While there are travelers who find long-haul flights and swaying boat rides barely manageable while travelling, there are others who truly believe that traveling is all about the journey. Many of the world's natural wonders are disappearing at a devastating pace. The ecosystems, habitats and species that have existed for thousands or millions of years are vanishing in a matter of decades. The reason --- humans.
Global biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, putting the survival of other species and our own future at risk. According to the latest Living Planet report released by the World Wildlife Fund, humanity continues to consume natural resources at an alarming rate. The report states that our demands for the past 40 years have far exceeded what the Earth can replenish.
Here is a list of four magnificent, out-of-the-way destinations that are fortunately untouched and nearly unpopulated:
1. The Independence Mountains, Antarctica
Reaching the Independence Mountains combines all the extremes of polar exploration on the planet’s least explored continent. Visiting the unexplored range of Antarctica certainly isn’t a voyage for the faint of heart (or lung capacity). It requires three flights, (Patagonia to the permanently frozen runway at Patriot Hills and then on to Pirit Hills, located at 80 degrees south). Once on the ground, the journey consists of a combination of long range cross-country skiing.
2. Tristan da Cunha
The grandaddy of hard-to-reach destinations, Tristan da Cunha is a South Atlantic archipelago (and the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world) with a population of only 266 people, almost all of whom live on the main island. Although Tristan does have some autonomy, it’s part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, and thus follows British Common Law.
3. Norfolk Island
While not as remote as Tristan da Cahuna, it still requires quite a trek to get to Norfolk Island, particularly if you are traveling from North America (or really anywhere outside of the Antipodes). Sandwiched between eastern Australia and the northern waters off of New Zealand, this tiny island (just over 13 square miles in size) has a population of around 2,200 and a perhaps surprisingly reasonably developed tourism industry, with a range of pricey hotels and serviced apartments that attract a primarily Australian and Kiwi clientele.
4. Dogon Country, Mali
Located on a stunning plateau with a 200km escarpment dropping down into a remote sandy plain, Dogon country is an incredible, otherworldly destination in a truly remarkable part of the world. The journey starts in Bamako, where you’ll take a short flight to Mopti and meet your local guide.
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