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Luxury Travel to Exotic Places
Exotic travel used to be, by definition, difficult. The rare and beautiful places of the earth maintained their rarity and their beauty in part because they were off the beaten path and did not offer the kinds of amenities that draw tourists.
That is changing, though, as specialized companies offer travel to some of the world’s truly amazing locations. These companies cater to a very selective traveler, who expects luxury and is willing to pay for it. And this limited use, coupled with a strong environmental approach on the part of the companies, is helping to protect the world’s wonders.
Say, for example, you want to go on a safari to Africa. But you don’t want to share the veldt with swarms of tourists, and you don’t want to rough it. What you want is a company that can put you together with small groups of like-minded travelers and provide you with comfortable accommodations and knowledgeable guides who understand and respect the environment.
There is a growing number of such outfitters. One of the oldest is Abercrombie & Kent, which began leading luxury safaris to Africa in 1962. While safaris remain a primary area of expertise for A&K, the company has expanded to offer escorted or independent travel on every continent.
Travelers who choose A&K will not have to sacrifice any of the luxury they have come to expect when they travel. On the East Africa Hemingway Safari, for example, small groups stay in a camp of luxury tents, each with its own flush toilet. A&K takes care of everything, from gourmet food to comfortable vehicles for viewing the animals. The 14-day safari costs $12,990 per person, not including airfare.
Want to stay a little closer to home? A&K also offers a four-day Lewis and Clark Montana Adventure that includes an overnight in tipis and a trip on the Upper Missouri River in canoes much like those the explorers used. This family-oriented trip starts at $3,125 per adult. And if none of its regular trips appeals to you, A&K will be happy to help you plan your own itinerary.
Wilderness Safaris began bringing small groups of discriminating travelers to the beautiful and remote parts of southern Africa in 1983. It keeps groups very small – rarely more than 20 people -- to maximize the experience for travelers and to minimize the environmental impact. In addition, it works closely with local efforts to preserve these areas for future generations.
But don’t mistake remote for uncomfortable when it comes to accommodations. It has a variety of luxury accommodations, from camps for watching wildlife in Africa to villas on North Island in Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean.
First Choice Expeditions connects travelers with six different companies that specialize in luxury: Country Walkers, which offers walking tours; International Expeditions, which has a natural history focus; Park East, which designs African adventures; TCS Expeditions, which offers travel to exotic locations via private jets and trains; Travcoa, which also offers luxury travel to unusual locales; and INTRAV, which combines popular destinations and exotic travel.
Through Travcoa, you can take a 14-day journey into the Amazon rain forest, enjoying both a luxury cruise ship and deluxe land accommodations; prices start at $7.695. Through TCS Expeditions, you can take a 25-day tour around the world, starting in the United States and stopping at such well-known sites as Machu Picchu in Peru, the Great Barrier Reef, the Taj Mahal and the Serengeti Plain. All accommodations and travel arrangements are top-notch, and prices start at $59,950.
There are other travel companies that can help you experience special locales in luxury. Ask your travel agent or check online. Just be sure to check out any company thoroughly before you send money.