Trek Through Afghanistan Or Explore The Congo With Wild Frontiers

If you still haven’t settled on an amazing adventure for 2013 then perhaps you’ll want to take a look at some of the trips that Wild Frontiers has to offer. The adventure travel company that operates out of the U.K. specializes in unique, one-of-a-kind tours to a number of great destinations on the planet and this year two of their itineraries are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere.

The first of those trips will take adventurous travelers deep into the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan as they spend a month trekking the Wakhan Corridor. This narrow piece of land once served as a neutral zone between the British and Russian Empires but now it is a seldom-visited region populated only by local herdsmen. Wild Frontiers is one of the few travel companies in the world that guides trekkers through this remote destination, which boasts breathtaking views and pristine valleys rarely seen by outsiders. This is a physically demanding and difficult trip but for those who truly want an off-the beaten-path adventure, it is tough to top a trek through the Wakhan Corridor. It is truly one of the most isolated places you could ever hope to visit. The price is £4495 or about $6820.

The other unique itinerary on the Wild Frontiers schedule for this year is a 20-day journey by boat down the Congo River. Travelers on this excursion will follow in the footsteps of the famed explorer Henry Morton Stanley as they go deep into the wild and untamed African interior. They’ll visit villages inhabited by the last pygmy tribes, encounter a wide array of wildlife and observe life along the river as they slowly cruise past. For more of an idea of what to expect from this journey checkout the YouTube clip below. The price is £5995, which converts to $9095.

Some travel companies promise their customers an adventure but few actually deliver it in the truest sense of the word. But Wild Frontiers is a company that really does focus on putting the “adventure” in adventure travel. The two expeditions that I highlighted above are a good example of this, but they are also just the tip of the iceberg. Take a look at their full catalog by clicking here.

[Photo Credit: Wild Frontiers]

Introducing The 2013 National Geographic Adventurers Of The Year

Yesterday National Geographic introduced their selections for the 2013 Adventurers of the Year, doling out the honor to some of the most daring – not to mention fascinating – people on the planet. As always with these awards, the recipients are people who routinely push themselves to the limit while attempting things that most of us would never even dream of.

Probably the best-known person on the list is skydiver Felix Baumgartner, who became a household name when he made an historic leap from the edge of space a few weeks back. But Felix isn’t the only adventurer who is pushing the limits of human endurance. He’s joined on the list of winners by Lizzy Hawker, an ultra-running legend who routinely competes in, and wins, races that are 100-miles in length or more. Shannon Galpin earns a spot amongst the winners for her humanitarian efforts with the Streets of Afghanistan project, while kayaker Steve House completed a life-long dream by running the biggest rapids in the world along the Congo River. The rest of list consists of climbers, skiers, snowboarders, surfers and other outdoor athletes who all had amazing experiences throughout 2012.

As in previous years, Nat Geo would like to hear from us as to who we feel is the most impressive amongst this group of candidates. To that end, they’ve launched a website that allows us to vote for who we think is the most deserving person to be named the People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. Voting runs from now until January 16, 2013, with the winner being announced in February. Unlike that other impending election, however, we get to vote once per day between now and then.

Congratulations to these inspiring and amazing men and women. What an incredible honor.

[Photo Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]

Kayaking the Congo River

The Congo River runs through some of the most remote and wild regions of Central Africa, stretching 2914 miles in length, and reaching as much as 750 feet in depth at certain points. It is the eighth longest river in the world and second only to the Amazon in terms of the volume of its flow. Of course, all of that is fairly meaningless out of context, which is why this video is so amazing.

The video was shot by kayaker Andrew Maser, awhile back as part of a National Geographic expedition. It does a great job of showing us just how powerful the Congo can be, as the waves look more like something that would be found on an ocean rather than a river.

Personally, I think it looks like a lot of fun, and I’m ready to book a paddling trip to the Congo. Anyone want to come along?