Discovering Africa : The Ultimate Travel Guideadmin
Last Updated January 2nd, 2019
Adventures in Africa | Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling To Africa
My African Dream! The vibrant cultures, exciting attractions, and colorful scenery, make Africa a dream continent indeed! There are plenty of exciting places to visit when you vacation in Africa, and aside from the popular safaris that make this continent unique, there are tons of other activities that you can enjoy.
Some of the most amazing vacation spots in Africa will take you from the arid Northern regions, to the more arable Southern areas.
Africa boasts a rich history and culture, and of course, the most abundant wildlife that people come from all over the world to admire. Most countries within Africa have numerous game reserves and national parks that offer exciting game viewing including the Big 5, exotic birds, and some of the most unique plant life.
For those who are outdoor enthusiasts, Africa is your playground! Even if you are an admitted city slicker, you will find Africa one of the most fascinating places on earth, with many vibrant cities and towns that will appeal to your urban sense of adventure.
So, let’s have a look at the top amazing vacation spots in Africa that should include in your travel itinerary, when you embark on your journey.
At the very tip of the African continent, lies the most Westernized of all the African countries. South Africa is known for its extremely diverse climates, cultures, history, and lifestyles with the main vacation spot being that of Cape Town at the very South of the country.
Cape Town offers a truly unique experience with cosmopolitan CBD and wide variety of outlying areas that will appeal to everyone. Within the CBD itself, you can enjoy taking a long hike or cable car ride up the famed Table Mountain, explore the Cape of Goodhope Castle, take a boat ride out to Robben Island, where the renowned ex-president Nelson Mandela was held prisoner, and enjoy the world-class V&A Waterfront.
The famous Cape Wine Route is a must where you will find some of the finest wine farms in the world in towns like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.
These places have such a rich history too with interesting museums, history buildings, and plenty of world class restaurants and cafes to frequent.
Making your way right to the Southwestern Most point of Cape Town, and the country, you will find more seaside village type of suburbs including the Kalk Bay where you can shop for antiques, browse little art galleries and curios shops and enjoy the eclectic atmosphere, Fish Hoek, with its beautiful beach, and whale watching sites, and Simon’s Town, the seat of the South African Navy, where you would be mistaken for thinking you were in a quaint British seaside village.
Here you will also find the penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach and of course you can then make your way further along to The Cape of Goodhope Nature Reserve, where you can see the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet at Cape Point, view the 15th Century Diaz Cross, spot some Cape Mountain Zebra and various buck, and enjoy snorkeling at the nearby private beaches.
If you make your way along the East Coast, you can enjoy Shark Cage Diving in Gansbaai and view the immaculate whales at Hermanus.
For a complete different experience in South Africa, you can make your way up to the northern Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces where you will find the renowned Kruger National Park.
This is the largest and most popular National Park in the country where you can stay at numerous camps in thatched bungalows or caravans, and embark on game drives every day.
You can spot any of the Big 5, as well as a wide variety birds and other smaller animal species.
At night in the campsites, you will be treated to a symphony of hyena laughs, lion vocals, and the occasional hippo or warthog grunts.
South Africa’s other top vacation spots include UShaka Marine World and the Wild Coast found in Kwa-Zulu Natal along the East Coast, as well as the magnificent Drakensberg Mountain Range flanked by the beautiful lush, green rolling hills of Lesoto, a Kingdom fully surrounded by South Africa, The Cradle of Humankind in the central Gauteng Province, and the gorgeous beginnings of the Kalahari Desert in the North West.
There is so much to do and see in South Africa, that you would need an entire vacation dedicated to exploring this wonderful country.
However, there are plenty of other amazing vacation spots in Africa to enjoy.
Along the borders of South Africa, you will find Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Botswana, all of which offer numerous exciting vacation hotspots and attractions.
Children’s Activities in Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg is often though of as a big, bad, scary city. Businessmen tend to hop in and out of here, not spending long enough to see anything but the not-so-varied insides of hotels, taxis and conference centres. Yet this metropolis has so much more to offer if you just take a second and look around. Believe it or not, families can enjoy a fun-filled, educational holiday in this exciting city!
As with the rest of Africa, animals play a big part of the culture and tourism throughout the continent. Johannesburg is no exception to this rule and families can have a fun time discovering and learning about a variety of animals. Johannesburg Zoo is home to animals that come from a diverse range of lands; here Amazon rain-forest monkeys, African lions, cheetahs and wild dogs, a variety of apes, crocodiles, farm yard animals, Madagascan lemurs, and a variety of reptiles can be seen.
The Montecasino Bird Gardens, a one-of-a-kind in Africa, is a walk through aviary that is home to over 60 bird species as well as small mammals and reptiles. The Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary just outside of Johannesburg houses squirrel, capuchin and spider monkeys among a host of others and provides guided, educational tours throughout the sanctuary.
The Johannesburg Planetarium and the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre both provide an exciting, educational day out for children. The shows at the Planetarium offer a unique perspective on the night-sky while children’s shows and birthday parties also happen here. The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre houses a variety of science exhibits, interactive workshops and science shows. Holiday programmes are also on offer at Sci-Bono.
Other exciting activities for families in Johannesburg include Ice-Skating at Northgate Ice Arena, indoor go-karting at the Randburg Raceway and the theme park at Gold Reef City. Along with a wide variety of food and curio stores, Gold Reef City offers a 4D cinema, a barnyard and theme park rides that cater towards a range of ages.
So next time you’re in Johannesburg take a minute, look at the amazing city you find yourself in and enjoy some exciting activities with the entire family.
I Left My Heart in Africa
As a woman born and raised in Poland and then living in the United Kingdom (UK), when I told my parents and friends I was going to Africa, they were naturally very confused. I didn’t have roots there, I wasn’t going for school or was I travelling for work, and even more so I had no family in Africa to visit. What’s more, many people close to me thought it was a dangerous, the ever-warring continent. And these misconceptions were part of the reason I decided to visit this mysterious and culturally rich region of the world – AFRICA.
My first destination in Africa was Cape Town South Africa. I had been interested in this city because I heard that it is a beautiful place for adventure tours such as: take a African bike tour. The previous year I pass my summer biking all over the Netherlands, a certain element of nostalgia for the athletic lifestyle gripped me.
Tour of Table Mountain – My first stop was Table Mountain
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the Flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2mi) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town.
This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear’s Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563ft) above sea level, about 19 metres (62ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
Tour of City Bowl Cape Town, South Africa
The City Bowl is a part of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a natural amphitheatre-shaped area bordered by Table Bay and defined by the mountains of Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak. The adventurous soul within me was completely satisfied with the picturesque vistas of Table Mountain and the City Bowl that I saw from Signal Hill. What’s more, I visited a few beaches in the area, ranging from Clifton 4th beach to Boulders Beach. I highly recommend visiting the beaches because the water in South Africa is uncommonly warm! Some other things I did in Cape Town was visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, take pictures of city hall, and take a day to go wine tasting in the Cape Winelands.
After enjoying Cape Town, I decided to indulge myself in a very typical touristy activity in Africa- I went on a safari. My guide informed me that safari meant ‘to journey’ in Swahili and I thought that was very beautiful. I travelled to Kruger National Park in South Africa (which claims to have the highest diversity of wildlife in Africa). I will, say this, of the ‘Big 5’ I saw elephants, a rhinoceros, lions, and buffalo. No leopards for me! Still, the experience was unparalleled. Seeing the animals in a natural setting, away from the cages and fences of zoos made me think of a more peaceful and organic period of our world’s history. I truly felt that I was one with the earth.
My final destination in Africa took me by plane to the northern point of the continent- to Egypt. I knew that I would be unable to discover all the Egyptian history I had read about in books in one day (in so little time!), so I decided to go to my very favourite place- Alexandria.
The city was known to me because of its historical ties with Cleopatra. I wasn’t disappointed. The seamless miscegenation of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman culture made it one of the most unique places I could have imagined. I visited the Kom ash-Shuqqafa Roman burial site, saw the Alexandria library, and marveled at Pompey’s Pillar.
As I flew back to the UK from Africa, I knew the continent had changed me forever.
Although I had only explored a miniscule part of it, the taste of culture, nature, and beauty I received made me resolute to return. I hope to one day see the entire magnificent continent of Africa, from north to south, east to west, and I absolutely recommend that others do the same.
Namibia, known as the Land of the Brave, is was a colony of Germany, only receiving their independence in 1990. It boasts one of the harshest environments in Africa with huge stretches of uninhabitable coastal beach areas, and sand dunes, where many people enjoy going on sand boarding and quad biking tours.
The Namib and Kalahari Deserts are found here as Namibia is the country in Sub-Saharan African with the least amount of rainfall.
Some of the best places to visit include:
• The Skeleton Coast and the Diamond Coast often covered in thick fog
• The Caprivi Strip
• The Town of Swakopmund
• The town of Walvis Bay
• Cape Cross
• Etosha Pan National Park
• The City of Windhoek, the Capital
• Fish River Canyon
There are extensive wildlife reserves here and sport hunting has become quite popular among tourists.
Botswana is rich in wildlife and one of the most sparsely populated countries in Africa with 70% of the country being made up of the Kalahari Desert.
The best places to visit are the Chobe National Park and the Kgalagadi-Transfrontier National Park, as well as the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Moremi Game Reserve, where you can see the stunning cascading waterfalls of Moremi Gorge, Mokolodi Game Reserve and more.
The ancient rock paintings at Tsoldilo Hills are a must-see on your vacation, and to enjoy some spectacular safari tourism and geographical wonders, visit the Tuli Block to the East where Botswana borders Zimbabwe and South Africa.
You will also find the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan, which boasts some of the largest salt pans in the world. It is desolate during the dry months, with the uniquely massive baobab trees dominating the skyline, but when the rains come, it is the most important place for migrating wildlife, and you will see some of the largest populations of Zebra and Wildebeest, as well as the breeding Greater Flamingos.
More than 200 thousand large mammals pass through the Delta every year during their migration.
Botswana is also home to the lush, fauna and flora rich Okavango Delta or Okavango Swamp which is where the majority of wildlife can be seen. There are over 400 species of birds and 71 species of fish in the Delta.
The Okavango Delta is created by a huge run off from the Okavango River where it reaches the tectonic basin in the Kalahari Desert. It spreads out over between 6000 and 15,000 km2 with 11 cubic kilometers of water flooding the area every year during March and June, bringing the largest diverse populations of wildlife and birds anywhere in Africa. This is the best time to visit Botswana.
If you want a taste of city life, then head to the capital city, Gaborone, where you can visit the National Museum and Art Gallery, see Government Buildings, walk around the National Botanical Gardens, catch a show at the International Convention Center, and have a picnic, go yachting or fishing on the Gaborone Dam.
Perhaps the most famous attraction and vacation spot in Zambia is the majestic Victoria Falls, locally known as the Smoke that Thunders. Shared with Zimbabwe, the Falls stretch across for 1708 meters, and is 108 meters high, making it the largest waterfall in the world.
From the enormous First Gorge, where the entire volume of the Zambezi River pours over, the water then reaches 5 more gorges zigzagging on its way down. On the Zambian side, you can walk a small, steep footpath to reach Boiling Pot, the Second Gorge.
One of the most famous and dangerous tourist attractions is Devil’s Pool reached from Livingstone Island. This naturally formed rock pool offers the most exciting swimming opportunities for visitors, as you frolic right on the edge of the enormous drop.
During a certain time of year, usually September to December, the water is at a safe enough level for people to swim, although swimmers have occasionally been washed over the rock barrier.
While you are here don’t forget to visit the Livingstone Reptile Park and the Livingstone Museum.
Some other eco-regions and wildlife hotspots in Zambia include the South Luangwa National Park, where you can go on a walking safari, take a Zambezi river cruise, visit the North Luangwa National Park where you can enjoy the Kapishya hot springs, go bungee jumping off one of the highest bridges in the world at the Victoria Falls, and enjoy abseiling or bridge sliding at the Batoka Gorge.
Zambia has one of the biggest urban populations in Africa, and you should make a plan to visit the Capital of Lusaka and the Copperbelt region where most people reside.
You can visit the Lusaka National Museum, the Zintu Community Museum, Freedom Statue, Agricultural Society Showgrounds, Open Air Arcades Mall, Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Munda Wanga Environmental Park, Moore Pottery Factory, and Playhouse Theatre.
Victoria Falls Zambia
Zambia’s Victoria Falls is one of the amazing spots that are worth visiting. This magnificent and awe-inspiring attraction that is named after the British queen is among the few most unusual waterfalls that in the globe. In fact, it is considered to be the ultimate curtain of falling water you can ever find.
At least five hundred and forty million cubic meters of water passes over the two kilometer edge every minute at the peak of the rainy season, going over a hundred meters below. The resultant roar stretches 40 kilometers away while the mist and spray from the falling water covers 400 meters.
The Knife edge bridge is a special vantage point that gives visitors a fine view of the Eastern cataract, the Boiling pot and the Main falls. Other vantage points include Devil’s Pool, Lookout Tree and Falls Bridge. These two points offer breathtaking panoramic views of the main falls in is in its natural state.
When to Visit
Victoria Falls offers different experiences depending on the time of the year when you visit. For instance to experience the full glory of the falls then you need to visit in March and April. Even then you need to note that the huge spray that is formed by the falling water usually obstructs the 1688m width of the falls. You can however consider having an aerial view as it is outstanding. You can be guaranteed of better views as the water levels decrease especially between November and December. Visiting this falls at this time lets you see the magnitude of the abyss as well as the impressive cliffs that comprise of the wall of the Falls.
Things to Do
A visit to Victoria Falls is not restricted to the glorious views of the falling water as there are numerous other activities that you can engage in and enjoy the tranquility, beauty as well as relaxing pursuits. Simply put, you can never run short of adventure while here from historical experiences to shopping and culture, you can be sure to have everything in one visit.
Some of these activities include:
• Walk with the lions – This rare opportunity lets you get close to lions without worrying about being attacked as these lions are rehabilitated and are ready to be reintroduced to the wild.
• Bungee jumping at the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge that lets you plunge right into the bottom of Bakota gorge the raging Zambezi River. Perhaps the most remarkable bungee jump site that promises an exhilarating bungee jumping experience you can ever find. It is particularly recommended for adrenaline junkies.
• Visit the Victoria Falls World Heritage National monument site that is part of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. This site gives you a perfect view point to watch the waters glide through the rocks. You can also take a hair raising walk across the footbridge through the mist to the knife edge. You will be treated to a magnificent view of the abyss below.
• Take a thrilling journey to Livingstone island where you will bathe in the infinity pool known as the Devil’s pool that is at the edge of the raging falls. You can dive into the pool and then thrust your head over the edge for an astonishing view of the 100m drop. You can also swim or walk to access it when the water is low.
• Go on a rafting adventure on the Zambezi River and brave the exhilarating rapids in the company of a rafting instructor.
Other activities that you can engage in include going on scenic helicopter flights, going on bush walks, horseback trails and fly fishing among others.
In conclusion, a visit to Victoria Falls is a rewarding experience that lets you enjoy nature as well as indulge in fun activities.
Malawi is located right next to Zambia and offers plenty of interesting attractions and vacation spots. These include:
• Mulanje Mountain
• Likoma Island
• Liwonde National park
• Zomba Plateau
• Lake Chilwa
• Chongoni Rock Art Area
• Monkey Bay
• Lake Malawi
The most famous vacation spot in Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world. It offers a variety of climbing routes consisting of 3 dormant volcano summits, namely, Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo, with Uhuru Peak on Kibo being its highest summit.
It is situated within the Kilimanjaro National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site offers an array of flora and fauna including leopards, bushbuck, grey duiker, elephants and Cape buffalo.
Another wildlife rich area is The Ngorongoro Reserve which is locate in an extinct volcano and offers wonderful game viewing from the rim of the crater.
Of course, a visit to Tanzania would not be complete without visiting the famous Serengeti National Park. This park is home to the largest wildlife event on earth, namely the great annual zebra and wildebeest migration, where these creatures make their way across the plains of the Serengeti down to the Okavango Delta region. This park offers some of the best safari tours in all of Africa.
Rich in history and culture, Tanzania boasts the ancient hominid site of Oldupai Gorge and Archaeological Museum. This is a conservation area where the largest extent of human fossils has been discovered reaching back 3.5 million years.
Kilimanjaro National Park
Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park is one of the top tourist destinations in East Africa that you need to include in your bucket list. Interestingly, a large percentage of visitors to this park are not driven by the wildlife but a chance to get to the majestic snowcapped peak of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro that stands at 5896m.
The best time to visit this park that is home to the volcanic mountain that has seven iconic summits is between during the dry season usually between June and October.
The park also has a rainforest that hosts a range of wildlife species that include monkeys, leopards, buffaloes, eland and elephants among others. Bird watchers can also get a treat at the Kilimanjaro National Park.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
One of the reasons why you need to visit Mount Kilimanjaro is that it is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to the following attributes:
- Its spectacular mountain scenery that comprises of the highest point in Africa, the Uhuru Peak at 5895m, a number of lakes, remnant glaciers, bog filled valleys, three main peaks, craters and waterfalls.
- It is a free standing mountain and Africa’s highest peak. It is also among the world’s largest volcanoes covering over 4,000km2.
- This mountain is home to endemic and rare species, notably, four bird species that are vulnerable as well as two nearly threatened species. There are also endemic plant species.
The Kilimanjaro National Park that is also most visited lies about 300 meters south of the equator within the Kilimanjaro region and is the most visited park in Tanzania.
It is near the city of Moshi and covers an area of 1688 square kilometers.
There is an international airport, JRO in Kilimanjaro so you can jet in from airlines like Turkish airlines, Ethiopian airways, Condor Air, Qatar airways, KLM and Kenya airways that have direct flights to this airport.
Alternatively you can use domestic flights to connect to this airport from other parts of Tanzania. You can also opt to go use the buses that ply between Marangu and Moshi.
The park can be accessed through a couple of gates that include Londorosi, Marangu and Machame among others.
The Kilimanjaro National Park charges an entry fee for both children and adults. This goes towards the management of the park. On average children aged between 5 and 15 years pay $ 10 while adults are charges $ 10 per day and is payable in US dollar.
There is also a $ 50 fee per person for every night as well as a rescue fee of $ 20 if you are trekking on the mountain. Regardless of the route you take, you also need to pay a camping fee of $ 50 per night.
The park fee is usually included in the quote given by different trekking operators. Porter and guide fee are taken care of by trekking companies.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that you can only go up the Kilimanjaro Mountain with a guide that is licensed, usually through a tour company.
The tour companies will charge you an average of between $750 and $1000 for a six day seven night trek depending on the route taken. This includes the park fees, food, porters, guides, tents as well as transport to and from the starting point of the trek.
Unlike many national parks, the Kilimanjaro national park does not have too many attractions.
This is partly due to the nature of the climatic conditions that are mostly influenced by the presence of the mountain. Among the top attractions within this park are:
• Mount Kilimanjaro that is also the main attraction and has three peaks namely Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira
• Lush forests namely evergreen forests and tropical rain forests
• Lovely waterfalls
• Lake Chala, a beautiful spot that is inhabited by crocodiles
Fun Things to Do
There is a lot you can do in Kilimanjaro National Park and have a totally fun experience. To begin with, you will definitely be thrilled by the experience of hiking to the top of Africa. Gazing at the snow on the mountain peak makes for a truly magnificent sight.
A visit to the park and climbing this mountain is a serious as well as expensive and takes a minimum of five days when using the Marangu route that is also ecologically compromised.
During the hike, you get to learn about the tribes that reside in the area such as the Chagga and Maasai. Other activities that you can engage in at this park include the following:
• Bird watching
Although the Kilimanjaro National Park is not a wildlife destination, varied species of wildlife inhabit the surrounding ecosystem that you can see while here. Some of the noteworthy and conspicuous wildlife species that you will see here are:
• African elephant
• Abbott’s Duiker that is and endangered species
• Common eland
• Harvey’s red duiker
• Bush pig
• Common duiker
• Tree hyrax
• Yellow baboon
• Vervet monkey
• Red forest squirrel
• Black and white colobus monkey
• Blue monkey
There is a high possibility of seeing more wildlife at high altitudes such as wild dogs. In addition, the forest also supports a profusion of birds with the most common species include Hartlaub’s turaco and silvery cheeked hornbills. The scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird and Alpine chat can be seen as higher altitudes.
Although lodging is restricted to campsites especially in the course of the trek, there are a handful of accommodation facilities nearby where you can book stay prior to climbing the mountain. There are:
• Hostel Foot Prince that is a budget facility whose main target is trekkers. This western style hostel is based in Moshi.
• Meru Wellness Retreat offering guest houses as well as guest houses in Arusha. The charges range between $10 and $45 that is inclusive of meals.
• Arusha Hostel Lodge and adventures, a budget accommodation facility in Arusha whose cost varies between $10 and $40 that includes breakfast.
Others are Kilimanjaro Backpackers and Arusha Backpackers both of which are in Moshi and are relatively cheaper than the others with charges of between $10 and $24. Generally, the accommodation facilities in Moshi are basic as they only serve a temporary need for trekkers.
While on the trek, you can camp within the park for as many days as long as you pay the designated fee levied by the park authorities.
If you are intent on conquering Mount Kilimanjaro to the Uhuru peak where you can enjoy magnificent views, then being fit is not an option to debate about.
You need stamina as well as a good understanding of the effects of going into high altitudes. Where possible, consider consulting a doctor to be sure of your overall fitness status.
What to Carry
One of the most important things to note before setting out to the Kilimanjaro National Park is the need to have the right attire and items that you will need only. Avoid heavy luggage such as suitcases as you will not be able to get to the peak of the mountain with them if you decide to climb Kilimanjaro.
You can consider leaving your suitcases at one of the hotels at the base of the mountain.
Ensure that the hotel attendant keeps a written record of any valuables to avoid losing them. Here are some quick tips on how to pack and what to carry when going on this adventure.
• Wear your trekking boots on your flight as this makes it easy to carry them as opposed to including them in your luggage.
• Pack indispensable items in the hand luggage.
This ways you can be sure that it will arrives on time.
• Pack the items that you need only while avoiding some like towels as they will not dry once they are wet.
Overall, your luggage should not be more than 15kg lest you find yourself being forced to pay for a second porter.
• Basic toiletries that is; toothpaste, toothbrush, toilet paper, wet wipes, antiseptic hand sanitizer, soap and a mini towel.
• Pack mosquito repellent and sunscreen
• A flashlight or torch and rechargeable batteries.
• Water bottles and purifiers
• Ear plugs
• Warm winter hat
• Sock liners that minimize the possibility of developing blisters
• Running shoes
• A three season sleeping bag and a sleeping mat
• Hiking pole
• Warm clothing
• Thermal underwear
• First aid kit
• Insulated gloves
These items are best carried in a waterproof case or bag to ensure that they remain intact during the entire period of the trek. Most importantly ensure that this hand luggage is light because you will carry it while the porters carry for your other luggage.
In conclusion, Kilimanjaro National Park is more of an adventure tourist destination where you get to experience a different ecosystem as well as engage in adventurous activities that you can only take part in once in your life time. Overall, it is a rewarding and memorable experience that you will forever cherish for the rest of your life.
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— VR Experts (@VRPExperts) June 18, 2018
The Archipelago of Zanzibar is located off the coast of Tanzania and is a popular honeymoon destination with ample seaside retreats and pristine beaches. Take a trip to Zanzibar town or Stone town, visit Livingstone House and relax in the Hamamni Persian Baths. Make sure you also visit:
• The House of Wonders
• Pemba Island
• The Palace Museum
• The Mangapwani caves
Zanzibar is gorgeous and tranquil, a perfect tropical paradise and an ideal vacation spot.
Kenya is a remarkably hot country, situated on the equator and named after the second highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kenya.
There is plenty to do and see in Kenya including going on a walking safari with the famous Maasai people.
You can ride camels in the desert and explore the largest tropical lake in the world, Lake Victoria. There are numerous game reserves and wildlife parks in Kenya including the Maasai Mara, where one of the Great Natural Wonders of the World, the great blue wildebeest migration, takes place, Nairobi National Park and River, Hell’s Gate National Park, Tsavo National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, where the largest population of Lesser Flamingos breed.
Other Kenyan attractions include:
• Lamu Island
• The Ancient Malinidi Port
• The Great Mosque of Kilwa Kisiwani
• The vibrant city of Mombasa with its markets and stunning historic buildings
The capital city of Nairobi, nicknamed, the Safari Capital of the World, features:
• Uhuru Monument
• Giraffe Centre
• Bomas of Kenya
• Uhuru Park
• Central Park
• Kenyatta International Conference Centre
• Parliament of Kenya
• Jeevanjee Gardens
• Nairobi City Hall
• the Nairobi River
• Nairobi Arboretum
• Nairobi National Museum
• Nairobi Railway Museum
• Rahimtulla Museum of Modern Art (Ramoma)
• Kenya National Theatre
• The Mizizi Arts Centre
• Safari Park and Casino
• Nairobi City Square
• Various shopping malls
There are many great vacation spots and resort locations in Nigeria with plenty of attractions and points of interest that are culturally and historically significant. Here are some of the highlights:
• Azumini Blue River Rose, where you can canoe, relax on the sandy beaches, and enjoy picnicking.
• The Long JuJu Shrine of Arochukwu, where you can explore the Long JuJu Oracle Cave.
• Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State, with its impressive three sister hills, and Lake Njuwa fishing festival.
• Ogbunike Cave.
• Rojenny Tourist Village at the outskirts of Onitsha market town is one of the leading tourist locations. There are rides and amusement park facilities as well as recreation and sports facilities.
• lgbo-Ukwu town with its ancient bronze artifacts that date back to the 9th Century.
• Yankari National Park, which offers tons of attractions and is the most developed of all the national wildlife reserves in Nigeria. They have a huge population of wildlife which can be best seen around the Gaji River between November and May. Here you will also find the famous Wikki Warm Springs which are available for tourists to swim in 24 hours a day.
• Bassa Hills and the Ushogbo Hills are very scenic areas.
• Lake Chad is the largest lake in the country, and offers top fishing and boating opportunities and is a popular tourist destination.
• Obudu Cattle Ranch on the Cameroon border offers temperate weather and brilliant ranch life including horse riding, sports, bird watching, waterfalls, natural pools, and a gorilla camp.
• Agbokim Waterfalls is located nearby and is a popular picnic spot with beautiful scenery and green vegetation.
• Mbari Cultural Centre, is an open air museum where huge sculptures of religious entities are located.
• Oguta Lake is the second largest lake and offers a Holiday Complex with various attractions and recreational areas, including cruise boats, war bunker, golf course and club house with Oguta Lake Motel, recreational park, and the natural confluence of the Urashi River.
• Birnin Kudu town boasts ancient Rock Painting.
• Chief Nana’s Palace found in Koko is a National Monument.
• Abraka River Resort, where you can fish, boat, swim, or play lawn tennis, badminton, and squash.
• Okonni Wildlife Sanctuary in Benin City, where you will find rare wildlife including the red-cangaby, putty-nosed quenon, white-throated monkey, bush baby, red river hog, and more.
• Gashaka/Gumpti Game Reserve which is the richest and largest reserve South of the Sahara.
Other tourist vacation areas include Ososo Tourist Centre, Ezeagu Tourist Complex, The Iron of Liberty, Dr. Ladi Kwali Pottery Centre, Birikisu Sungbo Shrine, Olumo Rock Tourist Centre, and the Mambilla Tourist Centre.
There are also some great beaches in Nigeria including Pategi Beach, Maiyegun Beach, Port Harcourt Tourist Beach, and Ibeno Beach.
Some other points of interest include:
• The National Theatre
• Zuma Rock
• Gurara Waterfalls
• Ikogosi Warm and Cold Springs
• Idanre Hills
• Jos Wildlife Park
• Assop Falls
• The Sultan of Sokoto Palace
• Othman Dan Fodio Tomb
• Ooni’s Palace
• lfe Museum
• University Museum
• Osun Shrine
• Ancient City of lfe
This amazing land with its gigantic pyramid and ancient Sphinx structures is the most unique country in Africa, and one of the most unique in the world.
It provides visitors with a completely different view of Africa, being more Arabic in culture than the rest of the continent. With both extreme desert and lush river areas along the Nile and Red Sea, Egypt is a fascinating, magical place that is a must on any African trip.
Some of the top attractions include:
• Giza Pyramids
• The capital city of Cairo with its famous bazaars
• Red Sea
• Nile River
• The city of Alexandria
• Mount Sinai
• Valley of the Kings
• Lighthouse of Alexandria
• Abu Simbel Temples
• Colossi of Memnon
• Cairo Opera House
• Ras Muhammad National Park
• Abdeen Palace
• Babylon Fortress
• Alexandria Zoo
• Grand Egyptian Museum
You can read our complete guide to Egypt here:
Travel Guide – Discover the Canary Islands
A popular destination with all sorts of tourists, but predominantly with sun seekers and party animals, the Canary Islands are an archipelago made up of seven islands with golden and black, nevertheless beautiful beaches, rich architectural heritage and mythology.
Capital of the archipelago, Tenerife is the largest and the most touristy of all seven with millions of visitors every year.
Given its location, this island crowned by Mount Teide volcano enjoys an “eternal spring”; hence the perfect climate for a continuous tourist season.
Visitors of this famous island come here to relax on its idyllic beaches, to discover it picturesque villages, to have fun and enjoy the beautiful landscapes.
Spot the most beautiful beaches in Tenerife before you start your trip. It will save you precious time and you will know where to head to, depending on your idea of a beach holiday.
With Santa Cruz de Tenerife Hop on and off Tour you can discover the island’s capital’s main attractions: Plaza de España, Castillo de San Juan, , the Auditorio de Tenerife, the Natural Science and Archaeology Museum and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Equipped with a large accommodation and dining infrastructure, Gran Canaria surprises each visitor by the beauty and uniqueness of its landscapes.
The capital city – Las Palmas – has no shortage of attractions, including its historic quarter – Vegueta, an architectural wonder worth being discovered.
Admire the view of Pueblo Canario, stop to visit Museo Elder or to relax on Playa de las Canteras before continuing your Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Hop on and off Tour.
Those looking for a special getaway, off the beaten track, will consider El Hierro the ideal destination.
Just like its sister-islands, El Hierro is featured by diverse landscapes, ranging from large green spaces, speckled meadows to beautiful beaches.
Marked by different shades of dark lava, white sandy beaches and the sparse vegetation, Lanzarote is an idyllic spot to escape the gloom.
Its hotel infrastructure adopts original forms better integrated into the landscape with a large use of traditional architecture.
The island is also famous for the amazing scenery of Timanfaya National Park. Windsurfers will enjoy the strength of rip currents and the height of the waves.
If you are looking for beautiful secluded beaches, choose Fuerteventura – the least populated of the Canary Islands.
It has, however, the most numerous and scenic beaches of the whole archipelago.
Its hinterland arid desert also reserves some surprises. The very windy island is particularly popular with surfers.
Canarian people call La Palma “the beautiful island” as it is the greenest.
Beyond the huge tourism infrastructure of Gran Canaria or Tenerife, La Palma seduce lovers of rural tourism.
The perfect spot for scenic walk lovers, this island is renowned for the beauty of its landscapes as well as for its tranquility.
The North of the island has lush forests, home to species that have disappeared from the rest of the world.
As far as the beaches are concerned, you will find some tiny black sand strips make in this nature lovers’ paradise.
Our list of The Most Beautiful Beaches in Tenerife
Both the locals and those who had the chance to explore all seven Canary Islands agree that each member of the archipelago has at least a unique feature that makes it stand out from its neighbors.
When it comes to the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, there is nothing more representative about this island of eternal spring than its beaches.
Very different from what any peninsular used to spending the summer on the coasts of Catalonia, Valencia and Andalusia would imagine, Tenerife’s beaches have many faces, ranging from the rocky to sandy and from white to black.
Playa de la Arena
Located in the tourist resort of Puerto Santiago, in the municipality of Santiago del Teide, this beach is the perfect fusion between the abrupt and volcanic nature of the island and its urban growth.
Apart from enjoying the clean calm waters, ideal for swimming, this small black sand beach is known to be surrounded by some of the best hotels and apartments in Tenerife.
Arena Beach also notable for its proximity to the amazing cliffs of Los Gigantes – vertical walls that reach 600 meters high and fall directly on the Atlantic causing one of the most beautiful sights of the island.
In fact, the Giants are the highest cliffs of the Canary Islands and the Guanches were baptized as the ‘Wall of Hell’.
An idyllic setting that includes all kinds of services, from showers to hammocks, bars and restaurants, La Arena is completed with the nearby seaport, from where it is possible to take boat trips to the South of the island and to engage in water sports adventures like canoeing and snorkelling.
Playa de las Vistas
Sun seekers and beach lovers will find this rather a traditional beach, located next to Los Crisitianos one of the most desirable destinations.
This town, situated in the South of the island, in the municipality of Arona, has numerous accommodation facilities, shopping centers, eateries and bars.
In addition, the Port of Los Cristianos is the place from where ferries leave for the neighboring islands of La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.
On the two sides of the harbor, you will find the small beach Los Cristianos and Las Vistas – one of the largest and busiest strips of sand of the island.
An artificial beach, Las Vistas offers over 800 meters of fine golden sand bathed by warm and very calm water, ideal for swimming.
Undoubtedly, this is one of the best places for those who decide to visit Tenerife accompanied by children, but also for adults who enjoy the typical seaside resort atmosphere.
Also known as Playa Diego Hernandez, the White Beach is the best example that pristine spots occasional survived on Costa Adeje – the tourist area of southern Tenerife.
Playa Blanca has escaped the real estate boom because of its difficult access, which requires a 30 minutes’ walk on a long staircase. In fact, this small beach of the fishing village of La Caleta is practically glued to Playa de las Americas, much larger and, above all, much busier.
This white sandy 200 meters long beach has a few attractive small coves, is bathed by calm, clear waters and offers wonderful views.
Playa de las Tejitas
Located in the municipality of Granadilla, Tejitas is another natural sandy beach in Tenerife.
With relatively easy access (from the highway that connects Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Los Cristianos), Tejitas is partially shaded by the Red Mountain, which also protects swimmers from strong winds that can sometimes prove very annoying.
A popular spot with windsurfers, Tejitas offers to wonderful views of the sunset and has a nearby small cove where nudism is practiced.
Playa de los Abriguitos
Located next to the small fishing village Los Abades (a popular place for holiday cottages and apartments), Los Abriguitos is one of the best examples proving that there are in Tenerife long beaches of fine golden sand and that not all of them are artificial.
Its name comes from the strong wind protection provided by the wave breaker located at one end.
On this family friendly beach you will find plenty of snorkeling opportunities as just a few meters off the shore, you can see dozens of colorful fish, green turtles, seahorses, barracuda, moray eels and abundant underwater vegetation.
Playa del Bollullo
This is another beach whose isolated location has helped it preserve its unspoiled natural beauty.
Although it has no important services around, except for a kiosk and a Red Cross post, Bollullo is one of the most popular beaches in the area because of the spectacular surrounding environment and of its proximity to the tourist resort of Puerto de la Cruz.
With over 400 meters of volcanic black sand surrounded by gigantic walls that limit the waves’ access to the shore, this beach is not easily accessed during winter and autumn.
Even during summer, it is advisable to leave your car next to the bananas plantation and walk along the narrow path if you want to discover the beautiful nearby coves.
Playa de Benijo
Despite several warnings that prohibit camping in the area, this beach stretching north of Taganana in a stunning landscape of cliffs, rocks and strong waves is filled with hippy campers.
From Santa Cruz de Tenerife, access to this part of the island requires crossing the spectacular Anaga Mountains, although it is also possible to get to Benijo from Las Mercedes – a less route, but also less busy.
During the winter months, the beach is almost hidden under the water, swimming here being unwise and quite dangerous. In the summer, the sea decreases, exposing the black sand and gravel.
Although the fog and clouds are usually covering the area during the first hours of the day, it is best to visit Benijo before lunch, when the tide has not reduced the beach to a minimum.
A heaven for surfers, this beach is also a great spot from where to enjoy the wonderful sunsets. Furthermore, since from Benijo you get the best views on Roques de Anaga and on much of the rugged Northern coast of the island, this is also a popular beach for photo shooting sessions.
Playa de las Gaviotas
The coast of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is surrounded by a giant port that has forced the residents to head north to enjoy their swim in the Atlantic.
Their choice is usually Playa de las Teresitas – an artificial beach built in the 70s using sand brought from the Sahara desert.
However, just a few miles North, in the direction of San Andrés Igueste, you will find Playa de Las Gaviotas, which will delight all those who like to rest on black sand.
Famous many years ago as a nude beach, the about 300 meters long and 50 meters wide Las Gaviotas is nowadays totally suited for family getaways.
Las Gaviotas is known for its crystal clear waters and for the tranquility of the waves, though their strenght increases slightly as the day progresses.
Any time of year is good for a dip, since the temperature hardly changes, always ranging between 15 and 25 º C. After 5 PM, the mountains surrounding the area cover the entire beach with their shade. This is the ideal time to close the umbrellas and plays some football, volleyball or Frisbee.
There are many amazing vacation spots in Africa that you can explore including the Arabic countries of Morocco
and Mali, as well as Greek-centric Libya. The Western bulge is where you will find exquisite, tropic countries like Cote d’Ivoire and Mauritania.
A typically tourist country, Morocco has many facets: geographical, cultural, architectural, historical and commercial. A popular destination for beach holidays, but also for mountain trekking, Morocco welcomes its visitors and shows them an authentic culture and lifestyle: colorful ethnic markets, important religious landmarks, delicious dishes and pastry, hand crafted souvenirs.
The Moroccans’ kindness is legendary and the services they provide tourists with are impeccable. The keywords for a holiday spend on the North-Western edge of the African continent are hospitality,color and smells.
With such a variety of landscapes (ocean, high mountains, fields, deserts, etc.), the types of traveling adventures you can experience in this country are infinite: a visit to the palm groves of the Ziz valley,a trip to the gorges of the Dades and Todra rivers or on Ourika Valley, trekking or horseback riding on mules in the Atlas Mountains – as a mere opportunity to discover the Moroccan villages with their adobe-build houses (a mixture of earth and straw) perched on a mountainside.
The discovery can continue in the Moroccan imperial cities (Rabat, Fes, Meknes and Marrakech) with their old quarters (medinas) surrounded by walls, which enclose a maze of tiny alleys, beautiful houses, colorful commercial stalls, vivid fragrances and the famous riads.
Just make sure your itinerary includes the old Medina of Fes, an item included on the UNESCO World Heritage list, Rabat’s Oudayas district, which stretches itself along the coast,Marrakesh’s internationally renowned Djemaa El Fna Square, the city’s luxurious palaces and gardens and the Roman ruins located next to Meknes.
Casablanca, with its white buildings, built by the French in the early 20th century is the country’s economic capital. The city is dominated by the Hassan II Mosque – a showcase of the richness of the Moroccan craftsmanship.
Tangier, located in the close proximity of the Gibraltar Strait, is a popular destination for those who plan just a one-day trip to this amazing country. Larache is distinguished by its low whitewashed houses with blue doors, but small towns are also worth a detour.
Known for its glorious past as well as for its Tyrian factory (the production site of the famous Roman purple dye), Essaouira can be discovered by taking a day-trip from Marrakesh.
Things to do in Morocco
Morocco can satisfy any vacation dream: a cultural trip or relaxation stay, one for practicing sports or even a more adventurous holiday… Morocco is an amazing country that gracefully lets its visitors discover its wonders: the great Sharifian palaces surrounded by sumptuous gardens, the medinas, the colorful, spicy and fragrant souks, the villages hidden in the Atlas mountains, the kasbahs, Marrakesh’s riads,
Casablanca’s white houses and the list can go on. Here is a list of things to do while trying to decipher the heart of this country:
1. Discover the heart of the country through its medinas
The term “medina” means “city” in Arabic, but it is used nowadays to designate the Moroccan old towns, often surrounded by walls. As a general description, we can say that they are real labyrinths where narrow streets cross and intertwine between small squares.
When visiting this amazing country, delving into the medina is not just a shopping experience, but a way of discovering the local traditions and a way of life that remained unchanged for centuries. Watch the skills of artisans, treat your senses with the colors and fragrances of the market stalls, observe the heated discussions when bargaining prior to purchasing an object and you can be sure you have found the soul of Morocco.
The most famous are those medinas of Marrakesh, Fez and Meknes,
but other medinas (that of Casablanca, Essaouira, Rabat or Tetouan have interesting features, too and they worth a visit if you want to get a deeper knowledge of the country’s customs, history and lifestyle.
2. Celebrate the Moroccan customs through its festivals
Morocco has a rich history, whose past traditions are deeply rooted in the contemporary culture. Annual celebration and festivals across the country are reviving its ancient customs: the Almond Tree Blossom Festival celebrated at Tafraout in February, Camel Festival held at Goulimime in July, the Date Festival that animates the town of Erfoud each autumn, the Cherry Festival that honors these crops every summer in Sefrou, near Fez, the Rose Festival that embalms the atmosphere of El-Kelaa M’Gouna each May, the Marriage Festival that gathers each August couples from all over the country in a town (Imilchil) in the Atlas Mountains, the Popular Arts Festival held at Marrakesh or the World Sacred Music Festival whose venue is Fez’ medina.
3. Bring home some handcrafted souvenirs
Morocco is a fascinating destination for craft amateurs. From jewelry to carpets, there is everything for each taste and for each budget. If you are shopping in the medinas, expect to bargain and chat with the shop’s owner.
Accept the mint tea that is offered to you as a token of the local hospitality. The jewels that used to adorn the Berber women of the Atlas Mountains as well as the Southern Moroccans are usually made of silver
and you will certainly appreciate their colorfulness and sophistication. Tiznit and Taroudant are famous for their valuable silver jewelry.
Ceramics and pottery can be bought in Fez, the leather is tanned in Marrakech and Fez, while the wrought iron objects can be found in all of the souks. The rugs are woven almost exclusively by women and those of Rabat are particularly famous, but Berber carpets offer a variety of patterns and colors that will surprise you.
4. Taste the delicious local cuisine
A treat for the eyes as well as for the palate, Moroccan cuisine is varied and delicious. A must try: the harira – a lentil and meat soup traditionally served during Ramadan to break the fast. Couscous is, of course, an essential dish and here you can see black, red and white couscous, accompanied by meatballs, lamb, beef or fish. Another delicious discovery are the tagines, which can be of lamb, chicken, fish, beef or even pigeons, assorted with lemon, potatoes, plums and other tasty combinations. Finally, there is the mint tea, the real national drink, to sip and the pastries with honey, almonds, orange blossom
5. Relax in a hammam
After shopping and food tasting, it’s time to relax. An institution in this country where personal hygiene is very important, according to the precepts of the Koran, hammam is a must-try. A steam bath, followed by an exfoliating massage and a cold shower, it will help you chase away the fatigue, purify your skin and relax the muscles.
The hammam is also an important social place where the Moroccans spend hours sipping mint tea while discussing everything and nothing. Public baths are not mixed: men usually bathe in the morning and late afternoon, the women in the afternoon.
Africa is indeed unique, mystical, breathtaking, and wild, with attractions and activities that will suit anyone, from the most avid outdoor adventure-lover and wildlife enthusiast, to the history buff, and the urban dwelling culture fanatic. There is something for everyone in Africa!
African Travel Tips and Stories
Five Awesome Beaches in the Middle East
If you’re planning a vacation to the Middle East, there are lots of amazing places to visit, from the historical to the cultural. The geography of the Middle East is unique, and despite being known for its deserts, the Middle East has some of the best beaches in the world.
Here are five of them.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This gorgeous beach is located in one of the more upscale sections of Dubai that holds the 7-star Burj Al Arab Hotel. The water is clear and blue, and the sand is clean and white. There are palm trees dotting the landscape, and there’s a boardwalk. Jumeirah beach has an amphitheater that holds live music shows, barbeque pits, playgrounds for children, beach volleyball, and kiosks selling everything from ice cream to fast food to salads. The small beach entrance fee is well worth it. Mondays are ladies’ days, with no males over the age of five years allowed.
El Gouna is a privately-owned town that is frequently said to be the Venice of Egypt. The town actually consists of several small islands, and bridges across the channels connect them. There are 10-kilometers of beachfronts for you to enjoy, and the beaches are immaculate. There are lots of different water and diving activities you can do on El Gouna, and the area has some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving excursions to some amazing coral reefs.You can also enjoy horseback-riding, go-carts, bazaars, restaurants, and a casino that sits on the Red Sea coast
Aegean Region, Turkey
Patara Beach is a very long beach that stretches 12 kilometers along the coastline of Turkey. This beach is absolutely beautiful and pristine, because it is a nationally-protected beach. Sea turtles lay their eggs here, and there are also some ancient Greco-Roman ruins, including an amphitheater. The beach and water are beautiful and enjoyable, and there is also a cool rocky cove that’s visible from a rocky outcrop at the Eastern end of the beach. This beach is relatively quiet and secluded, reachable only by a five-minute walk down a wooden path.
Aqua Sport Beach
This small beach is popular with the locals, and it’s also one of the best scuba diving locations in Israel. It’s also a great place for snorkeling, and there are lots of tropical fish swimming just offshore for you to observe whether you’re in the water or out. The beach itself is relatively rocky, but it’s still an excellent place to relax and enjoy the beautiful clear blue water. There is a dive center, a beach bar, and a small cafe that serves coffee and snacks throughout the day.
Belcekiz Beach is one of most beautiful beaches in the world, and it’s one of the most photographed beaches. The shore has soft, white sand, and it arcs toward a calm, deep blue lagoon that’s surrounded by forested mountains. It’s a popular destination for paragliders, but it has activities for everyone. The Belcekiz Beach Hotel is also an amazing place to stay.
Joint Post by Eva Krakowski and Angella Grey, the marketing manager at The Vacation Rentals Experts – an online and offline digital marketing agency that creates marketing solutions for vacation rentals, holiday homes and brands.
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