This continent is like no other place in the world, there are so many adventures to be had and places to explore. Of course, the first thing that may come to mind is to take a safari, but this isn’t the only amazing thing you can do in Africa.
From trekking holidays and mountain treks to diving trips, there are so many options for even the most extreme adventure seekers. You will see amazing creatures in their natural habitats, meet warm and friendly people and take in scenery that is like nothing you have ever seen before. Here is just a taste of what you can do in Africa on a trekking adventure holiday.
The best way to enjoy the natural environment in Africa is get out amongst it. That is why walking safaris are so popular in Africa. Zambia is home to some spectacular scenery and many different wild animals. Trekking here can take many different forms. South and North Luangwa National Parks are home to over sixty different types of animals and hundreds of different bird species. Within these parks, which is often called the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world, you can take morning hikes and evening game drives. Search for Luangwa Leopards, lions, herds of elephants and elusive hippos who gather at the lakeside. If you get to spot some of these amazing animals in their natural habitat it is an experience you will never forget.
If you are an experienced hiker, you will want to visit the Mafinga Hills. You will find the highest peak in Zambia here, but there is no true trail and you will need to hire a guide. You will also need permission from the local headman to walk on the local land, this can be negotiated by your guide. A gentler type of walk can be found in Nyika National Park. There are a few different trails depending on the time you have and your ability.
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro
This adventure appears on many a bucket list and is certainly a top pick when it comes to an adventure holiday in Africa. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa standing at 4,900 metres from its base and 5,895 metres above sea level. It is a stark contrast to some of the other scenery you will find in this region. You can give this adventure a go on your own, but it is advisable to book as part of a tour. You will get the support and information you need and help is there if necessary. There are a few routes to choose from and the whole climb will take between six and seven days. The feeling of accomplishment when you reach the top and look down on surrounding Tanzania is worth the effort and strain.
There are two trekking seasons when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro. January to March is a colder time to visit and you are likely to see snow on the paths. However, the air is clearer making for better photos and there are less people. June to October is the second and busier season. The weather is warmer and conditions are a little easier to handle.
Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo protects a large section of tropical African rainforest. This one is for the brave. Set out on daily adventures to find the rare western lowland gorillas. Set out on hikes each day through various jungle terrain, including forests, grasslands, and rivers. You will also pass and observe naturally occurring mineral licks. These are places animals gather to get their much-needed salt and other nutrients. During your time here stay in local lodges that are relaxing and homely, feeling like you are really being part of the place.
Imagine the feeling when you first set eyes on the gorillas. Seeing these creatures in their natural habitat is like nothing you have ever experienced before. They will know you are there and with the help of your guides you will be able to observe them without encroaching on their personal space. Also, be aware that tourism of the conservation and observation kind helps to keep these endangered species and their habitat alive. By traveling responsibly and using local professionals you are keeping the gorillas and their surroundings safe.
Swimming with whale sharks
Another incredible adventure you should add to your list when visiting Africa. Off the coast of Kenya and Zanzibar you can dive or snorkel with these beautiful creatures, the biggest fish in the sea. During the months of February and March the sea fills with plankton and the whale sharks migrate and stay to enjoy the abundance of food. They may look scary, but they are actually only filter feeders and do not hunt like other sharks. This makes it much less dangerous to be in the water with them. Giving you the peace of mind to enjoy the swim.
Things you should remember when enjoying your time with these creatures include, never to touch them, use only environmentally friendly sun creams and to keep your distance in case of the sharks turning. They will not bite you but if you collide with one, you will know it! You must book with an organised tour and only swim with a professional, as there are certain rules to ensure the creatures are kept in a stable environment and their ecosystem is not disrupted.
It is a fairy-tale picture, riding a camel through the desert on a train of camels on safari. Some say it is the only way to travel in Africa, but for sure it is an authentic way none the less. In the north you can take desert safaris where you can travel from Egypt and Tunisia to scenic desert backdrops, places where you see nothing but sand as far as the eye can see. During your safari you may get the chance to stay with local Bedouin camps where you can learn about local life and culture from those who make a life here.
In the south you can try a different kind of Camel safari. Riding camels through the bush and grassland of Tanzania will enable you to see local wildlife and the beautiful National Park in all its glory. Learn about the animals that live here and the fragile ecosystem whist taking a slow trek camel back with your guide. A more relaxed way of seeing the area.
What will you do on your African adventure?
There are so many places to visit in Africa and as you can see on your trekking tour you can combine walking and climbing with other amazing activities. As the landscapes and regions are so diverse, as you travel through the country you experience so many different places to see and things to do. Whether you are booking on your own, with a group or as a family there is a trekking African adventure that will suit you. Of course, a trip to Africa should be on your list. The question is now, which one do you choose first?