by Debbie Ross, founder of the Womens Travel Network
After months of lockdown, and a vaccine on the horizon, people are starting to think about where to go in 2021 and 2022. Our travelers are more interested in bucket-list experiences and outdoor adventures in remote destinations, specifically places under threat from climate change or development.
We’re starting to see an increase in bookings. However, in order for international travel to fully restart, the industry must work together to rebuild trust and confidence. WTN and our partners have implemented travel safe protocols to adapt to the new normal. Airlines have improved airflow to ensure viruses are removed by exceptional quality airlifters. Small ships, hotels and restaurants are implementing the enhanced health and safety protocols under the ‘Safe Travels’ program established by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
As you ready yourself for travel, take a look at some of our Top Places to Visit in 2021 and 2022:
Egypt: The world’s greatest open-air museum, Egypt offers the kind of bucket-list experiences many travelers were dreaming of while sheltering at home. With construction of the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, much of the tourism infrastructure surrounding the pyramids has been moved underground so the Giza Plateau has been returned to the desert.
We’ll explore Cairo’s grand 19th century boulevards, discover ancient mosques, Coptic churches and 10th century palaces, stroll in the medieval walled city of the Mamluks and stay at the luxurious Intercontinental hotel. Explore the great pyramids from the inside out. We’ll visit some of the best-preserved tombs in the Valley of the Kings on our 4 day Nile River cruise staying aboard the luxurious Sonesta Moon Goddess.
Kenya: Safaris naturally lend themselves to social distancing with small boutique camps that offer private entrances and outdoor dining, offering the perfect balance of adventure and serenity. The luxurious Sweetwater Tented Camp is a haven that looks upon a watering hole visited by a variety of animals day and night.
Enjoy game drives exploring the grassy plateau of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, 90,000 acres of unspoiled African landscape, where the Big Five roam, including the last two northern white rhinos on earth. The Masai Mara National Reserve, home to some of Africa’s best game viewing. We hope to catch the end of the annual migration when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra herds attract constant attention from top predators. This adventure offers spectacularly diverse wildlife as well as a visit of a traditional Maasai village to meet the people.
Morocco: A great destination for travelers seeking an exotic off the beaten path destination with a Western Europe feel. You’re guaranteed an enchanting vacation filled with delectable tagines, dazzling souks and awe-inspiring Saharan landscapes. Explore spice markets, bustling bazaars and remote villages in the High Atlas Mountains. We’ll make our way south across the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert where we ride camels and sleep as the Bedouin do under a million stars. We’ll spend our days exploring while dining on authentic Moroccan cuisine and our nights will be spent relaxing in stunning traditional riads and hotels. Take in the captivating culture, ancient cities, sweeping deserts, epic mountain ranges– and warm hospitality that defines Morocco. All the while you’ll have the luxury of the complete peace of mind offered on a WTN tour.
Uganda: Endowed with a varied topography and a diverse set of habitats, Uganda is a yet understated country that happens to provide one of the best opportunities for up-close and memorable wildlife encounters that we’ve ever experienced. Perhaps the country’s greatest attraction is its more than dozen species of primate, many of which we will see. These include Red-tailed Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Blue Monkeys and the ornate Guereza Colobus. Our journey begins on the shores of the great Lake Victoria, the source of the legendary Nile. We’ll visit the impressive and thunderous Murchison Falls, which cut through a gorge channeling the waters of the White Nile. We’ll continue west making our way to the scenic edge of the Western Rift Valley. Along the way, we can expect to see many of the over 50 resident species of large mammal, including African Elephant, Lion, Hippopotamus and Plains Zebra.
A highlight will be tracking Chimpanzees at Kibale Forest National Park where there are a large number of resident chimp families in the forest. The undisputed tour highlight is our trek with our guide into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where half the world’s surviving Mountain Gorillas live, and where we may get very good views.
Galapagos: The only social distancing you need to worry about in the Galapagos Islands is staying six feet from the animals, which is not always possible when they have no fear of humans. These islands are an ideal vacation spot, with colorful wildlife guaranteed to captivate Accommodation for this journey is on The Beluga, a private yacht that is fully staffed and self-contained, with space to relax, both indoors and out much like a safari camp.
Our Galapagos naturalist guide leads us on island walks and gives on-board talks during our discovery of these remarkable island ecosystems, skirting past nesting boobies, scouting the seas for breaching whales and snorkeling among colourful fish. Desolate at first sight, these rough and rocky isles are home to wonderfully strange and abundant wildlife. As Charles Darwin did almost 200 years before us, we will marvel at the highly adapted creatures found nowhere else on Earth. And what is so special about the Galapagos experience is that these creatures act as though humans are nothing more than a passing interest, allowing us to observe them up close and walk among them.
We’re making it even easier now to put a trip in your calendar! We know that travel is not back to normal and we won’t be back on the road until it’s safe. In the meantime, we want to make it easier for you to start planning your trip with an extension to our Flexible Booking Policy.
You can reserve your spot with a $50 per person registration fee. We’ll provide more details as soon as the travel advisory is lifted. We’re prepared with our Tour Ready and Travel Safe guidelines to optimize health and hygiene on tour and to make sure we provide you with the fulfilling experience you expect.
To book a 2021 or 2022 adventure, call 1-888-419-0118 or visit www.womenstravelnetwork.ca