There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you take those last few steps and rise up to the summit of a mountain peak. When you are high above the world below, looking down at the countryside that holds the memory of your footsteps, and the mountainside that you just conquered. There is something about the mountain air, the solitude, the peacefulness of the high peaks that spurs our confidence, our strength and our resilience. We come down from the heights feeling stronger, braver and more apt for a challenge than when we had taken our first steps towards the ascent. That feeling of accomplishment stays with us for days, weeks and even years. It’s not just the personal satisfaction that makes climbing, trekking and hiking a great past time. There’s also the experience of seeing and being part of the natural world that surrounds you. Watching afternoon rains turn dry mountain sides into cascading waterfalls. Seeing birds awake in the misty morning fog before taking flight as the sun rises over a landscape of incredible beauty and watching animals in their natural elements unencumbered by human development or interaction.
The world is full of beautiful and scenic places where adventure can be had, choosing your next location can often be a challenge. Across the world some of the areas of high mountains and natural wonder will take you through old growth forest, rainforest, fertile highlands, flowering meadows, past nomadic shepherds, through the valley of kings, into the shadows of glaciated peaks and into the lands of animals small and large before reaching the snowcapped ridges that reach up to the land of the gods. For those of us who are up for the challenge of climbing, hiking and adventure travel here are four countries where you can reach new heights. From the dreamy African Savannah to the heights of the Himalayas. One thing is for sure, it will be a journey you will never forget.
In Mongolia’s Western Province venture among the fertile highlands via foot, bike or horseback and you will be quickly swept away by the seemingly endless green steppes and the rolling landscape of the Altai mountains which straddle the corners of Russia, China and Mongolia. Meeting Nomadic Shepherds tending to their livestock. You will walk among wild horses, yaks and sheep grazing in the green pastures.
Deeper into the land of forests you can look for fox, lynx and bear as you dazzle at the beautiful arches made by falcons soaring overhead. The high mountain passes hold deep gorges and shimmering alpine lakes so beautiful that you may never want to leave. The grassy steppes, covered in wildflowers and dotted with Buddhist temples will draw you into the land of mystery and awe. After the mountain heights you can traverse the expansive sandy hills of the Gobi Desert. Nicknamed the land of the eternal blue sky, evenings are laden with stars and the tales of the nomadic people that still live in a time told tradition.
Set on the eastern ridge of the mighty Himalayas and sandwiched between India and Tibet, Bhutan is a mesmerizing destination. With dramatic scenery, winding mountain passages and snowcapped peaks. Vibrant purple rhododendrons create a backdrop for a colorful culture steeped in religion and mythology. The land of the thunder dragon, trekking through the mystical land of enchantment takes you through isolated villages, across rugged high passes, through countless mountain fortresses and tiny Buddhist monasteries. Trekking through the Paro Valley to the base of Chomolhari, Bhutans 2nd highest mountain you will observe majestic peaks, and the forest studded granite cliffs of some of the most remote regions of Bhutan.
A journey to Bhutan will also immerse you in a delightful local culture. Friendly and humble people, their shops are filled with vibrant textiles and handicrafts and the drama and allure of their mythology is shown throughout the capital in art, dance and festival.
Tanzania is a country blessed with stunning wildlife and scenery. Home to the largest animal migration on earth in Serengeti National Park it is also home to the world’s tallest freestanding mountain and one of the 7 summits. Reaching heights over 19,100 feet (5895 meters) a climb to Uhuru peak can be tackled by several different routes. Climbing Kilimanjaro is the easiest of the seven summits and the journey will take you through five different ecosystems. Like walking from the Ecuador to the North Pole in a matter of days the trek takes you from the African Savannah where can sometimes see elephants, zebra and gazelle, through the rainforest filled with monkey, to the moorland filled with unique fauna and flora, high into the alpine desert where remnants of its volcanic origin can be seen and then finally to the glacier covered summit of its three peaks. Climbing Kilimanjaro takes 6-10 days depending on the route chosen, the Lemosho Route being one of the most popular is a great route for newbie mountaineers. World Expeditions is proud to offer several multi day treks to Kilimanjaro as well as the nearby summit of Mount Meru.
Nepal is a country steeped with culture, home to the Himalayas and the world’s tallest peak Mount Everest. It’s fertile valleys and winding mountain trails take you through peaceful villages dotted with prayer flags, past rice terraces and through valleys filled with wildflowers. You can trek along rocky ridges where tea houses and monasteries beckon hikers and travelers alike. A trip along the Annapurna Circuit will take you through the lush foothills and into some of the world’s most spectacular mountain scenery, where glaciers flow into rivers right before your eyes. Join in on a trip to Everest Base Camp with World Expeditions and check off a once in a lifetime experience to one of the most famous mountain base camps on the planet. Continue your journey through Nepal by visiting Kathmandu’s religious and cultural treasures and look for tigers and rhinoceros in Chitwan National Park.
For those looking for an adventure unlike any other World Expeditions even offers a 29-day summit to sea adventure that takes you trekking to the Himalayas, cycling through India and cruising through the Maldives. After some moderate hiking in the Himalayas and a jungle walk in Chitwan you will be whisked away to India for several days of cycling through the country roads of the Northern provinces from Agra to the Taj Mahal. After exploring Nepal and India you will be head to the sea on board of a hand crafted sailboat to sail the tranquil and translucent waters of the Maldives.
Just Say Yes to Adventure
They say nature is man’s best remedy for the soul. People that spend time outdoors, in the forest and high in the mountains live happier, healthier lives, more connected and enlightened with what is around them. So wherever you decide to take your next mountain expedition, know that you will return home feeling, lighter, happier and more in touch with your body and the world around you. The mountain breezes will sweep away your worries, the animal songs will create new found lullabies for you to sleep to and the wonders of the landscapes you have spent time in will give you long lasting memories you will never forget. World Expeditions offers cycling, trekking, and mountaineering vacations on every continent and to some of the most beautiful places on the planet. A favorite of Alice’s Adventures for its dedication to responsible tourism they practice a leave no trace policy and they work hard to make sure all of their trips are environmentally responsible and give back to the local communities that they work in.
This post was written through a paid partnership with World Expeditions. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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