Sunset on the river Nile, Egypt (Shutterstock)
List 10 October

9 trips with the world's top tour guides

We have announced the winners of the Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2018. From overlanding in West Africa to walking in Italy and cruising the Mekong, here’s how you can have an amazing trip with them

1: Cut an epic overlanding slice through west Africa

Sunset in Sierra Leone, West Africa (Dreamstime)

Sunset in Sierra Leone, West Africa (Dreamstime)

Join Gold Award-winning guide Julie Gabbott as she navigates and drives travellers across West Africa on Dragoman’s Dakar and Accra via Togo and Benin tour. Try and spot the elusive pygmy hippo on Tiwai Island in Sierra Leone, spy lions and elephants in Benin’s Pendjari NP, visit the Great Mosque of Touba in Senegal and tread Butterfly Mountain in Togo. And that’s just barely scratching the surface on this 70-day epic, which can also be broken up into three shorter trips for who prefer short- to long-haul…

Who: Dragoman (01728 861133)

When: 12 Nov 2018; 28 Jan 2019 (reverse journey)

How long: 70 days

2: See a spectacular wilderness in Argentina

Fitz Roy Mountain, Patagonia, Argentina (Dreamstime)

Fitz Roy Mountain, Patagonia, Argentina (Dreamstime)

Soak up the South American outdoors in Patagonia with Silver Award-winner Neil Rabjohn on G Adventures’ End of the Earth tour. Marvel at Andean peaks en route to Los Glaciares NP, spying twisting rock formations emerging from ice fields and fine views of Fitz Roy Mountain. Float up close to the toothpaste-blue Perito Moreno glacier and trek grasslands and snowy peaks in Torres del Paine NP. Climax in Ushuaia, overlooking the waters that separate you and Antarctica.

Who: G Adventures (0344 272 2060)

When: From Mar 2019

How long: 14 days

3: Go on detective in Doyle’s Devon, England

The Holy Trinity Church, Devon (Dreamstime)

The Holy Trinity Church, Devon (Dreamstime)

Follow in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes with Top UK guide Alex Graeme on Unique Devon Tours’ The Hound of the Baskervilles Tour. Trace the origins of Arthur Conan Doyle’s book, including the eerie Holy Trinity Church, the resting place of Richard Cabell III – the inspiration for its antagonist. Then swap gentle Devon lanes for Dartmoor and the Bronze Age settlement of Grimspound, before finishing as the story does, deep in the mysterious, treacherous bog (Fox Tor Mire).

Who: Unique Devon Tours (01803 812556)

When: Year round

How long: 1 day

4: Meander the Mekong in Cambodia and Vietnam

Mekong River, Vietnam (Dreamstime)

Mekong River, Vietnam (Dreamstime)

Float one of the world’s great waterways with Highly Commended guide Phauk Kimhoun on G Adventures’ Mekong River Adventure – Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh trip. Float past pagodas, paddy fields and old colonial houses as you drift this watery slice of South- East Asia. See Cai Be’s floating market, glimpse Vinh Trang and Kien An Cung pagodas and see the sun set from Sam Mountain, then head for Cambodia and its storied capital, Phnom Penh.

Who: G Adventures (0344 272 2060)

When: 2019 dates still to be announced.

How long: 5 days

5: Tread the Tuscan peaks in Italy

Guided trek through the Tuscan peaks (Exodus)

Guided trek through the Tuscan peaks (Exodus)

Follow Highly Commended guide Sara Bull’s lead on Exodus’ Walking trip. Take on a number of trails, treading past craggy peaks and slope-clinging villages, spying buzzards and eagles as you summit Pania della Croce (1,858m). Take a break to visit fortified Lucca and the pastel-coloured buildings of the Cinque Terre, before rejoining the trail among the wild flowers and lofty forests of Appennino Tosco-Emiliano NP, topping Tuscany’s highest peak, Mount Prado (2,054m).

Who: Exodus (020 3811 4352)

When: Selected dates Apr–Oct 2019

How long: 8 days

6: Spy wonderful wildlife in Tanzania and Kenya

An elephant in Kenya (Dreamstime)

An elephant in Kenya (Dreamstime)

Join Top Safari Guide Garth Hovell on Abercrombie & Kent’s Great Migration Safari Escorted Tour and see East Africa’s rich wildlife. Stays in camps and lodges will put you nose to snout with the lions, leopards and elephants of Kenya’s Amboseli NP and the acacia-shaded zebra and buffalo of Tanzania’s Tarangire NP. Visit the lush Ngorogoro Crater, then climax with a glimpse of wildlife’s supreme spectacle – spying the Great Migration in the savannahs of Serengeti NP and at Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Who: Abercrombie & Kent (01242 547892)

When: Jan–Apr and Jul–Oct

How long: 13 nights

7: Be wowed by Darwin’s archipelago in Ecuador

Blue-footed boobies and an iguana in the Galápagos (Dreamstime)

Blue-footed boobies and an iguana in the Galápagos (Dreamstime)

Soak up the wildlife on Galakiwi’s Galápagos Adventure Tour with Top Conservation Guide Pablo Valladares island hopping the archipelago to spy sea lions and blue-footed boobies on San Cristóbal and basking marine iguanas on Floreana, then visiting the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre on Isabela. Scale Sierra Negra and tread the lava fields of Volcan Chico, then finish by swapping boots for a snorkel to glide among Galápagos penguins.

Who: Galakiwi (+593 5252 1770)

When: 16 Nov and 14 Dec 2018

How long: 10 days

8: Visit the cradle of civilisation in Greece

Ruins of the Parthenon on the Greek acropolis (Dreamstime)

Ruins of the Parthenon on the Greek acropolis (Dreamstime)

Let Highly Commended guide Gabo Candal bring the past and present into focus on G Adventures’ Best of Greece tour. Spy Athens’ iconic Acropolis, then embark on a greatest hits tour of ancient Greece: the mountaintop monasteries of Meteora, the Temple of Apollo, the cobbles of Nafplio. Finish by hopping to Crete to spy Chania’s Old Town and hike the rugged Samariá Gorge NP, before boating to the blue-domed buildings of Santorini. Bliss.

Who: G Adventures (0344 272 2060)

When: 5 May 2019

How long: 15 days

9: See sandy icons galore in Jordan and Egypt

Allow Highly Commended guide Ashraf Masoud to uncloak a pair of dynasties on Abercrombie & Kent’s Petra, Pyramids and Nile Cruise Escorted Tour. Explore Jordan’s antiquities, from the ‘City of Mosaics’, Madaba, to the rose-red wonder of Petra, before crossing into Egypt, where a cruise down the Nile, passing the Luxor Temple and the Valley of the Kings, gives way to Aswan’s temples of Abu Simbel and the pyramids on Cairo’s fringes.

Who: Abercrombie & Kent (01242 386468)

When: Year round

How long: 13 nights

 

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