“Chris’ Top Ten Favourite Places” is a regular feature of top travel destinations selected from Chris Robinson’s personal experience. In a career which has included several of the biggest vacation companies in the world, Chris has travelled to over 150 countries. This week, Chris covers his top ten wild places.
Ah! The call of the wild! Every so often I feel the need to refresh the spirit by experiencing some of the wild and wonderful places that this planet has to offer. None of these places in my Top Ten are easy to get to – they wouldn’t be wild places if they were – but they all repay the effort of travelling there with unique experiences.
- Lake Titicaca – Bolivia
Straddling the border of Peru and Bolivia is South America’s largest lake. Amid the Andes Mountains at 12,500 ft, it is also the world’s highest navigable lake.. The water’s intense blue contrasts with the browns of the surrounding hillsides and shimmering white snows on the distant 20,000 ft peaks. It’s in my Top Ten of Top Tens!
Larger than Western Europe, this land of islands and waterways is full of Northern Wonders from glacier and fjord to whales and native culture that remains close to the land. My travels in our three northern territories have all been memorable family adventures.
This huge country, locked between China and Russia, is the least populated nation in the world. Mountains, desert and vast steppes are on a breathtaking scale. In the middle of nowhere, locals would suddenly appear on horseback to race our car out of a sheer sense of fun.
Hindu Kush – Afghanistan
Unbroken and unrelenting grandeur of arid mountain ranges, bright green valleys and the startlingly blue lakes of Band-e Amir – these all remain indelible in my memory.
- Safari – East Africa
To watch the mass migration of 1.5 million Wildebeest across the Serengeti Plains is to experience a primeval thrill like no other. A hippo surfaced feet from our canoe. Meerkats chastised us almost face-to-face. Safari and see!
- Tasmania, Australia
This island state is literally a world apart. Its weird and wonderful wildlife includes the Tasmanian Devil and Fairy Penguins in an ecological wonderland. It’s a long way to travel but it is also a wild place with very civilized overtones: Tasmainian wines – who knew?
- Uluru (Ayers Rock) – Australia
Mystical and other-worldly, this huge sandstone monolith rises over 1,000 ft from the surrounding flat plain. It is a sacred place for the Aboriginal peoples and positively ethereal at sunset. I was the first of the day to climb to the top and contemplated the dream times of the ancient peoples here.
- Pantanal – South Brazil
The largest wetlands in the world, this is a far better place to see wildlife than Amazonia to the north. It’s wild, it’s little known and it’s exotic. We stayed at a remote ranch, swimming in the river by day and catching piranha in the evening!
Trekking amongst the highest peaks in the world, from lush foothills to sweeping glaciers. If you love mountains, you will love Nepal. My time trekking in the Helambu region remains the most hair-raising adventure of my life.
The third largest island in the world has lush jungle, deserted beaches and mountain trekking to over 13,000 ft. It’s also the best place to view Orangutan apes; as I stared into their eyes, and they stared back, there was an uncanny recognition going on…
Photo Credits: Chris Robinson