Safari 2.0: These Unexpected Safari Destinations Will Amaze You

Africa's not the only game in town when it comes to to see big, roaming beasts

Safaris, traditionally, were an expedition to observe—or hunt—animals in their natural habitat, and "safari" and "Africa" go together like peanut butter and jelly. But Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve, the most popular safari destination in Africa, is not the only game in town when it comes to to see big, roaming beasts. Instead of heading down the well-trodden paths where the animals are as surprised to see you as a Serengeti sunset, consider some of these off-the-beaten track alternatives. We've rounded up a revived African location, as well as other options off the African continent to go and be wowed by wildlife, so, get ready for your Meryl Streep having-her-hair-washed in the outback close-up: lots of linen, wide-brimmed hats, and plenty of big, wild animal sightings that leave you awed.


Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park was once considered one of the best game parks in southern Africa. Biologist Edward O. Wilson called it "ecologically, the most diverse park in the world." In its 1960s heyday, the park played host to the well-heeled, as well as celebrities like Joan Crawford and John Wayne with luxury accommodations and a nightclub.

But the animal population—including elephants, hippos, lions, zebras, cheetahs, and leopards—was decimated during Mozambique's long civil war by hunters and hungry soldiers. By the turn of the 21st century, ninety percent of the park's animal life had been lost, reported The Independent.

In 2004, the park entered a new era when Mozambique and the Carr Foundation partnered to rebuild the park's infrastructure and restore the wildlife populations. Carr pledged $40 million over 30 years to rebuild the park as a source of tourist income for the local population. Since then, the elephants have returned, along with antelope. Writing in The Telegraph, Anna Murphy called a visit to the park after the rainy season "a shimmering grassy wetland, eye-poppingly verdant and spotted with purple and white water lilies. The wildlife was in the grip of spring fever: cormorants diving into the water, then sitting high in the trees with their wings spread out to dry; warthogs frolicking in their large, deep muddy wallows; and the male impala, their neck muscles overdeveloped from month-long competitive rutting for females."

Investment in the park is not only about the animals; 97 percent of the 400 staff members are local and the park places an emphasis on training women. You can camp in the park or stay an airy, mosquito net-draped bungalow.


If cats are your spirit animals, head to India to see the most majestic of them all. Tigers find sanctuary at more than 30 parks in the country. Spend a day or two at Bandhavgarh National Park, a wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, and you're almost guaranteed a spotting of a wild tiger, says Lonely Planet. The park has the highest density of tigers in the region, but you are also likely to see several varieties of deer, wild boar, four-horned antelope, Indian Bison, wild dog, leopard, and Indian fox and bear—and you can see them all on an elephant-back tour. Right outside the park's main gates is the village of Tala, where you can find accommodations for any budget—including a small one.

Or try the 1,334 square-kilometers Ranthambore National Park, a favorite with wildlife photographers and one of the country's most famous parks. The landscape is dotted with ancient ruins, including a fort where tigers and leopards like to hang out. As you explore the park, expect to see leopards, jungle cats, sloth bears, hyenas, Indian foxes, jackals and crocodiles. Stay in one of the 25 luxury tents at the Oberoi Vanyavilas.

Sumatra, Indonesia

Spying the wildlife in Sumatra's drippy rainforests doesn't happen from the front seat of a jeep. Sign up for a trekking tour in one of Sumatra's national parks. In West Sumatra, find Kerinci Seblat, Sumatra's largest national park, where tourism is seen as one of the most viable strategies to protect the endangered Sumatran tiger. Birdwatchers will also love this park, home to more than 370 species. "Once-in-a-lifetime sightings might include the Sumatran ground-cuckoo, which was considered extinct until it was rediscovered here in 2002," reports Lonely Planet. Book a tour with Wild Sumatra Adventures, a which donates five percent of trip costs to tiger conservation. In Tanjung Puting National Park, book a river boat cruise through the jungle to see the world's largest orangutan population. The "people of the forest," as they are known, have been seen using natural elements as tools, and they live among crocodiles, clouded leopards, and the long-nosed proboscis monkey, which lives nowhere else in the world.

Whatever souvenirs you end up bring home from your travels, remember to hang on to that sense of awe and powerful perspective. "Travel makes one modest," Flaubert wrote. "You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."

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Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

To top everything off, all of the Cleaning Pros booked through Handy are vetted and background checked. And you can even check out each Pro's ratings and reviews before you book.

Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

✔ Read More

Lying on my cozy couch without inhaling all the dust I'd chosen to ignore, despite my clear uptick in sneezing the last few months. My reading list is chock-full of thrillers and fantasy. And with my new clean slate, I've even added some books about organization.

✔ Get Cooking

Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

Update: Handy is offering a limited time discount for our readers! Follow this link today to get a special offer on your first time cleaning plan.

This perfect low-key vacation is not your average camping experience.


Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio, Boston, Charlotte & Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh & Cleveland, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Getaway's outposts are a maximum 2-hour drive from these major cities.

getaway cabin all seasons

Why Getaway?

It's an escape for the always on. Leave your work, technology and worries at home, and lean into an experience that allows you to reconnect and center yourself in nature.

Each cabin features 1 (or 2) queen-sized bed as well as a full indoor bathroom, both heat and a/c, and reliable electricity. The kitchen is stocked with food staples and cookware and there is a fire pit and outdoor seating. All cabins are family-friendly and dogs are permitted.

getaway essentials

Booking & Price

Book through the Getaway site. Cabins fit 1 - 4 guests and cost as low as $129 a night.


Cabins are already distanced (50-150' feet apart) from one another and go through a deep disinfection process between guest stays. Check-in is contactless, and each guest accesses their cabins through a personalized key code.

getaway activities

UPDATE: Plan Your Winter Escape Today With Getaway! Take $20 Off Your Stay With Code Winter20!

Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.