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Celebrating 130 Years of Exploration: An Extraordinary Journey by Private Jet

  • Trip Type: Private Jet
  • 21 Days | Round-trip London, England

Expedition Details

 

Join us for an extraordinary private jet expedition celebrating the past, present, and future of exploration at National Geographic. Eleven of today’s most accomplished explorers meet us in spectacular places to share insights into their groundbreaking research and fieldwork. Encounter magnificent wildlife in Kenya, Botswana, and the Seychelles; step back in time in Jordan and South Africa; and get immersed in enchanting cultures in Azerbaijan, Nepal, and Morocco on the adventure of a lifetime.

Trip Highlights

    • Meet National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Fellows, and experts around the world, and learn about their groundbreaking work in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, paleontology, photography, and conservation.
    • Spot spectacular wildlife in Kenya’s Masai Mara alongside filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert; discuss human origins with Maeve and Louise Leakey; and venture to South Africa’s Cradle of Humankind to visit the historic fossil site where Homo naledi was unearthed by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger.
    • Discover the vibrant capital city of Baku, Azerbaijan with anthropologist and National Geographic Fellow David Harrison, and uncover Petra’s ancient wonders with archaeologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Sarah Parcak.
    • Examine the Buddhist temples of Kathmandu, Nepal; snorkel in the Seychelles; and search for the “big five” in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

Itinerary - 21 Days

Day 1 — U.S./London, England

Gather with experts, staff, and fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner.
Rocco Forte Brown’s Hotel

Days 2 & 3 — The Lost City of Petra and Wadi Rum, Jordan

Petra was settled by the Nabataean people in 312 B.C. and became an important crossroads of Arabia, Egypt, and the Levant. Meet National Geographic Emerging Explorer Sarah Parcak, whose pioneering work in the field of satellite archaeology includes the 2016 discovery of a monumental structure at Petra—one that had been previously overlooked by archaeologists. Sarah will lead us on a tour of Petra, beginning at the Siq, a dramatic opening in the bedrock. Step back in time 2,000 years as you stroll this ancient city, and learn why this enigmatic civilization built its capital in such an inaccessible spot.

On our last evening here, gather for a Bedouin dinner. The following morning, travel to Wadi Rum, a beautiful desert landscape made famous by T. E. Lawrence and the film Lawrence of Arabia.
Mövenpick Resort Petra

Days 4 & 5 — Baku, Azerbaijan

Once a booming oil town in a Soviet republic, Baku is an intriguing blend of historic structures, modern glass towers, and Soviet-era apartment blocks. Explore with anthropologist and National Geographic Fellow David Harrison, who will share his work as co-leader of the Society’s Enduring Voices project, which documents endangered languages and cultures of the world. Take a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and see the magnificent Shirvanshah’s Palace, the last residence of the rulers of the Shirvan State. Then discover Baku’s burgeoning art scene with a visit to an artist’s studio. If you wish, opt for a day trip to Gobustan National Park.
Four Seasons Hotel Baku

Days 6, 7, & 8 — Kathmandu, Nepal

Fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal—a country of monks and pilgrims that remained closed to outsiders until the 1950s. Here, we are joined by archaeologist and National Geographic grantee Robin Coningham, whose investigations of the birthplace of the Buddha in Lumbini, Nepal have helped to shed light on the life of the Buddha. Visit Nepal’s largest stupa, Bodhnath, then explore the ancient Bhaktapur, known for its beautiful temples, palaces, and squares. Later, fly via helicopter and local chartered aircraft to the mountaintop Kongde Lodge, where you can enjoy breakfast at 14,000 feet, with Everest as your backdrop (weather permitting).
Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu

Days 9, 10, & 11 — Seychelles

Introducing you to the rich cultures and pristine beauty of the Seychelles will be award-winning photographer and National Geographic Explorer Brian Skerry, who specializes in marine-related subjects and stories. Witness the archipelago’s breathtaking biodiversity while snorkeling amid coral reefs teeming with marine life, and sample the local Creole cuisine. Or take a guided tour of Praslin’s Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve, a World Heritage site where all six of the Seychelles’ native palm species, including the giant coco de mer palm, can be found. Next, travel by boat to La Digue and the blush-pink sands of Anse Source D’Argent—named by National Geographic’s The 10 Best of Everything travel guide as the world’s best beach.
Banyan Tree Seychelles

Days 12, 13, & 14 — Masai Mara and Lake Turkana, Kenya

Fly to Nairobi by private jet and take a charter flight to tented camps in the Masai Mara. Located deep in the Rift Valley, this area boasts an astonishing concentration of wildlife. Meet Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, the award-winning filmmakers and conservationists who established National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. Embark on game drives to search for the “big five” and other creatures who make their home here.

Next, travel to Lake Turkana to meet National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Meave and Louise Leakey, whose family of renowned paleontologists has conducted excavations in the Turkana Basin with support from the National Geographic Society. The Leakeys currently run a research station at Lake Turkana to facilitate data collection and the study of new specimens. Visit a dig site where some of their discoveries have been made.
Fairmont Mara Safari Club (A limited number of upgrades are available at Mara Plains Camp.)

Day 15 — Johannesburg and the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

From Johannesburg, travel by road to visit the Rising Star cave in the Cradle of Humankind, which is part of a larger World Heritage site. In 2013, guided by a pair of local spelunkers, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger and his team discovered more than 1,550 fossil elements buried within the cave—the single largest hominin fossil find yet made on the continent of Africa. The excavation and analysis of Homo naledi, as this new species of human ancestor has been named, was supported by National Geographic and featured in the October 2015 National Geographic magazine cover story. Learn about the significance of these historic finds, as well as Lee’s 2008 discovery of Australopithecus sediba, a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans.
Saxon Hotel or Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff

Days 16, 17, & 18 — The Okavango Delta, Botswana

One of the world’s largest inland delta systems, the Okavango Delta offers incredible wildlife viewing and bird-watching. South African conservationist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Steve Boyes meets us here to discuss his work with the Okavango Wilderness Project, a multinational collaboration to survey and protect the biodiversity of the vast Okavango River Delta. During our stay here, choose to explore by open safari vehicle or by traditional mokoro canoe (water level dependent), coming face-to-face with the magnificent creatures that call this area home. Set out on a morning game drive or water safari to spot elephants, wildebeests, cheetahs, and hyenas. After the sun goes down, head back into the wilderness on a nighttime safari.
Duba Plains Camp, Mombo Camp, or Vumbura Plains Camp

Days 19 & 20 — Fez, Morocco

In Fez, we’ll meet with paleontologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer Nizar Ibrahim. In the Kem Kem beds of the Moroccan Sahara, Ibrahim recovered the bones of Spinosaurus, a massive, semi-aquatic predator bigger than Tyrannosaurus rex—and these remarkable findings were featured in the October 2014 cover story of National Geographic magazine. Visit the colorful medina, where Morocco’s traditional arts and crafts flourish. Near the medina, at Fes Jdid, view the imposing gates of the Royal Palace, which are covered with rich zellige tile work. Later, celebrate our journey at a cocktail party followed by a meal of traditional Moroccan delicacies.
Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace

Day 21 — London, England/U.S.

Fly by private jet to London, where you connect with your independent flight home.

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

A world-class team of experts will accompany this expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on this trip.

Lee Berger

Lee BergerPaleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in- Residence Lee Berger is a Research Professor in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. His explorations into human origins in Africa have resulted in many notable discoveries, including the most comprehensive early hominin fossils found so far, which belong to a new species of early human ancestor, Australopithecus sediba, and, in 2013, the richest early hominin site yet found on the continent of Africa. Lee will accompany the entire expedition.

Lee will join the following departure:

Oct 28 - Nov 17, 2018

SEE OTHER EXPERTS »

Dates

2018
  • Oct 28 - Nov 17, 2018

Expedition Cost

2018

$97,945

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $8,950. Transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary, is included in the expedition cost.

Airfare to/from London, England is not included in the expedition cost. Our specially outfitted Boeing 757 is ideally suited for this extraordinary expedition. Its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports afford us unmatched flexibility. We set our own schedules, flying direct and avoiding layovers, which allows us the freedom to make the most of our adventures on land. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized and refitted to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating.

For your protection, all payments are secured in a bank escrow account. See special terms and conditions for these expeditions.

Activity Level

Light/Moderate

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.