December 21

Our Top 12 Experiences in Africa for 2022

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December 21, 2021

If you're looking for the ultimate African travel bucket list, then look no further than our top 12 experiences in Africa for 2022. 

We've scoured our continent to find the most memorable experiences our continent has to offer. And we had a lot of fun doing it! So, if you want to take your dream African safari from incredible to life-changing, keep reading... 

Must-Do Experiences in Africa for 2022

As the second-largest continent in the world, Africa has plenty to offer. We've all seen the classic depictions of Africa's wide-open savannah bush, a flat-topped acacia tree on the horizon and giraffe gliding past. As magnificent as Africa's bush is, Africa has more!

We share our top 12 experiences in Africa that you'll love. In fact, you might not have known that some of these exist! 

1. Visit Lemurs in the Rainforest, Madagascar

If you've watched the movie Madagascar, you'll know that lemurs are the most comedic animals! Watching them leap from tree to tree is very entertaining. And with such wide-eyed faces and puffy tails, they're just too cute for words. 

Madagascar is an off-the-beaten-track coastline destination. It's worth visiting for many reasons, one of which is that it's the only place in the world where you can see lemurs in their natural habitat. As the oldest living primates with over 50 species, they are truly special and will steal your heart with their antics. 

Madagascar is an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Often referred to as its own microcontinent, there are plenty of other things to do, from exploring the lush rainforests, diving with mesmerising underwater creatures and learning more about the fascinating local culture. Did we mention the pristine beaches where you can laze about and sip cocktails all day? Sign us up!

lemurs-in-madagascar

Cute lemurs in Madagascar

2. Leopard Sightings in Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Sabi Sand has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world. As a solitary and highly elusive member of the Big 5, you're generally very lucky if you manage to catch a glimpse.

However, in Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, you'll be surprised how many leopards you can see on a game drive! And with so many luxury lodges in these exclusive private game reserves, you also have the opportunity to go off-road and up-close to all the wildlife. You'll have the best seat in the bush! 

You also don't have to share the view with a convoy of other vehicles. There are very strict rules about how many safari vehicles can be out in the same area at the same time in private reserves. Choosing a private game reserve for your safari also means that you get to partake in walking safaris and night game drives. 

Leopard Thandi standing Sabi Sand

Leopard on the lookout, Photo credit: Nigel Ridge

3. Go Hot Air Ballooning in the Serengeti, Tanzania 

The Serengeti is your classic East African safari destination in Tanzania. And it's best known for the Great Migration that passes through every year. Therefore, if you visit at the right time of year, you can see millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles passing through the plains, with predators following suit. 

The sheer number of animals in the Serengeti National Park means that there's action, drama and comedy all around! Watching them interact with one another and witnessing the 'circle of life', there's just nothing that can top it. Or is there...? 

Well, actually, there is! You can go on a hot air balloon safari, floating over the Serengeti plains at sunrise for a bird's eye view of Mother Nature's greatest show. Breathe in the fresh air while you sip your morning coffee or afternoon sundowner. Without a doubt, i's the best way to start or end a day in Africa!  

Hot air balloon in Serengeti

Floating above the Serengeti

4. Enjoy Whitewater Rafting on the Zambezi River, Victoria Falls

This one's for the adrenaline junkies! The Zambezi River in Victoria Falls is one of the world's best destinations for whitewater rafting! Overflowing and very deep, you can expect class 3-5 rapids. There are also some beautifully tranquil pools. 

However, please note that the Zambezi's water levels change throughout the year. Therefore, ensure you book your trip with an African Travel Expert to ensure you go at the best time. While you're here, pay Devil's Pool a visit, a natural infinity pool – set right on the edge of Victoria Falls! 

White water rafting on the Zambezi

White water rafting on the Zambezi

5. Sleep Out in the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana

Does a night under the Milky Way in the most remote location sound like a dream? Well, you could be drifting off to sleep in this location soon! A sleep-out experience on the ghostly Makgadikgadi Pans in the Kalahari Desert is a must-do experience in Africa in 2022. The largest salt flat in the world, the star gazing is, well, out of this world! And with the peaceful silence, you'll quickly glide away into a deep sleep.

Before nightfall, you can also go on a quad bike ride through the dry, abandoned area and visit a meerkat colony to watch their curious behaviour. 

salt pans in Makgadikgadi

The Makgadikgadi salt pans

6. Go on a Mokoro safari in Okavango Delta, Botswana 

The largest inland Delta globally, the Okavango Delta is world-famous for its seasonal flood that seems to contradict science. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this web of water floods during the dry summer months, when there is no rainfall to be seen! It goes without saying then that the best way to explore such a water wonderland is by boat! 

Well, we take it a step further by suggesting that you go on a Mokoro safari. The low-profile traditional dug-out canoe gives you an excellent perspective of the unique fauna, flora, birdlife, and wildlife the Okavango Delta is celebrated for. Gliding across the water in complete silence other than the calls of the wild is something extraordinary – just like the Delta itself.

Mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta.

Mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta

7. Embark on a Gorilla Trekking Expedition, Rwanda  

Rwanda is best known for its gorilla trekking adventures, where guests can take on the fertile slopes to come face-to-face with one of humankind's closest relatives. It's here in the Virunga Massifs, where Volcanoes National Park is found, where you'll find the largest mountain gorilla population in the world. 

It's a humbling, emotional experience, especially since Rwanda is one of only three places in the world where you can see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Depending on where exactly you go, you can also see other primates, including the chimpanzee, golden monkey, Ruwenzori colobus, L'Hoest's monkey, and more.     

Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda on gorilla trekking expedition

Mountain gorilla in Rwanda

8. Feast on Fine Dining at Michelin-star Chef's Restaurant in Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa

It's almost unfathomable that you could dine on some of the best fine dining dishes in one of the most remote locations. Well, Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen's homecoming project at Tswalu Private Game Reserve offers precisely that... A South African, he moved to France and opened his restaurant JAN in Nice, where he was the first from his home country to be awarded a Michelin star. 

Now, he's opened a fine dining restaurant called Klein Jan on home soil, celebrating the untouched Kalahari landscapes and traditional flavours in a unique setting. The restaurant has already reaped a couple of awards, even though it has not been open for long, including the international Hidden Gem category at the La Liste 2022 gala evening in Paris. 

In this vast semi-desert, you'll also find many rare species, including the pangolin, aardvark, meerkat, desert-adapted black rhino, and more. A total of 85 mammals, 246 bird species, and plenty of insects, reptiles, and butterflies call this special landscape home. It's a must on anyone's list travelling to Africa!

Klein JAN restaurant at Tswalu

The contemporary dining room is in an underground structure, photo credit: Hanru Marais

9. Go on a Walking Safari in South Luangwa, Zambia 

Known as 'the birthplace of the walking safari', South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is an underrated safari destination. Rich in wildlife and with vast landscapes, the ultimate way to take on the natural beauty is on your own two feet.

There's just nothing like a walking safari. You get a different perspective and smell, see and hear the small things you might've missed otherwise. And doing this in one of Africa's most remote and unspoilt locations is the best place to experience it. South Luangwa National Park skirts along the Luangwa River, with plains of savannah grasslands home to over 60 wildlife and 400 bird species. 

You don't have to share space with many other people either. Zambia is off the beaten track without the hordes of crowds you can expect in popular safari destinations, promising a more exclusive safari experience.

¿Qué tal un safari de aventuras a pie? 2021

Walking safaris are a unique way to see the bush, Photo credit: Puku Ridge

10. Take the Aerial Cable Car up Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa 

The flat-topped Table Mountain is the postcard picture of Cape Town, South Africa's oldest city. One of the New 7 Wonders of the World, going up the mountain is a must as you'll have the most spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, beaches, city and surrounding mountain ranges. The Table Mountain National Park is also home to the richest yet smallest floral kingdom on earth. 

The trip itself will only take you roughly five minutes up and five minutes down, but you can spend ages drinking in the views from the top. We might be biased as we call Cape Town home, but we believe there's no better view in the world!

cable car up table mountain

Cable car up Table Mountain, Photo credit: Table Mountain Aerial Company

11. Hike up the Dunes in Sossusvlei, Namibia 

Located in one of Africa's largest conservation areas, the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is an otherworldly destination. With towering red dunes surrounding you, it's the most spectacular way to start your day by hiking up at sunrise.

With some of the highest dunes in the world, up to 400 metres, it's one of the most spectacular experiences there is. And it's the perfect photo opportunity! Although the name 'Sossusvlei' means 'dead-end marsh' and despite the harsh desert conditions, a wide variety of plants and animals have adapted to the conditions. 

Dunes of Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei hike

12. Diving with Whale Sharks, Mozambique

The whale sharks in Mozambique are both graceful and curious, and diving with them is an unforgettable experience. An endangered species and the largest living fish in the world, they can grow up to 14 metres in length.

Seeing them up-close and in their natural habitat is awe-inspiring, and although the word 'shark' might frighten you at first, they're actually very peaceful and harmless creatures.

Male whale shark

Photo credit: ZacWolf

Start Planning the Ultimate Holiday for 2022 Today 

As you can see, Africa has so much to offer. The sheer diversity of landscapes, animals, and activities can be overwhelming to choose from! 

Do you want to experience all of the above experiences, or maybe only a couple? The good news is that we have first-hand experience of all of these experiences and can tailor-make your tour to your very specifications. 

Contact our Travel Experts today, and let's start planning!

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About the author 

Tania de Kock

Tania has always been an avid reader, which ultimately led to her life-long dream of becoming a best-selling author. She loves travelling, super spicy food, South African wine, and cats! When she's not reading with a glass of wine, you can find her at the nearest beach or camping, running or hiking in the mountains.

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