Africa Destination Guide
A continent of contrasts, Africa is both wild and enchanting
Conjuring images of open savannas, dense jungle interiors and colourful coastal cities, Africa is as vast as it is complex. From the exotic influence of the Maghreb in the north, all the way to the multicultural nations of the far south, modern Africa is jam-packed with cultural attractions and stunning sights to discover. See the pyramids of Giza, explore exotic Timbuktu or take to the surf in Cape Town with the help of our Africa travel guide.
Africa is the most linguistically diverse continent on the planet and home to thousands of spoken languages. The former colonial languages of English, French, Portuguese and Spanish are widely spoken and understood, with French the predominant language in much of west Africa. Other widely spoken languages include Arabic, Berber, Amharic, Swahili and Afrikaans.
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Discover the incredible landscapes of Africa
Africa is a stunningly diverse continent of 54 countries, spanning a landscape of unforgettable sweeping grandeur and delight. There is so much to see and do it's hard to know where to start, but with our handy Africa travel guide you'll be on your way in no time. With such a wide range of African tours on offer, the entire continent is practically at your fingertips – be bewitched by flocks of fluttering flamingos, but watch out for the infamous black mamba!
When most people think of Africa, they think of the trademark African safari. Running along Mozambique's border and rubbing up against Zimbabwe, Kruger National Park in South Africa offers nearly two million hectares of species diversity, as well as archaeological hot spots. It's here you'll catch the majesty of the Big Five: lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinoceroses. Time your trip to coincide with the dry seasons: you don't want to be on safari when the roads have turned to rivers of mud!
Iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, stretching an impressive 5.8 kilometres tall. There are six official trekking routes up the mountain, but prepare carefully if you are planning to make the ascent as it's an adventurous climb to say the least. If you'd rather keep your head out of the clouds exploring vibrant city streets, consider Cape Town, Johannesburg or Morocco.
From snow-capped peaks to bone-dry deserts
Almost 85 per cent of Botswana, southwest of Tanzania, is covered by a semi-arid expanse of sandy valleys known as the Kalahari Desert – it's here you can explore the magnificent Okavango Delta, sluiced by the Okavango River. For a real African experience, hire a mokoro (a traditional dugout canoe) and coast down the river spotting wildlife. In Botswana's Chobe National Park, you will be left breathless at the sight graceful elephant herds.
Uganda is home to the impressive Parc National Des Volcans, a chain of seven volcanoes that form a natural border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The park is the ultimate destination for those who want to track and view the rare mountain gorillas in their natural habitat – this is where the book (and film) Gorillas in the Mist is set.
In the far north of the continent, Egypt is a must-see for its ancient pyramids of Giza and limitless historical significance. With an assortment of great value Africa holiday packages available, you will be gazing up at the timeworn face of the mysterious Great Sphinx before you know it.
Africa's wild side
The animal kingdom is at its most spectacular in Africa, where monkeys scramble through cedar trees in the Atlas Mountains, hippos stand staunchly in the fierce ocean surf and giraffes crane their necks to the treetops. Undoubtedly, a safari is the quintessential African experience – the word itself is Swahili for long journey. Countries including Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe offer a variety of safaris, from boutique overnight journeys to eco-educational tours. What can you expect to see as you make your way through the big game reserves and national parks like the Serengeti? Herds of migrating wildebeest and zebra, prides of lions lazing in the sun and many more endangered and revered fauna.
Travel by train
One of the best ways to take in the diverse landscapes of Africa is by riding the rail. Slow down and enjoy the charms of a bygone era from the comfort of your cabin as you make your way north from Cape Town to Cairo. There are plenty of different African rail holidays that can take you from the savannah to the souks. Regarded as a mobile five-star hotel, the Blue Train is synonymous with luxury featuring elegant suites, private lounges and fine dining. Embark on a South African safari on the restored 1920s Rovos Rail trains, or jump on board the Shongololo Express and see a half dozen countries on one unforgettable journey.
Beyond the desert
While Africa is best known for its spare savannas and arid desert plains, there's another side to the continent often overlooked. Africa's coastline stretches an impressive 26,000 kilometres with beautiful beaches aplenty. If you've ever wanted to swim with the biggest fish in the sea, Mozambique's Tofo whale shark central. Cape Town's Boulders Beach is home to the quirky black-footed penguin, while South Africa's Durban boasts some of the best surf for all levels. To the north, scour the reefs of the Red Sea off Egypt or enjoy the exotic seasides of Morocco, Agadir and Tunisia. Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar will satisfy any cravings for sun, sand and surf, embodying the ideals of island paradise off Africa's mainland.
Getting there and around
The majesty of the savanna, the brooding heart of the jungle and clear blue skies await when you book your flights to Africa. Better yet, why not pack your safari shorts and set sail on an African cruise? From the coastlines of Cape Town to the old-world charm of Casablanca and several ports in between, take advantage of the many cruises en route to Africa and see the country from a different point of view. For a convenient way to see everything the continent has to offer, consider booking a hire car and travel in comfort at your own pace.
Want to spend more time seeing the sights and less worrying about the finer details of overseas travel? Consider booking one of our African holiday packages and we'll take care of every last detail for you; from airfares to accommodation to tours. Speaking of which, there's no bigger thrill than the chase of big game and an outstanding way to spot some of Africa's unique wildlife is on a safari tour, getting you up close to the action.