Much has been written about the toll that modern life, with its fast-paced, technology driven and stressful impact, takes on us all. So many of us spend large portions of our waking hours metaphorically chained to a desk, fingers tapping at a keyboard, eyes riveted to a monitor screen. So, to state the obvious, we all need a break!
Much has also been written about the healing power of nature and how contact with it can refresh our minds and offer balm to our souls. And we are so fortunate that a myriad of possibilities are available to us to achieve that energizing and invigorating break that we all long for. Depending on your preference (and energy levels!), there are some amazing options and destinations for that well-earned break.
The West Coast of British Columbia
The truly magnificent west coast of British Columbia will not only offer you some of the most beautiful natural scenery on the planet, but will also give you the opportunity to see some of the most amazing animals in the world in their natural habitat. Grizzly bears and their smaller black bear cousins, sea lions, otters, salmon and the awe-inspiring orcas and humpback whales all flourish here, while soaring bald eagles keep a piercing eye over it all.
A Jungle break-away in Costa Rica
The dense jungle of the Manuel Antonio National Park on the west coast offers a chance not only to see vividly colored parakeets, toucans, and tanagers, but also both two- and three toed sloths. It also provides opportunities to go on whale and dolphin watching trips, and to spend time kayaking amongst the mangroves.
Watch wolves in Belarus
This is definitely for the fitter travelers amongst us as Belarus comprises vast ancient forests, numerous rivers, and some of the most extensive marshes and wetlands on the continent. Guests can visit an eco-station where experts will escort them deep into the forests at dawn and dusk when the animals are most active to see elk, bison, beavers, golden and white-tailed eagles. And wolves, of course! It is estimated that the total wolf population currently ranges between 1,500 and 2,000.
Tasmania, an underrated but very rewarding destination
Tasmania offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience pristine nature comprising crystal lakes, towering mountains and white beaches along a rugged coastline. You can visit stunning Freycinet National Park and Bonorong Widllife Sanctuary to see the highly endangered Tasmanian devils. Or look in on historic Port Arthur of convict settlement fame, and don’t forget to sample the delicious wines of the Tamar valley. Or take an eco-cruise out to Bruny Island where you may see not only whales and dolphins, but also white wallabies, fairy penguins and wedge-tailed eagles.
Samara, the ultimate wildlife destination in South Africa
Samara Private Game Reserve in the Great Karoo, and conveniently located at the end of the famous Garden Route, is situated in one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hotspots’ and has been described as ‘heart-stoppingly beautiful’. It is passionate about conservation, for which it has won several awards, and has recently reintroduced elephants into the reserve.
Samara truly offers visitors the ultimate in luxury accommodation and fine dining. Who can ever forget a night spent in their Milky Way Star Bed, literally sleeping under the stars? It’s also one of the few private reserves that offer walking safaris as an integral part of their unique experience of nature. Nor are the children forgotten – the reserve offers the Samara Kids Program, which includes plenty of child friendly safari activities.
A Family safari to Botswana
Botswana offers a holiday destination like no other. You can experience the country’s amazing biodiversity, starting with the most delicate of butterflies and culminating in Africa’s gentle giants the elephants, of which Botswana has the biggest population in Africa. Be sure to include the unique ecosystem of the Okavango Delta which is usually in flood from June to September which is the best time to visit. Excursions in the local ‘mokoro’ dugout canoes as well as motorized boating options and wonderful birding opportunities will add to an unforgettable experience!
Possibly no visit to Africa would be complete without visiting this iconic destination. From seeing the majestic Victoria Falls, enjoying a sunset cruise up the Zambezi sipping on your favorite cocktail, or appreciating the diverse wildlife of Hwange National Park, a visit to the stunning natural beauty of Victoria Falls will surely not only contribute to some unforgettable memories, but restore your spirit too.
And surely, as Wordsworth, that great believer in the healing power of nature put it, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her”!
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