Spot the Big 5 on safari
For many, just the word Africa conjures visions of wildlife-filled savannahs where you can marvel at a land that’s reminiscent of Earth’s beginnings. These dreamers would be right, there are many, many wildlife-filled plains where you can wildlife-spot to your heart’s content. A safari is a must-do when visiting Africa, particularly in the continent’s east and south. Some of the best parks for spotting the Big 5 include the Serengeti, Chobe National Park, Kruger National Park, and Hwange National Park.
Track mountain gorillas
Bwindi Forest in Uganda, and Virunga Mountains in Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda are the epicentres of this wild and unique African experience. These parks are home to the last remaining wild mountain gorillas, with numbers estimated to be below 900. Spotting one of these critically endangered, placid giants is a humbling experience not to be missed by adventurous wildlife-loving travellers.
Swim with whale sharks in Mozambique
Named as one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks, Mozambique is a sure winner to tick this one off the bucket list. Tofo Beach is the whale shark hot spot, boasting the highest number of whale sharks anywhere on the continent. The best time to see them is October to March when gatherings of up to 50 sharks are a common sight.
Discover the Garden Route in South Africa
The aptly named Garden Route in South Africa is an odyssey of jaw dropping scenery and natural beauty. Drive it, tour it, walk it, cycle it, whatever you do just do it. The route hugs the southeastern coastline of South Africa, from Mossel Bay to Storms River. The route passes picturesque bays laden with gorgeous crescents of sand, verdant hills and forests that conceal elusive elephants in their depths, and brilliant-blue lagoons. Wining and dining is a legit pastime, and exploring ancient forests rich with exotic bird life is a must.
Admire the starry skies in Morocco
For out of this world stargazing head for the hills, literally. The seclusion of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco provide pollution-free darkness, so being amazed by the shimmering night sky is a cinch. Morocco is considered to be one of the best places to star gaze in the world, and with the undulating beauty of the Atlas Mountains as your base, this is one stunning place to be dazzled by the night sky.
Climb (or at least see) Mount Kilimanjaro
Scaling Africa’s highest mountain tops many intrepid travellers’ bucket lists, but if you can’t muster the will or energy to clamber the 5,896m high mountain, admiring it from the surrounding forests is just as impressive. This snow-capped anomaly is the highest free standing mountain in the world, making to a truly unique climb. Although the park the mountain sits in is not a draw for wildlife spotting safari goers, it is home to elephants, buffalo, and leopards among others.
Be awed by Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, in all its thunderous glory, is an incredible feat of nature to witness first hand. The profuse spray that the sheer volume of water the falls emits is sure to drench you from head to toe, though you’ll be too enamoured to care. The falls’ indigenous name is Mosi-au-Tunya, which translates as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ and could not be more accurate. Sitting on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the falls can be admired from a variety of vantage points in both countries. Be sure to take a helicopter flight over the falls, you might even be lucky enough to spot some wildlife in the surrounding park. If you’re feeling daring you can plunge from the Victoria Falls Bridge via bungee and admire the Zambezi suspended in the gorge.
Marvel at Madagascar
Land of the lemur, baobab boulevards, camouflaging chameleons, and the most unique vegetation on the planet, this bordering-on-fanciful island is as distinctive as they come. But it’s not all about the flora and fauna; the beaches and outlying reefs are just as incredible. Nosy Be is the utopian beauty of choice for beach-going, reef-loving travellers. The tiny island is yet to be hit by the trendy stick, which means you’ll have the powder soft white sand beaches and sparkling cerulean seas all to yourself.
Relax on Zanzibar
The ultimate relaxation destination in Africa, Zanzibar has a little bit of everything; from dazzling white-sand beaches and turquoise waters teeming with fish, to impressive architecture and a fascinating slavery history. Stone Town, now an official World Heritage Site, is a vibrant borough where you can stroll for hours marvelling at architecture, strolling through markets and succumbing to the alluring scents of traditional fare. With 50 islands in the archipelago to choose from, and an extensive range of accommodation options set on stunning stretches of coastline, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Cruise the Nile
Cruising the world’s longest river is an enriching experience where you can witness some of the world’s most ancient monuments as you sail past thousand-year-old history. Some of the impressive relics you can expect to see when you float down this 6,650 km river include Luxor Temple, Valley of Kings, and Temple of Isis just to name a few.