Few places on earth can offer as diverse and memorable experiences as those found in Africa. From vibrant bustling markets to lush rainforests, safaris to world class scuba diving, this continent is teeming with new experiences, cultures, and cuisines waiting to explore. Watch sunsets at historical landmarks like the Great Pyramids of Giza and see the magnificent animal migrations witnessed in documentaries come to life. Push the adventure factor to the limit dangling over one of the world’s largest waterfalls with millions of gallons pouring over the edge all around you and have personal encounters with some of the most legendary animals on the planet in their home habitats. Choose one or go on them all for experiences to last a lifetime!
Feed Cheetahs in Namibia
Meet the world’s fastest land animal up close and personal on a cruise through the open lands north of Windhoek. The cheetahs are familiar enough with safari trucks to know that they are about to get a big dinner, enticing them out of the brush to circle the vehicles. Stay at a local guest farm that offers cheetah feedings, horseback riding safaris and a full feast of locally hunted game. From there launch on a road trip across the country to explore the breathtaking expanse of the Kalahari Deserts or venture up the massive sand dunes in Sossusvlei and see the striking dead trees in Deadvlei.
Explore the Luxor Temple in Egypt
The magnificent ruins from ancient Egypt make this an easy choice with the Great Pyramids and renown museum in Cairo, to the sites of the massive lighthouse and the Library of Alexandria, there are endless places to glimpse the center of glory from a bygone era. Stepping off the plane in Luxor though feels like truly feels like taking a step back in time. It lacks the massive metropolitan city vibes and overcrowded streets from Cairo and Alexandria and instead offers an inside look at the daily lives of Egyptians both past and present. The magnificent Luxor Temple, the Valley of the Kings with King Tut's ornate tomb, and the expansive Queen Hatshepsut Temple make this city a highlight of the country! If time permits, take a cruise on the Nile to see many of the ancient cities from Alexandria down to Aswan.
Scuba diving in the Seychelles
This archipelago offers some of the most pristine beaches in the world on islands that are scattered across the Indian Ocean. The islands are a popular honeymoon destination with their fabulous resorts and restaurants, but they offer far more than romantic sunsets and beautiful hiking trails. They are also famous for crystal clear turquoise waters which are teeming with abundant maritime life. Many of the best spots in la Digue and Praslin for diving or snorkeling are a quick ferry ride from the entry point and largest island, Mahé. Don’t miss visiting the Takamaka Rum distillery and sampling some of their tasty variety of local made rum!
Climb to the “Roof of Africa”
In the heart of Africa between Tanzania and Kenya, the massive Kilimanjaro rises far above the vast sprawling plains. As the highest summit in Africa it is one of the famed Seven Summits drawing climbers and adventure enthusiasts from around the world. With several trails from both sides that vary in length, steepness, and views along the way, there are many options to make the trek up. Reaching the summit as the sun breaks over the horizon makes all the hard hours of climbing melt away. Pair the climb with a safari or a trip to relax on the beaches in Zanzibar to maximize time spent in the region.
Safari at sunset in Eswatini
While many larger parks in South Africa and Kenya are well-known safari destinations, there are many more affordable options that still offer access to the watching the big five (which includes: lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and buffalos). Eswatini, formally Swaziland, has all of the big five in the country with the opportunity to see the endangered black rhino as well in Mkhaya or the white lion in Hlane Royal National Park, which is the emblem of royal Eswatini. If a safari drive isn't enough, stay in the park's accommodation to listen to all the night activity from the comfort of your bed.
Hang over the edge of Victoria Falls in Zambia
Test your nerve by taking a dip into Devil’s Pool which is precariously located on the precipice of Victoria Falls. Guides assist with the swim out to the point and the final plunge into the pool before carefully allowing visitors to stretch out and watch the water cascade around them and down the 355 foot high waterfall. Taking this dip is only offered when the water levels are low to ensure safety, however it is possibly to witness the magnificent falls all year or to take an action packed white water rafting trip down the Zambezi River starting at the base of the Falls.
Lion Walk in Senegal
Take a walk with the King. Handlers from the Fathala Wildlife Reserve keep a diligent eye on the big cats every movement while allowing the opportunity to take a stroll through the lightly wooded trails in southern Senegal. They encourage the big cats on the stroll with the occasional snack thrown ahead while visitors remain only a few feet away. While you are in the country, don’t miss the chance to cheer on fighters in la lutte, one of the famous wrestling traditional matches. The loud drums announce the arrival of the loincloth wearing wrestlers who battle for fame and glory in the nation’s capital, Dakar.
Take a Gorilla Trek in Uganda
One of the most expensive but unique adventures is in Uganda where they offer the opportunity to trek into the mountains in search of mountain gorilla families. With approximately only 1000 mountain gorillas in the wild today, groups of visitors are limited to small numbers so as not to disturb their environment. This experience requires spending several hours trekking through dense vegetation and steep slopes in a national park for the chance to glimpse the gorilla families. Build some extra time into the schedule to visit the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre and feed the recent rescued animals ranging from baby elephants to several of the giraffes.
Camel trek into the Sahara in Morocco
Trade out the car for a camel to voyage into the vast Sahara Desert. Morocco is filled with beautiful historic cities with bustling medinas and ornate architecture. From Marrakech, it is easy to launch adventures out into the Sahara. After two long days of driving, the flat sands began mounding up to form massive dunes in the distance. Then it is finally time to climb on a camel and begin the trek out to a Berber camp situated in the desert a few miles off the Algerian border. The views along the ride out of the impressive dunes with the shadows of camels shifting along as they trudged on in silence are simply incredible. Arriving just before sunset, everyone is welcomed to sit down for a large meal before retiring to the fire for music and dancing. Those who would like to hike up one of the massive dunes are led up under the stars to see the whole desert sprawled out below lit only by moonlight. On the return, don't miss visiting Marrakech, an ancient medina that is a labyrinth of narrow alleys leading to beautiful riads and shops filled to the brim with delicacies and trinkets.
Watch hippos surfing and track elephants through the rainforest
This tropical and underdeveloped gem offers the chance to learn about conservation and sustainability of wildlife with a growing number of eco-friendly options to explore Gabon. This community-based ecotourism is a deliberate shift from exploiting natural resources to protecting the countries’ rich biodiversity with the lush rainforests and many endangered species. The aim is to simultaneously protect conservation of the resources and to structure the benefits of tourism to reduce poverty and inequality. So support this positive form of tourism and watch the famous surfing hippos off the coast or track elephants and hippos through one of the national parks.