10 Rand Friendly Destinations.

We’ve all heard of just how weak the rand is and unpredictable the economy is behaving. That doesn’t bode well for ordinary South Africans for their need to get away to enjoy a much-deserved break. But take a closer look and you’ll discover there are many destinations around the world with a similar fate and a currency equally favourable to our very own. Maybe it’s time to go off the more popular routes and take an adventure ‘off the beaten track’.

Mozambique

This former Portuguese colony has found its true identity amongst its lush green forests, silky dunes, turquoise blue oceans, friendly people and peri-peri sauce. Famed for its white-sand beaches, snorkelling, diving and game fishing, Mozambique is one of Africa’s most charming destination. It’s laidback, it’s friendly, just the place to lay down and do absolutely nothing. Maputo is the capital city with distinctive colonial leftovers and modern glass-covered buildings offering a rich cultural heritage, vibrant street cafés and markets and its famous spicy cuisine.

India

Ready yourself for a sensory overload to probably the most enchanting and spellbinding destination on planet Earth. India is a mix of hundreds of years of different cultural imprints, all leaving an indelible mark on its modern façade. You can trek to the highest peaks in the Himalayas or sweat it out in the tropical jungles of the South. With its saffron-clad holy men, 1000’s of GODs and tech-savvy millennials, India is one of the most popular destinations for seekers of the truth. What is true, is how much of value you get for your Rand against a weaker Indian Rupee.

Egypt

Often referred to as the cradle of civilisation with a meandering river Nile giving life to this historic ancient land. There are over 6 000 years of recorded history from famous monuments like The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza. The Sahara desert greatly influences the weather giving Egypt a desert climate. The best time to visit is from October to April when the temperatures are much milder. A visit to the capital city Cairo will yield more mystique and wonder with its bustling markets and freshly prepared aromatic street foods. In Egypt, you’ll find ancient tradition mixing it up with a growing modern culture.

Portugal

They once explored the world’s four corners and seven seas and today Portugal is open for exploration. It also shares its language with 9 other countries from Brazil through to Mozambique. You can celebrate any festival with its famous Vinho do Porto or Port Wine which is exported whilst you enjoy a spicy chicken with chilli another dish that has travelled well outside Portugal. From the oldest library in the world where J.K. Rowling worked to the largest 22m high surfer waves on the planet, Portugal has earned its place as Europe’s most popular destination for 2019.

Italy

With more UNESCO World Heritage sights than any other country, sightseeing around Italy can never be overrated. Every few steps you take yields a mosaic of fashion, food, art and history all in perfect harmony, especially with a glass of wine in hand. The splendid grandeur of the Sistine Chapel, the handsome curves of The Statue of David, the churches, the Colosseum, the Mona Lisa all serve to enthral visitors with its subtle touches of genius. Just remember that in Italy you always start with the food of which you can ever get enough of and as the Italians say, “Let’s eat first and do everything else later”.

Nepal

Namaste! And it’s a greeting you’ll never forget. Home to Mount Everest the world’s tallest peak, Nepal is snuggled between the two great nations of China and India and home to some of the best trekking routes in the world. For the spiritual seeker, the Kathmandu valley nestles ancient Buddhist monasteries, shrines and Stupas where you could join the Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims on their regular morning stroll. But there’s another side to this adventure laden mountainous and spiritual retreat, there is a tropical jungle with rhinos, tigers and crocodiles. Whether you take a luxury safari lodge or huddle up at base camp, you’ll always be greeted with both hands folded.

Vietnam

Many consider Vietnam’s Halong Bay with its 1600 limestone islands and islets topped with tropical jungles to be a tourist centre piece. This tranquil seascape with floating markets and party boats is polarised by the hubbub and excitement of the city, Hanoi. Explore its great temples in the North or South or take in some indigenous arts and crafts. For the culinary connoisseur, Vietnam offers a blend of flavours, spices and herbs which can be sampled from street food vendors, cooking schools and from its many markets. There’s plenty of ‘me time’, like taking a full body massage from a simple family-run massage salon after a long day trekking the evergreen hills around Bac Ha and Sapa.

Colombia

Start with a party that last for 4 hedonistic days! The Barranquilla Carnival is one of the biggest of its kind rivalling that of the Rio Carnival with parades and parties. And to keep you going you can take your coffee on the emerald green hilltops of Zona Cafetera, famed for its aromatic world class coffee beans. Another few thousand meters more and you enjoy the snow covered peaks of the Andes with its high altitude lakes and Serengeti like grasslands. Explore and soak up the local lingo and vibes in Bogota the capital town with its new restaurants, boutique hotels and craft breweries.

Maldives

If you’re looking for the perfect beach in the world, the Maldives gives you 1200 Islands to choose from. This almost untouched little spot of paradise attracts more than a million tourists every year. Spoil yourself with your own Island as each resort has one with over 100 resorts to choose from. The warm turquoise blue waters are a haven for various coral walls and brightly coloured tropical fish of all kinds, making this some of the best snorkelling and diving spots in the world. Popular with honeymooners and holiday makers, the Maldives is now more connected with public ferries, speed boats and domestic flights connecting tourists with the locals through Island hopping.

Morocco

Morocco is a blend of everything African with a middle eastern and European touch. It’s a travellers delight as you wind your way through the Saharan dunes to the high Atlas mountains as you retrace the steps of ancient traders and nomadic tribes. The cities offers a carnival of rugs, lamps, mint tea, couscous, souqs and hammams, and sometimes without a haggle. Home to the Muslim faith, it shows its tolerant cultural diversity with the only Jewish Heritage Museum in the Arab world. Hospitality is legendary especially with the younger generation opening up to a more contemporary view of the world.

 

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