From the Mediterranean shores of the north to the Cape of Good Hope on its southern tip, with everything from desert to rainforest in between, it can certainly seem overwhelming. Yet it is one of those places where the more you focus in, the more impressive it becomes.
Pick any African nation and you will be confronted by a wealth of culture and beauty. The truly mind-boggling history of Egypt with its famed Pyramids and pharaohs, the vibrant bazaars and souks of Morocco, the endless stillness of the Sahara, all await those who venture into the north of this great continent. Those who venture further south will no doubt be drawn to the great savannahs of places like South Africa and Kenya, where safaris offer visitors the chance to witness the famed ‘Big 5’, or the Great Rift Valley of the east of Africa where humanity’s own story is said to have begun. Wherever your journey takes you, we guarantee that you’ll leave wanting more.
The diversity of Africa is as immense as its size. Unique environments like Madagascar, with its otherworldly flora and fauna are truly like nowhere else on earth. The beautiful islands of Mauritius and the Seychelles in the Indian ocean offer a paradise for beach bums, foodies and divers from the world over. Or maybe you wish to explore Nigeria and the vibrancy of Africa’s largest city Lagos, famed for its nightlife and exciting music scene. The options are almost endless.
The Interior of the continent is home to some of the world’s most breath-taking natural wonders. The Nile, Congo River and Zambezi all wind their way through Africa, and have all been used for trade and travel for tens of thousands of years. The Zambezi is home to the world-famous Victoria Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in existence. The name today simply does not do it justices, but in the local Lozi dialect it is known as Mosi-al-Tunya or ‘The smoke that thunders’. Much more fitting.
It is, of course, not only rivers that make their mark on the landscapes of Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest, is a mecca for climbers. Its snow-capped peak siting high above the Savannah is a sight to behold even for those who do not attempt the summit, but for those that do it is certainly something they will never forget.
Africa is not all nature and scenery. The cities of the continent are alive and bustling with excitement. Cape Town has its mix of modernity and easy to reach nature, Cairo has all the trappings of the modern world whilst being the only city to still hold a Wonder of the Ancient World, Windhoek is a hugely artistic city still dotted with the gingerbread house, Germanic architecture of its colonial past. And then there are the less visited metropolises of the continent like the beautiful, sleepy Stone Town of Zanzibar. Arabic culture has blended with native African, Indian and European to create a mesmerizing array of influences on this Tanzanian island.
Africa is nothing if not thought provoking. Taking a trip to Robben Island or visiting the former slave trading hubs of the west coast of the continent will leave any visitor humbled. It can be a place of contrast, where wealth and poverty sit side by side. It is a place of growth, where tech start-ups are thriving in cities that did not have reliable electricity 20 years ago, and it is a place of deep history, where mankind first evolved some 200,000 years ago.
Whether you are planning on visiting for the scenery, the music, the vineyards, the food, the culture, the safaris or even just to sit on a beach, your trip will take you to places you never even imagined. To quote Pliny the Elder, writing 2000 years ago ‘Out of Africa, always something new.’