People tend to think of Africa as a country and not as a continent. But with 54 countries inhabiting it, Africa’s topography, landscape and activities vary greatly from region to region. I have been to the mainland 26 times, but every time I go I am amazed at how many new things to see and do.
Where to go in Africa
To make planning a trip easier for you, I’ve highlighted some of the best places to go in Africa and the most popular countries, as well as what to see and do there, when to visit. to go and where to stay. Hopefully this introduction will motivate you to get on a plane – it’s worth the long flight to get there.
Why go: One of only three countries in the world where you can hike to see mountain gorillas in the wild (there are only 1000 mountain gorillas left in the world), experience Uganda is truly amazing.
In Uganda, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to the Nyakgezi gorilla family with their two silverbacks (adult males). He has a certain allure, as he has one of the highest concentrations of silverback in a family. Tours are small, no more than eight people, and once the gorillas are spotted you have 60 minutes with them – and trust me, it goes really fast.
I was surprised at how playful young people are, much like my own grandchildren. One even came and gave me a light punch in the leg (the animals can do whatever they want, but we were asked to stay seven meters from them; they came a lot, a lot closer).
For me, the most moving experience was seeing the adult silverback males in action. Pounding their chests, conversing with throaty sounds, effortlessly climbing bamboo trees to build a nest – they seem so human, which is not surprising given that these mammals share 98% of our DNA. Seeing gorillas in their natural habitat has been one of my favorite experiences in Africa.
When to Go: Since it’s a tropical rainforest, you might get wet anytime, so there’s not really a bad time to go. Just make sure you pack your bags properly.
2. Kenya and Tanzania
Why go: Kenya and Tanzania are usually combined into one trip. Among the best places to go in Africa, these two countries are considered by many people as they are the place where you can see the Great Migration – where 2 million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles form a migratory circle from Masa Mara to Kenya to Serengeti in Tanzania and back again.
But even if you don’t go during migration, Kenya and Tanzania are among the most important wildlife populations in all of Africa; it is not uncommon to see 50 elephants in a herd or see the Big Five (lion, rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant and leopard) on your first safari.
And, of course, Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the great hiking destinations around the world.
When to go: “Avoid the April and May as its long rain. It’s July through September, if you are planning the migration, ”says Daniel Saperstein, Hippo Creek Safaris co-owner and Africa travel specialist.
3. Zambia and Zimbabwe
Why go: Head to these two countries to see the largest waterfalls in the world, Victoria Falls. Plus, you can raft the Zambezi River full of crocs and hippos (it’s an amazing experience and I highly recommend it).
Combining these two countries gives you a glimpse of Victoria Falls from both sides and you will see a different game.
Best time to go: “Winter time will be their peak season, it is ideal when it’s dry and warm – anywhere from June to September,” says Saperstein. “It can be very hot from October to January.”
Also Read: Quirky World’s Museums
Why go: In Namibia, you can climb some of the world’s tallest sand dunes (or better yet, take a hot air balloon ride over them). The scenery is dramatic and puts Namibia in the discussion for one of the best places to go in Africa.
“However, in the hope of seeing the game, don’t go to Namibia. In the north in Etosha, you might see some but it’s more about the dynamic breathtaking landscapes, ”says Saperstein.
If you can afford a stopover, it’s worth taking a Living Desert Tour, Ghost Town Tour, and Skeleton Coast Flight Over.
Best time to go: Namibia is a year round destination, but remember that because it is a desert environment you can get a big change any day of the year, from very hot to very hot. cold. Pack warm and cold clothes.
Why go: This country has its focus on high-end, low-impact tourism, so here are all the very luxurious properties and the crowds you see in East Africa are almost absent here. This is the place to go in Africa for up close wildlife experiences with no crowds.
In addition, the scenery is simply stunning with the Okavango Delta, so you can go out in mokoros (traditional canoes) instead of the traditional vehicle safaris, which will bring you up to the eye level of the game. Said safari as being five feet from a bathing elephant.
When to Go: Game viewing improves gradually in the winter, from June to September, after the Okavango Delta floodwaters begin to recede. September is considered the high season.