New for 2023 from bespoke specialist Audley Travel
Bespoke operator Audley Travel continues to enhance and expand its program, with new additions for 2023 focussing on indigenous experiences, local culture and tours that give once-in-a-lifetime animal viewing opportunities in their natural habitat, including:
Wolf-focused indigenous experience in British Columbia, Canada
This thrilling three-day private experience is wolf-focused, with two nights camping in the traditional territory of the Tlatlasikwala First Nation in British Columbia. Clients travel with their indigenous guides, looking for sea (or coastal) wolves by boat and on land. Smaller than their gray wolf cousins and with noticeably red-tinted coats, these wolves are only found between the coastlines and islands of Southwestern Alaska and Vancouver Island and have adapted to a diet of around 90 percent seafood.
Clients may fall asleep, or wake, to the sound of howls between pack members, spot their tracks across the beaches, and wait patiently for them to slip out from the dense forest to forage along the beaches. The experience, designed to be intimate with room for only six guests and two guides, is exclusively available through Audley Travel and can be booked on selected dates in May through to August 2023 as part of a bespoke tour to Canada.
An eight-day bespoke trip to Canada, including two nights on the wolf tour as well as two nights in Port Hardy and three nights in Vancouver costs from $5,400 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. 855-435-1768/www.audleytravel.com/us/canada.
Elephants in Thailand
Also new for Audley is The Bush Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Sister property to Elephant Hills in Khao Sak, The Bush Camp overlooks the Ping River and offers accommodation in a tented camp powered by solar panels. Audley’s clients stay for one night, visiting the free-roaming and chain-free elephant park to feed and interact with the animals, watch the morning elephant wash and learn about how the camp cares for the animals. The itinerary also includes cultural interaction experiences, for example learning about the daily life of the local Karen village families working in the camp, seeing how the mahouts interact with the elephant, sampling local cooking and helping local families make paper from elephant dung.
A 15-day bespoke tour to Thailand, including a night at The Bush Camp as well as time in Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Khao Yai National Park costs from $5,200 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. 855-435-1768/www.audleytravel.com/us/thailand.
Luxury cruise in Laos
Setting sail from August 2023, Audley’s clients will be able to cruise the upper Mekong River in style on Heritage Line’s Anouvong – a new luxury, boutique ship that takes clients to the most beautiful, remote areas of Laos. Excursions include kayaking on the Nam Ou River, meeting a local ‘medicine man’ at Pak Ou Caves and taking a short trek through the jungle with an expert guide sharing insights into the flora and nature of the area. Clients visit local villages and towns, see an organic garden and its vegetable harvest, visit the country’s most sustainably managed elephant sanctuary and enjoy the views from a hill top temple.
An 11-day bespoke trip to Laos including seven nights on-board the Anouvong costs from $6,855 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. 855-435-1768/www.audleytravel.com/us/laos.
New accommodation with strong ESG credentials
Audley also continues to expand its accommodation portfolio with a focus on properties with a strong ESG stance. Examples include:
Avana Retreat, Vietnam
The 36 private villas have been inspired by the traditional ethnic stilt houses of the region and are on a jungle hillside, surrounded by rice terraces in remote northern Vietnam. Activities at the property include cultural excursions to meet indigenous tribes and see tribal performances, children’s craft activities making ‘Treasure from Trash’, as well as adventurous experiences including kayaking, jeep rides and jungle treks.
The property serves food made from ingredients either sourced locally or grown within the property and the hotel supports the community with the majority of the staff employed from the surrounding villages.
A 13-day bespoke trip to Vietnam and Laos including two nights at Avana Retreat costs from $3,985 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. 855-435-1768/www.audleytravel.com/us/vietnam.
Loapi, Tswala, South Africa
Opening in 2023, Loapi is a new safari camp with six sustainably designed and environmentally sensitive individual tents surrounded by open savannah grasslands. Clients enjoy personal service from a dedicated butler and all meals are prepared by a private chef in the interactive kitchen. Each group is guaranteed a private safari vehicle, guide and tracker.
An eight-day bespoke trip to South Africa, including three nights at Loapi costs from $13,491 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. 855-435-1768/www.audleytravel.com/us/south-africa.
Montemar Eco Luxury Villas, Galapagos
Montemar offers two eco-luxury, fully sustainable villas on 43-acres of private land on the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos. The land is part of The Galapagos Giant Tortoises Territory, which covers the animals’ natural migration path and guests can often see them roaming the grounds. The site also offers an organic coffee plantation and plenty of activities for guests as well as the sight of wild horses roaming. The property produces most of its energy, harvests rainwater, supplies from its own organic farm, and has the lowest environmental footprint on the islands and the land has been reclaimed to recover native and endemic vegetation that sustain the Giant Tortoises.
An eight-day bespoke trip to the Galapagos islands, including five nights at Montemar costs from $9,500 per person (based on two sharing) and includes transfers, accommodation and excursions. 855-435-1768/www.audleytravel.com/us/the-galapagos-islands.