Last September G-Adventures and National Geographic teamed up to launch a new travel partnership. It combines National Geographic’s more than 125 years of global exploration, science and storytelling with the authentic experiences for which G Adventures is well-known.
Much of what has been said about the partnership applies to other tour operators: small groups, expert tour leaders, meeting local people. Yet even seasoned travellers like myself find much to love in this line-up of trips. Here are but some of the reasons these trips stand out from others:
- interactions with local experts like historians, marine biologists, photographers, Buddhist monks, chefs, and others
- comfortable and unique accommodation, e.g. staying in a monastery in Nepal or a house boat in Botswana
- more meals are included, like dining in some excellent restaurants, hearty sit-downs with local families, and culinary adventures of all sorts.
- help fund community development initiatives worldwide
- support the National Geographic Society’s non-profit work in conservation, exploration, research, and education.
The initial collection has 60+ trips - here are some of the best of the G-Adventures / National Geographic trips.
AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST
Iconic Southern Africa Fall for Cape Town’s remarkable beauty, feel the power of Victoria Falls reverberate in your core, and keep your eyes out for the Big Five, alongside a researcher from a National Geographic-supported conservation program. Eye-catching experience: over a traditional Zimbabwean dinner hear what daily life is like Expert interaction: researcher joins on a game drive to explain behaviour of cheetahs Unique accommodation: Okavango Delta Houseboat
Safari in Kenya & Tanzania This two-week trip through the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania will see you riding between incredible national parks and beautifully outfitted safari lodges and camps, while giving you the chance to get out and really experience the East African savannah with all five senses. Eye-catching experience: safari with 6 guests, extended village visits Expert interaction: Conservation Talk, Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture Unique accommodation: safari camps and lodges
Explore Israel & Jordan Discover life in Jerusalem, explore some of the best Roman ruins outside of Italy, ride through the desert on a 4x4, and venture into the awe-inspiring ancient city of Petra. Eye-catching experience: dual-narrative walking tours of Bethlehem and Jerusalem with two guides, one Israeli and one Palestinian Expert interaction: Discuss present-day Israel with a rabbi specializing in conflict resolution. Unique accommodation: Kibbutz, Beduin Camp Morocco: Sahara & Beyond Explore the souks and streets of Marrakech and Fes; spend a night in a tented camp; enjoy dinner with a traditional Berber family; and unwind in the coastal beauty of Essaouira. Eye-catching experience: Islamic Calligraphy Class Expert interaction: hands-on cooking class led by a renowned Moroccan chef Unique accommodation: Desert Camp, Riads ASIA
The Heart of Myanmar (Burma) Cruise the Irrawaddy River to the ancient city of Bagan, home to over 2200 beautiful temples and pagodas. Explore the floating villages on Inle Lake. Visit a monastery to meet Buddhist monks and climb Mandalay Hill to reflect on serene views of the surrounding countryside. Eye-catching experience: Burmese Political Satire Performance Expert interaction: discuss Buddhism and daily life with a monks at a monastery Unique accommodation: upgraded accommodation throughout Discover India Enjoy a guided tour of the Taj Mahal. Visit the birthplace of Buddhism and Hinduism, spend a night in a traditional village, witness holy rituals on a sunrise Ganges cruise, and discover the hidden side of Delhi. Don’t just see India; get inside its soul. Eye-catching experience: Explore the Delhi with an tour guide from the Streetkids Project. Expert interaction: on the ghats in Varanasi, discuss the spiritual and social role the Ganges plays in daily life with a scholar Unique accommodation: historic heritage hotel in a small village Explore China & Tibet Explore the unforgettable city of Beijing and meet pandas at a breeding centre in Sichuan. Discover daily life in Tibet and cruise the incredible Yangtze River on a riverboat. Cycle atop the city walls of Xi’an, and face its standing army of terracotta warriors. Eye-catching experience: Dumpling-Making Lesson, village visit & lunch, Tangka Painting demonstration Expert interaction: Behind-the-Scenes with the Shanghai Acrobats & Performance Unique accommodation: Yangtze river cruise boat Nepal: Himalaya Highlights Keep your eyes open for rhinos, leopards, wild elephants, and Bengal tigers, meander through the fascinating streetscapes of Kathmandu, spend the night at a monastery guesthouse, and gaze out over astounding views of the Himalayas. Eye-catching experience: Overnight at a Buddhist Monastery, enjoy chanting rituals with the monks Expert interaction: Learn about an NG grantee working to preserve ancient weaving traditions Unique accommodation: Overnight at a Buddhist Monastery AUSTRALASIA
Explore Australia From its world-class cities and sacred red centre, to the Great Barrier Reef and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this itinerary leaves no stone unturned. Eye-catching experience: Janbanbarra Jirrbal Rainforest Cultural Experience, Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise Expert interaction: behind-the-scenes tour of a research aquarium Unique accommodation: upgraded accommodation throughout New Zealand Journey Connect with locals in artsy beach towns, roam through an ancient rainforest, learn about local legend and cuisine from the Maori, and breathe in all the clean air you possibly can. Come to New Zealand a stranger. Return home an honorary Kiwi. Eye-catching experience: private welcome and talk from a Maori elder at Tamaki Village. Expert interaction: with a local guide visit an authentic Maori Geothermal Village. Unique accommodation: Rainforest Retreat, Doubtful Sound Cruise EUROPE
Burgundy by River Barge Drift from one stunning landscape to another, stopping to roam the region’s famous vineyards, ride bikes through its vast forests, and indulge in its unforgettable flavours. Then head to Paris for two nights of exploration for all of your senses. Eye-catching experience: Paris Local Market Visit with a Chef Expert interaction: Burgundy Wine Talk and Horizontal Tasting Unique accommodation: Daniele Riverboat Discover the Balkans the ideal introduction to the stunning Dalmatian coast of Croatia, the eastern delicacies of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the lush waterways of Montenegro. History, nature, culture, food, and people. This one’s got it all. Eye-catching experience: visit a local villa surrounded by Mediterranean gardens and sweeping views of the Adriatic Expert interaction: guided walk of Diocletian's Palace, Siege of Sarajevo Tour Unique accommodation: hotel in the Old Town of Kotor, upscale accommodation throughout Explore Central Europe This nine-day adventure crosses four countries and makes stops in four of Europe's most fascinating cities – Berlin, Vienna, Prague, and Budapest. Eye-catching experience: Walk through Vienna’s 16th century Naschmarkt alongside a local chef. Expert interaction: Walk the Berlin Wall with a Historian Unique accommodation: 14th century romantic hotel in Prague Iconic Italy Get in touch with the ancient past alongside an archaeologist among the ash-preserved ruins of Pompeii, marvel at Renaissance treasures in iconic Venice and enchanting Florence, stop and smell the lemons in the quaint cliff-side villages of the Amalfi Coast, discover Rome. Eye-catching experience: cook up (and eat) a classic Italian feast at a converted 17th-century monastery Expert interaction: Pompeii with an Archaeologist Unique accommodation: hotel on Grand Canal in Venice, historical residence Florence, harbourfront hotel Amalfi Discover Moorish Spain Explore Madrid’s famous museums, walk the cobblestoned streets of El Greco’s Toledo with a local historian, take in a flamenco lesson, and embrace the region’s Moorish spirit. From the taste of new flavours, to the sound of music you’ve never heard, wrap yourself in a culture 1300 years in the making. Eye-catching experience: private Flamenco lesson Expert interaction: Toledo walk with local historian Unique accommodation: Moorish hotel Córdoba, minimalist urban hotel Granada, boutique hotel Seville Explore Turkey Spend 15 days discovering its highlights as well as some out-of-the-way secrets not all travellers get to see. Marvel at painted churches carved out of rock, cruise up the cinematic Dalyan River, meander through ancient towns, and realize, on the incredibly blue coast, just where the colour turquoise got its name. Eye-catching experience: Dinner with Local Family, Village Home Cooking Class Expert interaction: Lecture on the History of Anatolia Unique accommodation: historic boutique hotel in Selçuk LATIN AMERICA
Explore Costa Rica This two-week itinerary is ideal for anyone looking to get off the beaten path and discover a different kind of travel experience. Drop by a National Geographic-supported reforestation project, visit a sea turtle conservancy program, opt to zipline above the lush canopy, and soak in volcanic hot springs. Eye-catching experience: Tortilla Making and Home Dinner Expert interaction: Monteverde Lecture & Reforestation Project, Visit Sea Turtle Conservancy Unique accommodation: jungle lodges Colombia Journey Spend two nights at a traditional hacienda on a working coffee farm, ride the famous hillside escalators of Medellín, indulge in the Caribbean beauty of Tayrona’s lush jungle and perfectly pristine beaches, and wander the cobblestoned streets of historical Cartagena. Eye-catching experience: private lesson from professional salsa dancers Expert interaction: coffee farm tour, Medellin Community Walk Unique accommodation: hacienda, beach-side cabanas, historic hotel Cartagena Inca Explorer Watch for wildlife, explore Incan culture, and marvel at the strange, mysterious beauty of the Nazca Lines – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Meet the vibrant local people of Lake Titicaca, walk the halls of a historical convent in colonial Arequipa, and delight in views of the Sacred Valley from the comfort of the train to Machu Picchu. Eye-catching experience: peek through a telescope, Lake Titicaca Community Lunch, Pisco winery visit and tasting Expert interaction: cooking class with an award-winning local chef Unique accommodation: upgraded accommodation throughout Explore Guatemala & Belize Roam among the Mayan ruins at Tikal and swim off Belize’s islands and atolls. Hike across the foot of a volcano outside Antigua and sail between remote lakeside communities on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. Eye-catching experience: Garifuna Drumming Lesson, Lakeside Cooking Class Expert interaction: learn to make tortillas in a local village Unique accommodation: colonial-style hotel in Antigua Discover Patagonia Take in the colours of Buenos Aires with a local tango lesson before heading into nature to explore Torres del Paine National Park and the humbling Perito Moreno Glacier. Standing at the end of the Earth is an experience the adventurous side of you will never forget. Eye-catching experience: Local Tango Lesson, Cruce de los Lagos Cruise, penguin rookery Expert interaction: lecture by a local glacier expert Unique accommodation: upgraded accommodation throughout Discover Brazil, Argentina & Chile This perfect combination of guided excursions and free time will have you sipping wine in Santiago, dancing the tango in Buenos Aires, and falling for the famous beach in iconic Rio. Eye-catching experience: Afro-Brazilian Community Visit, Local Tango Lesson Expert interaction: Chilean Wine Experience Unique accommodation: Ultra-modern Design Suites