Top 10 Experiences Every Adventure Traveller Should Have

Posted by Crooked Compass

Do you consider yourself a bit of an adventure traveller? By adventure traveller, I don't mean bungee jumping over active volcanoes or base jumping in Norway, but a traveller who really like to get off the beaten track, discover the lesser known, embrace local communities and customs and eat like a local, with the locals. In other words, are you a traveller that embraces experiences?

We have compiled a list of the top 10 experiences that we believe every adventurer should have. Which of these will you do?

Live like a local in Nepal
Live like a local in Nepal

1. Stoke Baby Californian Grey Whales

Animal encounters are high on many peoples lists and having the opportunity to be in such close proximity to whale calves in the wild is a thrill on its own. What about if you could pat them? Scratch them under the chin and rub their bellies? This whale watching experience in Baja California is like nowhere else in the world. Curious calves, encouraged by their gentle mothers, take interest in the skiffs and zodiacs, making for a breathtaking experience as they pop their heads out to investigate, and allow you to stroke them.

Whale encounter Baja California
Whale encounter Baja California

2. Stay with Shahsavan Nomads in remote Iran

Beyond the Alborz Mountains on the outskirts of Tehran and continuing into the Talesh Highlands live the Shahsavan Nomads. With very little influence or encounters with foreign travellers, these pastoralists spend their summers in their high pastures, tending to their herds as they have for thousands of years. Families will welcome you to stay with them, sharing their culture and simple yet delicious local cuisines.

Shahsavan Nomads, Iran
Shahsavan Nomads, Iran

3. Cross the Empty Quarter

The Empty Quarter is the vast expanse of desert between Oman and Saudi Arabia. First mapped by western man only 85 years ago, this spectacular and desolate region is still very much untrodden. Explore the always changing and seemingly never ending sand dunes where you will encounter bedouins still living in these harsh climates with their camel caravans. Camp under the stars and cook your food under the sand from the heat of the day.

Explore the empty quarter
Explore the empty quarter

4. Experience the Hornbill Festival

The Hornbill Festival is a warrior festival that takes place in Nagaland in North Eastern India. Witness warrior tribes dressed in their traditional battle-gear bring alive age-old traditions. This festive frenzy takes place at the heritage village of Kisama, which is decorated in delicately carved hutments displaying remarkable cultural dances, indigenous sports, paintings and sculptures expressing headhunting, as well as the decoration of Morungs - the communal houses of unmarried men.

Hornbill Festival
Hornbill Festival

5. Live with African hunter-gatherer tribes

Fancy sleeping on a cow hide bed in an authentic manyatta? Forget the touristy Masai tribes, go a bit deeper and live life with the hunter-gatherer tribes of Tanzania. Learn their secrets and appreciate their hunting skills and ability to read the wildlife. Soak up stories told under the Tanzanian night skies. Prepare traps, understand poisoned arrows and learn to live from the land as these tribes people have done for over 10,000 years.

Datoga tribe
Datoga tribe

6. Hike the Rainbow Mountains

Hidden deep in the Andes are the remarkable Rainbow Mountains. Trekking to this spectacle, you will be treading through one of the wildest and rarely visited regions of Peru, and the crown jewel of the Andes. The landscape looks like it has been painted with a brush. Red, orange, ochre, turquoise and blue create an unforgettable sight.

Rainbow Mountains, Peru
Rainbow Mountains, Peru

7. Track Snow Leopards

Tracking Snow Leopards is not for the faint hearted. You are facing the elements of ice and snow, as well as camping in the middle of nowhere! Sounds exciting right? Add in a few elusive snow leopards and you have yourself a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Searching for Snow Leopards is all about the journey and understanding the conservation practices behind protecting these beautiful animals. Expert trackers search for markings, scratchings and droppings as you edge ever closer to these ‘ghosts of the mountains’.

In search of the Snow Leopard
In search of the Snow Leopard

8. Explore an Island that no-one has ever heard of!

Known as the Galapagos of Arabia, the island of Socotra is not somewhere that easily rolls of ones tongue, but the beauty and secrecy of this little gem is what puts it on our list of places for the adventurous traveller to visit. A Jurassic island so isolated that a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. Home to the unique dragon's blood trees that look like flying saucers perched on trunks and the unusual desert rose trees which look like elephants' legs with pink flowers on top. Rolling white sand dunes, dotted with camels, crumbling stone villages and turquoise lagoons brimming with an abundance of marine life, all make up this Arabian jewel.

Socotra, Galapagos of Arabia
Socotra, Galapagos of Arabia

9. Bike and Hike Madagascar

Madagascar is already off the beaten track for some but to get even more off the beaten track, the best way to explore is on foot or on bicycle - or why not a combination of both? Venture into the wilderness to marvel at the country’s biodiversity which cannot be matched by any other on our planet. Spot unique plants and animals whilst exploring stunning landscapes with sharp cliffs and bizarre rock formations, resulting from volcanic activity and wind. Tackle dirt roads and hike through the prairies and hills of Madagascar’s massifs to discover a whole new world this country has hidden from the rest of the planet.

Explore Madagascar on foot or by bike
Explore Madagascar on foot or by bike

10. Venture off road to Mingle with the Tattooed Ladies of the Chin Tribe

The Chin tribes of remote north-western Burma consider tattoos a sign of beauty. Their faces covered in elaborate black patterns and, in some cases, totally dark with ink, these smiling villagers are some of Burma’s last surviving tattooed women. The practice is now discontinued and could disappear withing a generation, only a few women now have the markings, with the majority of those who do living hidden away in the mountainous Chin region which was, until recently, closed to foreigners.

Chin tribe ladies with tattooed faces
Chin tribe ladies with tattooed faces

Looking for more unique experiences? Check out our Crooked Compass small group tours!