Tomorrow's World: With Politics, Conflicts and Market Forces Continually Shaping the World in Which We Travel, Charlie Furniss Introduces a Few of the Undiscovered Gems That Will We Be Visiting in the Next Few Years

By Furniss, Charlie | Geographical, July 2004 | Go to article overview

Tomorrow's World: With Politics, Conflicts and Market Forces Continually Shaping the World in Which We Travel, Charlie Furniss Introduces a Few of the Undiscovered Gems That Will We Be Visiting in the Next Few Years


Furniss, Charlie, Geographical


Mozambique

After years of civil war, tourism is developing in Mozambique (above) faster than anywhere else in the world. Most visitors choose to see the southern half of the country below the Zambezi. Here, the coast features palm-fringed tropical beaches as beautiful as any in the world, with ample opportunities for diving, snorkelling and fishing. Travelling further north, if you can put up with the poor infrastructure and limited facilities, you'll find atmospheric old Swahili settlements where little seems to have changed for centuries. Particularly special are the World Heritage-listed Ilha do Mocambique and the island town of Ibo.

* Acacia Adventure Holidays (020 7706 4700; www.acacia-africa.com) runs 16-day tours of Mozambique with prices starting at 275pp [pounds sterling]

Rwanda

Before the genocide of 1994, Rwanda's Parc National des Volcans (PNV) was considered the best place for mountain gorilla tracking. With peace restored to the country, tourists are discovering that Rwanda's other two national parks, Nyungwe and Akagera, also offer some fantastic opportunities for wildlife watching and hiking. Visitors can now also learn about the reality and magnitude of the genocide at the new Gisozi Memorial Project in Kigali.

* Reef and Rainforest Tours (01803 866 965; www.reefandrainforest.co.uk) offers 13-day tours from 2,879pp [pounds sterling], including flights, accommodation and two days' gorilla trekking

Ethiopia

Ever since Band Aid in 1985, Ethiopia has been associated with famine and drought. But much of the country belies this image. Its scenery alone is spectacular, from the dramatic sandstone cliffs and valleys of the north to the verdant forests of the south and west and the volcanoes and lakes of the Rift Valley. The most famous attraction is the town of Lalibela, home to eleven 13th-century rock hewn churches known as the Eighth Wonder of the World. That's not to mention the majestic Simien Mountains National Park, the ancient stellae of Axum and the spectacular Blue Nile Falls. In between, there are a host of off-the-beaten-track gems waiting to be discovered.

* The Ultimate Travel Company (020 7386 4646; www.theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk) runs bespoke Ethiopia trips from 2,995pp [pounds sterling] for 14 days

Bhutan

Hidden away between India and Tibet, Bhutan is the most magical and mysterious of all the Himalayan nations. For years, its rulers have maintained a policy of isolation that has successfully preserved a way of life that has all but disappeared from its neighbours. Today, it is a fairytale land, where ancient monasteries cling to impossibly steep mountainsides and the people have retained a distinctive traditional culture. Western Bhutan offers a rare chance to trek through picturesque valleys dotted with temples and fortresses and up into the largely unexplored high mountains. Timing your visit to coincide with one of the religious festivals presents a wonderful opportunity to experience the unique Bhutanese culture. The government has carefully controlled tourism and development, so all tourists must use a recognised tour operator.

* Himalayan Kingdoms (0845 330 8579; www.himalayankingdoms.com) offers a range of tours and treks to Bhutan. Prices start at 2,995pp [pounds sterling]

Guyana

Tucked away in northeastern South America, Guyana is a real undiscovered gem. Trekking is probably the main reason you'll want to visit. Indeed, to see its most famous attraction, Kaieteur Falls, the world's highest single-drop waterfall, you'll have to either hire a plane or trek for two days through virgin rainforest. …

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Tomorrow's World: With Politics, Conflicts and Market Forces Continually Shaping the World in Which We Travel, Charlie Furniss Introduces a Few of the Undiscovered Gems That Will We Be Visiting in the Next Few Years
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