While technically located on this planet, some destinations can truly seem like they are other worldly. From rolling sand dunes to tropical jungles, the below locations offer a chance to be whisked away to somewhere that feels out of this world.
Available for exchange for members as part of the luxury travel and property club, THIRDHOME, this
contemporary home in Selfoss, Iceland is the perfect retreat with breathtaking views of the Bufell Mountains. The luxurious home is conveniently located at the start of the Golden Circle route in that showcases the most extraordinary natural sites of Iceland, including the Pingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss waterfall. During winter months, some lucky travelers might even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!
With an open floor plan and five bedrooms, this home is a perfect place to spend time unwinding and relaxing after a day exploring the natural beauty of Iceland. The fully equipped kitchen opens up to an expansive dining area, wood burn fireplace and amazing views. The luxurious outdoor space includes an outdoor shower and a jacuzzi, perfect for spotting the the Northern Lights on a clear winter's night.
Malilangwe Reserve, Zimbabwe At nearly 2,000 years old, the rare Baobab Tree is one of the world’s oldest flowering plants and is found in the Malilangwe Reserve at Singita’s Pamushana. Dwarfing the surrounding vegetation at 30 meters tall, there are many local legends about the tree including that God planted the trees on their heads, due to the massive trunk which gives rise to thick tapering branches resembling a root system -- like an upside-down tree. The flowers of the Baobab Tree have an incredibly short lifespan and open around dusk, so quickly that movement can be detected by the naked eye and disappear by the next morning. The tree and it’s fruit provide a source of water, fiber, dye and food for the people of Zimbabwe and has been used for centuries.
Perched high on a sandstone ridge above the Malilangwe Dam, Singita Pamushana is set within the 130,000-acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Zimbabwe’s remote southeast corridor. With private access to this untouched wilderness, guests can immerse themselves in nature on twice-daily game drives, bush walks, sundowner boat cruises, excursions to rock art sites and more.
The Kalahari, South Africa
Located in South Africa, the Kalahari is a timeless destination. As a place where humans have wandered since the dawn of the creation, the Kalahari offers a diverse landscape and animal sightings such as cheetah, aardvark, lion and others.
One of the very few mountain ranges in the southern Kalahari – the Korannaberg – casts a benevolent shadow over the rolling dunes and expansive grasslands of Tswalu Kalahari, a private reserve in the Kalahari. With a strong focus on research and conservation, Tswalu’s offers guest a chance to experience extraordinary wildlife in a luxurious setting.Between private game drives with no set schedule, helicopter safaris, horseback riding, walking safaris, meerkat encounter, visit to the millennia-old San petroglyphs, and research activities, Tswalu offers guests the chance to experience the magic of the southern Kalahari from every angle.
Since Tswalu is a private reserve, no areas are off-limits, and it is not crowded with tourists, so guests can pursue sightings as they please. Each room comes with its own guide and vehicle, allowing for total flexibility.
Ecotourism and safari outfit Natural Selection features their newest Namibian property, Kwessi Dunes. The new property is set in the vast 215,000 hectare NamibRand Nature Reserve, with easy access to Sossusvlei’s iconic rusty red sand dunes and the photogenic Deadvlei. The experience here is different from the traditional big 5 safari, and focuses on the beauty of the colorful landscape — rolling desert planes, a backdrop of craggy mountains and ionic red dunes, an otherworldly place where time seems to stand still and space is never ending. Located just south of the iconic dunes of Sossusvlei, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is an extraordinary private nature reserve, established to protect and conserve the wildlife of this corner of the Namib Desert. At over 200,000 hectares, it’s one of the largest private reserves in southern Africa—and one of the most striking. Think vast swathes of savannah, gravel plains dotted with tiny inselbergs, and pockets of green vegetation all backed by the enormous, blood-red mountains that have undoubtedly made the area famous. Kwessi Dunes offers guests a true Natural Selection 'Safaris of Character' experience with game drives, walks, quad bikes, trips to nearby Sossusvlei, scenic helicopter flights and hot air ballooning. A day trip to the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei is not to be missed, in particular the chance to climb “Big Daddy” before dawn. Afternoons can then be spent exploring Deadvlei, an extraordinary pan of fossilized trees that stand against the startling red backdrop of the dunes – quite simply, a photographer’s dream. For a completely different perspective of this extraordinary landscape, take to the skies in a tranquil hot air balloon ride as the sun rises.
Fregate Island, The Seychelles
Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Fregate Island is 4° south of the equator the Seychelles and enjoys a temperate climate all year. The island hideaway is rich in nature with plenty of flora and fauna, as well as seven entirely private beaches, including Anse Victorin which has been voted the most beautiful beach in the world. Anse Victorin is accessed through a jungle trail past giant tortoises, rare birds, and lush greenery which are found all throughout the island, transporting guests to another world entirely.
The Galapagos Islands
Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a true example of an otherworldly destination. From red and black sand beaches to deserts, lava fields, wet highlands, and mountains, each island is totally unique despite being so close to one another. The Galapagos are also one of the only places where travelers can get up close to the undisturbed wildlife, viewing them in their natural habitats.
Quasar Expeditions offers unforgettable cruises on their small yachts the M/V Evolution and M/Y Grace, allowing guests to explore the more remote islands and landscapes travelers staying on land can't reach. Adventurers can explore new terrains every day, some even on the same island. Excursions on Bartolome, for example, include a trip to a white sandy beach, the famous Pinnacle Rock hike and a lava rock walk while seeing iguanas, sea lions, turtles and a variety of birds. Travelers feel like they’re on a true expedition, spending their time hiking, swimming, kayaking, and enjoying their out-of-this-world surroundings.