Cape Town, South Africa tops the New York Times’ list – but don’t travel all the way to South Africa without getting a closer look at its incredible wildlife population. If you want to soak in some of the sites of the city, we recommend booking a 4-day Cape Town extension.
Christchurch is the highlight for the New York Times #2 spot – our itinerary takes you there and beyond. Experience spectacular rugged coastlines, fjords and remarkable wildlife sightings which can include whales, yellow-eyed penguins and rare Hector’s dolphins found only in New Zealand.
The list hits a sweet spot with Namibia. WWF and Nat Hab offer two wildlife-packed itineraries that take you to witness one of the greatest conservation stories every told. WWF has been working hard to develop and foster an ecotourism movement within Namibia’s communal conservancies providing communities with much-need revenue and promoting the growth and restoration of various species.
The Galápagos Islands is an invaluable living laboratory for scientists and one of the best natural classrooms in the world. Our six itineraries provide the most eco-friendly way to see these primordial species– aboard small, private yachts. The small group size provides an intimate encounter with wildlife, leaving a smaller footprint but bigger memories. In addition our guides have been trained by WWF scientists about our conservation work providing travelers with the best travel education on the island.
When you think of Scotland you might think of its rich culture, history and whiskey – all are beautiful (and tasty) but Nat Hab and WWF want to take you to Scotland’s remote wilderness. Here you can explore the world’s largest cliffside colonies of sea birds as well as bottlenose dolphins, seals and minke whales.
Explore the side of “Kenya less traveled” on a custom safari. Travel remote sectors of the bush on day and night drives and guided walks in exclusive private reserves such as those found in Laikipia Plateau. We visit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Lewa Safari Camp which have played a key role in the resurgence of black and white rhinoceros which had close to extinction.
#35 Mekong River
Our award-winning trip traverses from Vietnam to Laos, visiting Buddhist temples, local villages and other historical treasures along the way. The highlight of course are the four days spent paddling the Mekong River with a chance of seeing the rare, endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.
2014 is forecast to be a peak season for viewing the aurora borealis in years. Thanks to the solar cycle and its “solar flip” – its polar magnetic fields are about to do a complete field reversal, which only happens about once every 11 years. A special photography-focused trip to see the Northern Lights provides special workshops to hone your skills and capture surreal photos.
Nepal makes it in at #45 but why not also go to Bhutan while you have the chance? Roam through peaceful villages, splendid monasteries to impressive vistas of sweeping valleys and peaks in Nepal. The Eastern Himalayas face many challenges but WWF has been working for the past twenty years in this region – our deep knowledge provides our guides with great educational resources for you, our lucky traveler.
#47 Siem Reap, Cambodia
When you paddle through the Mekong River with us, we make sure to include a sunrise visit to Angkor Wat. With ancient temples dating back to the 9th-15th centuries, you’ll stand agape at such archeological marvels.
This tiny country boasts the world’s second largest barrier reef – and we take you there. And who else takes you to a small, private conservation area where you have the chance to spot wild jaguars?
#53 Reader’s Choice
Do any of these destinations top your list? The New York Times asked their reader to submit the destination that tops their 2014 travel list.
Tell us – where do you dream of traveling this year?
Is there a destination you’ve visited that you would highly recommend to other travelers? Submit your destination by commenting below.