Looking for the ultimate holiday for 2012? Travel bible Lonely Planet has just named Uganda as the top destination for next year.
The north east African nation, which shares its borders with Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Tanzania, beat off stiff competition from the likes of Myanmar (Burma), the Ukraine, and Jordan, which took second, third and fourth spots respectively.
Reviewers say that Uganda's charm lies in its impressive variety of wildlife species and stunning scenery.
In addition to boasting Africa's largest variety of bird species it is also renowned for its primate species including the endangered Mountain gorilla, which has become one of Uganda's finest tourist attractions. Over half of the world's remaining population of the Mountain gorilla live here, and at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, visitors can experience this remarkable wildlife encounter.
Of course, as the Lonely Planet notes, it is also the source of the River Nile, where 'savannah meets the vast lakes of East Africa, and where snow-capped mountains bear down on sprawling jungles.'
'It's great for outdoors, fantastic for wildlife [and] the people are very friendly. It makes for a good introduction to the continent. Obviously everybody going there, as with anywhere, should consider safety, but it is somewhere that has a lot to offer.'
Lonely Planet revealed that its Best In Travel awards were decided after taking hundreds of ideas submitted by staff, authors and travel bloggers and tweeters into consideration.
Its panel of in-house experts then made their choices based on topicality, excitement, value and the 'x-factor' that makes the destinations stand out from the rest.
Lonely Planet's Best in Travel Top 10 countries for 2012 are:
2 Myanmar (Burma)
8 New Caledonia
Meanwhile, we've picked some top holiday destinations of our own for 2012...
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