In 2024, luxury safari and holiday specialist, Explorations Company, highlights its “Bespoke Bucket List” with a curated collection of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and life-changing destinations to discover in the New Year.
Whatever your passions, the brand’s team of experts is on hand to turn dreams into reality and create exhilarating adventures and magical memories for all.
From the remote wilderness of the “Eden of the Sahara” in Chad to sailing the high seas and tribal immersion in Indonesia, here are a few of the top experiences to help enter the New Year with a bang!
Track Snow Leopards & Brown Bears in Ladakh, India
When to go: April to November (bears) / April or Early November (both bears and leopards)
The ultimate adventure for wildlife enthusiasts, embark on a once-in-a-lifetime visit to Ladakh, India for the rare opportunity to spot the elusive snow leopard and Himalayan brown bear together in their natural habitat. Accompanied by the region’s finest naturalists, spotters and trackers, potential sightings include the Ibex, Blue Sheep, Urial and Golden Eagles, all whilst supporting one of the most successful sustainable wildlife tourism initiatives in India. Visit the Snow Leopard Conservancy Trust and learn about how the work has transformed the region and vastly reduced human-animal conflict.
As each day draws to a close, toast the day’s sightings, sit back and enjoy traditional Ladakh hospitality at comfortable lodge accommodation. For those keen to capture the magic on film, elevate your experience with your own professional wildlife photographer to boot, meaning you can sit back and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
From GBP 14,500 per person based on a 17-day trip including domestic flights in economy, full board in Ladakh and shared excursions. Excludes international flights.
Tides & Tribes: Sumatra & The Mentawi Islands, Indonesia
When to go: June to September
A unique insight into the magic of the Mentawis coupled with the opportunity to hone your surfing skills with an Australian surfing legend in Sumatra, this trip is pure joy. Enjoy the rare privilege of spending time with one of the oldest tribes in Indonesia, discovering pristine beaches and virgin forest, with world-class waves.
Perfect for those seeking an authentic and immersive stay, you’ll spend time with a local Mentawi tribe, staying in a wooden village home, “Uma” as part of your trip. Hike in the Sumatran jungle, witness the locals crafting traditional loincloths, fishing, tattooing, and hunting in the jungle using bows with poisonous arrows, cooking, folk dance and music. Offshore, perfect your surf technique in one of the best and most exclusive surfing locations in the archipelago.
From GBP 11,500 per person based on a minimum of two people. This 14 day programme starts in Jakarta and ends in Padang with 2 nights in Jakarta, 5 nights with a Mentawi Tribe and 4 nights at Awera Resort. Price excludes international and domestic flights.
Discover an Untouched Wilderness in Gabon
When to go: November to March
Tucked away under the horn of Africa along the Atlantic Coast, Gabon is recognised as “Africa’s Last Eden”. With good reason: it is one of Earth’s few remaining regions of untouched wilderness. Hike through dense forest, enjoy wondrous wildlife encounters, or embark on marine safaris across lagoons. A wealth of remarkable adventures await. Trek through Loango National Park and come face to face with the only habituated troop of gorillas in Gabon, the western lowland gorilla, spending time with mandrill monkey scientists and staying in a beautiful tented camp.
Few places compete when it comes to biodiversity and pristine ecosystems for nature lovers and intrepid travellers. Famous for its beachcomber forest elephants that roam its wild coastline, Loango is brimming with magic: mangrove forests, mirrored waterways, speckled tidal lagoons and a vast track of savannah ensure thrilling sightings at every turn. The ultimate frontier style adventure, crouch side by side with gorillas, watch elephants roaming beaches and even hippos (that surf the sea at certain times of year) all in an afternoon. Looking to push the envelope? This is your ticket.
From USD 12,000 per person based on a family or group of six friends for a two week trip.
An Expedition into the Heart of Chad’s Sahara Desert
When to go: October to March
For the ultimate bragging rights, never-done-before trip in 2024, embark on the expedition of a lifetime into the heart of Chad’s Ennedi Desert, usually only accessible to nomads and their camel trains. Explorations Company has curated a small group expedition to this remote UNESCO World Heritage Site, taking you into the wilderness where few people have gone before. Accompanied by expert guides, this unique expedition leads guests into the “Eden of the Sahara”, with a privately guided safari at Warda Camp and a camel trek across the Sahara Desert.
This is a private, standalone expedition style journey for the ultimate intrepid traveller, even with an option to take a helicopter trip to Ennedi visiting Tibesti and Zakouma. Tempted? Perhaps the most spectacular vista of all is swooping over Ennedi, with its unique geological formations sculpted by the winds of time. Think honeycomb-coloured landscape filled with canyons and valleys where you’ll find other-wordly sand towers, arches and spires rising into the vivid blue sky. This is one of the most exciting off-the-grid adventures you can have in Africa today.
From USD 23,000 per person based on a group of six. Price is based on a 2-week trip excluding helicopter supplement and international flights
Explore Rajasthan on Horseback
When to go: November to March
An adventure for the equine lovers, journey off the beaten track into the heart of Rajasthan with a five-day horse-riding trip near Chittorgarh, a region known for its challenging and adventurous riding terrain. Commence with a warm welcome at Castle Bijaipur where you’ll spend the afternoon getting to know the horses before enjoying a sundowner on horseback and bespoke dinner at the Castle.
Over the course of a few days, ride through riverine forests, navigate river crossings, traverse the Wild Boar Valley and Motipura Lake, and sight ancient trading posts along the way. When not in the saddle, indulge in high tea, lakeside sundowners and sumptuous massages, or hike up Pangarah Fort, if you so desire. Lap up the luxury at the end of your horseback adventure with the option to extend and stay at The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur, an exquisite palace on the shores of Lake Pichola with lush gardens and a luxurious spa.
From GBP 5,000 per person based on a five-day horse-riding trip, including accommodation and meals. Minimum group size of four required. International and domestic flights costs not included.
Patagonian Air Safari
When to go: November to April
There is flying, and then there is flying over the volcanoes, ice caps, fjords and virgin forests of Chilean Patagonia in a Cessna piloted by the irrepressible Rodrigo Noriega. With over 10,000 flying hours, gained mostly in the extreme Patagonian wilderness as the personal pilot for renowned conservationists Doug and Kris Tompkins, no-one comes close to matching Rodrigo’s skills and knowledge in the beautiful but unforgiving environment he calls his backyard. Experience Patagonia in the raw, swooping down onto seemingly inaccessible mountain lakes, soaring over snow-shrouded craters and cruising past vertiginous waterfalls. With a week or more to spare, you can hop all the way down the Ruta de los Parques from Puerto Montt to Torres del Paine or even Cape Horn.
Learn about Deep Ecology as you meet key stakeholders of Tompkins Conservation, and sail among remote forested archipelagos with a consort of dolphins. Climb up to high mountain ridges in search of critically endangered huemul deer, or pack a rod and line and cast for trout in unfished lakes. Whatever you decide to do, this experience has the capacity to change the way you feel about the world. Time on the ground is spent at some of the remotest private wilderness camps and lodges in Chile, where you’ll receive comfortable, eco-friendly accommodation, exceptional food and wine, superb hospitality and expert guiding.
From GBP 3,500 per person/per day
Mysterious Skeleton Coast Flying Safari, Namibia
When to go: Year-round
Take to the skies for your next safari, and soar over the mysterious Skeleton Coast on a flying safari in Namibia. Stretching from the south of Namibia up into Angola, the Skeleton Coast and its hinterland is a landscape of haunting beauty. It’s a vast area of rolling sand dunes, expanses of uninhabited desert plains, fossil beds, unique geological formations, desert-adapted animals and strange vegetation.
During the course of a Skeleton Coast safari, experience a fascinating bird’s-eye view of numerous shipwreck remains along the coast, diverse and ever-changing geological formations and the refuges of desert-dwelling animals such as the endangered black rhino and desert-adapted elephant. Accommodation on the safari consists of three fully equipped, comfortable yet down to earth, tented desert camps that blend into the natural environment.
From USD 45,000 per person based on a 4 night stay
For more information on all experiences, please visit: explorationscompany.com