A hippo meandering in the cool water of Lake Akagera - Akagera National Park is the oldest one in Rwanda Image Credit: Istock

Here's why 2017 is a great year to travel.

1. The return of the rhinos – Rwanda

Rwanda is the place to be if you want to feel a bit positive about the human race successfully reversing ecological imbalance. Akagera is the oldest National Park in Rwanda and will welcome back 10 black rhinos this year.

They had disappeared from Rwanda in 2007 and were almost eradicated in the 1980s due to large-scale poaching. This return will complete the Big Five at the park – elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards and buffalos.

2. A one-of-a-kind walk – South Australia

The new Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is open for bookings and this is a 61-kilometre, 5-day walking experience that gives visitors access to iconic attractions and interaction with unique wildlife on the island.

While you can book with commercial tour operators (which has a higher chance of off-trail accommodation), you could also go as a self-guided walker using campgrounds provided en route. These campgrounds feature tent platforms, rainwater tanks, cooking shelters and unisex toilets for each night’s stay.

3. Louvre – Abu Dhabi

The museum of all museums ‘Musée du Louvre’ extends its iconic beauty, values and culture through an unprecedented intergovernmental alliance between France and Abu Dhabi.

Louvre Abu Dhabi is being described as a universal museum in the Middle East and will give its visitors a global and shared view of art history and influences. The museum is set to open later this year.

4. 150 years of the federation – Canada

While there are many reasons to visit Canada any year including Justin Trudeau, a weak Canadian dollar, and global inclusiveness – 2017 in particular is a great year to visit, as Canadians across the country celebrate the 150th anniversary of the confederation in 1867 that formed the beautiful country as it is today.

5. 141-day cruise anyone?

Visit 35 countries in 141 days if you book into the world’s very first round-the-world cruise aboard the Viking Sun, managed by Los Angeles based Viking Cruises. The five-month trip will set sail mid-December this year from Miami and the stops include Havana, LA, New Zealand, Tahiti, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria before coming to an end in Greenwich, London in March, 2018.

One trip, five months, 35 countries, five continents and 66 ports – need we say more – and oh yes, prices start from a measly Dh138,468 approximately per person (or 31,000 pounds). This price includes business class travel from select cities, city excursions (one per port), ground transfers, heated floors, select beverage packages, select dining venues on board, luxury cabins, on-demand movies and two swimming pools.