Seasons, the luxury tour operator, has created two dedicated tailor-made brochures for 2012 for Africa and Asia & Australasia respectively. These two additions complete the 2012 brochure portfolio for Seasons which comprisesa total of five brochures. The other recently launched brochures cover the Caribbean, Mexico & Florida; the Indian Ocean & Middle East; and Europe & North Africa.
These new brochures feature both established and emerging destinations and offer a unique insight into each destination from the Seasons specialists. The brochures, which demonstrate Seasons’ flexibility and expertise, have been developed as a response to the growing trend of luxury travellers looking not just for a relaxing beach holiday, but for a voyage of discovery. A trip which encompasses local culture, breathtaking natural wonders of the world and incredible man-made feats, as well as beautiful beaches, the world’s best game viewing, and of course, luxury accommodation.
Each destination within the brochures opens up with an overview of the area, a map highlighting points of interest, insider tips on the best places to go and things to see and do, vital statistics including temperatures and flight times, and crucially any downsides to a destination.
All three continents – Africa, Asia and Australasia –offer some of the most exciting travel experiences on the planet and the brochures are designed to inspire clients with ideas in their journey planning. The team at Seasons will then take this inspiration and tailor into a completely bespoke itinerary.
The Africa brochure is Seasons’ first, dedicated entirely to the region. Offering authentic journeys of discovery it highlights experiences that step away from other more traditional offerings. The product is innovative and exciting and does not just include the well known favourites, but also destinations such as Zimbabwe, Malawi and Rwanda.
There are tailored itinerary examples in Namibia and a family safari in the Kalahari as well as twin centre suggestions of Kenya & Zanzibar and South Africa & Mozambique that showcase the very best that Africa has to offer, allowing for exploration into the endless deserts, colossal dunes, beautiful wildlife, dramatic canyons, breathtaking beaches and compelling African scenery.
Botswana arguably offers Africa’s very best authentic safari options. For those that love elephants, Abu Camp has a resident herd rescued from safariparks, zoos and reserves. Guests can intimately engage and physically interact with the elephants through varied activities including the opportunity to sleep out in the new Star Bed overlooking the elephant boma under the incredible canopy of stars so iconic of the southern hemisphere, and be lulled to sleep by the contented rumbling and low snores of the elephants below.
Other exciting itinerary suggestions include tracking the rare desert-adapted black rhinos and meeting the meerkats at Tswalu Kalahari, looking for the ‘Little Five’ – rhino beetle, ant lion, elephant shrew, buffalo weaver and leopard tortoise – in Mpumalanga and catching tiger fish in Zambia.
Highly recommended in Johannesburg is the ‘Township Tour’. As the most famous township in the world, Soweto is a lively and characterful district once home to Mandela. In the Winelands, Seasons pinpoints Babylonstoren in Franschhoek as one of the top properties to spend a night. One of the oldest Cape Dutch farms with unique accommodation, one of the most popular activities here is the 1.8 mile guided tour of its garden. The heart of the farm, the garden was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries, ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia.
For Asia & Australasia:
Destinations within Asia & Australasia formed a considerable proportion of the portfolio this year and as popularity for the region continues to increase, so too does the Seasons’ 2012 offering. From the breathtaking backwaters, train journeys and white marble wonders of India; and the mystery of Indochina with its temples, culture and adventure; to Bhutan, the ‘land of the thunder dragon’, where the people’s attitude to life is simple, uncomplicated and where happiness matters most of all.
Most notably Sri Lanka has been added into the 2012 portfolio and top tips here include the Tea Train, one of the most scenic rail journeys in Asia, running from Kandy high into the hills and the lush plantations of Nuwara Eliya; or a visitto one of the nine national parks to search for the elusive leopard.
In Thailand, new additions include Pimalai Resort & Spa, Andara Resort & Villas The Siam in Bangkok, due to open in 2012, while a favourite property for Seasons is the Four Seasons in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand. Situated within the exotic bamboo jungle, this unique luxury property is perfect for families with older children, boasting just fifteen tented ‘suites’, and is ideally located for interacting with elephants and trekking through the region.
Indonesia and The Philippines are firmly represented with their volcanoes, rainforests and wonderful diving options along with an enticing nightlife and a mix of traditions such as dancing, carving, painting and music. Indonesia’s Komodo National Park is well worth a visit, as are the new properties featured in Bali for 2012, including The St Regis Bali Resort in Nusa Dua, The Club at The Legian, and Alila Villas Soori, all set within exceptional locations.
Elsewhere, new properties in Australia include Capella Lodge, situated on Lord Howe Island just 435 miles northeast of Sydney. The island is encircled by the world’s southernmost coral reef, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Helicopter over the Blue Mountains, visit the whale sharks in Western Australia or be inspired by the South Pacific, just as Paul Gaugin and Robert Louis Stephenson were when they created their masterpieces.
With a noted upsurge in interest for family travel to Asia, Seasons have their finger on the pulse with more suitable tailored itineraries for parents or grandparents travelling with younger children. Recommendations include kitemaking classes, learning kung fu at a martial arts school and even the opportunity to make a terracotta warrior in China.