Top 8 Places to Explore in 2018 & When You Should Travel

Posted by Dana Elford · Jan 17 · in Malawi · about Awesome Travel Stuff

The New Year brings a whole new list of exciting plans for the months ahead - and for the fearless adventurous traveller, a whole new catalogue of places to visit! Tourism is thriving in cities that travellers may have not previously considered & hidden destinations are experiencing increased cultural popularity.

We hope you love exploring our travel ideas for 2018 - the whole team here at North South Travel collaborated to put these together just for you!

Get your passports ready, it's time for an adventure...

CHILE

Chile is a South American country stretching as a long narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Chile is home to a variety of ecosystems waiting to be explored by the adventurous and thrill seeking traveller. From the incredible wilderness of southern Patagonia to the surreal, barren landscapes of the northern Atacama Desert, Chile definitely needs to be on your travel bucket list for 2018!

When's the best time to visit

For visitors heading to Patagonia in the South of Chile, October to March are the warmest and most accessible months. Santiago, the Central Valleys and the Atacama Desert are truly year-round destinations - the warmest being January-March. The months of June - August are popular months for skiers/snowboarders in the mountains around Santiago. Visit Chile's winelands in the spring (April) when the fall foliage is picturesque.

BHUTAN

Bhutan is the only Vajrayana Buddhist nation on the planet, but you’ll also find a magnificently rugged yet stunning terrain, beautiful monasteries, some excellent luxury hotels and best of all, an incredibly tranquil atmosphere - the country has a Gross National Happiness system! Enjoy cuisine with dishes made from locally sourced chilies, try out a Red Panda Beer, or some asa liquor (made from rice!). Things not to miss include strolling the town of Paros and visiting Taktsang Goemba, the most famous monastery in the country.

When's the best time to visit

Fall and spring are the best times of the year to travel to Bhutan. Winter can get quite cold and can restrict travel through the mountains. The summertime brings extreme heat and monsoons.

ARGENTINA

From the urban flair of Buenos Aires to the jungle by Iguaza Falls and the rugged terrain of Patagonia, Argentina offers a varied travel experience, from beautiful wilderness to the sophistication of the "Paris" of South America, Buenos Aires. One cannot forget the beautiful coastline, the snow-capped Andes Mountains, as well as Mendoza - Argentina's famed wine country.

When's the best time to visit

December to March are the months in which Patagonia in the south of Argentina is most easily accessible, though the whole country can be visited year round - depending on what you're looking to do. The weather in Buenos Aires is hot over the months of December - March, but a visit in the cooler, crisp months of July and August can be just as enjoyable. The Lake District, one of Argentina's prime mountain retreats, comes alive with spring foliage from September - November.

MALAWI

Malawi is home to undisputedly the friendliest people in any country in Africa. Beyond the wonderful people of this African nation, Malawi offers a wide variety of culture, tradition, high mountain peaks, white water rivers, and stunning broad turquoise blue lakes. Malawi is Africa's newest Big Five destination with magnificent natural settings. The Liwonde National Park as well as the Majete Wildlife Reserve are 2 of the top wildlife reserves in Southern Malawi to explore. You can also enjoy spending several days on Lake Malawi, the worlds most ecologically diverse lake, a definite ‘can’t miss’ when visiting Malawi.

When's the best time to visit

Malawi's rainy season is from November to April so the best time to visit is during the much drier, winter months - early May to late October - when you can expect great beach weather on Lake Malawi!

RWANDA


The beautiful land-locked country of Rwanda or the 'land of a thousand hills' is located in Eastern Africa, and has so much to offer. Some of the most popular activities in the Rwandan outdoors include; Gorilla tracking in the Volcanoes National Park, viewing elephants, buffalo, and antelope in the Akagera National Park, and taking a scenic river boat cruise along the Akagera River to view crocodiles and hippos. Looking for a cultural experience? Rwanda is home to various art centers, the Kigali Genocide Memorial, and wonderful markets. The Rwandan food and café scene is another major tourism factor, with award-winning American Chef Silvia Bianco debuting signature Rwandan cuisine at the World Economic Forum on Africa in 2016. Items you won’t want to miss? Famous locally roasted Rwandan coffee, ‘sambaza’ (small fish), and ‘urwagwa’ (fermented banana beer).


When's the best time to visit:

The dry season is typically from mid-December to early February - the best time to catch some chimps and gorillas? The beginning of February, when early rainfall attracts a lot of these beautiful creatures.

ZAMBIA


Zambia or 'Africa's next great destination' is definitely on our list of must-visit places for 2018. That's because the southern African country — home to Victoria Falls, 20 national parks, and some of the continent's best wildlife — is hitting its stride as a high-end option, thanks to improved access (newly expanded airport of Livingstone in 2016) and some impressive lodge openings. Unbeknownst to many, Zambia has the greatest well rounded wilderness experience in all of Africa, alongside Botswana. You can witness animals in their natural habitat by both water and land, making safaris varied in nature. Livingstone Airport, which reopened in 2016, has made travel much more comfortable. The governments of Zimbabwe and Zambia have also agreed to a joint visa, allowing visitors to enter both countries on one permit.

When's the best time to visit:

The dry season runs from May to October and is when to go to Zambia for the best game viewing along with pleasantly mild daytime temperatures (although September and October get extremely hot).The rainy season (December to April) is commonly called the "Green Season" as the bush is beautifully thick and green.

MAURITIUS


To quote Mark Twain "Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius". If you're looking for stunning Indian ocean views like no other place, sapphire-blue waters, powder-white beaches, incredible wildlife, fantastic cuisine and a never-ending list of activities, look no further than this beautiful island of Mauritius. Spend the day kitesurfing, enjoying a boat excursion to the islands of the lagoon, or paddle boarding through the calm waters. The diving and snorkelling in Mauritius is definetely not to be missed - with shallow waters, coral reefs and dramatic drop-offs into the Indian Ocean. If you're not a fan of the water, you can head out of a hike, enjoy horseback riding, or take in a round of golf at one of the many championship courses on the island. Mauritius is also famed for their varied yet wonderful cuisine. A mix of Indian, Chinese, French and Creole influences make up the wonderful food of Mauritius - enjoy local restaurants for a great mouth-watering experience!

When's the best time to visit:

The summer months in Mauritius are from December to April, when it can become extremely humid. It's slightly cooler and drier in Mauritius from May to early December - making it the best time to visit!

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is seemingly on every discerning traveller’s once in a lifetime bucket list. You will find a lot of can’t-miss photography moments when travelling through the north and south islands. The diversity of the landscape, not to mention its setting for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie series, has encouraged tourism throughout the years. Some highlights you can’t miss in NZ: Experiencing its unique cuisine & delicious local wines, learning about the Maori culture, and of course enjoying the beautiful wilderness that New Zealand is most famous for.

When's the best time to visit:

It’s important to keep in mind that the seasons in New Zealand are opposite of the seasons on the Northern Hemisphere. New Zealand however is a unique location in which travelling to it at any point in the year would be enjoyable. The most popular time is the summer (December, January, February). The South Island gets quite cold in the winter (which is June – September) but offers fantastic winter activities. Most of New Zealand is coastline with milder winters and less intense heat in summer. Many people love to visit New Zealand in the fall to avoid heavier crowds of tourists (March, April May).

Interested in visiting any of our top destination picks? Give us a call at 604-736-7447 or select the 'contact us' button to send us a message through our website!
We'd love to here from you. Happy adventuring & cheers to 2018!


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