Africa is one of the most – if not the most diverse continent on earth. With over 3000 ethnic groups and around 2000 languages, Africa is certainly the most genetically diverse. When we shift our focus to the many cultures and traditions, we come to the conclusion: there couldn’t be a more unique place on earth.
These differences in genetic make-up, culture and tradition make Africa an incredibly special place to visit. It makes a trip to Africa not only a fascinating adventure, but a deep-rooted learning experience. However, we’ve only focused on the people of Africa; we haven’t yet scratched the surface of Africa’s extraordinarily diverse landscapes!
From deserts, to grasslands, mountainous regions and swamp-like terrain; Africa is a world of beauty and natural wonder. These unique landscapes offer visitors once-in-a-lifetime experiences that can only be described as ‘bucket-list’ experiences.
The best bucket list experiences to do in Africa
1. Visit Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls is a world-renown waterfall system which attracts millions of visitors a year from all around the globe. It’s no wonder visitors flock to witness this breathtaking spectacle – it is one of the most incredible sights, and thrilling experiences in all of Africa. The Victoria Falls is found on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, and situated on the Zambezi river. It is known to be twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls, and is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, with a combined width of 1,708m.
2. Witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya/Tanzania
The great wildebeest migration is yet another natural phenomenon home to Africa alone. During the months of August and September, around 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle make their way from the Serengeti in Tanzania, to the Masai Mara in Kenya.
The once-green pastures are painted black and brown as millions of mammals make their way across the plains – it certainly is a sight to behold. Kenya offers an even more incredible sighting, as the mammals attempt to cross the Mara River; home to deadly crocs who wait most of the year for their chance to feast on these unsuspecting mammals. The herd then make their way back to the Serengeti in late November.
3. Hike with Gorillas in Uganda
It’s not every day that one has the opportunity to get close to one of the world’s most endangered species; the mountain gorilla. What’s even rarer is the opportunity to visit them in their natural habitat – which is what visitors are able to do on the Gorilla trek tour in Uganda. Africa is one of the only places in the world where inquisitive visitors with a passion for wildlife are able to feast their eyes on the sight of these majestic creatures, and have their hearts warmed by their gentleness and charismatic charm. It is an experience not to be missed, especially when there are only around 880 left in the world today.
4. Go Dune-Hopping in Namibia
Namibia is a special place; yet another incredibly diverse corner of Africa. One part of the country is lush, and home to many species of wildlife; and the other part of the country is a dry, desolate desert. This desert is certainly one of the world’s most beautiful. The red rolling sands which are lit up by the glow of the sunrise and sunset, is a sight to behold. Sossusvlei is home to a vast range of dunes; some of which are world-renown for their size. ‘Big Daddy’ is a favourite to hike as it is the second largest dune (making it a little easier to trek), and it’s also situated next to Deadvlei; one of Namibia’s most photographed areas.
5. Embark on a Big Five Safari in Botswana
One should never leave Africa without embarking on a wildlife safari. In Botswana one certainly gets more than they bargained for, as this country is deeply immersed in life. With the Okavango Delta, Chobe and many other reserves home to thousands of species, including the big five: the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, there’s no reason for you not to catch a glimpse of some of the world’s most coveted wildlife species.
This is a soul-stirring experience, especially because you’ll have the chance to encounter these majestic species in their natural environment; living, feeding and fending for themselves as wild animals do. If you think the documentaries on National Geographic are fascinating, wait until you see all the action in the flesh. Witnessing the movements, the tenderness and the instinctual behaviour of wildlife right before your eyes, is a spectacle that’ll leave you speechless; and deeply grateful.