The Most Underrated Places to Visit This Year

Durban, South Africa

Durban is one of South Africa’s most loved destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Durban’s landscapes are diverse and offer travelers a well-rounded trip. While you may be happy to spend all your days on Durban’s beautiful beaches, by far the best thing to do, is experience the wildlife and great open plains.

Thanda Safari, a game reserve just 260km from the city center is the ideal place to experience authentic wildlife safaris. Thanda Island is the ultimate in big five game reserve accommodation. It is a private game reserve on 14000 hectares filled with luxury amenities and accommodation and surrounded by life of all forms. Thanda has three accommodation options to choose from depending on your personal need: The Villa iZulu is a private bush retreat that is perfect for small intimate groups and families.

For larger groups, Thanda Safari Lodge has 9 spacious bush suites that ooze grandeur. For those who love a bit of the outdoors and adventure, Thanda Tented Camp has 15 ultra luxurious safari tents giving you the feeling of living amongst the wild in their territory.

Doha, Qatar

Doha is found in the Persian Gulf and is one of the seven Arab States. Doha is not very large but don’t let that fool you as it is large in every other way. It’s grand and gorgeous, although a lot more understated than the likes of Dubai in the UAE, for example. For this reason, it’s not as touristy but you can bet there is still much to see and do.

Doha has many attractions and diverse cultures making it a very colourful city. We’d recommend visiting the beaches, the incredible fine dining restaurants as well as markets selling the delicious street food. The beaches are beautiful, family friendly and spotless so you often find families at the beach playing ball games or soaking up the sun after a dip – and it is even possible to go for a camel ride on the beach!

There are world class art galleries and museums to explore and so much for little ones to do. There is a luxurious man-made Island, The Pearl Qatar which is also worth the visit. What’s fantastic about this part of the world, is that the weather is perfect almost all year round so outdoor activities are always encouraged.

Swakopmund, Namibia

Everyone needs to, at least once, holiday in Swakopmund, Namibia! Swakopmund is a coastal city located in the Namib Desert, west of the capital: Windhoek. The Namib Desert has some of the most colourful and breathtaking dunes in the world.

Swakopmund is beautiful and unique with the sea on the one side, desert on the other – for as far as the eye can see and a bustling city in the center of it all. It makes for the perfect place to enjoy both sea, sand and city and you can bet there is plenty to do! For the adventure junkies, skydiving is a favourite, this is an adventure that most wish to tick off their bucket list.

Quad biking is another popular one and possibly one of the best ways to experience the dunes, although sandboarding is incredibly fun too. In the city, meander through the energetic markets, malls and art galleries and museums. On sea, windsurfing, bodyboarding, fishing, angling and surfing are a must. If you’re surfing in December, you will find yourself sharing the waves with dolphins and seals.

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is the capital of Turkey with over 2500 years of culture, tradition and history, making it a fascinating place to visit. Though the tourist industry has risen in Istanbul, it’s by no means tourist-central – yet!

Istanbul has many old buildings and landmarks that stand proud against the modern skyscrapers – this landscape perfectly illustrates Istanbul’s development as well as the notion of East meets West. You will never go short of stunning views of the city, it is simply breathtaking. Nightlife is colourful and vibrant and with many people around, it is safe and enjoyable.

Turkey is one of best countries to backpack through especially for the young who find they want to travel without breaking the bank. An experience you will find popular in Turkey is to smoke the Sheesha Pipe even if you don’t smoke you will eventually find yourself trying one of these flavoured water pipes in a teahouse.

Visit the Hammams, which are ancient traditional bath houses that have been around for many years. We highly recommend you also take a tour of the famous and incredibly exquisite ‘Blue Mosque’.

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