Africa abounds with natural wonders. From the thundering waters of Victoria Falls to the shifting sand dunes of the Sahara, Africa is a continent beyond comparison.
Victoria Falls National Park is home to Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. Water thunders down into the gorge 93 meters below at a rate of 700,000 cubic meters per minute. The striking spray nourishes the dense vegetation that supports the mammals and birds of the Park.
Sitting comfortably atop an elephant, you explore the ancient game trails edging the Zambezi River as it emerges from Victoria Falls. High above the grasslands you gain unparalleled views of wild baboons, warthogs, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, monkeys, and hippopotamus. Sightings of lion and leopard are frequent.
An active conservation program, Lion Encounter operates the Lion Rehabilitation and Release Program which readies the offspring of captive bred lions to re-enter the wild. You walk with the Ranger as he guides the cubs in the bush to familiarize them to their natural habitat for later re-entry. It is a thrilling experience.
Blood red sunsets and a myriad of blinking stars in the cloudless night sky describe The Spitzkoppe, granite peaks as high as 1,784 m (5,857 feet). Hiking, rock climbing, and camping attract adventurers from around the world. Four thousand year old rock art depicting zebras, hunters, elephants and lions is decorated on the granite in ochre red paint. A campsite managed by a local village at the base of The Spitzkoppe is safe and popular. Basic services are available.
An hour from The Spitzkoppe is Brandberg Mountain, another popular spot for rock climbing, but what makes Brandberg Mountain noteworthy is The White Lady painting on the mountain’s wall. The painting has generated much controversy regarding its age. Estimates have ranged from 2,000 to 16,000 years old. The figure is not a female, but a male tinted white armed with a bow and arrow and displaying a goblet in his free hand. The hair of the male is light colored and straight. Other figures in the artwork are females performing a hunting ritual while a figure representing a shaman is carrying a bunch of carrots.
Desert Elephants and Black Rhinos
Desert dwelling elephants and black rhinos roam the area. This is not a park, but a free nomadic area for wildlife. Desert dwelling elephants are a rare group of elephants that exist only in two places: Namibia and Mali. Your best prospect to see both desert inhabitants is to hire a tracker.
Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa
The Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa’s highest mountain range, is a sport enthusiast’s dream. During the winter months from May through August, activities are ice climbing, skiing, and snowboarding. The summer months of October through February boast fly fishing and white water rafting.
Grab your ice axes and ropes to head to one of the several ice climbing routes. Sani Pass is perfect for beginners while Giant’s Castle and Rhino Peak fit the more advanced. The best winter months for ice climbing are June to August. It is recommended serious ice climbers join a chapter of South Africa’s Mountain Club for support and advice.
The Drakensberg is rich with rivers and waterways overflowing with rainbow trout and brown trout. The large trout put up a feisty fight. Bass and carp are so plentiful fishing competitions are held.
White River Rafting
Four Rivers Rafting and Adventures begin rafting season in December and end in April. The Tugela River challenges the rafter with several grades of rapids with 5 considered one of the biggest commercial rapids in the world.
Cape Peninsula, South Africa
A narrow strip of land enclosed by the Atlantic waters is a stunning terrain of beaches, valleys, and bays in South Africa known as the Cape Peninsula. Rising from the mist of the Peninsula is Table Mountain, whose crown is shrouded in clouds at 3,558 feet. Table Mountain and the environs form Table Mountain National Park.
Boulders is a section of 3 beaches in Table Mountain National Park where a colony of African Penguins live. The penguins live and breed in the waters and beaches of Boulders. Swim with the penguins for a unique encounter.
The Sahara Dunes of Morocco, Africa
The Sahara is the hottest and third largest desert in the world. The first and second are Antarctica and the Arctic, the cold deserts. Almost the size of the United States, the Sahara spreads across North Africa and with it the shifting sand dunes of Morocco. The Sahara is like no other desert on Earth. The exquisite silence of the Moroccan Sahara is softly broken by the humming of the sand dunes that whisper Erg Chebbi.
The sand dunes of Erg Chebbi tower to a height of 500 feet. The journey to this magical place begins in the small town of Merzouza on the border of the Sahara. The best months to visit are October to February and camel trekking is the best way to reach Erg Chebbi. Sleep under the stars next to an oasis. Have breakfast with the nomadic Touaregs and lunch with the desert Berbers. The tranquility of the Erg Chebbi will nourish your spirit.
This article was written by Josh Hansen on behalf of No.1 Traveller a travel company dedicated to providing their customers with high quality pre-fly services such as airside lounges, chauffer service and spas.