By Rachel O’Conner
As your plane hovers over Cape Town, you’ll catch a glimpse of Table Mountain, and you just know you’re in for the adventure of your lifetime. Travelling through Africa is an experience like none other – because Africa is a continent like none other.
Here are a few reasons why Africa should be on your upcoming travel bucket list.
See many of Mother Nature’s natural treasures
If you travel through most of Southern Africa, the journey will probably take a little over a month. This includes exploration and adventure time. But during your travels, you’ll cross many different landscapes and meet many different peoples. Not only will you get to explore Table Mountain, but you’ll also see Victoria Falls, Fish River Canyon, the Namib Desert, and the granite formations of Spitzkoppe. If you chose East Africa, Lake Malawi, the Serengeti, the white beaches of Zanzibar and many others wait to thrill you. All of your friends have probably seen the Lion King, but how many of them can say they’ve toured through the majestic Serengeti – especially during the great wildebeest migration?
Get up close and personal with rare and amazing wildlife
If you’re a fan of Animal Planet or National Geographic, you are going to geek out over the sheer breadth of wildlife you can see on an African Safari. You’ll always want to take caution when choosing a safari guide because you could otherwise find yourself in a precarious situation. Check reviews and recommendations, and check the car’s maintenance schedule to ensure it’s road ready. Also, ask about their emergency plan. For example, what happens if you get a flat on the trek?
And if you’re feeling more adventurous, you might get a better view of wildlife by camping under the stars. On a campsite, there’s no telling what you might encounter up close. From lions and tigers to monkeys and scorpions, keep your eyes peeled at all times.
Feel the warmth and hospitality of the African people
The colour of your skin or the location of your native land does not matter. Unless you were born in Africa, you’re going to feel like a tourist. But it won’t matter.
The people of Africa are notably warm and generous, and you’ll feel that as you enter the small villages along the way. It’s true that there are gangs, and there is some chaos in certain parts of Africa, but as a tourist, you likely won’t be trekking through a war zone. Check your government’s travel advisories before you plan to visit any country.
Get (far) out of your comfort zone
An African excursion isn’t something you do on a weekend whim – especially if you are on your first trip to the continent. The trip will require a great deal of planning, and be prepared to settle into the ways of African living. Make no mistake about it; this will be out of your comfort zone. Depending on what you’re used to, it may be more or less of a culture shock, but it will be a culture shock nonetheless.
For this trip, be sure to take precautions against malaria or something else. And when on safari, comply with your guide’s instructions to avoid becoming a lunch for a pack of hungry lions. The bottom line is that you’ll need to remain alert and get serious about your own personal safety.
You’ll likely be with a tour group when you travel through Africa, so you would have good (new) friends who will definitely cheer you on even when you are tempted to be scared. You should have good and trustworthy guides too, like the ones at Afro Tourism, to help keep you safe throughout your trip.
But even the things that are a little scary are worthwhile to experience at least once in a lifetime. We tend to get so wrapped up in the comforts of our Western lives that we forget what it’s like to really live. An African trip is a perfect way to reset your priorities and help you focus on what’s truly important in your life.
Learn about yourself
Have you ever heard about people taking a trip to “find themselves?” Without a doubt, this is one of those trips. So many things are great in theory, but we don’t know what it’s like to experience them. You might say with passion that you’d be happier living off the grid, 500 miles from civilization – but would you really? Are you really able to live without your smartphone, or is that just a pipe dream? An African trip will push your limits so much that you’ll find out exactly what you’re made of.
If you’re looking to experience adventure in a raw and natural paradise, an African trip should definitely be on your bucket list. It’s also one you’ll want to check off sooner rather than later.
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