Do you dream of travelling the world, but just don’t know where to start? Do you turn to Instagram inspiration at every opportunity, but still long to experience new cultures and embrace a different way of life first-hand? You are not alone. In 2017, Google searches for the phrase ‘solo female travel’ hit an all-time high of 100 million searches, according to Ampersand Travel. The strong independent women out there no longer think twice about buying a ticket-for-one and heading out into the world. Perowne International have put together a definitive guide to the top destinations for solo female travellers, all-female excursions and programmes that address gender equality.
Japan – for solo travellers
Due to its ‘Instagrammable’ natural wonders, including Mount Fuji, the Takachiho Gorge, and Jigokudani, along with the country’s low crime levels, Japan is at the top of the wish list for women who travel alone. If you want to immerse yourself in a cultural experience unlike any other, eat the finest sashimi and learn about the country’s fascinating samurai heritage, then Ampersand Travel’s ‘Introduction to Japan’ is an ideal place to start planning. Beginning in Tokyo – the world’s largest metropolis – a guided tour will take women through the fashion mecca of Shibuya, onwards to the Imperial Palace, finally arriving at the ‘electric city’ of Akihabara. Travellers will then take an express train into the Japanese Alps to the impressive Black Crow castle in Matsumoto – one of the few remaining accessible castles where you can get a sense of life in samurai times. From here, travellers will catch their first bullet train to Kyoto, the cultural heart of Japan. As a long-standing pioneer in fine arts and luxury textiles, Kyoto has an abundance of fascinating places to explore. The Gion quarter is the best place to catch a glimpse of Geisha, and often local women can be spotted in traditional kimonos during Japan’s holiday seasons. Looping back to Tokyo on a bullet train, gaze out of the window for some of the best views of Mount Fuji, before a final stop-off in the stunning Hakone national park.
Where do I sign up? Ampersand Travel offers an 11-day Japan itinerary, including accommodation in Tokyo, Takayama, Kyoto and Hakone, all flights and transfers
Tanzania – for fierce fitness females
If you’re looking to empower and be empowered, this is your trip of a lifetime. Exercise has the power to bring women from all backgrounds and all beliefs together over a love of getting the blood pumping. Singita Grumeti is harnessing this uniting force to create ‘Safaris with a Purpose’, including an all-woman, five-day run across the Serengeti grasslands to raise funds for girls and women’s empowerment programmes. The 90km run is the first of its kind and aims to raise awareness about the challenges facing girls and women living in nearby communities. The first day of this unique experience includes a ‘fun run’ for local women and girls, where you have the chance to engage with those who will ultimately benefit from this fundraising event. Spending five nights in the luxury tented accommodation at Singita Explore, you are in a prime position to view pristine wilderness and the wildlife of the Serengeti. To top this all off, runners have exclusive access to Singita’s 350,000 acres during the trip, offering incredible up-close wildlife encounters.
Where do I sign up? Limited to one departure date in 2019 (new dates to be advised), this exclusive running safari asks participants to make a donation to directly contribute to girl and women empowerment and leadership programmes run by Singita Grumeti and BRAVE
South Africa – for wild, women-friendly adventures
Don’t let going it alone put you off experiencing one of the most magical trips out there – safari. In South Africa you have the opportunity to spot the big five – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Now you can be guided under the expert wing of Chantelle Venter, head guide at Singita Kruger National Park, who is a truly inspirational woman. Leading the team of expert guides and trackers, Chantelle is a bit of a fellow woman wanderer herself. Growing up in the wine country outside Cape Town, Chantelle spent much of her childhood outdoors. She says she enjoyed, ‘running around, climbing and falling out of trees, riding horses, falling off skateboards and getting bloody noses in the karate class.’ A career spent behind a desk wasn’t her calling and, after qualifying as a field guide, Chantelle chose to pursue her passion. So follow her lead and unleash your wild side.
Where do I sign up? Scott Dunn offers a seven-night South Africa itinerary, including staying three nights at Singita Lebombo Lodge and four nights at Singita Sweni, on a fully inclusive basis. This includes all flights, private transfers and shared safari activities