Activities in Africa
Morning and Afternoon Game Drives
Game drives represent the quintessential method to immerse oneself in the wildlife of Africa. These excursions are typically conducted in specially designed safari vehicles, equipped with features such as pop-up tops or open sides, ensuring comfort and panoramic viewing. Each vehicle comes with a dedicated safari guide, optional onboard refreshments, and radio-links to swiftly locate game.
For optimal wildlife viewing, the ideal hours are between 6:30 AM – 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM. These timings align with animal activity patterns, as many creatures retreat to the shade during the hotter midday hours to rest. To truly appreciate the wildlife, it’s essential not to simply look AT the bush but THROUGH it. By focusing your gaze at a mid-range distance, looking beneath the bushes and into the shadows, you can discern subtle changes in colour and continuity that may unveil the presence of hidden creatures. It’s a practice that offers a more profound connection to the diverse and captivating animal life that defines the African landscape.
A night game drive stands as an extraordinary and specialized activity, often seen as the epitome of safari luxury. This unique experience is typically not allowed within the confines of national parks and reserves but can often be enjoyed within private reserves. Some national parks, however, do organize night drives as an optional extra.
Embarking on a night drive is an electrifying experience. Departing from your accommodation post-dinner, you set out to explore the mysteries of the night. This is the realm of predators such as lions and leopards, and it offers the rare opportunity to witness elusive nocturnal species like aardvarks, civet cats, white-tailed mongoose, and cape hares.
Guided by the glow of a powerful hand-held lamp, you sweep the darkened bush for signs of life. This unique illumination allows you to catch a glimpse of creatures that are hidden during the day, offering an entirely different perspective on the African wilderness. The thrill of a night drive resides in the unknown, providing a chance to witness the complex and fascinating interplay of life that occurs under the cloak of darkness.
Game & Nature Walks
Experiencing the African wilderness through a game walk is an extraordinary and unparalleled adventure. Leaving the confinement and noise of a vehicle, you follow your seasoned ranger, who is both equipped with a rifle and an abundance of knowledge regarding animal behaviour, into the heart of Africa’s wild landscapes. Rest assured, game walks are not meant to cause apprehension; rather, they are a remarkable opportunity to connect with nature.
A game walk grants clients an intimate appreciation of the African bush. Usually lasting no more than a few hours and conducted at a relaxed pace, these walks offer precious insights into the unique flora, fauna, and wildlife. Many game reserves, particularly throughout Southern Africa, offer this experience, and some trips are meticulously crafted for clients who prefer to explore mainly on foot.
Guided by skilled rangers, you will make regular stops as they elucidate the methods of tracking animals, the traditional uses of plants, and other intriguing aspects of the bush. If fortune favours, you may even have the chance to observe magnificent game from a viewpoint unattainable within the confines of a vehicle. Such walks are more than just a stroll in the wilderness; they are an immersive education, an experience that brings you closer to the very pulse of Africa.
Best Countries for Game Walk: Zambia, Botswana, South Africa
Safaris by Water
Exploring Africa’s magnificent waterways and water-based ecosystems through a variety of aquatic adventures offers a tranquil yet thrilling perspective on game viewing. Here’s a glimpse into the different water-based experiences you can indulge in:
Boating Safaris: Often conducted in the gentle embrace of the evening, as the sun tenderly dips beyond the horizon, boating safaris offer a serene way to encounter wildlife. Cruising leisurely, with frequent stops to observe game such as hippos and elephants, or to admire Africa’s abundant birdlife, a boating safari can transform a late afternoon into a sublime experience—perhaps enhanced by a ‘sundowner’ cocktail.
Canoeing Safaris: For those seeking an active and engaging way to explore Africa’s rivers and waterways, canoeing safaris present an invigorating option. Whether you prefer a few hours of paddling down the Zambezi or a multi-day adventure blending appreciation for nature with game viewing, canoeing allows you to be active while pausing to capture remarkable images of your surroundings and the animals that may be nearby.
Mokoro Safaris: Conducted exclusively in Botswana, a Mokoro safari offers a traditional experience in a canoe-like vessel. Historically carved from a large tree by the Bavei tribe of the Okavango Delta region, modern mokoros are crafted from fiberglass to preserve the environment. Guided by a local ‘poler’ using a 3-meter long pole, your journey through the delta waters promises a graceful and immersive experience in a beautiful ecosystem teeming with wildlife and adorned with picture-perfect sunsets.
These water-based experiences are not just alternatives to land-based game drives; they offer a refreshing and distinctive way to immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes and unique wildlife of Africa, where the gentle ripple of water complements the echoing call of the wild.
Best Countries for Safaris by Water: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia
Should your African adventure be constrained by time, and you wish to forgo the lengthy drives often associated with traditional African safaris, a flying safari might be precisely tailored to your needs. Ideal for making the most of your vacation, flying safaris are readily accessible in many major reserves throughout East Africa and some regions in Southern Africa, thanks to conveniently located airstrips that facilitate direct access to an array of lodges.
Embarking on this aerial adventure, you’ll likely find yourself aboard a small, intimate light aircraft, hosting anywhere from 4 to 12 guests. These flying safaris do more than merely truncate travel times; they present a unique opportunity to glimpse Africa from an entirely different perspective. It’s not unusual for these flights to soar over parks and reserves, affording passengers the thrilling possibility of spotting wildlife from above. A flight over Botswana’s Okavango Delta, for instance, can unveil the incomparable beauty and vastness of this unique ecosystem.
While a flying safari might be accompanied by a higher price tag, the value it offers can be richly rewarding. If your goal is to witness as much of Africa’s splendor as possible within a confined timeframe, this premium experience may well be worth the investment.
Best Countries for a Flying Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana
Balloon Safaris in Africa offer an unparalleled way to embrace the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife from the sky. Typically, your adventure begins with a wake-up call at dawn, accompanied by a warm cup of tea, followed by a brief drive to the launch site. Upon arrival, you can witness the balloon being inflated and prepared for takeoff. Once upright, guests are ushered into the 8-10 person basket, outfitted with safety belts, ready for an extraordinary ride.
Guided by a qualified pilot and carried by the prevailing wind, the balloon’s direction and altitude can be artfully controlled to present an optimal view of the magnificent scenery and game below. This serene and unique experience generally lasts around 45 minutes to an hour, culminating in a gentle landing.
As part of the traditional experience, a champagne breakfast, often a full English spread, awaits you upon landing. As you indulge in this sumptuous meal, flying certificates are presented to commemorate your journey. While you savor the memories and breakfast, the support team manages the balloon’s packing, after which another vehicle escorts you on a game drive back to the lodge.
Embracing the tranquility of the skies and the spectacle of Africa’s wilderness from a balloon is a memory to be cherished, encapsulating the essence of safari adventure.
Best Countries for a Balloon Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia
For bird enthusiasts, Africa offers a captivating haven. The allure of exploring the avian wonders of either East or Southern Africa is irresistible. The birdlife’s astonishing diversity, showcased in its vibrant colors, makes for an indelible memory.
Whether your journey leads you to specialized bird-watching trips or through the splendid habitats that Africa offers, the rewards are plentiful. Picture the spectacle of thousands of flamingoes and pelicans gracing the shores of Lake Nakuru in the Great Rift Valley, or the rich tapestry of bird species that inhabit the Okavango Delta. These environments, among others, cater to birders of all levels, from novices to seasoned experts.
For a deeper immersion into the world of ornithology, tailored multi-day safari experiences guided by dedicated ornithologists are readily available. Such adventures promise not only a visual feast of colors but also a profound appreciation for the remarkable avifauna that Africa proudly boasts.
Best Countries for a Bird-Watcing: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana
Trekking / Hiking
Africa presents an array of exceptional trekking opportunities, ranging from the renowned to the undiscovered. The highest mountain on the continent, Mount Kilimanjaro, stands as Africa’s most sought-after trekking destination. Yet, there are lesser-traveled gems such as Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains or Mount Kenya or Mount Meru, each remarkable in its difficulty level and demanding thorough preparation.
Standing at 19,336 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro represents a challenge for many adventurers. The ascent to the summit traverses five diverse climatic zones, and over 20,000 people endeavor the climb annually. Routes differ in their complexity, popularity, and scenic appeal, with Marangu and Rongai being the more accessible options, while Machame, Shira, and Limosho provide more strenuous climbs. The longer, challenging routes offer better acclimatization, thus enhancing the odds of successfully reaching the summit.
But trekking in Africa isn’t solely for the daring. For those seeking less arduous trails, breathtaking landscapes await as well. South Africa boasts splendid trails, meandering through the Drakensberg Mountains, the Wild Coast north of Durban, or the famed ‘Otter Trail’ in Tsitsikamma National Park along the Garden Route. Similarly, the Fish River Canyon Area of Namibia offers stunning scenery and walks, ensuring that Africa’s trekking experiences cater to adventurers of all calibers.
Embarking on a journey to track a Mountain Gorilla family in the dense tropical rainforests of Uganda or Rwanda is an experience of unparalleled excitement. It resonates with George Schaller’s profound observation that “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes – intelligent, gentle, vulnerable – can remain unchanged, for the gap between ape and human vanishes, we know that the gorilla still lives within us.”
Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to nearly half of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population, while Rwanda’s Parc Nationale des Volcanoes also houses a significant portion. These areas are well-regulated, with carefully monitored permits priced at $700 USD in Uganda and $1500 USD in Rwanda – a sum reflective of this extraordinary and unique African wildlife encounter.
The journey to track these majestic creatures may demand several hours of walking, often through dense and unwelcoming bush, requiring at least an average level of fitness. Yet, any fatigue is quickly forgotten when the moment arrives to observe these magnificent beings. The opportunity to sit and marvel at the gorillas for an entire hour is a memory that transcends ordinary wildlife experiences, leaving a lasting impression that’s both intimate and awe-inspiring.
Best Countries for Gorilla Tracking: Uganda, Rwanda
For thrill-seekers and adrenaline enthusiasts, Africa offers an unparalleled playground, boasting some of the world’s most exciting and pulse-pounding activities. The Victoria Falls area stands as a central hub for those eager to challenge their limits. From leaping into the abyss with the Vic Falls Bungee jump experience to navigating the roaring currents of the mighty Zambezi River, this region offers an abundance of heart-stopping adventures. Electrifying activities like the Gorge Swing, microlighting over the cascading falls, or the unique Lion Encounter experience are all readily available. Those visiting Vic Falls would be wise to set aside ample time to indulge in these extraordinary exploits that promise to furnish stories for years to come.
Swakopmund, Namibia, serves as another major hotspot for adrenaline activities. The allure of quad-biking through the striking red dunes, skydiving amidst breathtaking scenery, or the exhilarating slide of sand-boarding await those who venture here.
And for the truly daring, South Africa’s Bloukrans stands as the site of the world’s highest bungee jump, an astounding 216 metres of free fall. Whether it’s the heights, the speed, or the wild, Africa’s diverse landscapes and thrilling experiences are sure to get your heart racing and blood pumping.
For enthusiasts of the fairway and fans of the greens, Africa stands as an unparalleled destination, presenting some of the world’s most stunning and picturesque golf courses. Countries like Kenya and South Africa have cultivated a rich golfing culture, attracting not only international golf aficionados but also the African business community, making these lands a veritable golfer’s dream. From dedicated golfing resorts to lodges providing immediate access to nearby courses, the choices are many and diverse. Imagine playing a round on courses overlooking the sparkling Indian Ocean or nestled within breathtaking scenic locales.
Renowned figures in golf, such as the legendary Gary Player, have contributed to crafting some of the world’s finest courses here. Moreover, Africa adds its unique flair to the game with a rule found nowhere else on Earth: ‘Should your ball land near a hippopotamus or crocodile, it may be safely repositioned without penalty, but no nearer to the hole.’
Whether your golfing adventure is an addition to your safari experience or the focus of your holiday, the exquisite courses on offer are bound to captivate and enthral, leaving you with an undeniable longing to return and play again.
Beach & Relaxation
Embark on a journey to the mesmerizing coastline of the Indian Ocean in Africa, a region that stands as a testament to nature’s grandeur and human heritage. Here, silver sands embrace the perpetual embrace of clear-blue waters, and tropical palms sway to the whispers of a gentle breeze.
Often referred to as the Swahili Coastline, this area is an intricate tapestry woven from the threads of African, Arabic, and Portuguese cultures. Beyond the shoreline’s beauty lies a rich tapestry of ancient cultural sites, mosques, and centuries-old Swahili towns. Each meal is a vibrant culinary adventure, teeming with color and flavor that tantalizes the senses.
But the allure doesn’t end with sight and taste. The region offers an endless array of activities and experiences, from exploring coastal parks and the last remnants of the African equatorial rainforests to engaging in a myriad of water-sports and child-friendly pursuits. When the sun dips below the horizon, the night awakens with entertainment to suit every taste.
Known globally for its impressive barrier reef, the Indian Ocean coastline also boasts accommodations to meet every preference and need. From the luxurious sophistication of 5-star resorts and world-class spas to the rustic charm of simple palm-thatched chalets on the beach, the choices are as vast as the ocean itself.
All of these elements combine to create an unforgettable experience that transcends ordinary travel, encapsulating the essence of the Swahili Coastline and offering a rich and enchanting slice of Africa’s coastal paradise.
Best Countries for a Beach Experience: Kenya (Mombasa), Tanzania (Zanzibar), Mozambique
Explore the underwater treasures of the Indian Ocean with our international PADI dive school, offering everything from equipment and training courses to guided excursions to enthralling local reefs and, in select locations, the haunting beauty of shipwrecks.
The Indian Ocean’s coast is adorned with extraordinary dive sites, making it a haven for both seasoned divers and those just beginning to discover the joys of diving. For those seeking a taste of adventure without prior experience, we offer ‘fun dives,’ where our expert guides lead you to depths of up to 6 meters to experience the wonders beneath the waves.
Thanks to the Indo-Pacific current, the underwater world here mirrors the diverse marine life found in places such as Australia. Prepare to be enthralled by the graceful dance of manta rays; the mysterious allure of reef, hammerhead, and whale sharks; and the vibrant spectacle of multicolored reef fish inhabiting the coral gardens.
Our offerings extend beyond conventional experiences, featuring wall and pinnacle dives that reveal breathtaking drop-offs, as well as wreck, drift, and night dives. The richness of the Indian Ocean’s underwater realm is waiting to be explored, and our dive centres stand ready to make your journey unforgettable.
Please note that all divers must carry internationally recognized accreditation. Both PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club) are acceptable credentials, ensuring a commitment to safety and excellence in your diving adventure.
Embark on a thrilling adventure of big game fishing along the magnificent Indian Ocean coastline of Africa, a place renowned among deep-sea fishing enthusiasts. Our fully-equipped and expertly crewed boats stand ready to guide you on an unforgettable quest for marlin, tuna, kingfish, wahoo, and more.
Kenya’s waters have earned a revered place in the world of deep-sea fishing, holding numerous world and all-Africa records. It is a sanctuary for six types of billfish, with the striped, blue, and black marlin taking center stage, along with other prized catches such as sailfish, swordfish, sharks, yellowfin, tuna, and dorado.
Your journey begins in the early morning, as our boats head out to trawl for bait before venturing into the deep, open waters. It’s here that the excitement truly begins, as you wait for the telltale tug on the line that signals the big catch.
The fishing season stretches from August to March, with the coveted billfish season spanning November to March. Whether you are a seasoned angler or embarking on your first big game fishing adventure, our expert crew and top-of-the-line equipment ensure a thrilling and satisfying experience, worthy of the grand tales that the Indian Ocean’s bounty has inspired.
Explore the vibrant underwater world that awaits just off the shore of Africa’s exquisite Indian Ocean coastline. Many of our carefully selected resorts provide boats that swiftly transport snorkelers to the captivating reef, just a stone’s throw from the shoreline. Alternatively, you can embark on this marine adventure directly from the beach.
While most of our associated resorts are equipped with snorkeling gear and expert guides to assist you, some guests may choose to bring their own equipment for a personalized experience. Should your snorkeling adventure lead you to a designated marine park, please be prepared to purchase an entry ticket, readily available at the hotel or directly from the boat captain.
Snorkeling in these pristine waters can be enjoyed throughout the year. However, the months from December to March are often lauded for their ideal conditions. For those seeking the clearest visibility, we recommend venturing out at low tide just before the tide turns, offering a unique window into this enchanting underwater realm.
Embarking on a snorkeling excursion with us is not merely an activity but an immersive experience, allowing you to connect with the unparalleled beauty of the ocean’s delicate ecosystems. Your underwater journey awaits!
Sailing enthusiasts visiting the stunning African coastline have a multitude of choices to explore. Options range from the thrill of commanding a hired catamaran or dinghy to the unique experience of embarking on traditional fishing boats, known locally as ‘ngalawa,’ or the time-honored dhows. This maritime adventure is accessible all year round, offering a myriad of opportunities for those who wish to take to the water. Yet, the month of October is often singled out as particularly favorable, with conditions that both seasoned sailors and newcomers alike find to be exceptional.