10 Little known countries that you should definitely visit
While everyone has heard of places like France, England, and the USA, there are actually 196 countries in the world today and many of those, you probably never even knew existed, let alone ever thought of visiting. Some of these countries are hard to get to and some have virtually no tourist industry at all, but that’s what makes visiting the more unusual countries so fascinating. So, if you are bored with packaged tours, run of the mill hotels, and looking at tourist attractions that everyone else has already seen, check out these ten lesser-known countries that would be well worth a visit.
1. Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso is a tiny, landlocked country in West Africa and it is one of the hidden jewels of the continent. What you won’t find here is thousands of tourists and shopping malls, but you will get to meet some the friendliest people on the planet. Burkina Faso is poor, but a very proud nation and it’s also home to some amazing wildlife. If you want to see a piece of Africa that has not been overrun by big corporations and foreign tourists, then Burkina Faso would be the place to find it.
Tuvalu is one of the Polynesian islands that are under the real threat of disappearing entirely because of the rising sea levels caused by global warming. The islands are situated half way between Australia and Hawaii and they are truly beautiful. The highest point on the islands is only sixteen feet above sea level, so don’t expect any mountain views!
Liechtenstein may be a name that you’ve heard of, but did you know that the country is only 62 square miles in size? It’s located between Switzerland and Austria and it used to be a member of the German Federation. It left the Federation in 1866 and became an independent neutral country. If you want to get off the beaten track for snowboarding and skiing, then try Liechtenstein in the winter months.
Bolivia is a country that is often overshadowed by its better known and bigger neighbours Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Peru. But Bolivia has much to offer as the larger, well-known, South American countries do. While you’re there, you can visit the world’s largest salt lake, the world’s highest navigable lake, and you take a trip to the amazing Amazon basin.
The one thing that Namibia has that no other country in southern Africa has anymore, is peace and quiet. With a population of just 2.1 million people, Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take a drive through the rugged Namibian landscape and probably not see another soul for days.
There are not many places in the world where you can scuba dive shipwrecks and coral reefs, explore unspoilt beaches, and visit active volcanoes, but that’s exactly what you get when you visit the country of Vanuatu in the south Pacific. This is one our countries that may not have heard of that does have modern vacation resorts, but that still hasn’t spoilt the wonderful charm of the place.
Mayotte is located Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa and it is so unknown, even the Lonely Planet travel guide doesn’t have a full guide to the islands yet. White sand beaches, swimming with turtles and feeding the monkeys, are just of the few things that this island paradise has to offer.
Andorra is a mini-country located between Spain and France, in the Pyrenees Mountains, and it is highly recommended for its skiing and its facilities. When the snow has gone, it’s also a great place to visit for hiking in the foothills, where you can walk for hours, admire the wonderful scenery, and never see another person.
Brunei’s official name is “Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace”, and it certainly is a tranquil country. Brunei is a well-ordered society and it’s tightly controlled, but the people are extremely warm and welcoming. Located on the North coast of Borneo, Brunei has one of the largest oil fields in Southeast Asia, but don’t let that put you off, because all the money they have made from oil means that their rainforests have been left untouched.
Surrounded by Afghanistan, China, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyztan, Tajikistan is a destination for the adventurous and the serious hiker. The people are very hospitable, but very little English is spoken and you will probably need to hire your own four wheel drive to get around too, because the local transport is very unreliable. For all that lack of modern tourist comforts, though, you will be rewarded with some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world.