Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Africa for all kinds of travelers

Zebras are plentiful and fun to watch.
When I recall trips we have taken to Africa, my first thought is about the abundant wildlife that we have witnessed there. That is surely a prime reason many people travel to Africa. But this gigantic continent has a huge variety of natural beauty, and you can find activities whatever your traveling style.

Go2Aftica tour company (we have not used them) has broken down different adventurer categories with experiences that would appeal to each. Here is a summary of recommendations.

Safari jeeps include lots of windows.
Wildlife Enthusiast: If you fall into the largest category of visitors to Africa, choose a safari at any of Africa’s many habitats including jungles, forests, grasslands, and deserts to view a diverse selection of species. In addition to the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, African buffalo), there are innumerable mammals, reptiles, and birds (many found only in Africa) to amaze you.

Magnificent elephants are a joy to behold.
Top wildlife experiences are witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti (Kenya and Tanzania in east Africa) or choosing from the explosion of safari camps in Botswana. Either way you’ll have an unforgettable adventure travelling by jeep daily over prime landscape for getting up close and personal with animals you’ve only seen in pictures.
Wildebeests scramble up the bank of the Mara River
during the Great Migration. It's impossible to describe this massive event.

II you prefer your adventure on foot, opt for a walking safari which provides a fully immersive experience with nature and wildlife. Follow animal tracks, search for gorillas, and view natural elements of the environment’s smaller details in plant life.

The pool at the top of Victoria Falls is a dangerous place to play.
Thrill seeker: Seeing the mighty Victoria Falls in Zambia crash over cliffs and feeling the spray (okay, getting drenched) as you walk along established paths is quite an experience. For those seeking a deep adrenaline rush, take a dip in the Devil’s pool at the upper edge of the Falls. It’s truly a risky endeavor, as you’ll be pushed to the edge of the cliff by the force of the Zambezi River, with only a rock lip to halt a 100-meter drop into the raging waters below.

White water rafting is an enormous thrill!
For thrills of a different kind, try white water rafting on the Zambezi River. This has been one of the the most exciting excursions we have ever taken. Be prepared for a semi-tough slog down to the river and back out afterwards. Also be prepared to be totally enclosed in water as your raft maneuvers through rapids up to class 5. 
Imagine bungee jumping from
that bridge.

If you’re really fearless, try bungee jumping from the bridge over the Zambezi River. Having witnessed this experience, I can attest to the mind-numbing, ear-curdling screams it seemed to inspire.

Climbing addict: If you enjoy the challenge of an uphill battle rewarded by breath-taking views at the top of your trek, Table Mountain awaits. 

We chose to ride cable cars to the top.

Overlooking the city of Cape Town, South Africa, this can be a three-hour journey even for experienced climbers. Be prepared for an intense workout along the way. For those who want the views without the physical effort of climbing, you can take a cable car to the top (or down) and enjoy dinner at the restaurant there.

A one-day climb not enough? Ready to tackle the highest mountain in Africa? Then Kilimanjaro is your challenge. As the tallest freestanding mountain in the world at 19, 340 feet, Kilimanjaro features a variety of ecosystems and microclimates. You’ll experience everything from tropical forests to subzero alpine environments—and the weather can change from pleasant to inclement at a moment’s notice. Sign up in for the adventure with an established company. A little advance training can help before you tackle this seven to 10 day magnificent feat.

Sky tripper: To get a bird’s eye view of the region, take to the sky in a Skeleton Coast flying adventure. From 14,000 feet in the air, you see the whole picture of diverse landscapes and terrains. Gain new perspective viewing the deserted beach, wind-rippled dunes, and decaying whaling ships. 

Don't miss the red-sand hills of Namibia.

Include the enormous (and beautiful) red-sand hills of Namibia in your above-ground adventure. Enjoy an easy-on-the-body other-worldly vision of a less popular but extraordinary destination in on the continent of Africa.

Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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