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The Insider 2022 travel bucket list

More than a 1000 endangered turtles nest along the shore of the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, Mozambique, each year. PHOTO: Supplied

More than a 1000 endangered turtles nest along the shore of the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve, Mozambique, each year. PHOTO: Supplied

Published Jan 15, 2022

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We have been cooped up in our homes, trying to survive a raging pandemic and dealing with the ramifications of a changing world. Travel has not been one of those things that we felt was a necessity.

However with the world opening up, getting vaccinated and ready to welcome travellers, we also are itching to get passport stamps and living our best lives while on holiday.

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The Travel team put together their ultimate bucketlist for 2022. Let it inspire you for your next travel trip

Tokyo, Japan

The Sensoji Shrine which was apparently founded in 628AD, is the oldest shrine in Tokyo and the most visited shrine.

While a tropical island holiday is high on many travellers’ bucket lists, Tokyo has always been the one city that continues to be right at the top of mine.

Not only because it’s the capital of Japan and the world's largest metropolis, but because it’s rich in cultural history yet at the cutting edge of modern technology and living.

Planning my journey to the Sensoji Shrine while savouring an array of sushi would most probably be my first activity. Which makes exploring the many temples and shrines in the city an important part of my stay.

Having seen so many images of the big, bold red gate, imposing temple buildings, and five-story pagoda, the Sensoji Shrine which was apparently founded in 628AD, is the oldest shrine in Tokyo and the most visited shrine.

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The Sensoji Shrine is located in the Asakusa area where one can find many other temples and shrines. Other temples to visit include the Asakusa Temple and Bentendo Hall.

The best time to visit Tokyo is between March and April and September and November. While autumn brings more comfortable temperatures, it’s the cherry blossom trees in full bloom that will make a visit to the city during spring more appealing.- Gerry Cupido

Luxe Trips In Southern Africa

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Afriski and mountain resort in Lesotho is seen covered in 45cm of snow, August 2012. Competitors participated in the annual South African ski championships this week, with the Giant Slalom - a race for the fastest time down the 1km slope, passing through various gates. On Saturday, 11 August 2012 the final race, Slalom which is a more technical event took place regardless of heavy snowfall over the last two days.Picture: Thys Dullaart

As I prepare for my fabulous 40 in October this year, each day calls for a celebration. To mark the start of this amazing new adventure, I plan on exploring 40 new destinations in and around Mzansi.

From safari breaks to beach visits, spa experiences to glamping to strawberry picking and boat tours, to hot air balloon rides and solo road trips through the majestic landscapes of South Africa, I intend to find the perfect 40 destinations in honour of this great milestone.

Hakunamatata Lodge, Venue and Health Spa offers an ultimate in exclusivity at a country estate with a difference. Situated less than 20 minutes from home, this makes for a good weekend away, a great way to recharge for the new year.

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Harties is next on my list, and the first thing I would like to see is the Upside-down House, Little Paris and the Cableway ride for breathtaking views over Hartbeespoort Dam and surrounding areas.

In June, a long-awaited Lesotho snow-cation is a must, and hopefully, I’ll get a chance to ski, a dream come true for me.

The Tsitsikamma National Park in the Garden Route and Swakopmund in Namibia are among my ultimate travel bucket list for the year.

I joined a travel stokvel, which is amazing because the trips are paid for in advance and in instalments, which ultimately saves me time and money. - Kedibone Modise

Mozambique

Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique

With over 2500km of un-spoilt beaches Mozambique is the ideal secluded beach destination. As an adventure seeker it offers great experiences such as scuba diving and swimming with sharks in its crystal clear water. The candid and vivid scenery of natural landscape gives a divine and exotic experience to tourists.

But the ocean is not its only attraction. Visitors can also visit the Gorongosa National Park, one of the wildest national parks in Africa where one can have a true wilderness experience.

Before seeking for the above thrills, I would fill up my tummy. Mozambique is known for its strong Portuguese and Arabic influenced cuisine. Staples like piri-piri chicken, seafood curries and hearty soups often gracing restaurant menus. Enjoying a fresh seafood dish at Maputo’s renowned “Mercado do Peixe” (Fish Market) and a “pasteis de nata” (custard tarts) or “bolo de arroz” (rice flour cake) is the first stop I’ll make.

The best time to visit this little piece of paradise is between September and November, when the game viewing is at its best, whale migration can be observed, and the weather is calm and warm.

Whether you plan on staying five star or on a budget, visitors have plenty of hotel options to chose from the White Pearl Resorts to the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence to less expensive hotels like Bazaruto Lodge, StayEasy, Hotel Terminus or visitors can chose to have an eco friendly stay at the Eden Bay Eco Lodge.

Mozambique promises an authentic, engaging spirit that will captivate those who are willing to earn it. I’ve already started planning my trip. - Alyssia Birjalal

Franschoek, Western Cape

Wine tours are becoming quite popular with travellers. The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a unique experience for travellers. Picture: Supplied.

Majestic mountains, rolling hills and crisp countryside air with a charming European atmosphere, the quaint town is hailed for being one of the oldest in the country. About 75km from Cape Town, it is the perfect distance for a day trip or spur of the moment weekend away.

The province itself is home to over 300 vineyards but in the Franschhoek region, there are 45 alone, spanning from stately and grand to rugged, homely and boutique. Regardless, each has its own personality, natural beauty and exceptional wines. A full-day Franschhoek Wine Tram Tour is the perfect way to see as much as possible. You can hop on and off to explore the wineries that interest you at your leisure.

The best time to visit is between January and May as the weather is pleasant and warm. However, accommodation prices vary during holidays and the festive season. If you are looking to stay in Franschhoek on a budget, Lavender Farm Guesthouse offers stunning accommodation which ranges from about R2600 for two adults per night to R3000 depending on the day/month. This includes a wonderful catered breakfast every morning.

If you’re planning on a more extravagant stay in the Winelands, La Residence, situated on a private 30-acre estate, sets the benchmark for luxury accommodation. The scenic surroundings of the area lend themselves to a variety of activities ranging from hiking and cycling to art galleries, festivals, and automotive museums. For a night in one of their stunning suites, you'll spend about R16 350 and upwards depending on the room and date. - Sacha van Niekerk

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora

Bora Bora is a popular island among travellers that love the beach and dream of sleeping in an over water bungalow. Just be sure not to go into the ocean while wearing expensive earrings because that might end badly, ala Kim Kardashian.

The main reason Bora Bora is at the top of my bucket list destination is mostly because a laid back afternoon, overlooking the ocean while in an over water bungalow with lots of drinks on hand, would be an actual dream come true for me.

I am also obsessed with sea animals so one of the first things I would do on the island is visit the Bora Bora Turtle Center which was established in partnership with Bora Bora’s environment ministry.

​​The sanctuary helps injured sea turtles so they can hopefully be released back into their natural world. I would probably spend some time helping out at that centre.

The best time to visit the “Pearl of the Pacific” as Bora Bora is known, is around November because that is peak festivals season. Sure it would be full of tourists and probably a little more pricey than during off-peak season but I would want to experience everything there is to experience on the island, which makes the festivals season the best time to go for me.- Nosipho Nyide

This article first appeared in Saturday Insider, Jan 15, 222

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