5 of the World’s Most Amazing & Adventurous Accommodations

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor

Giraffe Manor:
For the animal lover it doesn’t get much better than Giraffe Manor in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.  The luxury boutique hotel is surrounded by 140 acres of land where the  ”resident herd” of giraffes call home.  These friendly giants feel so welcome at the Manor that they routinely peek their heads through windows and the front door to get fed, pose for pictures and say hi to guests and staff. Giraffe Manor also has well appointed rooms, a friendly staff and a renowned kitchen.

Exploranter Overland Hotel

Exploranter Overland Hotel

Explorer Overland Hotel:
If you are the kind of traveler that enjoys being on-the-go, the Exploranter Overland Hotel is the perfect hotel for you.  This hotel on wheels, a converted 25-ton truck  that pulls behind it a trailer that can sleep 24 guests comfortably, while it tours the back country of Brazil, Argentina and Chile, stopping at pre-arranged or customized locations.  The hotel has everything you could possibly need to accommodate you and your travel companions…including bringing on chefs from different stops along your journey to prepare local specialties .  And if there is something you want that can’t fit on the truck – er hotel – the Overland Hotel staff can help make it happen for you.  Everything from spelunking and horseback riding, to winery tours and hot air balloon rides and more can be arranged.

Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo

Kakslauttanen Glass Igloo

Kakslauttanen:
The hotel is located near the Urho Kekkonen National Park in Lapland, the most northern part of Scandinavia spreading to the area of the four different countries: Finland, Russia, Norway and Sweden.  Lapland’s extreme climate is what makes a stay at the Kakslauttanen so unique…that and the opportunity to stay in a snow or glass igloo!  The snow igloos have lights inside ice that, when illuminated, create a quiet, serene setting for a cozy night tucked warm into a down sleeping bag.  The glass igloos stay as warm as a regular room, yet give guests the unique opportunity to look up at the Aurora Borealis (August – April) or stay warm inside while watching a romantic snowstorm fall around you.  After staying in either of the igloos, guests are welcome to enjoy the sauna in the morning, followed by a dip in a hole in the ice covering a nearby river – talk about a jump-start to your day!


Huilo Huilo Magic Mountain Lodge:
Nestled in the Huilo Huilo Nature Reserve in Southern Chile, the Magic Mountain Lodge was designed to exist harmoniously in the Patagonian Andes mountain setting and constructed using indigenous materials and other items made by local artisans.  The lodges unique architecture is set around 55 rooms located on 7 floors, each of which has a window that peeks out of the “mountain” lodge and overlooks the forested surroundings.  Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the valleys and mountain ranges covered by the Temperate Rainforest that are a part of an ecosystem that conservationists are trying to preserve.  A variety of outdoor activities and excursions are available, including a hikes to a local volcano, waterfall or through the rainforest where you can observe wildlife.

Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge

Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge

Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge:
Looking for an overnight experience that falls somewhere between camping and staying in a hostel?   The Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge, billed as Sweden’s most primitive hotel, has forest huts and advertises such swanky acommodations as, “two hard beds,” “cosy sheep-skin rugs,” “primitive kitchen facilities,” and “firewood for self-cutting” that you can then use in the hut’s “wood heater.”  If you can get past the fact that you’ll be paying to fetch your own water from a nearby spring, the Kolarbyn does have some cool wildlife safari’s; sign up for the Wolf Howling Tour, Wolf Safari by Horse, Moose Safari, Lynx Adventure, or the Beaver Watching Tour.

Photos – Kid-ding around…heh.

by Jenny Blake - Lonely Planet author

by Jenny Blake - Lonely Planet author

I thought this was photoshopped – so I decided to do a little research.   And apparently so have a lot of people as I had barley typed in “Moroccan” and the text-prediction wizards over at Google suggested “Moroccan tree goats” to complete my querry.  Dang they’re good!

And these little goats of Morocco seem to be good too – they don’t even have hands, yet they manage to hoof it into the tippy top branches of these rickety looking trees.

Their motive?  The fruit of the argan tree, which is similar to an olive, is one of their favorite snacks!

A Recipe From Each Continent of the World (2 of 7)

Africa:  African Potato Stew & Ugali – native to Kenya

Stew Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 cups cauliflower cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 cups collard greens, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup dark raisins
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup shelled peas (for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper (to taste)

Now What?

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat – a add onions and garlic and cook them for 5 minutes (or until onions become transparent and soften).  Stirr occasionally
  • Add ginger, seeds, coriander and cloves – cook (stirring frequently) for 2 minutes
  • Next add the potatoes and gradually stir in the 4 cups of water.  Then turn the heat up to high
  • Once the mixture comes to a boil, stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer the stew (uncovered) for 5 minutes and stir occasionally
  • Stir in the cauliflower, sweet potato, collard greens & raisins and continue to cook for 10 minutes (or until the potatoes & sweet potatoes are tender)
  • Last, season the stew with the vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and add in more water if the stew is too dry – garnish with peas

Serve hot and Enjoy!

Ugali Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 3 or 4 cups maize meal (a bit more coarse that American corn meal, however, corn meal will work fine too)

Now What?

  • In large pot, bring your water to a boil
  • Add the maize meal, stirring to prevent lumps
  • Gradually add more maize meal to make a thick mixture (it will resemble grits until it cooks down a bit more)
  • Continue to stir until the maize meal is well cooked and mixture is about the consistency of Play Dough
  • Remove the ball of dough from the pot and place onto a serving plate – the ugali should hold its shape
  • Traditionally, diners pinch off pieces of the ball and use it to “sop up” soups, stews or sauces