BUCKET LIST – Once in a lifetime holidays
Once in a lifetime – Unforgettable journeys
Have you ever thought that you wanted to do something really amazing and rewarding for your next holiday. A trip of a lifetime rather than a week by the pool? You might think that getting to Everest base camp or climbing the highest mountain in Africa is just for expert adventurers with eye watering budgets. You would be wrong. Normal everyday people can now do some truly amazing things and you won’t need to remortgage the house….
TREK TO EVEREST BASE CAMP
This is probably the World’s most iconic trek and certainly it’s most popular. Trek for two weeks through stunning Himalayan scenery. Lush forests and traditional mountain villages slowly give way to the snow covered peaks and craggy paths to base camp. Waking up above the clouds to views of the World’s highest mountain is truly a Bucket list moment.
This trek is not for the novice as there are a lot of hard and steep trekking and very high altitudes. If you are planning on taking on this trek make sure you put in a lot of miles before you go to ensure you are in peak condition.
Unbelievably you can book a 15 day Base Camp tour from just £662 per person (excluding flights). This will be fairly basic accommodation with a lot of camping. If you prefer a little but of luxury there are various grades to choose from with differing costs.
You want to avoid the monsoon season and the coldest months, so we think the best time to trek would be April and May or October. Although April and May are the climbing months so can get busy with climbers heading to the summit.
Instantly recognisable, Kilimanjaro rises majestically out of the African plains. Africa’s highest mountain and the World’s tallest freestanding mountain offers a challenging but rewarding experience where ‘normal people’ with no climbing experience can summit the highest mountain on a continent. You can actually see the curvature of the Earth from the top.
This is another fairly demanding trek, so you will need to have at least a moderate degree of fitness so some practice hikes are recommended before you go. There are different routes to the top and most will involve camping although there are some small wooden mountain huts on some routes.
Nine day tour prices with your trek to the summit start from £1514 per person excluding flights. This is for the more basic options and like Everest there are higher grades if your budget allows.
June to October is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, although if you prefer to avoid the school holiday periods then January to March are also good albeit a bit colder.
FOLLOW THE INCA TRAIL
This is the iconic route through the Andes to the mystical Mayan city of Machu Picchu. Starting out in the historical town of Cusco you will trek for four days along an ancient route used by generations of indigenous Mayan Indians. You will trek though stunning mountain scenery, ancient ruins and through cloud forests before you catch your first glimpse in the early morning light of one of the Worlds most amazing human achievements.
This is another challenging trek although not as hard as Kilimanjaro and certainly not as hard as Everest base camp. It is good to have a decent level of fitness and to spend at least a couple of days in Cusco before your trek to acclimatise to the altitude.
In recent years the government has reduced the amounts of permits it issues, so it is always best to book up early, particularly in peak dates, where permits can sell out eight months in advance.
A seven day tour which includes your four day Inca Trail trek and Machu Picchu entrance will cost from about £729 per person without flights.
Try to avoid December to April as this is the rainy season which will spoil your time. The trail is actually closed in February. If you can you should go May, June or July to get the best weather, although August to November would also be good although temperatures will be cooler.
TRACK MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN RWANDA
Imagine sitting quietly in lush jungles just a few metres away from a 400lb silverback gorilla. This is a truly breathtaking sight that not many people will ever experience.
You will have to first track down these elusive creatures which is half the fun. Your expert guide will lead you through lush mist covered mountains to track down these endangered and rare animals. There are only about 800 mountain gorillas left in the wild so this really is one of the most rewarding wildlife encounters around.
Rwanda has recently increased the permit costs to see the gorillas and although now much more expensive than neighbouring Uganda I still think Rwanda offers the best place to see them. There are many more habituated groups in Rwanda and the areas where they live are much easier to trek to. Plus Rwanda has invested a lot recently in some really amazing lodges to stay in and offers much more luxury.
Prices vary significantly depending on how long you want to go for and what level of luxury you want but prices for a tour including the permits and trek start at around £1500 per person for a three day tour without flights.
If you love your adventure and have always wanted to experience one of the treks listed, just give me a call or email and I will happily check out the best options for you.
If you love adventure but in a more sedate and relaxing way then we could have a chat about some less strenuous trips to see some amazing places or experiences. There are hundreds of escorted tours available to fantastic locations all over the World. For example you could travel by luxury train from Cusco up to Machu Picchu if you don’t want to walk there. Or take to the skies in a hot air balloon over Kilimanjaro rather than hike up the mountain.