Visit the golden eagle hunters in Mongolia

That this is one of the few modern day hunting practices that’s retained its authentic roots is worth the trek alone. A centuries-old practice of the nomadic Khazakh, the burkitshi (eagle hunters, its estimated there are only 60 left) train female golden eagles to hunt for wolves, foxes and marmots within the remote Alati Mountains. Part of Amala Destination’s 13-day trip to Western Mongolia, to give you a real lay of the land, other experiences include riding a camel across the sand beaches of Dorgon lake, staying in Ger camps in the Sambagarac Mountain National Park and numerous encounters with other animals like the wapiti deer, snow leopards and the rare Takhi horses, an endangered species of wild horses native to Central Asia.

Photos: Amala Destinations

Durmitor Black Lake

Snap the ultimate beach selfie at a royal beach in Montenegro

Yas queen! No filter needed here, the rose quartz coloured sand at Sveti Stefan in Montenegro is the real thing. A favourite summer getaway of Queen Marija Karađorđević of Yugoslavia, this slip of beach – it’s just 120 meters long – with crystal clear water, fringed by ancient cyprus and olive trees is a big reason Montenegro has been dubbed a hidden gem of the Balkans. Best of all, it’s private to the guests of the Aman Sveti Stefan resort that now occupies the converted 15th century fishing village and royal villa. Part of Amala Destination’s journey through the country, the Aman experience winds up 10 days touring Montenegro including exploring UNESCO-heritage Durmitor National Park by jeep, taking a helicopter ride to the sacred Ostrog Monastery resting on the side of a cliff, and visiting the Savina Winery by speedboat.

Villa Milocer and beach
Sveti Stefan island

Photos: Amala Destinations and Aman Resorts

Spot sharks and dugongs in Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago
When was the last time you went snorkeling and saw colourful schools of fish? Blame climate change (and overtourism) for the growing demise of waters with a rich underwater life. Hence, few spots rival Myanmar’s under-the-radar Mergui Archipelago (they’ve only been open to tourism since 1997) where the water is teeming with colourful coral and exotic tropical fish. Pandaw’s Mergui Archipelago itinery explores the region’s 800 islands via an elegant 61-meter motor yacht outfitted with just ten suites and all the necessary equipment (kayaks and snorkeling kits are provided), so all you need to do is show up. Bundled in their 7-day journey are trips to the Naung Wee Island to visit the indigeneous sea gypsy people, the Nga Man group of one hundred and fifteen islands and Cockscomb Island with its limestone caves and hidden lagoon.

Chase the Northern Lights by private plane in Iceland
2018 marks the last year you’ll see the Northern Lights in its full glowing beauty for a while (google “solar minimum’ and you’ll understand why). And if you’re going all the way to Iceland to catch the beautiful aurora borealis, it’s best to do it in style. Scott Dunn organises a private flight from Reykjavik where the pilot will search for a clear spot with minimal light pollution so you can enjoy the swirling green, red and violet swirls in peace, before re-boarding and taking in Mother Nature’s incredible light show mid-air, with some bubbly in hand.

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