1. You will be surprised by the endless views
It seems to be the African landscape because it actually goes on forever. Or instead, it continues to the extent you can see – which essentially is the same, right? The wilderness in Africa means wilderness, not an area of woods on the outskirts of a city.
Look, you can’t transmit it in words, so just start planning and get it done yourself, all right? You will gain new insight into the concept of “seeing for miles,” from the Sahara Desert to the Kalahari, the Laikipia Savanna in Kenya (see picture above), and the pure immensity of the Lakes of Malawi or Victoria.
2. You can take a lifetime road trip
South Africa is one of the cheapest places to rent a car and a hire car might be the ideal way to see the country. Hiring a vehicle in other countries was often prohibitive, but it’s beginning to be easier; our tour operator can hook you up with a self-runner in Tanzania and help you rent a motorcycle in Malawi.
Namibia is a country with an established, independent culture and an epic road trip that is unbelievably popular. Wherever you choose, you will love the free motorcycles and you wouldn’t otherwise be able to get to places.
3. Get even closer to nature – walk a safari
You can’t do this all over the place but some safari destinations offer guided walking safaris (Sambia was the forerunner here). You can’t get closer to nature – but your guide will, of course, keep you safe from the wild.
A walking safari provides more information – such as animal trails, plants in local medicine, and insects. And yes, poo is particularly important. You don’t believe how much animals leave behind you can learn.
4. During your life you can make a real difference
If you decide well on your tour operator, the money you spend on your vacation will help preserve wildlife and support local communities. We work only with providers who demonstrate such efforts in our sister operation, the Grown-up Travel Company.
Tourism can be a real force for good in Africa that creates jobs and prospects for rural communities that are often marginalized. Furthermore, many service providers invest money in the construction or renovation of and expansion of schools, medical centers, and many other projects directly.
There can be no encouragement to kill animals, for instance, that destroy crops, without wildlife tourism for the people living with such wildlife. If you provide compensation or if a farmer is able to train his kids and has access to healthcare because foreign tourists are charging for safari, he realizes that animals value him more alive. See this post about the work carried out by Imvelo Safari Lodges in Zimbabwe for some fantastic examples of social projects funded by safari tourism.
5. Africa has obviously great beaches as well
The coastline in Africa is LOT. And there are a huge amount of sandy beaches many of which are awarded – like the above picture of Diani Beach in Kenya. This enables you to enjoy fabulous holidays in combination with “beach and bush”-relax on the beach after the safari.
But many people just go to Africa to have time on the beach, perhaps to a place of contrast in a big city. Neither is anything wrong with it. Or you can walk up Kilimanjaro and paddle in Zanzibar.
And you are also not confined to the sea. Lake Malawi has plains easily confused with Mauritius, and the even Zambezi has blindingly white sand stretches …
6. Village life takes into consideration yours
Make sure you get a chance to visit a rural village – you can often organize cultural tours to city tour operators when you are staying in a bush, many safari lodges offer such activities. You will gain adequate insight into the life and problems of the villagers and positive aspects.
Hearing how someone needs to walk several kilometers to collect water and how school fees are not available to many family groups will put our pampered life into perspective, even if a kid is lucky enough to get an education they might have to walk miles to school. And never will you find bitterness – instead, you are welcomed and moved by the hospitality of the people.
7. Neither overlook the towns
Urban Africa is always exciting – cities can be messy and awesome at first, but you’ll be on the rhythm soon. Many people – like Johannesburg above – are misunderstood and avoided, which is an error. You certainly have to be careful, but in London or New York, this is also the case. A guided tour is an excellent way to find your bearings and get acquainted with a new location – and dismantle fears and prejudices.
A town like Cape Town is worthy of being on most of the bucket lists but just leave the tourist trail and see how many people live. Don’t even discount the less well-known place. For the record, Durban and Johannesburg are far preferable to Cape Town …
8. Enjoy real-time in your family – make new friends
You will have enough time together without distractions if you travel with your family. You will be surprised to learn how fast teens forget that wireless internet access and even a telephone signal are not available and how parents can live without Facebook.
With and without your wives and children in tow, you are almost certain that you will make new friends; shared meals or drinks around an open fire are one of the best ways to meet other people.
9. African real life can be learned
Another good way to learn about local traditions, history, and daily life is by making cultural visits. These can be tours to meet a village man or to watch a dance performance or food. They are pictured here in Zimbabwe.
You can visit a traditional physician or shop in which medicine is sold, take a school lesson, or learn how the crafts are made in a cooperative. How is the tea made, do you know? Café? Chocolate? Chocolate? All of these and much more could be taught by Africa.
10. A safari is a training
On safari, you’ll learn a lot. You will learn a few things about yourself, nature, and wildlife as we mentioned previously. You can bring your friends home with your recent know-how to distinguish a ghetto from a leopard or the matching behaviors of impala with professional guidance such as sibs shown here.
11. Go walking in a beautiful landscape – or just walking.
If you are doing walks or walks, in Africa you are free to choose. For example, South Africa’s climate (above) is ideal for hill walking for most of the year and it is possible to explore spectacular destinations across the country. Having marked walks and plenty of place along the way is well established here.
12. Craft beer was also here a while ago
If you like good beer (not everyone?), you will gladly hear that there are alternative products to the standard industrial products which are found in different names across the continent, but with suspiciously few flavors.
Yes, for some time (this photo was taken in South Africa in 2015) there were microbreweries and two of the most important ones I tried were in Setzenbosh and Victoria Falls – so that you’ll find a decent brew outside the capitals now!
True, you will have to make use of some Carlsberg variant most of the time, but you can use 100 cracking beers in the same bar in Cape Town. Things are improving, in other words.
13. Yes, you may find yourself
I know that’s a dreadful expression, but you can imagine – probably even – that in Africa, you could really “find yourself” and that your time there will change you absolutely inevitably. You will surely realize that life on this earth exists more than working in an office and living in a city.
You will find what matters – compassion, open mind, and appreciation, just to name three examples for all that we take for granted. You’ll understand that we human beings are quite insignificant in the big plan and understand the urgently needed conservation of the wildlife and environment more clearly.
And you’re going to have a lifetime adventure.