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October 2007
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Tours of a Lifetime
Photos by Frans Lemmens/Getty Images, Martin Harvey/CORBIS, Shamwari Game Reserve, i-to-i Meaningful Travel
Photos: The Sahara, Seychelles, South Africa, Brazilian Amazon.
Clockwise from top left: The Sahara, Seychelles, South Africa, Brazil.


Like many of our readers, the editors of National Geographic Traveler have shied away from organized tours, feeling that unscripted, independent travel is the richest sort. But for some places in the world—those where road signs are nonexistent or where ceasefires among warring parties are tenuous—tours may be a more practical way to travel than going it alone. Each year we select 50 tours of a lifetime. Below are the 2006 and
2007 picks in alphabetical order by country or region.

Afghanistan
"Central and Northern Route"
Hinterland Travel


Algeria
"Adventure Algeria"
ROW International


Antarctica
"Across the Circle for Climbers and Divers"
Aurora Expeditions

"Emperor Penguins: Snow Hill Island Safari"
Quark Expeditions

"Far Side: Semi-Circumnavigation of Antarctica"
Quark Expeditions


Arctic
"Last Degree Expedition"
Pen Hadow Travel

"Voyage to Totality 2008 & the North Pole"
Travel Quest


Australia
"Australia: Arnhem Land, Kimberleys & Uluru"
Big Five Tours & Expeditions

"Koala Ecology"
Earthwatch Institute

"Franklin River Rafting"
World Expeditions


Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova
"Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova"
MIR Corporation


Back to Top


Belize
"Belize: Family Week"
Oceanic Society Expeditions

"Undiscovered Belize Adventure"
Wildland Adventures


Bhutan
"Bhutan: A Journey into a Peaceful Kingdom"
Boundless Journeys


Borneo
"Borneo Adventure"
Intrepid Travel


Brazil
"Brazilian Amazon Humanitarian Experience"
i-to-i

"Brazilian Samba"
KE Adventure


Cambodia and Vietnam
"Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong River"
National Geographic Expeditions


Canada
"Hudson and James Bay Coastal Tour"
Moccasin Trail Tours

"Labrador's Wild Coast by Private Yacht"
Arctic Odysseys

"Okanagan Wine Tour: British Columbia"
Arizona Outback Adventures

"Queen Charlotte Islands Cruise"
REI Adventures


Chile
"Crossing the Andes Travesia"
Explora

"Uniquely Chile"
Off the Beaten Path


China

"China: The Upper Mekong River" rafting adventure
Mountain Travel Sobek

"Rising Global Powers: A World Leaders Symposium in China and East Asia"
High Country Passage

"Southern China Explorer: Shanghai to Shangri-La"
REI Adventures


Corsica
"Hiking the Tra Mare e Monti"
Distant Journeys


Croatia, Slovenia

"The Alps to the Adriatic"
Exeter International 


Back to Top


Ecuador

"Galápagos Unbound: Sea Kayaking, Snorkeling, and Hiking Adventure"
ROW International 


Egypt
"Mysteries of Ancient Egypt"
National Geographic Expeditions


Ethiopia
"Ethiopia Simien Mountains"
G.A.P. Adventures


Fiji
"Village Homestays"
Intrepid Travel


France

"Loire Valley Trail Ride"
Cross Country International Equestrian Vacations


Republic of Georgia
"Trekking In the Mountains of Poetry"
Explorers' Corner


Ghana

"Oboroni Grassroots Excursion"
Maame Koranchee's


Guatemala
"Experience Guatemala"
Aventouras


Honduras
"Rafting the Río Plátano"
Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance


Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland
"Hungary, Slovakia & Poland Biking"
Backroads


Iceland
"Journey to the Center of the Earth"
H2 Outfitters


India
"India Gourmet Traveler"
Intrepid Travel

"Nagur Relief Ride" by horseback
Relief Riders International

"Spotlight Journey: Secret India, Tribal India"
Myths and Mountains

"Zanskar's Wild West"
KE Adventure Travel


Iran
"Magic Carpet Ride: A Textile-Lovers Tour of Iran"
Absolute Travel


Italy
"Splendors of Sicily"
Italian Connection


Back to Top


Kazakhstan
"Ultimate Tien Shan: Kazakhstan's Celestial Mountains and Helicopter Flyout"
KE Adventure Travel


Kenya
"Living Among the Maasai"
Wildland Adventures


Madagascar
"Marine Conservation in Madagascar"
Blue Ventures


Maldives
"Seacology Expedition to the Maldives and Andaman Mountains"
Seacology


Mexico
"Baja California: Among the Great Whales"
Lindblad Expeditions

"Trekking El Triunfo"
Meso-American Ecotourism Alliance


Micronesia
"Ulithi, Yap, and Palau"
Oceanic Society Expeditions


Middle East
"Jewels of Arabia" (Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Dubai)
Travcoa

"Levantine Adventure Tour: Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria"
Caravan-Serai


Mongolia
"Dinosaurs of the Gobi"
Nomadic Expeditions


Montenegro
"Jewel of the Adriatic"
Mountain Travel Sobek


Morocco
"Behind the Walls: An Exploration of Moroccan Architecture"
Explore Inc.

"The Magic of Morocco: Palaces, Deserts & Kasbahs"
Academic Arrangements Abroad


Myanmar
"Burma: Land of the Golden Pagoda"
Asia Transpacific Journeys

"Exploring the Undiscovered Waters of the Mergui Archipelago"
Asia Transpacific Journeys


Namibia
"Namibia Explorer"
Ker & Downey


New Zealand

"New Zealand Adventure"
National Geographic Expeditions

"New Zealand with the Kids"
Butterfield & Robinson


Nicaragua

"Active Nicaragua"
REI Adventures


Niger
"Niger: Trekking in the Air Mountains"
Wilderness Travel


Panama
"Tropical Jewel"
Country Walkers


Peru
"Epicurean Xplorers Peru"
Culture Xplorers

"Immersive Peru: Weavers Awards and Virgen del Carmen"
Culture Xplorers


Philippines

"Incomparable Calamian Kayaking"
Eco First Adventures


Russia
"Kamchatka: Kayaking and Hiking the Valley of the Volcanoes" (Siberia)
Explorer's Corner


Rwanda, Uganda
"Rwanda/Uganda Highlights"
Big Five Tours & Expeditions


Scotland
"Grand Northern Western Journey Aboard the Royal Scotsman"
Abercrombie & Kent


Seychelles
"Ultimate Seychelles with Aldabra Atoll"
Zegrahm & Eco Expeditions


Slovenia
"Hiking the Julian Alps"
REI Adventures


South Africa
"Splendors of the Cape"
Ker & Downey


South Pacific Islands
"Faces of Melanesia"
Zegrahm & Eco Expeditions


Spain
"Vintage Rioja"
Boundless Journeys


Sri Lanka
"Sri Lanka: The Isle of Serendip"
Geographic Expeditions


Sweden

"Reindeer Packing Expeditions"
Crossing Latitudes


Back to Top


Tanzania
"Tanzania Under Canvas"
Conservation Corporation Africa


Tanzania, Mozambique
"Western Tanzania and Northern Mozambique Surf and Safari"
Mango African Safaris


Thailand
"Tsunami Volunteering/Adventure"
Go Differently

"Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tour"
Wild Planet Adventures


Chinese Turkestan and Central Asia
"Chinese Turkestan and Central Asia"
MIR Corporation


United States

"Alaska: Active Inside Package"
Adventure Smith Explorations

"Alaska Backcountry"
Alaska Trail King Adventures

"Alaska Life List Adventure"
Alaska Wildland Adventures

"Big Sky, Yellowstone & Paradise Valley"
Austin-Lehman Adventures

"Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona: Where the Water Cuts Through Rock"
Moki Treks

"Lakota Moon: Journey to the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation"
Go Native America

"Run for the Roses: the Kentucky Derby"
Tauck World Discovery

"Utah Canyon Lands: Hiking Zion, Bryce and Escalante"
Off the Beaten Path

"Wyoming: Wolves & Wildlife of Yellowstone"
Natural Habitat Adventures


Vietnam
"Vietnam: Motorcycling the Northern Border with Laos and China"
Myths and Mountains


West Africa
"The Road to Timbuktu and the Rivers of West Africa"
Geographic Expeditions


Worldwide

"Empires & Explorers: Mali, Ghana, Namibia, Zambia, Maldives, Cambodia, Burma, India and Portugal"
TCS Expeditions

"The Great Faiths Journey by Private Jet"
TCS Expeditions

"Journey of Man: An Around-the-World Odyssey by Private Jet"
National Geographic Expeditions (Starquest Expeditions)


Yemen
"From North to South to the Red Sea in Yemen"
Caravan-Serai


For more information on the countries visited by these tours, see our Destination TripMarks.

Read about How to Pick the Right Tour Operator.





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