There’s nothing better than a holiday that not just gets you out of the city, but lets you reconnect with nature and remember that there’s a whole other world out there too. But what if you’re looking for a nature escape that also includes all the creature comforts of home, a little bit of pampering, and the chance to get away in style? Then look no further than these luxury nature and wildlife escapes that combine the best of both!
Summer arctic adventure in Canada
When you think of the arctic, images of frozen wasteland and endless ice might come to mind – but remember that come summer, the ice retreats, the rivers start running, flowers burst into bloom and all the creatures come out to play. The summer sun completely transforms the landscape, and if you’re lucky enough to be in Canada at the time, there’s an absolutely amazing nature escape to be had. And with the expert-guided tours that are now readily available, you won’t even have to sacrifice comfort to enjoy it all. From getting up close to polar bears in Churchill, kayaking with beluga whales in Hudson Bay, to watching the playful antics of the arctic hare and arctic fox (complete with adorable fuzzy little cubs if you’re lucky!) it’s an experience you’ll never forget. For comfy lodgings, stay at the wonderfully named Lazy Bear Lodge, where aside from cozy accommodation you can even enjoy local delicacies such as Braised Peppered Elk, Arctic Char and Manitoba Bison in the café!
Safari in style in South Africa
There are few nature holidays quite as iconic as a real African safari, and with private game reserves like Thanda Safari in the province of KwaZulu Natal, it’s never been easier to experience one in complete luxury! Your luxury big 5 game reserve experience includes two complementary game drives each day, and their expert guides and trackers will guarantee you a wildlife experience you’ll never forget. The famous Big Five can all be found here, as well as countless other creatures like cheetah, hyena, warthog and even the rare wild dog.
Unwind afterwards at the onsite spa and take in some fine dining in a setting unlike any other – the heart of the African bush. And for the really discerning traveler, the acclaimed Villa iZulu is available – voted Africa’s Leading Luxury Villa at the World Travel Awards. With its outdoor Jacuzzi, private heated pool and even a private helicopter landing pad, it’s easy to see why it’s the accommodation of choice for celebrities and VIPs on safari!
Magical and mysterious Japan
While you might equate Japan with skyscrapers and bustling cities, don’t forget that Japan is also the land of cherry blossoms, mysterious smoking volcanoes, vast forested mountains and even those famous hot-spring-loving snow monkeys! For serious hikers, the Japanese Alps on the main island of Honshu offer an unprecedented chance to enjoy the scenery, including that most famous Japanese summit of all – Mount Fuji. If you’d like to undertake the climb to the top, then make sure to book your holiday during the months of July and August.
Or for a much more relaxed experience, you might prefer to soak away all your troubles in the steaming, mineral-rich waters of a traditional Japanese Onsen, and experience their famed healing and therapeutic powers for yourself!
Deep into the Indian jungle
Exotic deer, gray langur monkeys, dholes, Asian elephants, the elusive red panda, and of course India’s most famous creature of all, the Bengal tiger, are just some of the unique creatures you can look forward to seeing on an Indian excursion to Ranthambore – the old hunting grounds of the great maharajas. Aside from the wild attractions made famous by such great works as The Jungle Book, ancient forts, mosques and ruined temples add a sense of history to a visit here. And with opulent accommodations such as those offered by luxury lodges like Oberoi Vanyavilas and Aman-i-Khas, you can enjoy them all in real style too!
The great predators of the north – Finland
When you think of a holiday in Finland, images of traditional birch-fired saunas might come to mind – but the Land of the Thousand Lakes has so much more than steamy relaxation to offer! Home to some truly magnificent predators, like the brown bear, gray wolf, enigmatic lynx and elusive wolverine, those thousand lakes and the surrounding landscape are also excellent for hiking and canoeing. Many lodges have specially designed hides within the forests to allow guests the best chance to see and photograph these shy creatures that are normally so difficult to see in their wild habitat.