Making a trip wish-list for next year? Daisy Cropper shares her suggestions for where to go in 2014
Thanks to a new joint-visa scheme spanning Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, travel through the region is set to get a whole lot easier. The visa will open up the area and allow easy access across borders for travellers, who currently have to arrange separate visas for each country. At around £60 ($100), the new combination visa will also prove less costly.
Travellers wanting to get in on the act can apply for the three-country visa from 1 January – coinciding with one of the best times to visit the great region. See flamingoes flock, trek in thick jungles, meet tribes, safari in style – the options are endless.
Alternative trip ideas: Combine seeing Uganda's mountain gorillas with stopping by the southern Serengeti for the calving season (Jan-Mar).
Fortunes have been mixed for this North African destination in 2013. Riots, protests, presidents being ousted, museums being looted... Making even the most adventurous traveller slightly nervous. There has been some calm among the sporadic storms – and visitors return with stories of tourist-free sites and guides desperate for more people to return. Last month, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office relaxed its travel advice covering Egypt's cultural destinations: Cairo, Giza, Alexandria and Luxor. Travellers can now safely return and, for those not wanting to travel independently, tour operators are starting to reopen trip bookings for the region too.
So what are you waiting for? 2014 is the perfect time to visit to get ahead of the crowds and have plenty of sites and attractions to yourself. Gaze up at the iconic pyramids without a camera-touting-tourist in sight or wander through Cairo's world-famous museum without the crowds in tow.
2014 is set to be BIG for this Latin American giant with football fever climaxing in June at the start of the World Cup. Get ahead of the fans and hiked prices to explore the country's greatest destinations. From searching for jaguars or cruising down the Amazon to sand-surfing in the country's north-east and exploring the riots of colour at Carnival – there's something for every traveller in this chaotic yet delightful destination.
Not quite so exotic but just as cultured, visit Stratford-upon-Avon in April to join in the celebrations of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday. The world-famous writer was born in this Warwickshire town and boy are they going all out for this anniversary. Stop by the Royal Shakespeare Company for grand, unforgettable performances of Henry IV Parts One and Two; visit Shakespeare's birthplace on Henley Street or explore the great wordsmith's daughter's home. Special celebrations will take place over 26 and 27 April – to mark the anniversary. Keep an eye on www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk for updates closer to the time.
Celebrate somewhere alternative: 5 ways to mark Shakespeare's legacy
Jakarta – the main gateway to Indonesia and South-East Asia's largest city – is set to become easier for British travellers to access from May 2014, when Garuda Indonesia launches direct flights from London. The new flight from the country's national airline will allow ease of access to the island of Java and popular sites such as Mount Bromo and Borobudur. Those travellers who are brave can also spend time in the capital city itself – be warned, you'll find mayhem and madness in equal measure!
Alternative trip ideas: How to get beyond Bali, Indonesia | Mount Bromo is one of Wanderlust's 9 explosive volcanic experiences
30 June 2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln signing the Yosemite Grant Act, designating Yosemite as a national park and making it the first public parkland the federal government ever set aside. Over 150 visitors events have been announced to celebrate the important day, including climbing, butterfly festivals, photography exhibitions and special lectures.
Don't miss the very best of the knee-trembling landscapes and sights the park has to offer: taking in the view of Yosemite Valley is unmissable, while Vernal Fall, Mist Trail, Nevada Falls Loop, Glacier Point and the Half Dome are all worth the hefty treks to get to them.
2014 also marks the 50th anniversary of the United States' Wilderness Act – this really is the year to celebrate the very best of the US national parks and protected wild areas.
Glasgow, really? Yes, really! Glasgow is going large for 2014. The Scottish city has undergone a multi-million-pound makeover to make way for the Commonwealth Games in July and August. Visit after the sporting crowds have dispersed to take in both the fresh-faced city and glorious near-by Clyde Valley.
In Greater Glasgow, you'll be bowled over with the amount of options on offer – seek out historic sites, visit the city's parks and gardens, explore the impressive gastronomic scene or soak up the cultured art scene in one of the city's many galleries. Still wanting more? Get into the great outdoors and explore the Clyde Valley, where you can take on sailing, cycling, hiking, birdwatching and plenty more.
Take note: if the British summer is anything to go by, it will be windy and rainy so brace yourself!
What's the reason for visiting Borneo in 2014? Well, simply put, you love Borneo – it features at the top of every list we have on the Wanderlust website, whether most searched for, top destination or wish-list trips. What's more to say? You're not going to stop loving the jungle-packed destination, so where better to actually get around to visiting in 2014?
Not convinced? Don't miss our Top 5 reasons you should visit Borneo NOW
In the run-up to the festive season, where better to take a short break than the snowy, winter wonderland of Riga? 2014 marks the Latvian capital's turn as European Capital of Culture too – making this destination cheap, cheerful, charming and cultured. Often touted as a city for stag and hen weekends, next year Riga is shaking off its 'Beers n' Babes' image, emerging as a city offering more than a weekend break can handle.
Lose yourself on the cobbled streets of the UNESCO-listed Old Town, explore the city's grand parks, spot original Art Nouveau architecture and sample the local tipple – Riga Black Balsam, a traditional herbal liquor. Make time to track down the Museum of the Occupation of Latvia for a glimpse into the country's eventful past. Both the Swedish Gate and St Peter's church are worth a visit too.
If 2013 was the year to discover Burma's highlights, 2014 is the year to get truly off-the-beaten track. The country's iconic sites – from the 19th century capital of Mandalay to Inle Lake and Rangoon – feature highly on most travellers' wish-lists. Next year, we recommend you discover the Myeik (Mergui) Archipelago – a collection of 800 mostly uninhabited, wild and intriguing islands.
Wanderlust editor Phoebe Smith explored the area earlier this year and explains what to expect: “En route to our first anchorage we’d passed a number of islands and every single one of them would easily be able to play paradise in a Bounty advert, giving us a tantalising introduction into what lay ahead. Most were covered with a thicket of dense trees which rumour has it hides an enticing array of wildlife – from tiger to wild boar, python to elephant.”
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