The world waits with bated breath for Unesco to release its World Heritage Sites list. Protected under international treaties, these attract funds and tourists alike. Naturally, travellers look to this list for inspiration and discovering new places to visit. With the latest additions already on my bucket list, I looked up countries that don’t make it on the Unesco list and the unique places that these countries have regardless.
This small Himalayan kingdom has plenty to offer under the shadow of snow-peaked mountains and lush forest cover. In 2012, Bhutan submitted around eight entries that now hold a place on the tentative list. From the ancient ruins of Drukgyel Dzong to the sites associated with Phajo Drugom Zhigpo and his descendants, Bhutan is a cultural wonder. The wildlife parks in this country are biodiversity hotspots, with many tigers, elephants, snow leopards and Himalayan musk deers. For Indian tourists, a visit to the Kingdom of Happiness is a must, and an easy feat to accomplish.
This country suffers through political strife, and tourism is not encouraged much. But political chaos and civil wars aside, the country’s colonial history is worth delving into, and the rich marine life and white sandy beaches, a sight to behold. The country has one nomination for the Unesco World Heritage Site list, and Réserve de Biosphère de l'Archipel des Bijagos brims with untapped potential. The archipelago is especially famous for the rare pygmy hippos, sharks, manatees and turtles too.
In South America, Guyana is a tiny, dot-like nation with five sites on Unesco’s tentative list. A country of the most beautiful waterfalls, cathedrals and British colonial buildings, there is much to unpack in this small nation. Shell Beach (also called Almond Beach) is a popular site for turtles to nest.
The political tensions and violence bar much of the scope for tourism in this African nation. With a Tourism Association set up to promote travelling, the beach towns in the country are sure to gain popularity. The surfing-friendly beaches of Robertsport, the historical Providence Island, and Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve’s extension in Liberia attract many.
The country that is, unfortunately, most known for its transatlantic slave trade has six sites with pending confirmation for the Unesco World Heritage Sites tag. The lush Tiwai Island Wildlife Reserve, the Banana island with its slave docks, beaches, forests and bat caves, and the many nature parks make this country an interesting visit.
The country has three sites that make the tentative list: the slave route of Deim Zubeir, Sudd wetland and the Boma-Badingilo Migratory Landscape. While one can visit the country through Egypt, it isn't advisable due to lack of safety.
Somalia is the only country with no submissions for the Unesco World Heritage Sites list and travelling to the country isn’t considered safe either.