With the change of seasons from summer to autumn, travellers start to plan their winter vacations. This year, where do you picture yourself? Will warm sand and brilliant sunsets be enough? The NEI traveler imagines upscale ecotourism adventures in places like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, IndoChina, Patagonia and India, where you’ll enjoy unique cultures, active “soft” adventures (hiking, kayaking, rafting, elephant back treks, bicycling), incredible wildlife and meaningful educational lectures. Here, learn more about NEI’s seven top upscale ecotourism destinations for Winter 2013.
How do you want experience South Africa and Victoria Falls – on foot during easy scenic hiking tours, atop a majestic elephant or during a leisurely bicycle ride through the Winelands? NEI offers two tours that will show you the South Africa that you dreamed of. Both the 10-day Cape to Kruger Tour and 13-day New South Africa Tour include spectacular game drives and easy bushwalks at Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Sabi Sand, Africa’s largest private game reserve offers the highest game density of any private reserve in southern Africa. Over 76% of our travelers have seen Africa’s Big Five! Marvel as your game drives take you near elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, rhino, giraffe, and a host of other animals and birds.
Vietnam is very much a country on the move as the government has loosened its grip on the economy and permitted the Vietnamese people to unleash their abundant talents and creative energy. Along with emerging skylines and modern amenities, you’ll observe many signs of traditional life: farmers sowing rice seeds or tending their fruit orchards, children riding water buffaloes, fisherman casting their nets and boys shepherding ducks across roads. After 16 days in Vietnam and Cambodia with NEI don’t be surprised if you return home with a suitcase full of gorgeous art and artifacts!
When you think of India do you imagine cultures and adventures so distinct as to be truly astounding? Tracking a Royal Bengal Tiger, quietly observing as a Buddhist monk sits in the lotus position outside a mountaintop temple, or embarking on an exotic camel trek to the picturesque dunes and villages of the Thar Desert, NEI’s four unique ecotourism adventures are unforgettable. Ranging from 15 to 22 days in length, Best of South India, Best of North and South India, India and Nepal and Best of North India offer a variety of soft adventure excursions, meaningful cultural experiences, a choice of lecture topics not to mention first class accommodations.
Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia is famous well beyond Chile for its spectacular pink granite mountains, massive glaciers, interesting fauna, lovely lakes and rivers replete with waterfalls and cascades. In NEI’s 14-day Patagonian Wilderness Tour you’ll enjoy easy hiking, boating and/or horseback riding excursions through Paine while retiring each night to an upscale lodge. If you are interested, you also have the opportunity to volunteer for a community service project in Santiago.
The most enchanting experiences in Australia usually involve unconventional activities in sublime settings. NEI’s 15-day Balloons and Bandicoots Australian ecotourism vacation includes all of the must-see destinations, plus a wide variety of cultural, wildlife and soft adventure experiences – most of which take place in more remote locations. And as always, NEI happy to customize the itinerary to meet your particular preferences!
New Zealand is a land of startling contrasts and unparalleled natural beauty. Writer James Michener once wrote that “New Zealand is probably the most beautiful country on earth.” Majestic fjords, alpine peaks and massive glaciers contrast with lush green farmland and thermal geysers. And, because it was isolated from other land masses for millions of years, New Zealand is home to many unique species of plants, birds, and mammals. In your 15 day tour of New Zealand with NEI, your ecotourism experiences include funyaking through the remote wilderness of Mount Aspiring National Park and observing stunningly scenic locations featured in the movie Lord of the Rings.
Long isolated from the outside world, Myanmar has preserved its rich cultural and religious traditions to a greater extent than many of its neighbors. Most visitors are enchanted by Myanmar’s exotic temples, pagodas and monasteries, but they are likewise enthralled by the Burmese people, who are quick to smile and largely uninfluenced by western ways. On your 13-day soft adventure and cultural tour with NEI, you’ll stop briefly in Bangkok before heading to Yangon, home to the incomparable Shwedagon pagoda. Other highlights of your trip include hot air ballooning over the ancient kingdom of Bagan at sunset and cruising by the villages on stilts and floating markets of Inle Lake.