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Where to go in 2021 and 2022

The Greatest Adventure is What Lies Ahead

In a year like no other, 2020 had many of us unexpectedly press pause on our bucket lists. While it hasn’t been without its frustrations, it has given us a chance to step back and reflect on our lives and values. It has also given us an opportunity to dream of the future and plan ahead.

Like many of you, we are asking ourselves, ‘What’s next?’ Pent-up wanderlust has us thinking about the destinations where we would most like to return.
 
We have carefully monitored the current state of travel, while considering its future state — one, even two years out. Like us, you are probably asking similar questions. What makes a place truly special? Where can I go to recharge? How can I use my travel for good?

We think that we’ve found some answers for you. And alongside our destination guide, we’ve added a few documentaries to your watch list for each country to inspire your future travel.
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Namibia
With its low population density, Namibia has always been a private travel destination. Over the course of the pandemic, this feature has made it all the more alluring. And its desert climate is unfavourable for viruses. Not convinced? It gets better — Namibia has recently been added to the UK Travel Corridor, so you won’t have to quarantine on return home. This is a place where you can get off the grid, leaving all the concerns of 2020 behind.
Namibia
Why else should you choose Namibia? Well, if you’ve completed the East African safari circuit or are looking for somewhere otherworldly, Namibia offers an Africa you probably wouldn’t expect. The ever-changing desert landscapes boggle the mind in their scale and upon closer inspection, are home to a huge variety of desert-adapted flora and fauna. There are all manner of rare and quirky wildlife wonders, including shaggy, scavenging brown hyena, secret nightly rhino meetups and congregations of mismatched species. You certainly won’t want to turn in early here either, as the starscapes are equally unmissable.
Namibia Documentary Watch List:

  • Africa: Episode 1, Kalahari — BBC iPlayer

  • Big Cats: Episode 1 — BBC iPlayer

  • Planet Earth II: Episode 4, Deserts — BBC iPlayer

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 7, Africa — BBC iPlayer

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Kenya’s Private Reserves
All the signs are showing that Kenya will be the most sought after African travel destination in 2021. Paving the way in Africa’s Covid response, it was one of the first countries to welcome back international visitors in August. Our partners have had ample time to set up and test their safety protocols, making your stay covid-secure and stress free. More appealing now than ever are the country’s vast, private reserves. All that to say, there’s been a surge in Kenyan travel demand, so now is definitely the time to start planning to ensure your space!
Kenya’s Private Reserves
We invite you to step back in time with a curated itinerary combining a selection of the best family-run exclusive use camps and private safari houses. This is an excellent way to bring the whole family together on a Golden Age odyssey of the country’s most pristine safari areas. All eyes are on brand new Angama Safari Camp, tucked away in a wildlife-rich corner of the secluded Mara Triangle. Further north, Laikipia is home to a number of sole-use lodges, such as Lengishu and Arijiju, both of which feature superb design and outstanding safari guides. Let us entice you with a last minute Christmas surprise getaway — we have some excellent value offers at both Angama and Lengishu — get in touch right away for savings up to $740 per person, per night!
Kenya Documentary Watch List:

  • Elsa the Lioness — BBC iPlayer

  • Dynasties: Episode 3 — BBC iPlayer

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 7, Africa — BBC iPlayer

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Lapland, Sweden
Whether you’re looking to go away for a long weekend or more, Swedish Lapland is perfect with a range of activities and unique accommodation. It’s also brilliant no matter what season you go. With no quarantine on return to the UK, it could be the New Year’s solution to the repressed wanderlust that is no doubt ready to burst! We can also make your trip ultra-exclusive and covid-secure, with home pickups and private transfers throughout (as in fact, we can for any of our destinations).
Lapland, Sweden
If you’re looking to reset in 2021, look no further than Arctic Bath. Tucked away in the Boreal Forest, this unique riverside spa retreat of course offers traditional Swedish massage treatments, alongside luxurious floating villas and exquisite gastronomy. We could then take you to Riksgransen for a week of heli-skiing, some 200km above the Arctic Circle. We can get you there by private vehicle, or perhaps aboard the Arctic Train for a more languid and magical journey.
Sweden Documentary Watch List:

  • All Aboard! The Great Reindeer Migration — BBC iPlayer

  • Planet Earth II: Episode 2, Mountains — BBC iPlayer

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 5, Europe — BBC iPlayer

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Okavango Delta, Botswana
If you’ve had Africa’s most exclusive safari destination on your radar for a while, let now be the time to start planning. Botswana has long been one of our favourite places in Africa for private safaris. The Okavango Delta — an area larger than Wales — has just 1,000 beds, all spread across a handful of intimate properties. As bottled-up travel demand builds, so too will the desire for an escape to this great wilderness expanse.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Keeping in time with the country’s border reopening is brand new Xigera Safari Lodge, on the western edge of the wildlife-rich Moremi Game Reserve. In a unique partnership by top safari veterans Great Plains and the prestigious Red Carnation Hotel Group, Xigera promises cutting edge renewable energy tech, sustainable conservation, and the finest hospitality. Not to mention the surroundings; palm-dappled floodplains, teeming with giraffe, hippo, elephant and cats right on your doorstep.
Botswana Documentary Watch List:

  • Into the Okavango — Disney+

  • The Flood — Disney+

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica is leading the charge on the sustainable travel revolution. They’re on track to becoming the first fully carbon neutral country, with a progressive focus on conservation. Many of the lodges are committed to maintaining a high eco-friendly standard, bringing you close to nature without sacrificing comfort or luxury. In setting precedents, it was also the first Latin American country to reopen its borders this year.
Costa Rica
There’s no doubt that the country is beautiful. It’s flanked east and west by beautiful beaches and in the middle, a medley of rain and cloud forests, volcanoes and mangrove wetlands. Among these diverse habitats you’ll find colourfully diverse wildlife unlike anywhere else. Elusive jaguar and ocelot, lounging sloth, buzzing hummingbirds and hatching sea turtles are all waiting to be found.
Costa Rica Documentary Watch List:

  • Life: Episode 5, Birds — BBC iPlayer

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Nosy Ankao, Madagascar
While for the time being Madagascar’s main island remains closed, the small island of Nosy Be off the north coast is ready to welcome you. A white-sand wonder, this is a tropical paradise off the beaten path. If you don’t mind an extra helicopter hop though, we’d recommend Miavana on nearby Nosy Ankao. Short for ‘Madagascan Nirvana’, the name is especially apt, which you’ll come to discover as soon as you land on this intimate islet.
Nosy Ankao, Madagascar
A chain of four islands is exclusive to the residents of the resort’s 14 villas and offers a lavish taste of tropical seclusion. You’ll wake to sea views and an array ways to fill your time including fly fishing, kayaking, snorkelling and lemur treks. Or perhaps indulge in sumptuous spa treatments. Stay seven days and enjoy exclusive savings of $5,400 per person or combine with Chinzombo in Zambia for an exhilarating 10 day safari + beach combo. Don’t leave the kids at home — they stay free!
Madagascar Documentary Watch List:

  • Earth’s Tropical Islands: Episode 1 — BBC iPlayer

  • Zoo Quest to Madagascar — BBC iPlayer

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Bhutan
Although it hasn’t yet reopened its borders, once it does, Bhutan promises to be another travel hotspot in the coming years. Quick to respond in the early part of this year, their cases have been minimal. Furthermore, they announced a huge travel stimulus in April, keeping their growing tourism industry alive until they could once again welcome visitors back.
Bhutan
Even before Covid, their tourism was carefully managed to preserve their cultural heritage. This is one of the reasons we love it. When you’re there, it feels like you’re the first one to discover it, a frontier in our busy world. We can take you on a journey, staying at authentic independent lodges. Or you could go all out for serene luxury, combining the new Six Senses lodges throughout your trip. Start the conversation now and you’ll be among the first to know when you can return.
Bhutan Documentary Watch List:

  • Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Bhutan — Netflix

  • Happiness — PBS

  • Crossing Bhutan — Amazon Prime Video

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New Zealand
While we may all want to get away as soon as possible, some destinations are worth waiting that little bit longer. Similarly to Bhutan, we don’t know for sure when New Zealand will reopen for international tourism, but when they do, we’re certain of increased desire to visit. Throughout the two islands, communities are widespread and its progressive Covid response has pushed it to the forefront of many travel bucket lists.
New Zealand
When flying across the globe, a longer trip is warranted — here we’d recommend at least two weeks, as there is a lot to see and do. Our partners there have a number of exclusive experiences for you. Think spending the day with the Maori, jet boating to a remote riverside bbq spot, scenic helicopter safaris with champagne stops and exhilarating adventure sports. Each bend in the road will have you exclaiming in awe, unsure if it’s possible for any landscape to be more beautiful than the last, and alas! It continues to thrill. Mountains, valleys, glaciers, volcanoes, fjords and yes, even Hobbit villages, come together in jaw dropping harmony.
New Zealand Documentary Watch List:

  • Life Story: Episode 1 — BBC iPlayer

  • Once Wear Lions — BBC iPlayer

  • Deadly 60: Series 3, Episode 8, New Zealand — BBC iPlayer

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Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
If there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, it’s not to take our planet for granted. For many savvy travellers, the sustainability of where they go is an important factor. Rwanda has long had this at the forefront of their travel industry. For the past 15 years, the country has welcomed communities bordering national parks into conservation roles. Investment from government and wildlife tourism has led to increased opportunities for people to earn livings as rangers.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
To make this possible, Rwanda welcomes visitors with a high value, low volume tourism model. Being one of very few visitors makes a trip here that much more alluring. There are just a handful of top-end lodges, like Bisate Lodge or the brand new Singita Kwitonda. Built with nature in mind, Kwitonda actively pursues reforesting and conservation initiatives. The highlight of any trip here is a trek to see mountain gorillas and the experience is now even more exclusive. Trekking groups are limited to just six visitors per gorilla family in order to protect these beautiful creatures.
Rwanda Documentary Watch List:

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 7, Africa — BBC iPlayer

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Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos
An expedition cruise is the traditional way to explore the Galapagos Islands, but what about land-based safaris? Or even a combination of the two? There are a handful of luxury lodges and camps to choose from, giving you ample time to explore. Short boat transfers still allow you to island hop, combining one or two different places for a well rounded experience. And with a secure travel corridor set up from Ecuador, the coming two years are as good a time as any to visit the renowned archipelago.
Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos
On Santa Cruz, we love Galapagos Safari Camp, based on the classic camps you may have visited in Africa. The luxury property is set amongst the verdant island highlands. Each tented suite has a deck with a view, perfect for enjoying a leisurely breakfast in a totally unique natural setting. If a lodge is more your taste, we might suggest Pikaia, perched on the edge of an extinct volcanic crater and 31 private hectares to discover. Whichever you choose, there are equally outstanding land and sea based safaris where you can spot all of the quirky creatures unique to the Galapagos.
Galapagos Documentary Watch List:

  • Planet Earth II: Episode 1, Islands — BBC iPlayer

  • David Attenborough’s Galapagos 3D — Sky

  • Galapagos: Islands of Change — BBC Four

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Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania
We are always in favour of staying in private reserves around the Serengeti National Park. They offer exclusive access to nature’s biggest wildlife spectacle, the Great Migration. Grumeti, a 350,000 acre conservation area northwest of the Serengeti, is one of our favourites. The unparalleled Singita manage the five camps and lodges here, each set apart from each other and offering some of Africa’s finest guiding, hospitality and cuisine.
Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania
Recently reimagined with an impeccable sense of style, Sabora Tented Camp offers the renowned Singita service under canvas. There’s nothing quite like the romantic nostalgia of a tented safari suite, harking back to explorers of old, with the splendour of six-star amenities. Meditation decks and secluded outdoor salas give you private front row seats to the wildlife that sometimes wanders through camp. Talk to us about being one of the first to visit.
Tanzania Documentary Watch List:

  • Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, Tanzania — Netflix

  • JANE — Disney+

  • Big Cats: Episode 3 — BBC iPlayer

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 7, Africa — BBC iPlayer

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White Desert, Antarctica
For many of us, the seventh continent is the final frontier of bucket list travel destinations. We say, why not do it in style? Flying on White Desert’s Gulfstream from Cape Town to Antarctica is certainly a trip you’ll remember! Or, you can join the Owner’s Club, where we can arrange for you to fly your own jet onto the Wolf’s Fang runway, specially designed for private aircraft and maintained by an expert ground crew.
White Desert, Antarctica
Whichaway Camp is a pioneering, luxury alternative to the tried-and-tested Antarctic cruise. This private, land-based experience gives you unrivalled access to exclusive activities and wildlife sightings. The pods are spacious and warm and the gastronomy uniquely tailored to your personal requests. Not only that, but the camp is carbon neutral, for peace of mind on the sustainable travel front. There’s a wealth of ways to fill your time — visit emperor penguin colonies, traverse ice caves, enjoy a champagne ice picnic and even fly to the South Pole!
Antarctica Documentary Watch List:

  • Deep Ocean: Giants of the Antarctic Deep — BBC iPlayer

  • Dynasties: Episode 2 — BBC iPlayer

  • Frozen Planet — BBC iPlayer

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 1, Antarctica — BBC iPlayer

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Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru
Is 2021 the year to visit Machu Picchu? We certainly think so. Privacy has always been part of our ethos and now more than ever there’s a window for an even more exclusive experience. With a careful reopening plan and limited visitor numbers at cultural sites, the next year beckons us to Peru with the allure of being one of the first to return.
Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru
Our Journeysmiths can carefully craft an itinerary to trek the Sacred Valley with private guides, culminating with a hike to the ancient Mayan fortress. A short city break in Lima offers an old-world cosmopolitan vibe with a thriving culinary scene. You could then take an overnight luxury train journey to Lake Titicaca, visiting traditional floating uros before a languid river cruise through the Amazon rainforest. Get in touch to discuss the options for you.
Peru Documentary Watch List:

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 3, South America — BBC iPlayer

  • Street Food: Latin America Episode 4, Lima, Peru — Netflix

  • The Lost City of Machu Picchu — Disney+

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Zambia
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably ready to walk off this year’s time spent at home! In our mind, there’s no better place than Zambia, birthplace of the walking safari. This is a destination of off-grid luxury. There’s more than one place where you may well even have an entire national park to yourself. It’s also one of Africa’s best places to see elephant, with huge herds congregating on the banks of the mighty Zambezi. The Lower Zambezi also holds the record for being the world’s first Climate Neutral national park.
Zambia
For groups, there are fabulous private safari houses, such as Chongwe River House and Luangwa House. Or we could talk to our partners about reserving an entire camp for you to ensure total privacy. In the remote Kafue National Park, you could stay at intimate Musekese Camp, before joining their guides in Liuwa Plains on an exciting mobile safari. Liuwa is home to some of the largest wildebeest and zebra herds outside of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, and with only one other permanent camp (the luxurious King Lewanika), you’re not likely to see any other people.
Zambia Documentary Watch List:

  • Life: Episode 3 Mammals — BBC iPlayer

  • Life Story: Episode 3, Home — BBC iPlayer

  • Fish or Die: Episode 2 Eye of the Tigerfish — Discovery Channel

  • Predators Up Close with Joel Lambert: Episodes 1 & 2 — Discovery Channel

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Denis Private Island, Seychelles
Ready for a secret? We’ve got an alternative to Bali, Tulum and other tropical hotpots. Some 300 miles off Africa’s East coast lie the Seychelles, an idyllic archipelago that includes a handful of some of the world’s most exclusive private islands. Isolation doesn’t sound so bad when it’s on glittering, palm-fringed beaches. It’s a perfect destination on its own for a beach escape, or as a relaxing end cap to a safari.
Denis Private Island, Seychelles
Denis Island, about a 30 minute flight north of Mahé, is an excellent example of sustainable luxury. The accommodation on the private island resort is exquisite, the scenery beautiful and the entire ethos is to live harmoniously with nature. This is a self-sustaining refuge and home to a number of endemic bird species and rare sea creatures such as green and hawksbill turtles. Here you can stay in total paradise with the lightest possible footprint.
Seychelles Documentary Watch List:

  • Madagascar to the Seychelles with Simon Reeve — BBC iPlayer

  • Blue Planet II: Episode 1 — BBC iPlayer

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South Africa
Why pick between city and safari for your next trip when you can do both? South Africa is a great destination for groups because there really is something for everyone — they call it a world in one country for a reason. The Cape is the culinary capital, with local lunches readily available in trendy street markets, and countless fine dining options for dinner. This European flair carries on into the winelands, where you can sample some of the world’s best vintages in scenically stunning surroundings.
South Africa
You also have excellent beaches, nature reserves, whale spotting and premier golf courses — all before you even consider a safari! We can charter planes to take you into huge private reserves with exclusive-use lodges, like Tswalu Kalahari or Phinda, which has seven distinct ecosystems. There’s horseback safaris in Limpopo and the wild adventure playground of Leobo. You can even join conservationists in Kwandwe to help monitor endangered wildlife. Diversity really is the spice of life!
South Africa Documentary Watch List:

  • BBC Africa series, Episode 4, Cape — BBC iPlayer

  • Somebody Feed Phil: Cape Town — Netflix

  • My Octopus Teacher — Netflix

  • Big Cats: Episodes 1 & 2 — BBC iPlayer

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Southern Patagonia, Chile
After stringent lockdowns, we are excited about Chile’s recent announcement to reopen and from 7th December, there won’t be any need to quarantine on arrival. We expect this cautious approach to carry on, making it a very secure destination going forward. At 2,653 miles long, top to tail, many of Chile’s travel regions are already socially distant by design, making it all the more appealing.
Southern Patagonia, Chile
Awasi have some fabulous offers on long-stay travel, combining the ethereal Atacama Desert in the north with Patagonia in the south. Flying from one to the other, you’ll discover a country of beautiful lakes, winelands and a proud cultural heritage. Once in Patagonia, you’ll discover a world of wonders in itself. Track pumas with expert guides, hike glaciers, valleys and mountains — perhaps even join some gauchos on a working ranch for lunch. There’s such an abundance of activities that it warrants taking your time.
Chile Documentary Watch List:

  • Seven Worlds, One Planet: Episode 3, South America — BBC iPlayer

  • Simon Reeve: Episode 4, Tropic of Capricorn — BBC iPlayer

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Start the Conversation
Your time is precious and with a world to see, we understand the importance of getting it absolutely right for you first time. We would love to hear from you.

UK: +44 (0)1604 637332
USA: +1-888-766-9450
Email: inspireme@journeysmiths.co.uk