Exploring the Continent of Africa
Some people think Africa is a country, others think it to be a most dangerous place but in reality the Continent of Africa is one of the most fascinating and friendly parts of the world which is almost too big to explore in a single lifetime.
We have come a long way from the times of first exploration when lions and tribes co-existed with dinosaurs but with such diversity and with so many unique places to visit, a trip to Africa is still a very exciting prospect with beautiful sites, colourful locals and vast plains where the lion is still king.
There are countless books or guides written about travelling around Africa but here are just a few of many hundreds of truly inspiring places to visit on what many refer to as the Dark Continent. Here we look at the top 10 places to visit in Africa
NAMIBIA Dune 45
There is something fascinating about the seemingly empty landscapes in Namibia and there are few photograph opportunities as impressive as a sunset or sunrise over the endless red dunes of Namibia.
Located to the south of Swakopmund, in the Namibia desert you will find the towering dunes of Sossusvlei. It is possible to stay overnight in a nearby campsite which allows for the most memorable opportunity to climb famous “Dune 45” and watch the sun go down at night in a spectacular fashion.
No visit to East Africa is complete without a trip to the worlds most famous National Park. With a unique opportunity to camp overnight in the middle of the park, you are sure to experience what life must be like for the generations of local Masia tribes people who have co-inhabited this land since the beginning of time.
The Serengetti is home to the majority of animal species in Africa and the scenery is simply as awe inspiring as you will see on the television.
Although it is not the cheapest of mountains to climb in the world, Kilimanjaro is known as one of the most romantic and most interesting for many reasons. Beginning in the foothills of Africa’s highest mountain, it is common to happen across Elephant and Buffalo in their natural habitat.
This potential encounter with wildlife only enhances the journey as you pass through tropical rainforests before reaching the higher altitudes and snow covered cap of Kili. It will take some effort pushing toward the summit in the cold of night but at the end is the most worthwhile reward of watching the sunrise in what the locals call “The Roof of Africa”.
Many people forget the diversity of a tour to Africa but it really does have everything to offer and if you are a beach lover or culture enthusiast then Zanzibar is going to delight.
Zanzibar is just off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa and first came to fame as the major slave trade port many years ago. There are still relics to this dark time of history in Stone Town but today it is a fascinating experience with glorious seafood and enchanting alleyways that form a maze-like appearance around the fishing port.
The largest inland delta in the world. The Okavango river flows through Africa but instead of flowing toward the sea like most rivers, it instead flows into Botswana and soaks into the sands of the Kalahari desert just North of Maun in Botswana.
This forms an incredible eco system which takes the form of a giant swamp type lake littered with small islands. It is amongst these islands where the crocodiles and hippo’s live and it is on them where the lions, hyenas and other wildlife take refuge.
The Okavango is one of the last remaining wilderness areas of it’s kind in the world and for a very modest price, it is possible for guides to take visitors deep into the Delta for an unforgettable overnight experience in the wild.
FISH RIVER CANYON
Once more, another places that many people have never heard about. Fish River Canyon is the second largest Canyon in the world, second only to the Grand Canyon in the USA.
A majestic site at any time of day, the canyon will be sure to let you know how small you truly are in comparison with mother nature. Orange/Fish River runs through the Canyon which is situated a short drive North of the Namibian/South African border crossing.
MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING
In the rainforests of Rwanda and Uganda are some of the worlds last Mountain Gorilla’s. Although the permits to visit these endangered species is not the cheapest, the experience will more than make up for the cost.
Standing in front of a Mountain Gorilla and sharing a moment with these incredible animals is one of the most unique experiences on this planet. You will realise upon meeting a troop, just how similar we are to our distant relative, you will feel vulnerable to their size, their power but you will never forget it.
Mountain Gorilla permits can be obtained through several online operators and they can be viewed in both Uganda and Rwanda. The variety of experience, places to see and things to do in Africa is almost unrivalled across the globe.
These are just a few of the reasons why it should be on every travellers bucket list and as for it being a “dangerous places”? The guides who have co-existed on these plains from the beginning of time will keep you safe during your time in the continent of Africa
About this Feature Article
Derek Cullen is an Adventure Travel Blogger & Filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland. In late 2013 he began riding a bicycle solo across Africa while sleeping in a tent. It was here that he discovered a true passion for travelling in the outdoors, filmmaking and the general unexpected nature of life. http://www.daytourz.com