fiji – this organic spice plantation, day club and nectar lab is one of Fiji’s hidden gems. After a guided tour through the developing food forest, enjoy herbal tonics, smoothies and refreshments, along with a vegetarian farm-to-table dining experience featuring tropical fruit, heirloom vegetables, house-made sauces and dressings, sourdough and free-range chicken eggs. The sanctuary is working towards energy self-sufficiency and is using permaculture principles to establish a productive natural ecosystem.
Barefoot Manta, Yasawa Islands
Located in the Yasawa Islands, Barefoot Manta is uniquely blessed with three beaches: Sunrise Beach for the early risers, Sunset Beach for the afternoon cocktails and Manta Ray Beach for watching the Manta Rays pirouette through the channel. They also have an in-house marine biology team who carry out their conservation research on the Manta Rays as well as clams, coral and fish species present in the Marine Protected Area surrounding the island.
Nukubati Private Island, Vanua Levu Experience the beautiful simplicity of Pacific Island living at the eco-chic Nukubati Private Island. Perfect for the eco-conscious tourist, Nukubati is carbon negative and 100 per cent self-sufficient. The resort is positioned perfectly for exploring the 200,000 square-kilometre Great Sea Reef, locally known as Cakaulevu. It is the third-longest barrier reef in the world and is home to a diverse array of marine life including the endangered green sea turtle and the acrobatic spinner dolphin.
travel guide 2020
NZ Rabbit Island Huts, Nelson A little bit glamping, a little bit hotel and a little bit traditional Kiwi. Rabbit Island Huts are small spaces of luxury, each with a view, queen bed and lovely linen. Here you can relax in front of the outdoor fire, cook in the shared kitchen, borrow books from the library, and enjoy complimentary Rabbit Island coffee, specialty teas and locally made sourdough toast.
Te Arai Lodge, Mangawhai applebyhouse.co.nz
Clifton Glamping, Hawke’s Bay When you check into Clifton Glamping on Clifton Station near Cape Kidnappers you’ll find a safari tent with a beautiful view of the river below – just you and the wilderness in a very special paradise. You’ll enjoy the luxuries while enjoying the outdoors – king bed, wood-burning stove, outdoor bath and shower, hot water, great view, privacy and, most importantly, marshmallows for toasting over the fire pit. Bicycles are also complimentary to use if you fancy a visit to nearby Elephant Hill winery.
Te Arai Lodge offers boutique eco-friendly luxury with a focus on all-round wellness. The lodge perches just above the native trees full of whistling wildlife and overlooks the rolling hills down to the ocean. By day explore the beautiful coastline loved by surfers – but still safe for swimmers – or enjoy the bush with the lodge’s courtesy mountain bikes. Or just relax at this homely lodge where you can play a friendly game of petanque in the lavender garden, take a dip in the pool or detox with a sauna and massage. At night sit beside the outside fire with a glass of wine and sample the wholesome locally grown organic produce and gourmet artisan delights prepared by the resident chef. Then soak in your private outdoor bath or hot tub under the stars and listen to moreporks softly hoot you off to bed. The rooms are filled with creative style and homely eco-comforts right down to the compostable slippers.
Hinterland Retreat, Gisborne A cosy cabin on the East Coast with expansive views of farmland and ocean, and a wraparound covered deck, Hinterland Retreat is the perfect place to watch the sun rise from the comfort of a luxurious queen bed. It has a laptopfriendly workspace, too and ultrafast Wi-Fi but you’ll want to switch off when you are here. Outside there’s a glamping outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, hot water, a dry toilet and lounge area to soak up those views as well as a country courtyard with an outdoor fire, seating, wild flowers and herbs. A 10-minute drive from Gisborne and five minutes to the beach.
Maruia River Retreat, Lewis Pass There’s something deeply rejuvenating about being near water and forest, and at Maruia River Retreat you can bathe in both. Located on the edge of 500 acres of native beech forest peppered with podocarps it has 11km of easy walking trails and is the perfect place for forest bathing, or soaking in the riverside forest jacuzzi. The seasons shape what’s on the luxury lodge menu, much of which comes from Maruia’s well-established kitchen garden. Meals and yoga classes are included. A two-hour scenic drive from Nelson. Full review online at good.net.nz
travel guide 2020
TOURS Polar Bear Photo Tour, Alaska Gondwana Ecotours is running its third ever seven-day polar bear photography adventure tour from September 26 to October 2, 2020. It includes wildlife viewing with opportunities to photograph snowy owls, Arctic foxes, and polar bears in their natural environment, and also to speak with local tribal elders about how native life is adapting to modern times. Youâ€™ll also get a photography lesson from wildlife photographer, Frank Stelges, and stay in lodges, inns and a Scandinavian-style hotel overlooking the Arctic Ocean. Gondwana also offers an Alaska Northern Lights photo tour.
Jane Goodall image: Instagram @janegoodallinst
Awaken your heart in lush Bali in community with like-minded people and Spirit Festâ€™s Nikki Rhodes and Franko Heke. Tours are inclusive of fresh vegetarian cuisine, beginners yoga, to help melt away any stiffness whilst looking out to lush green rice paddies, and traditional tantra workshops that will bring you back to your centre, enabling soulful connections with yourself and others. This is an opportunity for a full reset of your mind, body and spirit.
Jane Goodall Collection G Adventures has updated its exclusive Dr Jane Goodall-endorsed collection of wildlife-focused tours for 2020 with adventures in Indonesia, Botswana, Belize, the Northwest U.S., mainland Ecuador, the Arctic and Antarctic, and other diverse destinations around the globe. The update adds 12 new tours to the Jane Goodall Collection, which were each selected with the endorsement of the non-profit Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. This includes a trip to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, and the opportunity to board the G Expedition polar ship and get up close to a place that fascinated famed explorer Ernest Shackleton and watch for penguins, whales and seals from the deck or shore zodiac. g
Unique gifts for lifestylers . www.alembics.co.nz
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Your conscious-living travel guide compiled by Carolyn Enting