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5 Things to Add to your Bucket List Trips to Africa
July 27th, 2020 | Guest post by: Alexandra Koukidou
Africa, the second-largest continent on Earth, has a diverse landscape that makes travelers come back again and again to discover each time a new piece of its allure. Some even claim that African countries have the most breathtaking and pristine natural habitats in the world, and most probably, they are right. Wildlife is abundant in Africa, and vegetation differs throughout the continent with 12 distinct vegetational zones. In simpler words, expect to see everything, from rainforests, deserts, woodlands, and shrubs, to even Mediterranean ecosystems. Countless are the places to see and expeditions to make in every African country. In this Bucket List Guide, though, we’ll direct your attention to Eastern and Southern Africa, and present you with 5 bucket list things to do. Get ready for the most unique experience of your life!
#1 Safari in Kenya
The Swahili word safari translates into English as a journey or voyage. A safari surely is what you’re up to if you’re travelling to Africa. Kenya is almost always recommended as the best destination to go for a safari trip. Commonly, people believe that the climate in all African countries is extremely hot. However, the same doesn’t hold for Kenya, where temperatures are pleasantly warm all year round. During the dry season, from June to October, temperatures fluctuate from 10°C/50°F - 28°C/82°F and in the wet season, November to May, from 24°C/75°F to 30°C/86°F.
Natural Track Safaris promises to offer you the most memorable safari experience in Kenya. They offer multiple journeys that you can customize to your preferences. From a one-day to 15-day safari, you’ll visit not only the wildlife of Kenya but also neighboring lands such as Uganda and Tanzania. Explore East Africa to the fullest, starting from Kenyan inland with Amboseli National park overlooking Mountain Kilimanjaro, Lake Nakuru and Lake Turkana, Mount Kenya and Samburu. Safari, particularly Jeep Safari, is intertwined with coming as close as it gets with wild and exotic animals. You’ll be lucky to see rare species such as the black rhinos and white rhinos, giant crocodiles, the Grevy’s zebra, the black-maned lion, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, and so many more. See the full list of safari package tour options and what you need to know before the journey.
#2 Victoria Falls in Zambia
At the Zambia - Zimbabwe borders, the impressive Victoria Falls clearly proves why it’s one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World. At the same time, it’s one of the largest waterfalls worldwide with a width of 1,708 meters (5,604 feet). Victoria Falls and its eight gorges create a stable ecosystem for thousands of plants and animals. For humans, Victoria Falls are probably the most popular hub for tourists who seek adventures and love adrenaline. Bungee jumping may not be for everyone, but you might be tempted to try it once if you have the most spectacular views of the Falls. If you’re not into heights, then why not try some watersports? White water rafting is the ultimate escapade. Though it requires a certain level of experience, being rated with Grade 5 difficulty, it will challenge you to overcome your own boundaries. People of this mindset will also find skydiving, swimming on the edge of the Victoria Falls, and zipline rather fascinating. If you feel like a fish out of water with these kinds of extreme sports, then canoeing at the Zambezi River, a helicopter flight over the Falls, or a romantic sunset cruise might be something more to your liking. Whether you go the extra mile with extreme sports or opt for a more relaxed experience, Victoria Falls will capture your mind, body, and soul.
#3 Baobab Avenue in Madagascar
Only 260 meters (850 feet) long, the Avenue of the Baobabs, situated between two cities, Morondava and Belon'i Tsiribihina, is one of the most popular sights in Madagascar. No doubt, you’ve seen pictures of Baobab Avenue circulating on the internet or watched it in a documentary. It is estimated that some of the 25 or so trees, reaching up to 40 meters (131 feet), are over 2,800 years old. What it is today a selection of 20 - 25 baobab trees, in the past, was a dense forest. Due to the growing population and the human needs of food and agricultural activities, the forest gradually shrank. After 2005, the area has been protected to deter any further deforestation. The Avenue is one of these sights of great beauty that are free of charge. A few kilometers away, there is a less touristy attraction called the Baobab of love. It owes its name to two baobab trees twisted together that gave birth to a legend. According to this myth, a young woman and a young man, living in nearby villages, fell in love. But, they couldn’t be together as they both had other assigned partners decided by their families. However, they secretly prayed to their gods, and in response, these two trees grew to symbolize their eternal love.
#4 Lions Head in Cape Town, South Africa
From Lions Head, you'll have the best views of Cape Town from above, but most surprisingly, your eyes will gaze across two Oceans, the Atlantic and Indian, blending with each other. National Geographic has enlisted Lions Head hiking trail among the most thrilling trails in the world. Hiking up to the peak of 669 meters (2,195 feet) takes two to three hours with stops. Even though a moderately difficult trail, there are two possible routes, one shorter and one longer. The shorter one is slightly more dangerous, as, at some point, you’ll need to use staples and chains to continue your path. The lengthy route is safer if you have children with you. Regardless of which one you pick, the starting point is the same. This being the Lion’s Head parking lot, accessible via the Lion’s Head / Signal Hill turn-off from Kloof Nek Road. Making it to the top before sunrise or by sunset is definitely mesmerizing. But, if you go for the full moon experience, you’ll be flooded with the most intense emotions staring at the full moon’s blinding light illuminating the mountain’s slopes. The Watchman’s Cave is reportedly the best spot to marvel at the views. For a more complete guide of things to do in the southern country of the African continent, check out our post dedicated to South Africa.
#5 Zanzibar Archipelago in Tanzania
If turquoise water, fine white sand, and swinging palm trees are your idea of paradise, then you have found it on Εarth. At the Zanzibar Archipelago, relaxation is upgraded to the next level. It consists of two bigger islands, Unguja and Pemba, and a few smaller ones. Some of the most beautiful beaches are Nungi, Kendwa, Matemwe, Kizimkazi, and Paje. When hitting the beach, you will find several watersports to do, such as diving, snorkeling, or kite surfing. Prison or Changu Island is a very famous day-trip and a sanctuary for giant tortoises. It’s only a 25-minute boat ride from the coast of Stone Town. They say that after a day at the beach, you work up an appetite. Fortuitously, Zanzibar is known for its local cuisine, with dishes like biryani, a rice and meat dish, Mchuzi wa pweza (octopus curry), or even a local version of pizza where all the ingredients are stuffed in the dough.
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