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Africa

To step foot on the African continent is to transport yourself back 6 million years to the roots of humanity and culture. As Beryl Markam, a British-born Kenyan once said, “there are as many Africa’s as there are books about Africa.” With as many as 2,000 languages and over 3,000 tribes, to describe it as a mosaic would scarcely do it justice. And its geography is as varied as the people who dot the land, so planning a trip here requires a keen expert to help you determine where you should go, when you should visit, and what you don’t want to miss. From the roof of Kilimanjaro to the iconic Ngorongoro Crater where tens of thousands of herds call the extinct caldera home, Tanzania is just one of the jewels you should visit. Kenya’s historic Serengeti, South Africa’s lush wine country, Namibia’s hauntingly beautiful Desertscapes, and Rwanda’s troop of Mountain Gorillas are just a sampling of what you can experience here.

Best Time To Visit 

A good rule of thumb is to remember that much of Africa’s seasons run opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. For the best game viewing, visiting Southern Africa from May to October is ideal. If you’re looking to experience the Great Migration and anywhere in Eastern Africa, you’ll want to visit June through to early September. And if you want to go trekking with the Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda, it’s best to do it from January to February, and then again from June to September, as these are the coolest months.

Highly Recommended Experiences
  • Have a picnic on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania 

  • Take a cable car up Cape Town’s beautiful Table Mountain  

  • See the Mountain Gorillas on a trek into Rwanda or Uganda 

  • Sip your way around South Africa’s Western Cape in wine country  

  • Step onboard a luxurious riverboat and cruise the Chobe River

  • Witness the thrill and thunderous movement of the Great Migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park  

 
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Best Time To Visit

It’s no surprise that Antarctica has the shortest cruising season, running from late October to March. Travelers that visit earlier in the season will enjoy the most pristine landscapes because most migratory birds haven’t settled yet, but will also endure the coldest temperatures. December and January bring warmer weather and longer days. February and March bring warmer weather still, and the opportunity to see migrating whales because of ice breakage.

Antarctica

Crossing the Drake Passage from the tip of South America, there is nowhere else on earth where the climate is so unforgiving there are no permanent human residents, and the animal locals come and go with the seasons. It also happens to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful places you will ever step foot, with a complex ecosystem at play, both above and below the ocean’s surface. It’s a place where over 100 million birds come to nest and the icy landscapes are constantly shifting and taking on new shapes. Antarctica is for nature lovers, adventurers, and anyone who wants to experience the extremities of what our planet has to offer.

Highly Recommended Experiences
  • For the adrenaline junkies, take a polar plunge in subzero temperatures 

  • Mail yourself or loved ones a letter from Port Lockroy, the most southerly post office in the world 

  • Go on shore and experience a penguin safari - Antarctica is home to 17 species of penguin including the iconic Emperor Penguin

  • Take a whale-watching zodiac tour and watch for Orca, Fin, Humpback, Right and Minke whales 

  • Visit and learn about the history of Deception Island 

  • Go kayaking alongside mighty icebergs - Don’t forget your camera

 
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France

France has a funny way of seducing the wide-eyed traveler, whether they’re visiting for a few days or a month. You won’t leave without getting a taste of the Art de Vivre, ‘art of French living.’ But what does that mean? It means both decadence and congenial simplicity. It means living your life out loud, with passion, gumption, and unapologetic flair. France promises the culture vulture elaborate palaces, galleries teeming with priceless masterpieces, World Unesco Heritage Sites, romantic architecture, and storybook landscapes. For the culinary enthusiasts, country rustic, farm-to-table type spreads, multi-course fine dining, and of course, a multitude of fine French baking and cozy cafes will keep even the fussiest of eaters sated. France is a feast for the senses and offers a profusion of experiences for travelers of all types.

Best Time To Visit

You know what they say, ‘Paris is always a good idea.’ France can be an all-year-round destination, however, if you want to enjoy its beaches, landscapes and city strolls, late spring and fall are the best times to visit. July and August bring the warmest weather, much like the rest of Europe. This means you will be dealing with heavier crowds as much of the continent will be enjoying their summer holidays. However, if you’re hoping to see endless fields of lavender in the South, July is the month to do this. And in late October, the vineyards are bursting and eager to invite thirsty travelers to sample the season’s harvest.

Highly Recommended Experiences
  • Step aboard a luxurious river cruise and travel from Lyon to Avignon 

  • Wander the opulence halls of the French Baroque Palace of Versailles 

  • Pay homage to the fallen on the beaches of Normandy and tour Juno, Omaha, and Utah Beach

  • Go shopping in Vieux Lyon, one of Europe’s largest Renaissance ‘Old Quarters’ 

  • Enjoy a picnic on the lawns of the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens in Paris 

  • Visit the Benedictine abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, a ‘wonder of the Western World’

 
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Best Time To Visit

The Best time to experience Barbados is anytime between December and June. The island enjoys some of the most consistent temperatures, with an average of 28-30 degrees celsius, one of the reasons sun-seeking Europeans flock here. Prevailing trade winds bring cool and consistent breezes so it never feels too warm. It’s best to avoid traveling here between July to November during hurricane season. 

Barbados

If it’s a truly relaxing island escape you’re after, come sip delicious rum punch, photograph historic windmills, sunbathe on powdery sand beaches, and enjoy the soothing sounds of soca and reggae in Barbados. Geographically speaking, Barbados is a bit of an outlier, sitting 190 kilometers from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, nested in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Popular with British tourists, this island offers upscale boutique-style accommodations, colonial architecture, flavourful Caribbean cuisine, and premium dive and snorkel spots.

Highly Recommended Experiences
  • Experience a rum tasting at the charming  St. Nicholas Abbey

  • Take a 2.4 kilometer-long trek into the heart of Harrison’s Cave, a limestone cavern of stalactites and stalagmites 

  • Visit the home base for American president George Washington who fled to Barbados to take care of his brother who was ill with tuberculosis 

  • Sunbathe or surf at world-famous Bathsheba Beach on Barbados' east coast

  • Go wreck diving in Carlisle Bay where gentle currents are home to six shipwrecks and an abundance of marine life 

  • Explore the grounds around the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill, the largest and last sugar windmill in complete operation in the Caribbean