The Future Looks Wild
The Trips of 2006
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On this 19-day February whirlwind tour of the Falkland Islands, the South Orkneys, the South Shetlands, Elephant Island, and South Georgia Island, you’ll be hanging with the most impressive roster of guides we’ve seen yet. Reinhold Messner, Conrad Anker, and Caroline Alexander, author of The Endurance, will be present, as will a half-dozen top-tier geologists, biologists, historians, and a photographer, all specialists in Antarctica. Oh, and the wandering albatross, king penguins, hundreds of pelagic birds, sea lions, and icebergs will be there, too. Outfitter: Wilderness Travel, 800-368-2794, www.wildernesstravel.com
On March 29, 2006, the west coast of Africa is the place to be to witness the total solar eclipse, an eerie, extraordinary event. On this trip, you’ll visit numerous tribal villages in southeastern Ghana, walk a scary suspended rope bridge in Kakum National Park, and, on day eight, watch the total-eclipse show from a high plateau. NASA astronomer Laurance Doyle will be on hand to answer your science questions; anything else, you can discuss with the elders from nearby Abutia Teti village. Outfitter: Tusker Trail, 800-231-1919, www.tusker.com
It’s hard to get more remote than this: The Kuujjua River traverses the high Arctic plain on Victoria Island, a landmass with only two villages. Over 16 days in July, you’ll canoe approximately 150 miles of Class II–III whitewater, among caribou, white wolves, musk ox, and not a soul but your expedition mates. Outfitter: Equinox Wilderness Expeditions, 604-222-1219, www.equinoxexpeditions.com
Your new luxury tented base camp for spying grizzlies at the foot of Mount Iliamna overlooks sweet, juicy berry bushes where the big beasts love to feast. Between hiking, mountain-biking, rafting, and kayaking forays on the Kenai Peninsula, recuperate in a lounge chair and watch one of the greatest shows on earth. Outfitter: Outer Edge Expeditions, 800-322-5235, www.outer-edge.com