If you’re a veteran cruiser, you’ve probably visited your fair share of beaches, explored some fantastic cities and dine on regional dishes aplenty.
There are however, some experiences which you can’t enjoy from the comfort of a resort sun lounger or on the teak deck of a cruise ship – and one of the rarest of these is the chance to visit local tribes, and learn more about the actual local culture than you ever could have dreamed. Forget about topping your tan with a cocktail in hand…anyone with a real wanderlust will fall in love with these authentic destinations.
Kapawi Lodge, Ecuador
Forget about the mega cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro if you’re looking for a tribal getaway – in fact, forget about anywhere with a road system. The Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve resides within the 2 million mysterious acres which make up the western Amazon basin.
At the crossing point between Ecuador and Peru, you can find the traditional territory of the Achuar people, a tribe which has resided in the Amazon for centuries. It might be secluded but the 19 room Kapawi Lodge is both an ethical and comfortable way to enjoy a tribal visit, with small groups of tourists being led by bilingual guides and native member of the tribe.
Not only is it built entirely from Achuar architecture, but there’s even a bridge which extends out over a lagoon. If you’re serious about visiting Amazonian tribes, then there’s no better investment.
Doro Nawas Camp, Namibia
Just near the Aba-Huab River in Namibia’s Damaraland region you can find the Doro Nawas Camp – a small lodging complex designed to bring you as close to the indigenous tribes as possible. It boasts a miraculous view over the sandy cliffs of the Twyfelfontein (say that three times fast) and the Etendeka Mountains, as well as easy access to a remarkable series of over 2,000 tribal rock engravings.
A joint venture between Wilderness Safaris and the Doro Nawas tribe, staying at the Doro Nawas Camp doesn’t mean you’ll be handing your money to money-grabbing profiteers – on the contrary, the tribe itself has a considerable stake in the camp, and the investments of tourists are used to help sustain a huge conservation area.
Yorke Peninsula, Australia
This is the perfect way to see parts of South Australia you never knew existed, all the while enjoying one the earth’s most mysterious cultures. You won’t just be situated in one place like the other tribal tourist hotspots on the list, as the Aboriginal Cultural Tours group takes travellers across the whole of the Yorke Peninsula in search of tribal groups.
Tours are available year-round, so walking the country with descendants of tribal leaders has never been easier, or fairer – like the Doro Nawas Camp, profits are guaranteed to go to the indigenous tribes who have cultivated the outback for hundreds of years.
So there you have it. Cruise destinations which will have you heading to ancient historical tribal territories rather than the golf course, and all for a lovely cause. But remember, if you do have an urge to satiate your tribal curiosity, make sure to do it with a company which helps sustain the way of life of the indigenous peoples such as the resorts above. It might take you further out of your way, but the end results will be spellbinding.