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From Our Editor: There’s something out there for everyone…

A flock of James’s flamingos feeds on tiny organisms in the Salar de Tara – part of a nature reserve they share with the related Andean flamingos and Chilean flamingos




As a little girl, I thought nothing of standing up to my knees in very muddy fields in Mangalore, getting in the way of my grandfather’s farm-helpers as I worked at transplanting paddy. I spent very long periods of time in the cowshed with massive buffaloes who I thought of as friends, and swam with in ponds.

I couldn’t do it today. Not just because I can no longer haul myself in and out of ponds and cowsheds the way I used to, but because my adult sensibilities allow me to imagine too well what lurks in those fields, cowsheds and ponds.

Luckily, the untamed world out there can be tapped into in many different ways. Our Great Outdoors special reflects the diversity of those options. We have the enigma of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe in the spotlight, the Atacama Desert fighting for your attention, and great tips for trekking in India from experts. We’ve also got a great how-to-go-on-safari primer; read it even if you’ve been on a few already…

In India, just a few hours out of even the major metros, the great outdoors is all around us. And, because there’s a long weekend coming up mid-month thanks to Independence Day, you’ll find our Easy Trips particularly useful. Pick your break and make it happen now!

Our bonus feature is only a little farther afield: Best in Asia has Lonely Planet’s well-travelled experts giving you must-do-now recommendations across the continent.

As for me, between meetings and madness, I’m going to sink back into my memories of snorkelling over the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. It was very clean, you know :)