03 - 11
By Lillian Gaitho
World’s best travel guidebook is at it again with its ever-controversial list of places to indulge for the year coming. As usual, this is not the buzzfeed, cookie-cutter kind of edition, but rather picks caves and valleys, dens and dines off the beaten path, yet with an experience to the end of the galaxy and back. Jumia Travel takes a peek of the continents top most, and gets a glimpse of where to stay in other listed
countries and cities
Topping the continent’s list of priority, and sneaking in behind Chile at number four, Djibouti is the real definition of fire and ice thanks to its unearthly location between three antagonizing tectonic plates. Popularly undiscovered (no pun), off the route and sealed behind dead volcanoes, deep gulf and a city trying hard to dust itself of the colonial dust, Djibouti combines high adrenaline trekking, shark-daring diving and unadulterated heritage for anyone intrepid enough to dare. As Lonely Planet reports in their listing, it’s “Mother Nature at her brutal best 2018”. Barely thirty minutes from the airport, and half that time from the port, Sheraton Djibouti makes a lovely, beach front stay for guests eager to explore.
Located in the south-eastern coast of Africa, Mauritius is listed as the holy grail of water fun, thanks to its 330 kilometers stretch of postcard beaches and calm seas. For travelers seeking a wellness experience, this beach bomb has all the right ingredients, purely balanced out by warm year-round temperatures and an eclectic blend of treatments. Not to miss on any adventurist list of things to do is world’s longest zip line on the Indian Ocean, or any other of the world famous Tyrolienne escapades. Mauritius is voted as world’s number eight on the Lonely Planet 2018 hot list; happily sandwiched between Georgia to its left, and China to the right.
So, what’s in China?
Listed number nine on the prime destinations this coming year, China also adds a rare feather as its own province of Hunan also appears in the list of best value destinations in the world. Hunan spots world’s longest glass bridge and an abundance of natural and historical treasures strewn through the region. On a larger scale, China offers a rich mixture of both ancient mysteries such as century-old temples and towns and futurist adventures as the Deep Pit Ice and Water World. Even easier now, you can catch a direct flight from African capitals such as Nairobi, Johannesburg and Addis Ababa.
I should have listed this gem up on the page, but then, there is loyalty to Mother continent! Chile’s wines and dines, warm hospitality and wonders of the Atacama Desert propels it to the peak this new year. A break from earth’s hottest places is perhaps a well-deserved coastal indulgence in the city of Valparaiso (sounds like something from those soapy episodes on local tv channels), the bohemian romance, artsy aura and happy-go-lucky tone of revelers and residents alike will no doubt spice up your holiday moods.
2018 is big deal for South Africa, as it will be celebrating ‘Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be the Legacy’. The all-year long program is created with the aim of celebrating the legend’s sacrifice, rise and reign by inspiring a “value-based” society in honor of the nation’s founding father. In addition to the lined events is the always-awe-inspiring Cosmopolitan Cape with its wine and wildlife, sandy beaches and rocky mountains; while at it, do not forget the awakening walk of history in the Robben Islands.
The Big-Deal Cities of 2018
The Spanish city of Seville savors the top position, thanks to its ancient setting that also gave us the fantasy tales that play home to top-on-the chart drama, Game of Throne. Eminem’s city of Detroit comes in a quick second in what Lonely Planet describes as a resurgence “after decades of neglect”. The city of Canberra in Australia “packs a punch for her size”, being the first year that it will host a Test cricket match at the picturesque Manuka Oval, and later in 2018 the Australian War Memorial will take center stage as it hosts the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice. On fourth, fifth and sixth respective positions are Hamburg – Germany, Kaohsiung-Taiwan and history-rich Antwerp city of Belgium. The Italian rock-old city of Matera claims the seventh position before anticipated soar in tourism numbers for the 2019 slated European Capital of Culture festivity while San Juan in hurricane hit Puerto Rico gets the chance to awe visitors by her resilience and determination to survive the destructive wave of Hurricane Maria. Tailing the list, yet bursting with color is Mexico’s Guanajuato at number nine, while Oslo takes the limelight with events and festivities scheduled to celebrate Norway’s beloved king and queen’s 50th year of their marriage.