Africa is the wildest continent on the planet, spanning mountains, deserts, lakes, jungles, huge wetlands and coastlines covered in spectacular beaches and some of the world’s most bio diverse habitats. Home to 54 countries and thousands of different cultures, Africa has an astonishing array of natural wonders, including wildlife found nowhere else.
There’s something undeniably special about Africa as a travel destination: it is a place that touches many travellers’ hearts. It’s hard not to want to come back to Africa after your first trip. As American author John Hemingway said: “If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.”
Here are our reasons why you should book your next trip to Africa.
1. Wildlife safari
Without a doubt, going on a safari is one of Africa’s top experiences, and no other continent can offer quite the same kind of experience. Going on safari in Africa entails travelling to one of the continent’s world-famous wilderness areas, whether it’s the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Serengeti in Tanzania, Etosha in Namibia, Kruger Park in South Africa or Chobe in Botswana, and spending time in the park, exploring by open-sided safari vehicle (or in your own rental car) looking for animals in a backdrop of amazing scenery – forests, gorges, open savanna and wetlands. The array of animals to be seen is astounding – in many parks you’re likely to see the Big Five (leopards, lion, rhino, elephants and buffalo) in just one trip, as well as many other animals such as hippos, zebras, cheetahs, wildebeest, warthogs (remember Pumbaa from The Lion King?), crocodiles, wild dogs, hyenas, antelope and hundreds of species of birds. These animals are wild and not in cages – this is so far removed from a zoo experience – and the thrill of seeing them in their natural habitat is unbeatable.
2. Bucket list adventures
If you love an adrenaline kick, Africa has some of the world’s greatest adventures. There’s the continent’s best white water rafting on the Zambezi River, tandem skydiving above Namibia’s desert, bungee jumping off the 111-metre high Victoria Falls bridge above the raging rapids of the Zambezi at Africa’s most spectacular waterfall, climbing Africa’s highest peak – the snow-capped volcano of Mt Kilimanjaro, go kayaking on the Nile – the world’s longest river – and sandboarding down the towering dunes of the Namib, the oldest desert in the world. Learn to surf in the gnarly waves of South Africa, go snorkelling with whale sharks in Mozambique, go on an elephant-back safari in Zimbabwe, kayaking on Lake Malawi or canoeing on the Orange River, which forms a natural border between Namibia and South Africa. Wherever you go in Africa, you’re never far from an unforgettable adventure!
3. Face-to-face animal encounters
It’s one thing to see Africa’s wildlife from the back of a 4×4, but it’s quite another to encounter these animals face-to-face. There are plenty of opportunities to get close up to animals in Africa, whether it’s tracking chimps and mountain gorillas in Uganda, diving with cow sharks and seals in Cape Town, or doing a walking safari in a game park, where you can see animals like elephants, giraffes and antelope on foot, or going scuba diving in the aquarium-like waters off the East African island of Zanzibar.
4. Tropical islands
Africa’s islands are the stuff tropical escape fantasies are made of, and are as diverse as the continent itself. The Seychelles have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – white stretches of sand-lined beaches with coconut palms and stylish resorts lapped by warm turquoise water, while Zanzibar is an exotic mix of Swahili culture, fascinating history and architecture as well as gorgeous beaches. Mauritius offers a wealth of attractions from hiking to watersports, making it popular with families, while Reunion appeals to adventurous travellers who come for the canyoneering, paragliding, mountain climbing and multi-day hikes in the wild interior. Madagascar is a nature lover’s dream – home to 15 000 plant species (most of which are found nowhere else in the world), some wonderful wildlife (such as 103 species of lemurs) and jungles, swamps, deserts and peaks.
5. The largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world
Great migration of antelopes wildebeest, Masai Mara, Kenya
Every year more than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate in a big loop across the plains of the Masai Marai National Park in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This migration is recognised as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Natural World” – an awe-inspiring spectacle of antelope on the move, pursued by predators such as crocodiles and lions. It is, without a doubt, one of the best wildlife experiences on the planet and should be at the top of any nature lover’s bucket list!
6. Fantastically diverse cultures
Culturally, Africa will blow your socks off. With thousands of different tribes and ethnic groups, the cultural offerings of the continent are varied like you cannot believe. From Ethiopia’s centuries-old rock-cut cave churches and Morocco’s mosaic-covered mosques to millennia-old rock art in South Africa’s Cederberg region and the stone carvings of Zimbabwe’s Shona people, the art and architecture of Africa tells the stories and histories of this complex continent. When it comes to music, there’s nowhere quite like Africa in terms of sheer breadth and depth: catch the sounds of the continent at one of its many festivals in deserts, on the shores of lakes, on beaches and inside medieval palaces.
Inspired to travel to Africa? Book an overlanding safari…
Travel to Africa on an overlanding safari and you’ll embark on a journey of a lifetime to the world’s wildest continent, which is packed full of wildlife and adventure. African overlanding safaris allow you to take in the best of Africa, as you get to travel to various different countries in the space of just a two-week journey. But the best thing about African overlanding safaris is just how many unforgettable activities you can fit in on one trip – everything from kayaking on the Nile, skydiving over the Namibian desert and scuba diving in Zanzibar to snorkeling with whale sharks in Mozambique.
We offer a wide range of budget African overlanding safaris covering the most visited countries in Africa in trips that range from a few days to several months. Whether you want to experience Africa’s most famous wildlife, true wilderness areas, mountains, beaches or lakes, our overlanding trips will take you there!