Top 10 Wilderness Adventures for Your 2023 Dream Vacation

What are the biggest travel trends for 2023? A recent consumer study conducted with worldwide travelers revealed two significant takeaways:

  1. Travelers prioritize experiences over material things
  2. Travelers seek outdoor adventures

Skyscanner’s Travel Trends Report echoes the findings, projecting two of the top travel activities for 2023:

  • Hiking
  • Wildlife spotting

So, where are the best places to go for unique, thrilling outdoor adventures? There is no need to spend days researching. Craft Travel has done the work for you, providing a round-up of their top 10 wilderness adventures for 2023. 

The company designs unique, luxurious expeditions for those who wish to explore the world’s most incredible natural phenomena. Let’s scan the list and find your dream vacation.

Himalayas & Ranthambore Jungle

Tigers at Ranthambore Jungle
Photo credit: Craft Travel

How would you like to sleep between the peaks of the Indian Himalayas? Home to the world’s tallest mountain, you can escape to paradise, where you will find breathtaking vistas of jagged peaks, valleys, and alpine glaciers.

The Himalayas offer unusual activities like hiking, mountaineering, paragliding, and tracking the elusive snow leopard. This region delivers history, culture, and wellness for those who prefer a more relaxing trip.

After a surreal day of soaking up the beauty of the mountains and tracking snow leopards, you can rest up in an enchanting sherpa mountain village. Detach from life’s stress as you savor a traditional home-cooked meal and marvel at the majestic Mount Everest.

If you love wildlife watching, pair this experience with an expedition to India’s Ranthambore Jungle, where you can observe tigers in the wild. The area has tented suites overlooking the billion-year-old deciduous jungle. 

Either experience in India is a bucket list vacation. Seeing the Himalayas and the Ranthambore Jungle is the trip of a lifetime.


The island nation of Madagascar is not a myth. It is indeed real. Home to a plethora of distinct ecosystems and extraordinary wildlife, Madagascar is one of the world’s most sensational wilderness destinations.

Imagine staying on a private island in the archipelago. The pristine islet of Miavana Time & Tide is a 10 square kilometer wild private island that houses just fourteen villas. 

Are you looking for something different? Head out for an expedition of lemur trekking in the lush forests that house more than 100 species of lemur. Or, take a memorable helicopter ride for incredible views of mountains, baobabs, and shipwrecks. 

After taking to the air, deep dive into the 5,000-hectare marine protected area outside your doorstep. Discover an underwater world of vibrant reefs, manta rays, and sea turtles. You may even spot migrating spinner dolphins and humpback whales. 

Miavana offers an adventure of seclusion and unparalleled scenery and wildlife. If you seek serenity, you have found it.

Kyaninga Lodge

Nestled in the heart of one of East Africa’s most biodiverse rainforests, Kyaninga Lodge rests at the edge of an extinct volcanic crater along the Great Rift Valley and the mighty Congo Basin. The property comprises nine cottages constructed from hand-carved logs and offers a serene retreat with a touch of luxury.

Take a guided walk around the rim of the volcanic crater and observe the extraordinary landscape in all of its majesty. After a day of exploring, you can refresh by swimming in the lodge’s tranquil lake surrounded by vibrant green vegetation. Yes, the oasis is critter free.

Home to the most significant density of primates in East Africa, nearby Kibale Forest National Park is the perfect place to go chimpanzee trekking. Although you can hear calls from the great apes echo throughout the region, the park offers a close view of the animals interacting in the wild.

Kyaninga Lodge delivers the best of both worlds. You can find adventure in the wild, untamed jungle. Then, return to your peaceful, luxurious lodge with surreal views of the stunning landscapes and let your troubles melt away.

Skeleton Coast

The Skeleton Coast offers a unique take on African wilderness with rewarding adventures amongst the raw and rugged landscapes of imposing dunes, vast plains, and the chilly, rough Atlantic seas. 

A 500-kilometer stretch of Namibia’s coastline, regularly enveloped in a mysterious, thick fog, was once littered with animal bones and hundreds of sunken ships. Accordingly, it earned the name the Skeleton Coast. To this day, you can find parts of the sunken ships strewn along the beach.

Although one of the driest places on the planet, that same mysterious fog that doomed many ships, sustains life. Plants and animals have adapted to the region’s harsh conditions.

If you dare, you can explore the area’s many mysteries and sleep by the towering dunes and ghostly remains of the shipwrecks. You can even stay in a lodge with shipwreck-themed rooms. 

Although the area may seem spooky, there is a lot to explore. Investigate the skeletal remains of the ships scattered on the coast. Then explore the mysterious clay castles, towering dunes, and unique plant life like succulents and lichens. Search for Cape fur seals along the rough seas and springboks in the dunes.

The Skeleton Coast is a unique experience where you can find beauty in harsh environments and explore the mysteries of the universe.

Yala National Park Safari

Sri Lanka harbors Yala National Park, home to the world’s highest population density of leopards. Although known as leopard country, visitors often find exotic wildlife like elephants, crocodiles, peacocks, and monkeys. 

As you trek through the lush jungle, you may stumble across the remains of a lost civilization, including ancient Buddhist ruins and temples. With diverse wildlife and history, the park’s tracking expeditions are legendary.

Enjoy delicious food and stunning views of aquatic birds along the beachfront in the evenings as you reminisce about the day’s adventures. As the night winds down, you will sleep in a lodge that blends seamlessly with the environment. Some of the accommodations resemble a giant boulder.

With exotic wildlife, history, culture, and unique accommodations, many treasures await you in Sri Lanka. It may be the most gratifying vacation you ever take.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Photo credit: Craft Travel

Stay in a thatched cottage built into the hillside of Lewa’s Eastern Marania Valley, one of Kenya’s most beautiful valleys. The sensational sanctuary offers comfort with stunning vistas of the wild landscape that surrounds you.

Venture out on an intimate, conservation-focused safari in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to observe some of the world’s most iconic wildlife species. With only three vehicles permitted for wildlife sightings, you can trust that your excursion will be peaceful and private. 

On your adventure, you can search for the “Big Five” safari animals:

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Elephant
  • Rhinoceros
  • African buffalo

The area also harbors animals like giraffes, cheetahs, wild hogs, the endangered Grevy’s zebra, and more than 400 species of birds. Watching these exotic animals in a sea of open plains, rolling hills, and valleys is an unforgettable experience.

White Desert, Antarctica

Solar pods at White Desert, Antarctica
Photo credit: Craft Travel

Imagine being surrounded by nothing but lakes in the only luxury camp in the world’s most uninhabitable landscape. Although the area is known for ice and harsh temperatures, your heated solar pod provides cozy warmth and privacy.

You can embark on expeditions, including ice climbing, hiking over ice waves, exploring ice caves and tunnels, and visiting over 28,000 emperor penguins. Or, you may prefer to relax while savoring magnificent glacier views and spending time in a sauna.

During the day, penguin chicks regularly waddle close to your quarters. In the evenings, you can sip cocktails by a crackling fire and enjoy a meal prepared by your private gourmet chef.

Do not let the image of extreme temperatures and ice scare you. Antarctica promises surreal beauty and novel adventures like no other place on Earth.

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

South Africa’s most significant privately protected wildlife reserve houses one of the largest populations of black and white rhinos, entertaining meerkats and endangered pangolins. Accordingly, safaris are the main attraction at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. With exclusive access and privacy, each safari feels unique since you can strike out in a different direction daily.

You can find plenty of other adventures in this part of South Africa, including nature walks, tracking, horseback riding, and stargazing. You can even spend the night in a star bed to observe the dark skies for hours.

Despite being wholly eclipsed by mountains and desert, you can lodge in luxury. Each morning, you will wake up to gorgeous views of arid savannah, ochre dunes, and the alluring Korannaberg Mountains. 

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve provides an unforgettable vacation with unique wildlife and breathtaking vistas day and night.

Svalbard, Norway

Venture into the Arctic Circle and create lifetime memories where few dare to go. The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, sometimes called Spitsbergen, rests 1,300 kilometers from the North Pole and offers an authentic experience at the edge of the inhabitable world of Norway. 

Home to polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeer, walruses, and beluga whales, the area is known as the wildlife capital of the Arctic. Hiking across the tundra to observe polar bears, the largest land carnivore in the world, is an adrenaline-pumping excursion you will never forget.

Beyond the wildlife, you can see some of nature’s most fascinating phenomena. You can find beautiful glaciers year-round. Winters offer the Northern Lights, while summers have the midnight sun or 24 hours of sunlight.

Svalbard offers beautiful views of snow-blanketed tundra teeming with wildlife that many people only dream of seeing.

Great Barrier Reef

How would you like to sleep with the fishes in one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World? The world’s most extensive coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia beckons.

Offering serene luxury and seclusion, Lizard Island Resort is truly like nowhere else. The luxury resort is directly on the Great Barrier Reef. Teeming with diverse wildlife, it offers private beaches with personal service.

The island has 24 powder-white beaches, 1,000 hectares of the national park, and luxury suites scattered across the surreal landscape. Options include a lavish villa on the island’s clifftops and beachfront suites.

You can dive or snorkel from the island’s beach and investigate one of the most diverse habitats on the planet. After exploring, relax and savor the breathtaking views of the white sand beaches and dreamlike turquoise waters.

Wrap-Up: Wilderness Adventures

Current studies show travelers want vacations that provide fantastic experiences through outdoor adventures. Craft Travel’s list of top ten wilderness adventures for 2023 provides a gateway for your dream vacation. Put a plan in place and make that dream a reality!

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About the author

We are Scott and Julie at Miles with McConkey. After nearly 30 years, we took a leap of faith out of the corporate world to enjoy a life of travel and adventure. We hope to inspire you to find ways to travel more and enjoy life now.