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Top 10 Wilderness Destinations for 2023, Part 1

by Mary Melnick

Feb 7, 2023

Great Rift Valley © Miroslav Liska | Dreamstime.com


Looking for a new family travel experience? Take the family on the outdoor adventure of a lifetime. According to Skyscanner’s Travel Report, hiking and wildlife sightings sit at the top of people’s travel lists in 2023. To help travelers pick the best nature-based travel experiences, Craft Travel put together a list of the 10 Best Wilderness Destinations to visit in 2023. Come back Wednesday, Feb. 8, for more on the other five wilderness destinations.


Sleep Between the Peaks of the Indian Himalayas

Explore the wilderness of the iconic Himalayan Mountains, a range of stunning jagged peaks, valleys and alpine glaciers.


After spending the day searching for snow leopards and exploring the landscape, rest up in a homestay in one of the enchanting sherpa mountain villages. Here, you can unwind in the evening by mingling with the local community, taking in jaw-dropping views of Everest and enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal.


For the ultimate wilderness experience, stay in a SUJÁN Sher Bagh tented suite overlooking the wild Ranthambore jungle, the best spot in the world to observe tigers in their natural habitat. Under a canopy of indigenous trees, the suites lie in an enchanting setting, making it a perfect base to explore the billion-year-old jungle.


A Private Island in One of the Most Ecologically Distinct Places on Earth

The island nation of Madagascar is home to a plethora of distinct ecosystems and extraordinary wildlife, making it one of the best wilderness destinations to visit in the world. Make the trip a bit more immersive by staying on the islet of Miavana Time & Tide, a small, wild private island home to 14 villas.


Throughout your stay, take a helicopter ride for incredible views of the island’s mountains, baobabs and shipwrecks before exploring the pristine forests with more than 100 lemur species. Afterwards, deep dive into the marine protected area, where you can find everything from spinner dolphins to manta rays, sea turtles to humpback whales.


Stay on the Edge of an Extinct Volcanic Crater by the Congo Basin

Kyaninga Lodge lies at the edge of a volcanic crater where the Great Rift Valley meets the mighty Congo Basin. Located in the heart of one of East Africa’s most biodiverse rainforests, these accommodations offer stunning views of Lake Kyaninga and the Rwenzori Mountains.


The property’s nine cottages were constructed from hand-carved logs and offer a touch of luxury and serenity amidst the under-explored region, home to the greatest density of primates in East Africa.


Go chimpanzee trekking in nearby Kibale Forest National Park for a rare look into the lives and interactions of the apes. The following day, take a guided walk around the rim of the volcanic crater, offering the only chance to see the extraordinary landscape in all its glory.


Fall Asleep by the Towering Dunes and Shipwrecks of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

Stay among the shipwrecks, rolling plains and towering dunes of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and Shipwreck Coast. The lodge immerses its guests in the mystifying atmosphere of the area by designing rooms to resemble shipwrecks found along the coast.


Raw and rugged, this remote corner of the world offers a unique and extraordinary take on African wilderness, with imposing dunes and vast plains lined by the chilling waters of the Atlantic seas. Throughout your stay, investigate the haunting whale and seal bones scattered throughout the coast, marvel at the spectacle of clay castles and study the unique plant life of succulents and lichens. With Namibia Fly-In Safari, guests can explore the fascinating shores of the Skeleton Coast.


Stay in a Lodge Camouflaged as a Boulder

Head to Yala National Park in Sri Lanka for a taste of wild, unspoiled nature. Guests can stay in a beachfront safari lodge, blending perfectly into the landscape with designs mirroring boulders located across the setting.


Once home to royalty, guests can discover the remains of a lost civilization hidden between the lush vegetation and wildlife of the jungle. Stumble upon Buddhist ruins and temples from the ancient Ruhunu kingdom. Don’t miss out on tracking expeditions, allowing you to explore the area that’s home to the highest population of leopards in the world, as well as elephants, crocodiles, peacocks and monkeys.


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