Going on an African Safari is just one of those experiences that you have to do at least once in your lifetime. Between the stunning and diverse scenery, the variety in wildlife, and the fantastic adventure activities you can do, Africa has a little bit of something for everyone. Whether you’re headed there for a one man expedition, a romantic yet adventurous honeymoon, or a family holiday, here are our picks for the top adventure holiday destinations in Africa.
Tanzania: Beaches, Wildlife, & Adventure
Tanzania is a popular choice for safari goers as it has some of the best wildlife experiences available in all of Africa combined with some of the most diverse environments. You can opt to visit the many safaris available, relax in the pristine beaches of Zanzibar, or climb one of the 7 peaks of the world, Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Highlights: Two popular safari choices to go with in Tanzania is The Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. While both are equally as memorable and diverse, Serengeti is known for the annual wildebeest and zebra migration. Imagine seeing over 2.5 million of these animals migrate across the vast lands. Ngorongoro Crater on the other hand, provides a good chance of seeing lions, hippos, and rhinos while you gaze at its dramatic caldera. Other safaris like Selous and Katavi, although less popular, are hidden and untouched gems with lots of wildlife and game sightings.
Top Adventures: For those looking at doing more than just a safari, how about challenging yourself to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? You have to be in top physical and mental condition as the 5-6 day trek up the mountain, combined with high altitude is not an easy feat. However, if you do succeed, you will be rewarded with an unexplainable feeling of accomplishment and bragging rights for conquering the highest mountain in the continent! Another suggested adventure would be trying your luck in kitesurfing in the crystal blue waters of Zanzibar.
Zimbabwe: Canoeing Safaris & Victoria Falls
Zimbabwe is actually one of our top picks for adventure destinations mainly due to the wide range of activities that the magnificent Victoria Falls provides. From bungee jumping down terrifying ravines to white water rafting through wild rapids, the adventures are endless. If this is too adventurous for you, there are plenty of luxury lodges where you can happily observe the wildlife from.
Highlights: One cannot visit Zimbabwe without going to Hwange, a 15,000 square kilometer park which features some of the best game viewing locations in the country. With large prides of lions and buffalos roaming about, topped with one of the largest elephant populations in Africa, going around here is a real treat for wildlife enthusiasts. The park itself has no permanent surface water which means that animals of every kind can be spotted around watering holes. Apart from Hwange, a popular place to visit is Mana Pool National Park where you can do canoe safaris. Imagine canoeing past grazing elephants and wild buffalos in undeveloped wild safari lands. Walking safaris are also quite popular here which for us, is as good as it gets. You get to really see and experience Africa as you forge your own wildlife encounters. Naturally, another highlight is seeing the raw beauty of Victoria Falls as you witness first hand the largest cascading waterfalls in the world.
Top Adventures: Apart from the adrenaline filled activities like bungee jumping or white water rafting in the Zambezi River, you can also go on “The Flight of Angels” where you see a bird’s eye view of the sheer power and size of Victoria Falls through an aerial helicopter ride. If you want to take this epic adventures to the next level, cross over to the Zambia side of Victoria Falls where you can swim in Devil’s Pool where you peer at the misty gorge below, showcasing a knee weakening 100 meter drop.
Botswana: The Ultimate Safari Destination
Although there are far more popular places in Africa, Botswana tops our list because of its obscurity. Although a lot more expensive compared to other African Safari destinations, Botswana’s wildlife is untouched, raw and wild. Imagine 100,000 elephants grazing in peace as 100 or so hippos wade in the waterways while desert roaming lions roam about. Famous for its high end exclusive resorts and camps, if you want an intimate safari experience, this is the place to go.
Highlights: The Okavango Delta is one of Africa’s most famed wildlife areas. This is the world’s only inland delta whose plains are studded with some of Africa’s big game. As soon as Okavango’s flood waters arrive, millions of animals migrate here from all parts of the Kalahari, leaving you with one of the most memorable experiences ever. From wild walking safaris, game driving, to boating excursions in shallow waters, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Botswana.
Top Adventures: For those who want to get active during their holiday, you can go mountain biking through the bush or zoom past open fields in a quad bike. Helicopter riders around the Okavango to take stunning aerial shots of the wildlife are also quite popular.
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Uganda: Gorilla Safaris
If you want to do something unique, going beyond the usual big game sightings, consider going to Uganda, located in the heart of the continent. Uganda’s lush forests, lakes, and mountains are the primary reason why people visit. Although they have general safari parks, they simply don’t compare to the other large reserves that its neighboring countries have.
Highlights: The best thing about going to Uganda is the fact that not a lot of tourists venture out here. Enjoy the wild and untouched forests in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as you trek to see the gorillas in their natural habitat. Seeing these magnificent wild animals in the wild is enough reasons for us to choose Uganda. Along with the large population of primates and other wildlife, the combination of volcanos and lakes makes this place on of the most stunning in the region.
Top Adventures: Naturally wild trekking in the deep jungle to see the gorillas is our top pick for adventures in this country. With some of their national Parks home to 120 species of mammals and 348 species of birds. Otherwise, you can also go whitewater rafting in the Nalubale River. Be weary that you have to be in good condition when you go in these long treks. We went on a 4 day trek deep in the Jungles of Sumatra in search of Orangutans where we learned the hard way that long treks really mean long treks!
Being that Africa is literally HUGE and the options for tours are endless, we recommend going with the guys over at Africa Odyssey. Their enthusiastic team is comprised of people who have all traveled around Africa extensively and are able to tailor together the best possible African experiences. From adventure filled trips to luxurious romantic honeymoons, they are able to create custom trips, based on what you want to see and do. The best part about them is unlike other tour operators, these guys go on the ground, making it a purpose to travel around Africa at least once a year, ensuring that each experience is as meaningful and personal as possible. While an African Safari is still a bucket list item for us, when we do go, we will be sure to combine our love for adventure and meaningful encounters with animals in the wild.
To find out more about Africa Odyssey, check out their site and read up on their other adventure challenges
This post was written in partnership between Adventure In You and Africa Odyssey, one of our trusted partners.