Discovering Africa's Hidden Gems
Africa is a treasure trove of delights, from food offering exquisite flavours to unrivalled natural wildlife to awe-inspiring landscapes stretching for miles in every direction. It has become an increasingly popular destination for adventurous travellers in search of an entirely new experience, with plenty of exciting activities to occupy your time. These include going on a Kenyan safari, viewing the spectacular Victoria Falls, visiting a tropical island off the west coast, and discovering the rich history of Egypt. However, Africa has even more to offer away from its most popular destinations and, with these secret spots, you will finda deeper sense of tranquillity.
Mafia Island - Tanzania
Located just off the coast of Tanzania, Mafia Island offers miles of quiet and pristine sandy beaches, as well as perfect conditions for snorkelling. While spots such as Zanzibar have become popular tourist resorts, Mafia Island remains relatively unknown amongst holidaymakers and travellers, providing it with an air of mystery and hidden beauty. Some of the main reasons to visit is the abundance of magnificent coral and whale sharks that populate the area. Do not be put off by their name, however, as they are gentle creatures and can be easily spotted while swimming.
Kafue National Park - Zambia
Despite being the largest national park in Zambia, Kafue still only offers a small collection of lodges for people to stay in and enjoy the area’s untouched African nature. Not only is it one of the few national parks where visitors are permitted to explore on foot, it is also home to some of the region’s best local guides, making it the ideal choice for those with a preference for safari holidays. While many safaris elsewhere in Africa have become increasingly commercialised, Kafue National Park has managed to guard its authenticity in the face of growing tourism and maintain its reputation as a secret spot.
Sani Pass - South Africa/Lesotho
This challenging mountain pass in South Africa may be a difficult one to tackle. However, the hardy travellers among us will be generously rewarded with what they find at the top. It is a rare gem that still has the power to conjure up traditional feelings of romantic travel, in part thanks to its winding twists, loose gravel roads, and plunging drops, together with spectacular vistas along the way. Make sure to book a tour with a local guide if you are not experienced driving a 4x4 up hazardous roads.
Volcanoes National Park - Rwanda
Situated between Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, this 13,000 hectare national park contains nine volcanoes - six extinct, three active - that rise dramatically out from the thickly forested undergrowth. Despite being easily accessible from Rwanda’s capital city, it has kept hold of its status as a relatively secret location, and offers a number of comfortable lodges set in the foothills of the range. Beyond the draw of the volcanoes, visitors will also be rewarded by encounters with gorillas, monkeys and more than 150 species of birds along one of the park’s unmissable guided hikes.
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