Those seeking adrenaline inducing fun on their next holiday should turn their eyes to Africa, a continent renowned for the marvels and mysteries it still hides. From some of the most memorable wildlife encounters, to adrenalin fuelled activities at Victoria Falls, the below activities are ones every thrillseeker should try.
Walk with the cheetahs in Namibia
Though Okonjima Lodge in Namibia has varied action-packed packages available, there is no feeling comparable to the one you’ll experience as tawny eyes meet yours across the plain on a cheetah trekking adventure. The on-site cheetahs are part of a rehabilitation programme which you can view before they’re released into the surrounding wilderness. Leopard viewing and cub viewing in season is also offered, though they are quite people-shy and sightings of them cannot be guaranteed. The luxurious African lodge offers camp sites, thatched rooms and villas that were created with privacy in mind and are relatively spacious. You can hear the wildlife calls at dusk, after a decadent dinner at the restaurant.
Experience the towering sand dunes of Namibia
The impressive towering sand dunes are one of the highlights of any Namibian holiday, and Soussusvlei Desert Lodge has far more than their fair share of stark desert beauty. Picnics amid the desert dunes are perfect for those who prefer a sedate stay, though quad biking, hikes, and bike excursions are one way to experience the surreal landscape at an action-packed pace. The Soussusvlei Desert Lodge is quite secluded which is ideal for star gazers and those seeking romance; at night you can enjoy lantern-lit dinners on the veranda or amongs the dunes, and during the day you can take a dip in the spring-fed swimming pool.
Enjoy a bush breakfast in the Masai Mara
A stay at the Mara Serena Lodge will allow you to experience dawn as it gently ignites the skies above with a soft pink and golden glow, and wildlife begins to stir on the savanna, take a leisurely drive to the ancient baobab trees and tuck into your 3-course bush breakfast which includes a sparkling glass of champagne. You can enjoy the same dining delights alongside the hippo pool. The lodge is well known for its unique rooms, which have private balconies, uninterrupted views of the surroundings and ample space.
Take a balloon flight over the wildlife-filled Serengeti
You cannot imagine the safari delights that await you during a balloon flight over the Serengeti, until you’re actually soaring far above the ground in a hot air balloon. Serengeti Serena Lodge is one of the ultimate places to go on a captivating balloon excursion, and is an ideal way to view the annual great migration of wildebeest. After your flight, you can enjoy a champagne breakfast on the ground as your review the photographs taken. The lodge offers luxurious African rondavel-styled rooms that are equipped with all the expected conveniences such as en-suite bathrooms, balconies, mosquito-netting, and a sitting room.
Reach the dizzy heights of Table Mountain
When you come to South Africa’s Mother City, it would be wrong not to pay homage to its defining feature; the majestic Table Mountain which is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. Though there are hiking trails up to the mountains summit, the 360° rotating cable car is the best way to see the city of Cape Town spread below you like a shiny tablecloth, and at the top, you can enjoy a breakfast, brunch, and even summer sunset cocktail.
Enjoy a boat safari in Botswana
If fish eagle calls and delta beauty is what you’re after, a trip into the Okavango on a traditional dug out Mokoro canoe will be a dream come true! Take one out in the early morning and steer your way around the delta before gazing around this fascinating region that is slowly awakening. Or allow a guide to take you down the river, as you’re flanked by national parks on both river banks.
Take in the magnificent Victoria Falls from above
The incredible Victoria Falls has been commented on by visitors since the 18th century, and what better way to view it’s thundering majesty than from above? Take a helicopter flight with Flight of the Angels after you’ve settled into your suite at the Royal Livingston Hotel. The company flies with an open door, so passengers can make the most of the awe-inspiring views, and wildlife sightings are also possible. After the flight, return to the Royal Livingstone Hotel and head to the sun deck to enjoy lunch with a view of the Zambezi river.
Go stargazing in Zambia
The Luangwa River is considered to be the life force of the valley, with hippos and antelope, elephants, bush buck and lions visiting it in the dry winter months. For a wildlife experience combined with luxurious camping and star gazing, Luwi Bush Camp, set along the riverbed of south Luangwa, is ideal. Not only do they have abundant wildlife sightings in winter, but star gazing is unrivaled here, due to the lack of surrounding ambient light. The rustic charm of the camp sites is tempered with various luxury amenities.
Walk with the animals in Zambia
If a hands-on safari is something you crave, the walking safari offered by Nkwali Camp is unparalleled, and have been voted as one of the best safari experience available in Africa. Not only will your guide answer any questions you may have, but they will also keep you entertained on your foot-powered safari as you escorted by a National Park Scout. Many guests often comment that they felt as though a wildlife documentary was coming to life before their eyes. Nkwali Camp offers accommodation with thatched roofs, panoramic views, wood accents, and may give you a monkey experience.
Go gorilla trekking in Rwanda
After you’ve had your bags taken from you and you’ve been ushered into the welcoming warmth of Gorilla Mountain Lodge and make yourself at home. The following day enjoy one of their fabulous gorilla trekking adventures into the Parc National des Volcans. The thrill of setting off into the untamed wild cannot be tempered with the logical knowledge that what you’re doing is fairly safe, and you’re almost guaranteed a sighting as the park is home to half of the worlds mountain gorilla population.
Ash Sofat is Chief Executive at Somak Holidays.