The African adventure has been romanticized and the safari mystique immortalized by several writers of yore including Ernest Hemingway and Theodore Roosevelt. The abundant wild life, the diversely majestic landscapes and the lush countryside and safaris attract large number of visitors.
Africa is widely regarded as the best game viewing destinations in the world. The game can be watched by a roof top vehicle or simply by participating in walking, hiking, mountaineering, boating or ballooning. Trekking to the heights of Mt.Kilimanjaro the tallest mountain or sailing in the depths of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in the world - experience Africa adventure travel.
The great African safari
An African safari evokes mystery, wonder and is an epitome of adventure. The towering dunes, dramatic mountain ranges, pristine beaches and vast tracks of open highlands have something to offer for everyone - honeymooners, a loner, group of friends or a family, a photographer or wildlife enthusiast.
Adventure travel tourists to Africa would want to witness the Big Game shows. On any African Safari a tourist can expect to see all or some of the 'Big Five' - lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and leopards. Apart from these, wild dogs, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and various large and small antelope, hippo and crocodiles along with hundreds of species of birds have made this continent their eternal home.
Several custom tailored safaris are available in over 30 countries throughout the African continent. East Africa and South Africa are particularly known for Safari. Safaris are of different types; from a flying safari where a tourist can experience a bird's eye view to a cross-country canoeing African safari to traditional safaris with tented camps. Exploration safari include amazing locales such as Egypt, Sahara desert and countries like Libya, Algeria, Niger, Tunisia, Mauritania and Mali and the famous city of Timbuktu.
The most exciting Daphne Sheldrick Wildlife Foundation and its baby rhinos and elephants are not to be missed at Nairobi. The Giraffe Manor provides ample opportunity for visitors to hand feed the giraffe. In the Ark, animals can be watched at close proximity as they are dramatically illuminated against the dark night. The Samburu Shaba game reserve is noted for several species of animals not found in the Southern parks. Some of them are reticulated giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Beisa oryx, and the graceful long neck gerenuk and many other exciting animals.
Lake Nakuru is an ornithologists' dream come true. This magical lake is home to over a million flamingos. Reed buck, hippo, leopard, water buck and giraffe are some of the other inhabitants of this park. This park is also a black rhino sanctuary. This park also boasts of the greatest concentration of leopard in Kenya.
The Masai Mara Game reserve is one of the world's greatest wildlife habitats. The high altitude and the humid conditions resulting in temperate climate have made this reserve ideal for game country. The gently rolling landscape and the savannah grasslands intersected with dense acacia woodlands has made this reserve a truly memorable game land.
The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is home to over 40000 herbivores and has the highest density of lions anywhere in Africa. The Ngorongoro crater is the last remaining refuge of the black rhinos that has deteriorated in number. The Ngorongoro Crater is regarded as Tanzania's 'secret garden'. Descending 2000 feet from the lush rain forests into the open savannah and the Lerai acacia woodland on the crater floor and game viewing is simply awesome.
The Serengeti National Park lies in the majestic Serengeti Plains. This is the largest park in East Africa spreading over 14000 sq. kms and housing a spectacular annual migration of over a million wildebeest from the north and West Africa.
Manyara National Park is nestled in the base of the Rift valley. This park is unique as a 'ground water forest'. Many of the streams actually spring from the walls of the Rift valley. In the Tarangire Conservation area which spreads over 60000 acres lying adjacent to the Tarangire National Park, walking safari can be undertaken. During evenings and nights one can see nocturnal animals like spring hares, African wildcats, genet cats and white-tailed mongoose roaming about unmindful of the viewers.
East Africa is particularly suitable for family safari. Game viewing is combined with educational and cultural activities. Tourist can delve into the ethno botanical walks around Kirurumu in Lake Manyara.
Mt. Kilimanjaro climb
Africa is the home of Mt.Kilimanjaro, which is about 19340 ft tall and it is the highest free standing mountain in the world. The ascent of Kilimanjaro begins with Machame Gate. The first climb is to Machame Hut. The Shira Plateau is a one of the most fascinating areas of this mountain. Climbers to Mt. Kilimanjaro can enjoy viewing the vegetations consisting of Senecios, Lobelia and Helichrysum. The spectacular Barranco valley is awe-inspiring.
The walk to Karanga is breathtaking with views of the West Breach and the southern glacier. Standing here and watching the sunrise is like literally standing on the rooftop of Africa. The climb to Mt.Kilimanjaro depends upon various factors like weather conditions depending on which the climb can be moderate to very demanding.
Botswana Game reserves
Botswana's famous Chobe River is famous for game drives. Savuti is located on the west of the Chobe National park and is suitable for those wishing to enjoy Africa that is untamed! It is reported that over 35000 elephants inhabit in this area. The magnificent sunset at the Mekoro drift is a tourist delight. Botswana is the best option for those who wish to combine game viewing in open safari, camping in remote wilderness and visiting the nomadic Bushmen of the Central Kalahari.
Okavango is famous for its mystical mazes of reed waterways which the tourist can travel in canoes poled by the expert river bushmen who know every twist and turn of Okavango. The Moremi Game Reserve is one of Bostwana's top game viewing areas where wildebeest, elephant, giraffe, lion and zebra abound. Game viewing is mainly by water boats. The Margadikgadi Pans Game reserve is situated on the largest prehistoric lake in the world Margadikgadi Pans. Unique desert wildlife consisting of the brown hyena, aardvark and aardwolf and gemsbok, meerkat and springbok can be game watched here.
Best of South Africa
South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and is aptly nicknamed 'Rainbow Nation'.
- The Kruger National Park is Africa's premier safari reserve. The private game reserves are located on the western boundary including the Sabi Sand, Timbavati and Manyeleti.
- The Garden route region runs along the coastline beginning in Cape Town and ending in Port Elizabeth. The region has rich giant yellow wood trees and wild flowers, is well forested bordered by extensive lagoons behind sand dunes and white beaches. The Mediterranean maritime climate of this Garden Route is ideal for water sports and outdoor activities.
The Western Cape is for those craving a genuine African experience and they can head straight to Kwazulu-Natal. This is South Africa's traditional home with its most famous tribal inhabitants the Zulus whose culture is fascinating. The inland regions of Kwazulu Natal are rich in scenic splendor and historical interest alike. The magnificent Drakensberg Mountain towers over the rest of Kwazulu Natal. The uKhalamba Drakensberg Park which is a World Heritage site is spectacular natural alpine feature consisting of Cathedral Peak, Giant's Castle and the Amphitheatre.