This might soon be the youngest country in the world

2020-01-07 04:45
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Maps might soon get redrawn as a nation might arise.

The autonomous Pacific Ocean island region of Bougainville voted in favour of independence from Papua New Guinea in a referendum earlier in December last year.

Forming part of the Solomon Islands archipelago geographically (but separate politically), its biggest islands are Bougainville Island and Buka Island - its administrative capital - plus a few smaller islands and atolls. The region has been vying for independence for decades and became autonomous following a civil war in the 90s, but remained a province of Papua New Guinea.

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While it will still take them a while to officially become a sovereign state (but they still might beat Brexit), the Bougainville region is an off-the-beaten-track destination, its tourism still in its infancy and offers many beautiful crowd-free beaches, lush jungles and untouched coral reefs where dugongs love to roam.

Kayaking, trekking and surfing are also some key highlights to enjoy, some of the best in the world.

But it's not an easy destination to visit - according to Wikivoyage you'll need some hair on your teeth to navigate the country and should avoid mining areas where security can get aggressive. Outside of the main hubs, they also advise to always travel with a local as foreigners are very uncommon in the rural areas and could cause problems.

While a small soon-to-be-nation, there are many Austronesian languages spoken, although the most common tongue is Tok Pisin.

READ: This is one of the most remote islands in the world, with only 50 inhabitants

How to get there

You have one of two options according to CNN Travel: get a private boat from the Solomon Islands or fly from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea to Buka. The former however makes immigration a bit more difficult than the latter. 

For South Africans, it is a long and expensive trip - but if you're ever in the region it's worth making a stop at a place few people around the world have visited. 

Just getting there could be the next big adventure you were looking for.

ALSO SEE: 13 Islands where you can feel deserted


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