Having travelled extensively and intrepidly across Africa for over two decades, a question I often get asked is what I consider to be the continent’s best experiences. I’ve put a lot of thought into this, because, due to the vastness and variety that Africa offers, there is simply so much to choose from. Having narrowed it down to a handful of experiences that I feel are, quite simply, unmissable, we wanted to share these with you.
When I think of a true safari experience, this is what I think of. Camping in the Delta allows you to get just so close to nature, all within one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems – a unique land surrounded by seasonal waterways and verdant flood plains. Due to the mobile nature of the camping, rather than staying in established lodges and camps, the wildlife element is just incredible; you can literally see (and at night, hear) animals walking between your tents.
There’s also such an unscripted nature to the experience. As the programme is informed by what the bush will provide that day, there is no knowing what awaits. Additionally, as you are alone, the itinerary can then be completely tailored to what you feel like doing there and then. The combination of both of these factors renders the experience much more spontaneous, authentic and thrilling. Due to the importance of the guide in these kinds of situation, we organise top private guides to lead this kind of trip – another element that really adds. All in all, this is for those after a really ‘up close and personal’ experience.
Northern Kenya’s Rift Valley offers some of the most spectacular landscapes in Africa. However, it is also one of the country’s most hostile areas, with hardly any human settlements or infrastructure. This, and the fact that the landscape changes every fifteen minutes or so, makes it fertile ground for scenic helicopter adventures. Imagine looking below and taking in rolling hills, mountain forests, lakes teeming with flamingoes and stunning sand dunes, all within the same hour.
Multi-day expeditions therefore offer an incredible breadth of experiences. We arrange fly-camps on remote islands and action-packed programmes including time spent visiting remote tribes that have hardly any contact with civilization. For those after wild landscapes and experiences off the beaten path, there is very little that beats this.
Based around northern Tanzania’s Lake Eyasi, the Hadzabe are one of Africa’s last hunter-gatherer tribes. Numbering around 1,300, the Hadzabe have no domesticated livestock, nor do they grow or store their own food. Instead, they survive by hunting with hand-made bows and arrows and foraging for edible plants. They live in temporary shelters made of dried grass and branches and own very few possessions.
I was lucky enough to spend a morning with the tribe, and it’s something we recommend to everyone who is interested in learning more about Africa’s people, tribes and traditions. This opportunity allowed me to meaningfully interact with the tribe and learn how they gather wild honey, plants, roots and hunt small game. Although an overused term, the experience was absolutely fascinating and unlike anything I’ve done before. Knowing that the lifestyle of the Hadzabe is increasingly under threat – due to urbanisation and land allocations to pastrolist tribes within the region – made it something to treasure even more.
We will be sharing more experiences over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss any of these experiences – or travelling to Africa in general – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at [email protected] or get in touch with the team via our website.