Our tipsters go cold turkey on the traditional British Christmas in search of ice hotels, a lantern festival, exotic wildlife and traditional markets, from Brittany to the Japanese alps
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Last year we spent 25 December in Giraffe Manor, in a suburb of Nairobi, where giraffes poked their heads through the windows looking for breakfast. We then travelled to Ethiopia to celebrate the Orthodox Christmas on 7 January in the Bale mountains, hoping for a sighting of the endangered Ethiopian wolf. We drove and trekked across the Sanetti plateau, but the wolves remained elusive, so we drove up Ethiopia’s second-highest peak, the 4,377-metre Tullo Deemtu, for views of world’s largest expanse of Afro-alpine moorland and crystal-clear tarns. On the way back to Bale Mountain Lodge, we spotted a lone wolf basking in the sun on the roadside. Santa had been after all.