If you are reading this blog then chances are it is on your phone soooo…. you have access to almost every fact in earths history (the stuff we know about anyway) within 10 seconds. Thanks Internet you absolute legend!
I am willing to make a bet that you don’t know much about the next ten countries listed in this blog and I am almost certain that you haven’t visited them. If you have then let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear your stories!
Without further adieu, here are 10 countries you have probably never heard of before.
10 - Brunei
The Bruneian Empire was once a powerful force in south east Asia. The sultans controlled the majority of Borneo Island until the empires decline in the 19th Century. Although Brunei is now far smaller it is still quite the booming little nation.
Forbes ranked Brunei as the fifth richest nation out of 182 based on it’s Petroleum & Natural gas fields. Brunei is completely surrounded by Malaysia but maintains it’s own unique culture & still holds a Sultan as head of state.
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum, is the current Sultan of Brunei. His net worth is estimated at close to 20 Billion and he has currently sat upon the throne for over 50 years!
Size - 5,765 km²
Population - 417,200
Capital - Bandar Seri Begawan
09 - Benin
The Republic of Benin formerly Dahomey, is located in West Africa between Togo & Nigeria on the Gulf of Guinea. The countries official language is French with a predominantly Catholic population.
Sadly Benin is part of an area known as slave coast and has a rich and sad history in slave trading from as early as the 17th Century. If West Africa is on your itinerary then make sure you include this beautiful strip of land in your travel plans.
Size - 114,763 km²
Population - 10,872,298
Capital - Porto-Novo
08 - Andorra
Andorra… It sounds like a fairytale country right? Well the incredible landscapes which change dramatically from season too season give this country some serious fairytale vibes. Andorra is a tiny country squeezed in between Spain and France.
The country has dramatic mountain landscapes due to it’s isolated location in the Pyrenees. This little country has so much to offer and we will definitely be putting it on our list of must see European destinations.
Size - 468 km²
Population - 77,281
Capital - Andorra Le Velle
07 - Comoros
Madagascar seems to over shadow this little gem, literally and figuratively. The Comoros islands are far smaller than Madagascar and much more isolated but these tiny little island’s off the coast of Africa hold some incredible scenery.
Unfortunately the isolation of the Comoros contributes to the countries extreme poverty with over half the country living off less than $1.25US a day! The Comoros also lays claim to a fourth island, the island of Mayotte which the French still refuse to acknowledge. They claim the island as their own.
Size - 1862 km²
Population - 795,601
Capital - Moroni
06 - Dominica
It’s time to book some tickets to the Caribbean baby! The Commonwealth of Dominica is a stunning little island nation located in the West Indies and boasts some incredible island scenes. From beautiful waterfalls to stunning Caribbean sunsets & the bonus of minimal tourists.
Dominica is the youngest island in the lesser Antilles and is still being formed by geothermal-volcanic activity! How cool is that! The island boasts mountainous rainforests and the second largest hot spring, named Boiling Lake.
This tiny little island is home to many rare animals, plants and bird species with the economy relying heavily on tourism & agriculture. Agriculture could destroy the precious habitats this island holds so tourism is crucial! Add this gem to your list.
Size - 750 km²
Population - 73,543
Capital - Roseau
05 - Djibouti
Djibouti is a multi-national country with nearly a million people and three national languages; Somali, Arabic & French. Located on the Horn of Africa at the entrance to the Red Sea, Djibouti’s strategic location helps keep the countries economy (and passing ships) rolling.
The countries official religion is Islam with 94% of the population listing Islam as their religion. The landscapes sound stunning. From Mountains in the North reaching heights of over 2000 metres to Desert Plains to the south stretching as far as the eye can see.
Size - 23,200 km²
Population - 942,333
Capital - Djibouti
04 - Palau
Let’s get tropical!
Palau, officially the Republic of Palau is a tiny island nation in the Western Pacific Ocean. The country was officially settled over 3000 years ago by migrants from the Phillipines. The islands were first visited by Europeans in the 16th Century, joining the Spanish East Indies in 1574.
The Islands were sold to Imperial Germany in 1899 after the Spanish lost in the Spanish-American War in 1898. The islands were host to huge battles between the Americans and Japanese during WWII & only managed to gain full sovereignty in 1994.
This tiny little nation has some crazy history and some equally beautiful landscapes.
Size - 459 km²
Population - 21,503
Capital - Ngerulmud
03 - Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked country bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan & China… Umm, say those names five times real fast! The country is made of predominantly Krygz, with non-denominational Muslims making up the bulk of the population.
The country pulls influence from over a century of Russification (Russian influence), Persian & Mongolian. If you are considering a trip to Kyrgyzstan be sure to do your research as the country still goes through ethnic conflicts, transitional governance & regular revolts.
Size - 199,951 km²
Population - 6,019,480
Capital - Bishkek
02 - Nauru
What a pleasant little destination.. funnily enough this tiny island nation was previously known as Pleasant Island. The Republic of Nauro is a tiny country located in Micronesia which is a subregion of Oceania. The islands nearest neighbour is 300km’s away!
Nauru was bounced between nations for years, owned by the Germans, occupied by the Japanese and managed by the; UK, Australia & New Zealand. It finally became an independent nation in 1968.
Size - 21 km²
Population - 11,200
Capital - Yaren
01 - Republic of Artsakh
Located in between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Republic of Artsakh has seen it’s fair share of violence and has been an on and off country for the better part of a century. The country is currently a Presidential Democracy relying heavily on support from neighbouring Armenia.
The republic is still a topic of debate between Armenia and Azerbaijan so it is hard to say how long this landlocked high altitude town will stay an independent nation. It is currently not recognised as an independent nation by several of the UN nations.
It is hard to say whether or not this tiny Republic is still an independent country. One way to find out would be to travel there, just do your research and make sure you don’t turn up during any uprisings or conflicts.
Size - 11,458 km²
Population - 150,932
Capital - Stepanakert
Right… Time to book your tickets and start your unconventional bucket list!
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Life is Great. Travel is Better.
Paulo & Jacques.