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Africa travel guide

When it comes to describing Africa, 'huge' is an understatement. It's a mighty continent with an endless amount of incredible places to visit and things to see - but where do you start? Well we've narrowed it down to the best bits, and popped it all in this comprehensive travel guide.

 

Animals and safaris in Africa

You've seen the Lion King (in two incarnations at least, by now), and you're dying to take 'nants ingonyamas' to see the gang for yourself. Here's how to do it and where to stay...
Caveman painting of animals in South Africa
South Africa
A great choice for safari newbies and veterans, South Africa is our favourite all-rounder. Hire a car to take on Kruger National Park on your own, opt for group tour or upgrade yourself to a boutique lodge situation on a private reserve. The Big 5 are here in abundance (and the Little 5 if you look close enough) as well as the springbok, oryx and kudu.
Spot: Lion, Elephant, Giraffe, Leopard, Rhino.
Scenic view of Kenya at sunset
Kenya and Tanzania
Africa's most notorious national park hoarders, Kenya and Tanzania have the lion's share of epic wildlife experiences between them. The Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Maasai Mara no doubt share the crown with the clear savannahs leading to countless animal sightings. Come for intrepid safaris and the Great Migration. 
Spot: Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhino.
Trees in Africa
Uganda and Rwanda.
Where the apes live. Uganda and Rwanda are more off the beaten track than most, and as a result offer two of world's most exclusive wildlife encounters: rare mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. So if you want to meet one of your closest and hairiest relatives (it's nice to visit family) this is where to you come to.
Spot: Gorilla and Chimpanzee.

Your typical safari day

  • 5am - Prime safari time
    Animals tend to be out first thing to avoid the day's heat, so it's prime safari time. You'll head out with your guide and catch sunrise.
  • 8am: Breakfast
    Even though you'll stop for snacks and drinks breaks on safari you'll enjoy breakfast which is usually continental or buffet style.
  • 10am: Walking safari
    Before the midday heat hits so some safari trips will include a walking tour at this point.
  • 12pm: Lunch
    The animals will be finding shade now, so take the opportunity to relax, swim, chill in the safari camp or resort. Sleep when they sleep.
  • 5pm Late afternoon animal spotting
    Late afternoon is another chance to spot animals coming out to hunt now that it's cooling off. Be sure to enjoy aptly named 'sundowners' (a drink and snack break) while out animal spotting.
  • 9pm: After dinner time to meet the nocturnals!
    Night safaris present all kinds of experiences with different animals and behaviours to observe. Watch out for all the unique insects attracted to the big search lights and arrive back to camp and settle in for the night around a boma (a big BBq or open fire).

What we love about Africa...

cost of beer in south africa

South Africa

Kruger National Park: Home to over 12,000 elephants, 27,000 buffalo and 1,000 leopards, Kruger is one of the world's most leopards, Kruger is one of the world's most-loved game reserves.

Lesotho: Lesotho is big on renewable energy. Horse-riding and hiking trails are everywhere here, mountain scenery included.

cost of food in south africa

Namibia

Canyons and caves: Fish River Canyon is the world's second-largest canyon and Dragon's Breath is the world's largest underground lake.

Rare wildlife: A quarter of all the world's cheetahs live here and it's also home to the last free-ranging population of black rhinos.

Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe

The Okavango Delta: Most deltas lead to the ocean, but the world's largest inland delta empties onto land creating ever-changing landscapes and hosting a huge array of animals.

Shots of adrenalin: Zambia's Livingstone has some of the best white ater rafting, bungy jumping and gorge swinging in Africa.

Uganda, Rwanda & Tanzania

Mountain Gorillas: These apes are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. And with fewer than 900 left in the wild, seeing them is up there with the world's most incredible sights.

Ngorongoro Crater: The world's largest intact caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater is home to 40,000 animals, including hyenas, lions and rhinos.

Madagascar

It's uniqueness: Madagascar has been an isolated island for around 70 million years, meaning that 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else.

Andasibe National Park: Infused with enchanting forests, rare flowers, exotic wildlife and cascading waterfalls, it's hard not to fall in love with this place.

Jordan, Israel & Lebanon

The Dead Sea: So salty not even can fish live there and the lowest point earth...welcome to the best floating spot ever.

The Rose City of Petra: Lost to the Western World for hundreds of years, the abandoned city of Petra is an ancient wonder carved into vibrant red, white and pink sandstone cliffs.

Top tours in Africa

Caveman painting of animals in Africa
South Africa & Swazi Quest
The unvarnished grandeur of South Africa is on display in this comprehensive exploration of one of the continent’s most diverse and fascinating destinations. Africa’s incredible culture and wildlife are at a premium on this tour — from the coastal shores of Tsitsikamma to extensive wildlife safari drives in Addo Elephant National Park and the famed Kruger. 
17 days
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Man on a fishing boat in Africa
Nairobi to Zanzibar Adventure
From the buzz of Kenya's capital to the excitement of tracking the Big Five across the Serengeti, feel the pulse of Africa on this 10-day journey. Explore the incomparable beauty of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater before heading to Zanzibar for a taste of island culture and some chilled out beach time. 
10 days
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Camels at sunset in Morocco
Highlights of Morocco
Morocco is full of Arabian charm, vibrant cities, beautiful colours and magical cobbled laneways - it's wild, but in the best way. Your only issue will be finding the time to rest.
15 days
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Discover more tours in Africa

Trek Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is a beast of a mountain at 5,895m tall, and skilled staff and dedicated support crews are there to help you get the best of it. The porters know the slopes better than anyone , and their skill set and expertise will be invaluable to your climb. And you can rest easy knowing that they are looked after in return, with fair pay and plenty of support.

What do I need to know about trekking Mount Kilimanjaro?

The main reason people do not make it to the summit is due to altitude sickness rather than lack of stamina or strength. That said, it's easier the fitter you are. However, there's no need to go overboard with fitness prep. The air at the summit contains about half of the breathable oxygen most of us are used to at sea level. Everyone will handle the high altitude and thinner air differently, which is why your leader will try to keep the ascent slow and steady. You'll need energy to make that push to the top, and your camp cooks will make sure there's plenty of healthy, quality food on hand. Fresh supplies will be carried for you. You'll stay in mountain huts, full service camping, you won't need to bring anything and can even rent a pillow and sleeping bag.

Need some Africa inspiration? Read our blog.

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