You can get a flavour of a place on a traditional holiday, but a sabbatical offers a unique opportunity for immersion. Spending extended time with people from a totally different culture provides not only unparalleled insight into their values and history, but also encourages you to reflect on your own. With our unparalleled contacts and network of Concierges, who can open otherwise inaccessible doors and introduce you to local communities, we can ensure you have the most eye-opening experience imaginable.
Tribal Traditions with the Ethiopian Omo
For a truly authentic experience away from Western civilisation,
travel to Ethiopia's remote Omo
Valley and meet with the local tribespeople as an honoured guest.
Regarded as one of the world's final frontiers, this valley is home
to various tribes co-existing in a diverse landscape of grassland,
riverine forests and delta marshes. Stay in a remote lodge for a
fortnight or so and venture out by 4x4 to meet the likes of the lip
plate-wearing Mursi and the body painted Karo. You may also get the
opportunity to witness the extraordinary bull jumping ceremony with
the Hamer people, the culmination of a three-day long rite of
passage for young men within the tribe.
Multi-Layered Life in Mexico
With so many layers of history (including Aztec, Zapotec, Mayan
and Spanish Colonial) Mexico
is something of a cultural onion just waiting to be peeled.
Although visiting the country's numerous ancient archaeological
sites offers important context, immersing oneself here is really
about getting to know the culture through everyday activities. Take
time to perfect cooking traditional dishes with a local Zapotec
family in Oaxaca, or wander through lesser-visited neighbourhoodsin
San Angel or Coyoacan in Mexico City with a knowledgeable guide;
just two ways to get a real feel for Mexico.
Access All Areas in Aboriginal Australia
Visit Australia's remote
Arnhem Land, where sacred lands and ancient rock art dominate the
rich, red landscape. This vast wilderness is still owned by the
indigenous Yolngu people, and permits are required to visit. When
travelling with one of our experienced guides, you have
unprecedented access to areas such as the Injalak Hill rock art
gallery and can spend several days exploring on foot and by 4x4
from luxury tented camps.
Rural Communities in the Indian Himalayas
Join expert local guides to hike between the traditional rural
communities which are dotted around the stunning Himalayan landscape in
Sikkim. Between hikes you'll stay in beautifully refurbished
village houses and spend a week learning about local mountain life.
When not exploring the lush surroundings on foot, cultural
highlights include participating in early morning prayers at
Rinchenpong Monastery, taking tea with a retired school teacher in
Khandu village and visiting a typical mountain village market to
shop for locally-grown groceries to rustle up delicious dishes.
Maintaining Identity with Swedish Sami
Despite the pressures of modernisation, Lapland's indigenous
Sami people enjoy a quiet continuation of their traditional
lifestyle. We can arrange for you to spend several days with a
local Sami man who embraces the opportunity to invite visitors into
his home and teach them about the threats and challenges his people
face in maintaining their identity. During your stay you will sleep
in a traditional lavvu (teepee) tent, admire the Northern
Lights (hopefully) and learn the dying art of reindeer-herding from
your guide's brother.
Kazakh Eagle Hunters in Mongolia
Every autumn Mongolia's nomadic
ethnic Kazakh population hold Eagle Festivals deep in the dramatic
Altai Mountains. These ancient festivals are a celebration of the
extraordinary partnership formed between the eagles and their
master handlers. To better understand this centuries-old,
hunter-gatherer lifestyle and its importance for these communities'
survival, we can arrange for you to live in a traditional
ger felt tent and work as a respected member of a Kazakh
family during the lead up to the festival.