Africa, a dream destination for many people that want to get up close with the African animals, enjoy the incredible diversity of the people or gaze at the beautiful landscapes and wonders that live in this incredible continent. Africa has a lot to offer that it can be incredibly challenging to decide where to go first. In my previous posts, I showed you the best countries to visit in Africa plus the safest African countries you can visit – but today I am showing you some of the unique African adventures you should not miss out as you explore this second largest continent.
Exciting once in a lifetime African adventures to experience
1. Visiting the Giza pyramids in Egypt
Located in Cairo, the Giza pyramids are the only standing wonder among the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Giza pyramids that include the Great Pyramid of Giza also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, the pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure are a magnificent site that should be on everyone’s Africa bucket list.
Constructed 4,5000 years ago, the Giza pyramids are the most visited landmarks in Egypt receiving over 14.7 million visitors per year. Even up to date, all these visitors still wonder how the early Egyptians were able to put together an estimated 2.3 million block stones to come up with the incredible pyramids we now see.
A visit to the Giza pyramids will take you back in time to learn about ancient Egypt and their pharaohs. To be able to get an in-depth history of the Giza pyramids, I’d recommend booking a guided tour.
But before you go, here are the tips to visiting the Giza pyramids and should you want to see other sites in Cairo, here is the list of places to visit plus the best landmarks in Egypt that you shouldn’t miss.
2. Gazing at the Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe
Located at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls is classified as the largest waterfall in the world with a height of 108 meters (354 ft) and a width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft) creating the largest sheet of falling water in the world. The falling water creates a spectacular sight forming a splash of water which raises up to 400 meters high in space and the mighty noise it makes can be heard from a distance of 40 kilometers away – indeed it is a wonder and whoever named the Victoria falls one of the seven natural wonders of the world did not lie!
Locally known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya translated as the smoke that thunders, the Victoria Falls is an ultimate African adventure that has a tonne of activities to do. From having your breath taken away by just gazing at the incredible falls, participating in adrenaline activities like bungee jumping, bridge swing to rafting on river Zambezi, you can never lack what to do at the falls.
Since the falls are at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, it can be sometimes hard to decide on which side to make your base, that’s why I put together this comprehensive victoria falls guide to show you the best side to choose, the best time to visit the falls and how to get there from different south African countries.
So if you were looking for unique African experiences that will leave you in awe and in appreciation of African’s beauty, then visiting the Victoria falls should be added to your Africa bucket list.
3. Tracking Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National park in Uganda
Everyone who has gone for gorilla trekking in Uganda knows how fulfilling the experience is! Even though it comes with a huge price tag ( like any other once in a lifetime African experience), I assure you it is worth every single penny.
The thrill of walking in a jungle in anticipation of seeing the gorillas is everything and finally spotting them will definitely brighten your eyes. The sad reality is that it is not guaranteed that you’ll be seeing any Mountain gorillas regardless of how long you track them but nevertheless, the entire experience is truly incredible.
Tracking gorillas can last for an hour to eight hours depending on where the gorillas slept the previous evening but however long it takes, spotting them would be the highlight of your entire trip to Uganda.
Whether it is watching them play with each other, jumping from one tree to another, walking away majestically or even trying to touch your body in amusement, the sight of all this is an African experience that you will never forget.
4. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Commonly known as the Roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and also the tallest freestanding mountain on earth standing at 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level.
The idea of standing on the roof of Africa, conquering one of the seven summits or just experiencing a glacier-topped peak has seen Mt Kilimanjaro become one of the Africa bucket list destinations. The beauty that Mt. Kilimanjaro offers is undeniably breathtaking – offering 5 different environments on your way up to the summit! From the tropical rainforest layer at the bottom in the foothills, the cloud forest you walk through as you climb up (where you can see a number of wild animals), then the Alpine heath landscape which is almost rocky to the snow and ice with glaciers – it is truly one of the best African adventures that everyone should experience at least once.
With the hardest part being the summit day since the hike starts at 1 am, this is the moment when most people start to question why they even signed up for the climb in the first place – hiking in total darkness, and gasping for air in the ice-cold wind but everything makes sense at dawn when you reach the summit and you can literally see all of Africa – that’s when it all comes to life that you’ve just conquered one the biggest African adventure of a lifetime.
5. Flying over Victoria Falls in Zambia/ Zimbabwe
If you thought gazing at the falls and taking a splash of water is breathtaking, then taking a flight over victoria falls is the ultimate African adventure. Famously known as the Flight of angels, this helicopter flight over the Victoria falls in one of the incredible things to do in Africa.
Other than taking in awe-inspiring and spectacular views of the falls from above and taking Instagram worthy shots of the mighty Victoria falls, you also get panoramic views of Zambezi river – this is truly a magical moment that can’t be purely put in words but rather experienced on your own. So if you’re looking for jaw-dropping African adventures of a lifetime, I tell you what, you just landed on it. In addition to the Flight of angels, here are some other amazing things to do at Victoria Falls.
6. Watching the Great Migration in Masai Mara in Kenya
In all history of wildlife, there is nothing that compares to watching the Great wildebeest migration – an amazingly spectacular display of wildlife behavior that sees a movement of over 1.5 million wildebeests and thousands of zebras crossing Mara river to the other side in search for fresher pastures and water.
Faced with the fear of being devoured by the hungry crocodiles in the Mara river, wildebeests stand at the banks of the river, stamping their feet on the ground with eyes wide open spotting the safest pathway to the other side. With crocodiles also eagerly waiting, their mouths wide open in anticipation of easy prey, the migration process can take hours until the bravest wildebeest make the first run into the river.
The excitement that fills your soul when the first group of wildebeest makes their way into the river as thousands follow behind them cannot be explained but also your heart breaking a little as crocodiles feast on the young and unfortunate animals that are not able to make it through the river! Your excitement even grows further when you see some animals making it out of the river alive that you just want to celebrate on their behalf.
The great migration might be one of the incredible things to watch but it is also a “survival for the fittest” kind of thing for the millions of animals that are looking for greener pastures on the other side of the river. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there, crossing the river means facing new predators like Lions and Leopards that are also waiting for easy prey.
Sadly, when the water and pastures dry up in their newfound location, they again have to face the endangered journey of crossing the Mara river back to where they came from for newly sprout pastures – the cycle of the migration never stops. And the most exciting thing about the Great migration is that no one knows how these animals find out where the pastures are greener and fresher to make their move.
7. Riding on a Mokoro through the Okavango Delta in Botswana
Botswana is not only home to the Big five animals but also the largest inland delta in the world, the Okavango which was inscribed as one of the seven natural wonders of Africa in 2013.
The mokoro is a traditional canoe that is used to get up close and personal with the animals and birds while sailing along the shallow waters of the Okavango. Even though it might seem scary at first since any slight mistake by the guide will see you falling down in the water, a mokoro ride in the Delta is one of the must-do African adventures.
Other than enjoying the Mokoro Ride, the Okavango Delta has the vast concentration of wild animals that make their way to the river to drink water especially when all other water ponds in different parts of Botswana dry up. Some of the animals you will see around the Okavango region include the Lions, Elephants, giraffes. Red Lechwe, Giraffes, Zebras, and many others.
8. Hiking the Table Mountain in South Africa
Forming a prominent landmark and overlooking Cape Town city, Table mountain is a flat-topped mountain and also the most iconic landmark of South Africa and it’s no surprise that it receives a huge number of tourists.
Considered one of the most scenic photography background and a place where you can have incredible views of Capetown, a hike to this incredible landmark is a must.
The best way to get up to the summit of the mountain is by taking the cable car but if you want to do a bit of hike, it’s also possible to hike your way up. The 360-degree views of the entire Cape Peninsula are absolutely incredible. Other than the panoramic views, there are over 1470 floral species to admire which are actually endemic to this area.
Since the table mountain is on everyone’s Africa bucket list, there are usually a number of tourists lining up to purchase a ticket for the Cableway, so it’s better to buy the ticket online to skip the long queues.
9. Climbing the world’s highest dunes at Sossusvlei in Namibia
Located in the Southern part of Namib desert in Namibia, Sossusvlei is the most iconic landscape in Namibia with rust-red dunes, bleached white pans, and blue sky – the views of this place are just surreal!
The dunes at the Sossusvlei are the highest in the world with the hardest to climb being “The Big Daddy” which is 325 meters (1,066ft) but the most famous and highly photographed being Dune 45 which is just 80m high.
If it’s not to brag that you climbed one of the highest sand dunes in the world, then the picturesque landscape of red dunes which are surrounded by white pans should make you want to travel to Africa to experience this amazing African adventure.
10. Enjoying the turquoise white sand beaches in Zanzibar
Located on the Indian ocean and just 15 miles away from Dar El Salam, Zanzibar is the ultimate Africa holiday destination. If you want to take a beach break from the great African game drives, then Zanzibar is the perfect place to cool off and take it slow.
Since Zanzibar is made of different beaches which are all similar but also unique, the best thing to do here is to go beach hoping to see the beauty that each beach offers.
It’s not all just lazing it out on the beaches, if you get a bit bored, there are a number of activities you can do at this haven – from snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, windsurfing and kiting, to watching amazing sunsets at the beach. The countless number of activities and the beauty that lies in Zanzibar is what makes it a truly unique African experience.
Have you experienced any of these once in a lifetime African adventures, let me know in the comment section which one you experienced and if not, still let me know which adventures you’ve added to your African bucket list.
More African posts to inspire you to travel to this amazing continent.
- Best countries to visit in Africa
- Safest African countries to visit
- Essential things to know before traveling to Africa
- What to pack for your African safari
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