This vast continent of contrasts, rich in culture and wildlife, is a place that truly touches your soul. Safari can be so much more than game drives – try a canoe safari or a bushwalk before heading to a white-sand beach or a restful location on the banks of the Zambezi. Alternatively focus on Northern Africa to explore the vibrant souks and ancient culture. We can even combine both, ‘Safari’ means journey in Swahili after all!
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Starting at the North of this great continent, Morocco is home to tantalising souks, snow-capped mountains, historic cities and windswept beaches, making it ideal for both short breaks and longer stays.
Perhaps Egypt is calling. And with its world-class beach resorts, luxury hotels and ancient history, this is a destination that certainly packs a punch. Discover Cairo’s vibrant bazaars, medieval mosques and – the star of the show – the Pyramids of Giza. A trip south takes you to the ancient pharaoh’s tombs of Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, while a luxury river cruise along the Nile or a beach holiday at the Red Sea Coast are both just the ticket to unwind.
Kenya is a surprisingly short hop away, with a flight time from London to Nairobi of only 8.5 hours. From here you can head south to the plains of the Masai Mara, but we highly recommend combining with a stay in Northern Kenya such as Laikipia, home to the nomadic tribes such as the Samburu and opportunities for a more active safari experience.
Try and time a visit to Tanzania to witness the incredible spectacle of thousands of wildebeests and zebras crossing the Serengeti in search of good pastures after the rains. Combine this with fascinating Zanzibar – known as the “Spice Island of the Indian Ocean”, it’s a melting pot of cultures and home to powder-white beaches.
The small but beautiful landlocked nation of Rwanda is most famous for boasting gorilla trekking in the dense forests of the Volcanoes National Park, but also offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spot chimps in the vast Nyungwe Forest. The destination is also full of surprises, Kigali is one of the cleanest Cities we’ve ever visited for example and it’s important to visit the Genocide Memorial to learn how far this proud country has come since the events of that horrific period.
In Namibia, head to Sossusvlei to see the world’s tallest sand dunes. Etosha National Park is famous for the vast salt pan fringed with woodland and its dense concentration of game – viewing is superb during the dry season with wildlife gathering around water holes.
Botswana‘s main attraction is, of course, the Okavango Delta, which fills with water from the Angolan Highlands to create a lily-scattered oasis. The result is one of the world’s richest and most diverse wildlife viewing opportunities. Opt for 4WD or traditional dugout canoes for your game viewing. In the south, the Kalahari is home to the San Bushmen, whose traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle has remained unchanged for thousands of years.
Experience the thrill of one of the world’s most famous waterfalls in Zambia, home to the mighty Victoria Falls. Located where the Zambezi River reaches Livingstone, it tumbles 100 metres into a narrow gorge, living up to its nickname “smoke that thunders”. Finish your stay in the South and North Luangwa, one of the few remaining true wilderness and wildlife sanctuaries – perfect for a walking safari.
Cross over the Falls into Zimbabwe and you’ll find further incredible wildlife-viewing opportunities within impressive landscapes, combined with a variety of activities beyond game drives such as bush walks and canoe safaris in Hwange National Park, Lake Kariba and Mana Pools.
Last but not least, travelling down the continent, South Africa has it all – fantastic safaris, wonderful food and wine, beaches with forest backdrops and scenic drives. The malaria-free game reserves make it an ideal destination for families with younger children who want to experience a safari and it undoubtedly offers the best value of Africa destinations for an unforgettable wildlife experiences.
From the North African souks to the nature-packed game reserves and glittering coastlines, Africa has something for everyone. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to return again and again.
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