11 Feb 2014 15:40pm
By Pearl Coetzee
WINDHOEK, 11 FEB (NAMPA) Namibia has scooped the number one position in the Top Country category of the Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards 2014, with a satisfaction rating of almost 97 per cent.
The Land of the Brave was closely followed by New Zealand and Colombia in joint second place and Myanmar in fourth, the travel magazine based in the United Kingdom (UK) reported last week.
In October and November every year, Wanderlust travel magazine asks its readers and users to rate their travels of the past year in categories ranging from Top Country to Top Tour Company.
The results are announced at the Destinations Travel Show each February.
Wanderlusts co-founder and editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes was quoted as saying that Namibia deserves the award.
I am not surprised Namibia has won. It offers great value, an excellent infrastructure and world-class adventures.
On top of that, the people value the wildlife, and so it is the only country in the world with a growing population of rhinos, elephants and lions. They thoroughly deserve this award, she stated.
Namibia rises from last years sixth place to take the top spot as Wanderlust Readers Top Country for 2014.
Just some of the highlights mentioned by readers of the magazine for their decision to nominate Namibia as the top country are the mighty dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert; the twists and turns of the Fish River Canyon (the worlds second-biggest gorge); and an astonishing array of wildlife.
Some of the other highlights include the fact that Namibia is home to the world's largest population of both cheetahs and black rhinos, also offers whale-watching opportunities as well as the chance of spotting desert elephants.
The only European country to appear in the top 10 was Scotland at number nine, with a satisfaction rating of over 94 per cent.
Readers appeared to be favouring more compact countries to visit - choosing Ecuador and Colombia over Brazil, and New Zealand over Australia, while cities like London and Paris are being overlooked for Indochinas Bagan, Luang Prabang and Hoi An, according to Hughes.
Other categories included emerging destinations; Top UK Destinations; Top Airport; Top Tour Operator; and Top Airline.
A total of 208 countries including Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chad were nominated by almost 3 000 people.