Make unforgettable memories and experience the thrills of wildlife on a safari. (Photo: Robin Bennefield)
So you want to experience a high-energy, action-packed vacation? Pack up your outdoor gear and travel to one of these adventure vacation destinations. Regardless of what type of thrill you’re seeking, each location has something to offer the adventurer in you, whether it’s camping in the wilderness or skiing down a snow-covered mountain.
Safari in Africa
Africa is an Eden of untamed lands and indigenous animals. The memories you’ll make on a safari in the Serengeti will last a lifetime, like watching herds of wildebeest, zebra and kudu move through the open grassland during migration season.
South Africa and Tanzania are two of the most popular safari destinations, with the largest variety of animals and opportunities to hire guides that can take you to interact with the creatures and your surroundings on a more personal level.
South Africa – Kruger National Park
First established in 1898 to help protect South Africa’s diverse wildlife, Kruger National Park is home to over 147 species of mammals, 507 species of birds and 114 species of reptiles across two million hectares. Thanks to the park’s expanse, you’ll find many different safari tours to choose from.
Tanzania – Serengeti National Park
Not only is Serengeti National Park the oldest park in Tanzania, but it’s also known for its annual wildebeest migration, when over two million migrating animals move across the park’s grounds. The best time to visit Serengeti National Park is from June through October, during the dry season, and when animals are on the move. Be sure to pack warm clothes, as nights get cold here.
Skiing in Colorado
In Vail, Colorado the ski slopes cut endlessly down mountains, and the icy scenery unfolds like an epic winter wonderland. Travelers can book packages here to suit every family member’s needs, even the ones that don’t want to ski or snowboard. Visiting with the family? Drop the kids off at the local ski school or sign up yourself for a lesson with a pro.
Where to Ski: Vail has four main base areas (Golden Peak, Vail Village, Lion’s Head and Cascade Village) that are all easily accessible thanks to walking paths between the villages.
Where to Eat: Sweet Basil serves an array of modern and innovative dishes influenced by seasonal cuisine, while Blue Moose Pizza offers casual Italian-style dining. Try their signature pizza, The Vonnderful – made with grilled chicken, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella and goat cheeses.
Camping in a National Park
One of the best ways to see the nooks and crannies of the nation while communing with nature is by camping in a U.S. National Park. See natural forest stretching for miles in Yellowstone National Park, or horseback ride through Rocky Mountain National Park. There are hiking trips, river hikes and rafting, fishing and mountain climbing options.
You’ll also get to watch the local woodland animals wonder around the forests, an idyllic scene during your national park getaway.
The Jungles of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is teeming with natural, tropical rainforests and wildlife. On this adventure vacation, you can book guided tours through the rainforest, or river raft down the Pacuare river which runs alongside the jungle.
Costa Rica is also great for bird watching and swimming – and you can visit local villages along the banks of the river. Vacation packages often include jeep tours that visit to Corcovado or Monteverde National Parks.
Not afraid of heights? Go ziplining on Selvatura Adventure Park’s Canopy Tour in Monteverde Cloud Forest. If you’d rather stick close to land, head to Tortuguero National Park to see green sea turtles lay their eggs and dig nests.