This article appeared as part of the cover package – "Pick Your Bliss" – in the August 2015 issue of Virtuoso Traveler. Five relaxation-driven vacations are profiled. This section is about getting back to nature.
Sometimes the need to unwind and slow down is best remedied by going a little wild. Case in point: Virtuoso travel advisor Louisa Gehring, who enjoyed one of her most memorable travel experiences while on safari. “I was researching camps in South Africa for my clients and was at the tail end of a long game drive where we had seen absolutely nothing,” she recalls. “We stopped by a watering hole for evening sundowners when, suddenly, a herd of 15 elephants arrived to enjoy their own libations. For the next half hour, we shared our respective drinks in peace.
“It was one of those moments,” she says, “when you realize that nature is not staged – and if you’re patient, you may just have a transformative experience when you least expect it.”
Here now: multiple options to find your own transformative experience.
Get Inspired: View Sir David Attenborough’s Africa
, a six-part series in which the veteran broadcaster journeys across the African continent.
Pick Your Path:
Gehring recommends Singita Game Reserves:
“The classic way to get back to nature.” Singita’s Ebony and Boulders Lodges’ 24 suites are set within a private South African game reserve renowned for its leopard spotting. Doubles from $2,850; Virtuoso amenities include a special gift valued at $100.
Australian Blue Mountains Adventure
Read F.W. and J.M. Nicholas’ Charles Darwin in Australia
, an account of the Beagle’s expedition that draws from Darwin’s field notes, letters, and diary.
Pick Your Path:
For Virtuoso advisor Cassandra Bookholder, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
“completely embraces nature, with two national parks surrounding you and wallabies dotting the hills.” A 7,000-acre wildlife reserve within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area provides the backdrop for this 40-suite, carbon-neutral resort. Doubles from $1,600 (including meals, select local wines, two nature activities daily, and tax); Virtuoso amenities include a $100 resort credit.
Cruise The Islands Of Hawaii
Dream of snorkeling with green sea turtles while watching Elvis’ classic Blue Hawaii.
Pick Your Path: Un-Cruise Adventures is “a client favorite,”
says Virtuoso advisor Jeri Donovan. “If wildlife, nature, and adventure float your boat, it’s an excellent cruise line to experience.” Watch for whales in the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary while island-hopping in Hawaii aboard the 36-passenger Safari Explorer. Cruise eight days between Molokai and the Big Island. Departures: Multiple dates November 7 to December 26, 2015; from $3,595.
If you'd be interested in working with a Virtuoso advisor on your next trip(s) – back to nature or not – click below to connect.