Accessible travel experiences
Go gorilla trekking in Uganda
The word “trek” might sound off-putting, but gorilla trekking in Uganda is surprisingly accessible. If you wish to see mountain gorillas in the wild but are less able-bodied, you can now be carried into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in a sedan chair, traveling deep into the forest to come face-to-face with these wild primates.
Go on safari in Africa
Safaris don’t have to be in bumpy 4×4 vehicles: for a smoother ride that’s perhaps even more spectacular, choose a flying safari. An airborne adventure with Aardvark Safaris will take you to some of the remotest areas of Namibia, or across the Serengeti in Tanzania. You’ll fly over gorgeous landscapes before landing to spend the day wildlife watching and learning about the local culture.
Scale Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
Explore the Alps in Switzerland
Take Switzerland’s most scenic train journey, winding through picturesque peaks, green meadows and postcard-pretty villages on foot, or by train on the Bernina Express. Ramblers Walking Holidays offers a nine-day trip that visits five small villages, with the option to hop on and off the train as you choose along the way. This means you can get the best of both worlds, enjoying the stunning views from a carriage when you’re too tired to walk.
See Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Even if you’re physically unable to do a guided walk of Zimbabwe’s majestic Victoria Falls or take a dip in Zambia’s Devil’s Pool, you can still tick Victoria Falls off your bucket list on a thrilling helicopter flight with Giltedge Africa. Hop on board and gaze outside at the Zambezi gorge, beautiful baobab trees, the Batoka Gorge and, of course, the epic falls themselves.
Visit Mont Blanc, France
If you want the benefits of mountain walking without the physical strain, consider a trip to Mont Blanc with Adagio. You’ll enjoy a glacial backdrop of awesome peaks, including Mont Blanc, while using Chamonix Valley’s vast network of cable cars, tramways and trains making sure the beautiful views are accessible for all kinds of traveler. A flexible lift pass is included, so you can opt in and out of walks and other activities as you please.
Skydive over your dream destination
Visit Machu Picchu in Peru
Explore the Amazon by boat
Journey down the Amazon River in style on a beautiful boat with KE Adventure Travel. What you do once you’re on board is up to you: choose to join daily excursions to see exotic wildlife, visit a manatee rescue center or see the Amazon by night on an after-dark excursion. When it all gets too hot and humid – the rainforest is prone to high humidity – you can enjoy onboard presentations by experts. All excursions are included, and any walking involved is light enough for most.
For a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure that anyone can do, book a ticket on the luxurious Scenic Eclipse for a 16-day cruise from Buenos Aires to the vast Antarctic Peninsula. With zodiac boats, kayaks, a helicopter and a submarine on board, there are plenty of opportunities for epic adventures, from exploring beautiful waterways to meeting colonies of penguins. Even if you don’t disembark, it’s still worth the trip with this untouched wilderness for a view.
Take the Trans-Mongolian Express
Travel to remote and largely inaccessible regions in total comfort with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, which offers a trip on the Trans-Mongolian Express, journeying across Russia, combined with a visit to the Mongolian national festival. You’ll effectively be in a hotel on wheels, with fine-dining menus, fully guided sightseeing, on-board activities and carefully planned excursions. Guests are transported from the train to each site, making access suitable for all.
Bathe in Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
Don’t miss experiencing one of Iceland’s most visited attractions for yourself. The Blue Lagoon is popular with tourists wanting to experience the mineral-rich geothermal waters and, luckily, the lagoon is very accessible. There are wheelchair-accessible changing rooms, shower chairs available on request and a separate changing room for those with special needs. Guests can also enjoy a massage while floating in the lagoon.
Head into the rainforest in Costa Rica
Experience the wonder of Costa Rica’s rainforest without having to move a muscle with a two-hour boat safari down the lower Peñas Blancas River. The slow pace allows nature lovers to enjoy the tranquility of the rainforest, spotting and listening to a variety of wildlife in this tropical setting, while guides provide information about the animals and plants spotted en route. You’re sure to catch sight of monkeys, toucans, lizards, caimans, iguanas and myriad species of birds.
See the Northern Lights in Alaska, USA
Seeing the magical aurora borealis for yourself is an all-ages-appropriate adventure. Gondwana Ecotours carefully plans trips in Alaska for all kinds of traveler, using an ‘aurora wake-up service’ to make sure you get the most out of the skies. Hiking, snowshoeing and dog-sledding are options for more active travelers, and for those who would rather keep it simple, all you need to do to see the Northern Lights is simply step outside once you hear the aurora alarm. Guests with Gondwana see the lights at least once on every trip.
Go to the top of Mount Washington, USA
Over 6,288 feet above sea level, Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is often seen as a hiker’s destination – there’s an eight-mile trek to the top. However, hiking isn’t the only way to reach the highest peak in the northeastern United States: ride the Mount Washington Cog Railway instead. The world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway, the train was built in 1869. The three-hour trip provides passengers with a history of The Cog as well as spectacular views on the way.
Visit the Grand Canyon, USA
Discover Italy by bicycle
See the Great Barrier Reef
Take a photography tour in Greenland
Often associated with hardy polar explorers and adrenalin junkies, Greenland is more accessible than you think if you visit with a tour company like Wild Photography Holidays. Join a small group photography tour to the world’s largest island and experience Greenland’s otherworldly landscape for yourself. There’s a bit of walking involved, but otherwise all of Greenland’s most photogenic areas are reached by transfers in traditional wooden fishing boats or by plane.
See the big five in South Africa
Accessible safari company Epic Enabled’s tagline is “Don’t let disability keep you from travelling”, and its aim is to provide barrier-free safaris for everyone. Take a trip to Kruger National Park to be in with a good chance of spotting some big game, have close animal encounters and see incredible sunsets, with trips planned carefully around your particular needs and adapted accommodation organized for you.
Learn to scuba dive
Physical ability isn’t a barrier to learning to scuba dive, with the weightlessness of the water offering those with disabilities a sense of freedom. Dive Ability is a charity that enables those with disabilities to discover the world of scuba diving, with a number of courses and scuba holidays abroad opening up the fascinating underwater world to people of all ages.
Visit the pre-Inca ruins of Kuélap, Peru
See the pyramids of Giza
One of the most phenomenal architectural achievements of all time, the Pyramids of Giza have to be seen to be believed. How the monumental structures were built is still a mystery, and whether you go inside or admire them from outside, the sheer size and magnitude of the pyramid complex will leave you speechless. Wheelchair users can organize an accessible excursion with London Cab Egypt, though it’s not possible to go inside the pyramids if you need wheelchair assistance.
Try paragliding almost anywhere
See the Sistine Chapel, Rome
Try a bungee jump
Bungee jumping is one of the most terrifying ordeals a person could willingly put themselves through, but the experience is certainly not just for the young, able-bodied traveler. The oldest man to ever bungee jump was 96 year old, and it’s even possible to experience the thrill in a wheelchair.
Visit Mount Rushmore, USA
To see one of the world’s most recognizable sculptures for yourself, head to South Dakota’s Black Hills and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Take the wheelchair-accessible Presidential Trail, just over half a mile long, to get in front of the sculpture and spot some local wildlife along the way.
Visit the Great Wall of China
Thanks to the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, lifts and wheelchair ramps were installed on the most popular part of the Great Wall of China, making the longest wall in the world more accessible than ever. Try to visit midweek, when it’s least crowded, so you can marvel at the 2,000-year-old wall, one of the oldest existing man-made structures.
Want something different on your travel bucket list? Try some alternatives to the usual suspects with our guide here.
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