The astounding beauty of Africa’s many regions has attracted Western explorers, sparked wars and piqued historians’ interests for centuries upon centuries. From the tranquil Mediterranean coast of North Africa to the thriving southern tip of Cape Town, the great continent spans over 10,000 indigenous tribes, more than 500 languages and over 60 independent nations and political territories.
Africa is referred to as the cradle of human life as we know it, being the oldest inhabited territory in the world. Travel through Africa will reveal the modern dilemma of a region pushing forward with globalization and technology at the same time that many cultures and tribes are striving to protect their traditional way of life. In addition to human life, Africa supports the world’s most spectacular collection of rare species and biodiversity. Encountering Africa’s wilderness firsthand is not only a radically unique experience, but also a once-in-a-lifetime privilege that future generations may not have the opportunity to share.
Many Regions, More Identities
The overwhelming expanse of the African continent is best understood and traveled by region. The different regions in Africa are individually as diverse as the continent in its entirety, and the complexities of the cultures and nationalities leave the unsuspecting traveler dumbfounded.
The predominantly Arabic culture of North Africa enjoys the Mediterranean shore, from the majestic pyramids in Egypt to the enchanting Moorish architecture of Morocco. For the adventurous, the Sahara Desert lies just to the south and brings this region drier, hotter summers compared with its northern Mediterranean neighbors. Along the Atlantic Ocean, West Africa is predominantly comprised of Africa’s savannahs, known for their exciting wildlife safaris. The west is also home to Africa’s greatest cultural and political diversity, largely a result of the colonial era and the Slave Trade. East Africa is one of the most popular destinations where Africa’s two tallest peaks, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, soar imperially above great concentrations of elephants, water buffalo and rhinoceros. Visitors also venture east to explore the Great Rift Valley, a geologic wonder formed by the global movement of the earth’s plates. Southern Africa is a blend of forests, grasslands and deserts rich with diamonds and gold. Travel in southern Africa is unique due to the high population of Europeans and Indians; consequently, a distinct culture of food, music, art and religion has emerged from the blending of traditions.
Growing urban centers, breathtaking national parks and endless encounters with the past is only the beginning of your African travels. Travel to Africa and meet the many faces of our global history. The constant adventure and intellectual intrigue of this multifaceted and ancient continent is a journey that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Africa is called the “Dark Continent” for its supposed mystery, but there is nothing mysterious about a destination site like this. You should definitely consider an Africa vacation.
Africa is probably the most diverse continent on the planet and a vacation there can hold just as much variety. No matter what you are looking for, an Africa vacation can fulfill all your trip desires.
We think of Africa first as a land of jungles and wild animals and that is certainly true. For an Africa vacation, you may want to consider some of the amazing safari adventures, which will take you to places that most people have only dreamed about. Imagine elephants and lions in the wild; that can be part of an Africa vacation. Although primitive in its beauty and feel, being on a safari does not mean living like an “animal”. Throughout the numerous game preserves and national parks, where you will see nature at its best, are also some of the finest accommodations in the world.
On your vacation, you can stay in guest lodges that rival anything in the cosmopolitan areas for luxury and service. Most of these venues will make you feel like you are a king or queen of all you survey, with excellent amenities you would not necessarily expect on an Africa vacation.
However, the jungles and savannas of Africa is only part of the picture. In South Africa, you can find hotels and resorts that rival any in Las Vegas or other showplace resorts. How about an Africa vacation that includes top line entertainment, casino gambling, unsurpassed beaches? All these are available for both singles and families, accommodating all types of budgets.
In the north, beautiful beach resorts dot the Mediterranean coast as well as the Red Sea. Here a vacation turns into a desert odyssey not unlike Palm Springs, California, except with miles of white sand beaches.
Africa is countless island resorts on the Indian Ocean too. An Africa vacation here could be a private bungalow at a small resort where fresh fish is caught for lunch literally outside the windows of your room. The waters in these areas are pristine and unspoiled, perfect for diving and sailing.
In the north west, Morocco and the Canary Islands beckon with a completely different atmosphere and style. In addition, an Africa vacation here on the Atlantic coast has a completely different environment and culture to experience. You might feel that you are in Monte Carlo or Cannes but with much less expense and a more relaxing atmosphere.
An Africa vacation can be just about what you want it to be, with a variety that you will not find anywhere else.
Africa is safari country
There are many types of African safaris. I always thought of a safari as something you did with John Wayne and chased big rhinos, or hunted elephants and lions. Not so.
Certainly there are hunting safaris, but there are many other types, too. If you are planning on going on an African safari, you will want to familiarize yourself with your options so that you may have a more enjoyable experience.
East African and Central African drive safaris are usually done in a mini-van, while drive safaris in South Africa are mostly done in open 4 x 4 vehicles, which help you to better see the scenery and wildlife. South Africa also offers self-drive safaris which allow you to use their well developed road systems to go off on your own tour.
Some African countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania, offer walking safaris. On these you will generally hike 5 to 8 miles per day, with plenty of breaks to admire the wildlife and landscape. Being on foot allows you to access more remote and untouched areas that hold plenty of wildlife such as elephant, lion, buffalo and rhino.
Mobile Tent and Camping Safaris
This would be a combination of the drive and walking safaris. Usually, in a mobile tent trip, you will stay at a lodge or similar accommodation each night. In a true camping safari, also called cross-country safari, you are roughing it with tents and normal camping chores and activities. These trips can last for several days.
Paddle your way down one of the great rivers in Africa, such as the Zambezi River which divides Zimbabwe and Zambia. This will give you a whole different perspective of the plant and animal life.
Elephant, Horseback and Camelback Safari
Elephant back, horseback and camelback safaris bring you into being one with nature. There are tours that offer the use of these well trained animals which can really enhance your experience. Imagine spending the day with an elephant, enjoying its company, feeding and eating with it and becoming good friends!
In Southern Africa, you can take the tour by train. This kind of safari might be more enjoyed by those who enjoy a little more comfort and class in their trip.
Sailing and Houseboat Safaris
Do you really want to go in style Enjoy your safari from a yacht! This is great way to see some of the wildlife that to stay closer to the water like hippos and crocodiles. Choose the houseboat safari and do little fishing while you are enjoying the view.
Tracking safaris are a great way to see amazing animals that are rare and hard to find, and enjoythem in their own natural habitat. There are African safaris that track gorillas, chimpanzees, and tree climbing lions.
Bird Watching Safari
Big game not your thing? Bird watchers can still get their thrills on a bird watching safari.