It has been a great summer…but since school started back last week we have been hard at work putting together a life-enhancing timetable to keep you busy this Autumn term.
Geography (and politics)
Hotel Ion is Iceland’s newest luxury hotel, located adjacent to Thingvellir National Park in the country’s south-west, less than an hour’s drive from Reykjavik. Thingvellir is the country’s most important cultural site – the world’s first parliament was established here in AD930, but it’s also where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. Iceland is full of iconic natural wonders, and Ion is the perfect base for exploring. In this region alone there are waterfalls to walk behind, slopes to snowmobile, caves to probe, volcanoes to climb and rivers to raft, kayak, or ford in SuperJeeps – those feeling adventurous can even try diving between the tectonic plates at Thingvellir. Back at the hotel, the bar balances above the mountain slope with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on three sides, making it a fantastic vantage point for watching the northern lights dance above Lake Thingvellir.
A+ tip: Students should sit up and pay attention – this incredible phenomenon is predicted to be at it’s peak from November this year
A private seaplane ride of 45-minutes from Vancouver has you arriving to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort onVancouver Island. Accommodation here is in sublimely comfortable canvas safari tents, and the food is to die for…but the main attraction at Clayoquot is getting out and enjoying the wilderness itself. A slate of varied activities include horseback riding, river and ocean kayaking, whale watching, grizzly bear watching, hiking, mountain biking and world-class river, ocean, and lake fishing. Other highlights are hiking day trips to Flores Island, a volcanic First Nation island nearby, and Zodiac boat trips to hot springs. There are even zip lines, rock climbing, shooting and archery on site. A stay here doesn’t come cheap, but it’s all inclusive…so don your gym kit and get out there!
A+ tip: Autumn is the best time for bear watching in British Columbia
Learn the ways of a warrior with the African bush as your classroom…Children visiting Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp in the Maasai Mara are being invited to join in a Maasai Warrior session. Under the tutelage of Kinyaika, one of the oldest trackers in the business, and the Maasai team, the children can learn skills Maasai Warriors have mastered. These skills, depending on age and ability, include fire making; spear throwing; bow and arrow practice; Maasai jumping, dancing and singing and stone throwing. A certificate is given at the end of the experience; and, for those skilled enough to hit the targets, a wooden bow and (nonlethal) arrow is provided as a prize. Sessions last between two and three hours, proud parents can cheer from the sidelines, join in on the fun or leave the traditions to student and teacher and go on safari.
A+ tip: Stay 3 nights for the price of 2 at Cottar’s Camp this November
Geology (and history)
Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey famed for its outlandish geologic formations, namely the volcanic rock spires known as fairy chimneys. Cappadocia contains several historical underground cities carved in to these spires – initially inhabited by the Hittites, then later by early Christians to escape Roman persecution. The latest large underground city was discovered in 2007 in Gaziemir, a stopover on the Silk Road which allowed travellers and their camels to rest in safety underground in a ‘fortress’ equivalent to a modern hotel. Speaking of which…the brand new Kayakapi Cave Hotel which opened in May this year offers geology enthusiasts a chance to stay in their very own cave suite – it’s the coolest bed rock around.
Located close to Lake Sibaya on the Elephant Coast in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, Thonga Beach Lodge sits on vegetated dunes at the back of an incredibly remote and beautiful beach. Budding marine biologists can benefit from superb snorkelling and diving, plus turtle tracking, boating on Lake Sibaya and wonderful walks in this pristine coastal area. Better still, the lodge has just undergone extensive refurbishment and a swimming pool has been built, deep enough to facilitate scuba training, and there’s a new boat for scuba and ocean experiences.
A+ tip: The newly built deluxe ocean view suite comes with its own en-suite bathroom and private plunge pool
I will take more holidays. I will take more holidays. I will take more holidays. I will take more holidays.