3 adventure destinations for wheelchair travellers


'I'm looking for some interesting wheelchair-friendly holiday ideas for summer. Any suggestions?'

This was the question posed to our three regional experts in Lonely Planet Magazine. Here's what they suggested:


Set your sights on the ultimate adventure and make a beeline for Africa. There are wildlife, cultural and gastronomic attractions, and tour operators that specialise in making these accessible to travellers with limited mobility.

Your first challenge will be to decide what sort of trip you're interested in. The most popular safari parks have accessible accommodation, and are covered by specialist operators. Go as part of a larger group (try rollingsa.co.za) or embark on a tailored itinerary with an adapted vehicle and driver. (Try go-africa-safaris.com.)

There are tours out of Cape Town that focus on the region's exceptional food and wine, and some out of Johannesburg that include a visit to Soweto with a guide. For more information, look at abletravel.com and Bradt's excellent Access Africa, which is packed with useful travel tips and advice.

- Jane Thompson, regional publisher in Lonely Planet's Australia office


You can have a rip-roaringly exciting (and accessible) time in Iceland, where facilities at least match, and at times exceed, what you'd find at home. Once there, you needn't stay in Reykjavík. A hired vehicle is the best way to get around as, while there are wheelchair-friendly airport buses, the rest of the country's coach network doesn't have lifts, and there are no train services.

Once you've seen the Golden Circle's waterfall, geyser and historic sites, move on to explore the dramatic Snæfellsnes peninsula and get a ferry to the Westfjords. From here, move north to Iceland's happening second city, Akureyri, and the volcanic wonderland around Mývatn. You'll spot ice-choked rivers and black-sand deserts as you go. The Blue Lagoon, like many thermal pools in Iceland, is accessible. For wheelchair-friendly hotels and sites, see sjalfsbjorg.is, while icetourist.is is full of tips.

- Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's UK travel editor


You seem up for adventure, so why not Alaska? The Alaska Marine Highway System - Alaska's network of public ferries - is equipped for wheelchairs. The views of whales, eagles and glaciers from the deck are mesmerising, and you can choose to stop off at a few of the towns, including capital city Juneau and Ketchikan, where Southeast Sea Kayaks will take disabled travellers on kayak trips.

Another superb service equipped for wheelchair users  is the 470-mile Alaska Railroad, connecting Anchorage with Denali National Park and Fairbanks. Denali, home to North America's highest mountain (Mt McKinley), has accessible bus tours that pass moose, caribou and bears. If that's too far, take the scenic train ride south of Anchorage to Seward. Check with Access Alaska for accessible sites state-wide.

- Robert Reid, Lonely Planet's New York-based US travel editor