New for 2022 from Audley Travel
Bespoke travel company Audley Travel remains firmly committed to responsible travel, having strived to work with local people and businesses in the destinations it operates over its 25 years’ of arranging tailor-made trips. The operator continues to enhance its tailor-made travel offering, with new additions for 2022 including:
New luxury eco lodges
In Australia, Elysian Eco Retreat is the first 100 per cent solar-powered resort in the Whitsunday Islands, and offers clients an experience of the Great Barrier Reef away from the crowds. Clients stay in one of 10 ocean-front villas, made from solid Australian hardwood. Guests at the retreat have unlimited use of all water sports equipment and snorkeling gear, including stand-up paddleboards and glass-bottom kayaks.
A 14-day tailor-made trip with three nights at Elysian Eco Retreat on a fully inclusive basis costs from $6,250 per person (based on two sharing) and includes in-country transfers, accommodation and excursions. 1 866 475 5049 / www.audleytravel.com/us/australia.
NamKhan Ecolodge in Luang Prabang is new for Audley’s Laos program. The lodge is on the banks of the NamKhan River, with accommodation in traditional Lao bungalows, suites or tents. The restaurant offers organic and healthy choices with the produce coming from its own eco farm and Lao BBQs next to the NamKhan River are available. Guests enjoy the use of the yoga and meditation centre, stables and equestrian centre, massage area, swimming pool and outdoor gym. Traditional Lao experiences include bamboo weaving and cookery classes.
A 14-day tailor-made trip to Laos with one night at NamKhan Ecolodge costs from $4,765 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation on a B&B basis and excursions. 1 866 507 5925 / www.audleytravel.com/us/laos.
Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta is a new lodge with excellent eco-credentials, generating the vast majority its energy and eliminating all unnecessary single-use plastics. The lodge offers 12 beautiful and spacious suites, each designed to celebrate African art, design and creativity and created by 80 of Africa’s most globally acclaimed designers. Every experience during a client’s stay is tailor-made to their wishes. They can take a private game drive through the wilderness with expert bush knowledge from the lodge’s managing director together with a local guide. Helicopter game flights give clients a headset to speak directly with the pilot during the 30-minute flight. Water excursions utilize a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe) with the lodge offering an innovative glass-bottomed version to give clients unforgettable views. Motorboat excursions are also able available to explore some of the deeper rivers and lagoons to see crocodiles and large pods of hippos.
A six-day tailor-made trip with three nights at Xigera Safari Lodge costs from $17,400 per person (based on two sharing) and includes all in-country transfers, accommodation on a fully inclusive basis and game safaris. 1 866 340 6636 / www.audleytravel.com/us/botswana.
New responsible tourism themed Australia trip
The interest in eco-properties in Australia has encouraged Audley’s team to develop a responsible tourism themed itinerary bringing together some of its offerings in the country with the strongest environmental credentials into one carefully curated trip. This stays away from the tourist hot-spots and is designed to operate with a minimal impact on the environment, for example promoting travel from Adelaide to Sydney via the lower carbon footprint option of the Indian Pacific train exploring local boutique wineries by e-bike and kayaking to see dolphins.
Accommodation includes two nights at the Old Leura Dairy in the Blue Mountains, a retreat that uses recycled materials for its self-contained villas and three nights at Pumpkin Island in the Keppel Group of islands in the Great Barrier Reef, which offers seven self-catering eco-friendly units powered by the wind and sun, meaning the resort is ‘beyond carbon neutral' as it offsets 150 per cent of the carbon generated by each guest visit. In the Flinders Ranges, clients stay at Rawnsley Park Station, a property that commits itself to social and cultural responsibility and environmental sustainability. Accommodation is in a luxury eco-villa which has been specially designed by a sustainable architect and clients spend their time exploring the walking trails in the area.
The 22-day Coast, Outback and Reef – the eco-friendly way itinerary costs from $8,315 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, car hire, accommodation and excursions. 1 866 346 3915 / www.audleytravel.com/us/australia.
Alex Bentley, Head of Product at Audley Travel says: “Responsible travel is very much part of Audley’s DNA. Not only do we feel this gives clients the best experience, it also brings benefits to local communities and motivates local people to preserve what attracts visitors. The new additions to the portfolio continue this work and bring further opportunities for clients to explore our destinations confident that their trip brings a positive impact to the environment.”
Heather Magnussen, Responsible Travel & Sustainability Manager at Audley Travel, adds: “Offering bespoke travel gives our clients the unique opportunity to make sustainable choices. Travelers can work with their country specialist to design an itinerary that allows them to have a positive impact on communities they travel to. For some people this might be staying at an eco-loge while others will seek low carbon tours and others might want both. No matter what a client’s priorities are, Audley is committed to helping them make a positive impact on the places they visit.”