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What to do and Where to go in December

December in the Northern Hemisphere is a month of transition marked by the arrival of winter. As temperatures drop, various regions embrace the season... Read more
What to do and Where to go in December

December in the Northern Hemisphere is a month of transition marked by the arrival of winter. As temperatures drop, various regions embrace the seasonal change in unique ways. In Europe, cities come alive with festive decorations, bustling Christmas markets, and a palpable sense of holiday cheer. Snowfall blankets parts of Northern Asia, transforming landscapes into serene winter wonderlands, while December in Southeast and Southern Asia marks the beginning of the dry season, making it an appealing time to visit this vibrant and diverse region. Heading northward into the Arctic, December brings prolonged periods of darkness, and the Arctic Circle experiences the polar night. Despite the harsh environment, the Northern Lights dance across the Arctic sky, adding a touch of celestial magic to the winter landscape.

December in the Southern Hemisphere brings a diverse array of experiences across continents. In Africa, the southern regions, including South Africa and Namibia, welcome summer with warm temperatures and lush landscapes. Safari destinations, such as Kruger National Park, offer prime wildlife viewing as animals gather around watering holes. In South America, countries embrace the beginning of summer, making it an ideal time to explore iconic destinations like the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, December marks the onset of summer, allowing travellers to embark on outdoor adventures amidst the stunning landscapes of both the North and South Islands. 

We have an array of incredible holidays that run in December, here are some of our favourite:



Climb Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro

In December, Kenya experiences the onset of its short dry season, making it an ideal time to explore its diverse landscapes, including national parks like Masai Mara, where wildlife thrives amidst the lush scenery. Meanwhile, Tanzania in December offers pleasant temperatures and the chance to witness the Great Migration in the Serengeti, creating a captivating spectacle of wildebeests and zebras moving across the plains. Embark on the ultimate East African mountain challenge with this twin peak trekking holiday, aiming to summit Mt Kenya's trekker's peak (4985m) and Kilimanjaro (5895m). This unique adventure offers the unparalleled opportunity to witness the sunrise from the highest mountains in both Kenya and Tanzania, creating a panoramic vista of the entire African continent. Converging the summits enhances the success rate on Kilimanjaro, benefiting from better acclimatisation to the altitude and environment. The journey commences with a 2-week exploration of Mount Kenya, traversing the beautiful and underrated peak through the Chogoria and Sirimon routes. Encountering few fellow trekkers, the experience on Kenya's highest mountain is exceptional. Crossing the African plains and indulging in wildlife spotting, we transition to Tanzania for the Kilimanjaro climb, following the Machame Route. This path guides us through lush rainforests and the alpine tundra of the Shira plateau adorned with giant lobelia, ultimately leading to the glaciated crater rim of Africa's highest peak. Standing at Kilimanjaro's summit at sunrise, revelling in the marvels of clouds and the African plains below, creates an indelible memory to be cherished forever. 

Winter Wonderland Arctic Family Adventure

In December, Lapland becomes a magical winter destination, blanketed in snow and featuring iconic winter activities. With the chance to witness the enchanting northern lights, Lapland offers a quintessential festive and winter wonderland experience. Embark on an exhilarating family adventure in Kiruna, positioned 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, where classic winter activities like snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and husky dog-sledding await. Nestled near the Sweden-Norway border, this Lapland region, historically significant, is inhabited by the Sami people, leading a traditional lifestyle amid birch forests and open tundra with their reindeer herds. Upon landing in Kiruna, the sole town in this northern expanse, families transfer to the wilderness haven of Camp Ripan. Comprising comfortable cabins, a superb restaurant, a northern lights lounge, and a welcoming spa with a heated outdoor pool, Camp Ripan is an ideal setting for a winter family retreat. Set against the backdrop of the 'taiga' forest, the camp provides easy access to a plethora of classic winter activities. The adventure kicks off with a snowmobile tour traversing forest trails and frozen lakes, possibly indulging in ice fishing. In the following days, experience the thrill of husky dog-sledding, embark on snowshoe hikes, and try their hand at cross-country skiing on prepared trails. Clear nights offer the enchanting opportunity to witness the mesmerising northern lights, adding a celestial touch to the experience. An excursion to the renowned Icehotel, where artist-designed and sculpted rooms await, becomes an unmissable attraction. With all meals and activities included, this unforgettable family holiday unfolds in a true winter wonderland.



The Ultimate Everest Trek

Explore Nepal's Khumbu region, home to some of the world's most extraordinary high mountain scenery, making it a coveted destination for trekking enthusiasts. The journey to Everest Base Camp, starting with a flight to Lukla, leads through the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar and ascends to the sacred lakes in the breathtaking Gokyo Valley. Here, the climb to Gokyo Ri unfolds, offering a magnificent vantage point for beholding the majestic Mount Everest (8848m). The trek to basecamp involves crossing into the Khumbu Valley via the challenging Cho La (5420m) from Lobuche. Reaching Everest Base Camp, a brief stay at Gorak Shep (5140m), the highest lodges in Khumbu, precedes the ascent to the 'trekkers summit' of Kala Patar (5600m). This vantage point provides stunning views of Everest and the awe-inspiring Khumbu Icefall. The journey concludes with a trek out via the renowned Thyangboche monastery, recently restored. Throughout this 3-week adventure, staying in comfortable Sherpa lodges ensures a comprehensive and unparalleled experience of the Khumbu and the Everest National Park. Trekking to Everest Base Camp in December offers a unique adventure with snow-covered landscapes, serene trails, and the opportunity to experience the festive spirit of the Khumbu region amid the stunning Himalayan scenery. An Everest trek over the festive period would see you waking up on Christmas morning literally on top of the world!



Morocco Family Adventure Desert Trek

In December, Morocco unveils a delightful blend of cultural richness and winter charm, making it an ideal time to explore its diverse landscapes and vibrant cities. From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the tranquil oases and desert adventures, Morocco offers a unique and captivating experience during the winter season. Embark on a fantastic family walking adventure with camels in Morocco, commencing beyond the Atlas Mountains amid the lush palm-fringed oases of the Draa Valley. Guided by our Berber crew and their camel companions, a delightful 4-day trek awaits on the fringes of the expansive Sahara Desert. Embracing the traditional camel caravan style, our journey leads us across towering sand dunes to remote villages and panoramic rock ridge viewpoints. Camping under the desert stars, engaging with Saharan communities, and fossil hunting create an enchanting experience for the entire family. Collaborating with our French partners ensures a diverse group, fostering language learning opportunities in both English and French. With bilingual guides, the adventure extends to exploring the captivating city of Marrakech, where evenings come alive with the mesmerising performances of jugglers, acrobats, and storytellers. 

Tigers and Temples of Rajasthan - Family India

Embark on the ultimate family adventure in Rajasthan, exploring magnificent palaces and cultural wonders while indulging in moments of relaxation by the pool, cycle rickshaw rides, curry-making sessions, and Bollywood movie experiences—a true immersion into the vibrancy of Indian life. Begin with the enchanting sights of Old Delhi, navigating charming backstreets on a rickshaw, followed by a train journey to Agra to witness the mesmerising Taj Mahal at sunset. Enjoy a cycle rickshaw tour around the bird-filled wetlands of Bharatpur and embark on thrilling tiger-spotting adventures with included game drives in Ranthambore National Park. Immerse yourselves in the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, exploring its iconic landmarks, participating in a local cricket match, and even taking a Bollywood movie break. Delve into a cookery lesson for curry enthusiasts and venture to the impressive Amber Fort before discovering the mystical town of Pushkar. This value-packed holiday in Northern India promises an optimal blend of history, wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes, ensuring an unforgettable experience for the entire family.



Walking Lanzarote - The Island of Eternal Spring

Discover the charms of Lanzarote, the Island of Eternal Spring, renowned for its temperate climate, stunning coastlines, vibrant flora, and captivating volcanic landscapes. Based in the coastal town of Costa Teguise, each day unfolds with walks along segments of the GR 131 long-distance footpath, traversing all seven Canary Islands. Lanzarote, designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, reveals palm-filled valleys, meandering trails, and picturesque villages, with exploration extending to the traditional villages and panoramic vistas of the South-Western coast. Journey through volcanic vineyards, fragrant orchards, and lava fields, soaking in views of Timanfaya National Park, home to the majestic Fire Mountains. Discover the ancient capital, Teguise, known as La Villa, with its cobblestone streets and charming architecture. Experience the thrill of hiking over the striking Famara cliffs and embark on a ferry excursion to the enchanting Isla of Graciosa, adding a touch of magic to this memorable holiday. In December, Lanzarote offers a delightful escape with its mild climate and temperate weather. Visitors can enjoy the island's unique charm, exploring volcanic landscapes, coastal trails, and picturesque villages under pleasant winter conditions.



Cuba - Buena Vista Cycling

Cuba, the Caribbean's largest island, offers a uniquely captivating adventure for cyclists to explore its charm on two wheels. Under communist rule since 1959, the island retains its identity through classic cars, colonial architecture, tobacco fields, and iconic images of Che Guevara. This cycling holiday provides an ideal way to experience Cuba's magic, starting with a bike tour through Havana's faded elegance and venturing to Vinales for its stunning landscapes and distinctive mogotes. Continuing east to Trinidad, cyclists enjoy superb rides on quiet backroads, a day off for exploration, and then reach Cienfuegos with its coastal allure. Crossing the island to Playa Jibacoa, the journey ends with a swim, offering an unforgettable taste of Cuba's laid-back culture on two wheels. Cuba in December enjoys warm temperatures and is a popular time to visit, offering pleasant weather for exploring the island's vibrant culture, historic sites, and beautiful landscapes. From Havana's lively streets to the scenic Vinales Valley, December provides an ideal climate for travellers to experience Cuba's diverse attractions.



Kenyan Wildlife Wonders - Family Safari Adventure

December in Kenya heralds the dry season, making it an excellent time to embark on safaris and witness the stunning wildlife in the country's national parks and reserves. The pleasant weather during this period enhances the experience of exploring Kenya's diverse landscapes and engaging in outdoor activities. This active family safari holiday in Kenya, East Africa is a journey of adventures and experiences from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, through some of the best African wildlife parks before a relaxing finale on the Kenyan Coast. It is designed to give the complete experience of African wildlife safari, show the colour and character of the local Maasai people and reveal the wild landscape of off-the-beaten track mountains. In Nairobi we visit the Giraffe Centre where we can feed these quirky loveable animals and learn more about endangered species and conservation in East Africa, and we also visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Leaving the city we travel south to overnight in a traditional Maasai village before transferring to the relatively unknown, green Chyulu Hills just north of the Tanzanian border from where there are distant views of Kilimanjaro. Here we wild camp for 2 nights in the bush, a magical experience and enjoy some walking safaris. It is then onto Amboseli National Park. Famous for its large elephant herds we will enjoy an exciting game safari in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. The wildlife of the plains such as impala and zebra graze the grasslands under the shade of acacia trees, and if we are lucky we may even see some prowling lions and cheetah! Our next stop is one of the largest national parks in East Africa – Tsavo at 22,000km² in size. Here we visit the hippos and crocodiles at the oasis haven of Mzima Springs and go on game safaris. Our finale at the end is the wonderful beaches of the Kenyan Coast. Here we have four nights to totally relax enjoying swimming and watersports on the beautiful coast. East Africa is an amazing destination for a family holiday and there is so much more to see than just the wildlife; this itinerary captures it all.

Best of New Zealand Trail Cycling

In December, New Zealand experiences the onset of summer, making it an ideal time for outdoor adventures amid its stunning landscapes. While the country doesn't have a white Christmas, the warm weather provides an opportunity for festive celebrations with a Kiwi twist, including beach barbecues, outdoor concerts, and the chance to enjoy Christmas dinner al fresco. Local communities and cities often host festive events, blending traditional holiday cheer with the laid-back Kiwi lifestyle, creating a unique and memorable experience for both residents and visitors. Embarking on a cycling odyssey through New Zealand's captivating South Island, our journey encompasses three extraordinary trails. Commencing near Lake Pukaki by Mount Cook, the Alps to Ocean Trail guides us from the Southern Alps' snow-capped peaks and turquoise lakes to Oamaru on the Pacific Ocean. Middlemarch welcomes us to the Otago Central Rail Trail, a legendary 'Great Ride,' with a day to savour Queenstown's picturesque surroundings. Progressing through Haast Pass, we delve into the untamed West Coast, visiting Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson before concluding on the West Coast Wilderness Trail. The adventure reaches its pinnacle as we traverse the Southern Alps at Arthur’s Pass, concluding our expedition in Christchurch.

Aconcagua Ascent

Set amidst the towering Andes Mountains in South America, Aconcagua (6962m) stands as the world's second-highest peak outside the Himalayas and is a prominent challenge in the Seven Summits. KE has conducted successful expeditions to Aconcagua since 1999, offering a reliable and expert-led climbing experience through the challenging yet less technical Normal Route. The journey commences in Mendoza, the capital of the picturesque Cuyo wine-growing region, before transferring to Penitentes village for a two-day trek to Plaza de Mulas base camp. An extensive acclimatisation program, including dedicated summit attempt days, ensures optimal preparation for climbers under the guidance of English-speaking Argentinean mountain experts, members of the Argentinean Association of Mountain Guides (AAGM). Accompanied by a team of high-altitude porters, participants benefit from a well-equipped mountain setup, experienced guides, and strategic acclimatisation, increasing the likelihood of a successful summit. The expedition concludes in Mendoza, providing an opportunity to celebrate amidst the region's renowned wine culture. In December, Argentina experiences the onset of summer, offering warm temperatures and vibrant energy. Travellers can enjoy the diverse landscapes, from the bustling streets of Buenos Aires to the natural wonders of Patagonia, making it an ideal time to explore the country.

Okavango and Botswana Family Safari

Embark on a family safari adventure that unveils Africa's unique and diverse game reserves and national parks. Beginning in Maun, we navigate the waterways of the Okavango Delta in traditional Mokoros, immersing ourselves in the rich flora and fauna before enjoying a sundowner at our wilderness camp. Continuing to Moremi Game Reserve, we explore the wildlife-rich landscapes under the guidance of our expert, with each day presenting opportunities to spot the big five. Our journey takes us to Savuti and Chobe National Park, renowned for its remarkable elephant population, offering a captivating wildlife experience. Finally, we cross into Zambia and conclude our African adventure at the majestic Victoria Falls, creating unforgettable memories for the entire family. December in Botswana marks the beginning of the rainy season, bringing lush greenery and vibrant wildlife activity, particularly in the Okavango Delta. In Zambia, December falls within the warm and wet season, making it an ideal time to visit Victoria Falls as the water levels are high, showcasing the breathtaking spectacle known as the 'Smoke That Thunders.'

Bangkok to Phuket Road Cycling Tour

In December, Thailand experiences cooler temperatures, making it an ideal time to explore various regions. From festive celebrations in bustling cities to enjoying the pleasant weather on the beautiful islands, visitors can immerse themselves in the diverse cultural and natural attractions that Thailand has to offer during this time of the year. Explore the diverse landscapes of Thailand's Thai-Malay Peninsula on this 810-kilometre road tour from Bangkok to Phuket. Passing through traditional rural areas, quaint villages, and scenic national parks, the route offers a mix of coastal beauty and limestone mountain scenery. Enjoy laid-back coastal resorts each night, with opportunities to stroll on endless beaches, savour local seafood, and experience the warmth of Thai hospitality away from the main tourist areas. The well-maintained road provides a smooth journey through the picturesque landscapes, allowing you to engage with locals and embrace a leisurely pace of life before concluding your adventure on the paradise island of Phuket.

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