Posts tagged with "Wild Women Expeditions"

Wild Women Expeditions: Morocco

Wild Women Expeditions, the leader in women-only adventures, takes immersive travel to another level with new-for-2019 itineraries of 10 and 15 days that delve into the Berber culture of the women of Morocco.

Some 30 percent of Moroccans speak Berber; the national language is Arabic. The Berber culture originated along the Nile, spreading into today’s North Africa that includes Morocco. Morocco is known for being one of the most progressive states in the Middle East and North because of its support for women’s rights. Despite these advancements, women’s education in Morocco still lags behind and over 80% of women are illiterate.

Berber women of Morocco will help to unravel their story and culture on women-only trips across Morocco, enroute sharing such secrets as how to maneuver the labyrinth of a medina (old city), find their way into the wilderness of the Rif mountain range and learn the art of making tagine.

By casting Moroccan women as, among others, drivers and guides for these trips, Jennifer Haddow hopes that both guests and locals will be empowered. She is the owner of Wild Women Expeditions that pioneered worldwide women-only travel.

“Wild Women Expeditions gives our guests the opportunity to empower themselves amongst other women, connect with the natural world and make a positive impact in the communities we explore,” says Haddow.

She notes that Berber women in Morocco, as are women in many other cultures, are too often cast as the memory keepers. “As travelers we love when they share their traditions in colorful ways. But this sharing can be a double-edged sword for women who may be left out of leadership opportunities in the tourism industry,” said Haddow. “On our Morocco tour we put the stories of women in the spotlight while empowering them with opportunities to benefit from tourism and play a leading role.”

Wild Women Expeditions tours in Morocco will help dull this sword and empower women by…

• Working with a female Berber entrepreneur who owns the transportation company for these tours and who hires female drivers;

• Engaging Berber Moroccan women as tour leaders are hiring female guides;

• Supporting trek guide training for Moroccan women;

• Visiting women’s cooperatives where locally made items are sold;

• Basing in a riad in Marrakech that employs women trained by the Amal Centre for disadvantaged women (http://amalnonprofit.org/);

• Conversing over a women-hosted dinner in Casablanca through Al Hidn, an association that empowers illiterate widow women in rebuilding their lives through a series of educational programs as well as providing them with financial and educational support to keep their kids in school;

• Supporting the Henna Café, a social enterprise project for women in Marrakech;

• Using accommodations that reflect the company’s commitment to women’s empowerment, such as the Kasbah Toubkhal that co-founded the Education for All program for girls’ education (an additional 5% of the revenue from a group stay here is donated to this local project);

• Being mindful of the environment – through women – with an overnight at an eco lodge owned by a local woman and part of an ecotourism initiative focused on empowering local women in the Riff.

The 10-day itinerary, Medina to Mountains of Northern Morocco, begins with a welcome dinner at Rick’s Café (from the movie Casablanca). The days that follow blend mosques, medinas, handicraft workshops, horseback riding and hiking in the Rif Mountains, a hammam (spa) and a world-famous botanical garden. The $3,495 rate includes accommodation for nine nights, all meals, private vehicle, driver, English-speaking guide and local guides, airport transfers.

The 15-day program, Mosaic of Wild Morocco, focuses on Morocco’s wild beauty from the dunes of the Sahara to the Atlas Mountains and on to the beaches of the Atlantic. Trekking by camel, dining with nomads, sleeping under a canopy of stars in Sahara luxury dune camp, draping the body with flowers of henna, chattering with Barbary macaque and indulging in a hammam are just a few of the many experiences in store. The nearly all-inclusive rate of $3,995 includes guided horseback riding, cycling and trekking, plus in-home meals with Berber families and cooking demonstrations.

Wild Women Expeditions

Wild Women Expeditions’ Jennifer Haddow Addresses Changing Priorities Of Women-Only Travel Clients.

Corner Brook, NL, CANADA – The company that is blazing new trails for women-only travel keeps a close eye on the changing priorities of its female clientele.

“Their priorities increasingly are valued-based,” observes Jennifer Haddow, owner and visionary director of Wild Women Expeditions. “Women want more meaningful adventures and are more conscious of how and where they spend their vacation time and money. Yes, they still want to enjoy precious time away from their routines to impact themselves, but their concerns extend to a broader community.”

Following are trends Haddow has witnessed over the past few years.

Shaking things up: transformational travel. Says Haddow: “When women sign up for one of our trips ‘transformation’ isn’t on the tips of their tongues. But to choose to spend a week kayaking, hiking and no-frills camping usually means they’re on a quest of some kind, whether they know it or not. On a daily basis they test their own comfort zones by meeting one challenge after another. They learn to listen to and trust each other, creating community. Community – that many lack in their lives – becomes the gateway to learning new skills that can lead to empowerment and transformation.”

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Wild women expeditions

Inner healing journeys: wilderness therapy. Says Haddow: “With few exceptions, Wild Women Expeditions’ itineraries place women in wilderness settings with only occasional brushes with society and culture. There are abundant studies on the benefits of forest therapy. One of our programs takes women back in time to spaces inside themselves they’ve never before inhabited. Under the guidance of First Nation female leaders, they hear stories of women as fire carriers, medicine women and knowledge keepers and for a short while immerse themselves in traditional plant medicine, archery, equestrian skills, sacred earth walks and indigenous living skills. Another program honors Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit as only a bare-bones wilderness immersion can accomplish.”

Yoga-themed vacations: out-of-the-box yoga. Says Haddow: “Yoga is a cultural force spilling out of yoga studios and into yoga-themed vacations where practitioners can carry on in exotic settings at luxury retreat centers. We take yoga one step further than a terrace or beachfront vista and integrate yoga with other activities for truly immersive experiences. On our yoga themed wilderness trips, we take yoga out of the box and let women feel the elements as they discover their own power and wellbeing.”

360, 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Wild women expeditions

Comfort in the wilderness: going glamping. Says Haddow: “Women May have a desire to go glamping — but with conditions. We meet women half way. Some don’t have the physical ability to do a multi-day backpacking and camping experience. In Patagonia our version of glamping for women with back issues is to give them proper beds but still with enough exposure to the elements so they feel part of the wilderness experience. Our journeys are not survival trips but rather about women warming up to their own inherent connection in and with nature. We want to help them make one journey a life-long adventure, helping them make hay connection and following their bliss into the wild. We’re all about women taking little steps to feel confident in their journeys.”

Asking more questions: conservation matters. Says Haddow: “We’re seeing a growing enthusiasm for tourism to be a force of conservation and the protection of wildlife. There’s more support for changing the perceptions of what animals mean to the world. We feel we are helping make a difference by supporting tiger reserves and parks in India and assisting in Indonesia (Borneo) to protect the critically endangered Bornean orangutan. In Thailand a decade ago there was low awareness of the damage done to the elephant population in this country because of tourism, requiring that elephants become beasts of burden under the physical weight of one of the tourist after another riding them. Villagers are re-appreciating elephants in new ways, in part because of the attention and support they receive from our guests. There’s a movement of women asking the right questions when it comes to their travel opportunities. For example: Are the protocols of developing and executing itineraries ethical in terms of impacts on wildlife and benefits to local communities? Plus, there’s the added value of engaging female guides from these countries to lead our women-only trips. Our clients care that local women get more the benefits of tourism.”

WILD WOMEN EXPEDITIONS × BHUTAN

Wild Women Journey to “The Land of Happiness”

On New Bhutan Adventure Tour

Imagine a country that places happiness above all else, where every policy must pass a Gross National Happiness filter to be enacted. Imagine trekking through lush green mountainous valleys of a remote Himalayan kingdom where yak herders greet you with smiles as the chanting of monks echoes from ancient cliff-side monasteries and colorful prayer flags ripple before snow-capped peaks.

Welcome to Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon.

A company devoted to active travel adventures designed for women only presents for 2018 its brand-new itinerary in this distant land that time – almost – forgot.

Wild Women Expeditions, the pioneer in women-only travel adventures, introduces Spirit of Bhutan on three brand-new 2018 hiking departures: Sept. 20-Oct. 2, Oct. 11-23 and Nov. 12-24.

Only over the past 50 years have visitors been allowed to visit Bhutan, land locked in the Himalayas between Tibet and China to the north and India to the south. It is still also time locked, only early in the 21st century opening to Western influences. Bhutan, despite the encroachment of the internet and hand-held devices, remains steeped in ancient traditions with overlays of powerful Buddhist mythologies. How spirituality and myth translate into 21st century life in this 750,000 population is a focus of Wild Women Expeditions’ quest.

“Bhutan is a shining example of how spirited adventure tourism can be truly sustainable,” underscored Jennifer Haddow, visionary Owner/Director of Wild Women Expeditions. “Bhutan’s commitment to being a carbon neutral country comes to life in its approach to tourism, where travelers take great care to minimize their footprint on this wilderness Shangri-la.” She personally researched and helped craft this tour of west and central Bhutan — with the highest standards of ecotourism at heart.

The per person rate is $4,495 inclusive of ground transportation, including airport transfers; 12 nights accommodation (lodges, inns, a luxury resort and one night camping); meals throughout the trip; services of an experienced Bhutanese English-speaking female guide and of porters; camping equipment for a hiking expedition to Tiger’s Nest; entry fees and permits; and domestic air fare from the gateway, Paro, one way to Bumthang, the spiritual heartland of Bhutan.

Visits to monasteries or dzong perched on cliffs overlooking traditional rural life reveal that these fortress-like cloisters historically served as lighthouses, sending warning signals against potential marauders. An afternoon of river rafting coincides with a visit to the imposing Punakha Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness). Built in 1637, it is strategically placed at the confluence of two rafting rivers (Po Chu and Mo Chu). Guests also visit Taktshang (Tiger’s Nest) whose lore and location epitomize Bhutan’s spirituality and beauty. One day guests walk for several hours through a forest of rhododendron and hemlock to meet some 30 nuns in contemplation and seclusion at one of the oldest (early 9th century) of seven nunneries in Bhutan.

Guests can anticipate walking up to16km on mountain pathways through blue pine and juniper forests. One trek leads to Bumdra Monastery and a meadow laced with chortens (stupas) and prayer flags. Here women camp under the stars with a nearby 4,000m peak beckoning the hearty.

Each glimpse of a dzong brings high-altitude vistas of mountains gouged by deep river valleys and rice fields, together comprising the country’s 60 percent of land designated national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Forests covering over 70 percent of the landscape are themselves resources. For example, guests visit a family-owned incense factory that utilizes juniper, rhododendron and cypress to make incense. They are served tea during another family visit; they experience the restorative properties of a hot stone bath followed by a lesson in Bhutan’s national sport, archery.

A day trip to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, features the weekly market and revered Memorial Chorten that underscores the importance of the country’s two-party constitutional monarchy. The Changangkha temple, since the 12th century overlooking Thimphu, is a study of devotees flocking here to circumambulate and turn the prayer wheels. The temple contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written in gold. A huge golden statue of Buddha Dordenma commands a view of the valley. His three-story throne holds several chapels; the body itself is filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha. On an earthly note is a visit to a nearby weaving center where local women create intricate fabric for the traditional Bhutanese garment of gho (for men) and kira (for women).

“Wild Women Expeditions gives women the opportunity to empower themselves amongst other women, connect with the natural world and make a positive impact in the communities we explore,” says Haddow. “When women adventure together in the wild, it is transformational.”

For trip details see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/spirit-of-bhutan/.

For details, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email info@wildwomenexpeditions.com or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

About Wild Women Expeditions

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. The company now hosts guests all over the world, offering more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping, hiking, paddling and horseback adventures than any other women’s travel company in the world.

Wild Women Expeditions

Pioneers in Women-Only Travel Invite Adventurers to Patagonia

Wild Women Expeditions-Style


When sailing ships smashed through high seas many years ago, often a lady rode with them. Symbolic of the female adventurer, she was the carved wooden figurehead on the prow taking on the full force of wind, waves and whatever life came her way.

 

Gone is the girl on the prow, but Patagonia, at the bottom of the world, similarly tugs imaginations. Wild Women Expeditions (http://wildwomenexpeditions.com/) understands that women need to test their mettle against the wind in wild places. This company has designed two new trips to draw small women-only groups to Patagonia in 2018 and 2019. One trip is a multi-sport adventure; the other is an exploration on horseback.

 

Torres del Paine Multisport Adventure departure dates are Feb. 3-12 (waitlist being taken) and March 12-21, 2018. This program is also scheduled in 2019 for Feb. 3-12, March 2-11 and March 17-26. The per person double rate for 10 days and nine nights is $5,295 including English-speaking female guide and activity specialist guides, accommodations, all meals, and all equipment for excursions including sleeping bags for hiking overnights, mountain bikes, sea kayaks, horses and tack and corresponding safety equipment. The playground is an other-worldly landscape of peaks, glaciers, wild horses, pampas and lakes that composes Torres del Paine National Park. Challenges come by way of hiking up to eight hours per hike, kayaking, mountain biking up to four hours per outing, and a six-hour horseback ride. In adherence to sustainable practices, participants reside in tented Eco Camp Patagonia Domes, with two women paired in a tent and a scenic lodge in shared huts. Punta Arenas is the gateway. Please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/torres-del-paine-multisport-adventure/.

 


Patagonia Cordillera Riding Adventure departure dates are Jan 22-Feb. 1, Feb. 5-15 (waitlist being taken) and March 4-14, 2018. Dates for 2019 will be announced shortly. The per person double rate for 11 days and 10 nights is $3,395 including 11 days of horseback riding into the rugged heart of the Andes, the cordillera chain of mountain ranges, by way of strong and surefooted Argentine Criollos. The rate includes a seven-day pack trip; horses, pack mules and riding gear; professional female wrangler guides; 10 nights of on and off-grid shared accommodation including the first two nights and the night before departure at an estancia where Ranquilco Lodge showcases its eco-sensitive off-the-grid homestead systems; camping equipment; hand-crafted meals; laundry services; roundtrip transfers from Neuquen Airport to destination in the rugged heart of the Andes. Estancia hospitality serves up locavore along with off-the-grid living before heading to the cordillera (mountain range) to ride trails deep into the Andes and into the simple lifestyle of the gauchos. Guests are transferred from and back to Presidente Perón International Airport in Neuquén Province, Argentina. Please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/patagonia-horse-adventure/.

 

Wild Women Expeditions already tops the list with more active travel departures for women only than any other tour company in the world. In this unique niche, this company also outpaces other companies with more women-only horseback riding trips. In addition to Patagonia, equestriennes can travel to

  • Iceland — Golden Circle Riding Adventure, nine days at $3,295 per person; Women & Girls Golden Circle Riding Adventure, seven days at $1,995 per person; Hekla Volcano Riding Adventure, nine days at $3,295 per person
  • British Columbia — Chilcotin Cowgirl Riding Adventure, eight days at $3,495CAD per person
  • Mongolia – Orkhon Valley Horseback Adventure, 14 days at $2,295 per person; and Marvels of Mongolia, 14 days at $2,895 per person, mixing trekking with camel and horseback riding.
  • Ireland – Connemara Riding Adventure, seven days at $3,295 per person.  

A quarter century ago Wild Women Expeditions pioneered today’s steam-charged movement encouraging women to travel in small women-only groups. “What Wild Women Expeditions does is give women the opportunity to achieve amongst other women, test boundaries, take risks and become leaders,” says Jennifer Haddow, Owner/Director.

 

For details, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email info@wildwomenexpeditions.com or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

 

About

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became Canadian experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. Even though the company now hosts guests all over the world, it retains a national focus with more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping adventures in Canada than any other women’s travel company in the world. 

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