Seven Worlds, One Planet: discovering the continents

25 November 2019

Sir David Attenborough’s recently launched his new series abroad: “Seven Worlds, One Planet”, in which the legendary presenter takes us on a journey across each of the seven continents, demonstrating the natural diversity that exists between them and highlighting the importance of preserving these beautiful ecosystems.

Here at Travel Counsellors we believe that travel should be done sustainably so that people can experience the wonders of the world whilst maintaining them for future generations. Here’s a sustainable travel experience from each continent to inspire your next adventure.

 

Antarctica: Hurtigruten Cruise

The last truly unexplored continent, the vast open white wilderness of Antarctica may be daunting to some while for others it is an invitation to explore. Miles of uninterrupted snow and ice await, across vast plains and dramatic mountain ranges. Watch penguins in their natural habitat as they dive into the icy waters to fish or huddle for warmth on the land.

Hurtigruten runs a series of cruises to Antarctica, giving you the chance to venture to this untamed wilderness. The Cruise line is committed to environmentally friendly tourism and takes a huge responsibility for its actions in such pristine surroundings as it works within the UN Sustainable development Goals Framework. To help with this Hurtigruten is building the world first ever hybrid-powered expedition cruise ships, has removed single use plastic from ships and educates guests about every destination and the dangers of environmental damage there.

Asia: Bawah Reserve

The largest of the earth’s continents, Asia’s natural magnificence extends from the majestic Bengal Tigers of India to the old man of the forest, the Orangutans, of Sumatra, and from the otherworldly landscape of Ha Long Bay in Vietnam to the unmistakable Mount Fuji in Japan.

The Bawah Reserve sits within the Indonesian Anambas archipelago, to the east of mainland Malaysia. The resort is enveloped by lush tropical forest and is home to crystal clear lagoons, immaculate beaches and a thriving coral reef ecosystem. Sustainability is at the forefront of everything at Bawah Reserve, from the resort’s design to its day to day operations. Their goal is to protect the environment of the islands and the surrounding marine ecosystems to ensure the survival of endangered species that inhabit them. The Reserve is focusing a lot of attention on energy usage to help in combating climate change and buildings on the reserve are designed with a minimalist style, using only materials that are sourced locally from stone quarried on the island to sustainably sourced bamboo.

 

Africa: Safari at Shamwari Game Reserve

Africa brims with exciting wildlife and awe-inspiring views. As the birthplace of life on earth, we now see the full journey of life from the small and bizarre to the huge and sublime; the wildlife across this continent is truly magnificent. Watch Rhino’s graze the Savannah and families of elephants gather round a watering hole. Admire flocks of flamingos as they paint the sky with their bright pink feathers, and witness lions stalking their prey.

Shamwari Game Reserve in South Africa offers unbeatable wildlife-spotting opportunities, with a chance to spot the big five, as well as a plethora of other species, in the flesh and in their natural habitat. The reserve is dedicated to stabilising populations of species that are declining as a result of poaching and illegal hunting. This is being done through the provision of experienced staff and expert anti-poaching units as well as implementation of animal husbandry programmes which promote the proliferation of threatened species.

 

Australia: Daintree Peaks eco stays

Australia is both a country and a continent. Spanning almost 7.7 million sq. km, it could fit the British Isles inside of it 20 times and still have space leftover. Australia is home to huge expanses of red desert across its centre, while its coastal regions are divided between lush tropical forests, warm bushlands and cooler temperate forest regions. The wildlife in Australia is famous around the world for its distinct appearance and sometimes deadly reputation, and in many cases needs to be seen to be believed from the cute and cuddly Koalas to the prehistoric-looking Cassowary which inhabit only its northernmost reaches.

Eco Lodges are popular across Australia as they offer visitors a chance to escape the hectic pace of everyday life and retreat into an atmosphere of serenity and peace, surrounded only by the beauty of nature – something which this continent has in abundance. Daintree Rainforest Eco Stays sits up in the Daintree National Park and invites guests to experience the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. The resort is designed to ensure that guests’ stays are as comfortable and possible while ensuring minimum disruption to the ancient ecosystem. The resort is almost entirely self-sufficient with all power coming from solar energy and water coming directly from underground and later being used to water the gardens.

South America: Trek with G Adventures from the ‘Amazon to the Andes’

Home to the largest tropical rainforest in the world and the second largest river in the world, South America is renowned as the home of the immense and important Amazon Rainforest. However, South America’s natural significance extends far beyond the reach of the rainforest. The rugged mountain terrain of Patagonia, the Atacama Desert of Chile, the soaring Andes mountains of the west coast and the untouched magnificence of the Galapagos islands off the coast of Ecuador, all contribute to a continent that inspires wanderlust in any onlooker.

G Adventures offers guests the once in a lifetime experience of trekking through South America to the Andes Mountains, Amazon Rainforest and to the Peruvian capital of Lima. While your environmental footprint will be minimal through your trip, G Adventures focuses on ensuring that your tour is economically and socially sustainable for the local communities that you interact with during your stay. With a Ripple score of 99, you can be assured that your visit here will deliver plentiful benefits to your host communities.

Europe – Sani Resort, Greece

We tend to see Europe in terms of its human features and can sometimes forget about the natural environment that surrounds us and often intertwines with the built environment. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar who live side by side with humans, often uneventfully, though the sometimes mischievous monkeys can cause trouble especially if food is on the line. 

At Sani Resort, environmental sustainability is never forgotten and sits at the forefront of the company’s vision which is evident in the introduction of Sani Green -  the sustainability programme that is now central to all activities. Within the programme, Sani is striving to reduce its environmental impact through focusing on key factors such as minimizing energy use, utilizing renewable energy and reducing water consumption and waste creation. Methods of achieving their goal include adopting solar energy and heat recovery systems and recycling water as grey water for use in irrigation. The environmental work that Sani does extends beyond the activities within the hotel, to actively protecting nearby ecosystems through preservation work.

Sani engages guests in their environmental work to preserve their unique surroundings with initiatives ranging from in-room recycling through to guided eco-tours to help guests develop a deeper appreciation for their surroundings.

North America – Volcanic Peaks to Sparkling Shores road trip

 

North America encompasses a broad range of climates ranging from the warm tropical weather found around the Gulf of Mexico and the dry baking heat of the deserts, through to the freezing bitter cold found up in the Yukon in northern Canada. With such variability it should come as no surprise that the wildlife and landscapes here are pretty varied too depending on where you visit. Much like Europe, North America has been heavily affected by mankind but there are still large pockets that remain untouched, in the form of National Parks, and are preserved to retain their immaculate state for visitors to enjoy.

One of the most picturesque areas of North America in the Pacific North West coast of the USA where a collection of National Parks litters the landscape. A great way to explore them is by taking to the highways on an epic road trip which will see you encounter volcanic peaks and sparkling shores.

Suggested Itinerary:

Portland to Astoria, Oregon (1 hour and 45 minutes / 158km)

Astoria, Oregon to Olympic National Park, Washington (2 hours and 40 minutes / 205km)

Olympic National Park to Seattle, Washington (2 hours and 5 minutes / 178km)

Seattle to Mount Ranier National Park, Washington (1 hour and 40 minutes / 104km)

Mount Ranier National Park, Washington to Mount Hood, Oregon (3 hours and 14 minutes / 192km)

Mount Hood to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (4 hours and 36 minutes / 357km)

Crater Lake National Park to Coos Bay, Oregon (3 hours and 18 minutes / 273km)

Coos Bay to Portland, Oregon (3 hours and 47 minutes / 356km)

 

To book your unforgettable adventure across one (or all) of the seven continents, contact your Travel Counsellor today and enjoy exclusive access to benefits such as full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.

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