Eight Countries You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Are you a traveler who loves the thrill of the unknown? If you’re the kind of person that likes to visit the miniscule dots on the map, you will probably be fascinated to know that there are countries many people have never heard of in their entire lives. These places may or may not be easy to get to depending on their location, but here are some travel destinations to make you think.

Burkina Faso. In this country located in West Africa, the main language spoken is French. Although you can access this place from other airlines in France and various countries, you won’t be able to leave directly for Burkina Faso from America. Keep an eye out for the colorful costumes and historical architecture. You will need certain medical procedures such as protection against malaria and other diseases.

Cape Verde. This tiny conglomeration of islands can be found out in the Atlantic. Like many small unknown places, Cape Verde has beautiful scenery and many forgotten attractions. You will notice a distinctly European taste when you sample food and music. Check out the imposing volcano known as Mt. Fogo, and look for exotically bright fishing vessels in clear blue-green water that rival the bulk of the Caribbean. Don’t be fooled by the Hispanic-sounding name of the country; more than one nation had a hand in making the place what it is today.

Comoros and Mayotte. Located in the Indian Ocean, this place has an amazing mix of rustic architecture, beautiful lakes, and beaches. You can get here from a variety of different places but leaving directly from the U.S.A. may be difficult. The Nouvelle Mosquee de Vendredi (French for “new mosque”) is a mix of French culture and Arabic influence. Unfortunately, if you are a woman you won’t be allowed inside, but you can still admire the building from a distance. Comoros and Mayotte is the place to go if you want to see natural beauty like you’ve never experienced before.

Djibouti. Doesn’t this sound like a fun place to visit? If you’ve never heard anything about it, you might want to brush up on your French and Arabic, since those are the official tongues in this country. Djibouti can be found in Africa and borders the more common countries of Ethiopia, Somalia, and Eritrea. Although the workday is long and difficult, the people of this country are constantly surrounded by amazing things. Even the clothes they wear signify a love of beauty and art. The Bay of Ghoubbet with its striking views is a great place to remind yourself you’re in another world.

Kiribati. Kiribati can be found in the Pacific; you can’t even begin to imagine the endless sea and sky. Successive generations have had no desire to change their simple lifestyle, and there is little if any Old World influence. If you know where to go, you can even visit the intriguing Christmas Island while you visit. Coconut is a big thing here; trying coconut milk might endear you to the locals a little bit more.

Malawi. Also found in Africa, Malawi is located between Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania. Some attractions to consider are Nyika National Park and Liwonde National Park, Lake Malawi, and basically anywhere you can see the quintessential African wildlife and scenery. For a fascinating side-trip, check out Malawi’s “Nkhata Bay” (extra points for those who can pronounce it). Mt. Mulanje is another terrific destination. This is definitely one of the most beautiful regions in Africa, complete with waterfalls, soaring mountains, and visual stimulation you won’t believe until you see it for yourself.

Togo. To go or not to go? It depends on what you’re interested in. Togo is in Africa, actually located directly underneath Burkina Faso, and between Ghana and Benin. French is the official tongue of the country but although there are a few French influences seen here, it is pure Africa in many ways. Seeing women walking with huge loads perched above their heads is not unusual, and one of the prettiest sights is bound to be the picturesque Akloa Falls.

Tuvalu. You can find this group of islands in the South Pacific. Just about everything is ocean-oriented here, so if you love water sports you will be quite at home. You can keep on the lookout for remains of old sunken vessels, or dive underwater to find hidden sights. The capital of the island chain is the whimsically-named Funafuti, which even sounds like an interesting place. Find out how to do an indigenous dance, sample local wares, and lose yourself in Tuvalu’s appeal.

By Lacie R. Schaeffer

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