Have you been watching ITV’s series ‘Life at the Extreme’ with Davina McCall? I’ve been hooked due largely to the fabulous cinematography and because each episode is packed full of interesting facts about animals who survive, and thrive, in some of the world’s harshest conditions. I’ve been gripped for another reason too; I’ve been lucky enough to visit three of the destinations featured. The Sunvil Family offers holidays to all four.
Namibia is an amazing country and one of the most diverse in the African continent. Visitors here can observe dense herds congregating around watering holes in the Etosha National Park, meet indigenous communities, explore the Skeleton Coast, visit seal colonies along the Atlantic Coast and admire the beautiful, iconic, red sand dunes of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. You can even experience all of these attractions in a two-week holiday. Believe me that watching a giraffe drink is both fascinating and hilarious at the same time. I can also highly recommend climbing the sand-dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib and greeting the sunrise from their summit.
Situated in the mid-Atlantic, the Azores are the westernmost point of Europe and a group of nine lush volcanic islands. Here, you will find vibrant-blue crater lakes, botanical gardens, plunging cliffs, flower-strewn hedgerows and high mountain peaks. For outdoor enthusiasts (like myself) and nature lovers, there is no rival. The Azores also have another attraction for visitors, and that is their rich marine life. Surrounding the islands are deep shelves in the sea floor, which are heaven for sperm, blue, fin and humpback whales as well as a wide array of dolphins and turtles. The whale watching season starts in April and runs until October – book your trip today.
We all have that one place which has captured your heart and which you feel most privileged to have visited. For me, that destination is the archipelago of Spitsbergen at just 1300km south of the North Pole. Why you might ask, has a region that is largely an ice-desert had such an effect on me? It is because you expect a place like this to be sleepy and uninhabitable. Instead what you find is a 2000 strong population who have been drawn here – as if by the earth’s magnet pull – by the awe-inspiring wildlife, which survive in one of the world’s toughest environments. Polar bears, walruses, seals and husky dogs all call Spitsbergen their home.
Direct flights from the UK can now take you to Costa Rica, the compact heart of an extraordinary range of experiences. There is nowhere else in the world where you can seek out scarlet macaws and capuchin moneys in a rainforest, overlook a smoking volcano, raft down a tumultuous river and laze on a rugged beach, all within the space of a few days. Nature lovers, activity-junkies, bird watchers and photographers will all be in their element in Costa Rica.
I have not made it to Costa Rica yet but, it is on my bucket list and a dream I intend to realise before too long.
Follow in Davina McCall’s footsteps on a holiday with Sunvil.
By Rachel Jelley