Rainbow Tours has launched its latest programme of holidays to Africa and Madagascar, including for the first time the little-known islands of Sao Tomé and Principe.

The programme for this year continues to feature popular destinations such as South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania alongside emerging hotspots including Sierra Leone and the Republic of Congo.

Sao Tomé and Principe are two volcanic islands that sit on the equator, 225km west of Gabon. The little islands are hardly known and accessible only via a once-weekly flight from Lisbon. They offer unexplored jungles, beaches, a variety of wildlife and Portuguese-Creole cuisine. Principe is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve thanks to its rich biodiversity that includes humpback whales, dolphins and nesting turtles.

Prices start from £2,195 per person for a seven-night holiday at the principal resort, Bom Bom Island.

This year is also set to be significant for South Africa, one of the operator's core destinations with the country celebrating 20 years since its first democratic elections and the beginning of guilt-free tourism, as well as Cape Town taking on the title of ‘World Design Capital’, with events and activities throughout the year. For 2014, the company has added a range of properties across the country including in Cape Town, along the south coast and Garden Route, in Johannesburg and in Kruger National Park.

The programme has also been expanded to feature a wider choice in almost all destinations including luxury tented camps and remote safari lodges in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, in wildlife-rich areas including the Okavango Delta, the Serengeti and the Lower Zambezi. In Namibia there are additional camps, lodges and guesthouses in the rocky wilderness of Damaraland and on the coast at Swakopmund, while in Uganda there are added options for those keen to see the famous gorillas of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. In addition, across Mozambique, Zanzibar, Mauritius and Réunion Island, there are more choices for those looking to escape to idyllic beaches.

For more information visit www.rainbowtours.co.uk or call 020-7666 1250.

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