What's Hot: Our Tips on Where to Travel in 2024
At Wild Frontiers we’ve drawn on our years of experience and expertise to make our annual prediction of where we think is going to be hot next year. Last year we tipped Albania, Algeria and Kyrgyzstan and guess what? They had their best years ever for us! So no pressure, but below we’ve listed the countries we think are going to be big in 2024, so if you want to get ahead of the pack, check them out!
KAZAKHSTAN: THE WORLD NOMAD GAMES
One of the world’s most unusual and intriguing sporting events returns in 2024, with the World Nomad Games. The games are scheduled to happen every two years, and Kazakhstan has been waiting for its moment in the spotlight as host of the games. The tournament features traditional nomadic sports such as horseback wrestling, archery, bone throwing, eagle hunting, and cultural demonstrations. Competitors represent over 100 countries, although Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan usually battle it out for the top spot in the medals table.
“The World Nomad Games offer a great introduction to the nomadic culture of Central Asia, as well as being tremendously exciting to witness” says Wild Frontiers Founder Jonny Bealby. “We’ve been running tours taking in the games since the very first World Nomad Games in 2014. There is nothing else quite like it and Kazakhstan, with its strong culture of horse riding and eagle hunting is sure to be a great host.”
Our Kazakhstan: World Nomad Games tour takes in the games as well as other highlights including Charyn Canyon, Lake Kaindy and Turkestan. The 12-day group tour departs on 2 September 2024 and costs £2,995 per person, including accommodation with all meals, guided excursions and transfers.
MEXICO: TOTAL ECLIPSE
Select parts of the Americas will witness a full solar eclipse in 2024, northern Mexico being one of them. Ever one for a challenge, we’ve developed a special itinerary, Northern Mexico: Solar Eclipse & Copper Canyon Group Tour, taking in this little-explored part of the country, visiting rural villages, an abandoned mine, a desert oasis, a dinosaur graveyard and the oldest vineyard in the Americas. A key highlight of the trip is a scenic journey on the CHEPE train to the staggering Copper Canyon. The 13-day group tour costs £5,620 per person including accommodation with most meals, guided excursions and transfers.
TAJIKISTAN: THE LEAST VISITED STAN EMERGES
Tajikistan is not only the smallest of the ‘Stans, it also receives the fewest visitors. But any inferiority complex it may have is made up for by its dramatic mountain scenery, lush valleys and hospitable homestays. We have launched our Uzbekistan & Tajikistan: Samarkand & The Fan Mountains group tour combining the Silk Road cities of Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan with Tajikistan’s Fan Mountains, the Margazor Lakes and bazaars, craft workshops and homestays in small rural towns. The 13-day escorted group tour costs from £2,895 per person including most meals, guided excursions and transfers.
ALGERIA GOES FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
Algeria had its strongest year ever for Wild Frontiers in 2023, and that looks set to continue in 2024. We have launched a new Algeria: Saharan Desert Adventure Group Tour for the truly adventurous, exploring the heart of Algeria’s Sahara. 1,200 miles south of the capital Algiers, the area around Djanet has been compared to an open-air museum, with over 15,000 pieces or rock art depicting scenes of everyday life around 12,000 years ago, complete with elephant, giraffe and even crocodile, highlighting how the area was once much more fertile than it is now. Experiences include wild camping amidst beautiful scenery with a Tuareg crew as support, climbing towering sand dunes and exploring ever-changing scenery by 4WD on a true adventure just 40 km from the border with Libya. The 11-day escorted group tour costs from £2,995 per person, including accommodation with all meals, guided excursions and transfers.
WIld Frontiers’ Head of Marketing Mike, who recced the trip, said, “There is nowhere else quite like this part of the Sahara, it’s the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever experienced, and the mysterious rock art adds a whole other dimension, as does travelling with a Tuareg crew who are so attuned to their environment. With no running water, electricity or roads never mind wifi, it’s a true adventure, and it’s no exaggeration to say you’ll come back a changed person after having no option but to fully immerse yourself in your surroundings. A little bit of the Sahara has stayed with me - and I’m not just talking about the sand in my backpack!”
REDUCED TOURIST TAX IN BHUTAN
Bhutan has one of the highest tourism taxes (Sustainable Development Fee - $200 per person, per night) but to attract more tourism, there has been a change to the hefty tax. if you’ve paid the SDF for your first 4 nights, you wouldn't be charged the SDF for your next 4 nights leading to a total per person saving of $800/£640 for a 9 day/8 night trip.
Our popular Bhutan: Land of the Thunder Dragon tour is 13 days/12 nights, so you would need to pay the SDF for the first 7 nights but not for the next 5 nights, leading to a total saving of $1000/£800. This tour takes in the best of this remote country with visits to five monasteries, including a hike to Takstang Gompa (known as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery), a visit to Punakha Dzong, the riverside former capital of Bhutan and chances to experience local hospitality during homestays.
AFTER ALBANIA, THE BALKANS
Albania has quite deservedly been one of the hottest destinations for travel in 2023, with our new Albania Encompassed tour proving a popular addition to our walking tours in the north and south. In our experience, when a country is in the spotlight as Albania has been in 2023, its neighbouring countries naturally pick up some momentum, as we have seen in the past with the likes of Armenia benefitting from Georgia’s popularity. So we’re expecting to see more interest in North Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Balkans region as a whole.
We are currently developing a new Balkans group tour taking in the best of North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. It's coming soon so keep your eyes peeled!
NEW DIRECT FLIGHTS TO PERU
LATAM Airlines Perú will begin a non-stop service from London Heathrow to the Peruvian capital of Lima from December this year. Five flights a week are scheduled to run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
We can create a number of tailor-made itineraries that take advantage of the new regular flights, and offer opportunities to discover the Sacred Valley, with ancient Inca ruins, walk through Machu Picchu and stay on the shores of Lake Titicaca. You can include visits to floating islands and local communities, or spend time with different weaving communities and learn about their ancient techniques and traditions. Or immerse yourself in Cusco’s fascinating history, and explore the bohemian district of Lima, enjoying the warm hospitality and delicious cuisine of Peru’s boutique hotels and local restaurants. Peru tailormade itineraries start from £3,890 for 10 days.
GEORGIA - NEW & IMPROVED ROUTE
Our Georgia Explorer group tour has been updated to offer more time to explore the country at a slightly slower pace, with a more linear route now available thanks to open-jaw flights (arriving Tbilisi and departing from Batumi). The group tour is £2,725 for 15 days, starting in the capital Tbilisi and travelling through forested valleys and snow-capped mountains, with stops at famous and important sites such as Mtskheta and Gelati, the cave town of Vardzia, Gori (the birthplace of Joseph Stalin) and the less visited UNESCO site of the Upper Svaneti region.