At Undiscovered Destinations we’re always on the look out for new, exciting places to explore – it may be a small world these days but there are still a good number of places that can truly be described as being off the beaten track without it being just another tired cliche. And we always feel that there’s no sense in waiting until a new brochure comes out until we offer people the chance to get there. With that in mind, we’ve just introduced a trio of African trips that we think will whet the appetite of real adventurers.....
Several of you that have travelled with to Chad’s Ennedi Mountains have expressed a hankering to go one step further, to the remote Tibesti Mountains in the north of the country. The final frontier of Saharan travel, these jagged mountains are home to the highest peak in the Sahara, and Tubu villages that rarely see an outsider from one year to the next. Out of bounds for a long time, with a little care and a lot of planning it’s now possible to visit this stunning region. Expect a tough journey – we will be crossing vast empty spaces on our journey from the capital to the north, reaching the important town of Faya Largeau, significant for its place on the traditional routes across the desert. From here we head into the breathtaking landscapes of the Tibesti, home to volcanic peaks and some of the most isolated settlements on earth. We meet the Tubu people, a fiercely independent group and true adepts at living in such harsh conditions – exploring their settlements we see how they have managed to carve a life for themselves here. We also delve into prehistory, seeing ancient rock carvings and paintings among the stones. Crossing rocky plateaux, tackling vast fields of sand dunes and following the courses of long dried up riverbeds, the landscape here is diverse and constantly changing. With virtually no facilities outside of the capital we spend our nights camping, immersing ourselves completely in the desert experience. A groundbreaking trip for true Sahara enthusiasts. The first departure of this trip is in November 2014 and we expect it to be popular – no other UK travel company visits Chad, let alone the foreboding Tibesti. Check out the details here.
Following a recent UD research trip to South Sudan, we’ve revised and updated our tour to the world’s newest country to focus on the incredible ethnic diversity to be found here. Starting in the capital Juba we head north to the lands of the Mundari people, known for their facial scarification techniques as well as traditional wrestling, which we hope to be able to see while here. Heading east we drive to Kapoeta, one of the most remote parts of the country but our base for exploring the villages of the Toposa people, a striking ethnic group with a cattle based economy who live in simple villages. We are privileged to spend time learning about their culture and customs – few western travellers make it here and you will almost certainly be one of the first to visit these villages. From here, we return west, stopping to meet the colourful Boya people, and discovering the hillside villages of the Lotuko. Finally we head back to Juba via the verdant Imatong Hills. This is not an easy trip – South Sudan is the world’s newest country, emerged from decades of war, and infrastructure outside of Juba is virtually non-existent. Don’t expect too much comfort when we get to the wilds of Kapoeta – it feels like the very edge of the earth – and be prepared for the fact that the Toposa men generally won’t go anywhere outside their villages without an AK47 slung casually over their shoulder. This is Africa in perhaps its rawest form, a place which makes very few concessions to the rest of the world. Inevitably it won’t stay like that forever, and modern accoutrements like clothes are starting to make headway towards the more remote villages, but for the moment a trip here offers a real opportunity to feel like you’re breaking new ground. Read the details of the trip here, and get in touch with us if you have any questions about the tour – we’re very excited about it and will be pleased to chat. And do have a look at some of our photos from our recent trip on our Facebook page.
Most of you will be familiar with Kenya, and the safari circuit is a deservedly popular tourist attraction. Kenya has long been one of the most established safari destinations in Africa, a country rich in wildlife that offers some of the best game viewing on the planet. What few people know is that the country is also incredibly diverse, both ethnically and geographically, with landscapes ranging from lush forest to searing desert. On this trip we venture to the little visited northern regions, an arid land home to a number of different ethnic groups including the Samburu, Gabbra, El Moro and Rendille, all of whom adhere to very traditional and unique ways of life. We explore the haunting Chalbi Desert, an ocean of volcanic sand where only the toughest species survive, and continue to Sibiloi National Park and the mighty Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world. Here we find the El Molo, who hunt the hippos and giant crocodiles that they share their home with. On our return south we visit the stunning Rift Valley lakes of Baringo, Nakuru and Naivasha with their superb wildlife, hoping to spot the rhinos that Nakuru is renowned for. No trip to Kenya would be complete without a couple of days scanning the plains for big game in the Masai Mara, home to the greatest concentration of wildlife on our planet. This tour offers travellers the chance to explore parts of Kenya which see very few visitors, giving a glimpse into ways of life that have disappeared in most parts of the world, while still including some of its recognised and very justified highlights. Read the full details here.
We might be biased towards Africa but it’s a great time of year to start thinking about Europe as well – the continent will certainly be warmer than the UK at the moment and tucked away in the corners are some pretty unusual destinations that are well worth a visit. If you fancy getting away to somewhere a little closer to home (for those of you in the UK and Europe) we have guaranteed departures to Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan and Belarus in the next few months, as well as many others around the world. For a full list, click here.
And if there’s anywhere that you’re interested in travelling to that we don’t currently feature, then let us know – we’re usually able to arrange private trips to most parts of the world.