Africa is a haven for nature lovers. Given the size of it, though, you might find that planning a trip there is harder than you envisage. So we’ve asked bespoke travel experts Country Holidays to recommend some of the most spectacular experiences in the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent.
#1 Go Safari
No trip to Africa is complete without venturing into the wilderness with your ranger and tracker in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Basing yourself at carefully selected camps and lodges will give you exclusive access to private concessions where greater safari experiences can be enjoyed, from off-road game viewing to see the “big five” up close, to night drives to see nocturnal animals, or a walking safari for the ultimate wildlife adventure.
#2 Journey on the Garden Route
With well-established infrastructure and a wide range of activities available, South Africa is ideal for first-timers to Africa as well as families with kids. One of the highlights is to take a scenic drive on the famous Garden Route; this famed 300km stretch of coastline offers encounters with a variety of aquatic life including southern right whales, humpback whales, several coastal dolphin species, fur seals, black oystercatcher birds and African penguins.
#3 Witness the Great Migration
The annual journey of two million wildebeests that happens in East Africa is no doubt a trip of a lifetime for many safari enthusiasts. The herds migrate from their breeding ground in Tanzania’s Serengeti to the fertile grasslands of Kenya’s Maasai Mara, driven by rainfall and availability of fresh grass. While the most spectacular scene is the mass crossing of the Mara River from July to August – when the animals risk being swallowed by the waters or hungry crocodiles – different safari experiences are available in all seasons.
#4 Up Close with Giant Mountain Gorillas
From Tanzania and Kenya, take a short trip to Rwanda and trek through the thick tropical jungle for a close encounter with the world’s biggest primate, the mountain gorilla. Watch these furry, gentle giants as you marvel at how similar they behave to us humans.
#5 Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Standing at 5,895 metres (that’s two-thirds of Everest), Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and considered by many the world’s most accessible high summit. With good preparation, climbing to the iconic peak is highly possible. There are seven known routes – we recommend the Machame Route, for a relatively easier and safer trek with very scenic landscapes.
#6 Cruising the Okavango Delta
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the Okavango Delta is arguably the largest inland delta in the world. All the water reaching the Delta evaporates and transpires before it flows into a sea or ocean. The abundant water attracts many animals to the area, including endangered mammals like cheetahs and rhinos. You can often spot hippos hanging out in the deeper channels and lagoons, and kingfishers nesting by the banks. The best time to visit is when the flood peaks between June and September, during Botswana’s dry winter months.
#7 Ballooning over the Namib Sand Sea
The Namib has been around for 55 million years – it’s the oldest desert in the world – and is home to some of the world’s tallest sand dunes. Make the most of the experience by taking a hot-air balloon, and flying over the rolling red sands, gravel plains, coastal flats and rocky hills.
#8 Dancing with Lemurs
Madagascar is home to many amazing plants and animals found nowhere else in the world, and the lemurs is one of them. Meet these adorable furry primates at close proximity and observe their very interesting behaviour. (Have we told you lemurs are very gifted singers and dancers?)
Country Holidays can tailor-make a programme to suit your interests and requirements, whether it’s luxury and romance, adventure, or an educational family experience. To book, call 2525 9199 or visit countryholidays.com.hk.