The birth place of man-kind. From the spices of Morocco to Nelson Mandela’s prison home on Roben Island, continents probably don’t come much more varied than Africa.
The tallest buildings in the world were in Africa until the building of the Eiffel Tower, 5000 years after the Giza pyramids went up. And yet there are tribes not far from Giza where women still dress in goat skins and a man is not a man until he has jumped naked over seven bulls in front of his tribe.
The planet’s greatest wildlife experiences can be had in either Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia. The thrill of seeing a big cat emerge from its slumber is one of life’s great joys. I am yet to come face to face with a silverback gorilla, but have sat in wonder as chimps have casually frolicked in the leaves or walked straight by me.
With all that glorious wonder, still two simple things stand out about Africa: the sky, and the smiles.
TANZANIA: Some of the best things we did on our African journey were in Tanzania. The rightly famous Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater are just two of Tanzania’s superlative wildlife destinations. Having close encounters……..
SOMALILAND: A country that doesn’t exist, Somaliland has all the trappings of a country: its own currency, constitution, police and military, courts, and even democratic elections…….
MALAWI: “Welcome to the warm heart of Africa” was how we were greeted as we stomped out of Tanzania. The change was obvious. Malawi is not blessed or plagued by large numbers of fly in/fly out tourists, and the people really do treat you warmly…….
SOUTH AFRICA: The Rainbow Nation. Our first trip there was for the Cricket World Cup, so in the Pre-Digital Era. This time we only visited Cape Town, to catch flights home. Blessed with an abundance of wildlife, mountains, beaches, wineries, South Africa …….
ZAMBIA: Millions of bats and massive mushrooms. Some of Africa’s best wildlife parks, and enough waterfalls to float anyone’s boat.
EGYPT: It doesn’t get much older than Egypt. And while they have had 5000 years experience of fleecing tourists, we actually found it really easy going. Especially after Jordan. The antiquities are reasonably well known. From Abu Simbel to Giza, the scale ……
KENYA: A first class wildlife watching destination, with world famous national parks like Masai Mara and Amboseli, Kenya really impressed me. Sadly, due to computer and human error, I lost 95% of my photos……..
BOTSWANA: Flat. Flat and dry. Sparsely populated. Salt pans in the middle of the country, wetlands and delta in the north-west. Until recently, this diamond rich landlocked country was the best place to be an elephant.
ETHIOPIA: Addis Ababa is the official cultural capital of Africa. Ethiopia is a land like no other. Tribal areas in the south have little resemblance to their Tigrayan countrymen in the north. Stunning mountain hikes ………
NAMIBIA: One of the most photogenic countries I know, with outstanding wildlife viewing. Getting my Namibian photos up will be among the biggest jobs I will tackle, so please be patient.
MOROCCO: A LITTLE BIT Spanish, a little more French. Part Arab, part African, part Berber and part nomad, but none of the above.
ESWATINI: Once known as Swaziland, this tiny mountain kingdom remains largely unknown. Compact and mountainous, with good hiking and wildlife. Underrated.
LESOTHO: Encircled by South Africa, this stunning little country has a high number of the world’s and Africa’s highest places.
ZIMBABWE: Some of the best bush experiences in southern Africa can be had in this troubled but magical land.