Top 5 walking & trekking holidays for 2020

Leave the vehicles behind and strike out on foot into pristine wilderness - we've put together a few of our favourite walking and trekking experiences from around the globe.

1. World-class walking safari in Zambia's Luangwa Valley

Best time to visit: dry season – June to October

The Luangwa Valley is where walking safaris were born back in the 1960’s. Now nearing their sixth decade immense pride is still taken in their operation and execution, a gruelling apprenticeship and qualification system ensures only the top guides become walking guides and ensures the superb safety record.

The Luangwa Valley also happens to be one of the most beautiful places you could undertake a walking safari, the slow meandering eponymous river is flanked by beautiful glades of riverine forest and green grazing plains. An ever changing landscape where the only constant are the hippos and crocs. Plentiful elephant and a plethora of antelope along with graceful giraffe and humongous herds of buffalo complete the picture.

Head up to the far north of the South Luangwa National Park and you’re guaranteed to be in one of the few places on the planet where lion far outnumber man. Here along the crystal clear Mupamadzi River you can find one of the most authentic safaris available anywhere - and the focus is very much about being on foot. 

Combine with... Lower Zambezi where the ability to get out on the river on boat or canoe affords another perspective, or over to the Victoria Falls.

See a detailed itinerary

2. Luxury trekking in Nepal’s Himalayas

Best time to visit: October/November and March/April

Nepal offers some of the best trekking in the world amid truly spectacular mountain scenery. The country is home to eight of the ten tallest mountains on earth, and while they are hugely impressive even from afar, nothing beats getting up and close and personal with the Himalayas on foot.

Hiking for four to six hours each day in the company of your expert guide our luxury adventure takes you along ancient winding paths between snow-capped peaks and roaring glacial rivers amid the epic mountain landscape. You only need carry what you need for the day and there’s plenty of time to soak up the extraordinary views and discover village culture.

Each night is spent at a rustically comfortable mountain lodge with en-suite rooms; luxury here is the excellent personal service, evening drinks around a dancing fire, your bed warmed by a hot water bottle and falling asleep beneath a blanket of stars.

Combine with... a safari in search of tiger and rhino in Chitwan National Park

See a Nepal trekking itinerary

3. Trekking with a private camp in Morocco's High Atlas mountains

Best time to visit: Year round

Morocco is a wonderfully exciting country to explore. It’s a short flight from Europe and offers unimaginable diversity, from the souks and squares of the imperial cities to the dunes and mountains of the south. 

Time slows down when you head off into the wilds of Morocco. For just a few days you can leave the modern world behind and gently explore the stunning mountain passes, accompanied by your expert Berber guide. Our trekking holidays in Morocco are typically spread over 4 days and 3 nights - a complete adventure that starts with 4-5 hour jeep journey to your pick up point where your private crew and pack animals await you. The treks take you up arid hills, plains peppered with sweet scented herbs  and then, suddenly, impossibly lush valleys.

Walk by day to explore soaring mountain passes, leafy groves of almond trees and high alpine pastures. At the end of the day your luxurious tented awaits you – crisp white walk-in safari tents, proper sheets and duvets, khilims and a brocaded dining tent. Mint tea revives after the days walk, while freshly cooked food is prepared by your chef under a blanket of stars. 

Combine with... time in the bustling souks and squares of Marrakech. 

THE PERFECT TREK! From our pack mules all the way up to our guide, Oulaid, it was outstanding. We were guided through the most beautiful and remote countryside to camp sites with the most awesome views. Oulaid had really thought about our route and request to be off the beaten track. It was a delight that we did not see any tourist for the whole trek.”

- Natural High traveller

See a detailed itinerary

4. Walking safari along the dry rivers of Ruaha

Best time to visit: dry season – June to November

Ruaha is East Africa’s largest National Park and the best in the region to undertake a proper walking safari. The Great Ruaha River, with its impressive gorges, pools and rapids runs or a hundred miles close the park’s southern boundary creating stunning rugged landscapes.

Ruaha sits at the crossroads of East and Southern African flora and fauna with good populations of Greater and Lesser Kudu, ostrich, eland, sable, a lot of lion, wild dog and a bird list comparable to all of Botswana. It’s also home to one of the highest concentrations of elephants in the world and few animals are as rewarding when encountered on foot as elephant.

Nowhere in Ruaha is busy, with the Park receiving a fraction of the visitors that head to the more famous northern attractions of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, but in a remote northern corner the inimitable Kichaka Expeditions has been operating gold-standard small tented camps and fly-camping since 2003, where the ethos has always been to get out on foot and be properly immersed in the wilderness.

Combine with... the Selous Game Reserve which has a much more southern African feel – or hit the beach on Zanzibar.

Go on a walking safari in Ruaha

5. Luxury trek in Peru's Andes mountains

Best time to visit: year round but the dry winter season May -September is generally considered the best

Peru is a land of incredibly varied landscapes and climates, making it one of the best countries in the world for hiking. Taking a private hike through wild mountain scenery and hillsides dotted with Incan sites, comfortably camping each night, adds a wonderful off the beaten track element to a Peru holiday.

Treks range from a unique and pristine version of the classic Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, to the Choquequirao trek or the 11-day Cordillera Huayhuash trek – the second highest tropical mountain range in the world. Treks are remote, wild and incredibly beautiful, alpine lakes and broad grass valleys with wild flowers and rushing alpine creeks combine with vistas of peaks at elevations at over 5000m.

Our treks are with experienced private guides, two man tents with sleeping pads, pack animals, kitchen and camp crew and are tailored to suit you.

Combine with... Cusco, Arequipa, Machu Picchu and the Amazon, or even a Galapagos cruise.

Trekking in the Andes

MADE TO MEASURE

All the walks and treks featured in this round-up are 100% tailor-made to your wants and needs. If you're interested to find out more, please do contact the team and they'd be delighted to start planning your adventure. We have found in our experience it is never to early to start the conversation. 

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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Rod Tether
Rod Tether

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

Everything went smoothly and selection of accommodation was perect for us

"Excellent, no problems"

Anonymous

Fantastic Kenya 🇰🇪 Safari thanks Vanessa

"We stayed at three beautiful lodges; The Emakoko Nairobi National Park, Tortillis Camp Amboseli National Park and Kicheche Valley Camp Mara Conservation Area. Great food, great staff, great guides, great management, could not fault anything. Every pick up was on time and with a smile. Loved the ‘Captains Table’ at Kicheche. Highlight was the Ballon ride over the Mara - fantastic. We saw all that we hoped to see, Nairobi; lion, rhino, plains game Amboseli; elephant, lion, buffalo, hippo, plains game Mara; leopard, lion, elephant, cheetah, buffalo, plains game. In Nairobi we stayed at the Sarova Stanley which was also great, leaving a message on the mail board by the ‘Thorn Tree’. Key to our great safari was our travel consultant Vanessa Janion at Natural High who was fantastic. Yes we loved everything, thanks Vanessa 💖"

David Poninghaus VJ

Amazing experience

"Seamless service, Catherine was able to accommodate my changing needs, even last minute changes that were my fault, and ended up with a wonderful vacation experience......highly recommend for efficient and individualized service."

Anonymous

Very helpful and accomodating

"Very helpful and Catherine went out of her way to accommodate us. It was also short notice from our side and yet it all worked very well. Good advice was provided to us about where to stay en route and all queries promptly answered."

Anonymous

Phenomenal Safari which will certainly stay with us for years to come

"Our main contact, Rod, was extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of the Safari that we ultimately decided upon. We trusted his recommendations throughout and were certainly impressed by the trip. Whilst we were on Safari Rod was always there at the end of the phone, or email should we need him (which we did with a bit of a passport blip) and he did everything he could to help us out."

Matt & Lucy Worthy RT

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