4 Extreme Safaris for Adventure Lovers
These extreme adventures will put your physical and mental toughness to the test
The term “safari” originates from a Swahili word, meaning journey, and in times gone by, the term would conjure images of big game hunts on the vast content of Africa. In modern parlance however, the term safari enjoys a broader definition. Safaris have evolved to reflect a concept of adventure, exploration and discovery.
Some are easier than others; honeymooners can combine unique wildlife experiences with luxury relaxation, while a recent trend towards family safaris reflects a growing consciousness about the value of life education through travel. But in many instances true adventure is born through the most extreme challenges.
The following safaris, from Antarctica to Uganda, are considered some of the most physically and mentally demanding treks in the world.
The Ultimate Antarctica
Image by Tim Fisher
The stark and uninhabited ice sheet that is the 7th continent of the world may not be an appealing destination for many but is the perfect choice for those who wish to pit themselves against the elements. Navigable only by small ice-strengthened vessels, travelers will follow the paths of historic explorers and will require a flexible attitude as constantly changing conditions will dictate the itinerary.
NWS Ultimate Antartica Safari
Gorilla Trek in Uganda
Image by Sanctuary Retreats GFC
Gorilla trekking is an extremely popular safari activity, and while Rwanda is well known through the global attention brought to the region by the work of Dian Fossey and her associates, the Ugandan experience offers an equally thrilling yet more physically demanding experience. As the name suggests, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park contains almost impassably dense rainforest as well nearly half the world’s estimated, and sadly dwindling, mountain gorilla population.
NWS Gorilla Tracking Safari
The Inca Trail
Image by Fransisco Dousdebes
The trek from the Sacred Valley along the Inca Trail to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu is breath-taking in terms of scenery but also due to the altitude. Add further challenge to this already rigorous ascent by continuing to the summit of Huayna Picchu, also known as Wayna Picchu, where trekkers can gaze down upon the majesty of Machu Picchu as they congratulate themselves for going that little bit further. Re-acclimatize upon your descent with a day or two in Cuzco, once the capital of the Inca Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
NWS Classic Inca Trail Safari
Image by Tanzania Tourist Board
The highest non-technical ascent available to tourists, Mount Kilimanjaro presents a combination of extinct and dormant volcanoes as it challenges the physical fitness of even experienced climbers over the several days it will take to reach the summit. Rejuvenate from the grueling adventure in unique accommodation, such as the Rivertrees Country Inn, which boasts first class views of the mountain.
NWS Kilimanjaro Safari