Exciting New Destinations and New Ways to Rediscover the Classics
Nicaragua, Safari Houses, Iceland, Private Nile Cruises and Far Beyond Sightseeing…


With the end of 2010, private guided tour company Kensington Tours, polled its team of destination experts to see what trends they saw on the horizon for travel in 2011. Their team, which coordinates thousands of private guided tours to more than 80 countries worldwide every year, came back with a variety of insightful tips for vacation planning for the new year ranging from hot new destinations to exciting new ways of experiencing old favorites.


1. Safari Houses – Private African Paradises
Villas aren’t just for Italy anymore. “A growing number of luxury villa rentals and safari houses have sprung up particularly in South Africa and Botswana,” says Brad Crockett, Kensington’s Senior Africa Expert. “They are going to become very popular for families and groups of friends seeking more exclusive safari experiences.” 


2. Second Layer Vacations – Beyond Sightseeing
Coming on strong in well traveled Europe are “second layer” vacations that focus on experiential travel over more traditional sight-seeing. Kerstin Sowden, Kensington’s Senior Europe Expert notes “travelers are looking for affordable alternatives to group travel and set itineraries. Demand for tailored experiences like personalized adventures tracing family roots, active adventures, epicurean journeys and multi-generational family trips is spiking.”  http://www.kensingtontours.com/Tours/Europe/Western-Europe/Italy/8-Day-Italy—-Family-Style


3. Nicaragua – The Next Costa Rica?
”With its great mix of tropical rainforests, vibrant culture, colonial history, heavenly beaches and amazing, affordable properties, Nicaragua is working its way up the hot list,” says Brandi Merchant Kensington’s Senior Central American Expert. “Currently more like the Costa Rica of 20 years ago, Survivor Nicaragua is putting the country in the spotlight and driving a spike in enquires.” Adventurers can enjoy exotic wildlife safaris, horseback riding, volcano hikes kayaking through mangroves, surfing, fishing, zip-lining, exploring cloud forests, relaxing in hot springs, scuba diving, touring colonial towns and even tree planting! 


4. Iceland is HOT – The Eyjafjallajökull Effect
Call it the Eyjafjallajökull effect but Iceland is back on the tourist radar after a tough go in the global economic meltdown says Kensington’s Senior European Expert Kerstin Sowden. “Viking tours, Northern Lights excursions, relaxing in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon, river rafting, snowmobiling, glacier trekking, whale watching and experiencing Reykjavik’s lively cultural scene are my recommendations,” says Sowden. “Whether your there on a stopover for a couple days or your making a full trip of it, Iceland has plenty to offer.”


5. Rwanda – The Jet Set is Landing
Renowned for its primates, intrepid explorers have been trekking the wilds of Rwanda for chimpanzees and rare mountain gorillas for years, yet until now the choices were limited for those in want of a little luxury. “With a selection of new premium properties and eco-lodges opening in the next year, 2011 sees Rwanda attracting not just adventurers but more and more jetsetters and travelers with a taste for the finer things in life,” says Gaby Nijdam, Kensington’s Senior Africa Expert. 


 6. Brazil – Why Wait?
“With the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics around the corner, Brazil is on the cusp of exploding,” says Johanna Turres Kensington’s Senior South American Expert. “Travelers who want to see Brazil in the near future need to get in now before the crowds heat up the prices. But don’t just do the beaches of Rio’s Copacabana – Amazon River cruises, thundering Iguazu Falls, samba lessons, Afro-Brazilian culinary courses and stunning new ‘pousadas’ (boutique properties) and remote beaches are the savvy choice.”


7. Egypt –Intimate and Elegant Dahabiya Nile Cruises
While Egypt is no stranger to tourists, privately chartered Nile cruises offer a more personalized spin on this classic destination for the increasing numbers of families and friends traveling together.  “These smaller ships can stop for spellbinding shore excursions that larger cruisers cannot, like the Temple of Khnum or El Kab,” says Chris Bazos, Kensington’s Senior Egypt Expert. “Complete with the crew, chef and private Egyptologist guide, these luxurious small ships offer surprising value.”


8. Zimbabwe – Diamond in the Rough
With the political situation settling as of late, this diamond in the rough is going to quickly attract adventurers according to Brad Crockett, Kensington’s Senior Africa Expert. “Its appeal goes far beyond majestic Victoria Falls. Hwange, Mana Polls and the private concessions of Imbabala will please even the most experienced Africa connoisseurs. Plus Zimbabwe has some of the best guides in Africa and great prices.” http://kensingtontours.co.uk/Tours/Africa/Southern-Africa/Zambia/10-Day-Zambia-Signature


9. India 2.0
Even though it is hard to steer first timers away from the classics in North India, Karishma Kaul, Kensington’s Senior South Asia Expert likes less traditional takes on the Golden Triangle. “There are desert camping experiences in Rajasthan, tiger trekking and elephant back safaris in Central India or travelers can head south to explore wild game reserves in search of leopards, sambars and chinkaras,” states Kaul.  Additionally, in February of 2011 a stunning new resort, the Taj Bekal is opening in quiet Kerala and is expected to bring a new level of sophistication to India’s southern beaches.


10. Patagonia – Untouched but Always Evolving
Luxuriously wild, the southernmost tip of South America has been attracting outdoor enthusiasts for years. Johanna Turres, Kensington’s Senior South American Expert likes the wider assortment of adventures suiting travelers of all types for 2011. “In addition to trekking its landmark glaciers, travelers can experience authentic estancias (Argentinean ranches), relax at any number of new eco-camps or enjoy a leisurely cruise along Patagonia’s sparkling coast.  This once remote land is now ideal for cruisers, adventurers, nature travelers, families and more.”


11. Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences Are Back
After a tough year in 2010, the demand for once-in-a-lifetime VIP experiences and luxury level travel is on the rise again.  “While millions of people watch on TV, there are some sport aficionados who want to experience the world’s most prestigious events front row and center,” says Julie Hegedus who oversees Kensington’s Championship Series VIP packages to events like the Masters, Wimbledon and the Monaco Grand Prix. 
For more information visit http://KensingtonTours.com.


Source: Kensington Tours



Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".