Four alternative wonders of the world
You’ve visited Giza, walked the Great Wall, wondered at Christ the Redeemer… so where’s next? Allow us to make four suggestions
There's a reason why the wonders of the world grace the top of many a bucket list. But when it comes to visiting somewhere different but equally as jaw-dropping, it can be difficult to know where to go next. If you’ve seen the Pyramids of Giza have you ever considered the Lotus Temple in Delhi, an architectural marvel? If you’ve walked on the Great Wall of China, why not go paddling in a mokoro along Botswana's Okavango Delta? Luckily, we have you covered. While we have countless experiences on our books, here are our four top alternative wonders of the world:
LOTUS TEMPLE, DELHI
Designed by Iranian architect, Fariborz Sahba, the Lotus Temple is one of the city's most impressive landmarks comprising 27 graceful-looking marble ‘petals’. This Bahá'í house of worship (or mashriq al-adhkár) sits in a rare pocket of serenity within the cacophony that is Delhi, surrounded by 10-and-a-half hectares of immaculate landscape gardens, nine aquamarine pools and several red sandstone paths. Inside is just as bewildering with a central prayer hall accommodating up to 2,500 people and a symbolic five-pointed star cut at the top of temple allowing piercing light to stream through. You can see the Lotus Temple as part of our curated Delhi experiences. Trust us, it's worth the journey.
THE OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA
Botswana's jewel, 16,800 square kilometers of floodplains, water lilies and palm tree islands, the Okavango Delta stuns even the most discerning safari-goers. It's an unrivalled predator stronghold, often referred to as the 'predator capital of Africa' where you can see lion hunting for buffalos en masse, hyena competing for prey and maybe even the elusive leopard. One of the best ways of immersing yourself in nature is by paddling silently through the crystal-clear waterways on a mokoro – a type of African gondola. Otherwise watch the daily drama unfold from 4x4 (not a traffic jam in sight) –just one of our many bespoke experiences in the area.
LAKE KARIBA, ZIMBABWE/ZAMBIA
You may not have heard of Lake Kariba, but it’s the world’s largest man-made lake and possibly one of the most beautiful. It was built in 1959 by damming the mighty Zambezi River in the Kariba Gorge. In terms of size, at 5,200 square kilometres, it might only be a fraction of the size of Lake Victoria, but today it is positively brimming with wildlife. As you cruise along quiet waters you can often see elephants wading through the shallows, fish eagles perched in the fossilised trees and hippos grunting in their groups. Take it all in from a luxury houseboat or a riverside camp and combine with our other experiences for the full effect.
There’s no doubt that the 700-million-year-old monolith is a total rock star. Ayers Rock, Australia’s poster boy, undoubtedly amazes with its arkosic sandstone expanse and significant aboriginal history. But there are so many unique ways to discover the ancestral, 867-metre monolith and surrounds in the Northern Territories. Our Uluru experiences include touring aboriginal territory with a local elder, studying rock art, flying by helicopter around the rust-red canyons and glamping under the stars. Even a walk around the base looking up at its dwarfing cliff face proves to be awe-inspiring.