Geographical Wonders Not to Miss in a Lifetime
Updated: Apr 6, 2021
Much of our beautiful home on earth consist of geographical beauties that were not man made. Here are some breathtaking sites, including some declared New7Wonders of the World and Nature that every traveler needs to see in their lifetime.
South Africa — Table Mountain
The majestic Table Mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town, is home to the richest, yet smallest floral kingdom on earth, and was voted one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World in 2011. Flanked by Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, Table Mountain makes up the northern end of the Cape Fold Mountain range. Hard to believe, the mountain’s distinctive flat top – a nearly 2 mile level plateau – was once the bottom of a valley. Legend has it that the tablecloth of clouds that pours over the mountain when the southeaster blows is the result of a smoking contest between the devil and a retired sea captain called Jan van Hunks. The 22-square-mile area comprising Table Mountain and the Back Table is home to more than 1,470 floral species, many of them exclusively native to the area. The the summit of the mountain can be reached via cable car, or it makes for an excellent challenging hiker of all levels for those who wish to reach to conquer the top by foot.
Cape Town’s iconic hotel Ellerman House is located just minutes from the Table Mountain cableway and the warm concierge team is available to help guests organize a day trip to the mountain. After a day of exploring Table Mountain, Ellerman House is an excellent retreat to unwind and enjoy more scenic, landscape views with the hotel’s exclusive location overlooking spectacular Bantry Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
England — City of Bath
The City of Bath, just a two hour drive or 90 minute train ride from London, has a varied history. Founded by the Romans as a spa, the city then became an important center of the wool industry in the medieval period before becoming a spa town in the 18th century. Today, Bath is preserved for its Roman remains and Palladian architecture. Travelers to the area seeking an enriching experience can walk the streets and visit the area’s treasured spots, such as the Ancient Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent and Bath Abbey.
Bath is also home to The Gainsborough Bath Spa, a five-star luxury spa hotel located in the center of town and the ultimate destination for travelers seeking a relaxing escape. The Gainsborough is the only hotel that has tapped into the natural thermal waters of the area, providing guests with incredible spa treatments and pools to bathe in the healing waters.
Iceland — Northern Lights
During the winter months at this contemporary home in Selfoss, Iceland, lucky members can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights while taking in the 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.
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. Available for exchange for members of luxury travel and property club, THIRDHOME.
Switzerland — Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes
The Rhaetian Railway in the Albula/Bernina Landscapes brings together two historic railway lines that cross the Swiss Alps through the two passes. When they first opened, the railways provided a fast and easy route into many formerly isolated settlements and building the railroads required overcoming a number of technical challenges with bridges and tunnels. Today, all train riders heading to St. Moritz pass through the spectacular area, enjoying the twists, turns and majestic views of the mountains along the way.
For travelers heading to St. Moritz, the all-suite Carlton Hotel St. Moritz is a must-stay. A classic example of the destination’s renowned elegance and exclusivity, the property boasts breathtaking views of the frozen Lake St. Moritz and the Engadine mountains beyond it, 60 suites, a Penthouse Suite, two restaurants, including the two Michelin-starred Da Vittorio, and a spa and wellness center.
Peru — Machu Picchu
The once-isolated Inca Empire situated in the mountains at 7,000 feet, Machu Picchu rises from stepped terraces to naturally blend into the surrounding rocks, forming a truly ancient wonder. Demonstrating the power of the Inca Empire, the incredible ruins boast a citadel made from cut stone and more than 150 buildings ranging from baths to houses to temples.
Travelers interested in exploring the world wonder can do so with Quasar Expeditions. A leader in experiential travel throughout South America for over 30 years, Quasar offers unforgettable accommodations and experiences throughout Peru, including their Trek to the Lost City of the Incas. Kicking off in Cusco, this five day trip boasts a number of hiking and train excursions to areas such as Ollantaytambo before ending with a day to explore Machu Picchu.
South Africa — Cradle of Humankind
Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, also known as the Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng, South Africa is one of the most important geological wonders in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site made up of 15 sites that are steeped in riveting history of our earliest ancestors, the hominoids. Located about 30 miles northwest from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind holds fascinating stories dating back to 2 million years ago about how our species came to be. Legend has it that here, evidenced by fossils of human’s distant mammal-like ancestors, Africa was the birthplace of humankind. Thus, all of humanity shares an African Heritage and are just one diverse species spread across the globe, with our roots in Africa.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, a secluded retreat in Johannesburg’s affluent suburb of Sandhurst is just a 45 minute drive from The Cradle of Humankind helps with arranging visits for guests to the UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, within minutes of Johannesburg's world-class shopping and business hub, the Saxon Hotel is a private, all-luxury, 53-suite hotel with nature-infused spa, gourmet restaurants, and impressive art collection.
Tanzania — Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park has attracted generations of travelers hoping for a glimpse of the diverse range of globally endangered species found in the reserve, including the black rhinoceros, elephant, wild dog, and cheetah. A pillar of the Serengeti ecosystem, every year hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra undertake an annual migration across nearly 5,000 miles of the greater Serengeti ecosystem towards the 350,000 acre Grumeti Reserve, following the rain in search of better grazing lands crossing the Grumeti and Mara Rivers.
Located on the annual wildebeest migration route, Singita Serengeti House offers guests a modern safari experience with private access to untouched wilderness in the western corridor of the Grumeti Reserve. Up to eight guests can feel at home at Serengeti House, an exclusive-use retreat perfect for families, with four suites connected through a central pool deck. With plenty of room to relax and both indoor and outdoor dining spaces, day beds, a private tennis court and a dedicated house team, guests can create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Seychelles — Vallée de Mai
Located on the granitic island of Praslin, the Vallée de Mai reserve is home to the world’s largest population of the Coco de Mer, the largest seed plant in the plant kingdom and an endemic species to the Seychelles once believed to grow in the depths of the sea. The island is accessible via bus from Praslin, the second most populous island in the Seychelles.
The Coco de Mer frequently wash up on the beautiful beaches of the Seychelles, including at Fregate Island— the noted nature conservation hide-away nearby. Avid naturalists will delight in the 3,500 giant Aldabra tortoises that roam the island and in the endemic population of the Seychelles Magpie Robin, found only on Fregate Island.
South Africa — ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape
Located in South Africa, the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is located at the border with Botswana and Namibia in the northern part of the country. The property comprises a vast area that coincides with the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP). The large expanse of sand dunes forms a landscape which contains tangible evidence of human occupation from the Stone Age to the present and is associated with the culture of the ǂKhomani and related San people. The landscape includes landmarks of the history, migration, livelihoods, memory and resources of the ǂKhomani and related San people and other communities, past and present, and attests to their adaptive responses and interaction to survive in a desert environment.
A few hours drive away from the the ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is Tswalu Kalahari, the largest privately-owned game reserve in South Africa. Set in the green Kalahari, Tswalu’s low-impact, high-value approach to ecotourism ensures that revenue flows directly back into conservation work. With only two camps, The Motse and Tarkuni, Tswalu accommodates just 30 people and has the lowest guest footprint in South Africa. The property is unique in that it has a foundation dedicated to research, which informs every conservation decision taken, and is a vital part of what Tswalu is all about. Guests are encouraged to interact with scientists and doctoral students in the field, should they have a keen interest in a specific subject. Those who choose Tswalu contribute to the sustainability of our commitment to preserving the southern Kalahari’s biodiversity for future generations.