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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Bankass, Mali
Centuries ago, the ancient Tellem people of Mali built their mud homes high up on a cliff ledge on the Bandiagara escarpment. When I first saw the Tellem cliff dwellings, I was at ground level looking up at them; they looked like several rows of...
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1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

Two architectural wonders helped put Dubai on the map: the Burj Al Arab hotel, which resembles the sail of a ship out on the gulf waters, and the Palm Jumeirah, a residential development on a manmade archipelago that fans out in the...

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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Having driven from Morondava to this remote row of Baobabs 45 min out of town, I took this picture at sunset as the day came to an end. I thought why not come back tomorrow for sunrise so at 4 in the morning we arranged a driver to take us in the...
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Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia
The Tuamotu archipelago – 78 coral reef atolls spread north and east of Tahiti – are just remote enough they’ve not been spoiled by excessive tourism. There are a few high-end hotels, but just a few. Instead of tourism, the local economy is still...
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Ak-Su, Kyrgyzstan
Explore Kyrgyzstan’s remote Tien Shan Mountains with 40 Tribes, an outfitter that partners with local guides. Tours start with a village homestay and continue to a network of yurts. From $1,800 for four days. (303) 552-6034.
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Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The "beach" here is made up of pitch black...
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Cuiabá - State of Mato Grosso, Brazil
The Pantanal is one of the best wildlife-spotting destinations on the planet. Cox & Kings offers a five-day trip to the remote Jaguar Research Center, where guests may also encounter hyacinthine macaws, anacondas, and giant river otters Brazil’s...
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Għar Lapsi, Malta
After braving the Blue Lagoon and Azure Window crowds, Ghar Lapsi is the ideal spot for swimming in Malta's pristine waters. A tiny inlet and small fishing village, this is the place to experience Maltese summer like a local. The calm waters and...
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Hāmoa Beach, Hawaii 96713, USA
Legendary travels scribes from Michener to Twain have written of the beauty of lonely Hamoa. Sandy, sheltered, and dripping in palms, this remote stretch of shoreline on the eastern tip of Maui can make a case for Maui's best beach. Nevertheless,...
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Jalan Penatahan-Wongayagede, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 85125, Indonesia
Pura Luhur Batukaru is one the most important temples on the island of Bali as it is one of the nine directional temples that protects the island from evil spirits. Unlike other Balinese sacred sites, Batukaru sees very few tourists due to its...
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The top wildlife viewing experience of my life. Hands-down. So wild, remote, unplanned...no other people, no other vehicles. Damaraland is my favorite region of Namibia - incredible scenery, geology, views, stars, and so few other travelers. Stay...
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Gorge Rd, Nitmiluk NT 0852, Australia
Most visitors to Australia have heard of Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, but few realize that neighboring Nitmiluk National Park, four hours south of Darwin, is actually more spectacular. During the wet season, from November to...
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This was my 2nd time in the Omo River Valley visiting the Surma, the Suri and the Nyangatom. These people are known for their amazing body decorations. They shave their heads into intricate designs, they pierce their lips and their earlobes, they...
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Visiting Antarctica is on many people's bucket list. I am fortunate to have traveled there to witness first hand the awesome beauty. My trip on a small expedition ship included stops in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia Island....
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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Angkor Thom, Angkor Archeological Park, Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Giant stone faces greet visitors as they enter the Bayon complex. This ancient Khmer center houses over 200 of these serene faces, with theories they were modeled after the bodhisattva (enlightened being) or the Bhuddist king, Jayavarman VII, who...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
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Pub-Street Area #10, St. 2 Thou, Mondol 1, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
While cute souvenir shops and even haute couture boutiques exemplify the changing face of the retail scene in Siem Reap, the city’s famous Old Market remains a heady hub of traditional trade and commerce. Located right in the heart of town,...
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1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Most hotels and many restaurants in Siem Reap offer cooking classes in Cambodian cuisine, beginning with a market tour and ending with lunch, and the class offered by Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor is one of the best. The chefs are some of the most...
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812, Kampong Phluk, Cambodia
Kompong Phluk is a floating village located in the middle of Cambodia's largest lake, Tonle Sap. The term “floating” is a bit misleading: the houses are actually built on very tall stilts around 8 meters high. During the rainy season,...
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River Road West, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
The excellent Cambodian chefs from River Garden hotel, who offer the Cooks in Tuk Tuks cooking class, also run a fun street food tour that gives you a great insight into Cambodia's culinary culture. Partly on foot and partly on tuk tuk, the tour...
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1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
It's thought that amok trei (fish amok) is a Royal Khmer Cuisine dish that dates back to the Khmer Empire that later travelled to Thailand where it is known as hor mok. When prepared properly, the freshwater Tonle Sap snakehead fish is marinated...
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Sherpur, Khiljipur, Near Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan 322001, India
$$$$
Arriving at this insanely beautiful luxury wilderness camp located on the fringe of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is akin to time travel. 10 Mughal-style, air-conditioned (!), 6 ft high tents provide utterly breathtaking accommodations. They echo the...
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Shaba, Kenya
Joys Camp attracts a different kind of safari-goer. A Kenyan family arriving on their private plane, a Nairobi student with her Parisian boyfriend both on break from their Swiss university, European honeymooners, writers and adventure seekers all...
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Tanzania
This safari camp moves across the Serengeti with the seasons. The six yurts incorporate the design of Mongolian gers—with the center opening to keep them airy—but with Masai-inspired tribal decor. There’s a dining yurt and a lounge yurt with a...
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Olare Orok River, Masai Mara, Kenya
Eagle View’s nine tented suites opened a year ago on a ridge that overlooks a broad swath of savannah in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The camp pays a guaranteed income to each of the approximately 500 families who own the conservancy. Masai...
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A recent refurbishment has brought larger tents, Moroccan rugs, and four-poster campaign beds to this woodland property near the Makgadikgadi salt pans. A visit to the nearby meerkat conservation project is a must. From $430. 27/(0) 11-447- 1605....
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Southern Asia
by Maria Finn Each tented villa consists of a living room, a bathroom, and a teak-furnished bedroom that opens onto a porch and Madivaru’s mosaic-walled infinity pool. After a day of diving or snorkeling, you can arrange for a private dinner on...
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Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve - Dubai - Al Ain Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
A 45-minute drive from the densely packed skyscrapers and shopping malls of Dubai, Al Maha, which opened in 1999 as the UAE’s first luxury desert resort, lies within a 55,600-acre nature reserve. Al Maha operates on the African safari model,...
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D53, Thakadu Gate, Madikwe Game Reserve, Molatedi, 2838, South Africa
Patience Bogatsu, who is from Molatedi village just outside northern South Africa’s 185,000-acre Madikwe Game Reserve, is one of the few black, female game rangers in the country. She might be your guide at the Thakadu River Camp, a lodge run...
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Tanzania
The 15 tented suites at Sayari Camp are nicely spread out; if you’re staying in one of the outlying ones, as I did, it can be a ten-minute stroll to breakfast. All the more room to enjoy the fixings: rain shower, deep tub, extravagant private...
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Whether you're up for the adventure of a mobile tented camp, or would prefer a private house staffed with personal chefs, Singita Grumeti is the place for the ultimate safari experience and unbeatable Great Migration views. The 350,000-acre...
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Tanzania
A short drive outside of Ngorongoro Crater is The Crater Forest Tented Lodge. Because this lodge is higher up in elevation (1800M), there are not the concerns with mosquitos that you have at lower elevations, at least when we went in January. The...
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Mbomo, Republic of the Congo
Since opening last August, two jungle camps, Ngaga and Lango, have become a gateway to the lesser-known tropics of Central Africa. Located on the edge of more than 3.3 million acres of parkland, the camp’s 12 raffia-thatched huts were inspired by...
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Kayseri, Kayseri Province, Turkey
Cappadocia. Is amazing!! If you are going to Turkey don't miss this area!! There are many cave hotels. Ours was dreamy.
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Lighthouse Road, West End, Negril ., Jamaica
Built on the edge of limestone cliffs, this secluded resort features 12 charming rooms, all of which have ocean views. Guests can dine on authentic Jamaican cuisine in a private grotto, or take in the scene at the candlelit Cave Rum and...
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Babaji Ka Modh, Goner Rd, Jagdish Colony, Prem Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302031, India
$$$$
Situated on 32 acres of land on the outskirts of Jaipur—but still a quick drive from the city’s historic forts and palaces—this massive hotel mixes traditional Rajasthani style with modern amenities. Although there are a number...
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72 Holt Rd, Garners Beach QLD 4852, Australia
I have an affinity for sleeping in trees. Particularly when those trees are in a rainforest and even better when those trees end at a secluded beach. In my opinion, tree houses should be an unobtrusive part of the forest, and my footprint while...