Many of us know at least one person who seems to have absolutely everything. How do you shop for these folks? Well, there is everything, and then there is everything else, and that’s where we come in. Travel truly is the gift that keeps on giving. It has the power to change lives for both the visitor and the visited. It can bring about new understandings, new attitudes and new connections. Done right, travel also involves a touch of magic – perfect for the season.
Swim with Sea Lions, Galapagos
One of the most compelling adventures for animal-loving travelers is close-up encounters with the wildlife of the world. Few better places offer opportunities for this kind of meeting than do the Galapagos Islands. Here, you savor time swimming, snorkeling and diving with sea lions as well as with rays, sharks, penguins, and a myriad of other marine animals. That doesn’t even include blue footed boobies, iguanas, soaring seabirds and sea turtles. This could become a one-of-a-kind family gift on our The Galapagos Islands: Of Fish & Fishermen, geared towards families with young children, and is full of engaging and fun educational experiences for both parents and children.
Come eye to eye with Orangutans, Indonesia
Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, orangutans are currently found in only the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. They are among the most intelligent of the primates and known for their use of sophisticated tools. They construct elaborate sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. An encounter with these remarkable creatures is the experience of a lifetime. Tanjung Putting National Park is home to four research centers devoted to orangutans, including Camp Leakey, a rehabilitation center for orphaned orangutans. Camp Leakey, established in 1971 by Dr. Biruté Galdikas and named after the legendary anthropologist, Louis Leakey. In addition to orangutans, the park is home to incredible animals including proboscis monkeys, gibbons, macaques, clouded leopards, sun bears, wild boars, porcupines and Sambar deer. Indonesia in Depth is the gift of adventure.
Barossa Valley Master Wine Class, Australia
The Barossa Valley is renowned as one of the premier wine producing regions in Australia. Within this picturesque landscape are dozens of the country’s most celebrated wine labels. Learn the true art of wine appreciation at a wine masterclass with some of South Australia’s leading experts. As part of this unique wine tasting experience, you have the opportunity to put your new skills to the test as you sit down to a two course gourmet lunch with complimentary wines. For the aspiring wine aficionado in your family, this is the perfect gift – an afternoon in the beautiful Barossa Valley that can be incorporated into this 18-day Australia adventure.
Vintage Motorcycle Ride in Cape Town, South Africa
Motorcycle fans would love a ride along the spectacular South Africa peninsula in a vintage World War II sidecar. They can enjoy a unique perspective on this unforgettable day touring the majestic Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Town, Cape Point, the historic Malay Quarter and the stunning coast. Sidecar trips make outings with a touch of adventure, and can be tailored to make it the ideal gift. This experience can be included in one of our South Africa journeys such as South Africa – Cape Town & Eastern Cape.
Receive a private blessing on the banks of the Ganges, India
A rare gift for the spiritually minded is a trip to Rishikesh, north of Haridwar, is known as a pilgrimage town and regarded as one of the holiest places to Hindus. Indeed, Hindu sages and saints have visited Rishikesh for centuries in search of knowledge. Here the river Ganges leaves the Shivalik Hills in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India. Big Five can arrange for a private blessing by a monk on the banks of this fabled river. Here, too, is a wonderful place to witness an aarti ceremony and see the golden reflections of flowers floating on the Ganges at twilight. The experience is unlike a typical tour of India, as is our Heritage of a Nation that mixes the rich heritage with a spiritual ambience found in temples and ashrams. This compelling journey could very well prove to be the gift of a lifetime.