Uncharted Backpacker

Into the Void – Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Remote Destinations

When it comes to travel I can without a doubt say, that I travel a lot. Meeting new people is a common occurrence for me and I am often asked: “where is your favorite destination”. This is a hard question as I have found something I like in every country I have been to. An easier answer is my favourite places to travel are the hardest ones to get to, the most remote corners of the planet. Here life is tough, often nomadic or tribal, based on survival rather than living. The environments are extreme, it can be very technical and travel here can require a lot of planning but it is by far the most rewarding kind of travel I have ever encountered. So, if you’re ready, lace your boots up and pack your bag and let’s go to the most remote corners of the planet!

Bajau Laut – Borneo

Off the East coast of Malaysia’s Sabah Province on the island of Borneo, you enter Bajau Laut, the home of the sea gypsies. The Bajua or Sea gypsies have called these waters home for centuries living a life primarily on the sea rarely stepping foot on land.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Sea Villages of the Nomads

Traveling to Bajau Laut requires a lot of planning as the region is very remote and often deemed dangerous due to the presence of pirates.

Arriving at Semporna I met a Bajau fisherman down at the docks. Even though his English was not great he was able to understand that I wanted to explore the Bajau territory. I spend the week spearfishing and learning about these fascinating peoples.

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

Haraz – Yemen’s Mountains

Ah, Yemen! Quite possibly one of the most stunning, but tragic destinations I have ever stepped foot in.

The past ten years since the beginning of the Arab spring, Yemen has been plagued with political issues. Now in the midst of a civil war, Yemen has seemingly been cut off from the rest of the world.

The Haraz Mountains have always been considered one of the most remote regions of the world, but when I traveled there in late 2017, this region could quite possibly be the most remote place I have ever been to.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Hiking in the Haraz Mountains

In Haraz you step back into medieval times. Stone fortified village’s tower on top of the mountains and locals have carved the face of these very mountains into elaborate terraces. Travel here is often done with the aid of animals. There is no electricity and no running water.

Local tribes also have not changed much either, usually dressed in beautiful garments and dawning a Yemeni Jambiya knife. Life is hard for them, especially now being so isolated due to the war.

Unfortunately traveling here is neither safe nor possible at the moment, but when it is I will be getting on the first plane back to Yemen!

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

The Libyan Sahara

The world’s largest desert is just as vast as it is diverse. Home to countless tribes who push the boundaries of survival by living in one of the most inhospitable places on earth.

Due to war and politics, Libya has been cut off from the rest of North Africa for many years. Libya’s Sahara region, which was an open crossroad for many Tuareg tribes is now one of the most dangerous places on the planet due to the nation’s instability.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Staying in the old city of Ghadames, Libya

Libya also has one of the largest sections of the Sahara, making it home to some of the most remote corners of our planet.

Getting here is very hard, firstly because Libya only issues business visas and rarely a tourist Visa. Then you must get from the capital into the Sahara which is considered a lawless area.

I drove to Yefren and then on to Ghadames the legendary city of the Libyan Sahara. The sands here can reach up to 300m high! Life is still very much based off of the desert. Locals dig wells into ancient river beds and grow dates in the oases.

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

Lower Omo – Ethiopian Tribal Lands

The Lower Omo is famed for being one of the most tribal diverse regions in the world. Each tribe who calls this place home has their very own distinct look and traditions.

From lip disks to hair matted with clay and patterned scarification, the tribes in this extremely remote region are amazing to see.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Mursi Tribe in the Lower Omo Valley Ethiopia

Getting here can be a pain and somewhat expensive, but if you’re willing to live enough and travel unpredictably than you’re in for a world class treat that will make you think you’ve entered a National Geographic Magazine.

For photographers, adventurers, and curious travelers, the Lower Omo is guaranteed to impress.

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

The Mongolian Steppe

The steppe is profoundly empty but beautiful. The nomad descendants of Ghengis Khan still call these lands home herding sheep, yaks and most importantly the Mongolian Horse.

An adventure here will require you to step way out of any western comfort zone. There are no luxury hotels only Gers round tents, roads are more dirt tracks if existent at all and the people are as hard as the environment they behave to live in.

Traditions run deep here, many Mongols often consult shamans and worship the spirits of the land, and they are also some of the best hunters the world has. They use methods like horse archery and falconry to this day.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Our Nomadic Family homestay in Orkhon

Although the journey to get here can be difficult and uncomfortable, the cultural heritage of the Mongols and the nation’s natural beauty is sure to be life-changing.

I spent almost two months crossing this massive place. From the arid deserts of the Gobi to the rolling green hills of the Orkhon and into the black mountains of the west. I can say Mongolia is amazing!

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

The Arctic – Greenland

Greenland is the world’s largest island, it’s also quite possibly one of the most isolated and uninhabited places on earth. Traveling here you can go days, even week without seeing another person.

Greenland’s isolation has kept it off the tourist radar. Those lucky enough to make it here are rewarded with pristine untouched nature, icebergs the size of skyscrapers and Inuit villages who have kept their traditions alive, you most likely you won’t see another tourist in sight!

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Greenlandic Hunter in the Ilulisaat Ice Fjord

Getting here can be incredibly expensive, this is another reason many travelers avoid it, but with the right contacts and planning it can be done!

I came to Greenland for two weeks starting in the South and making my way North past the Arctic by the passenger ferry stopping along the way in some incredible remote villages. Locals took me seal hunting and venturing deep into the stunning nature!

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

The Tibetan Plateau – Tibet

Tibet is a bit of an obsession for me. The Tibetan Plateau is as vast as it is culturally and naturally beautiful. It’s a huge place that has kept off the travelers’ path due to political and civil issues, but don’t let this stop you!

Nomadic yak herders migrating across the valleys, pilgrims walking the high passes, easily accessible 8000m mountains capes and an ancient culture that will have you hooked are just some of the reasons why I love it here so much!

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Mount Everest, Tibet

I came to Tibet for two months researching the potential for budget and off the beaten track travel. It’s absolutely possible and very rewarding.

I walked the Mount Kailash Kora with pilgrims, hiked remote valleys to nomadic yak herders and explored ancient temples high in the mountains.

A trip to this remote destination you will never forget the scenery, but most of all the amazing people.

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

Papua Highlands – Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a land of contracts. From the steamy lowland jungles, pristine blue oceans and chilly highlands. Its people are also part of this contrast being shaped by the nature around them. On the tropical island, elaborate jewelry made from shells is worn while in the highlands feathers from exotic birds of paradise.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Dancers at the Mount Hagen Highland Festival

A trip to Papua New Guinea is a life-changing experience. No remote place on earth have I experienced such diverse tribal society that still clings on to its culture with pride.

The Highlands of Papua are some of the nation’s most diverse, complex and widely untouched due to how remote it is here. Much of the Highlands is inaccessible other than by private charter bush planes or taking the arduous mountain hiking trails. This has allowed many the Highland tribes to remain very tied to their traditions, this includes the odd tribal war over women and pigs.

I started my journey into the Highland by attending the Mount Hagen Festival. A celebration of Dance that brings all the highland tribes together to show their customs and traditions. After the festival, I spent a few weeks driving the terrible roads and visiting amongst the many tribes.

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

The Amazon

The Amazon is big, the biggest jungle in the world and the best part is much of it is still left undiscovered! There are even tribes deep in the rain forests who to this day have yet to have contact with the outside world!

A journey to the Amazon is a journey that intrepid explorers have been attempting since the discovery of the Americas. It’s hot, dangerous and virtually impossible to get in without a local guides knowledge.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

The Bolivian Amazon

I entered the Amazon through Peru and Bolivia. Many parts here are incredibly remote, especially in Bolivia. The rivers were teeming with electric seals and crocs while the buzz of the jungle seemingly never ends! I can’t wait to head back!

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

Madagascar Wild West

There is no remote destination on earth quite like Madagascar. In fact, the majority of Madagascar’s species can only be found here making it so unique! Whether it’s leaping lemurs, psychedelic Chameleons or oddly shaped bugs this place is remote and amazing!

The people of Madagascar are also incredibly unique. Hailing from Indonesia and Africa now called the Malagasy Tribes have been secluded from the rest of the world allowing their traditions to flourish. Only until recently when France invaded did the shape of the land change.

Into the Void - Traveling to the Most Remote Places on Earth

Sunrise at Avenue de Baobab in Western Madagascar

Arriving in the capital Antananarivo, the first thing I did was head west. Western Madagascar’s roads and infrastructure are not great meaning the area has kept its remote feeling. Here Dahalo tribes still rule the land and permission is needed in order to cross certain areas safely.

Visiting Avenue de Baobabs I followed the dirt tracks through remote communities all the way to the otherworldly sacred rock formations of Tsingy Bemeraha. The area is rich with wildlife and has amazing cultural heritage.

Discover more about this Remote Destination HERE

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Stephen Gollan

Stephen Gollan

Uncharted Backpacker is a glimpse at the past eleven years of globetrotting I have done. Now at over ninety countries I share my travel knowledge for you so you too can travel the world and see what wonders it has to offer.

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