As Inspirational Travel knows most things Africa, we have put together a by month calendar of when and where to go in Africa, we have linked it with just one of the top hotels in the destination that we think is the perfect accommodation to stay in.
Uganda and Rwanda are no ordinary safari destination. Ecologically, Uganda and Rwanda are where the East African savannah meets the West African jungle. Where else but in these verdant lands can one observe lions prowling the open plains the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon; then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippo and crocodile before setting off into the misty mountains to stare deep into the eyes of a Mountain Gorilla.
Tanzania hosts some of the Earth’s most wondrous sights and names which quickens the pulse of even the most well-travelled; the towering Mount Kilimanjaro; the pulsing plains of the Serengeti; the primeval Ngorongoro Crater; the vast Selous. Tanzania tends to be spilt into the Northern and Southern Circuits. The various National Parks and Reserves of these regions are what initially capture the imagination of visitors but combining a safari with a stay on its stunning and exotic coastline or idyllic neighbouring islands really puts the icing on the cake.
Malawi is a landlocked country bordered by Zambia to the north-west, Tanzania to the north-east and Mozambique to the south, south-west and south-east. It is a country of striking scenery and great beauty with rolling plateaus, towering mountains, rugged escarpments, valleys and thick forests combining with beautiful lakes with wonderful sandy beach. It is also a country of warm and friendly people, a treasure-trove of tropical plants and variety of bird and animals.
Namibia is a land of extraordinary and unique landscapes – it is rugged yet fragile, barren yet beautiful, harsh but compelling, with clear and unpolluted skies. Namibia was the first country in the world to include protection of the environment and wildlife in its constitution and over 15% of the country has been set aside to protect rare and endangered species of animals, birds and plant life.
Mozambique is bordered by 2,500km of the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the north-west, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the south-west and is then separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel to the east. Due to its close proximity to so many great African countries it has obvious potential as an extension to a safari holiday but it is also quickly becoming a destination in its own right with many exciting development occurring, with wildlife reserves and island resorts opening on fairly frequent basis.
To explore Zambia is to step back into Africa as it was meant to be. Often described as the ‘real’ Africa, Zambia has been relatively untouched by humans and is framed for its huge protected wilderness areas, its natural landscapes and, arguably, the most diverse range of animals and birds in Africa. Set on the high plateau of the tropical belt of south-central Africa, 1300 metres above sea level, Zambia boasts 19 National Parks including two of the largest in Africa, Luangwa and Kafue; two of Africa’s great rivers in the Zaire and Zambezi; the vast man-made ‘inland sea’ of Lake Kariba; and the magnificent Victoria Falls. The capital is Lusaka, the fastest growing city in central Africa and a stepping stone of discovering the country.
Botswana is a vast land of contrasts and is landlocked between South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia. Roughly the size of France with a population of only 2 million, it has dedicated 17% of its land to game sanctuaries with sound management policies to protect this rich asset. Without doubt Botswana is the world’s best safari destination, but it also happens to carry the tag of being the most expensive! However, for those seeking a top class safari experience it is money well spend as you do get huge tracts of land with very few lodges and thus very few vehicles or people, ensuring that you do get a very exclusive and natural safari experience.
Kenya’s prolific game and expanses of wilderness led to the “safari” evolving as a form of a thrilling and often decadent recreation in the heady colonial day. A country of more than half a million square kilometres, it has huge tracts of wild and untrammelled land with some excellent specialist safari operators, guides and trackers who run safaris to the same high standards that first put Kenya on the map.
The Seychelles are one of nature’s treasure-troves. This remarkable archipelago of 115 islands spreads across 1.3 million square km’s of azure Indian Ocean consists of unique flora, fauns and some of the finest natural treasures and is a traveller’s paradise of epic proportion. Similar to the Galapagos Islands, the Seychelles are isolated by distance and, as a result, exotic flora and fauna have evolved which, in numerous cases, are unique to the islands. The Seychelles are for the visitor with empathy for nature, seeking to escape the pressures of hectic everyday life and wanting to be lulled by peace and tranquillity.
Mauritius is a rainbow island – a mix of both eastern and western cultures living together on a verdant tropical island of colour and contrast. The demand of sugar cane and its relative proximity to India drew colonial interest with the Dutch, French and English all having a turn at controlling the island. The attraction of this balmy island, chattering with bird calls and cascading waterfalls, is as apparent today as it always has been, drawing glamorous visitors from around the globe. The airy colonial homes of bygone era have been replaced by offering sophisticated resorts and hotels which set standards the world over. But there is more to the island than just self-contained resorts. For the beach connoisseur the island is a treasure but between the shores of dazzling sand and blue seas is a scenic island; extinct volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, forests and botanical gardens.
Morocco is situated in North Africa, it has an enormous geographical diversity and a wealth of natural and man-made assets and offers the visitor an authentic cultural experience. Spanning from the coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, across the towering and rugged Atlas Mountains to the vast Sahara Desert, this is a stunning country with a rich culture and history. Although it is only a short-hope away from the UK (flight time of just 3-hours) it is a world away culturally. The tradition and order of Europe are suddenly aside by colour, vibrancy and excitement of Africa and Island, which really wakes the sense.
South Africa is frequently and aptly describes as a “world in one country” or the “Rainbow Nation”. It is a land or enormous diversity shaped by the historic hands of many races, creeds and nationalities. Gifted with a temperate climate and flanked by two oceans, Mother Nature has been allowed a free hand and she has seized the opportunity – sophisticated and cosmopolitan are a stones’ throw from bush wilderness, rugged deserts, unspoilt beaches, towering mountain ranges and exceptional variety of animal, bird and plant life.