African Safari, African Vacations, Middle East Tours & Travel Experiences
Discover Our Africa Tours and Safaris
During the less-enlightened colonial period of the 19th century, Africa was referred to as the ‘Dark Continent,’ a name that evoked its undeniable mystery to the average outsider. How times have changed! Now easier than ever to visit, Africa remains a land filled with amazing travel experiences and opportunities, and there are African vacations to suit a wide variety of interests.
Africa Travel Highlights
Best African Safari Destinations
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and boasts ‘The Big Five’ game sightings: the lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros. Joining them are a myriad of other wildlife species and birds. An Africa safari here will be an unforgettable experience. There are literally over 100 game reserves in South Africa. Some of the better-known ones include Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Addo Elephant Park, Madikwe and Pilanesberg.
Elsewhere in Southern Africa, Botswana, where most of the animals are allowed to roam freely, has some first-rate game reserves such as Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta and Moremi National Park, all teeming with wildlife. In Zimbabwe, 12% of the country is devoted to either National Parks or Game Reserves suitable for Africa safari tours. The two principal wildlife reserves are Hwange which contains more than 30,000 elephants and Lake Kariba. Zambia has excellent game reserves such as South Luangwa National Park, which also boasts a large colony of elephants.
Abundant animal viewing is available on an East Africa safari. Both Kenya and Tanzania offer an array of wildlife on their savannah grassland plains. Safaris in East Africa tend to be on the wilder side. This is the home of the Great Migration, Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro.
African Beach Resorts
Two other considerations for either an après-safari sojourn or just a beach vacation are the Seychelles and Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast. The beaches are uncrowded with powder-soft sands nestled next to turquoise waters. For water sports enthusiasts, there are wonderful opportunities for snorkelling and scuba diving. Meanwhile, off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar offers an intoxicating blend of history, multiculturalism, and plentiful opportunities to relax by the Indian Ocean.
Choosing Which Country to Visit in Africa or the Middle East
From Cape Town to Cairo, Africa is a continent rich with diversity and natural beauty. It is home to some of the oldest civilisations on earth, and many of its most famous and impressive creatures and natural wonders. Journey on through the Middle East and the adventure continues! Here are some of our favourite Africa vacation spots.
South Africa has been described as “A World in One Country.” It has been blessed with spectacular natural beauty, a great climate and diverse cultures. There are awesome mountain ranges such as the Drakensbergs, subtropical forest, exceptional wetlands and bushveld alive with wild animals, all available on African vacations. Cape Town, a cosmopolitan and modern metropolis, is a premier contender for the world’s most beautiful city award with its natural setting sandwiched between the striking background of Table Mountain and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Best places to visit in South Africa
When it comes to exceptional coastal scenery, the Garden Route is hard to beat and stretches from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It features lakes, lagoons, lush forests and rugged coastal scenery. Some of the major towns are Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, The Wilderness, Tsitsikamma National Park, Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn. The Garden Route is also a great place for whale-watching on African vacations.
For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Cape Winelands is a must with its magnificent mountain backdrop and classic Cape-Dutch homesteads. Visits to world-class wineries are available in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. The nearby Cape of Good Hope offers striking natural beauty and a short boat ride takes you to the infamous Robben Island.
The Panorama Route is nothing less than breathtaking, with the world’s third-largest canyon, Blyde River Canyon. Scenic spots here are God’s Window, the Pinnacle and the Three Rondavels. And don’t leave out Pilgrim’s Rest, an authentic Gold Rush town. Zululand is the heart of the Zulu Kingdom, the place where many tribes and clans came together to form a united kingdom. The nearby battlefields have been witness to many clashes between the British and the Zulus.
Johannesburg is a modern city with interesting attractions such as Gold Reef City for a glimpse of the Gold Rush era and Soweto Township, a community purpose-built under Apartheid for native African people and former home to Nelson Mandela. Pretoria is known as Jacaranda City with its impressive parliament buildings and the Voortrekker Monument. Durban with its mild climate and sandy beaches is a good place to relax, swim or surf and make sure to take in the exotic spice markets. You can even test your nerves, cage diving with great white sharks! There are a number of other outstanding South African cities all of which have something to offer the visitor on African tours.
For a somewhat more upscale safari with unparalleled wildlife viewing, UNESCO world heritage listed regions and a total ban on game hunting, look no further than Botswana. One of Africa’s safest, most economically prosperous, and geographically diverse nations, Botswana’s attractions read like a list of Africa’s biggest safari hits, in the form of the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and Moremi Game Reserve. From the wetlands of the delta to the dry landscapes of the Kalahari Desert which stretch into Namibia, Botswana is a safari destination like no other.
Zimbabwe and Zambia
Zimbabwe and Zambia are frequently paired thanks to the natural wonder that brings them together - Victoria Falls. The jewel in the crown for both countries, this awe-inspiring cascade of beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River is the world’s largest sheet of falling water, slowly retreating upriver as it gradually erodes its next precipice. In fact, each gorge the river flows into at the base of the falls was once the location of the falls. Zimbabwe is also a highlight for those interested in Africa’s human history. Great Zimbabwe is the largest ruined settlement found in sub-Saharan Africa. Both countries impress when it comes to wildlife of course, particularly at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, and South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, home to one of the world’s largest populations of leopards.
Namibia is a country with the highest sand dunes, located in Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, and the lowest canyon in the world, Fish River Canyon. Windhoek has historical buildings dating back to German colonial rule. For a touch of the eerie, visit the aptly named Skeleton Coast, the final resting place of numerous ships that have underestimated its waters. For some time out to relax, Swakopmund is an attractive beach resort often referred to as ‘Namibia’s Playground.’ Etosha National Park has an abundance of wildlife and a jeep safari will bring you close to the animals on an African safari. Many of the animals are subspecies unique to Namibia, perfectly adapted to its desert conditions. Another safari destination is the Namib Rand Nature Reserve located in southwestern Namibia. A haunting phenomenon awaits at the Deadvlei near Sossusvlei, where the remnants black acacia trees rise from the salt plains against the vivid backdrop of orange dunes.
Kenya is a country of diverse landscapes with its vast plains, majestic snow-capped Mount Kenya and tropical palm-fringed beaches along the Indian Ocean coast. For game viewing, you have a wide selection of parks to choose from. These include Amboseli, Mount Kenya, Aberdare, Lake Nakuru and the renowned Maasai Mara with its annual wildebeest migration, one of the remarkable wildlife attractions of Kenya. Take a break on the coast in Mombasa with its white sand beaches, coral reefs and lively atmosphere while travelling on African tours.
Tanzania is home to thousands of wild animals and tropical birds to see on an African safari. The Serengeti is the most renowned wildlife reserve bordering Lake Victoria. It is also well known for its animal migration which takes place twice a year. It has the highest concentration of large mammals on the planet and is famous for its lions, the highest concentration found anywhere. Other notable parks include the incomparable Ngorongoro Conservation Area, known also as “Africa’s Eden”, Tarangire National Park with the largest population of elephants in Tanzania and Lake Manyara with its tree-climbing lions and pink flamingos. Mount Kilimanjaro, visible from Nairobi, is a target for trekkers and climbers who want to reach the summit. Just off the Indian Ocean coast is the island of Zanzibar with its winding streets in the old port city of Stone Town.
Where can I go mountain gorilla trekking?
Two East African countries offering a very different style of Africa safari in the form of a gorilla trek are Uganda and Rwanda. Trekking through the mountainous rainforest in small groups, you can enjoy the almost magical experience of seeing gorillas close-up. The experience however varies greatly between the two countries. Uganda is far more accessible, offering a much lower price point for gorilla trekking permits, and a wider variety of sights and attractions in the rest of the country. Rwanda, however, while more expensive, offers a more boutique experience, with tighter regulations ensuring every visitor enjoys a high-quality encounter with the gorillas.
North Africa and Middle East Travel Highlights
Egypt, one of the world’s oldest civilizations, is steeped in fascinating history and archaeological finds unlike anywhere else on earth. Cairo offers the world’s most extensive pharaonic collection of artefacts at the Egyptian Museum. And who wouldn’t want to visit the Giza, Memphis and Saqqara pyramids? The best way to capture the essence of ancient Egypt is on a Nile Cruise sailing between Luxor and Aswan while visiting the Luxor and Karnak Temples and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens. From Aswan, take a side trip to Abu Simbel with its huge reassembled edifice.
It’s not a classical safari spot, but don’t discount a visit to Ethiopia on African vacations. The oldest independent country in Africa is a land of contrasts and remote, wild locations. These include the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains and Lalibela, with its network of old churches hewn out of red volcanic rock. Addis Ababa has many museums including the Ethnological Museum located within Emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace.
Tunisia offers sun-drenched days on the beach as well as historical sites and desert experiences. The beach resorts of Hammamet, Djerba and Sousse are all Internationally acclaimed. For historical sites, head to Carthage with its outstanding Roman amphitheatre and citadel. Also to El Jem, home of possibly the most impressive Roman amphitheatre in Africa. The desert calls with a visit to the town of Douz, the gateway to the Sahara where you can experience camel or jeep rides through amazing sand dunes and under star-filled night skies.
Morocco has a mix of excellent beach resorts, snow-capped mountains, cedar forests and the colourful Sahara Desert. Beach resorts include Casablanca, Agadir and Tangier. For something more exotic, head to Marrakech in the foothills of the snow-covered Atlas Mountains with its charming ambience, Rabat with its Kasbah (market), Hassan Tower and Royal Mausoleum and Palace and Fez, one of the best-preserved walled medinas (old city) in the Arab world.
Israel and Jordan
The Middle East is the place to see contrasting neighbouring countries such as Israel and Jordan. Israel is steeped in history and bursting with religious interest which can be found in abundance in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem and Nazareth. A visit to the Dead Sea is a unique feature. Jordan offers ancient Roman sites, Crusader castles, interesting churches, excellent beaches and unique desert landscapes. Petra is an important archaeological site inhabited by the Nabateans approximately 2000 years ago.
The Persian Gulf
In the Persian Gulf are three exceptional stopover destinations, Dubai beckons with its stunning white beaches, excellent shopping and the opportunity to go riding in the desert.dunes. Abu Dhabi boasts the captivating and eye-catching Sheikh Zayed Mosque, The quieter Oman offers ancient forts, castles and souks from a bygone era.
Africa and the Middle East with their extraordinary and exciting destinations await your visit! Book one of our Africa tours, an African safari, or a trip to the Middle East today!
"Globetrotting with Goway" blog articles
For some additional reading, the following articles are from our blog “Globetrotting with Goway”….. a great source of information for those people who are, or who want to be, world travellers!
....... visit our Globetrotting with Goway blog for more articles
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