Hiking while traveling is an excellent way to practice active wellness while also getting lost in the beauty and nature of a new destination. From jungle walks in the Seychelles with a resident conservationist, walking safaris in Africa and mountain hikes in Japan, here are some of our favorite global hiking destinations that the experts at Niarra Travel can help put together:
Fregate Island Nature Walks — The Seychelles
Fregate Island has over six miles of crisscrossing hiking trails through the lush green jungle and beach. Guests can take nature walks with Fregate Island's resident conservationist and look for the island’s “Little Five”, including the rare Tenebaum beetle, unique to Fregate Island, for the precious Wrights Gardenia, the first to flower in the Seychelles. On a night time safari, hikers will see the rare fluorescent scorpion. The nature hike is an inspiring and encouraging journey into the island's ecosystem, giving explorers a deeper understanding of the role conservation plays on Fregate Island.
Walking Safari — Kruger National Park, South Africa
At Singita Kruger National Park every excursion is different and filled with exciting wildlife encounters and once-in-a-lifetime safari moments across the 33,000 acres of wildlife reserve. While on foot during walking safaris, Singita’s carefully protected reserves and concessions allow guests to form a deep connection with nature while exploring the magnificent landscapes and ecosytems surrounding them. From the lush landscape of the Kruger National Park to the remarkable concentration of “Big Five” animals, the walking safari experience offers guests the unique vantage point to connect with the landscape around them. Spotted recently on a walking safari, was a Maricho Flycatcher bird. This small bird is endemic to South Africa and is rarely spotted in the wild.
Mount Yotei — Niseko Village, Japan
Niseko Village has become a hot spot for summer travel. From mid-April, the landscape slowly bursts to life - the lowland thaws with flowing rivers, blossoming flower fields and greens - as the golf courses and nature trails open. For the avid hiker, there are miles of trails through the mountains that open for the summer season. One popular yet challenging trail is the six-hour, 10-mile hike to the top of Mount Yotei. A steep walk with plenty of opportunities for bird watching and wildlife viewing, the views at the top are breathtaking. Following the hike, travelers can relax at The Green Leaf Niseko Village and unwind in their traditional onsen.
Jungle Walk — Costa Rica
Nestled in the remote forests of Costa Rica, the Casa Alta Vista is surrounded by over 300 indigenous trees and miles of sprawling trails that are home to a diverse population of monkeys, sloths, birds, bees, and butterflies sure to delight avid hikers. With spectacular views of the Manuel Antonio bay, the stunning estate available for exchange for members of the luxury travel and property club THIRDHOME easily accommodates twenty-four guests across ten spacious bedrooms. Best of all the property is only a short walk to a stunning beach.
Elusive Species Walk — Tswalu Kalahari
Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa’s largest private game reserve, is one of the best places on the continent to see five of the most elusive species in Africa: aardvark, pangolin, brown hyena, aardwolf and bat-eared fox. These tricky-to-spot creature sightings are made easier thanks to Tswlau’s guides and trackers, who work as a team to read the signs left in the wild, especially the animal tracks. Guests are welcome to join their guide and tracker by crouching in the red Kalahari sand to examine a set of tracks to lead them to the animals while on a guided hike. The immersive, guided excursions on foot slowly reveal the fascinating diversity of Tswalu’s vast reserve. Additionally, Tswalu’s open expanses provide excellent visibility, which makes it easier to spot foraging animals, like aardvark or aardwolf, from a distance.
Lion's Head and Devil's Peak — Cape Town, South Africa
With undulating mountain chains, acres of forest and vast nature reserves right at its doorstep, Cape Town has a strong outdoor culture with hiking as one of the top activities. Guests of Ellerman House often venture up the surrounding mountains such as Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak. Lion’s Head is situated in the heart of Cape Town overlooking the city, Robben Island, Table Mountain, the Cape wine lands, and beautiful Clifton where Ellerman House is located. The climb to the top is roughly an hour and a half and is a fairly steep walk followed by some rock climbing assisted with ladders and a few chains. The hike up Devil’s Peak begins on the Table Mountain road and offers spectacular views of the city and its surrounding areas. The hike is quite challenging but the views and the forest scenery are worth the effort.
The Path of Marvels — Malcantone, Switzerland
Guests of Hotel Eden Roc and visitors to Lake Maggiore and Ticino looking to spend a day hiking can head to Malcantone, famous for its chestnut forests and picturesque villages. Departing from Novaggio, travelers walk along the historic Path of Marvels, dotted with quarries, mills and castles of years past, through the valley around the Magliasina River. After an hour on the trail, hikers will reach Maglio in Aranno, an old hammer mill, where they will find a cove with small waterfalls to take a dip and cool off in and a peaceful meadow for relaxing before continuing on the rest of the four-mile loop. Following their hike, guests can return to the hotel to unwind with a spa treatment and indulge in a Michelin-starred meal, taking in the magnificent views of the lake at the prime waterfront location.
The Melville Koppies Nature Reserve — Johannesburg, South Africa
The Melville Koppies Nature Reserve located 15 minutes outside of Johannesburg is considered a Johannesburg City Heritage Site due to its historic ridges. It is the last conserved remnant of the city’s ridges before the gold discovery and rush in the late 1800s. The reserve offers organized scheduled tours and hikes for guests interested in learning more about this area and its history. The ridges date back to three billion years ago and are full of lush vegetation and wildlife. While walking to the ridge peaks, the city skyline can be seen in the distance showcasing modern Johannesburg and how the area has developed from what it once was millions of years ago. Other highlights of the reserve include an archeological site, gardens and bird watching. The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, a secluded and private hotel in the city is the idyllic retreat after a day spent hiking. Located in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst the Saxon Hotel is an all-luxury, 53-suite hotel and home to the nature-inspired Saxon Spa, onsite gourmet restaurants. The Saxon also offers a red and white wine cellar with an impressive wine list — a perfect way to complete a day spent walking the landscape.
Niarra Travel is a start-up luxury travel company headquartered in London, with a current team of five but supported by the wider OppGen group. Born out of a passion for travel and a desire to do things differently, Niarra Travel are is here to lead the industry in a new direction of luxury travel. The company will be offering trips to many destinations across the world, with a heavy focus on the African continent - particularly Southern and Eastern Africa. This is where the team has the majority of the experience. However, trips will expand be offered to other destinations on an ongoing basis and as other members are employed the team continues to grow. The company’s mission is to harness commerce, conservation, community and culture to build sustainable and prosperous societies and ecosystems, through high-impact travel experiences. Their purpose: to inspire travel experiences that leave our world better than we found it.