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Wanderlust April 2019

Interview with Alice Morrison “The writer, TV presenter and adventurer’s new book sees her starting over in Morocco –she talks breaking barriers, Bogart fantasies and life on the outside…” Ruaha National Park, Tanzania Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park is wild, remote and little-known – and while a tiny fraction of visitors find their way here, East Africa’s greatest secret may not remain hidden for much longer… Peru From Amazonian lowlands to Andean highs, Peru is a land of pre-Columbian treasures, soaring condors and miraculous landscapes – plan your perfect trip with our handy guide… Cuba Revolutionary relics, sweeping valleys and colonial towns – riding Cuba on two wheels puts its slow wonders on full show, and now anyone can do it… with a little electric help Manatees in Florida Welcome to the real Magic Kingdom. Never mind Mickey Mouse, Florida’s true celebrity critters are found in the depths of the Crystal River… 9 other amazing swims with wildlife It’s not just manatees – there’s a whole world of marine life you can swim with. So strap on a snorkel or a scuba tank and dive into our top watery encounters… Plastic, no longer fantastic We’re all looking to use less plastic, but often the choice is taken out of our hands when we travel. Here’s how to get back control and do some good… Mark Stratton goes to Liberia Liberia’s coastline hides some of the most spectacular stretches of sand on the planet, let alone West Africa. But can it overcome a traumatic past to attract the travellers it deserves – and needs? WIN… … Two Exped SynMats & Air Pillows, worth over £350, and two waterproof Ortlieb backpacks worth £370 Plus… First 24 hours in Johannesburg; A British break in Cleveland Way; Spanish cuisine; Wandersleeps in UK treehouses; The Maldives vs the Seychelles; Go now, Corsica; Dream sleeps at Kachi Lodge, Bolivia; How to luggage safe and lots, lots more…

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It sometimes feels like the world has gone topsy-turvy, if not mad. I’m writing this on the hottest winter day on record in the UK, and am just back from Guyana where it was supposedly dry season yet the phrase on everyone’s lips there was “climate change” as each day brought a fresh deluge. Then there’s politics – the ‘B’ word – and all sorts of uncertainties to keep us on our toes. But one thing we always know is that you, our dear readers, will travel on regardless. As a result, our annual Reader Travel Awards always throws up a mix of favourites and surprises. I can’t think of any other UK awards where a trio of Silk Road destinations would pack a ‘Top Destinations’ list (p60). This issue, we have…

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Markus van Hauten Travel Photo of the Year Visitors’ Vote winner As chosen by you! Markus is an electrical engineer with a passion for travel, and his Iceland shot won the Visitors’ Vote in our 2018 Travel Photo of the Year competition (p14). My top country: “When I visited Iceland for the first time, I fell in love. The power of Mother Earth is so noticeable here: in its waterfalls, ice and volcanoes. The endless landscapes will stay in my mind forever.” Robin McKelvie British break As a travel writer and broadcaster, Robin often splits his time between exploring Scotland and travelling to more than 100 countries. In this issue he explains his great love of his native land, and one area in particular (p171). My top country: “Scotland. The Highlands are, for me, the most scenic…

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“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper”WB Yeats To the bat cave! Texas, USA Photographer: Karine Aigner As dusk falls outside Bracken Cave, the air crackles with anticipation. Between March and October, this cavern is home to some 20 million Mexican free-tailed bats – the largest colony of mammals in the world – and the sight of them evacuating the cave is one of nature’s great sights. Here, photographer Karine Aigner captures the moment in all its glory, yet avoids using invasive lighting. A reminder that our travels can be non-intrusive and still be in the thick of the action. Manatee’s best friend Florida, USA Photographer: Alex Mustard Sometimes you have to get really up close and personal with your subject – something that photographer Alex Mustard knows only too…

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your letters

Star letter Not wildwood deep, nor mountain gray I had forgotten how beautiful the Highlands [voted ‘Best UK Destination’ by you in the Reader Travel Awards’; p60] are. Glencoe was an instant reminder. Most people just stop by the roadside here to take photos, but the real beauty and adventure begins once you venture up into the mountains. Although we are confident walkers, hiring a guide provided great knowledge and ensured our safety as we hiked up the iconic Buachaille Etive Mor and the imposing Three Sisters over four days. On one day we emerged above the clouds to see our summit before us and views to rival any of the world’s great mountains. Martin Simpson, via email Djibouti-licious! It had been a long-standing dream of mine to visit Djibouti and explore its natural sights,…

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social talk

Liking ‘cheap’ Galápagos: “Many people think it’s super expensive but we visited on a budget and got to see lots of wildlife, including sharks!” @rob2stepin_1 Keep learning: “I only heard about the Peak District for the first time this week! #wherehaveibeen” @claudiamontano Finding your mojo: “Tipping me off solo travel… I have since come to terms with it when overseas – I just don’t do it unless I’ve had exceptional service.” Joanna Rath Celebrating a Japanese icon: We took some great shots in Tokyo. But how can you not? It was the most exciting place we have been to.”…

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”Flying ‘Old Glory’ on the longest-surviving stretch of the USA’s iconic Route 66, in Seligman, Arizona.” @wildeversince “Grabbing the reins in Zakopane, deep in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains in southern Poland.” @beckyvandijk “Waiting for the drop while skydiving high above Rottnest Island in Australia. @wanderlustheart88 “Hiking in Argentina’s Aconcagua Provincial Park. Shame the mountain never showed its face.” Mary & Andy Ferguson “Floating in Jordan’s Dead Sea with only the hot sun and the latest copy of Wanderlust for company.” Adam Bradley “Relaxing at the south-western tip of Africa while making sure to keep an eye out for any curious baboons.” Frank Bray “Standing shoeless on the world’s largest hand-woven carpet in UAE s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.” David Woodcock “Snowshoeing my way through Finland’s wild Riisitunturi National Park. The light was incredible!” @whoismilly “Taking in…