Africa’s top 10 experiences

Africa offers some amazing experiences! From watching the famous Great Migration to relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, there is something special to suit all travellers. Just take a look at the list below and perhaps find inspiration for your next trip to this thrilling continent.

1. The Serengeti & the Great Migration

The image is iconic: huge herds of wildebeest pouring down the banks of the Mara River and hurtling across the wide waters teeming with crocs! It’s no wonder that a stay in the Serengeti is one of the most popular trips in Africa. This truly is supersize safari, as all year round the herds number in their hundred thousands – not only wildebeest but also zebra, gazelle, eland and impala – all pursued by predators galore!

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2. The Okavango Delta

One of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the Delta is a contender for the best safari park! A vast oasis, rippling with lilies and speckled with islands, the beauty of the place is equalled by its impressive concentrations of wildlife. All Big Five animals live here, plus many others such as cheetah, wild dog, giraffe, zebra, antelope, hippo, crocodile, baboon. And if you’re a keen birder, you’ll relish the opportunity to spot over 400 species of feathery friends! With some of the finest lodges in Africa, offering some excellent activities, the Delta is a dream destination for safari.

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3. The Zambezi River Valley

Absolutely spectacular, the woodlands, grasslands and floodplains of the Valley are also awash with wildlife! Lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, antelope, crocodile, hippopotamus… there’s so much to see here. Easily accessible from Zambia’s capital Lusaka, the Valley also has the advantage of offering outstanding-value accommodation – something to suit every budget! Add to that some great game activities, plus boating and canoeing on the River, and you have the recipe for a very happy holiday.

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4. The Skeleton Coast

Boasting endless fields of sky-high dunes and a coastline scattered with seal colonies and shipwrecks, Skeleton Coast well earns its reputation as the most picturesque park in Africa! This scenery defines breathtaking – and it’s also wonderfully remote, perfect for travellers who want to get away from the crowds. Head inland, and you’ll see desert elephant, brown hyena, and even lion roaming riverbed shores. If culture’s your thing, you’ll love learning about the resident Himba tribes.

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5. The last great apes

The world contains just one population of highland gorillas. This is situated in the Virunga Mountains, occupying the borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. Of these three countries, Rwanda is the most easily accessible, with the Mountains just three hours’ drive from the capital Kigali. The sub-tropical mountain forests, with their lush plantlife, make for an awe-inspiring environment in which to track the gorillas – finding them is not always easy, but the experience of viewing them is well worth the effort! A really memorable excursion.

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6. Sabi Sand reserves

Of all the private reserves in South Africa, Sabi Sand is among the very best! Immense quantities of wildlife are attracted to the Sabie and Sand rivers that rush through the reserve, producing great game viewing throughout the year. Leopard, so elusive in other areas, are actually accustomed to game vehicles here and it isn’t uncommon for visitors to have close encounters with these beautiful beasts! All other members of the Big Five live in the reserve and there’s brilliant birding too. Accommodation options range from budget to ultra-lux!

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7. Wildlife, wine & city life

If you like the idea of combining a safari holiday with a city break, this sort of trip is highly recommended – especially since the city is none other than Cape Town, Mother City! Chock-full of attractions such as Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Point, in addition to some fabulous hotels, world-class restaurants and a bustling nightlife, Cape Town is a five-star destination. Factor in a jaunt to The Winelands and great game viewing in any nearby park and you have South Africa at its most tempting – an exquisite bouquet!

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8. The Quirimbas Archipelago

Bonkers for beaches? Why not treat yourself to the best in Africa, if not in the world! The northern Quirimbas Archipelago boasts clear turquoise waters and soft white sands. Charmingly remote and well off the tourist trail, the Quirimbas offers divine diving with whale sharks and manta rays. Alternatively, just relax on your lounger and soak up the sun! A stay on the Quirimbas works well in combination with safari or as a superb beach holiday.

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9. The cats of Moremi

Some folks are cat people – if you’re a friend of felines, this experience is utter purrfection! Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve, at the heart of the Okavango Delta, is considered the predator capital of Africa – and the Mombo Concession, in the far north-west of Chief’s Island, is unmatched for lion and leopard sightings! There are just three camps in this secluded area – Chief’s Camp by Abercrombie & Kent, and the world-famous Mombo and Little Mombo. You are guaranteed a roar-ly good time!

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10. Luangwa’s Leopards

The final entry in our TOP 10 is another cat-tastic trip! It was inspired by the sheer number of clients asking, ‘Where’s the best place to view leopard?’ And our answer is always, ‘The South Luangwa!’ Just over an hour’s flight from Zambia’s capital Lusaka, the South Luangwa National Park scores top marks for authenticity, exclusivity and, of course, its leopards! The Park allows both day and night safaris – and it’s during the dark hours that the lithe leopards really come out and play. So don’t forget to pack those night-vision binocs!

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Julian Carter-Manning is a Co-founder and MD at Yellow Zebra Safaris.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Katrin says:

    Since my son went to Tanzania for his degree project (interviewing small local farmers on the border to Serengeti National Park about their experiences with elephant intrusion on their farms) which he did in cooperation with Vi Agroforestry, I’ve very much wanted to visit the African continent. A dream is to visit the mountain gorillas, and the Okavanga Delta. And why not end it all with a stay at a beach in the Quirimbas Archipelago :) Sounds so much nicer than many of the very touristy beaches in for example Thailand. My son went to Zanzibar before he returned home and had a lovely time, so that’s an alternative as well!

  2. Candice Bain says:

    Great list! I’ve visited several of those places and I would also add trekking in the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia. It’s my favourite all round trekking destination with breathtaking scenery, wildlife and local village life to observe (and none of the hassle Ethiopia is notorious for).

    Also for active folk, trekking on Mt Kenya. It’s much quieter and more beautiful than Kilimanjaro and it’s the second highest mountain on the continent.

  3. Mike says:

    Superb article, the best I have read on this site. Thanks! I didn’t know there were leopards in South Luangwa, despite having been there once! And I had not heard of the northern Quirimbas Archipelago. Very interesting!

  4. Peter Okelo says:

    Wow!! What amazing destinations but the first photo looks like its in Maasai Mara and not Serengeti though migration starts in Serengeti. Thanks for great gather

  5. Great article summarizing Africa. The picture of beasts crossing the river is excellent. At first sight, it looks something different. On a closer look, the wild buffaloes at the front of the image was visible. Then only it struck that there are so many thousands of them. thanks for writing such an article.

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