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Some tours and excursions are so popular they get booked up months in advance. We've put together a collection of our most popular trip ideas to help avoid disappointment when planning your trip.

Tiger, Kanha National Park, India
Tiger, Kanha National Park, India

Visiting mountain gorillas in Uganda

Mountain gorilla If you’ve always longed to see mountain gorillas in the wild, now is the time to book your trip. With very limited numbers of permits available (currently just over 50 per day in Uganda), these do get booked up between six and nine months in advance. For $500 per person you can spend a magical hour with these great apes, watching them eat, groom one another and play. The permit prices in Rwanda rose to $750 this year and our sources have advised us that Uganda is likely to follow suit from January. All the more reason to book now before the price goes up.

Polar bears in Arctic Canada

Polar bear For a short period every autumn polar bears gather around Hudson Bay, in northern Canada, waiting for the temperatures to drop and the sea ice to form. Once the ice is thick enough they move on and start hunting for seals. This annual bear trek provides a rare opportunity to see these wonderful animals and a guided tour is a great way to do it. We have our own dedicated group tour in early November, run by an expert local operator, with space for a maximum of 15 people on board a purpose built tundra buggy with prices from £4,775 per person. Book now and experience a close encounter with this most iconic of creatures.

Oman during October half term

Camels, the Wahiba Sands October is a fantastic time to visit Oman, allowing you to take advantage of its hot temperatures whilst steering clear of the scorching summer months. This temperature difference is particularly relevant if your visit includes time in the desert of Wahiba Sands. However, during October half term availability at the best desert camps, such as the Desert Nights Camp and 1000 Nights Camp, gets eaten up months in advance which leaves very few accommodation alternatives here — and potentially means missing out on all the exciting activities, unique experiences and striking landscape that the Wahiba Sands has to offer.

Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru One of South America’s most incredible experiences has to be catching your first glimpse of Machu Picchu having hiked through the spectacular scenery of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. April to October are the driest months to trek to Machu Picchu, and the Peruvian authorities heavily restrict visitor numbers every year. What many people do not realise is that it is not just the permits for the four day Inca Trail that get snapped up notoriously quickly — even the less-strenuous day hike to Machu Picchu Sun Gate from Kilometre 104 requires a similar permit, so you really have to start planning well in advance to stand a chance of securing one.

Vietnam Group Tour: Wonders and Waterways

Halong Bay, Vietnam Vietnam was Audley's first ever destination and never ceases to enchant us. With its sophisticated cities, beautiful beaches, outstanding natural landscapes and rich history — including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites — it has a mesmerising allure. Departing 15th March 2014, this group tour is an opportunity to experience many of the highlights of Vietnam such as Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An and the Mekong Delta.

Wildlife safaris in India

Bengal Tiger and her cubThe tiger and leopard in the national parks of India are definitely a highlight, but due to new government regulations fewer jeeps are allowed to enter the parks so it has become more difficult to book safaris. We recommend booking a wildlife trip around 12 months in advance, especially as the booking system for safaris opens in September and jeeps are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

The Kimberley Coast in Australia

Mitchell Falls, Kimberley, North West AustraliaThe Kimberley Coast in the far northwest of Australia is one of the country’s greatest treasures and the only way to access the best of this region is by boat. Tumbling waterfalls, awe-inspiring gorges and indigenous rock art are just a few of the highlights. True North and Orion Expeditions both offer luxury cruises along the coast and offer a selection of itineraries ranging from seven to 13 days. Prices start from £7,295 per person, including flights from the UK, and with limited space on each departure it is advisable to book well in advance to secure your place on this once in a lifetime experience.

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