Today is only the 10th blank page in a yet-to-be-written 365-page book. To some, that’s onerously daunting. To others, it’s wildly exciting! We’re definitely the latter and boy do we have some action-packed ideas to start you dreaming of adventure in 2017.
We may not always know what comes next in each new chapter of life, but that’s what makes it so remarkably uplifting. 2017 is a blank canvas and no dream is too big or too daring. We encourage you to take that bucket list holiday you’ve always dreamed of. Spend quality time with those cultures you’ve always wanted to learn about. Tempt your taste buds with food you’ve never even heard of. Witness your favourite animal in its natural habitat. The world is your oyster and we’re here to help you discover the pearls.
In 2016, we celebrated #25YearsandBeyond … that’s a quarter of a century of operating as a luxury experiential travel company in Africa. Not only that, but 2016 also marked the ten-year anniversary of our operations in Asia and our first year in South America. So with all of that under our belt, we asked our travel experts to share their insider predictions for the most recommended places to visit and best-hidden gems to watch out for in 2017. And so, here is our official hot list of the Top 10 hottest destinations and travel trends for 2017.
1. Take the family to Peru
With multi-generational travel continuing to grow at an astounding rate, we remain focused on providing a wide, fun-filled range of family-friendly offerings. Our seven-day Peru Family Adventure enables families travelling with children to meet the local villagers; interact with unusual creatures such as the llama and alpaca; indulge in a variety of outdoor adventures, from biking, trekking and horse riding, to river rafting and rock climbing; and, of course, explore Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders of the world.
2. Discover the wild side of Chile
Wildlife enthusiasts will love The Wild Side of Chile adventure, which sets out in search of wild pumas in the breathtakingly beautiful Torres del Paine National Park. The eight-day journey ventures deep into the park, offering the opportunity to spot exceptional wildlife, including condors, southern deer, guanacos, foxes, rheas and ñandues, as well as the elusive puma itself. Expert guides include a veterinarian and biologist who take guests far off the beaten track, even including a visit to see the wild horses of Bagulaes.
3. Experience the best of Argentina
Argentina is world renowned for its mouth-watering cuisine, world-class wines, magnificent landscapes and one of the new seven wonders of nature, the dramatic Iguazu Falls. Our Best of Argentina tour offers a one-of-a-kind, 13-day journey through the country’s countless highlights. From the vibrant, cosmopolitan Buenos Aires and the jaw-dropping Iguazu Falls, to the snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear lakes of Bariloche and lush vineyards of Mendoza, there is something for everyone.
4. Explore the Sri Lankan jungle with a tribal chief
We’re always on the lookout for authentic travel experiences that are off the beaten path. As Sri Lanka continues to grow in popularity, a largely undiscovered destination in the country’s south-eastern reaches is Gal Oya National Park. Here, guests can set off on a walk of discovery with the Veddha people, one of Sri Lanka’s last remaining indigenous people. Get a glimpse into their ancient way of life on a jungle walk hosted by the tribal chief, who provides a first-hand explanation of his tribe’s traditions.
Image © Gal Oya Lodge.
5. Track the elusive snow leopard
Wildlife seekers will love our 12-night intrepid exploration through the starkly beautiful Himalayan landscapes of Ladakh. Designed especially for die-hard adventurers, this tailormade journey sets off through northern India in search of rare and elusive wildlife, such as the snow leopard, ibex, Tibetan antelope and blue sheep, to name a few. Travelling through the Himalayan foothills, an authentic Ladhaki homestay provides a fascinating glimpse into the culture of this magical region. Interested? Click here to read more.
6. Float down the river in a private luxury houseboat
While houseboats are common in India’s southern state of Kerala, the private luxury MV Rudra Singha now offers idle trips along the Brahmaputra River in Assam. Ideal for either a couple or a small family, the boat offers private cruises all the way upstream to the foothills of the Himalaya. Built in a traditional local style, trips on the Rudra Singha can be tailored from one-day cruises to four or five-day itineraries.
7. Take to the skies in an &Beyond private jet
2017 will also see the first planned departure dates for our Private Jet Expeditions. These privately guided set-departure journeys offer access to exclusive experiences in Africa’s most iconic destinations. Designed with privacy and authenticity in mind, the expeditions cater for a maximum of 12 guests. Offering an exclusive glimpse behind the scenes on African conservation, politics and history, guests can engage with key individuals who have played an integral role in sculpting the continent’s fascinating history.
8. Admire the views from the brand new &Beyond Phinda Rock Lodge
One of six award-winning safari lodges at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, &Beyond Phinda Rock Lodge will be undergoing an extensive refurbishment this year. The suite’s spacious interiors and bathrooms will be completely remodelled and additional dining areas will be incorporated, providing even more choice for guests. Set to reopen in May, the lodge will offer a range of truly breathtaking features that will echo the tranquillity of its spectacular setting on the side of a cliff overlooking a lush valley.
9. Enjoy a special offer to explore the Masai Mara
Our beloved &Beyond Bateleur Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara will undergo a complete rebuild and glamorous makeover in November 2017. Set to open in June 2018, the new camp will retain the old world safari charm that it is renowned for, while combining it with additional amenities such as a gin bar, spa and well-equipped gym. Click here to read more about the exciting rebuild, as well as an unbeatable offer for those wanting to visit &Beyond Bateleur Camp between 15 November 2016 and 07 January 2018.
10. Relax and unwind at the new &Beyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp
Following the gorgeous rebuild of &Beyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp’s luxury tented suites, the iconic camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta will now embark on a refurbishment of its guests. Guests can look forward to an inviting new welcome area that will feature a well-stocked Safari Shop. The camp’s pool area will be completely refreshed and will boast shady areas for idle poolside afternoons, as well as dedicated massage sala. An interactive food and coffee bar will bring &Beyond’s delicious trademark cuisine to the fore, while a new boma will provide a romantic outdoor dining setting.