22 August 2018
Outdoors activities are some of the best ways to fully experience a country’s landscapes and sometimes to get up close to its incredible wildlife. Many adventures take you to places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see.
The following are our recommendations for unforgettable activities in some of the most scenic places on earth.
On the shores of Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown is a great place for a relaxing canoe or kayak trip down a pristine river, across the sparkling lake itself or on a remote fjord. If you fancy more of a thrill, parasail high above the lake or try whitewater rafting, river surfing, heli-rafting, family rafting or river-boarding – there are rapids for all levels.
“There is so much to do in Queenstown for the more adventurous – choose from bungee-jumping, whitewater rafting, mountain-biking, jet-boating and sky-diving.”
Mary, Travel Counsellor
Climb a series of vertiginous staircases to reach Sigiriya, Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Take in the surrounding landscape as you pass lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens, cave shrines and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock, before reaching the flat-topped summit to discover the ruins of an ancient civilisation.
Discover some of Sri Lanka’s loveliest nature trails in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Knuckles Mountain Range, which is home to around 40 rural villages, seven mesmerizing waterfalls, hectares of dense vegetation, lush paddy fields, cultivated land and wildlife such as spotted deer, giant squirrels and purple-faced leaf monkey. Mini World’s End in the South of the Knuckles range has fabulous views of the entire mountain range.
Another popular UNESCO World Heritage site is Adams Peak, a famous place of pilgrimage popular with Sri Lankans and holidaymakers alike. Most people start their climb in the middle of the night in time to reach the peak for a breathtaking sunrise.
With its gorgeous coral reefs, Mauritius one of the world’s top spots for donning your mask and flapping your fins. In the south-east of the island, Blue Bay Marine Park has excellent visibility. You can snorkel straight from the sand into a depth of 5–6m, making it an ideal place for beginners. Look out for angel fish, damselfish, parrotfish, wrasse, clownfish and other colourful creatures, plus various types of habitat such as mangroves, algae gardens, sea grasses and corals.
Alternatively, on the north-west coast sits Pointe aux Piments housing a just-offshore protected coral reef renowned as one of the best places in the area to spot sea turtles.
For the best views and a safari with a difference, take a horse-riding safari – you don’t have to be an experienced rider, but if you are you might even gallop alongside giraffes. Botswana is best known for its awe-inspiring Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta. Admire the savannahs, dunes, ephemeral lakes and salt pans as you look out for the Big Five and traces of the ancient nomads’ habitations on poignant stone etchings.
South-central and South-east Alaska’s snow-capped mountains and dense forests in layered shades of green can be best enjoyed from a zipline taking you over rivers and lakes turned a rich turquoise by water by melting glaciers. You can also try kayaking or whitewater rafting on some of Alaska’s 12,000 rivers and 3 million lakes, which together account for more than 40% of the nation’s surface-water resources. You can even customize your raft or kayak trip by adding a day of fishing, hiking or cycling.
To find out more or book your holiday in one of these compelling destinations, contact your Travel Counsellor.