We recently posted on the Top 10 Most Hashtagged Countries on Instagram - a bucket list for the hungry traveller keen to join the 'most visited' trail.
Today we've got just the opposite - the ten least hashtagged countries, a bucket list for adventurous types who prefer The Road Less Travelled (a nod to the M. Scott Peck book on Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth on its 25th Anniversary - available at Waterstones and all good book shops).
This makes the ideal bucket list for anyone who doesn't want a bucket list, doesn't own a selfie stick but does have a taste for the unusual.
Some official country names aren't commonly used and some are generally shortened - for example, #SaintKittsandNevis' is the least hashtagged country on the list with only 3,388 posts, however, #saintkitts has been hashtagged 5,000 times more, and #stkitts 182,000 times more, so we've left it out of our bottom 10. Ditto #holysee (6,725 posts); it's more widely-used name #vaticancity has over 367,848 posts, so we've left that one out, too.
The remaining countries are small island communities or African countries, all have stories to tell and people waiting to tell them. Some of these are real adventure destinations and you typically won't find a Holiday Inn waiting to welcome you. Take some tea bags.
|10. Sao Tome||35,501|
|9. Solomon Islands||34,111|
|6. Marshall Islands||14,017|
|3. Equatorial Guinea||10,047|
|2. Central African Republic||9,164|
#saotome by @bortolasbruno on Instgram
Sao Tome's full name is Sao Tome & Principe, which as a hashtag has only been used in 3,113 posts, however, #saotome on its own gained 35,501 posts, putting it no 9 on our 'Top 10 Least Instagrammed' list. It's an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. And it looks incredible!
#solomonislands by @southpacificnesian on Instagram
The Solomon Islands are a group of islands to the east of Papua New Guinea in Oceania. And you probably don't need to take tea bags, the Islands are a paradise that relies on tourism, has English as its main language and our Queen is also theirs, so we're pretty sure tea will be served, in the afternoon or otherwise.
#comoros by @emmax1782 on Instagram
Southwest of the better-known Seychelles, floating in the Indian Ocean near Mozambique is the number 8 (from the bottom) destination, #comoros. "A tropical charm off the beaten path" as Lonely Planet puts it. #flightsbooked
#nauru by @mopesal on Instagram
Another stunning Island country in Micronesia in the Central Pacific. Sadly Australia has an offshore detention centre for refugees on the island and it has had some terrible press of late.
#marshallislands by @kristinthorogood on Instagram
#marshallislands are an Island country in Micronesia, near the equator, in the Pacific Ocean with a heartbreaking history of destruction. In the 1950's the US dropped 23 nuclear bombs on Bikini Atoll. However, scientists have recently been encouraged to note an abundance of marine life and coral 70 years after it was declared a wasteland. A Taste 2 Travel has a useful write-up on the island country including places to stay and food to sample.
#kiribati by @nellex97 on Instagram
Made up of 33 atolls & reef islands, the island nation of #kiribati in the Central Pacific Ocean is under threat from climate change. With an average height of only 2 meters above sea level, it's the world's lowest-lying country. Get there soon!
#guineabissau by street photographer, @bissau_bonito on Instagram
Nestled on the West African coast and not to be confused with Guinea, #guineabissau is a little-known country, that gets most of its foreign exchange from for its tasty cachew crops, was once owned by the Portuguese and was once known as 'the Slave Coast'. Beautiful colours and light make for a great photography subject.
#equatorialguinea by @optimumafricanexperience on Instagram
Another West African coastal country but further down the coast nearer the equator, the former Spanish colony of #equatorialguinea is made up of mainland territory and 5 islands. Its most lucrative outputs are oil & gas - discovered in the 1990's - yet a large proportion of its population still lives in abject poverty. Beautiful colonial architecture survives and The Cathedral of Santa Isabel in Malabo is well worth a visit.
#centralafricanrepublic by @fabiocaoscorpio on Instagram
Featured in our recent article, #1day1will, #centralafricanrepublic in, well, Central Africa, funnily enough, is rich in diamonds, gold and oil. Yet, as with so much of this area of the world, poverty and war is what the country's people understand. It's worth reading more about this sadly unstable place, the BBC summarises its current standing, here. And do watch the video above, it gives a real feel for the country and an awaiting adventure.
#tuvalu by @eviere on Instagram
And finally, at the bottom of the list of most hashtagged is the countries - or at the top of the least hashtagged if you're a glass half full type - is the stunning #tuvalu, a Polynesian Island Nation in the Pacific Ocean located between Hawaii and Australia and an independent member of the Commonwealth. Have a look through the @eviere's photos to get a feel for just how beautiful this little island paradise is. I think we'll be heading there very soon!