While many backpackers find the allure of Thailand, Indonesia and the Far East too much to resist, there is an increasing number of travelers who yearn to make their way to Africa. This is a continent of extremes – beautiful scenic savannahs, unbelievable wildlife, forward-thinking cities and more geographical wonders than you can shake a stick at. If you’ve ever been tempted to scratch your wanderlust itch by heading to Africa, take a look at some of the experiences that you shouldn’t miss.
Climb A Mountain
The first image that you think of when someone mentions Africa may be a pride of lionesses hunting wildebeest for their pack, or sunsets over the Masai Mara horizon a la Lion King. However, delve a little deeper, and you will discover a whole host of incredible mountains just waiting to be climbed. Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most famous yet accessible peaks. If you are relatively fit, you could find yourself on one of the well established walking trails up the mountain, peaking just in time to see the sunrise over the savannah.
There’s nothing more synonymous with Africa than a safari holiday. By venturing out with local guides, you could find yourself tracking herds of elephant, observing giraffe feeding from the tallest trees and witnessing the migration of antelope. You could camp under the stars or stay in a little more luxury at one of the many safari resorts now available in Kenya or Botswana. You may get to experience the Masai Mara from the basket of a hot air balloon or ride with the local veterinarians who treat injured animals within the conservation parks. If you love the animal kingdom, you can become well and truly immersed in it in Africa.
Egypt has been a beacon for Western tourists for decades with the culturally and historically significant Pyramids of Giza making the country stand out as a destination for holidaymakers. Taking a coach tour to the desert will allow you to wander around the ancient monuments, explore the hieroglyphics and take a stroll around the Pyramid Museum. While some people are shocked when they spy a McDonald’s next door to the ancient site and can become a little dismayed with the tourist tat being sold nearby, if you look beyond this, you can take in the ambience of 5000-year-old tombs that are still standing today.
If a little less adventure is more your thing, heading to Zanzibar on the Indian Ocean coast may be just what you are looking for. White sugar beaches, crystal turquoise seas and a climate to do nothing more than chill, read a book and have a cocktail in could lead to the ultimate relaxation holiday. If you want peace and quiet and total chill out time, there’s nowhere more tranquil to while away the days.
Africa is a land full of diverse cultures, incredible cuisine, stunning scenery and wondrous sites. If you fancy somewhere a little off the usual backpacking trail, make sure Africa makes it onto your travel shortlist.