Travel in 2013: Holidays for nature-lovers


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The Independent Travel

The potential to see some of the brightest displays of aurora borealis in 50 years continues through the first few months of 2013.

Northern Lights Holidays (0845 072 0090; is offering a new escorted tour in Iceland until March that aims to seek out prime viewpoints. The one-week holiday costs from £913pp, including WOW flights from Gatwick to Keflavik, transport and accommodation with breakfast.

The Royal Horticultural Society celebrates the centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013, an apposite moment to launch a new collection of garden tours with Collette Worldwide Holidays (0800 804 8710; There's a choice of 10 guided trips, between six and 20 days in length, visiting Europe (including the Azores) the US, South Africa, New Zealand and Japan. Prices start at £1,549pp for the five-night “Gardens of Rome” tour, including BA flights from Heathrow, transfers, accommodation and most meals.

September sees the opening of the Bale Mountain Lodge in the Bale Mountains National Park in south-central Ethiopia, 400km south-east of Addis Ababa. The 30-bedroom lodge is the first of a series planned by Jember, a UK-based company working with an African non-profit-making conservation fund and the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority. The lodge is set in a protected cloud forest, close to the Rift Valley and the largest area of Afro-alpine moorland on the continent. These habitats support many rare and endemic species, including Ethiopian wolves. A week through Red Savannah (01242 787800; costs from £2,168pp, including Ethiopian Airlines flights from Heathrow to Addis Ababa, transfers and full board.