Still looking for a selection of this year's freshest trips? From Borneo to Ghana and all the places in between? Where will your Wanderlust take you in 2014?
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Somaliland isn’t actually a country. But while the world doesn’t recognise this self-declared state, its limbo position allowed it to escape the turmoil in neighbouring Somalia. The result? A safer enclave where few travellers venture. Undiscovered Destinations’ Somaliland Uncovered trip lifts the lid, journeying from the bustling markets of capital Hargeisa to the nomadic communities of Baligubadle, the prehistoric rock-art site of Las Geel and the colonial coastal city of Berbera, via 16th-century ruins and spectacular mountain scenery.
Who: Undiscovered Destinations
When: 22 Nov 2014
How long: 7 nights
How much: From £1,499 (excl flights)
There are 7,000-plus islands in the Philippines archipelago, which makes deciding where to go tricky. Luckily Travel The Unknown has put together a plum itinerary – the Hidden Treasures of Luzon – that pick-n-mixes idyllic beaches, huffing volcanoes, fascinating hilltribes and curious culture. On Luzon you’ll combine Banaue’s 2,000-year-old rice terraces, eerie hanging coffins, crater walks and weaving lessons, before ending on pretty Ticao Island.
Who: Travel The Unknown
When: 25 Feb & 14 May 2014; also available as a tailormade tour
How long: 13 nights
How much: £2,195 (excl flights)
Retrace the footsteps of Australian and British POWs along the infamous Sandakan Ranau Death March on On The Go Tours’ Borneo & the Ranau Track tour. Almost 2,000 Allied prisoners died here during WW2; visiting various war memorials and hiking through the wilderness from Bilit to Nalapak brings the past to life. The trip also packs in more of Borneo’s best bits: the great apes of Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, whitewater rafting on the Kiulu River, the vast Gomantong Caves and nights spent surrounded by the sounds of the jungle.
Who: On The Go Tours
When: 31 May & 8 Nov 2014
How long: Eight days
How much: £1,249 (excl flights)
March to the beat of Ghanaian drums on Cox & Kings Colours of Ghana trip. In the country’s southern Ashanti region, the lively Akwasidae Festival is celebrated every sixth Sunday, and Cox & Kings group tour departures are timed to coincide. The parade of percussionists, dancers, horn-blowers and praise-singers is the highlight of this ten-day trip, which also includes visiting Elmina Castle, canopywalking in Kakum National Park (above), sailing to Nzulezo stilt village and meeting a whole host of artisans, cocoa farmers and fishermen.
Who: Cox & Kings
When: Seven departures in 2014
How long: Eight nights
How much: From £2,745 (incl flights)
Who: Tracks Safaris
When: 11 Apr 2014
How long: 9 nights
How much: From £1,995 (excl flights)
Goyo Travel’s Mongolia 5 Ways trip flies you from Ulan Bator into the middle of nowhere and sees you ride, paddle and hike your way back to civilisation. This is a recce trip across proper wilderness, so anything could happen as you and your guide travel from the remote regions of Zavkhan province towards Arkhangai, using five modes of transport – camel, horse, foot, kayak, bicycle. Expect to discover huge dunes, hot springs, sacred mountains, monasteries, ger camps, yak-herders and who-knows-what- else along the way.
Who: Goyo Travel
When: 14 Jun 2014
How long: 18 days
How much: £2,375 (excl flights)
Who: Intrepid TravelWhen: Thursdays, from Mar 2014