We think it’s safe to say that we’re all looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020, and hello 2021!! We’re all hoping for a fresh start, and the opportunity to travel again. The good news is that it’s not too late to inject some excitement into your end-of-year plans! Why not Follow Alice to one of our exciting destinations this upcoming New Year’s Eve?
You could celebrate the start of the new year on a beautiful and pristine beach in Sri Lanka – bliss. Or welcome the new year while standing on the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania! Alternatively, you could spend New Year’s Eve in the rainforest of Uganda getting up close and personal with mountain gorillas. Epic.
We’d love to show you one of these beautiful parts of the world, so please join us for a unique New Year’s Eve …
“I love it! Travelling with Follow Alice over New Year really shook me up to realise how much I was missing out celebrating in a meaningless club. Best thing I ever did.” Valeria Valerio
Our exciting New Year’s Eve destinations
Each of our trips taking place over the New Year period offer you something truly special:
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 an action-packed trip. 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. Why not celebrate the New Year with friends in Sri Lanka??
What adventure activities are there to do?
At Follow Alice we’re all about adventure, which makes Sri Lanka the perfect getaway! 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!
What about the history and culture of Sri Lanka?
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.
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.
What must I bring on holiday to Sri Lanka?
Packing for Sri Lanka is pretty easy: bring your swimming trunks or costume, some cool clothes and a sunhat, and a good pair of walking shoes! We’ll be staying in fantastic hotels, lodges and luxury campsites like Kowera Lodge and Royal Majesty Bungalow where all the necessary amenities are supplied.
So what do you say – are you keen to join us for this unique New Year trip to Sri Lanka?
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a truly adventurous way to end the year. You’ll also be starting the new year on a huge win – reaching the top of Kilimanjaro is an impressive feat can dine out on for the rest of your life!
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 we’ll enter a new and rich ecosystem: savannah, forest, moorland, alpine desert, and then ice caps. On New Year’s Eve we’ll start our night climb to the summit, so that when the sun rises on the 1st of Janurary 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.
“Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with Follow Alice was an unforgettable experience. It was a topnotch trip with a bunch of crazy people – loved it! Thumbs up.” Hugh Barber
What’s special about Kilimanjaro?
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, only 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. Not only that, but it stands in the middle of a plain – how many mountains can you think of it that pop up seemingly out of nowhere? Standing atop Kilimanjaro is unique in that the views appear to go on endlessly in every direction.
Kilimanjaro is also special for what it teaches us about ourselves, others, teamwork and more. You might like to read 7 things Kilimanjaro taught me by one of our climbers Jenny Handl to see how the trek impacted her and what lessons she took away from the experience.
New Year’s Eve summit
We’ll start the climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro late in the evening on 31 December 2020. At midnight we’ll be in the thick of the climb. And when the sun comes up in the morning – on 1 January! – we’ll be at the top of the mountain standing on Uhuru Peak, kings and queens of the world! We really cannot think of a better way to spend New Year’s Even than this.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro this New Year’s Eve and Follow Alice into the new year with your friends above the clouds.
Five different climates on Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro offers a fascinating diversity of terrain, wildlife and plants. Every day on the trek you literally enter a different ecosystem. 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.
Wildlife on Kilimanjaro
One of the greatest perks of trekking is getting to spot amazing wildlife that you probably wouldn’t otherwise see, at least not in the wild. You’re almost guaranteed to see some monkeys, including the blue monkey and black-and-white colobus. There’s also the tree hyrax or tree dassie which is (fascinatingly) distantly related to the elephant even though it’s more the size and look of a rabbit without the big ears! Some of the other animals to look out for (though they’re much harder to spot) are the crested porcupine, serval (a wildcat), African civet, aardvark and genet.
You won’t have a hard time spotting birds, however, especially in the cloud forest. The silvery-cheeked hornbill is quite the sight with its outsized Roman nose of a beak, as is the large white-necked raven. Also look out for beautiful kingfishers, shrikes, barbets, starlings, woodpeckers and chats. Further, there are plenty of colourful sunbirds jumping around the proteas and lobelias of the heather and moorland zone – a truly special sight.
What do I need to climb Kilimanjaro?
To successfully climb Kilimanjaro you need, above all, to have a positive attitude and determination. That said, we can all hit a low moment or two during a long and difficult trek. That’s when our supportive trek team, headed by Chris or Robert, steps in to encourage you and help you push on.
Apart from the right attitude, you’ll also need a pair of decently strong legs. This is a non-technical mountain, meaning you don’t need any mountaineering equipment or experience – score! – but it will be tough. The trek will be tough not only because you’re climbing up a mountain, but also because the high altitude increasingly makes every bit of exertion that much more difficult. If you tend to opt for the lift (elevator) instead of climbing one flight of stairs, then this might not be the right New Year’s Eve celebration for you. At least not right now – perhaps it’s a goal to work towards for next New Year’s Eve??
And finally, you’ll need to pack the right clothing, which includes a good pair of worn-in trekking boots and warm, waterproof clothing. Check out our Kilimanjaro packing list here. You’ll also need a light daypack for carrying some essentials. Much of what you need can be loaned from Follow Alice at no extra charge. We also provide you with everything you need for camping, from a tent and warm sleeping bag to all your meals and drinking water. Have a read here for more information about doing the right Kilimanjaro preparation.
Gorilla trek in Uganda
Go gorilla trekking on New Year’s Eve? Yes please! That’s what we’ve got planned for any of you who wish to join us in Uganda over the New Year. And not only will we go gorilla trekking in the forest – we’ll also do plenty of other exciting and adventurous activities in some of the most fantastic parts of Uganda. we explore the capital city of Kampala, go on a mountain bike safari, row in traditional boats on the lake, zip line 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 the world-famous Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see a gorilla troop – a bucket list favourite!
““Uganda is by itself a beautiful and fascinating country, and Follow Alice’s team helped us with adjusting the itinerary to meet exactly what we wanted: the right mix of culture, wildlife and adventure. It was EPIC.” Bernardo Guimarães da Fonseca
What can I expect from the gorilla trek?
The gorilla trek is the highlight of our trip. And for good reason. The mountain gorilla is an endangered animal – there are only about a thousand in the wild. They live solely in the forested mountains of Uganda, the DRC and Rwanda. We’ll take a guided trek through Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 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. If you’d like to know more, you can read 20 things to know about gorilla trekking.
What animals will I see on Ugandan safari?
Uganda is home to the Big Five: lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephant. Sadly, its rhino population went extinct in the 1980s, and while it’s been reintroduced at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, you can’t find it in the wild. You can, however, look forward to hopefully seeing lions, leopards, buffaloes and elephants. You can also anticipate spotting many other African wild animals like waterbuck, hyena, zebra, cheetah, warthog and giraffe. There’s also the Ugandan kob to look out for, which is a beautiful, reddish-brown antelope only found in South Sudan, the DRC and Uganda.
During our trip to Uganda we truly make the most of the safari opportunities on offer. We visit Queen Elizabeth National Park in the southwest of the country where we go on three different safaris! We go on a mountain bike safari, then a jeep safari, and finally also a boat safari! The boat safari is on Kazinga Channel, a 32 km-long waterway in the park that links Lake Edward with Lake George and is chock full of wildlife like hippos, cranes and crocs. Do not forget your camera at home!
Enviable accommodation throughout the trip
Our Uganda trip doesn’t require you to rough it. While you’ll be active and getting happily dirty during the day, in the evenings you can chill in comfort. We stay at some beautifully situated guesthouses and lodges like Rushaga Gorilla Camp where the views are truly spectacular.
This means while travelling with us in Uganda you’ll be able to end your days by soaking in a tub, lolling in a hammock, or taking a dip in the swimming pool. You can enjoy sundowners on the terrace and watch traditional dances. And always there’ll be a tasty dinner to enjoy while reliving the day’s events.
How must I prepare for a Uganda trip?
There’s very little you need to do to prepare for a trip to Uganda. Our list of 20 things to know about gorilla trekking offers pretty much all the info you might need. Basically you’ll want to pack the right clothes for the adventure activities, and possibly also visitor your doctor beforehand to see about any vaccinations for this part of the world. It’s then just booking your flights to Uganda, where we’ll meet you and take you on this epic tour of one epic country!
Follow Alice into the New Year?
It’s not too late to turn the start of the new year into something special and memorable! Be a mover and shaker – grab a friend (or two or more), hop on a plane, and join us for some New Year’s Eve fun! But first steps first: hit the button below so we can start chatting about how to make your trip of a lifetime happen. 🙂