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Top 5 Wilderness Safaris

For those looking to get off-grid and into pristine wilderness, here is our pick of the bunch:

1. DOGSLED EXPEDITION IN ARCTIC SWEDEN

An expedition that will take you off the beaten track and into the unspoilt, pristine wilderness of Swedish Lapland. Driving your very own husky team across the stunning arctic taiga stopping each evening in rustic, intimate and cosy arctic camps this is a true wilderness experience that is perfect for families looking to go off-grid for a bit of adventure – February half term is the paramount time to enjoy this unforgettable experience. In the company of your expert guide throughout – this is your arctic wilderness equivalent of an old school mobile camping safari.

Fly into the Swedish Arctic airport of Kiruna before you head off to meet your pack of loyal huskies. After full demonstrations and training, you are off, into the stunning Arctic wilderness crossing vast frozen lakes and through beautiful frosted forests. On arrival at each camp, you will help settle your dogs down for the night before enjoying hot lake saunas and your evening meal by candlelight.

2. MOROCCO: THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Private mobile camps carried on the backs of camels into the wilderness of the High Atlas Mountains is a sensationally authentic experience that blends seamlessly with the local Berber culture. For us, travelling with a private camp high into the Moroccan mountains is an experience among the best of its kind in Africa. The mountains and deserts of Southern

Morocco offer you completely un-touched wilderness where you quickly find yourself immersed in a world of extreme landscapes, mountain villages and medieval Kasbahs, quietly exploring these areas on foot is one the greatest luxuries you will find.

You will travel lightly and spend nights in your private camp under a blanket of stunning bright stars – here is an experience that will throw out the day to day routine and demonstrate the simple delights of exploring slowly, stopping often and treading a path that has remained un-changed for centuries.

3. KAFUE NATIONAL PARK, ZAMBIA

Africa’s largest National Park is first and foremost a gigantic wilderness containing no permanent population in an area half the size of Switzerland. A dozen idiosyncratic camps dot the map from the otherworldly Busanga in the north to the Nanzhila Plains in the deep south. Few places boast this variety of habit – lakes, swamps, plains, forests and rivers are all found within its borders. Nowhere can match the means to explore – walk, boat, canoe, drive and balloon. While the wildlife is excellent, the real attraction is the palpable feeling of being properly off the beaten track and to ability make a multi-day mega-transect through a truly wild environment.

4. NAMIBIA CONSERVANCY SAFARIS

Travel to north-west Namibia for a unique conservation safari taking time out to track endangered species with an expert team in remote desert country. This expedition gives you the opportunity to meet teams on the ground protecting species in the area. This conservancy safari takes a different spin on the safari model. The safari company is owned by five conservancies in the north-west Kunene region with profits from the safari business going to the 3,000 members of these conservancies. So you know you are making a real difference. Owners include Puros, Orupembe, Sanitatas, Okonjombo and Marienfluss conservancies, covering more than 13,500 square kms. When the safari company grows, it is the conservancies, not outside backers, that see the benefits. This is a top-class safari in a remote, spectacular part of north-west Namibia where you will be welcomed as guests, not merely tourists, by the community owners of the company.

5. MONGOLIA

Roam free across the seemingly limitless expanses of Mongolia with your own private camel caravan. In the company of an expert guide you make your nomadic journey in the wilds of the Gobi spending each night in the cosy simplicity of a mobile ger, the Mongol’s traditional large round felt tent. The dramatic landscape is one of ever-changing moods as the clouds scud across the vast cerulean sky and arid rocky steppe and giant sand dunes burst into life in the few short summer months. Treading lightly through this untouched wilderness you may spot endangered argali, the largest mountain sheep in the world, Siberian ibex and Mongolian gazelle while enormous black vultures glide overhead.

News of the outside world becomes totally unimportant and while you might occasionally have a mobile signal you won’t need it. Walking with your gentle two-humped woolly Bactrian, the steppe telegraph becomes more relevant and at chance meetings with nomads in the remotest spots updates are swapped over a pinch of snuff or bowl of salty milk tea about the condition of pastures and seasonal springs or news shared about the location of a wolf. This is mobile camping at its best, in a land largely unchanged since the time of Ghengis Khan.

Alex Edwards
About the Author

Alex Edwards

St Paul had his epiphany on the road to Damascus. Mine was on the road to Ruaha in the middle of an African night in ‘93.

Distant electrical storms creased the ink-black sky, animals flickered in the headlights then disappeared like phant...

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