Top holiday destinations beyond COVID-19
We know we’ll be staying home during COVID-19 but how soon will we be able to take to the skies once more? While our wings have been clipped, you cannot curb the urge to connect to and explore the world. It’s an ever-growing wanderlust for many of us.
We may not be able to physically travel right now, but it doesn’t stop us from dreaming of where we’d go first when it’s finally safe to travel.
International holidays seem more and more attractive – from safaris in remote wilderness to island escapes and barefoot paradise.
We thought we would share our top destinations for travel beyond COVID-19. And get ready, we’re about to announce our new world region. It’s closer to home so we can get you travelling sooner!
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Utterly divine – the South Pacific
You may never have imagined that the team at Encompass Africa could sell you a holiday to the spectacular South Pacific. To be honest it seemed utterly unfamiliar to us at first, yet hugely attractive. After weeks of research identifying countries and partners we’ve found our new niche. It also helps having Gen onboard who has personally travelled the South Pacific extensively and sold it as a destination for years prior to working with us.
We will soon be launching phase one of the South Pacific that includes Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa and the Cook Islands. More on Fiji below.
This region is truly spectacular and after hours of training we’ve realised it is the ultimate for relaxation, dipping in and out of the sea, snorkelling, diving, sipping on tropical cocktails and eating mounds of fresh seafood… But beyond the coral and cocktails attraction there is so much more for you to explore. Rivers, caves, colonial history, impressive forests and birdlife… interested yet?
We can’t wait to share it with you.
Fiji for starters…
Fiji is one of the most picture perfect places on earth. Blessed with 333 tropical islands, the waters are pristine as they were thousands of years ago and the majority of beaches boast sandy white shores. This really is a nature-lover’s paradise.
The islands are teeming with wildlife and covered in a thick carpet of tropical paradise forests. Meanwhile, it’s also a marine lovers playground. Snorkel over shallow reefs, explore remote dive sites rated the best in the world, trek through tropical rainforests, swim in crystal waters of rushing rivers and visit sacred caves. There is simply so much to see and do.
The Fijian people are some of the most friendly and welcoming in the world and you’ll always be happily greeted with “bula”. This bula spirit is infectious and you’ll soon find the most rewarding holiday happiness as you explore the islands and all they offer. The majority of Fijians live on the two big islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. There’s an impressive array of accommodation on these two islands from five star luxury hotels to small, remote and intimate island hideaways. Plus there are some smaller islands even private exclusive hotels that have an island all of their own.
This means there is something for everyone in Fiji – whether you’re travelling solo, adults only or with the family.More on Fiji
Namibia to get far away from the crowds…
This is one of the world’s most exciting and vast countries with one of the smallest populations per square kilometre on the planet. It is also an “ageless land” with history carved among the rocks by stone-age artists and geological attractions like petrified forests where fossilised tree trunks have been preserved for over 280 million years. In Namibia, it’s easy to feel a sense of solitude and wilderness. There are desert dunes to climb, the eerie Skeleton Coast to explore plus areas abundant with wildlife like Etosha National Park.
The climate is typical of a semi-desert country with warm to hot days and cooler nights. This varies in the high plateau of the interior and by a cold Benguela Current that runs along the Atlantic coastline. It’s generally dry with very little rain except fo the first few months of the year.
A tailor-made holiday to Namibia affords you the chance to experience its beauty with a private naturalist guide with you every step of the way. It will be fascinating, stress-free and exciting amidst very dramatic scenery.More on Namibia
South Africa a sign of the wines and safari…
We like the idea of escaping to somewhere relatively remote, with spectacular mountain passes and views, endless walking and hiking trails, world-class wine estates and dining experiences and a casual atmosphere in quintessential little villages. That’s just the Winelands component… and we’d couple it with a classic safari for the holiday finale.
South Africa’s Cape Winelands region is a stones’ throw away from cosmopolitan Cape Town. To get there, you’d obviously need to fly to Johannesburg and down to Cape Town. You could arrive into Johannesburg and then take one of the luxury trains down. Once in Cape Town, we’d whisk you away with our private guide and vehicle or you can self drive for total freedom to explore. The lifestyle in the Winelands is what appeals most – walking and hiking or bike riding in the mornings, then sipping world-class wines in cellar doors all afternoon long. You can easily spend a week in this region and combine it with a five night luxury safari in a small camp with just a handful of rooms or even an exclusive use safari. It’s easy to socially distance on a private luxury safari!More on South Africa
Botswana is a little beauty…
If you’ve never been to Africa or you’re a seasoned traveller, Botswana has to be on the bucketlist, especially right now. Here rests our all time favourite safari experience – a private, mobile safari with your very own guide, vehicle, crew and tents set up in a number of different remote wilderness areas that teem with wildlife. Nothing beats the joy of rising early to a steaming hot coffee and freshly baked muffin before venturing into the wilderness to watch the wildlife wake. You return for a siesta and the fun doesn’t stop. You can do as much or as little as you like in camp, from learning bush tracking skills to spending time with chef to cook up a storm for lunch. The afternoon adventure awaits, be that game drives, walking safaris, mokoro (dugout canoes) or boating safaris. As the sun dips below the horizon and you’ve got your favourite drink in hand by the campfire, stories will be told and laughter rings through the landscape with not another soul nearby.
Mobile safaris in Botswana are all about exclusivity, solitude and wilderness. There is no compromising your comfort though so don’t panic! Your canvas tent comes complete with bedding, ensuite toilets, little verandah at the front with chairs and hand washing station with clean hot water delivered regularly.
You can explore the salt pans, river systems and delta areas for as long as you like!More on Botswana
Kenya kicks goals for next getaway
While Kenya is famous for its phenomenal great migration with over 1.5 million wildebeest sweeping across open plains, there is far more on offer that allow you to avoid the crowds.
In Kenya the adventurous amongst us can head off on a private safari with guide and vehicle. Others may prefer to fly on the scheduled light aircraft flights or charter their own (additional cost). We’ve got private helicopter safaris and fly camping too plus fantastic horseback safaris, multi-day private walking and camping expeditions and so much more cool stuff in Kenya.
The Big five is here, there’s Great Rift Valley Lakes to explore, endless wilderness plains of the Masai Mara plus Amboseli with its Mount Kilimanjaro backdrop. We love the hills of Samburu and Mathew’s Ranges and the lesser known reserves with big reward of few tourists!
If you want to include the great migration in your Kenya itinerary keep in mind it’s best to book well in advance. This means we have more of a chance to get you a room at one of our preferred small camps that give you the best chance to see the spectacle and avoid the human densities that also seek to see the migration.
While you’ll need an international flight to arrive into Nairobi, once you’re there we whisk you away in private vehicles and aircraft to get you to remote safari settings with big reward.More on Kenya
Sri Lanka for the soul…
“Ayubowan” is the warm welcome you’ll receive on arrival into Sri Lanka and it means may you live a long life.
We’ve been sending guests to Sri Lanka over the past few years and travelled ourselves in January 2020 before the pandemic was announced. It took us by complete surprise, surpassing every expectation and truly rewarding us in so many ways.
Sri Lanka is an island off the southern tip of India. It’s known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Expect warm waters, lovely beaches in the southern and east coasts. There’s also an impressive natural wellness focus which allows you to really relax and unwind. The country’s 2,600 year old rich history offers impressive ancient sites and the country has a rich multicultural society. Gastronomy is a highlight here too plus it’s the tea capital of the world. The scenery and landscapes of Sri Lanka are impressive and there is unbelievable wildlife on land and sea from elephants, buffalos, sloth bears, leopards and an abundance of birdlife to the largest marine mammal, blue whales! This is the ultimate island safari.
There is so much to experience here and after 17 nights we didn’t get to experience even half of what we had on our list.
The pace can be as fast or slow as you seek and our tailor-made itineraries factor in private guide and vehicle for peace of mind when it comes to social distancing and a clean environment not to mention freedom to alter what you do each day as you please.
Fancy a chat about travel post COVID-19?
Encompass Africa is open for business and here to help travellers consider options for future adventures in Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India and the South Pacific. We:
• Give you great advice
• Find you the best deals and get you the best value for your money
• Take care of all the details
• Are on hand 24/7 while you’re travelling, giving you total peace of mind