Travel Bucket List

Savute Elephant Camp, Chobe National Park, Botswana

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image source: Savute Elephant Camp

Part of the Orient Express chain, guests have the opportunity to stay in luxury tents with large private decks, from which one can watch over herds of elephants that roam the Chobe plains. Other activities are also offered – such as game drives, star gazing, and tours of the baobab groves! Click here for more information.

The Aurora Borealis

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image source: from The Telegraph, photo by Antti Pietikäinen

The best displays of the aurora borealis can be seen in the northern parts of the Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, and all of Greenland and Svalbard) between late September/early October and late March.

For adventurous travellers, Original Travel offer a Northern Lights and dog-sledding itinerary that includes a stay in Wilderness Cabins! However, if that proves too much then Hotel ION (ioniceland.is) in Iceland includes a Northern Lights Bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and on hand astronomers to explain the science behind the view.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/activityandadventure/10563237/Where-to-go-to-see-the-Northern-Lights.html

Son Doong Cave, Vietnam

Explore the world’s largest cave – so large in fact, that a 40-storey skyscraper can supposedly fit inside! Located in the Quang Binh province of Vietnam, the cave itself was only discovered in 1991 by a local man and was later explored for the first time in 2009. Visitors must expect to rappel 80 metres in order to reach the bottom, but once inside they can enjoy a mini jungle nicknamed the ‘Garden of Edam’, a giant stalagmite called ‘The Hand of Dog’, a huge river with a still unknown source, and naturally sculpted beauties that have formed over hundreds of years.

Oxalis Adventure Tours offer a 6-day “mini-expedition” through the cave, complete with safety experts and guides, and provide all camping gear, carried by a team of porters who also assist with your own gear.

Israel

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image source: en.wikipedia.org

On the long list of places I would love to visit in Israel, I particularly want to go to Jerusalem, a historic city of great importance to the three main monotheistic religions. It would be such a unique experience to trek through the Old City, retracing the paths that pilgrims centuries before tirelessly walked, to visit the bustling markets in the Muslim Quarter, and to walk around the legendary and beautiful Dome of the Rock.

Abercrombie & Kent offer guided tours to Israel’s main attractions and sites, including Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazarus. While Black Tomato also offer tailor made tours, including a city break package to Tel Aviv and one to Jerusalem that includes a cookery course with an Israeli chef.

Petra, Jordan

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image source: Jean-Jacques Gelbart

Petra is now a feature on UNESCO’s world heritage list and is one of Jordan’s main tourist attractions.  The historical city is carved into the red and pink rock face of the surrounding mountains and was built more than 2000 years ago by the Nabataeans. To enter you must walk through a narrow gorge, flanked on either side by 80 metre high cliffs, and once inside you can work your way to the Ad-Deir Monastery (pictured above – be warned, you have to conquer a flight of 800 rock-cut steps to get there), which overlooks the site of Petra. Within the Petra complex you will also find some 500 or so tombs that still survive, a Roman-style theatre, temples, sacrificial altars, and colonnaded streets, among other things, so you won’t be short of things to see.

(The Treasury building in Petra also made an appearance in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with Harrison Ford…reason enough to go I think!)

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