Drifting with mantas in the Maldives, walking with elephants in Thailand, waking up to zebras by the Zambezi River – the experiences that connect us with nature are often the ones that make us feel most alive.
Inspired by Earth Day on 22 April, Anantara celebrates a month of truly extraordinary experiences in breathtaking natural settings, highlighting programmes that protect our treasured environments and support the communities that sustain them.
At the Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel, zebras really do graze on the grounds. Peek out your window in the morning and spy giraffes, vervet monkeys and impala on the lawns. Go wild with a trip into UNESCO-protected Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Victoria Falls, right next door.
Here, every experience is a celebration of earthy delights: wildlife safaris, Zambezi cruises, outdoor spa treatments and fine dining aboard the Royal Livingstone Express, rolling through the park and across the falls. Even your plate has an organic link to the locale. Produce is sourced directly from local farmers through the Smallholder Engagement Project, and maramba mushrooms are harvested through the Maramba Mushroom Project. Both projects empower the local community and ensure our ingredients are always local and always fresh.
In Northern Thailand, the misty mountains of Chiang Rai set the scene for elephant encounters: accompany them on their morning walk, bathe them in the river, dine alongside them under the forest canopy. At Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort you engage with elephants on their own turf through a camp that supports rescued animals as well as their mahouts and their families.
On 13 March, Thai National Elephant Day, Anantara and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF), celebrated Thailand’s national animal with a day of activities, where children and adults could meet these gentle giants and learn about their preservation. A mammoth-sized fruit buffet and a blessing ceremony by Thailand’s last elephant spirit men ensured an event both attendees and elephants will never forget.
From walking with giants to swimming with them, a close-up experience with a majestic creature puts everything into perspective. In the Maldives, such experiences are almost commonplace. Snorkel with whale sharks, swim with manta rays, sidle up to turtles, cruise with dolphins and explore kaleidoscopic kingdoms that stretch for miles.
To help preserve the Maldivian life aquatic, Anantara Dhigu and Anantara Veli plunge guests into hands-on experiences in coral restoration. Through the HARP programme (Holistic Approach To Reef Protection), baby corals are grown in the resort’s nurseries, to eventually join flourishing colonies across South Malé Atoll.