From the wilderness of Masai Mara to spending a night underwater in Zanzibar, make the most of your holiday with experiential travel
Enhance your travel with rich and unexpected experiences that will become your travel stories and memories.
Experiential travel, the new buzz word, has put the spotlight on blending in and exploring a destination, with its sights, sounds and smells of the region. Experiential travel is about valuing the experiences you actually have over what you’re told you should be doing. Each individual has a unique taste and the same should reflect in the travel style too. Through this issue, we seek to encourage adding a signature touch by leaving the herd mentality behind. In addition to the local sights, an offbeat stay or a unique dining experience can add so much value to your holiday. These little experiences truly make a holiday far more memorable. An experiential travel may not necessarily be one decked with luxury; an encounter with locals, their way of life, language and culture, not as a tourist with a digital camera, but by taking time out to explore and engage, truly makes for a committed trip.
EXPERIENCE THE GREAT MIGRATION IN MASAI MARA
Region: Kenya and Tanzania
Around 1.4 million wildebeest migrate to the Masai Mara in Kenya, round and back again in a never-ending quest for fresh pastures.
In the south-western part of Kenya lies the Masai Mara National Reserve that withholds an extraordinary wilderness experience — The Great Migration. The phenomenon of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle, travelling to and from the Serengeti, Tanzania, during the dry season, is a sight to behold. The wildebeest migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in July and stays put until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. At the Mara River, which flows alongside, you can see hippopotamus and crocodiles throng by. With a high number of prey animals speckled across the reserve, predators are actively seeking out their next meal with the easiest catch being by the river side. Keep your eyes peeled for the most sought-after sight of feline cubs testing their hunting skills as they prey on another young mammal.
EAT BREAKFAST WITH GIRAFFES
If you wish to prolong your encounter with the animal kingdom, head to Nairobi for a one-of-a-kind experience. Nairobi can be reached by a six hour long drive from Masai Mara or a short 45-minute long flight. A 1930’s manor modelled after a Scottish hunting lodge allows a unique dining experience. The charming, yet luxurious retreat bring the humans together with the guests from the wild, the giraffes. You’ll find the friendly giraffes in the most unsuspecting places – the breakfast table or your room window, vying for your attention or checking out what’s on your plate. You are sure to enjoy every moment of this interaction with the long-necked creatures which will also help you learn about their antics.
SPEND A NIGHT UNDERWATER
Living in a cabin off the Pemba Island, Zanzibar allows you to sleep in an underwater cubical.
Are you a self proclaimed Aquaphile? Then you would love the idea of spending a night in an anomaly anchored underwater room, in the middle of the ocean. Head to the Pemba Island in Zanzibar, a fabulous white beach overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Pemba Channel to embrace the marine life. By night, the underwater spotlights on all sides of the room attract the shyer and more unusual aquatic creatures like the squid. Octopus and even Spanish dancers have been seen clearly from the glass panes. The reef inhabitants can simply not resist attraction, which makes for exciting watching and a truly unique experience!
A TREEPOD DINING EXPERIENCE
Region: Ko Kut Island, Thailand
A treetop treat in the jungle on the Thai island of Koh Kood that gives high tea a whole new meaning.
Less than an hour’s flight from the Thai capital, Bangkok lies Ko Kut Island in Trat province. The island houses a unique dining experience that will find a spot high up on your bucket list. Suspended tree houses, built to mimic a bird’s nest, make up the intimate dining area of this eatery. Made of sturdy bamboo, these pods are attached to trees five meters above the ground. Guests are hoisted up into the tropical foliage of Koh Kood’s ancient rainforest through a zipline. Once comfortable in your bamboo pod, the dancing waves at the bouldercovered shoreline entertain you. Savour gourmet delights and wines, delivered by your personal waiter who darts in the delicacies on a zip-line.
GLAMPING AMIDST THE VINEYARDS
Region: Bendigo, Australia
Family-run winery on the western edge of Bendigo offers a popular glamping experience.
Bendigo, a convenient two hours’ drive from Melbourne, allows you to enjoy embrace the picturesque vineyards like none other. Nestled among the vineyards, estates set against stunning heritage backdrop, offer an unmatched glamping experience in addition to savouring the local wines. Take your pick from from five metre highbell tents to luxe open plan safari tents, to indulge in an off-the-grid experience. A tent stay, equipped with ultimate luxuries, allows you to seamlessly enjoy the stunning views of the vineyard and Victorian countryside while sipping your favourite drink. And for a little extra luxury one of the tents will also include its own ecofriendly hot tub. Step out of your luxurious haven to visit Bendigo’s township- a stunning historic town which offers a refreshing cultural and contemporary scene. Dive into its rich past; view the impressive art and architecture at Bendigo Art Gallery. Reserve half a day for an historic excursion aboard Bendigo Tramways Talking Tram. Lastly, don’t forget to visit the Golden Dragon Museum to dive into the gold mining history of Bendigo.