I have loved no part of the world like this. – Graham Greene
Africa has a multitude of faces, it is a shapeshifter and a contradiction. Few places on earth inspire the same passion or cast quite the same spell. Formerly a remote, forbidding but romantic land-mass, 21st Century Africa offers cross-continent broad access without sacrificing its exclusivity.
The most obvious motif of the African experience is stalking the big five on safari, but there are many more rich and diverse experiences and countries available than ever before. Climb either the world’s most iconic mountain, Kilimanjaro or pit your physical and mental strength against the venerated Mount Kenya, believed by the Kikuyu people to be the dwelling place of God.
Spend seven nights travelling through the Qurimbus Archipelago in Mozambique on a traditional sailing Dhow, camping on the islands Robinson-Crusoe style if you’re up for the real deal, or experience the Victoria Falls with a once in a lifetime experience by white water rafting down the Zambezi.
Camp and cruise across the Namibian desert scaling sand dunes in a 4X4, take a bespoke cycling tour of South Africa or join a volunteer project. There’s gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda for the unforgettable experience of coming face to face with man’s closest relative in the animal kingdom.
The possibilities are endless and the price points vary. You can go for all out luxury or visit the African counties currently offering very affordable travel –South Africa offers terrific value as does Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe which is finally back on the map.
One note of warning: independent travel in Africa is not the breeze it is in much of the world and arranging a trip takes more than a bit of desultory searching on the internet. There are many things to consider when planning travel in Africa – visa restrictions, inoculations, seasonal variations, times of migration – the list goes on. You need an expert who can save you time, money and headaches, somebody who can put together complex and completely bespoke itineraries that you can rely on.
And for those dreaming of next Winter in South Africa, get your skates on. It is booking out fast.
For these and many other African options, visit Fare Wise Travel, 19 High Street, Hungerford, RG17 0NL. Tel 01488 686858.