You may not like the idea of being on a tour. You may fancy yourself as an independent traveller, an adventurous soul who doesn’t need to rely on the services of a guide.
However, there are certain destinations, certain attractions, where you don’t have a choice. These are the places where independent travellers are banned; where a tour guide, or indeed an entire tour group, is not just necessary, but mandatory.
Tour Not For Independent Travelers
There are plenty of restrictions in place for those who want to visit this magical but disputed Himalayan land. You’ll need a special visa, and the only way to obtain that is to book yourself on a group tour.
The border between North and South Korea, around the town of Panmunjeom, is a bizarre place where rival soldiers glare at each other, fixing for a fight, while an uneasy peace between governments persists. It’s possible for tourists to check this area out, but only as part of an organised tour.
You’d likely be declared clinically insane if you decided to jump in your tinny and point it south to Antarctica for a big adventure, you also wouldn’t be allowed to. Landing in the great southern continent is by permit only, and these are mostly held by the big tour operators.
It takes all kinds, as they say. If you’re the sort of person who considers a former nuclear disaster site a tourist attraction, then fill your boots. Chernobyl, in Ukraine, is open for business. However, the only way you’ll be able to see it is with a tour guide. And … Good luck.
Mostly, this is here because it amuses me to be able to place a Californian tourist attraction on a list between Chernobyl and North Korea; however, the fact remains that you can’t visit Hearst Castle, the former hilltop abode of media magnate William Randolph Hearst, unless you’re on a tour.
Anyone who fancies the idea of strolling along this ancient pathway in their own solitary company will receive a rude shock on arrival. No, you can’t hike Peru’s famous Inca Trail without the services of an official guide, and if you hope to do a private tour rather than a group trip, it’s going to cost you a lot of money.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
When you think about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo on their own. This is the home of the endangered mountain gorillas, and it’s also been known to be the hideout for the other kind of guerrillas, too. Tours are essential if you want to see these amazing animals in the wild (and avoid the dangers).