With a mere 18 days left until Christmas, the festive season is now very much upon us, whether we like it or not. And if, like me, you are ever the procrastinator and now find yourself in a state of mild panic about your Christmas shopping, then look no further. We have the perfect, out-of-the-ordinary gift ideas for all of the adventure addicts, travel junkies, animal lovers, family travellers and wanderlust wanderers on your list.
The gift of travel is an obvious one. Most of us love to explore new worlds and tick off those enviable bucket list moments. Yet travel gives us so much more than just that. A gift of love, a gift of time, a gift of experience and a gift of learning, travel is life’s pause button, giving us much-needed quality time with the people we cherish most. Memories are the best gift of all, so this year, why not give a gift that counts? Give the gift of a truly unforgettable and authentic experience that your loved ones will talk about for years to come.
1. Gift of survival
A meaningful gift for the wildlife lovers on your list, give the gift of survival and hope to an endangered species on the brink of extinction. A rare and exciting opportunity, sign your animal enthusiast up for a rhino notching experience at &Beyond Ngala or Phinda Private Game Reserves, where they will be able to witness the darting of a rhino and assist the veterinary team in notching the animal’s ear for research and monitoring purposes, before releasing it back into the wild.
Image © Charlie Dailey.
2. Gift of learning
Encourage the photography fundis in your life to dust off their cameras and sharpen their skills on an insightful and truly unforgettable photographic safari in East Africa.
3. Gift of privacy
From gifts and food, to our own time and our homes, the festive season is all about giving to others. Why not focus on yourselves this year? Take an unapologetically romantic escape to &Beyond Mnemba Island, an exclusive private island, where your only decisions are whether to sleep, eat, swim or bask in the sunshine.
4. Gift of exclusivity
Unashamedly decadent and purposefully over-the-top, our &Beyond Private Jet Small Group Journeys are the ultimate bucket list item and the perfect once-in-a-lifetime gift for that person who has everything. You’ll make them the envy of all their friends as they take to the skies in a luxury private jet to explore the very best Africa has to offer.
5. Gift of wellness
We could all use a timeout. A fantastic gift for someone in need of a technology detox, give the soothing gift of wellness and spirituality with a tranquil getaway to a world-class spa and yoga retreat situated high in the Himalayas.
6. Gift of love
An Indian icon, the much-photographed and instantly recognisable Taj Mahal is widely regarded as the world’s most famous monument to love. The romantic story behind this architectural masterpiece is almost as beautiful as the palace itself and a visit to this achingly romantic setting inspires lovers to fall in love all over again.
7. Gift of exploration
Let’s face it, we could all use some more adventure in our lives; some of us are just more daring and adventurous than others. Bring out the explorer in your loved one by sending them on a bucket list snow leopard expedition in search of Asia’s notoriously elusive and breathtakingly beautiful mountain ghost.
8. Gift of mystery and adventure
Those ever-curious unsolved mystery lovers on your list will thrill at the opportunity to explore Easter Island, one of the most remote communities on the planet. Its 800+ eerie moai (giant monolithic human figures carved by the Rapa Nui more than 800 years ago) continue to capture the eyes, lenses and curiosity of photographers from around the world. Take a step back in Polynesian time and stroll amongst this spooky graveyard of moai. Abandoned in various stages of construction, it feels as though the sculptors just up and left their work abruptly and without a trace.
9. Gift of dance
Does your partner love to dance? Then dust off your dancing shoes, take to the dance floor and get your flirt on as you learn the sensual and steamy steps of the Argentinian tango. Milongas (dance halls or dance events) are ever popular and they’ll soon get your heart racing.
10. Gift of taste
There’s no need to overcomplicate things. If the way to your partner’s heart is through their stomach, then we recommend our interactive and insightful Peruvian culinary tour. Guided by an expert local chef, you’ll explore vibrant food markets and sample the signature flavours of Lima, South America’s food capital.