For over 45 years, Exodus Travel has been leading intrepid guests through all seven continents, creating itineraries (they’ve currently got over 600 to choose from) that emphasize getting off the beaten path, making connections with local communities, and having a low impact on the environment. Now, the company has launched a series of trips that celebrate the spirit of the “curious traveler” even more—thanks to guidance from some expert adventurers who have crisscrossed the globe, and are eager to share their insights.
Dubbed Exodus Quests, the new series currently includes six trips taking place in the first half of 2020, each of which will be led by a noted author, photographer, filmmaker, or mountaineer, (many of whom are also designated National Geographic Explorers.) It all kicks off in February with two very different itineraries. Led by TV host, photographer, and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer-in-Residence George Kourounis, the 15-day Thai Indochina Explorer will feature visits to Vietnam’s Cu Chi war tunnels and Cambodia’s Choeung Ek killing fields, a jungle trek in Khao Yai, photo safaris among the temples of Angkor Wat, and homestays in the Mekong Delta. Or take in the Highlights of India—including the palaces of Rajasthan, the tiger reserves of the northern countryside, and the holy city of Varanasi—with mountaineer and documentarian (and Himalayan resident) Jeff Fuchs, who was the first Westerner to trek the 3,728-mile Yunnan-Tibet Ancient Tea Horse Road.
In March, filmmaker and best-selling author Wade Davis (Named by National Geographic as one of the “Explorers for the Millennium,”) will lead a group on a 12-day look at the Hidden Treasures of Jordan, with stops along the Desert Loop, on sacred Mount Nebo, in a traditional Bedouin camp, and along the Red Sea. Or go an entirely different route and head up north to spot Norway Arctic Lights & Whales with veteran trailblazer Jill Heinerth. Enjoy hearing stories of Heinerth’s adventures as she leads you on an itinerary inspired by the original Arctic expeditions; along the way, you’ll try ice fishing on a remote island, go searching for humpbacks and Orca, do a space mission simulation at the Andoya Space Center, and savor a meal in a traditional Sami teepee.
In April, shutterbugs can take their game to the next level on the Highlights of Nepal trip with nature photographer Javier Frutos, who’ll impart his tips for getting the best shots as you search for tigers, crocodiles, and sloth bears, sail on dugout canoes, hike to the Annapurna foothills, ride ox carts, and wander the Kathmandu markets. Or get your tips in June from Nikon Ambassador and lauded wildlife photographer Michelle Valberg on an epic—but leisurely—20-day journey from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, with stops to experience the lunar landscapes of Namibia, the wildlife of Botswana, the vineyards of South Africa, and much more. The Exodus Quests trips range from 5- to 20-days; prices start at $2,499.