Top Tours of 2017
I thought long and hard about which tours would make the top five for 2017. I found myself on a quite a few cool tours this year, but the ones below were extra special. I started with 5 and worked my way up to my absolute favorite of 2017!
5.Charleston Culinary Tours- Upper King- Charleston, SC This tour is best for: Foodies
My friend Cassie came to visit us alllll the way from Maui and we found a walking tour that combined our two loves, food and history. Our tour focused primarily on the Upper King Street area, which I knew relatively nothing about beforehand. We meandered to several restaurants with our small group. By the end of the tour we were full, buzzed, friends with everyone and ready to galavant around other parts of Charleston. This was an awesome tour for both an out of towner and a new "local" because it introduced us to a funky, vibrant, innovative area in Charleston, that I now spend most of my time in. If you are a foodie, this tour is a must! Tip: Bring cash to buy your own drinks along the tour. People are more than happy to recommend fun cocktails to accompany your food.
4. Palermo Mini Car Tour- Palermo, Italy This tour is best for: history buffs
We knew that we had a very brief time in Palermo and debated on what would be the most effective way to see the sights without missing our flight. At first, we thought about just picking just one tiny area to explore, but on our walk into town met two wonderful guys with a tour proposition. We explained our time crunch, and they guaranteed a fun tour of the most significant sights within three hours. We hopped in the comical little cars and sped all over the city. Do you look like a tourist? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Our two guides were hilarious and knowledgable on fascinating history and ended up taking us to several places that were not even on our radar. Time crunch or not, I would highly recommend this tour. To find this group, walk directly into the city, these guys are parked along the side of the street and you can find someone that fits your needs for the day.
3. Safe Boda Boda Tour- Kampala, Uganda This tour is best for: thrill seekers & history buffs
The traffic in Kampala is notoriously insane, causing many complaints about jams making if challenging to get around the city. For this reason, many people choose to hop on a Boda instead, which is a moped/motorcycle (I know a lot about cars). Watching these drivers weave precariously in and out of traffic caused heart palpitations before I even sat on one myself. However, this is the way many people get around in Kampala and we wanted to see the city like locals. My cousin found us a safe Boda Boda tour, they provide helmets, vests, and don't exceed a certain speed.
Our awesome guides took us all over the city and we covered much more ground together than we would have been able to on our own. Stopping at historic and religious landmarks allowed us to learn much more about the Uganda's rich history. Speeding around the city was a wild experience. We couldn't stop talking about this for days. Post tour we left with that feeling you have when you step off a roller coaster. We ended our tour with a delicious meal at a local restaurant we would have never found on our own (I'm a sucker for good food, what can I say.).
2. Jegeg Bike Tour- Ubud, Indonesia This tour is best for: outdoorsy people & foodies
This family run bicycle tour took us through Ubud rice fields and coffee plantations. We passed through small towns and temples and ended at his actual Aunty's house with a full meal. Biking was a beautiful way to see Balinese towns and learn about the culture and lifestyle through someone who grew up and lives there. My tour group was small, in fact, it was just me and a family of three. They adopted me for the day and for several hours we were one big happy family. The hospitality provided by our guides was beyond anything I've ever seem in the realm of a tour. Packed with good vibes and good times, this tour is the way to go if you find yourself in Ubud.
1. Safari- Murchinson Falls National Park, Uganda This tour is best for: Animal lovers & photographers
I thought long and hard about which tour would come in first and honestly, this one just can't be beat. (Get ready for the longest run on sentence, okay go!) Catching sunrise on a ferry crossing the Nile River to get to the National Park, spotting wild animal after wild animal that I'd never in my wildest dreams imagine seeing outside of a zoo, spending four jam packed days with Ceasar, THE best guide in the world, and ending each day with an epic sunset and a gin and stoney, can only be described as a magical experience. For two full days, we were living Lion King (childhood dream come true).
We met incredible people, pushed ourselves fully outside our comfort zone and nerded out over the environment and animals. We had some crazy experiences, like a baboon jumping into the van through our open roof trying to steal our lunch or the time we woke up at two in the morning because hippos were feeding directly outside our tent. Yes, we might have been paralyzed with fear at the time, but retelling those tales now is hilarious!
If you are a nature lover, this will be what some might call a religious experience. Our cousin was able to find a deal that included our transportation, stop at the Rhino Sanctuary, accommodations, and two days of Safari tours. I'd give this experience a 100/100. This was the highlight tour of 2017.