Lions in Africa | African Travel Guide
Travelling

Why Travel To Africa?

Why Travel To Africa?

Fifty-four separate countries. One large continent. A smorgasbord of landscapes and cultures, extending from South Africa’s southernmost gem of Cape Town to Egypt’s chaotic magnificence of Cairo. This is Africa, and we look forward to welcoming you here!

The African continent is one travel destination where your camera should always be at the ready. Take Kenya, for example, which tops most people’s African country bucket list according to research by Hoppa: the country’s diverse scenery stretches from savannah and lakelands to the Great Rift Valley, with reserves such as the Maasai Mara being famous for its annual wildebeest migrations and Amboseli National Park offering sightings of Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro – a popular summit for the brave and athletic. Then there’s Cape Town, which tops the African city bucket list in the same survey, with its gorgeous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the shopping mecca of the V&A Waterfront, golden beaches and top-class restaurants which stock local wines from the Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Constantia vinyards, among others, and refreshing craft beers for those warm summer days.

V&A Waterfront in Cape Town | African Travel Guide

This is the only continent in the world where you can go on safari to see the majestic Big Five, consisting of lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo in their natural habitat. Further north, the pyramids are steeped in ancient Egyptian mythology; and you’ll wonder just how they moved such massive stone blocks across the desert, in the times without construction vehicles, simply by wetting the sand in front of a giant sled to prevent friction. Another “wow” experience is “the smoke that thunders” aka the mighty Victoria Falls, where you can bungee off a bridge, attempt some high-risk white water rafting or simply stare down into the abyss where that massive volume of water flows. From such lush areas, travel south and stand spellbound as you encounter the Namib, the world’s oldest desert, with its extreme starkness and orange-hued sands. Wander the bazaars of Morocco, go cave-crawling in Oudtshoorn’s Cango Caves. And this is just touching on what’s out there to do and see in Africa. Add the outgoing people with their range of unique languages and cultures and the abundant new foodie experiences – South African potjiekos, Namibian braaied game, Zanzibari biryani, hot Indian bunnychow or spicy Mozanbican prawns  – and you’ll want to be extending your trip for a week or much more.

Victoria Falls | African Travel Guide

If self-drive is your preferred way to travel once touching down, a good place to land is Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, which is generally considered the gateway to the rest of what Africa offers. Book into reputable and comfortable accommodation, such as the family-friendly Arebbusch Travel Lodge, where you can choose from bed and breakfast or self-catering units – or even a luxury tent, to get into the spirit of camping for the adventure that lies ahead. There are numerous companies you can task with preparing your road trip, which should include an insured 4×4 vehicle fitted with GPS, an itinerary, map and recommended places to stay en route. Notable sights to visit and photograph as you traverse further north include:  

  • the breathtaking reds and oranges of the Sossusvlei sand dunes;
  • the beach vibe of Swakopmund, perched on the very edge of the Namib’s arid plains;
  • the stark rock landscapes of Spitzkoppe;
  • Etosha National Park’s spectacular game viewing, where even the shy leopard may be spotted on occasion; and
  • Waterberg Plateau’s extensive metorite – the Hoba – which is apparently the world’s largest.

Deadvlei in Namibia in Africa | African Travel Guide

While each African country offers its own unique combination of sights, scenes, historical facts and cultural pointers, two aspects are commonly noted by first-time travellers: the people are incredibly friendly, open and engaging; and the favourable exchange rate versus the US dollar or Euro means the average middle-class traveller can opt for a combo of accommodation types, that range from very rough camping to highend five-star guesthouses with all the trimmings.

So when you’re next toying with the idea of booking an exciting and dynamic trip that provides something very different from traditional city life at home, give some thought to the mighty continent that is Africa. 

 
People in Africa | African Travel Guide

TOP TIPS FOR AFRICAN TRAVELS

  • Be sure you have the required visa for each country;
  • Have the recommended shots before you go;
  • Drink bottled water as a rule (the tap water is generally safe in Cape Town);
  • Get a trusted local, such as a friend or your hotel manager, to inform you of their favourite hangouts and to let you know what is considered safe to do and what to be wary of;
  • Try an Airbnb rather than a hotel every so often, so you have more cash for eating out, cultural events and gifts for those back home;
  • US dollars and a Visa/Mastercard are widely accepted;
  • Make sure you have the right plugs for each of your electrical devices;
  • Google the recommended festivals and special events at each place you’re staying so you don’t miss anything special or spectacular; and
  • Share your experiences on social media to encourage other global travellers to visit, too.

Leopard in Africa | African Travel Guide

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Game Viewing in Namibia
Travelling

Game Viewing In Africa

Game viewing is sure to be one of the main activities on your bucket list for any trip to Africa.
Vast tracts of Africa’s land mass are dedicated to conservation. There are National Parks to visit across the continent for game viewing purposes:

Some of the better-known game reserves and national parks in Africa include:

Transfrontier Parks, or Peace Parks, consist of conservation areas that span two or more countries. There are currently 10 of these in Africa, namely:

  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – Namibia and South Africa
  • !Ai-!Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park – Namibia and South Africa
  • Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area – Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe
  • Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park – South Africa and Zimbabwe
  • Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area – Mozambique, South Africa and The Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland)
  • Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Area – Lesotho and South Africa
  • Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area
  • Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Lower Zambezi-Mana Pools Transfrontier Conservation Area – Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Liuwa Plains-Mussuma Transfrontier Conservation Area – Angola and Zambia

There are also very many smaller parks and private game reserves that will offer you unique wildlife experiences. It all depends on what you are looking for on your trip. From 5 star luxury and escorted game drives to self-drive camping trips with few amenities, Africa has it all.

In Africa, you can spend your days eyeballing the Big Five or go in search of birds, frogs and insects – all in the name of getting back to nature.
Each of these has their own unique attributes, and every one of them deserves a visit.

  • Kruger National Park is the best known and one of the most accessible places for game viewing worldwide.
  • Etosha National Park is famous for its massive salt pan which is visible from space, and large populations of endangered large mammals.
  • The Serengeti and Mara are the places to watch mass wildebeest migrations.
  • South Luangwa is considered the home of the walking safari.

All of Africa’s wild spaces are home to prolific birdlife, both endemic and migratory, as well as many thousands of reptile, insect and amphibian species.

You’ll find many an unusual plant to surprise and delight you too.

In Africa, you have to work for your game sightings. Wild animals are free to roam as they please and your patience may be tested as you drive or walk in the hot sun searching for them. This only makes each sighting seem like more of an achievement.

Fortunately, the gorgeous landscapes that you traverse during your searches are just as appealing as the animals – there are few dull moments during an African safari.

Many of the lesser-known protected areas in Africa provide access to some of its most stunning scenery and unique species.  

Game Viewing Tips

Animals are unpredictable, and luck can play a major role in the success of your game viewing activities. Be prepared to spend time and effort to achieve sightings and you will be rewarded.

Waiting close to water holes is a sure way to see animals as most of them drink at least once a day. Scour the landscape and the nearby vegetation for signs of movement which can indicate that an animal is about to emerge from cover for a drink.

Most game parks in Africa provide access to hides and lookout points with a view over watercourses, and many have floodlit waterholes situated close to their boundaries where you can watch for animals 24/7.

Drive slowly while travelling in game reserves, as animals often hang back from the road and could be concealed in the bushes nearby or their camouflage may fool you at first glance.

Take pleasure in the antics of small, less famous creatures. Warthogs, squirrels and meerkats can be hugely entertaining on closer observation.

Check out the game sightings books at the various rest camps for clues as to where sought-after species may be.

Above all, take the time to soak up the unique environment of Africa’s beautifully preserved spaces and the blissful safari atmosphere around camp with its smell of braai fires, sounds of birdsong and blissful silences.

For more information or to book your game viewing trip to Africa, pop African Travel Guide a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist. 

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

Photography tips for your trip to Namibia
Travelling

Photography Tips For Your Trip To Africa

While it certainly helps if you have the most advanced equipment, you don’t need the latest, greatest gear to take amazing travel photographs during your trip to Africa. A good quality point-and-shoot or smartphone will do the trick.

Try out our top photography tips on your next holiday and you’ll be surprised at the results you get.

Location is Key

If you want to take great photos, it makes sense to include all of the most scenic spots when planning your trip to any African destination. Then, armed with your master list, you can look online for inspiration and make a note of any specific shots you’d like to try and imitate.

Work with the Light

When you arrive at one of the attractions you want to photograph, take a moment to check out how the light plays on the landscape. Africa is famous for the quality of its light at dusk and dawn. Get up early and linger longer to catch the magical sparkly moments that automatically improve any image. Early risers also get to miss the crowds at many tourist attractions, making it much easier to plan and compose your photographs more professionally.

Don’t shoot into the sun, and be aware of where shadows are before you shoot. You don’t want half of your image fading into the darkness.

A Different Perspective

Try moving your camera to the side for a better angle or stepping back slightly to include more than one thing in your viewfinder. Be patient and take time to compose your shot.

Getting it Together

Use the ‘rule of thirds’ to make sense of your shot. Many cameras have the ability to display a grid of these 9 equal-sized boxes on their screens. Use this function to place the focus of your image near one of the places where these lines join. Align the horizon with one of the horizontal lines according to how much sky you want in the shot. You can download an app with this facility for taking images on your smartphone.

Get up Close

This rule does not apply to photographing wild animals. Most of Africa’s wild animals are averse to humans encroaching too closely on their personal space. Give them the respect they deserve and the distance they desire.

Being physically closer adds drama to your images, especially if you take photographs from the center of the action during a group activity. Try to capture unique moments and detail close up. Zoom in on that pretty bloom. Focus on your family’s faces while they watch the antics of Africa’s amazing wildlife or capture their own antics as they experience the adventure that Africa has to offer.

Fill your shots with interest from corner to corner but be conscious that you don’t chop off body parts while you are at it.

Relax

The most important of all the photography tips is to relax and enjoy taking snaps. Go with your instinct, you don’t want to miss an iconic image because you were over planning it.
Our sign off tip – you are here to experience the magic of this amazing continent, don’t waste it all by staring through a lens all day.

For more information about photography in Africa or to book you next photography trip to Africa, drop us a message via the African Travel Guide contact us page and we will gladly assist you. 

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

Namibias top attractions
Travelling

A Snapshot Of Africa’s Top Attractions

Africa is a world-famous destination for nature lovers and photographers, and for good reason. The range of things to see and things to do on this continent can be overwhelming.  Here’s a rundown of some of the main attractions in Africa’s most visited countries to set you on your way.

Namibia

The Land of Sand and mysterious beasts, Namibia is a fascinating mix of unique geographical features, amazing fauna and flora and desolate spaces. Here are just a few of Namibia’s top destinations:

South Africa

Marketed as a world in one country, South Africa boasts a natural and cultural diversity that boggles the mind. Here’s a snapshot of the variety that awaits you:

  • Cape Town
  • Kruger National Park
  • The Whale Coast
  • Cape Winelands
  • KZN Midlands and Drakensberg
  • St Lucia Wetland Park
  • Cango Caves
  • Sterkfontein Caves
  • Cradle of Mankind
  • Sun City
  • Garden Route
  • Addo Elephant Park
  • Johannesburg
  • Sodwana Bay
  • Blyde River Canyon
  • Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Kenya

Kenya brings to mind images of massive wildebeest herds, and vast plains a la Out of Africa and it truly delivers when it comes to all of these expectations. It’s also becoming a favored beach and fishing destination and has a rich colonial history. Make sure you tick off the following on your visit to this enigmatic African destination:

  • Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Amboseli National Reserve
  • Tsavo National Park
  • Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha
  • Lamu Island
  • Nairobi
  • The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
  • Mombasa
  • Malindi
  • Mount Kenya
  • Hell’s Gate
  • Ol Pejeta

Tanzania

Tanzania is another country with strong ties to the big game safari industry and is a fantastic destination for a scuba holiday. Here’s your wish list for this East African treasure:

  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area
  • Selous Game Reserve
  • Mt Kilimanjaro
  • Zanzibar and the Spice Islands
  • Lake Manyara
  • Mafia Island
  • Pemba Island

Zambia

Zambia is the land where tourisst first set off on walking safaris and remains one of the best places for this activity. There’s more to Zambia than a walk on the wild side, don’t miss this mix of attractions when you visit:

  • Victoria Falls
  • Lake Kariba
  • Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park
  • Kasanka National Park
  • Livingstone
  • South Luangwa National Park
  • Kafue National Park
  • Lower Zambezi National Park
  • Lusaka
  • Solwezi Stone Age engravings

Zimbabwe

Best-known as the site of Victoria Falls amazing adventure activities and dubious political history, Zimbabwe is back on the rise as a great destination for travelers in Africa. Here are the top spots:

  • Victoria Falls
  • Mana Pools
  • Matobo hills
  • Chimanimani Mountains
  • Harare
  • Domboshava Caves
  • Vumba Mountains
  • The Great Zimbabwe Ruins
  • Hwange National Park

Botswana

Botswana has always been a favorite of those looking for a less mainstream safari outing and certainly delivers for the curious traveler. Here’s your hit list for a visit to this Southern African gem:

  • Okavango Delta
  • Chobe National Park
  • Moremi Game Reserve
  • Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Tsodilo Hills 
  • Nxai Pan
  • Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Plan Your Trip to Africa with us

For more information or to book your trip to Africa to experience these amazing attractions first-hand, pop African Travel Guide a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist you. 

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

 

The top activities and things to do in Namibia
Travelling

The Top Activities & Things To Do In Africa

During your travels across Africa, you are welcome to relax in and around your accommodation in Africa, or in any one of the many scenic spots you’ll find. However, you will soon discover that adventure beckons from every angle when you explore this vast continent.

These are some of the top activities and best things to do when in Africa:

  •  Fishing

Anglers flock to bodies of water around Africa every day of the year. Steenbras, kabeljou, galjoen and blacktail are common catches, while inland dams offer a chance to go for barbel, bass, carp, yellowfish and tilapia.

Africa’s diverse habitats mean that you’ll find a new challenge lurking below the waters wherever you go.

  • Adventure Activities

Namibia is a hotspot for desert adventures in the form of dune boarding, and camel rides. Africa boasts some of the highest bungee jumps in the world at Victoria Falls and South Africa’s Bloukrans Bridge.

There’s also exhilarating shark cage diving and abseiling off Table Mountain in Cape Town, and Crocodile cage diving in Oudtshoorn.

White water rafting on the Zambezi River or Usuthu River’s Class V rapids is enough to get anyone’s adrenaline going. Add to this a huge variety of activities available in every touristic African destination like horse riding, quad biking, skydiving, bouldering, wildlife tracking and more.

You haven’t seen a sunrise until you’ve witnessed it from a hot air balloon over the African plains.

Most African countries offer the classic variety of this excursion which involves drifting along at sunrise followed by a breakfast out in the wild.

  • Dolphin and Whale Cruises

Get to grips with some of Africa’s diverse ocean species with exhilarating outings on the ocean waves. Dolphin and whale cruises are offered in both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans which wash the African shores.

Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Hermanus, Durban and Cape Town are the best-known destinations for these activities.

Apart from these fascinating marine mammals, these excursions offer a chance to see penguins, seals and seabirds from up close.

  • Hiking

Wherever you find challenging terrain, you’ll find opportunities for hiking in Africa. Some of the best-known places to explore on foot in Africa include:

  • The Fish River Canyon Trail, Namibia
  • Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
  • Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
  • Mount Mulanje, Malawi
  • Toubkal National Park, Morocco
  • Rwenzori Mountains, D.R.Congo/Uganda
  • Murchison Falls, Uganda
  • Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

If these mega-challenges are a little out of your league, you’ll still find plenty of places to don your hiking boots or running shoes around national parks, mountainsides, river courses and natural attractions all over the continent.

  • Mountaineering

If you like climbing, bouldering or caving, there are numerous venues to indulge your whims. Favourite spots in Namibia include, The Erongo Mountains, Brandberg or Spitzkoppe.

South Africa has Table Mountain, the Drakensberg and plenty of lower peaks to explore.

Who can resist the challenge of Tanzania’s Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak?

  • On Two Wheels

Hire a motorbike and take to the road. Tour operators all over Africa can arrange unforgettable motorbike adventures wherever you choose to roam.

Those who prefer to work a little harder will find opportunities to explore from the saddle as they pedal the routes less travelled near scenic spots in South Africa, Namibia, Uganda, Morocco, Tanzania and Madagascar.

  • Diving

Some of the world’s best dive sites are found off Africa’s coast. The most notable ones include:

  • The Mozambique Archipelago
  • Aliwal Shoal, South Africa
  • Sodwana Bay, South Africa
  • Sha’ab Rumi South, Sudan
  • Umbria, Sudan
  • Pemba Island, Zanzibar
  • Mnemba Atoll, Zanzibar
  • Big Brother, Egypt
  • Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

Inland, you can don your snorkel and goggles in caves and lakes and abandoned mine shafts.

  • On the Water

Boating and sailing is offered wherever you can find a dam, lake, river or Ocean in Africa and rafting is popular on the continent’s tempestuous rivers.

Kite surfing, surfing, wind surfing and water skiing are other popular options.

  • Game Drives

Nobody should visit Africa without embarking on an African Safari and game drive in one of the continents’s many National Parks or Private reserves. See more about this here.

  • Golf

Spending time near civilization? Treat yourself to a round of golf at any one of the remarkable golf courses around many of Africa’s major cities. If you are contemplating a golfing holiday in Africa, you’ll find you can choose from more than 50 countries across the continent.

Here’s a list of just some of the best courses in Africa and many of these countries have multiple courses.

  • South Africa: The Links at Fancourt, Arabella Golf Club in Hermanus, The Gary Player Golf Course at Sun City
  • Mauritius, Constance Belle Mare Plage, Four Seasons Golf Club
  • Egypt, The Cascades Golf and Country Club at Soma Bay
  • Morocco, Mazagan Golf Club
  • Namibia, Windhoek Golf and Country Club
  • Seychelles, Lemuria Golf Course – Praslin Island
  • Tunisia, Flamingo Golf Course
  • Zimbabwe, Leopard Rock Golf Resort
  • Sightseeing

Whether your tastes lean towards more cultural themes, or if you’re just a sucker for a glowing sunset, there are thousands of sightseeing attractions dotted all around the continent.

No matter where you’ve booked your accommodation in Africa, you’ll find something to amuse and amaze you throughout your stay.

For more information or to book your trip to Africa to partake in some of these exciting activities first-hand, pop African Travel Guide a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist you. 

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.