Three different ways to visit Africa
Our Destination Experts have Africa in their blood and want all of our clients to fall in love with the place they have spent their lives exploring. They are passionate about all aspects of the Africa experience and revel in each destination’s nuances and undiscovered pockets. Here we have highlighted three destinations which are less-visited than the safari big-hitters of East and Southern Africa, but are just as inspiring. Between them, they manage to capture that wild, uncharted feeling of ‘old Africa’ and are perfect for clients familiar with the continent.
Uganda is emerging as an exhilarating still-under-the-radar destination for active clients. Along with Rwanda, it is famed for its population of Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Home to approximately 330 Mountain Gorillas (almost half of the world’s total population), Bwindi is also the only forest in Africa which has Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas co-existing.
Due to recent price hikes of permits in Rwanda, Uganda is now a much more affordable option for those who want to see the Mountain Gorillas. The treks in Uganda are certainly harder as the terrain is steeper but this makes the sightings arguably more rewarding.
The large primates are only the beginning of Uganda’s charms. At Murchison Falls – Uganda’s biggest wildlife reserve, we can arrange for clients to take a boat up the River Nile to the base of the Falls, gliding past hippo, crocodile, and elephants on the river bank before taking a small hike to the top for stunning views of the crashing Falls.
Destination Expert Cara recently stayed at Apoka Safari Lodge in Kidepo Valley National Park, which lies in the very north of the country. Nothing prepares you for the beauty of this area, with its sweeping African plains lined by mountains and volcano peaks. Apoka sits in the heart of the National Park amongst the game rich plains and is stylishly designed with enormous and very comfortable cottages. Cara describes this stunning area as ‘feeling are though you are in the Maasai Mara before it became so popular’. Remote, unspoilt and off the beaten track: this is untouched Africa.
Namibia has breathtaking, diverse landscapes that are any photographer’s dream. With desert, sea and safari all in one country, it is visually spectacular. In Namibia, we often arrange a self-driving holiday for clients, which makes for a more affordable trip and a real adventure. With roads that are in good condition, lovely little cafes scattered along the way and a landscape that changes dramatically every 2 hours or so, it is an exciting option for couples and families alike. Visit the dramatic ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein and travel to Sossusvlei, home of the biggest dunes in the world, which you can climb.
There is good game-viewing at Etosha in the north of the country, but Namibia is all about the stunning scenery. In this sense, it works well when combined with trips to Botswana and South Africa where there is guaranteed great game-viewing.
For something truly spectacular we can arrange a flying safari along Namibia’s eerily beautiful skeleton coast. Head of our Africa team, Claire, recalls her flying safari as one of the most amazing things she has ever done in Africa and remembers the excitement of flying at such low levels and being able to choose any spot on the beach to land on just for a cup of tea. Luxury holiday to Namibia
With a richly varied landscape and over a quarter of its area designated as protected reserves, as well as a strong commitment to developing tourism sustainably, Tanzania is one of the greatest safari destinations of all. The endless plains of the Serengeti and the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater in the north of the country are rightly renowned, but our Africa Experts can also open up the lesser-travelled, but equally inspiring, south of the country.
The massive Selous Game Reserve is the perfect location for such an adventure. Verdant and riverine, it is a great place to do walking safaris as you can set off for miles without coming across another soul. Set out from your camp at first light in the company of an armed qualified guide who will escort you through this magic land on foot, explaining the smaller but no less important details of nature often unseen from vehicles. The Selous also has the largest population of Wild Dog in the world: although they can still prove rather elusive. But while you may have to work a little harder for the game, the thrill of seeing so much untouched habitat and few vehicles is worth it.
Ruaha National Park with its sand rivers, giant baobab trees and large lion population is another highlight of Southern Tanzania. An hour and a half flying time west of the Selous, its dramatic red-scorched earth is home to lion prides numbering up to 30 as well as leopards. And with great new camps opening up and fantastic guides operating in the area, now is the time to go.
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