November 18

Your Africa Bucket List for 2023

November 18, 2022

Compiling the ultimate Africa bucket list for 2023 can seem like an impossible task. As a continent so vast and filled to the brim with exciting experiences, how do you whittle down your options? Well, you've come to the right place. As the World's Best Safari Company, we've made it our mission to travel far and wide, tasting, witnessing, smelling, and feeling everything to test it for you. Now, all you have to do is take your pick from the very best experiences Africa has to offer. Are you ready to experience the extraordinary on our Africa holiday in 2023? Follow us this way…

Helicopter view of Cape Town

Helicopter view of Cape Town

The Ultimate Africa Bucket List for 2023

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. So, as you can imagine, there's a lot to explore! At the same time, its landscapes vary drastically, and you can go from mountains to vineyards to the bush to the beach, often in a short drive.

All of these remarkably distinct landscapes are also the perfect playgrounds for thrilling activities. Whether you prefer lazy, leisurely bliss or heart-in-your-throat exhilaration, we've got the experience for you.

So, here you go. Based on our clients' favourites and our personal picks, here is our ultimate Africa bucket list for 2023.

Fine Dining at Klein Jan Restaurant in Tswalu 

Before it even opened to the public, we were lucky enough to get a taste of this fine dining restaurant. It's one of our favourite African dining experiences for two reasons. One, it's headed by acclaimed Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, the very first chef from South Africa to be awarded a Michelin star – for his restaurant in Nice, France, no less. And secondly, Klein Jan's setting is so unique and remote. The combination of the two is just so unusually delicious, just like every mouthful of food you can enjoy here.

Located in the
Tswalu Kalahari Private Reserve, South Africa's largest private game reserve, the dramatic landscapes and the rare, diverse species that call it home will be the cherry on top of your fine dining experience.

Klein Jan in Tswalu

An unusual setting for an acclaimed chef to open a fine dining restaurant, Image Credit: Klein Jan

Hot Air Ballooning in East Africa 

A hot air balloon safari in East Africa is one of the most magical experiences, and there's no way we're in East Africa without going on one! Just imagine drifting among the clouds and looking down on the sheer vastness of the Serengeti National Park or Maasai Mara National Reserve's seemingly never-ending savannah dotted with flat-topped acacia trees and teeming with a dizzying number and array of wildlife.

This experience often goes hand-in-hand with a bubbly breakfast in the bush, the best way to end an already incredible morning. 

Great Migration with hot air balloons African travel in September

A hot air balloon safari in East Africa is a dream come true

Private Helicopter Tour and Picnic at Cape Point

private helicopter tour is one of the most exclusive experiences in Cape Town, and seeing the iconic postcard picture of our Mother City will take your breath away. Our guests rave about this experience because nothing compares to towering flat-topped Table Mountain hugged by city, vineyards, and waves licking pristine white beaches.

Add a romantic picnic at Cape Point, and you've got the stuff proposal dreams are made of! The most southeast corner of the African continent features marvellous mountain ranges and majestic waves crashing on the shore. Hear the ocean's relaxing rumble in the background as you clink drinks, feast on finger foods, and drink in the views.

A private helicopter flight should be on your Africa bucket list for 2023

See the classic Cape Town image from the sky, Image Credit: Katharina Riebesel

Mokoro ride in the Okavango Delta

A mokoro is effectively a traditional dugout canoe and our own gondola in Africa. But unlike in Venice, you'll make your way through an area where seeing another human, never mind another building, is rare. 

Instead, you'll be surrounded by nothing but the Okavango Delta's watery maze in Botswana. Wildlife aplenty will make eye contact with you as they stop by for their afternoon sip, or you'll see elephants cooling off by playfully splashing around in the water with their trunks. A mokoro is a very immersive experience because you can hear, smell and see everything. Our Rhino Africa Travel Experts also love this safari activity because you get great photos of the wildlife from a different angle! We've captured some of the reasons why we love it so much in this article.

A mokoro safari should definitely be on your Africa safari bucket list for 2023

Soak up the sights as you glide silently along the Okavango Delta

Private Art Tour and Wine-Tasting Experience at Ellerman House

Ellerman House is an Edwardian mansion turned luxury boutique hotel, and it's one of the most exclusive addresses in Cape Town. Set on the mountainside in the affluent Bantry Bay neighbourhood, it has an elevated vantage point of the vast, glittering Atlantic Ocean that almost makes you feel disoriented. 

For our guests staying at Ellerman House, there are more surprises in store than just this arresting view. You can also go on an in-house art tour. But this is no ordinary art tour. The artworks you will see here range from rare old pieces to contemporary artworks. And it's all displayed throughout the mansion! Divided into sections, you will follow your art guide as they explain the story behind each one.  

La galería privada de Ellerman House

The contemporary gallery at Ellerman House is just one of its attractions, Image Credit: Ellerman House

Then, there's the wine cellar, a shrine to the nectar of the gods. Offering an interactive wine experience, you'll be in awe as you move through the room, noticing new things as you go. From the massive human-sized corkscrew wine rack in a glass room to the terroir wall with soil from different wine farms in South Africa, it's an experience in itself to just walk through it. But the curated selection of wines will seal the deal. 

Read more about our recent experience when we stayed at Ellerman House here.

The corkscrew wine cellar

The incredible corkscrew wine rack, Image Credit: Ellerman House

Meet the Lemurs and See the Baobabs of Madagascar

Madagascar is often referred to as a mini continent where the rainforest meets exotic beaches. It's also (bafflingly) home to the adorable lemur, which you will find nowhere else on planet earth! It's a privilege to stand in front of them and watch their large comedic eyes as they leap from tree to tree.

Furthermore, we also love the Avenue of the Baobabs, a magical stretch of road lined by long-limbed succulent trees. You can take some incredible photos here! There are many reasons why Madagascar should be on your radar for 2023!

Un lémur trepando un rama en uno de los bosques de Madagascar.

Don't forget to add seeing these cute lemurs to your Africa bucket list for 2023

Stargazing in The Oldest Desert in the World

The Namib in Namibia is the oldest desert in the world. Just imagine for a second that you're in the middle of its rolling dusty orange dunes as the sun sets......and then, when it has dipped behind the horizon, the sky explodes into what looks like glitter strewn against a pitch-black backdrop.

Stargazing in the Namib Desert is an otherworldly experience. And without meaning to sound too much like hyperbole, the mere sight will make even the most cynical person dream again. 

Clear view of the Milky Way above the Namib dunes in Namibia - Africa Bucket List 2023

Enjoy magical views of the Milky Way

Jump off The Highest Commercial Bungee Bridge in Africa

Your heart is in your throat as you look down. And then you jump…and the feeling is just exhilarating! We've tried bungee jumping in a couple of places, but this has to top our list! 

The Bloukrans Bridge is Africa's highest commercial bridge bungee jumping experience, located in the Garden Route National Park in Tsitsikamma. It's a must-visit destination even if you're not up to take the plunge.

The Bloukrans Bridge, highest commercial bridge in Africa

Bungee jumping off the Bloukrans Bridge should be on your Africa bucket list for 2023

Witness Turtles Nesting or Hatching on a Beach

Did you know that you can see turtles in Africa? You can! They nest on certain beaches in Seychelles, Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal because of the warm Indian Ocean that helps hatchlings survive. Unfortunately, they are also endangered, but there are many conservation efforts in place in these areas to protect them.

You can also see these almost dinosaur-like reptiles emerge from the ocean and make their way up the sandy beach to dig a hole and lay their eggs before returning to the ocean. This experience is a must for any conservation or wildlife enthusiast. 

What to do in Seychelles: Experience magical moments with marine life in Seychelles

Experience magical moments with turtles life in Seychelles

Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking 

Ever watched "Gorillas in the Mist"? Then you'll understand just how special these primates are. And seeing them right in front of you after you've trekked up steep forested hills will make you overflow with emotions. 

In Africa, you can go gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda, Uganda and the Republic of Congo. We've been lucky enough to see these primates go about their business, and we can confidently call it life-changing!

Gorilla trekking on Africa bucket list 2023

One of our Rhino Africa Travel Experts on a gorilla trekking adventure

Walking Safari in South Luangwa

South Luangwa National Park in Zambia is known as the birthplace of the walking safari. It's a spectacular place to take on the bush on your own two feet – no rumbling car engine to detract from nature's soundtrack. 

You'll follow your armed guide through the African plains in a single file and silence, straining your ears and craning your neck to spot wildlife. It also allows you to appreciate the smaller details and nuances of the bush, from insects to plants and spoor prints left by different species. We love walking safaris so much that we compiled a list of what to pack to make it easy for you.

Walking safari in South Luangwa

A walking safari should definitely be on your Africa bucket list for 2023

Kayaking with Dolphins in Cape Town

Cape Town's deep blue sea is a treasure chest of marine life, one of which is the amiable dolphin. If you've ever seen one in real life and heard their happy squeals, you'll know just how much joy watching them can be. 

Now imagine kayaking among them! This is an absolute favourite water-based activity for us to do in our home city. Early mornings offer the perfect conditions for a kayak excursion. And we recommend you enjoy a lovely breakfast in one of the trendy cafés in Mouille Point afterwards.

Dolphins jumping out of the water - kayaking in Cape Town should be on your Africa Bucket List 2023

We just love kayaking with dolphins in Cape Town

Plan Your 2023 Bucket List Adventure Today 

Our Travel Experts are ready to share all our favourite experiences with you. Contact us today, and let's start planning your Africa holiday for 2023.

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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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