Africa is renowned for its safari experiences, and rightly so. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound, from the world-famous Great Migration that sees over two million wildebeest journey across the plains of the Serengeti and into the grasslands of the Masai Mara, to gorilla trekking in the smoky mountains of Uganda and the countless endemic species that call Madagascar home. But don’t be fooled into thinking your only reason to visit Africa’s is to go on safari. This continent is literally bursting with things to see and do, and here are just a few of our favourite alternative Africa experiences.
Microlighting over the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
A relaxed, ‘home away from home’, Tafika is a friendly, family-run property where a remote location means wonderful wildlife viewing away from the crowds. But this is not the only draw of this gorgeous camp. Visitors also have the opportunity to take a microlight flight with John, the property’s owner, to get a bird’s eye view of the landscape at sunrise or sunset. Other opportunities include the chance to visit Mkasanga, a nearby village home to many of Tafika’s guides.
Explore the terrain around Serra Cafema, Namibia
In the far north reaches of Namibia, where rugged but spectacular desert terrain meets the Atlantic Ocean, you will find Serra Cafema Camp, a beautiful property made up of eight luxurious tents overlooking the Kunene River. It is here that you can quad bike across the region’s soaring sand dunes, walk in the remote mountain and river valleys, and meet the Ovahimba families who live in the nearby village to learn about their lifestyle and traditions.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Despite Mount Kilimanjaro being the highest mountain in Africa, (it stands at 5,895 metres tall), a journey to the summit does not require any technical climbing and so can be attempted by most people with a decent level of fitness. Treks range from 7 to 10 days during which time you will traverse a range of awe-inspiring landscapes, from lush rainforest, heather, moorland and alpine desert to the icy peak.
Stay on a wine farm in South Africa
South Africa is one of the world’s best wine suppliers, so it seems only natural a visit to this wonderful country would also include a stay on a wine farm. One of the best places to do this is at the historic Babylonstoren in the Cape Winelands, where you’ll have the opportunity to indulge in amazing home-grown food from one of the best veggie gardens we’ve seen, as well as sampling the delicious local wine.
Unwind on a private island off Tanzania
Fancy yourself a bit of a Robinson Crusoe? Then why not spend a few days snorkelling, sunbathing and unwinding on a private island off Tanzania’s coast. Accommodation at Fanjove Private Island Lodge in the Songo Songo Archipelago is fairly rustic but great value compared to private islands in countries like Mozambique. One for those who are keen on responsible travel and tourism, Fanjove uses solar power throughout the property and buildings make the most of natural materials.
Explore the historic battlefields sites in South Africa
The KwaZulu Natal region in South Africa is home to a number of historical sites, where British, Boer and Zulu armies all fought bloody wars. With expert guiding you can hear all about how a hundred British soldiers held off some 4,000 Zulus at Rorke’s Drift, or how nearly 1,800 were killed a few hours earlier at the battle of Isandlwana during the Zulu war, and discover how Ghandi, Paul Kruger and Winston Churchill were all involved in a desperate struggle for the desolate summit of Spioenkop, during the Boer War.
Sail around idyllic islands off the coast of Madagascar
Jump aboard your a private yacht and set sail through the turquoise seas around Madagascar. Madavoile cruises is a family-run business owned by Genevieve and Rudy who have been living in Madagascar for over 15 years. The couple own seven boats, each with a capacity of eight and all crewed with a captain, chef and additional deckhands. Set off from Crater Bay on the island of Nosy Be, spending as many nights as you desire aboard these stunning vessels, spending your days exploring uninhabited islands and jumping off the deck to snorkel in the crystal clear ocean.
Craig Burkinshaw is a Founder Director of Audley Travel.