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Top 5 Most Unusual Places to Camp

From the sandy deserts near the historic ruins of Old Dongola to the geological wonder of China’s ‘Rainbow Mountains’, here are our top five picks for the strangest places to pitch your tent.

 

The banks of the Zambezi River, Zambia

The Zambezi is the fourth longest river in Africa, flowing through six countries and across 2,700km. A large stretch of it is covered by the Lower Zambezi National Park, one of the country’s top wildlife-spotting destinations. The best place to see wildlife is on the flood plain and along the river itself – look out for puku, impala, zebra, bushbuck, leopards, lions, cheetah, buffalo and elephants.

On the Zanzibar, Zambezi & The Falls (YDF) tour, you’ll spend two days canoeing on the Lower Zambezi and two nights camping on its banks at well-equipped campsites. Previous passengers have said: “The canoeing trip over the Zambezi River and the two nights wildcamping were the highlight”; and “Canoeing and wild camping down the Lower Zambezi was an experience I will never forget”.

Zanzibar, Zambezi & the FallsVictoria Falls - Zanzibar

Through Zimbabwe, Zambia + 2 more
This route runs in both directions
PRICES FROM:
$1,515 USD+
KITTY FROM:
800USD
DAYS:
19
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:

 

The ‘Cave of Hands’, Argentina

Tucked away in the valley of the Pinturas River in Patagonia, the Cueva de las Manos (‘Cave of Hands’) is most easily reached by long gravel dirt roads; but although the trip can be rough, the reward is worth it. The incredible stencilled hand paintings on the walls are some of the earliest known human art, dating back roughly 10,000 years. After you’ve explored the cave on the Machu Picchu, Patagonia & Argentina (ZSU) tour, you’ll wildcamp nearby in the Pinturas River Canyon.

Machu Picchu, Patagonia & ArgentinaBuenos Aires - Cuzco

Through Argentina, Chile + 2 more
This route runs in both directions
PRICES FROM:
$5,295 USD+
KITTY FROM:
2,990USD
DAYS:
65
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:

 

Old Dongola, Sudan

The city of Old Dongola, located on the East Bank of the Nile, was founded as a fortress in the fifth century, and was once the booming capital of the Christian Kingdom of Makuria; today it is deserted and lies in ruins. On the Saharan Gems of Sudan & The Kush (ZKH), you’ll wildcamp in the stunning desert nearby, the perfect base for exploring what remains of the columns, churches, and beehive-shaped tombs of this historic site.

PRICES FROM:
$1,300 USD+
KITTY FROM:
190USD
DAYS:
8
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:

 

The cliff-side cave dwellings of Lijiashan, China

Lijiashan, located in China's Shanxi province, is famed for its hundreds of cave houses built into a cliffside. Even today in this remote 550-year-old village, it's possible to find entire communities of cave dwellers, living in almost the same way as their ancestors did. Although it's been hooked up to the national grid for some time, Lijiashan still has no running water or sewage system, and residents are reliant as ever on the nearby Yellow River.

On the Northern Chinese Wanderer (CHM) tour, you’ll spend a night in one of these caves' rooms, run by a local family and set up for guests. Some rooms contain a Kang Stove bed, a hollow platform made from bricks used both as a bed and a work area, and heated from a fire below in the winter to provide a huge amount of warmth.

PRICES FROM:
$1,790 USD+
KITTY FROM:
540USD
DAYS:
17
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:

 

The ‘Rainbow Mountains’ of China

The Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park is home to the ‘Rainbow Mountains’ of China, a geological wonder of the world. These Technicolor mountains are the result of deposits of sandstone and other minerals accruing over the course of 24 million years, and processes of erosion which have sculpted them into fantastic shapes.

Needless to say, the Rainbow Mountains have been attracting photographers for years – and the best time to see and photograph this spectacular landscape is at sunrise. On the Chinese Silk Route (ZKX) tour you’ll spend a night camping nearby, giving you a great opportunity to make an early-morning visit and to see this natural phenomenon in the best light.

PRICES FROM:
$2,525 USD+
KITTY FROM:
700USD
DAYS:
22
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE: