Wanderlust awards Namibia top spot

10th Feb 2014

Namibia has been voted the tops with readers of a respected travel magazine.

It won the Top Country accolade at this year's Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards, with a satisfaction rating of nearly 97%.

Vietnam, Mongolia, Laos and Burma (Myanmar) also featured among the category winners.

Lyn Hughes, editor in chief at Wanderlust, described Namibia as "a real good news" destination, saying it is the only country with increasing numbers of rhino, elephants and lions.

She said: "It is great value and has a mix of superb landscapes, good infrastructure, a wide range of adventures, and abundant wildlife."

Wildlife-based tailor-made holidays remain Namibia's leading tourism draw, with Etosha National Park wooing a quarter of all visitors travelling here.

As many as 208 countries were shortlisted by nearly 3,000 people who voted in the awards.

Wanderlust's Emerging Destination category was dominated by Central Asian hotspots.

They supplied three of the five top picks - with the crown going to the vast and landlocked Mongolia.

Hughes totally agreed with the voters, adding: "In this homogenous world it is no wonder that our readers are wowed by its nomadic lifestyle, pure tranquility and wide open spaces."

Mongolia is a huge favourite for lovers of trekking holidays or private journeys who want to escape off the beaten track.

Wanderlust's readers were in no doubt where their favourite city breaks were, either.

All three leading metropolises voted for can be found in Indochina. The overall winner was Myanmar's Bagan, with its spectacular temple-strewn fields helping it to a satisfaction rating of 97.5%.

It overcame strong challenges from Luang Prabang in Laos and Vietnam's Hoi An.

The former has been a regular winner in this category over the past decade, while the latter took the title in 2012.

Luang Prabang is home to both natural and cultural sites, including Kuang Si Falls, Tat Sae Waterfalls and Pak Ou Caves. Tourists can also enjoy elephant riding.

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