Wilderness destinations you have to visit!

I have always suffered from a fairly serious case of wanderlust. Although as of yet I have not had the opportunity to formally pursue many of these cravings… As a result I have taken up living vicariously through others until such time as I can go on adventures of my own (uhm meant to be read as when I develop the ability to grow money!). Don’t get me wrong, I have been incredibly lucky growing up with parents who exposed me to many beautiful places all around South Africa (Thank you Mom and Dad!), wanderlustbut I have always had this urge to see more. Experience the majestic wild of some far off country, be it the rainforests of Papua New Guinea ,Equatorial Africa, or Tasmania. Where you are enveloped by the forest and all around you are ancient trees and wilderness which for the most part is virtually untouched by mankind. That to me is a thrilling thought! Yes these rainforests are usually occupied by a multitude of critters of the spidery and slithering kind- who are often quite dangerous, BUT lets not dwell on those aspects haha. I imagine staring up at the canopy above me, the light creeping in creating shadows wherever I look. I imagine the humidity lapping at my skin and the sounds of the forest orchestra all around, the hum of insects the basetrack.  I smell the damp leaf litter and hear the leaves crack and twigs snap softly under my weight. I imagine the luscious air free of pollution and also staring out across the carpet of green. Trees the units of this puzzle! What I would give to sit and watch the sun rise and the forest wake up, to see the clouds drift gently across the horizon, gently blanketing the canopy. I can picture the stream gurgling by, softly caressing the rocks as the water flows determinedly -imperfectly perfect pebbles evidence of eons of weathering.

rainforest New Zealand rainforest Cloudforest

What about walking through the ancient bamboo forests or the majestic groves of cherry blossoms (Sakura) in Japan. Picture the eerie silence amongst the bamboo, listen as it creaks as the wind blows gently by. Or the delicious sweet scent of the hundreds of cherry blossoms that are scattered across the landscape. Their perfume sticky and clinging to all in its path. I imagine sitting down to experience an authentic Japanese tea ceremony in a traditional tea garden, bounded by rolling hills and intricately ornate temples.

Giant bamboo forest in Kyoto: one of the most photographed places in Japan by tourists [Explore]chichibuSakura at Shitennō-ji (四天王寺) in OsakaHistoric Japanese garden with tea ceremony house in lush forest120  Landgoed Clingendael - De Japanse Tuin - ガーデンJapanese Tea Garden

Then to a more familiar landscape! The untouched wilderness of Zambia. I have heard so much about the Luangwa valley (many of my favourite documentaries have been shot here) and if the photos are anything to go by- it is a landscape of striking beauty. A perfect example of what African savanna has to offer. It may be similar to the Kruger National Park in terms of animal life, but where KNP (My favourite place) is quite commercialised in some regions, Zambia and Luangwa particularly are far more exclusive and removed from the normal world.

Luangwa sunsetElephants of the LuangwaDry river - South Luangwa national park - Zambia

One of my all time favourite series of books is Wilbur Smith’s Egyptian series which follows the exploits of the ancient eunuch Taita and his guidance of many of Egypt’s most famous Pharaohs. Naturally his descriptions of the history, landscapes of sand and wind, pyramids, hieroglyphics and the country as a whole has long since compelled me to visit and experience one of the seven wonders of the world up close and very personally!

PyramidTemple of Karnak at the Holy See (Egypt)Valley of the Kings in Luxor

Last, but certainly not least is one of the only places where you actually cannot legally step foot without being a member of a scientific expedition. The great and mysterious Antarctica. I have previously looked into getting a place on one of the antarctic missions as South Africa is one of the few countries with a full-time, fully functional antarctic base. But alas my background in Ecology means unless I can study the lichen my options are fairly limited, um you know..given the almost complete lack of plant diversity. Fun fact- did you know that some places on the continent are considered the driest on earth! Surprised? well many areas have not experienced rain in over 200 years! There is something incredibly awe inspiring about the vast nothingness of this place. Ice, rock, glaciers and snow! That is what you are likely to encounter. BUT from pictures I have seen and from the first-hand account of someone I did Honours with, it is a magical place! Antarctica is definitely on my bucket list. Just have a look at a few of the stunning picture below. Could you resist a visit? 

AntarcticaAntarcticaSouth African Antarctic Base StationParadise Bay, AntarcticaAntarctica

Have a look at these two instagram accounts, both belong to immensely talented photographers/vloggers/youTubers and they most definitely live a life of travel and adventure that will make even the most resistant of travellers feel the need to venture out to see what life has to offer!

Mr Ben Brown-Instagram

Sometimes you’ve got to use wings to get the best views 😌

A photo posted by Ben Brown (@mrbenbrown) on Jul 14, 2015 at 3:54am PDT

A photo posted by Ben Brown (@mrbenbrown) on Jul 14, 2015 at 3:54am PDT

Louis Cole- Instagram

And here is just one example of a vlog by Ben Brown- AKA the guy who I wish I could travel with!, on his recent trip in Zambia. Sunsets over the Zambezi…..humph, they so jealousy makes you nasty?….I think it makes me hungry, hungry to travel and have the same experiences!

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