Wildlife, incredible landscapes, exciting road trips, centuries-old tribes and glorious beaches are just a few great travel experiences that make Africa one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world.
And if you’re unsure of what to do, Sue Garrett of Flight Centre has listed 10 of the most exhilarating travel experienced the continent has to offer.
Get back to basics in Mozambique
Tropical islands, succulent peri-peri prawns, marimba bands and marine wildlife are a few reasons to holiday in Mozambique. With a coastline that stretches for 2,500km – from Tanzania up north to South Africa down south – its beaches are unspoiled, vast and long.
Mozambique is not a tourist mecca by any means, so it's still raw, gorgeous, and somewhat untouched. Head to Tofo for surfing, enviable scuba diving, swimming with manta rays and whale sharks and beach bungalow accommodation that's right on the sand. Just up the coast, Vilanculos has a beautiful bay with calm and shallow waters ideal for water-sport enthusiasts.
Be mesmerised in Morocco
Morocco's sights are some of the most exciting on the continent with sweeping sand dunes, colourful kasbahs, ancient medinas, rugged coastlines, waterfalls and caves. Centuries-old stories are re-told from the winding medina maze of Fez to the street-theatre of the Djemaa El Fna in Marrakesh. Be mesmerised by soothsayers, acrobats and illusionists. Meander between snail vendors, musicians and acting troupes as you discover the city's frenetic pulse.
The newer urban areas of Rabat, Casablanca and Tangier have modernised but are staying true to their roots.
Enjoy the best of both worlds in Zanzibar
A holiday to Zanzibar is more than an exotic beach break; it's an opportunity to delve into the destination's centuries-old heritage as a vibrant, multi-cultural trading post, whose traders left their mark on Zanzibar's architecture, food and culture. Known also as Spice Island, a visit to Zanzibar would not be complete without a visit to a spice plantation. Be prepared to have sensory overload with fresh cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper.
Stone Town's historic quarters will astonish you. Not much has changed here in the past 200 years, and it is said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa. Explore a labyrinth of walled streets, winding alleyways, bustling mosques and grand Arab architecture. When you are ready to soak up some more sun, relax at beautiful resorts on pristine beaches with endless blue skies.
Witness Kenya's wildlife goldmine
No wildlife event on the planet rivals East Africa's Great Migration for sheer dramatic effect. Each year, enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra, some two million strong, make a grand circuit across the Serengeti Plains as they travel from Tanzania into Kenya's famed Maasai Mara and back.
In pursuit are a host of predators, maximising the wildlife viewing experience. Mara is on any safari aficionado's bucket list and there is just no wildlife adventure on Earth to match it. After a day of wildlife spotting, the campfire awaits. Sip on sundowners before tucking into a gourmet dinner and exchange stories under the canopy of twinkling stars.
Trek through the lush jungle in search of mountain gorillas
Encounter great apes in Uganda and Rwanda. Trekking takes place in a handful of far-flung locations, adding a layer of incredible adventure to these safaris that is hard to match on any other itinerary. The fact that gorillas as a species are on the brink of extinction and treks are a highly restricted activity, encountering wild gorillas is considered a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
Sandboard, climb and quad bike dunes in Namibia
Sossusvlei is another iconic landscape. The area's ‘star’ dunes are some of the highest anywhere on Earth. Sossusvlei's wind pattern keeps the dunes reasonably stable so that they move very little, if at all. Choose to sandboard, climb or quad bike and take in the surreal landscapes.
Visit Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders)
As the mighty Zambezi River runs on its westward course, it has created a natural boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia and etched a series of dramatic gorges over time. The waterfall is the biggest curtain of falling water in the world and also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Spray from the falls can be seen 50km away.
Rail in luxury across South Africa
Travel by rail has an old-world charm. Between the dining cars, conductors and scenery, the nostalgic appeal is difficult to beat. South Africa has quite an extensive rail network, but for accommodation trains, there are two that are a cut above the rest.
The Blue Train provides a luxury rail experience and views of the country's spectacular landscapes, stopping at several interesting locations along the way. Then, the extravagant Rovos Rail train is considered one of the most luxurious trains on Earth, with spacious suites and five steam locomotives.
Safari by boat in Botswana
One of the most sought-after wilderness destinations in the world is the Okavango Delta – deep within the Kalahari Basin, visitors can experience the big game, lush vegetation and natural beauty.
A mokoro (a type of canoe) safari or trip by motorised boat, takes visitors to most remote locations and makes the experience truly unique.
Unearth unbelievable Egypt
Awaken your inner explorer in mesmerising Egypt. Snap up bargains at the Khan al-Khalili market in Cairo or visit the decidedly European-like Alexandria before travelling back in time, cruising down the Nile River in a Felucca. Behold the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphynx and float in the salty Red Sea – experiences you couldn’t have anywhere else on Earth.
These are just 10 of the many, many unique experiences that await the traveller in Africa. Don’t miss out on discovering the awe-inspiring continent that we call home.
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