1. Spot endangered mountain gorillas
Number one on our list of bucket-list African adventures is visiting endangered, gentle giants in their natural habitat – the mountain forests of equatorial Africa – has become one of the planet’s ultimate wildlife experiences. Find them in the Virungas, the forested volcanoes that straddle the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC, and consider yourself one of the lucky few.
We’d recommend: trekking with gorillas and sleeping on the ash slopes of Mount Nyiragongo.
2. Climb Table Mountain
Climbing Cape Town’s flat-topped mountain offers an opportunity to get the full scope of the city and its surrounds – the city sprawled below towering mountains, dwarfed by a huge expanse of sea and sky. The case for visiting Cape Town can’t be overstated – you’ll find beauty wherever you look, whether it’s craggy mountain slopes, dense forests, delicate florals, stunning white beaches, or bubbling mountain streams.
We’d recommend: 11 days exploring Cape Town on the Kruger National Park.
3. Wonder at the migration
Visit Botswana during the ‘green season’ (November to April), and take in the spectacle of one of world’s longest migrations of zebra and wildebeest on earth.
Read more about a migration safari here.
4. Drive the Garden Route
From Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape, the Garden Route displays a natural beauty, and mild year-round climate, that’s hard to beat. Explore the enormous variety of flora and fauna in the Tsitsikamma National Park, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley.
We’d recommend: A self drive tour, taking in all the highlights of this corner of South Africa.
5. Wind your way through the Okavango Delta
Few experiences compare the the peace and tranquility of a winding through the Okavango Delta’s looping, reed-lined channels on the gondola of Africa, the mokoro (traditional dug-out canoe). Spot game and an enormous variety of birds, or just take in the beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We’d recommend: A classic Botswana mobile safari.
6. Sleep out under the African night skies
There are few sights in the world that can rival the night sky of Africa, making a star-gazing African sleep-out a must-do experience. Add to that game, particularly elephant, grazing below your elevated sleeping platform, and you have a night to remember.
Read more about Africa’s best star beds.
7. Whale watch in Hermanus
The WWF has classed Hermanus as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world. The best time to enjoy whale watching in Hermanus is between July and November either from land, by boat or from the air via a scenic flight.
We’d recommend: 17 days exploring the best of South Africa, including the seaside town of Hermanus.
8. Marvel at the Victoria Falls
Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or The Smoke That Thunders, Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world in terms of volume, and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. During the rainy season, over 500 million liters of water plummet over the edge of the precipice!
We’d recommend: Explore the best wilderness destinations in Zimbabwe, and arguably on the African continent – Hwange National Park, Mana Pools National Park, Matobos National Park, and the mighty Victoria Falls.
9. Explore the untouched wilderness of Zambia
Zambia remains one of the few remaining true wildernesses in Africa, and offers an authentic ‘Out Of Africa’ safari experience. Journey into the pristine bush on foot on one of Zambia’s famous walking safaris in the South Luangwa.
We’d recommend: 13 days on our Wild Zambia adventure safari.
10. Dive off the coast of Mozambique
Some of the best diving in the world, explore Mozambique’s Quirimbas Archipelago, a string of 32 islands that stretch for a hundred kilometres. Largely untouched by development, the pristine reefs are bustling with vast marine life.
We’d recommend: 11 days of island bliss in Ibo and Medjumbe Islands.
11. Explore the beauty of the Kruger National Park
Kruger is Big Five country, and it’s in South Africa’s flagship wildlife reserve that you’ll come face to face with elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. One visit and you’ll know why people are intoxicated by Kruger’s magic.
We’d recommend: Experience exceptional game viewing in the Sabi Sands and Timbavati, part of the Greater Kruger National Park.
12. Climb the Sossusvlei Dunes
Climb the highest sand dune in the word in Namibia, and take in the sunset as it turns the towering ochre dunes golden.
Read more about the wonders of a Namibia safari.
13. Raft down the Zambezi
As exhilarating as it gets, cruise down the mighty Zambezi by canoe, dodging crocodiles and slipping past elephants as you go.
We’d recommend: A 22 day epic journey along the Southern Africa trade routes, with two days of paddling along the lower Zambezi.