THE GLOBAL SPECIALISTS
Travel Beyond Africa
Much of our 25 years of client itineraries have focussed on Africa.
It was, after all, the inspiration for Leora Rothschild establishing a business, her love of her homeland creating the wish to share it with others.
But in two and a half decades, inspired in equal part by our clients’ requests and a thirst to travel the world, we have included numerous other countries into our portfolio of destinations. With quality, luxury and bespoke attention to detail essential in all we do, none of these locations has been added without the absolute confidence that we can deliver this same exceptional quality in worldwide travel.
While all of our Travel Designers are profoundly experienced in all that we offer globally, there are those who have fallen in love with certain destinations, visited numerous times and undertaken the exhaustive research it takes to make a location worthy of the Rothschild standard of excellence.
These are some of the travel destinations beyond Africa that we have visited, researched and escorted guests on some unforgettable explorations:
- INDIA – by Viji Krishna
- BHUTAN & NEPAL – by Viji Krishna
- AUSTRALIA – by Leora Rothschild
- CHILE – by Ruthie Detwiler
- PERU – by Ruthie Detwiler & Pam Langhoff
- ECUADOR & THE GALÁPAGOS – by Pam Langhoff & Aimee Olson
- NEW ZEALAND – by Storm Keen
- MOROCCO – by Ruthie Detwiler
Travel Specialist: Viji Krishna
India is a wonderfully vibrant melting pot of experiences, combining adverse variety of landscapes, activities, cultures and creatures within the one country. From the jubilant melee of the Festival of Holi to the tranquil forests of Rajasthan, the regal palaces of Jaipur to the serene waterways of Kerala, the dichotomy of an Indian travel adventure is profound.
India has often been explored by those who have undertaken several African safaris and are searching for something subtly the same but also uniquely different, and India serves precisely this purpose. India and its island neighbour of Sri Lanka both offer game drives and a wealth of nature to behold, including elephant, tiger, sloth bear, leopard, rhino and numerous deer species. Fruit bats, monkeys and a spectrum of birdlife add to the safari travel experience, and expert guides, luxury camps and fascinating landscapes make India one of the world’s foremost safari destinations.
But where in Africa one might need to search out culture, in India it is ubiquitous, every town and city exuding the nation’s history, religion and traditions. The wealth that India has enjoyed, particularly through its Raj era and British colonialism, has created extravagant cityscapes with architectural masterpieces around every corner. Yet polarising this is the simplicity of the greater Indian population and a pervasive joy and humility that are both warmly welcoming and wonderfully infectious.
Whether wandering the bustling streets of Agra and visiting the palatial Taj Mahal, observing the ascetic monks of Varanasi, exploring the snowy Himalayan foothills of Ladakh or trekking tigers in the wilderness of a vast national park, India is a truly fascinating alternative to an African safari.
VIJI KRISHNA ON INDIA:
“Having traversed continents and travelled to as many as 90 countries, I can truly say that the Indian Subcontinent has touched me in ways that words can’t reflect the depth of my sentiments.
“Simply put, It offers an intoxicating and unparalleled medley of colours and cultures, art and architecture, languages and landscapes and people.
“A journey to this part of the world is guaranteed to leave an indelible mark on you. There is a dazzling array of experiences to choose from and a unique itinerary for every inquisitive traveller.”
Travel Specialist: Viji Krishna
These countries offer Himalayan explorations steeped in the profound Buddhism held at this lofty altitude. Home of the most iconic peak in the world, a visit to Nepal makes it possible to witness the awe-inspiring majesty of Everest, or Sagarmatha as it is locally known.
In Bhutan, one can hike the mountain trails to staggering cliffside monasteries and temples or venture to the lowlands where Asian elephant, one-horned rhino, clouded leopard, black bear, pangolin and the incredibly rare golden langur can be found.
One thing both countries share, and indeed excel at, is an experiential immersion unlike anywhere else in the world. Visitors may track the endangered snow leopard, take in traditional ceremonies and festivals, walk through verdant forests in search of the native fauna or simply marvel at the view from the top of the world. Far from a conventional safari travel destination, Nepal and Bhutan are ideal for those seeking adventure and an experience far, far beyond the conventional.
VIJI KRISHNA ON BHUTAN & NEPAL:
“Forbidden to the outsiders for many centuries, The land of Thunder Dragon, Bhutan and The land of the mighty Mt. Everest, Nepal, are landlocked countries on the southern edge of the Himalayan mountains. To travel to this mystical world is to discover a magical journey unfolding as you experience authentic customs and traditions untouched by the influence of modernity.”
Travel Specialist: Leora Rothschild
Conveniently contemporary, English-speaking and with a well-established and far-reaching infrastructure, Australia not might be the first consideration for a safari or alternative destination, but this vast land is wonderfully variable. Beginning with metropolitan explorations, one can experience fine art, fascinating history, superb scenery and world-class cuisine all within moments of arriving.
But so much more lies beyond the Sydney or Melbourne city limits, and Australian travel will whisk visitors away to the world’s oldest rainforest, azure oceans, cultures tens of millennia old and a big, red rock in the middle of nowhere.
Australia is immense, with a climate that can offer skiing at one end and balmy tropical beaches at the other, and with each change of state or territory comes exceptional luxury. From private villas on remote islands in the Great Barrier Reef to clifftop lodges overlooking the Southern Ocean and tented camps gazing out to the sunset falling upon Uluru (Ayer’s Rock), visitors will find an unparalleled level of accommodation and service throughout your travel.
Australia isn’t without its safari opportunities, with the fascinating Daintree Rainforest, Kangaroo island off the southern coast, the Blue Mountains just two hours from Sydney and the Whitsundays and endless coastline all providing rich environments for wildlife spotting, on land, by boat and beneath the surface.
Vibrant harbourside cities are juxtaposed with quaint coastal towns and immense wilderness areas of exceptional beauty. A sense of adventure exists as an integral part of Australian daily life, even if as simply as surfing a few waves after work. And with every interaction preceded with a cheerful ‘g’day’, there is little not to love about the Land Down Under.
LEORA ROTHSCHILD ON AUSTRALIA:
“If you had to ask me to choose my favourite place to travel to in Australia I may bounce between the 24 secluded private beaches on Lizard Island and the Great Barrier Reef, Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, perhaps a chef’s-table tour of the picturesque Yarra Valley, watching kangaroos on the infamous Kangaroo Island, blending your own wines under the tutelage of a winemaker or taking a private plane into the Outback to spend time with the aboriginals while based at a luxury private camp.
“These are a just a few of the many gems this stunning country has to offer.”
Travel Specialist: Ruthie Detwiler
Spanning two-thirds of South America’s western coastline, Chile is perhaps one of our more misunderstood destinations, yet it provides numerous unforgettable experiences.
A country of contrasting wildernesses, it contains much of the Andes mountain chain, the stunning Torres del Paine National Park, the Atacama desert, endless coastlines, lush jungles and, 2,300 miles from its western shores, the UNESCO world heritage island of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island.
The breathtaking landscapes are matched by a humble yet fascinating culture, ardently upholding its ancestry. The capital of Santiago and coastal city of Valparaiso embody the creativity and vibrancy of the Chilean people, in art, architecture crafts and cuisine. Combining traditional ingredients and dishes with contemporary fine-dining excellence, local chefs are rapidly making their distinctive and distinguished mark on the global culinary map.
Chilean travel embodies a sense of escapism, and the varied landscapes are utterly captivating for those enthusiasts of wide open spaces. Its Lake District is a place of exceptional beauty. Part Swiss mountain town, part lakeside fishing village, its timelessness is alluring, with expanses of water fringed by pine forests and snow-capped mountains forming a surreal, sublime backdrop at every turn.
If a yearning to disappear into the wilderness is high on your vacation priorities, consider Chile as your next destination of choice.
RUTHIE DETWILER ON CHILE
“The spectacular scenery in this wonderful country always inspires me to get outdoors and enjoy nature at its best. It’s an adventurer’s paradise. For my clients, I love showcasing Chile’s superb lodges in unique and beautiful settings.”
Yes, where Machu Picchu is! The mountaintop citadel has been fascinating and drawing outside visitors to Peru for a hundred years, and Peruvian travellers for far longer. It is a once-in-a-lifetime, indelibly inscribed into a billion bucket lists worldwide and more than justifies its renown in every single brick and wall and vista. Yet while it cannot be recommended highly enough, it is only one aspect of this fascinating and culturally rich country.
Peruvians are a proud people, upholding a traditional lifestyle despite the influx of tourism. Authentic attire is not simply donned to display to tourists, it is daily wear, and the lasting connection to ancestors, gods and spirits is prevalent. Like numerous First Nations people around the world, Peruvians give reverence to the land and all it gives them, an enduring connection to their heritage that is fascinatingly inspiring.
Peru is filled with wondrous travel destinations and extraordinary sights. Vinicuna, or Rainbow Mountain, can only make one question whether it was created by mankind, the Nasca Lines form vast petroglyphs on the desert floor baffle even modern scientists as to their construction.
Peru is often thought of as the nation of the Inca but, like the Spanish after them, the Inca were an invasive civilisation, and while their influence remains profound, searching out the pre-Incan people can be equally as rewarding for visitors.
On the still waters of the world’s highest navigable waterway, Lake Titicaca, the Uros live today as they have for centuries. Severing their connection to the land to evade the onslaught of invading tribes, they constructed reed islands, complete with houses, schools and livestock. Visiting these captivating communities is an utterly captivating journey back in time.
Although not known as a nature-watching destination, Peru’s borders creep into the Amazon, and the northern town of Iquitos is the gateway to incredible rainforests and waterways teeming with life. To the south, one can find llamas and alpacas, jaguars, spectacled bears and the mighty Andean condor, one of the largest flying birds in the world.
There is far more to Peru than a ruined city on top of a big hill…
RUTHIE DETWILER ON PERU:
“Peru is so exciting with its interesting culture and diverse experiences. There is something for everyone there, from rich history to fine cuisine, fascinating landscapes and wonderful cultural experiences and crafts.”
PAM LANGHOFF ON PERU:
“To me, Peru is an incredible destination, as there are few places that have such a diverse selection of offerings. Peru is a great destination for foodies, nature lovers, those that want to be active, people with interest in architecture, those that seek to understand and participate in other cultures. Peru really does offer something for everyone.”
However, as Ecuador travel specialist Aimee Olson recently discovered, Ecuador is more than worthy of attention, presenting incredible diversity, fascinating cultures, intriguing history and numerous attractions.
The capital city of Quito is a charming first stop, hotels exuding a regal opulence and the cityscape peppered with 17th and 18th-century Catholic architecture. Though the Spanish colonisation has indisputably shaped the city and a European air exists within Quito, it is powerfully infused with Valdivian and Incan influence, the people adamantly upholding aspects of their traditional culture.
However, step beyond the city limits of the capital and one will find a country unchanged for hundreds of years. Though much of the Amazon river and its eponymous rainforest lie within Brazil, they flow across the borders into several other countries, including Ecuador.
Yasuni National Park and Mashpi Nature Reserve are regarded as some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, and guided tours by foot and boat allow visitors to take a glimpse into this remarkable ecosystem. Giants of the arboreal world contain their own microcosms, from bugs to mammals and birds, their sweeping canopies home to toucan, howler monkeys and several reptile species.
This being one of the most precious and threatened environments in the world, visitors can gain tangible insight into the conservation and research taking place to protect and save it.
From one UNESCO world heritage site to another, the Galápagos need little introduction, suffice it to say that, since their first, or certainly most famous, documentation by Charles Darwin, the archipelago has fascinated travellers for over one hundred and fifty years.
Though land-based accommodation does exist, it is somewhat restrictive and not of the best standard. Just like Darwin’s Beagle, a waterborne cruise is by far the best way to travel through the Galápagos, from its rugged volcanic atolls and plunging blue oceans to the numerous endemic species that live there. Marine and land iguanas, fur seals, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies and many more species live here in abundance with little concern for their human visitors.
This combination of jungle exploration, historical cities and utterly unique islands makes Ecuador an adventure of multiple chapters and an extraordinary destination.
PAM LANGHOFF ON ECUADOR & THE GALÁPAGOS:
“In my opinion, the Galápagos islands are every naturalist’s dream – the amount of nature and nature-driven activities that can be enjoyed is quite staggering. It is a destination that makes one truly appreciate scenic beauty, animals and bird life.”
AIMEE OLSON ON ECUADOR & THE GALÁPAGOS:
“There is so much to see and do on a visit to Ecuador and the Galapagos.
“You can travel deep into the Amazon to discover the beauty and sounds of the rainforest; visit Quito to experience their rich heritage with both the indigenous and Spanish influences; stand in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time, as well as embark on an unforgettable cruise through the Galapagos Islands to experience the beauty of such a bio-diverse area.
“Above all, Ecuador and the Galapagos are special to me because of the people, the culture, and the landscapes – not to forget the cuisine, which is amazing!”
Travel Specialist: Storm Keen
Though it has a superb reputation as a travel destination, New Zealand recently found its way to our portfolio through the ebullient enthusiasm of Travel Designer Storm Keen.
Her expert knowledge of the country assured us that it was more than worthy as an offering to our clients.
It is little wonder that Peter Jackson chose his home nation as the setting for the Lord of the Rings saga, such is its dramatic beauty and profound diversity. From the lush, green pastures of Hobbiton to the impressive gorges and waterfalls of Rivendell, the vast plains of Rohan and the towering, snowcapped Misty Mountains, New Zealand perfectly embodies Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
Split into two worlds, imaginatively named the North and South Islands, New Zealand is a country of contrasting halves. The South Island is renowned for its superb snow season, alpinists and hikers visiting throughout the year to take advantage of its glaciers and summertime peaks. Natural hot springs help visitors to thaw out through the winter months.
The North, home to the cities of Wellington and Aukland, is an island of verdant wilderness, secluded bays and a proliferation of Maori culture. It also has a noticeably warmer climate and the summer months can offer oceanic activities and outdoor pursuits. The North Island also has the breathtaking Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Islands, a sublimely exquisite region of untouched coastlines and dramatic scenery.
For a relatively small country – only about two-thirds the size of California – there is an inordinate level of contrast and opportunities to explore.
Thrill seekers will love Queenstown to the south – often dubbed the adventure capital of the world – while those wishing for a more serene vacation will adore the tranquil escapism to be found to the north. There is no right or wrong, better or worse between the two islands, only changes, differences, and each as advantageous as the other.
With such a wealth of choice, it is prudent to consider what you wish of your vacation, regardless of destination, and place this information into the hands of Storm Keen to craft the ideal New Zealand itinerary for you.
STORM KEEN ON NEW ZEALAND:
“New Zealand is probably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It is so diverse and has so much to offer every traveller, from turquoise beaches and the Bay of Islands in the north to the dramatic Southern Alps in the south that literally take your breath away when you see them for the first time.
“In addition to the amazing scenery, New Zealand has a rich Maori culture infused into everyday life and Kiwis are truly accommodating and wonderfully laid back.”
Travel Specialist: Ruthie Detwiler
Though Morocco is still part of the continent, it is so distinctly different that many would be forgiven for not considering it Africa.
Indeed, its history and culture are as multi-faceted as the colourful stained-glass lamps adorning the souks of Marrakech. The Berber were Morocco’s original inhabitants, a distinctly African people with similarities to Central African tribes. Arabian influence came over 1,000 years ago, and Morocco’s pivotal link in the global spice route made it a highly desirable destination for conquest. French forces colonised Morocco in the early 1900s and their influence, including language, continues to add a curiously European slant on this exotic desert kingdom.
When spices began to be transported through Morocco on their way to Europe, the people saw a business opportunity, planting seeds and nurturing their own spice industry, which remains strong to this day. This is now a part of daily life, in cuisine, agriculture and trade, and can be smelled long before it is seen wherever you go. The scent of cinnamon, paprika, ginger, turmeric and black pepper fills the air and the conical towers of fine-ground spices can be found throughout city marketplaces.
Bordering the Sahara Desert, much of Morocco feels like an oasis, miraculously sprung from the sand in a scattering of terracotta medinas filled with stunning tile work and water features. Reaching into the Atlas Mountains, it is possible to visit olive groves and seek out an authentic Moroccan village or meal. Idyllically peaceful, the mountainscape envelops one from the world and time, beguilingly hypnotic in its beauty.
The Sahara itself affords one a taste of Berber life, short-stay camps set up on the dunes, luxuriously furnished and without a single sign of mankind anywhere to be seen. A night in the dunes of Morocco is simply breathtaking.
Morocco is filled with wonder. The ancient city of Aït Benhaddou, the Blue city of Chefchaouen, the cultural capital of Fès and the timeless fishing port of Essaouira – every destination will inspire astonishment and awe.
Though very much an ancient civilisation, contemporary Morocco is equally as enticing, especially when hunger arises. Culturally, Morocco has firmly established itself as a global influence, but world-class chefs are bringing traditional dishes into the modern kitchen and one can find numerous leading fine-dining restaurants across the country, particularly in Fès where several award-winning chefs have taken up residence.
Morocco doesn’t have safaris or rolling wilderness. It isn’t abundant in nature and has few forests or plains to speak of, but culturally it is equally as fascinating and captivating as any African safari country. Ideal for historians, gastronomists and retail enthusiasts, Morocco is… well, it’s Morocco, beyond adjective and beyond imagination.
RUTHIE DETWILER ON MOROCCO:
“I hold Morocco close to my heart after living there, becoming friends with many Moroccans and discovering all the special nooks and crannies throughout the country. There is so much to discover around every corner, down every alley and over every dune and mountain.”
Though Leora Rothschild founded Rothschild Safaris with a specific focus on African safari destinations, what began 25 years ago has become so much more.
The word ‘safari’ itself simply means to travel, and those who undertake an African wildlife vacation are invariably inspired to spread their wings a little further, venturing across the world to find those places that nudge us beyond the familiar and into the extraordinary.
Wherever we take our guests, we do so with an unwavering commitment to luxury, personal service and a completely bespoke itinerary crafted just for you.
Talk to our Travel Designers today and discover a wider world.