You could visit Africa 100 times and still be blown away by a completely new experience – that’s part of its magic. Our team of Africa experts have selected their top five unique experiences to provide inspiration for your next African adventure.
South Africa is a country rich in history, and one period that has become almost legendary is the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. The Battle of Rorke’s Drift (immortalised in the film Zulu), where just over 150 British and colonial troops fought against 4000 Zulu troops, was one of its most dramatic battles. Battlefield tours of the site and others offer a thought-provoking opportunity to stand in the warriors’ footsteps and truly immerse yourself in history. Fugitives Drift is the closest hotel to the site and harks back to that era with carefully preserved artefacts proudly on display in the communal areas. The guides at Fugitives Drift are famed for their story-telling, the scenery is spectacular and the accommodation combines authentic charm with luxurious finishes.
Top tip: Take a horseback ride through the Fugitives Drift Game Reserve to enjoy a unique perspective of the variety of game including giraffe, zebra, nyala and wildebeest to name a few.
Best for: Romantic Adventurers
Imagine falling asleep under a sky of twinkling stars, with no noise around you except the occasional roar of a far-off lion. The fabled African skies take on a whole new dimension in the dark. One of our favourite Sleep-Outs is Loisaba in Kenya, where every detail is taken care of to provide an out-of-this-world sleep-out experience. Their renowned star beds can be found in two locations, the Kiboko ones are set amongst an outcrop of rocks in one of the eastern valleys and overlook a waterhole, while the Koija ones can be found positioned on the banks of the Ewaso N’giro River. Regardless of which location you chose, this is an experience not to be missed. You are hosted and guided by a team of Samburu and Laikipiak Maasai warriors and your food is prepared in a traditional camp kitchen. Each platform is en-suite, and the star beds are set-up to ensure total privacy.
Top tip: Enjoy a tranquil afternoon rafting the Ewaso N’giro and Ng’are Narok rivers that flow through Loisaba.
0est for: Once-in-a-lifetime
Perhaps the most surreally beautiful landscape in the continent, the Skeleton Coast runs from northern Namibia into Angola and is littered with shipwrecks due to the tempestuous seas. During this truly exceptional safari experience, you will find yourself airborne a few thousand feet above the coast in a light aircraft, looking down over shipwrecks and desert-dwelling animals such as black rhino and elephant (and even on occasion giraffe). Once you’re firmly back on the ground, more traditional Land Rover explorations await. Accommodation is three fully equipped desert tents dotted along the coast that blend seamlessly into the surrounding environment. This will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Top tip: Be sure to chat to the Schoeman’s (the owner/operators and pilots of Skeleton Coast Safaris) about their story – the company was started in 1977, and they take family business to the next level.
Best for: Wildlife you won’t see anywhere else
Still, a relatively hidden gem, although not for much longer, Madagascar should definitely be on your bucket list. Home to many endemic species and favourites such as lemurs and turtles – 5% of all animal and plant life known to man can only be found in Madagascar, and the natural scenery and diversity of animals will rival anywhere else you’ve been. If that isn’t quite enough to tempt you, consider staying at the award-winning Constance Tsarabanjina, which can be found on its own island just off the coast of mainland Madagascar. Unspoilt beaches, sea turtles, baobab forests and much more await you.
Top tip: Pay a visit to Andasibe National Park for your chance to see the Indri Indri, the largest of Madagascar’s famed lemurs, in addition to ten other species of lemur found in the park.
Best for: Indulgence
Experience the romance of a bygone era travelling on one of the world's most luxurious trains. Whether you choose to travel by Rovos Rail or the Blue Train, luxury train travel in South Africa is undoubtedly a unique experience and you can expect the standard of service on board to be exquisite. Sip champagne as you pass through the Karoo, admire the African sunset from the observation car, and at the end of a long day of relaxing, enjoy a bath in your luxury suite. The butler is never far away to ensure your every need is taken care of.
Top tip: Be sure to take advantage of the off-train activities, like trips to the Big Hole in Kimberly or a tour of the tiny Klein Karoo town of Matjiesfontein.
Do you want to start planning your own unique experience in Africa? Get in touch with us by calling 020 7843 3500 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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