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Sanctuary Retreats’ Top 10 Unforgettable Travel Experiences.

June 19, 2018 Resort News No Comments Email Email

Luxury travel operator, Sanctuary Retreats, has established a well-deserved reputation for creating inspirational travel experiences in some of the most remote, exclusive and exotic destinations on Earth.

“Staying ahead of the game is something we really pride ourselves on”, says Sanctuary Retreats’ Director of Sales Australia, New Zealand & Asia, Michael McCall. “Our local guides are constantly on the look-out for new activities and unique experiences for our guests.”

Michael has selected ten of Sanctuary Retreats’ favourites experiences (in no particular order). Read on for your next travel inspiration.

1. Exploring the Zambezi by canoe at Sussi & Chuma, Zambia

Take a walk on the wild side and track wildlife on foot. According to Michael, this is an experience of a lifetime. Guests can explore channels and rapids on the mighty Zambezi River on inflatable canoes accompanied by professional guides, along with close encounters with some of Africa’s ‘big five’ game to boot.

2. Mokoro Excursion at Sanctuary Baines’ Camp, Botswana

In Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one of the best ways to see the wildlife is from one of the locally made dugout canoes, known as mokoros. At Sanctuary Baines Camp, guests can take a leisurely ride in one of these traditional vessels around the waterways and lagoons that make up the Delta, looking for crocodiles and hippo, while enjoying a remarkable view of the plains game from a very different perspective. This gentle and informative mode of safari is unique to the river Bushmen, comprising three different tribes who made the Delta their home. For the less intrepid, the camp also has motorised speedboats that can be used when the rivers are in flood.

3. Cooking at Sanctuary Swala, Tanzania

According to Michael one of the most popular activities at Sanctuary Swala Camp is its Chef Experience. “We find that our guests have never done anything quite like this before and really enjoy themselves trying out local delicacies. Our chef shows them how to make dishes from local ingredients like maize, beans and spinach, using a traditional Jika senefu stove. And once the meal is ready, one of our staff will also instructs them how to eat dishes – local style”.

4. Visit Tujia boatmen in China on The Yangzi Explorer

On China’s mighty Yangtze River guests aboard the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer can visit the Shennong Stream on one of the many shore excursions on offer. Crystalline waters, verdant forests and stunning riverine gorges provide an incredible backdrop for an experience aboard local sampans (wooden long-boats) rowed by expert Tujia boatmen. According to Michael guests are also fascinated to see the Tujia boatmen still wearing traditional handmade sandals to work on the boats.

5. Sin Kyun village visit in Myanmar

Several years ago, Sanctuary Retreats began sponsoring Sin Kyun, a small remote village just north of Mandalay. With a population of just under 1,000 inhabitants, it specialises in farming and hat making. Guests aboard the Sanctuary Ananda can visit the village and witness first-hand a traditional way of life, little altered for centuries, in an unspoilt location seldom viewed by outsiders. Following the Village Chief’s request, Sanctuary Retreats has donated the much-needed funds for a library and a house for an English teacher.

6. Batwa tribe experience at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, Uganda

In the Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest, guests have a unique opportunity to meet the local Batwa tribe and learn about their way of life, including a traditional hunting and gathering demonstration, a musical performance and a visit by the local ‘goddess’. Says Michael, “The Batwa tribe are the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa and speak largely the same language as the Hutu and Tutsi groups of Rwanda. Like most of the tribes in Africa, they have moved from place to place and are now found mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and eastern portions of the DRC.”

7. Sail the Nile on a traditional Felucca, Egypt

Egypt’s rich history has created a tapestry of cultural and archaeological treasures unmatched anywhere – so much so that the country is home to an estimated one third of the world’s antiquities. According to Michael, a cruise down the mighty Nile offers up one of the best ways to explore these, with Sanctuary Retreats offering up four luxurious ships to choose from – Sanctuary Sun Boat III, Sanctuary Sun Boat IV, Sanctuary Nile Adventurer or Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau. But for truly authentic experience, he recommends taking a ride on a felucca, a typical Egyptian sail boat, around Elephantine Island, Lord Kitchener’s Botanical Gardens, and the Agha Khan Mausoleum for a very different perspective of one of the world’s great waterways.

8. Bathe under the stars at Sanctuary Baines’ Camp, Botswana

For one of the most romantic experiences, Michael reckons it’s hard to go past a star-lit bath at Sanctuary Baines’ Camp in Botswana. “This is the ultimate in safari chic. The camp is built on raised platforms high above the Boro River in amidst a grove of trees bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. The private star bath allows you to enjoy an open-air bubble bath under the stars, as you soak in style. Truly unforgettable.”

9. Star gazing in Serengeti at Sanctuary Kusini, Tanzania

Most visitors come to Africa looking for the wildlife and the beauty, yet one of the most spectacular sights of all is hardly ever mentioned – the African night sky, offering some of the best star gazing in the world. One of Michael’s favourite past times? Settling into luxurious blankets and cushions around the campfire at Sanctuary Kusini exploring the beauty of an African night sky.

10. Nature walk at Sanctuary Olonana, Kenya

Last on Michael’s list is a walk with the camp naturalist at Sanctuary Olonana and a chance to learn about plants, trees and insects and their use in the daily lives of the Maasai tribe. He’ll also share his intimate knowledge about the surrounding environment and how many of the trees and plants can be used for medicinal purposes. Guests are also encouraged to plant a tree, leaving a positive mark in Africa.

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