Chikoko Tree Camp South Luangwa National Park, Zambia Remote Africa Safaris is a small, family–run operation in Zambia with four intimate little camps, renowned for its excellent guides and remote, pristine locations and leopard sightings. Chikoko Tree Camp and its sibling Crocodile Camp are in South Luangwa National Park, and reached by canoe and foot via the parent camp, Tafika, where the owners John and Carol Coppinger and Bryan Jackson live. Neither has electricity or generators; they use solar lighting, gas freezers and radio communications, and to get a phone signal you have to go to the top of a termite mound on the edge of the park. Chikoko Tree Camp has three twin timber–and–grass chalets with big beds, crisp linens, flushing lavatories and steaming bucket showers. Amazing food is produced in hole–in–the–ground ovens and there are ice–cold beers on demand. There are also shady hammocks and lots of other cushioned spots for siestas. The emphasis is on walking and mountain biking with a team of excellent guides. The details Open from May 25 to October 31. Prices from US$480 per person per night on a full–board basis (remoteafrica.com).
You had better be going for a good long time to justify all those air miles. And these destinations prove that going off-grid does not have to mean roughing it.
But Petit St Vincent St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Caribbean has a gloriously ‘unplugged’ feel. Petit St Vincent is a beautiful private island between St Vincent and Grenada. It was substantially spruced up by new owners in 2011, but regulars say little of its previous spirit has been lost. While the whole vibe is rustic, it’s as exclusive as nearby Mustique with a celebrity clientele to match, so it’s actually a highly slick operation. Within its 115 acres of tropical woodland you’ll find 22 cottages, two miles of white sandy beaches, two good restaurants (one formal, one feet–in–the–sand) and a hillside Balinese spa. But you won’t find televisions or inroom phones (you hoist a flag up a driftwood pole when you require room service), and the internet is only available in a very small lounge area near reception, not in any of the cottages. There is a watersports centre, tennis courts, a yoga pavilion and, rather fabulously, instead of a gym, an outdoor fitness trail through the woods. The details One–bedroom cottages from $1,050 per night, including all meals (001954–963 7401; psvresort.com).
Ultima Thule Lodge Alaska It is rare that multiple generations of one family share a vision passionately enough to carry on dedicating absolutely everything to it. It was Grandpa John Claus, a schoolteacher and wilderness junkie from Anchorage, who first spotted across a piece of land by the Chitina river in 1958, 100 miles from the nearest road, from his Piper Cub plane. Staking a claim under the Alaskan Homestead Act, he was granted five acres and built a log cabin on it. John’s son, Paul, and his wife, Donna, built the lodge that stands today, in 1982, raising three children in what is essentially ‘the wild’ – there are still no roads for 100 miles. It offers the chance to seriously connect with nature from the comfort of beautifully furnished rustic–chic guest cabins with antique stoves.
There is no phone or television and there is very limited internet access via satellite. There are no set itineraries, but experiences available range from plane rides and hiking to kayaking and salmon fishing.
The details The lodge is open from March to October and costs from $1,700pp per night including aeroplane transfers (001907–854 4500; ultimathulelodge.com). Next week: forest walks