How our favourite holiday destinations changed in 2021

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Tourism has proven to be a massive boon for the country – and helped with the protection of the gorillas. And the pandemic has not stopped development. Uganda has several impressive new lodges, including the Aramaga Rift Valley Lodge, which offers mountainside pods looking out over the Rwenzori Mountains and is good for proximity to Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve and Kibale National Park. If you’re keen to see chimps, opt for one of Chumpundu Lodge’s 18 luxury cottages and rooms in Kibale National Park. For gorilla trekking, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s new Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge has hilltop views, while the eco-luxury Kigambira Safari Lodge recently opened in Lake Mburo National Park. 

Getting about is easier now, too, thanks to an upgrade of the country’s road network, with most tourist roads now covered with good tarmac, and a new bridge crossing the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park as well as the old car ferry.

How to do it: Black Tomato (020 7426 9888; blacktomato.com) offers an Ultimate Uganda package that takes in gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, chimpanzees in Kibale, and wildlife in Queen Elizabeth National Park, with experiences including a visit to a women’s coffee co-op. Eight nights cost from £4,500 per person, B&B, including private guides and transfers, but excluding flights.

Graeme Green

18. Greece

Poster child for pandemic resilience, Greece was one of tourism’s success stories last year – and if the World Travel Market’s 2021 report is to be believed, it is primed to be a UK-holidaymaker hotspot again in 2022.

Blessed with blindingly blue seas, breathtaking beaches, feet-in-the-water tavernas and several thousand sun-dazzled atolls, it’s easy to understand the enduring appeal of Europe’s southernmost country. 

Despite the pandemic, a plethora of stylish hotels and luxury resorts opened in 2021, including the hip seaside ­Cretan Malia Park – where food is farm-to-table and fixtures are achingly stylish – and Santorini Sky, a blissfully private mountaintop hideaway within easy reach of the volcanic atoll’s main sights. 

Getting off the beaten track – and away from the crowds – to discover a more authentic side of the country has never been more important. With its pine-shaded, cove-studded coastline, stretching from pretty Preveza in the south to the bustling port town of Igoumenitsa further north, Epirus, in north-western Greece, is one of the lesser-known regions that are likely to be on travellers’ radars next year. And MarBella Elix, a luxurious new hilltop haven – complete with gourmet restaurants and its own bijou beach cove – makes an excellent base. 

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