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BIGGEST ISSUE EVER!

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Wanderlust Issue 202 (December 2019/January 2020) • The 2020 Travel Hot List + Wrangel Island + Tiger trekking in India + Georgia + Colombia • Pocket guides: Cape Town + Tenerife

Travel Well

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Three huge travel competitions, with prizes WORTH £27,500

The 2020 Travel

HOT LIST Inside: Canada + Japan + Portugal + Kenya + Croatia + Albania + Zimbabwe + Chernobyl + Namibia + Kyrgyzstan + Lebanon + Patagonia + Nicaragua + And much more...

TREKKING WITH TIGERS

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POLAR BEAR ISLAND

Wildlife wonders at the world’s end

GEORGIA ON OUR MIND

Raising a glass to Europe’s gem 01/11/2019 17:01


Smoking hot Java, Indonesia

Photographer: Moritz Wolf At 2,329m, the seemingly ever-smoking Mount Bromo is not Indonesia’s highest peak, but it does boast some of the country’s most dramatic views. It’s one of five volcanoes in the Tennger massif in East Java’s Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park (pictured fuming to the left, with Mount Batok at the forefront and Mount Semeru looming at the back), and visitors can hike to the top for the chance to (carefully) stare down into its crater – smoke permitting. © imageBROKER/Moritz Wolf/AWL Images

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VI E W FI N D E R

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UPFRONT

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The top nine

LONG JOURNEYS

By extending the length of your adventure you can live the places you visit instead of just seeing them. Here are some of the best long trips…

WILD WORLD

TREK AN UNEXPLORED WILDERNESS, SOUTH-EAST ASIA Venture away from the tourist trails on All Points East’s Unexplored: The Far North, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam trip. Explore the border markets, ancient cities and opium museum of Thailand’s Golden Triangle, before crossing the Mekong to trek through the mountains and forests of Northern Laos. Journey past limestone caves, rice terraces and traditional hilltop tribes, then see how ancient history and modern culture collide to create a beguiling new world in the timeless UNESCO-listed cities of Luang Prabang and Hanoi. Who? All Points East (allpointseast.com) When? Monthly departures How long? 22 days How much? From £2,100pp sharing (excluding int’l flights)

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THE TRIP

EXPLORE

CULTURAL ESCAPE

HAVE AN OVERLAND ADVENTURE, MONGOLIA Take on Mongolia: The Grand Tour with Goyo Travel and experience all of the highlights of the country’s changing landscapes – from the Flaming Cliffs in the vast Gobi Desert to steppe, hot springs and alpine lakes. Meet local nomads and stay in traditional ger camps, before heading to a Naadam festival, where you can expect horse-racing, wrestling matches and taste-bud-tickling cuisine. An authentic encounter with rural culture at its best. Who? Goyo Travel (goyotravel.com; 01869 866520) When? 27 June 2020; 8 August 2020 How long? 23 days How much? From £3,500* (excluding int’l flights) *For 10% off, quote GTWander10 (valid until 31 December)

ISLAND GETAWAY

HOP THROUGH THE SOUTH ATLANTIC Journey to Remote Atlantic Islands (Hebridean Sky) with the Small Cruise Ship Collection. Begin your voyage in the Falkland Islands, then cross over to South Georgia to admire its snow-covered peaks and hang out with fur seals and king penguins. Pass through the world’s most remote archipelago, Tristan da Cunha; see where Napoleon was exiled in St Helena; and take a dip in Senegal’s warm waters. Who? Small Cruise Ship Collection (small-cruise-ships.com; 01432 507 280) When? 11 March 2021 How long? 35 days How much? From £11,995 (including int’l flights)

SMOOTH SAILING

Wipaporn Ord; Jon Chater, Nomadic Welcomes; Nigel McCall

GO ON AN AQUATIC EPIC, AUSTRALIA Jump aboard the Starling for Rubicon 3’s ambitious 27-day adventure, Sailing in the Whitsunday and Great Barrier Reef. Join sailors on the fifth leg of a round-the-world rally, hopping on-and-off the yacht as you please to snorkel through the clear waters off the Whitsunday Islands, admire Lizard Island’s giant clams and manta rays, before navigating the Arafura Sea towards Darwin, with stop-offs to explore Aboriginal outback settlements on your way. Who? Rubicon 3 (rubicon3.co.uk; 020 3086 7245) When? 5 August 2020 How long? 27 days How much? £4,750 (excluding int’l flights) ⊳

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INDIA

The

HIDDEN SPIRITS of Terai

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INDIA

Deep in the remote forests of northern India’s Dudhwa NP, the elusive tiger stalks in the shadows. But can our writer break his ‘big cat curse’? WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHS MARK STRATTON

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01/11/2019 11:51


TRAVEL

HOT LIST 2020

Need inspiration for your next adventure? From unspoilt Albania to promising Pakistan and the ‘new Zimbabwe’, we present 15 essential destinations to visit over the next year WORDS SARAH BAXTER

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KENYA

AWL images

WHY IT’S HOT: IT’S TIME TO REDISCOVER CLASSIC AFRICA.

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We say: For many, Kenya IS Africa: its acacia-dotted savannahs, teeming game parks, Rift Valley lakes and remote rusticluxe camps are the classic image of the continent. Security concerns following a spate of terrorist attacks have deterred some travellers in the past few years. But while the FCO urges against visits to specific areas of the country, many places are still on-limits, including the premier safari destinations – elephant-roamed Amboseli, mountainous Aberdare, uncrowded Laikipia, the matchless Masai Mara – as well as dazzling Indian Ocean resorts such as Mombasa, Watamu and Diani. Tourist numbers are starting to increase – international arrivals in 2019 are predicted to be around 5% up on the previous year – but this still remains a great time to rediscover Kenya’s iconic wilderness without quite so many other people. Don’t miss: Visit Ol Pejeta Conservancy for the chance to see two of the world’s only remaining northern white rhinos. Ol Pejeta is also a sanctuary for the endangered black rhino; after receiving four of the creatures in 1989, it set the target of housing 120 by 2020 – an aim already surpassed by late 2019, with 134 black rhinos now living on site. ⊲

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THE ORIGINAL TRAVEL MAGAZINE Wanderlust Issue 198 (July/August 2019) • Nepal: Trek Planner + Mexico: Day of the Dead + The Algarve + Chad + Adventure cruising • Pocket guides: Guyana + Malta + Christchurch

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Your top picks for 2019

Trek among mountains, temples & nature along the world’s most spectacular trails

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Wanderlust Issue 195 (April 2019) • 20 Silk Road Adventures + Michael Palin + Reader Travel Awards + Patagonia + Namibia + Chad • Pocket guides: Luang Prabang + Scottish Highlands + Vancouver

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Wanderlust Issue 201 (November 2019) • Snow & ice special + Baja California Sur + World Guide Awards + Central America trip planner + Kyushu + Pakistan • Pocket guides: Dubrovnik + Beirut + Brisbane

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Wanderlust (October 2019) • 200 Travel Secrets + Cambodia + Yellowstone NP + Nicaragua + Japan • Pocket guides: Inverness + Tashkent (Uzbekistan) + Rabat (Morocco)

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List 0) • The 2020 Travel Hot ember 2019/January 202 Wanderlust Issue 202 (Dec

OFFER

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+ Wrangel Island + Tiger

HOT LIST rtugal + Kenya + Croatia Po + n pa Ja + da na Ca e: sid In ernobyl + Namibia + Albania + Zimbabwe + Ch Patagonia + Kyrgyzstan + Lebanon + ore... + Nicaragua + And much m

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Th e 2020 Tra ve l

TREKKING WITH TIGERS

t forest Earn your stripes in India’s los

POLAR BEAR ISLAND

s end Wildlife wonders at the world’

GEORGIA ON OUR MIND

Raising a glass to Europe’s gem

01/11/2019 1

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WRANGEL ISLAND

WORDS JULIET RIX

POLAR BEAR ISLAND Journey to Russia’s Far East and step back in time to the Ice Age to uncover the last place where woolly mammoths roamed and where hidden wildlife gems still flourish

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WRANGEL ISLAND

hey called it ‘Doubtful Land’ – a place long sought, even preemptively marked on maps, before it was finally discovered. And as we approached, it looked doubtful indeed. Our ship, the Kapitan Khlebnikov, crunched to a halt, sea-ice blanching the water, blocking our way to the desolately beautiful shore. The northernmost UNESCO World Heritage Site, Wrangel Island was once again playing hard to get. Fortunately, we’d already made friends with the ice – and been richly rewarded. Out on deck early that morning, meandering through the floes, a pearly panorama glistening in the Arctic sun, we had seen more than a dozen polar bears before breakfast. Some took us in their stride, continuing their wanderings, ambling over icy islands, bounding across freezing sea-streams. Others – literally – came to meet us. Standing on the ship’s bow we saw a mother and two cubs staring up at us – an extraordinary moment of connection with the Arctic’s top predator. With bears becoming scarcer in other parts of the North, those in this little-visited corner of the Russian Far East were, at least for the moment, still bright-eyed, curious – and plentiful. Eighty per cent of the region’s bears breed on Wrangel or its little sister, Herald Island, collectively known as the ‘Polar Bear Maternity Ward’. “There is

Top of the world Our journey started at Anadyr, Russia’s easternmost town. Still moored in the mouth of its vast river, we were treated to an eye-popping show of salmon-feasting ring seals bobbing among belugas, before setting sail and travelling east to the indigenous settlement of Lavrentiya. Created by collectivisation of the region’s native people – mainly Chukchi, Eskimo and Yupik – ⊲

Previous page: Naturepl. This page: Alamy

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no need to bother the bears by following them,” says Nathan Russ, expedition leader and co-owner of Heritage Expeditions, which has – uniquely – been bringing visitors here for a decade, “We like to leave the wildlife as we found it. We can be relaxed. We know we can always find another one.” Wrangel Island sits in the Chukchi Sea at the top of the Bering Strait, which divides Russian Chukotka from American Alaska by, at its narrowest, just 82km. We had sailed 1,852km, hugging the Siberian coast of Chukotka. It is a journey taken by only a few ships a year – a huge boon for the wealth of wildlife, undisturbed sightings of which are the main draw for the few hundred annual visitors like myself. And it isn’t just bears that call Wrangel home. Never completely glaciated, it is a biodiversity hotspot, a wildlife time-capsule that can carry you back to the Ice Age. This was the last known place on earth where the woolly mammoth roamed and their monumental white tusks are still washed up in Wrangel’s rippling rivers. And then there’s the human history. As the Kapitan Khlebnikov steamed north up the Strait and onward to our remote Arctic destination, we’d also encountered the people who’d somehow carved out an existence in this unforgiving region. Nineteenth-century biologist John Muir described Wrangel as “this grand wilderness in its untouched freshness” in the first writings about the island. There is no permanent human settlement on the island today. A small number of rangers protect it from the few summer visitors, and from the handful of military men confined to their newly-constructed base concealed behind a 20km exclusion zone. This is border country even Russians need permits to visit.

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COLOMBIA

of tombs

Nestled in the Colombian massif in Huila province, the Magdalena River is home to Latin America’s largest necropolis and a lost civilisation shrouded in mystery WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHS SIMON BROUGHTON

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Epic adventures under £1,000

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Win amazing tri ps with our exclusive on line competitions at wanderlust.co. uk/ Competitions

See classic Georgia, Morocco’s wild coast and rural Iceland, all on a budget… wanderlust.co.uk/Under1000

Japanese street eats

Japan is the king of the bite-sized snack. Whether sweet or savoury, it’s always delicious… wanderlust.co.uk/JapanEats

See the southern lights When & where can you spot the southern hemisphere’s crimsoncoloured aurora sparkling in the sky?

Central America’s top trips

Explore hidden Greece

Now’s the perfect time to book a tour of Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and beyond…

Find the forgotten side of this ancient country with our interactive tripplanning map…

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