FILE: In this Wednesday, May 28, 2014 photo, with skyscrapers along the Sheikh Zayed highway, at background, pink flamingos look for food by the creek, at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Beneath a glitzy skyline wooden boats ply Dubai Creek, the historic heart of a city that was transformed in little more than a generation from a tiny pearling and fishing port to a global trading hub. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

They’re hot hot hot in more ways than one – apart from average temperatures of between 27 and 36 degrees Celsius, Sri Lanka, Bali, Seychelles, Maldives, UAE and Egypt are also the sought-after destinations for South Africans in 2017.

Flight Centre Travel Group, South Africa’s largest travel company, says that while Cape Town, Australia, Thailand, New York and Mauritius are still popular destinations, more and more South Africans are plumping to visit Sri Lanka, Bali, Seychelles, Maldives, UAE and Egypt this year.

“South Africans are looking for something different. Many love Mauritius, Thailand and Australia and may have travelled there repeatedly, but now they’re looking for something different. That’s where these destinations come in,” says Carlos Luis, Land Warehouse Leader for Flight Centre Travel Group.

Luis says Sri Lanka is at the forefront of the hot destinations queue because of its beaches, culture and wildlife.

“Sri Lanka is becoming a very exciting destination globally and we expect that this will be on South Africans’ bucket list in 2017,” he says.

Luis says Sri Lanka and Bali also “offer exciting alternatives to clients who love Thailand but are looking for something different”.

He says the island nations of Seychelles and Maldives are the alternate destinations of choice for South Africans who love visiting Mauritius.

“For those South Africans who love Mauritius but have travelled there a number of times, we expect Seychelles and the Maldives to feature strongly this year. Although these destinations are often seen as similar kinds of holidays, Seychelles and Maldives offers a different kind of experience with a similar feel,” he says.

However Luis says while Sri Lanka and the others are on the up, the old mainstays are still popular.

“Cape Town, Australia, Thailand, New York and Mauritius might not be the hot destinations this year, but they are still popular destinations for South Africans who will continue to travel there, if not necessarily in the same numbers,” he says.

         An Egyptian archaeologist documents the content of the tomb of Userhat, a judge from the New Kingdom at the Dra Abu-el Naga necropolis near the Nile city of Luxor,          south of Cairo, Egypt, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/ Sherif Fahmy