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Thinking about your next great hiking adventure? Allow us to point you in 12 splendid directions, from multi-day hikes in South Africa to lush tropical forest trails in the Seychelles. 

Ethiopia

image of mountains, Addis-ababa, Ethiopia

Jagged mountains soar vertically above the savannah and forest in Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia’s largest national park. Its plunging valleys and sheer cliffs earn it the moniker “Africa’s Grand Canyon,” and few visitors disagree after hiking to one of its many incredible 360-degree lookouts.

In addition to its namesake monkeys, the spectacular landscape is home to the Ethiopian wolf and the walia ibex, a wild goat found only in Ethiopia.

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Oman

Oman’s highest mountain, Jebel Shams (part of the rugged Hajar mountain range), contains an extraordinary gorge plunging 3,300 feet, revealing the bands of time and geology.

Try to fathom the immensity of the canyon from the W6 Balcony Trail, a 6.4-mile track along the rim. The out-and-back path passes a deserted village before culminating at a lovely lakeside picnic spot. 

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Lebanon

Lebanon’s Mountain Trail stretches nearly 300 miles through fantastic Lebanese scenery, crossing charming villages, archeological sites, and waterfalls (including Baatara Sinkhole, with an 840-foot drop into a limestone cave).

If you are looking for a specific section to hike, the Holy Valley (Ouadi Qadisha) is an awe-inspiring option: a massive limestone gorge with near-vertical walls and UNESCO-listed monasteries built into the rock.

The nearby Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) contains hundreds of towering cedar trees, all that remains from a great ancient forest.

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Nepal

Go deep into the Himalayas in the Annapurna Conservation Area, the largest of its kind in Nepal. The area’s many trails pass through pine and rhododendron forests and pristine scrubland, with stops at picturesque hill stations, pagoda-style temples, teahouses, and tatopani (hot springs) along the way.

With stunning views of towering snow-clad Himalayas, this destination offers an alpine trekking experience like nowhere else in the world. 

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Uganda

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an ancient rainforest stretching over the volcanic Virunga Mountains. Trekking through dense trees and ferns to see the super-elusive mountain gorilla (around half of the world's total population live in Bwindi) is one of the world’s most magical travel experiences.

Along with gorillas, visitors might also see chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, butterflies, nearly two dozen bird species native to the Albertine Rift, and—if they’re lucky—forest elephants.

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Tanzania

Mountaineers with a dream of hiking the seven summits (the highest mountains on each continent) are naturally drawn to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Africa’s highest peak isn’t Kili’s only superlative: this is the highest free-standing mountain on earth and one of the world's tallest volcanoes.

There are many paths to the summit, but one of the most scenic is the challenging Machame route, which goes from forest up to high-altitude desert to the Shira Plateau and finally Uhuru Peak, the mountain’s highest point, more than 19,000 feet above sea level. 

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Armenia

Armenia’s mountainous landscape lends itself perfectly to walking outdoors, from moderate nature walks past waterfalls to serious trekking. Diijan National Park is renowned for its pristine oak forests, beautiful rolling hills, and snow-topped mountains in the distance.

Visit the Sevanavank Monastery, picturesquely perched on Lake Sevan, and the Selim Pass (8,300 feet above sea level), where Marco Polo once traversed. The nearby Orbelian Caravanserai, built in 1332 for weary Silk Road travelers, makes a perfect picnic spot.

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Pakistan

Image of a girl sitting on a snowy mountain.

Pakistan is a dream for trekkers, with trails ranging from the day-hike trails in Margalla Hills National Park (comprised of Himalayan foothills) outside of Islamabad to K2, the second-highest mountain on the planet.

Pakistan’s northern reaches contain spectacular mountain scenery, especially the Hunza and Kaghan valleys and Deosai National Park, a wildflower-covered alpine plateau spread over 1,000 square miles.

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South Africa

Table Mountain may be the most famous hiking destination in South Africa, but it is far from the only one. Hikers can traverse the country’s wild, wide-ranging terrain on any number of destination hikes, including the daunting Sentinel Peak Hiking Trail for an awesome view of the Drakensberg mountains.

Another option is the five-day Whale Trail through De Hoop Nature Preserve; time your trek between June and December and you might see one of the 120 southern right whales who make the marine reserve their breeding grounds. 

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Jordan

The National Jordan Trail crosses the country from Umm Qais in the north to the ancient port city of Aqaba in the south. Totaling 420 miles, the trail winds through green canyons, ancient ruins, basalt cliffs, and fertile plains.

The most iconic segment of the trail runs from Dana to Petra, the UNESCO World Heritage Site carved into pink sandstone. 

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Turkey

The elements sculpted Goreme National Park’s otherworldly terrain of rainbow-colored cliffs, “fairy chimneys” (rock pillars), plateaus, and river valleys.

This whimsical topography is woven with trails—hike the Rose Valley (Güllüdere Vadisi) to Uçhisar Castle, a 300-foot-high citadel carved into rock, with panoramic views from the top. 

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Seychelles

An archipelago in the Indian Ocean may seem like a destination for swimming and sunbathing over hiking. While Seychelles’ white-sand shores are certainly a prime destination for beachy relaxation, many of the islands have mountainous interiors perfect for hiking.

Popular spots include Morne Seychellois, the highest point on the island of Mahe, and Vallee de Mai, a tropical forest so lush and pristine it has earned UNESCO World Heritage Site distinction.

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