We’ve scoured the globe and sent out our minions to find the best adventure holiday spots for the young and young-at-heart! We’re pretty thrilled with what we’ve found, and we think you will be too. There’s something for everyone, from visiting mountain gorillas in Africa to trekking in the Himalayas or doing yoga in Tuscany. We’ve put together a truly diverse and stellar list of adventure trips for 2020. We’d love to host you on your next adventure!
Follow Alice adventure trips 2020
Here are the exciting adventure trips on offer from Follow Alice in the upcoming year …
- Trek to Everest Base Camp
- Trek the Annapurna Circuit
- Discover Nepal and Bhutan
- Hidden gems of Sri Lanka
Here are the details for each of these epic adventure holidays …
The Kilimanjaro trip is where it all began with Follow Alice, so it’s a trip very close to our hearts. And climbing Kilimanjaro is a true adventure, requiring sweat, perseverance, and team spirit. It’s about pushing your boundaries and awakening you to your own potential and capabilities.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world! Join us on an epic adventure as we climb to the summit of this mighty mountain at 5,895 m above sea level. Each day of the trek we enter a new and rich ecosystem: savannah, forest, moorland, alpine desert, and then ice caps. We start our night climb to the summit around midnight so that when the sun rises we’ll be standing on Uhuru Peak, overlooking the world! Kilimanjaro is a challenging and exciting experience that leads to new friendships, greater confidence in your own capabilities, and a renewed sense of wonder at the majesty and diversity of Mother Earth.
One of the Seven Summits
You already know that Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest mountain. This means it’s one of the so-called Seven Summits, which are the highest mountains from each of the continents. The first person to climb all seven summits, Richard Bass, ony did so in 1985.
Kilimanjaro is also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. But it isn’t a mountain in the traditional sense, because it’s actually a dormant volcano. At the top of Kilimanjaro are three volcanic cones: Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi. The highest point of Kilimanjaro is Uhuru Peak, which is on Kibo’s crater rim.
The five climates of Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro, which is in the northeast of Tanzania, offers a fascinating diversity of terrain, wildlife and plants. Every day on the trek you literally enter a different ecosystem. This is part of what makes the trek so interesting! Climbers generally start the trek in shorts and t-shirts and end it swaddled in every warm item they packed!
On Day 1 of the climb we walk through the savannah of Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes, which is where the local Chagga people live. The next day we walk along forest trails surrounded by lush trees. The following day we ascend into heather and moorland, and things get much cooler. The next ecosystem we enter is the alpine or highland desert zone. And finally, at the top of Kilimanjaro, we enter the arctic zone, where’s it all about scree, ice patches, dramatic glacier walls and freezing temperatures.
“I climbed Kilimanjaro last year with Follow Alice and it was an unforgettable experience!! All the planning was made at their side and I just enjoyed the beautiful climb – so simple and well delivered.” Silvia Coimbra
Follow Alice’s favourite Kilimanjaro routes
There are currently seven routes up Kilimanjaro. At Follow Alice we lead groups up all of the routes, but these are the most popular three routes:
- Lemosho Route, which takes 7 or 8 days and is the most beautiful route
- Northern Circuit Route, which takes 9 days and is one of the least crowded routes
- Machame Route, which takes 6 or 7 days and is the most popular route
We encourage trekkers to choose one of these routes for two reasons. Firstly, they have high success rates, meaning a high proportion of people who attempt them make it to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This is because they have good acclimatisation profiles. In other words, they don’t push trekkers to climb too high, too quickly, and so wind up developing altitude symptoms. The second reason we like these routes is that they offer some of the most beautiful and varied scenery.
The Machame, Lemosho and Northern Circuit routes are great for acclimatisation because of the many ‘climb high, sleep low’ opportunities they offer.
Check out the video below for a visual overview of the seven Kilimanjaro routes …
Insert Kilimanjaro routes video
Further reading for the interested trekker …
If you’d like to know more about climbing Kilimanjaro, we have a wealth of resources available to you:
- How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?
- Best time to climb Kilimanjaro
- Kilimanjaro preparation
- Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro FAQs
- What is it like to climb Kilimanjaro?
Want to make your Kilimanjaro trip even more epic?
Many of our clients follow up their Kilimanjaro trek with a Tanzanian safari, so we introduce you to that trip next …
Tanzania is arguably the ultimate safari destination for wildlife lovers. With 16 beautifully maintained national parks, it offers some of Africa’s best game viewing. Some of the animals one can find on safari include African elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos, wildebeests, dik-diks, antelopes, gazelles, elands and kudus. Tanzania has dedicated more of its land to its national parks than any other wildlife destination in the world. In total the country has 42,000 square kilometres of national park!
Highlights of a Tanzania safari
Some of the highlights of our Tanzania safari trip are:
- Go on safari in the UNESCO-listed Serengeti National Park
- Spot lions, leopards, Cape buffaloes, African elephants, cheetahs, giraffes and much more!
- Camp overnight in some of Africa’s most beautiful national parks
- Watch the sunrise over the African savannah
- Experience the rich culture of local Tanzanian tribes
Our exciting destinations
During our time on safari we visit the following world-famous sites:
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s smaller parks, but it packs a real punch, boasting savannah, bush plains and evergreen forest. The chance to see elephant families moving through the forest is reason enough on its own to visit this gem of a park!
Serengeti National Park
The word serengeti means ‘endless plains’ in the Maasai language, and this is truly apt. Serengeti National Park is home to the Great Migration, the famous annual migration of over two million grazing animals like wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. Our drive in the park affords us ample game-watching opportunities, as well as the chance to visit the beautiful Olduvai Gorge. We’ll also visit the Maasai Culture Boma to learn about the history and culture of this fascinating tribe.
The Ngorongoro Crater
Directly south of Serengeti National Park is Ngorongoro Crater, the largest collapsed volcanic crater in the world! The walls of the crater have protected the area over time and created an oasis of wildlife. You can expect to see lions, elephants, zebras, hippos, wildebeest, jackals, kobs, eagles, vultures, and so much more. There are also brightly coloured flamingoes in the crater lake and hippos in the swamp, which is where we stop for lunch!
Take your African safari to the next level
As with all Follow Alice itineraries, nothing is set in stone. With each adventure trip we put forward an itinerary as a starting point, and if desired you can tweak it as much as you like to craft your ideal getaway. This safari has been designed as the ideal accompaniment to our Climb Kilimanjaro trip, and so takes place in the same corner of Tanzania as the famous mountain to reduce travel time. So how about it: should you maybe be combining your Tanzania safari with a Kilimanjaro climb?!
Gorilla trek in Uganda
Uganda is known as the pearl of Africa, for very good reason. This lush country has mountains, jungle, mountain gorillas, savannah, the Big Five, island-dotted lakes, rich culture, welcoming people, and so much more. At Follow Alice we’ve put together a wild adventure holiday that takes in the best the country has to offer: we explore the capital city of Kampala, go on a mountain bike safari, row in traditional boats on the lake, zipline into the water, visit chimpanzees in the wild, and go on a boat cruise. And finally, our pièce de resistance: we take a trek in the rainforest to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. It’s all epic times in Uganda!
An adventure-packed itinerary
During our eight-day stay in Uganda, we take you to various beautiful spots around the country. Some of the exciting activities on the cards are:
- Visit Nedere Cultural Centre in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city
- Go on a mountain bike safari in Lake Mburo National Park
- Hike to see chimpanzees in the wild
- Take a boat cruise on Bunyonyi Lake and zipline into it
- Quad bike around Bunyonyi to explore local villages
- Row in traditional dugout canoes on the lake to visit some of its islands
- Take an evening walk into the town of Kabale
- Go on a jeep and boat safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see a gorilla troop
Trekking to see mountain gorillas
The gorilla trek is the highlight of our trip. And for good reason. The mountain gorilla is an endangered animal – there are estimated to be fewer than 900 in the wild. They live only in Uganda, the DRC and Rwanda. We’ll take a guided trek through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to find a troop to observe. As the name of the forest suggests, we’ll be trekking through dense vegetation. You can expect overgrown trails, walls of green, dripping leaves, rivers and rivulets, forest sounds, mist and perhaps the odd downpour! Trekking through such an untouched and thick forest like this is a treat in and of itself.
Gorillas live in troops, each of which is headed by one or two silverbacks, which are the dominant males. Their babies are called infants. Mountain gorillas are known for being mostly gentle and shy. The gorilla troops that are visited are habituated ones, meaning they’re used to the presence of humans. It’s wonderful to watch them interact among themselves, and hear their grunts and barks. Very few people are afforded the opportunity to view these gentle giants in their natural habitat – those who do rarely leave the forest unaffected.
Keen to know more?
Trek to Everest Base Camp
Not everyone can climb Mount Everest, but most of us can make the trek to its famous base camp. The Everest Base Camp trek is a challenging but ever-so-rewarding two-week hike through the Himalayas. It starts in the temperate zone at around 2,500 m and requires you to climb up to the alpine zone at over 5,000 m. During the trek we hike as a group up steep, forested valleys, over suspension bridges, across desolate valley floors and lake beds, along high contour paths, and over snowy mountain passes.
We stay in traditional Sherpa villages, eat Nepali food, visit Buddhist monasteries, stand back for passing yaks, dip our toes in icy high-altitude lakes, and marvel at snow-capped mountain peaks every way we turn. And in the middle of it all, we get to stand in Everest Base Camp, where the prayer flags are pulled at relentlessly by the wind and we contemplate the start of the trail taken by many greats to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain.
Highlights of the Everest Base Camp trek
This two-week trip to the Himalayas of eastern Nepal is not just about standing at Everest Base Camp. No, no – it has so much more in store for the curious and intrepid traveller. When you travel to do the Everest Base Camp trek with Follow Alice, you’ll:
- Take an exciting flight from Kathmandu to the mountain town of Lukla
- Trek for two weeks through the beautiful Sagarmatha National Park
- Stay in traditional Sherpa villages and experience the local culture and cuisine
- Visit Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and other important cultural sites
- See wild and domesticated animals like musk deer and wild goats
- See Mt Everest, Khumbu Glacier and many other spectacular Himalayan peaks and glaciers
- Visit the world’s most iconic base camp
- Stay on the shore of the beautiful Gokyo Lake
- Challenge yourself physically and mentally as you trek at great altitude
- Make friends with fellow trekkers from around the world
How far is the trek to Everest Base Camp?
The Everest Base Camp trek is 65 km each way when you walk the most direct route. This is the traditional trek route. There are, however, variations to this route, a common one being the Everest Base Camp trek via Gokyo Lakes.
Everest Base Camp trek via Gokyo Lakes
We at Follow Alice hike the Everest Base Camp trek via Gokyo Lakes. This is a popular alternate route to the classic one. It involves trekking the usual route to Everest Base Camp, then taking a detour to the Gokyo Lakes on the return journey.
There are a few pros to doing the Everest Base Camp trek via Gokyo Lakes. Firstly, it creates a loop in the trail, meaning for most of your return hike you walk through fresh territory. There’s so much cultural and natural richness in Khumbu, we feel it would be a pity to tramp the same path when you can divert just a little and enjoy more of it. Secondly, this alternate route gives us the chance to cross Cho La Pass, summit Gokyo Peak (5,357 m), see the magnificent Ngozumpa Glacier, and visit the beautiful Gokyo Lakes. And finally, this slightly longer route is quieter than the main one, allowing us to experience an even more remote part of the Himalayas.
We hike the Everest Base Camp trek via Gokyo Lakes, an exciting alternative to the classic trek route that takes in more of the area.
Who should do the Everest Base Camp trek?
If you’re a curious soul who doesn’t mind a little discomfort for the sake of new experiences, then the Everest Base Camp trek is for you! You don’t need any mountaineering skills or equipment, nor do you need to be an athlete. You do, however, need to be reasonably fit. Simply put, if you’re able to go on a day-long hike wherever you live without falling over with fatigue and complaining that life is no fun, then you should be perfectly able to tackle Everest Base Camp.
If you’d like to know more about the challenges of the trek, we recommend you read How hard is Everest Base Camp? This blog post describes the trek route and surrounding terrain, daily hiking hours, the dangers of altitude sickness, and more. You might also like to read:
Trek the Annapurna Circuit
The Annapurna Circuit trek is an incredibly varied and exciting high-altitude trek. Located in Nepal’s central Himalayas, the Annapurna region boasts some of the world’s highest mountains. Most famous is Annapurna I, the seventh highest peak in the world at 8,091 m (26,545 ft).
On the Annapurna Circuit trek we hike deep into the Himalayas. We wind our way up steep, forested valleys and canyons, walk narrow paths that snake round the sides of mountains, visit an ice lake, and cross a bleak summit pass. The higher we climb, the fiercer the weather, with strong winds and temperatures that drop below freezing at night. It’s an adventure trip for the spirited traveller who wants a challenge and something out of the ordinary!
Annapurna circuit people and culture
The people groups we meet along the Annapurna trek route vary greatly. At the trail’s start we meet Hindu communities with close ties to Indian culture, but when we enter into the remote mountains we meet Tibetic groups who are closely connected in culture to their neighbours to the north. Along the trail we encounter temples, prayer flags, stupas, gompas, prayer wheels, and more. Every day on the Annapurna circuit introduces you to something new and surprising.
Getting to Annapurna
Our trip starts in Kathmandu and involves a two-day road trip west to reach the Annapurna region. But don’t worry – the road trip is part of the fun! We drive in a private minibus, all the better to chat and get to know your fellow trekkers. We also stop off in some beautiful towns and villages. The last part of the drive takes us deep into the Annapurna range along winding and narrow mountain roads.
The Annapurna Circuit trek route
Many treks around the world involve hiking from Point A to Point B and then back along the same route, often because the terrain dictates it. Not a problem, but arguably not ideal. The Annapurna Circuit route, by contrast, is a roughly circular route that takes you anticlockwise through the valleys and gorges and over some of the heights of the Annapurna Massif. Every day brings something new!
We start in the small village of Pisang. Over the next few days we hike deep into the remote mountains, eventually climbing up into a rain shadow. Colourful prayer flags and Buddhist stupas (religious monuments) can be seen all along the trek route.
Thorung La Pass
The pinnacle of the trek – both literally and mentally – is reaching the top of the mountain pass Thorung La. Thorung La is 5,416 m (17,769 ft) above sea level. It’s a snow-covered spot that’s blasted by fierce winds.
After this special moment of victory, the trek’s descent begins. The route drops down from the chilly heights into the woods before reaching the hills and plains of the Mustang District.
Accommodation along the trek
Throughout the trek we stay in traditional and often incredibly picturesque towns and villages, which grow smaller and more modest the higher we climb. In the evenings we gather together in heated communal dining rooms for warm meals of local cuisine and chitchat with fellow trekkers from all around the world.
Fly to beautiful Pokhara
Near the end of the trip, once our trekking days are done, we fly in a small aircraft through the famous Kali Gandaki Gorge. This is the world’s deepest gorge! This is a flight you’ll ever forget, as we wind our way through the gorge with the Annapurna mountains towering above us on both sides.
We then spend a night in the beautiful lakeside city of Pokhara, a popular tourist destination. We have the option of exploring the city, canoeing on the lake, ziplining above the trees, and more!
Who should hike the Annapurna Circuit?
The Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the most popular treks worldwide. This is because of the sheer diversity and beauty of the trek route. We can vouch for the fact that every day on this trip is new and exciting. And also that the hard work and sweat to complete it is one hundred percent worth it. The views, the people and the memories are truly special.
The Annapurna Circuit is a non-technical route, which means you don’t need any special experience or skills to complete it. You just need a good pair of hiking boots and a decent level of fitness. So if you’re a reasonably fit person with an adventurous spirit, we hope to share the experience of trekking the Annapurna Circuit with you soon!
Discover Nepal and Bhutan
Nepal and Bhutan are two small countries sandwiched between China and India that have the Himalayan mountain range running through them. They both have an abundance of natural beauty, and are also both rich in culture, religion and history.
At Follow Alice we’ve put together an exciting itinerary that takes in some of the most culturally rich and picturesque spots of the two countries. This is an adventure holiday you’ll remember for a lifetime!
A stellar and exciting itinerary
Our Discover Nepal and Bhutan itinerary has three themes: adventure sports, history and culture, and R&R. Put together we think they’re a recipe for the perfect getaway! Some of the exciting adventure activities on offer are:
- Hike through beautiful forest in Nepal’s Shivapuri National Park to see the hidden Buddhist monastery Nagi Gompa
- Take a sightseeing hike around the Himalayan town of Punakha and visit its beautiful 17th-century fortress Punakha Dzong
- Go white-water rafting down the Mo Chu river
- Take a bike ride from Paro to Thimphu, passing through paddy fields, virgin forests and sleepy villages
- Hike to Taktshang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest, which clings to the side of a cliff
Some of the culture and history fixes we’ve got planned are:
- Take an evening rickshaw ride through Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city
- Spend a day exploring the culturally rich Thimphu, Bhutan’s gorgeous capital city
- Visit Motithang Takin Reserve to see gnu goats, also called takins
- Learn about Bhutanese arts and crafts at the National Institute of Zorig Chusum
- Tour a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse and farm before being treated to a delicious lunch
- Cook a traditional Nepali meal at the Seven Women headquarters and hear some of the women’s remarkable stories
Nepal, home to mountain gods
Nepal is a very religious country. There are consequently many natural and human-made sites that are sacred to the Nepalese people. Mount Everest, for instance, is revered by many, including the Sherpa people made famous worldwide for helping mountaineers scale its treacherous slopes.
The two main religions of Nepal are Hinduism and Buddhism. They point to the influence of two dominant cultures and religions in the history of this region: the Sino (Chinese) and Buddhist influence from the north, and the Indian and Hindu influence from the south. Still today the mountainous north of the country is predominantly Buddhist in religion, as well as culturally and ethnically linked to Tibet. Just think of the colourful Buddhist prayer flags found throughout the Himalayas. The rest of the country is predominantly Hindu, and is culturally and ethnically linked to the people of northern India.
Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon
The local name for Bhutan is Druk Yul, which means ‘Land of the Thunder Dragon’. It’s so named for the violent thunderstorms that descend from the Himalayas. Such a storylike name only serves to heighten the somewhat mystical image of the country in the eyes of most foreigners. Bhutan only really began to open up to outsiders in the 1970s. This small, hard-to-reach nation of mountains, valleys and rivers has fewer than a million inhabitants.
In recent years the world has learned with fascination of Bhutan’s official public policy of pursuing Gross National Happiness. The idea behind the policy is rooted in Buddhist values that measure quality of life based on your spiritual and mental well-being.
Hidden gems of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an island of green hills, tea plantations, ancient temples, spicy food, astonishing wildlife and postcard-like beaches. In other words, it has it all! We invite you to explore the hidden gems of Sri Lanka with us in one of our action-packed trips in 2020. We’ll raft, snorkel, bike, tuk-tuk, swim, surf, hike, take a train ride and more through the amazing nature of this scenic island. We’ll also go on safari to see elephants, leopards, crocs and other exciting creatures. And finally we’ll relax and dine in some of the most beautiful boutique hotels and adventure lodges the country has to offer.
The landscape of Sri Lanka includes idyllic warm-water beaches, jungle, tea plantations and high, tree-covered mountains. In our 11-day trip to the island we explore the northwest of the country, where the turquoise waters meet the shore in beautiful white-sand beaches and pristine mangroves, and palm trees frame the scene. We then travel inland to go on safari, hike high into the mountains, and explore an ancient rock citadel. We also travel south for a dose of colonial history, some epic watersports, and more beautiful beaches.
An exciting and action-packed itinerary
While staying on this beautiful island you can pick and choose from all of the following exciting activities:
- Kite surf, whale and dolphin watch, cycle and visit the mangrove swamps in Kalpitiya
- Go on a tuk-tuk ride in the historic city of Kandy and climb Baiharawa Kanda Buddhist statue
- Take a guided climb to the top of the Sigiriya Lion Rock Fortress
- Go on a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park
- Climb to the top of the famous Adam’s Peak in the Central Highlands
- Go canyoning and white-water rafting or kayaking in the rainforest of western Sri Lanka
- Go surfing, diving, snorkelling and swimming at some of the country’s best southern beaches
Sri Lanka is a paradise for the adventurous spirit, and we’re excited to show you all the amazing locations and activities we discovered there. And it’s not just us who are in love with this island nation – Lonely Planet named it the number one country to visit in 2019!
At Follow Alice we’re all about adventure, exploration and meeting new people.
A great dose of history and culture
We know that no trip to Sri Lanka would be complete if you weren’t exposed to some local colour and culture. So don’t worry – we’ve got you sorted. We offer our guests the following handpicked outings:
- Take a guided tour of the well-preserved seaside Galle Fort built in the 1500s by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch
- Visit the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project to learn about these special animals
- Visit the iconic stilt fishermen who sit on simple stick stands while line fishing in the sea
- Take a scenic train journey to Hatton and explore the Uva Halwapthethe Tea Estate and its factory
- Take a guided tour of the fascinating Dumbulla Rock Cave Temple in central Sri Lanka
And finally, what’s an island getaway without a little R&R? We’ll book you in for a one-hour Ayurvedic massage at Spa Ceylon. In addition, there’s time to dine and party in vibrant Colombo, the country’s capital city.
Further reading for the interested …
For the full breakdown of what we offer on the trip, read Hidden gems of Sri Lanka. You might also like to read about the 21 top things to do in Sri Lanka. And if you’re enjoying learning new things about this marvellous country, here are 26 things you didn’t know about Sri Lanka.
Alpine Oasis Ski Weekend
Friday 20 March to Sunday 22 March 2020
You are officially invited to join us for a fantastic weekend of skiing, adventure, good food and friends in Switzerland! Picture yourself gliding (or whizzing) down freshly prepared piste, and tackling some superb cross-country trails. Then picture yourself sitting back on your deckchair in the sun with a drink in hand. Evenings are spent eating local cuisine like fondue in cosy mountain huts with friends. And how about a night-sled ride down the slopes? This is a trip you do not want to miss!
We have chosen the beautiful Arosa Lenzerheide as the site for our alpine weekend getaway. Arosa Lenzerheide is a mountain ski resort in east Switzerland that boasts 225 km of prepared slopes. The area also has more than 40 cosy mountain restaurants and sun terraces. Moreover, it has a record-breaking number of sunny days, with both sides of the valley enjoying sun in the morning and afternoon. It’s a true paradise for skiers, snowboarders and winter hikers. Or just anyone who enjoys a stunning view!
Stay in beautiful accommodation
Revier Mountain Lodge on the shore of Heidsee Lake is our luxurious home-away-from-home for the weekend. The lodge is right on the doorstep of one of the ski lifts, all the better to just get on with some skiing from the moment you step outside! The lodge also has a great restaurant, bar, terrace and, of course, awesome mountain views.
“The ski weekend was a bit of everything, fun in the snow, apres-skis, private parties! You’re sure to make some cool new friends, the vibe is great. Can’t recommend it enough!” Natalie Janicka
Craft your own holiday itinerary
At Follow Alice we’re in the business of putting together awesome adventure holidays, knowing that what’s awesome for you might be different from what’s awesome for someone else. For this reason we invite clients to let us know their preferences so that we can alter plans to suit you. Want to up the adventure sports on a particular trip? No problem. Want to inject a little more cultural exploration? Done. Just give us a shout and we can make a plan together to create a holiday itinerary that has you hopping with excitement!
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