It’s easy to travel a path well-trod. But what’s really exhilarating is finding the little hidden gems that really make a place unique. So rather than only getting caught up in sightseeing, spend time before your trip finding out what you can do and where you can go to dig a little deeper into a place. If you’re heading to Africa, you can expect a trip that will challenge you to truly embrace different cultures and new ways of life. But the rewards are great. It’s an eye-opening place and some people report feeling “somewhat changed” by their time in Africa.
But why? Well, camping under the stars in the fruit-growing regions of Citrusdal, climbing sand dunes in the Namib Naukluft National Park to watch the sun set and coming face to face with not-so-friendly hippos in the Okavango Delta are named as just a few great experiences.
What you’ll notice about these experiences is the traveller actively took part, rather than just passively being told facts and staring at an attraction. And that’s the best way to explore and experience. So I’ve gathered six unique activities for you to get involved with in Africa!
1. Trek Mount Kilimanjaro
So I’m kicking this off with the most challenging activity on my list–conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, aka the tallest mountain on the entire continent. Sound difficult? It is! But guess what, that’s the whole thrill of it. Is it something you’ll need to prepare for? Of course! But I got you covered.
Here is a comprehensive guide that lists everything you need to know about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s a great resource on a site that specializes in adventure activities, so check it out before you embark on your epic journey.
2. Swim Near One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World
On the Zimbabwean side of Victoria falls, you can swim in naturally formed swimming pools known as the Devil’s Pool. It’s like an infinity pool, but better. The rocks form a barrier and seat from which you can feel the force of the Zambezi river crashing down near you. It’s pretty mind-blowing and you can see what it’s like in this video.
You can only do this in dry season, though. The rest of the time the water is too dangerous and will sweep you over.
3. See the Greatest Mammal Migration
The Serengeti National Park is home to The Great Migration – the single greatest mass movement of land mammals on the planet. See wildebeest, zebra and antelope start their trek from Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains, north towards Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.
You can experience it from the ground on a game drive or get some perspective up high in a hot air balloon. It’s something you’ll never forget.
4. Track Gorillas
Without a doubt, safaris will be on everyone’s list when visiting Africa. But try something different in the Volcanoes National Park, home of five to eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains. Here, you can track gorillas on guided safaris through the rainforests.
5. Walk in the Footsteps of Mandela
For those who want to learn more about Nelson Mandela, the man who revolutionized politics and more in South Africa, try Garth Angus’s walking tours for the most unusual journeys of Cape Town provided by the most knowledgeable guides in the city.
Your interests will be taken into account to make sure the itinerary entertains and informs you of what you’re looking for. Telegraph Travel recommend the ‘From Prisoner to President: Mandela in Cape Town’ tour to see a side of the city that most tourists never experience.
6. Visit Tristan da Cunha
If you’re feeling particular adventurous, you could visit the world’s most remote island – Tristan da Cunha. It’s reached by a week-long boat trip from South Africa and its own website says: “There are no package tours for independent travellers, no hotels, no airport, no holiday reps, no night clubs, no restaurants, no jet skis nor safe sea swimming.”
Understandably, there’s a lack of visitors – but it is becoming one of the most sought after destinations for keen travellers. Visit and enjoy the remoteness. Your only real choice for accommodation is to opt for a home stay with one of the 300 locals, so you’re guaranteed a genuine experience. If you love it, they’re also busy recruiting.
Are you planning a visit to Africa? Let me know where you’re heading in the comments below!