15 Adventures in Africa you must do at least once in your life
If you’re dreaming of your next great travel adventure, a trip that pushes both borders and boundaries, look no further than AFRICA! Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, this formidable continent will get under your skin (in the best possible ways, of course), sweep you right off your feet & ignite your adventurous spirit & thrill-seeking soul all in one go!
Embarking on the ultimate African adventure is high up on countless travellers’ bucket-lists – and why shouldn’t it be? From the wild & untamed natural beauty of the African wilderness to its magnificent wildlife sightings & encounters, diverse landscapes, thrilling safari experiences, and abundance of once-in-a-lifetime adventures – what’s not to love?
Declared one of the top safari destinations in the world, Africa offers some of the most astonishing travel, safari, and wildlife opportunities and adventures on the planet. From watching herds of elephants striding across open plains, leopards lazily lounging on treetop hideaways, majestic lions basking in the glorious mid-day African sun, and massive herds of wildebeest and antelope running across the vast and wonderful savannah, to giraffes feasting on the lush tree-top greenery, hippos popping in and out of the water, and rhinos grazing in the distance, there are few things in this wide and wonderful world that are more magnificent & memorable than witnessing Africa’s remarkable and diverse wildlife roaming free in their natural habitat and the place they call home – AFRICA!
However, there is so much more to Africa than its astounding wildlife. Boasting unsurpassed natural wonders & a vast diversity of contrasting landscapes, ranging from searing deserts, freshwater wetlands, dramatic coastlines, and soaring mountain peaks to thunderous waterfalls, endless stretches of open savannah plains, lush tropical rainforests, and so much more, Africa is unlike any continent you’ve ever experienced before or are likely to experience again. At least in our lifetime. No matter where you find yourself, Africa is unmatched when it comes to once in a lifetime adventure travel.
Hold on, that’s not all! Offering travellers some of the most exciting & adrenalin-inducing safari endeavours, exhilarating adventures, and thrilling once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the planet, Africa is EVERY bit as bold, daring, diverse, wild, riveting, gripping, and invigorating as it is breathtaking & remarkable. She certainly beats to the rhythm of her own drum – making it all the more fun!
With so many different places & destinations to discover & explore, not to mention the abundance of exciting adrenaline-pumping experiences to be enjoyed in Africa, how do you ensure you get to experience the very best adventures Africa has to offer? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got your back! We’ve travelled the continent far and wide to find the most unforgettable and thrilling wildlife & safari experiences and adventures in Africa to get your heart pumping and adventure juices flowing. Without further a due, here are the Top 15 Adventures in Africa you must do at least once in your life.
Your grand African adventure awaits!
#1 Glide along the waterways of the Okavango Delta on a traditional Mokoro Safari
**Quick insight: A Mokoro is essentially a traditional dug-out canoe which is used to traverse and explore the narrow waterways and complex, yet thriving, channels of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, as well as discover hidden islands that are inaccessible throughout the rest of the year.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the glorious Okavango Delta is by far one of Africa’s most fascinating and captivating regions and destinations to discover and explore. The Delta is not only deemed to be one of the world’s premier wilderness areas, but largest inland deltas on the planet, boasting one of the most unique, intricate, and intriguing ecosystems to ever exist.
This vast and virtually untouched freshwater wetland area fed by the Okavango River, is an astonishing and endless oasis characterized by a complex network of channels, islands, floodplains, riverine woodlands, marshlands, and lagoons that offer travellers, wildlife and nature enthusiasts, avid adventurers, and globe trotters a truly immersive experience and out-of-this-world perspective into a world of thriving waterways and vast flourishing wetlands teeming with wildlife, birdlife, luscious vegetation, magnificent landscapes, breathtaking surroundings, and so much more – you simply have to see it to believe it!
The Okavango Delta truly is a water wonderland in every way – this undoubtedly makes exploring the Delta by Mokoro safari / river safari the very best way to discover and experience everything it has to offer.
Enjoying a Mokoro safari journey through the Delta is not only a unique safari experience that is entirely exclusive to the Okavango Delta, it is also one of the top and most thrilling adventures you can only do in Africa. Going on a traditional Mokoro safari in the glorious Okavango Delta gives you the opportunity to see, discover, encounter, and explore hidden gems, secret spots, as well as witness diverse and rare wildlife and birdlife sightings you might not otherwise have spotted or seen on a traditional game drive.
Nowhere else in the world can you experience the sublime serenity of being poled along in a traditional dugout canoe as birds like jacanas and herons walk among the lilies, elephants arrive to feed on the soft grass, and sitatunga antelope retreat shyly into the reeds. It’s all of this and so much more that makes going on a traditional Mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta one of the top adventure experiences in Africa!
#2 Trek Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Few experiences can compete with summiting the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro and standing at the top of the highest point in Africa as the sun rises in the distance!
If you think ‘adventure in Africa’, summiting the highest mountain peak in Africa – AKA: Mount Kilimanjaro – is undoubtedly one of the first things that come to mind, especially if you’re an avid adrenalin junkie and die-hard hiker and / or climber. Located in the captivating and vastly diverse East African country of Tanzania, the magnificent mountainous marvel that is Mount Kilimanjaro is not only the highest mountain peak in Africa, but the largest free-standing mountain rise in the world (this means that Kilimanjaro does not form part of a mountain range, but instead, stands entirely alone – tall, grounded, strong, independent, fierce & free), standing tall at a staggering +/- 5,895 meters / 19,341 feet above sea level.
Its prestigious high-rise status paired with the fact that it is without a doubt one of the most phenomenal natural wonders and breathtaking mountains in all of Africa, not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime adventure experience, has made standing on the peak of the world’s tallest freestanding mountain one of the top experiences on countless adventure travellers’ bucket-lists – with good reason too! For many, summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is so much more than ticking a thrilling experience off their Africa adventure bucket list – It’s a yearning for the Roof of Africa. An unstoppable hunger for conquering Uhuru Peak (the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro), and a craving for the raw, real, rugged, and once-in-a-lifetime adventure that ONLY a Mount Kilimanjaro climb can provide.
Also called a stratovolcano (a term used to describe a very large volcano made of ash, lava, and rock), Kilimanjaro is essentially a dormant volcano made up of three cones visible from miles away: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kibo is the summit of the mountain and the tallest of the three volcanic formations. While Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, Kibo is dormant, however, the possibility that it could potentially erupt again is there. Before your head starts spinning and you fall down a deep & dark rabbit hole, to help set your mind at ease, scientists estimate that the last time Mount Kilimanjaro erupted was 360,000 years ago. So, while there is a possibility, the likelihood is incredibly slim. The highest point on Kibo’s crater rim is called Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.” The mountain is also known for its snow-capped peak; however, scientists warn that the snow might disappear within the next 20 years or so – which is nothing short of tragic. But, if there’s one thing that is, and will forever remain true, irrespective of everything, it’s the undeniable and breathtaking natural beauty of the one and only Mount Kilimanjaro along with its snow-capped peaks, lush forests, and sweeping views that are simply unparalleled. There truly is nothing quite like it – and we dare you to prove us otherwise!
According to Tanzania National Parks, Mount Kilimanjaro attracts about 50,000 climbers a year, which is roughly 50 times the number of people attempting either Everest or Denali (formerly Mount McKinley) in Alaska. And, while Kilimanjaro ranks high on the to-do list of serious mountaineers, scaling the 5,895-metre (19,341 ft) dormant volcano requires no serious technical skill and is considered ‘doable’ for anyone with a moderately high fitness level.
But do not be fooled into thinking that it will be a walk in the park. Oh no! Kilimanjaro treks can take anywhere from 5 to 7 days depending on the route & when / what time of year you decide to climb it. Over the years, new routes and camps have helped lengthen and flatten the ascent, as well as provided more opportunities for climbers to acclimatize. But as far as high-altitude trekking goes, Kilimanjaro is definitely one of the highest ascents that can be completed in such a short period of time.
However, high altitude and low success rates shouldn’t deter you. With the right level of preparation Kilimanjaro can be safely conquered by those up for the challenge.
**When is the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an adventure of a lifetime, and one that should not be taken lightly. To ensure you have the best experience possible, it is important to know when the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is as it can have a major impact on your overall climbing experience. While it is entirely possible to climb Mount Kilimanjaro right throughout the year, certain months and seasons are far better than others. That being said – The two main Kilimanjaro trekking seasons are between January – March and June – October (Dry Season).
Many deem the dry season (June – October) to be the very best time of year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as the weather is generally dry and sunny with clear views, blue skies and temperatures ranging from the low 50s to the low 70s. This makes for ideal climbing conditions, as the trails that lead to the summit are not muddy, largely due to the low rainfall during this time, and the temperatures are just right. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro during its dry season (June – October) is also a great time if you want to catch a glimpse of the Great Wildebeest Migration as well as enjoy uninterrupted views of the surrounding landscape while you ascend.
**Tip: While the months of June – October are considered the best time of year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (as this period is the driest and warmest months of the year), it is important to note that the weather can be unpredictable. Due to the often-unpredictable weather patterns it is crucial to always be ready and prepared for all types of weather conditions that may come your way.
The January – March season is often colder and snowier than June – October, but it is less popular with tourists as the latter corresponds with summer holidays. During the wet seasons (April to May and November to December), the mountain can be extremely slippery, with frequent rains / storms and mudslides, making the climb much more challenging and dangerous. However, some people still choose to climb the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro during the wet season as it can offer unique views and experiences. This especially applies to experienced and highly skilled climbers.
If you want to avoid the large crowds of people that climb during high season (June to September), make sure you book your trek between December and March. However, you will find that the weather is colder in the evenings during that period. You will also encounter snow on the summit as well as a little rain along the way.
**Check out our ‘When is the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro’ blog to find out everything you need to know about the highest mountain peak in Africa, including the various routes to reach the Mount Kilimanjaro summit.
#3 Embark on a Gorilla Trekking Adventure in Rwanda
Calling all thrill-seekers, daring explorers, and avid adventurers – This unique and beyond exhilarating Africa-only experience is for you! Plus, absolutely anyone else eager to tick this thrilling adventure off their bucket-list!
Africa is widely renowned for its once-in-a-lifetime wildlife sightings and encounters. However, few are as highly sought-after (or as frequently featured on the cover of travel magazines or at the very top of avid traveller’s bucket lists of must-do once-in-a-lifetime adventure experiences) as Rwanda where avid wildlife enthusiasts and thrill-seeking adventurers from across the globe have the incredible opportunity of witnessing Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat.
It therefore comes as no surprise that Rwanda is deemed the best place in Africa to engage in what is arguably the world’s single most enriching, exhilarating, and powerful wildlife experiences, sought-after safari adventures, and thrilling wildlife encounters – trekking mountain gorillas through the steep bamboo and forest-swathed slopes of the Virunga Mountains. It’s here, in the Virunga Massifs, where you’ll find Volcanoes National Park – home to the largest mountain gorilla population in the world.
As Rwanda is one of only three places in the world where you can see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, visiting this extraordinary African country and embarking on an exhilarating gorilla trekking expedition is so much more than a tick off the bucket list – it truly is a humbling, enriching, and powerful experience that you’ll undoubtedly remember and cherish for the rest of your life.
Depending on where exactly you decide to go, you can also see other primates, including the chimpanzee, golden monkey, Ruwenzori colobus, L’Hoest’s monkey, and many more.
#4 Whitewater raft on the Nile River in Uganda
When it comes to adventure in Africa’s Uganda, few places can contend with Jinja. Nested on the shores of Lake Victoria, this vibrant town is loudly and proudly known as the adrenaline capital of East Africa.
Jinja, a place where adventure comes alive! From thrilling quad biking to serene horseback rides, heart-pounding mountain biking escapades, and exciting kayaking expeditions, this town has it all. Yet, it’s the world-famous rapids of the Nile River that steal the spotlight here. Picture yourself rafting on the very birthplace of the mighty Nile (or one of them, at least). The only thing more thrilling is the epic challenge that awaits! With an endless cascade of grade 5 rapids, peppered with a few grade 4’s, and even a daring grade 6 rapid for good measure, this thrilling adventure experience promises to deliver on all counts!
While many adrenaline junkies have dared to conquer these waters, never underestimate their sheer power. These rapids will test you, push your limits, and give you one wild & crazy ride if you venture too close. Get ready for the ultimate adventure – this is the heart-pounding world of Jinja! This is adventure travel!
#5 See the incredible African Big5 up-close in their natural habitat
Declared one of the top safari and wildlife destinations in the world, Africa offers travellers some of the most astonishing wildlife sightings & encounters.
Boy, oh boy – we just love to rave about our Big 5! Everyone has their own memories of Africa they take away with them, but the wildlife makes for some of the most magical to remember. The vast continent of Africa boasts the widest diversity of wildlife in the world and is home to the most extraordinary wildlife sightings, spectacles, and gatherings than anywhere on the planet. However, no safari to Africa is complete without witnessing incredible up-close sightings of its most elite grouping of wildlife residents, the renowned African Big 5. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo – the reigning royals of the safari world.
While Africa’s Big 5 is surely in need of no introduction, it makes sense for us to give credit where credit is due. As the most famous and celebrated collection of animals on the African continent, a Big 5 safari – an experience that entirely unique to Africa – is an unbelievable safari adventure that should be on everyone’s African safari bucket list. What could be better than seeing a leopard lazily lounging in a tree soaking up the African sun, the mighty rhino browsing through the grasslands, elephants trudging their way through the African bushveld with their young, buffalos grazing in the distance with their oxpecker companions, and lions, the all-mighty king of the bushveld, wondering the vast plains in search of their prey? There truly is nothing quite like it!
These remarkable animals are not only the most recognised symbols of Africa, but its crowning glory too! Undoubtedly making a Big5 safari one of the top and most popular requests from any and all travellers and wildlife lovers visiting Africa (for obvious reasons of course)
Thankfully, you can find these magnificent wildlife species in several countries across the African continent. From Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, and South Africa, to Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. However, the most notable place and National Park packed with Big 5 wildlife has to be the renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa.
#6 Explore the oldest desert in the world
Get ready to embark on an adventure like no other as you uncover the enchanting secrets of the world’s most ancient desert! Buckle up for a journey through time in Namibia’s incredible Namib Desert, where history comes alive in vibrant hues. With the roots of this desert’s story going back a jaw-dropping 80 million years. Picture yourself surrounded by countless rolling dunes, stretching a whopping 2,000 kilometers from the Olifants River in South Africa, all the way to the Carunjamba River in Angola. Oh, and did we mention that this desert hugs Namibia’s entire coastline? Now that’s a colossal desert embrace!
People have called the Namib Desert home since the early Stone Age, leaving behind a treasure trove of well-preserved artifacts, pottery, and rock art that whisper tales from the past. And if you thought that was impressive, hold onto your hats! This region is a treasure trove of Namibia’s most iconic attractions. Dive into the charm of quaint towns, where warm welcomes are as plentiful as the sights to see. Whether you’re up for an exhilarating safari, a leisurely hike, casting a line for fishing fun, conquering thrilling 4X4 trails, or even indulging in some top-notch bird watching, this desert wonderland has it all.
But wait, there’s more! How about a dash of relaxation? Sink your toes into the sandy beaches, or better yet, treat yourself to a hot air balloon ride over the mesmerizing dunes that seem to stretch forever. Can you feel the sun’s warm embrace yet? The Namib Desert is like a playground of endless possibilities, each more exciting than the last. So, gear up, soak in the sun, and prepare for an endless array of unbelievable adventures that you’ll definitely never forget!
#7 Go whitewater rafting on the Zambezi River | Victoria Falls | Zambia
Calling all die-hard thrill-seekers, adrenaline junkies, and daring adventurers – this one is for you!
Regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and one of Africa’s most astonishing sights, Victoria Falls reigns supreme as one of the top tourist attractions in Zambia. Locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya or ‘The Smoke That Thunders’, this jaw-dropping waterfall on the Zambezi River is located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Stretching 1.7km wide and reaching a height of 355 feet, Victoria Falls is considered to be the world’s biggest sheet of falling water.
When the Zambezi River is in full flood, it is estimated that 500-million litres of water per minute thunders over the drop, crashing into a deep rocky gorge at the bottom. While the Main Falls lie within the borders of Zimbabwe, the Zambian side is equally as impressive during peak flood season (February to May).
If you’re looking to tick one of the most thrilling and adrenaline-inducing adventure experiences off your bucket list on your trip to Zambia – look no further! The renowned Zambezi River in Victoria Falls is deemed one of the world’s best destinations for whitewater rafting on high-grade rapids. Overflowing and very deep, you can expect class 3-5 rapids – which will undoubtedly have your heart racing and your adrenaline levels at an all-time high. The Zambezi River is said to boast 24 thrilling rapids, right and ready for you to conquer. Right after the falls lies an intense stretch of the river with a channel of high-volume water – It truly is an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience in every way!
It Is Important to note that the Zambezi’s water levels change throughout the year. This means that if you’re keen to go whitewater rafting and conquer the mighty Zambezi River rapids, it’s crucial that you plan and book your trip to Zambia at the right time to avoid missing out.
#8 Take to the skies & go hot air ballooning in the Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the greatest wildlife destination and National Parks on earth. Home to one of the world’s greatest concentrations of wildlife and vast open grasslands, the Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s flagship conservation area and a must-do for first-time and returning safari goers alike. Meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language, the Serengeti National Park is one of the most celebrated wilderness areas in the world.
Spanning northern Tanzania, the world-renowned Serengeti National Park is not only Tanzania’s flagship conservation area, but one of the greatest national parks in Africa, if not the world. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Serengeti is regarded as one of the most celebrated global wilderness areas. The Serengeti National Park covers an immense 14 800 km² (5 700 square miles) on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya, encompassing up to 50% of the wider Serengeti–Mara ecosystem – Making the Serengeti the most famous protected wilderness area in all of Africa.
While the Serengeti National Park is notorious for its vastly diverse and abundant wildlife, it is best known as the iconic site of the world-renowned Annual Great Wildebeest Migration. The Great Wildebeest Migration – Regarded as the ‘Seventh New Wonder of the World’, one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles & natural phenomenon to ever exist in the natural world, as well as declared the ‘The greatest show on earth’ – is undoubtedly one of the top (if not THE top) wildlife spectacles in Africa.
Witnessing The annual Great Migration, also known as the Gnu Migration, Serengeti Migration and Masai Mara Migration, up-close, in action, and first-hand is the chief reasons why so many travelers’ tourists, globe trotters, and avid nature and wildlife enthusiast venture to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. There are few things that can compare to witnessing one of the greatest and grandest wildlife gatherings and spectacles in its full all-mighty force – It’s an unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience to say the least!
The Great Migration Is a never-ending movement which includes millions of wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle, eland, and impala circling and venturing across the vast Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in Tanzania and Kenya, chasing the rains in a constant search for food, moving from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park into the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya by crossing the great Mara River.
*Interesting Fact: The Mara River crossing of The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the most thrilling and equally daunting endeavours to witness and experience – often referred to as “the greatest show on earth”. The great Mara River is both surrounded by and filled with Africa’s top predators, making it an INCREDIBLY risky journey for all of the wildlife species taking part in the Annual Great Migration. However, despite the great danger that awaits these animals – the Mara River crossing cannot be avoided and is a vital component of the Great Migration cycle / movement.
Nile crocodiles and other predators are patiently waiting for the right moment to strike and make the wildebeest their prey. Not to mention the legendary Serengeti lions – some 3,000 of them – who lie in wait, along with leopards, cheetahs, and countless hungry hyenas all jumping at the bid to get in on the action.
There is absolutely no denying that witnessing and experiencing the Masai Mara / Serengeti Great Migration should be on everyone’s African safari travel bucket-list!
Hold on, the excitement isn’t over yet, not by a long shot! Imagine if you could witness this glorious wildlife spectacle along with the sensational wilderness wonder that is the Serengeti National Park all while floating over the Serengeti plains on a hot air balloon safari?! Well, it’s time to turn your dream into a reality, and trust us, this is one magical and magnificent safari experience you’ll never forget!
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon safari adventure as you float over the spectacular Serengeti National Park 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 savour your afternoon sundowner. This is without a doubt one of the best and most riveting ways to start or end a day in Africa!
#9 Go on a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park & explore the bush on foot
Are you ready to take a WALK on Africa’s wild side? If the answer is ‘YES!’ (which it absolutely should be), go ahead and ditch the safari vehicle and explore the bush on foot instead!
If you’re eager to experience something slightly more wild, daring, and down-right thrilling, going on an exhilarating and adventure-filled walking safari through the untamed African bushveld should be right at the top of your African safari travel bucket-list. Exploring the African bushveld on foot encourages you to fully immerse yourself in the vast and untamed wilderness as well as gives you the unbelievable opportunity of witnessing magnificent up-close wildlife sightings and encounters you only tend to read about in books and travel magazines.
Loudly and proudly claiming the title as ‘The Home of the Walking Safari’, there is no better place to embark on an unforgettable walking safari adventure and get up-close-and-personal with Africa’s vast diversity of wildlife than Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. Considered the birthplace of walking safaris, going on an exhilarating walking safari in the renowned South Luangwa National Park promises to exceed all your expectations – Because a walking safari in South Luangwa National Park is not only regarded as a thrilling wilderness experience / adventure / activity, but rather a way of life.
If you decide to venture off-the-beaten-path (quite literally) and go on a walking safari adventure on your visit to this iconic National Park you’ll have the additional privilege of traversing the untamed landscapes of South Luangwa National Park on foot while being guided by an exceptional, highly experienced, and incredibly knowledgeable wildlife guide or ranger.
Beyond the obvious thrill, going on a walking safari gives you the opportunity to experience South Luangwa National Park from an entirely different perspective, as well as see and hear the small things that may have gone unnoticed, or you may have overlooked / might’ve missed otherwise. Not to mention, getting to go on an unforgettable and adventure-filled walking safari in one of Africa’s most remote and unspoilt locations truly is a bucket list worthy African safari adventure experience in itself.
Beyond its prestigious title as ‘The Home of the Walking Safari’, South Luangwa National Park is arguably one of the greatest wildlife-viewing destinations in Africa. Boasting among the highest concentration of wildlife in all of Africa, this sought-after Zambian National Park is regarded as one of the very best places to see large herds of buffalo, elephants, giraffes, African wild dogs, leopards, lions, and hippos in their natural habitat, to mention merely a few. South Luangwa is also home to a number of rare and endemic species including the Thornicroft’s giraffe, Cookson’s wildebeest, and Crawshay’s zebra. Another one of South Luangwa National Park’s wildlife highlights takes place in late October, just before the start of the rain, when thousands of hippos gather in the Luangwa River’s deeper pools – It truly is a remarkable spectacle to witness as they jostle and fight for space. Boasting such a vast diversity and incredible abundance of wildlife your South Luangwa walking safari will undoubtedly be filled with the most magnificent up-close wildlife sightings and encounters.
**BONUS: 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.
#10 Swim at the edge of Nature’s Ultimate Infinity Pool – Devil’s Edge!
Another one of Africa’s most unique, not to mention beyond thrilling, experiences is taking a dip right at the edge of nature’s ultimate infinity pool – Devil’s Edge! Located right at the edge of the mighty and majestic Victoria Falls (situated on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls), Devil’s Edge is a rock pool offering adventurers all the thrill and rush of pure adrenaline they seek. Boasting a sheer drop and an up-close-and-personal view off the Falls – Devil’s Edge is in fact the ultimate infinity pool not only in Africa, but perhaps the world too!
During the waterfall’s peak flow season around the month of June, the mile-wide chasm is filled with the thunder of water descending at a rate of 3,000 tones per second. We highly advise that you avoid taking a swim or even dipping your toe in the daring Devil’s Pool – well unless you want to be swept away to an untimely demise. But all jokes aside, this time of year is a hard no when it comes to ticking this adventure experience off your bucket-list.
However, here’s the bright side you were waiting for! You are free to swim as close to the edge of the pool from the month of September right through to December when the river flow is at a safe level. The exposed natural rock walls also act as a barrier to prevent you from being carried over. While going for a swim in Victoria Falls’ Devil’s Edge may seem somewhat daunting at first, once you’re in, you’ll have the time of your life. Not to mention the view from the edge is beyond breathtaking! This is one bucket-list worthy adventure experience you absolutely don’t want to miss out on when visiting Africa.
#11 Visit Cape Town’s famous Boulders Beach & its thriving colony of African Penguins
Due to animated films such as Happy Feet and Surfs Up, we quickly equate penguins to the icy lands of Antarctica. But did you know that Africa, more specifically Cape Town, has its own special share of penguins too? Adding to your list of unique experiences and things you can only do in Africa, make your way to the continent’s southwestern coast – the glorious Western Cape – to view these waddling aquatic birds – AKA African Penguins (also lovingly referred to by Capetonians as ‘Cape Town’s favourite marine life locals’ & ‘the ultimate Cape Town cool kids) – in their natural habitat.
There are a number of African Penguin colonies found between Namibia and South Africa’s South Coast. However, Boulders Beach in Cape Town is home to the most famous colony of African Penguins and is one of the only places in the world where you can get up close and personal with these cool and charismatic ocean locals. This makes visiting the African Penguin colony at Boulders Beach a not-to-be-missed bucket-list worthy experience in every way.
In addition to seeing the remarkable colony of African Penguins from the African Penguin Viewing Site in Boulders Beach, it is also one of the only places in the world that gives you the incredible and unforgettable opportunity to experience a variety of other once-in-a-lifetime adventures such as kayaking and swimming among the penguins as well as enjoying a laid-back beach day with them right by your side – there truly is nothing quite like it!
In addition to Boulders Beach, Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay is home to an African Penguin viewing site as well as one of the largest successful breeding colonies of African Penguins in the world.
**Note: Visitors will need to pay an entrance fee (which forms part of a conservation project) to gain access to the African Penguin Viewing Site and Boulders Beach. Your ticket is valid for the entire day. You can choose to exit and re-enter as it suits you (this only applies to the day your ticket was purchased).**Visit the SANParks website for more information regarding Boulders Beach’s Conservation Fees.
#12 Sleep outside under the stars in Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans
Botswana is not only regarded as one of the most exclusive and widely acclaimed safari destinations in Africa, but one of the most remarkable wilderness areas on earth too. Boasting vast stretches of protected wilderness, pristine landscapes, premier National Parks, luxury safari lodges, incredible game reserves, and a glorious diversity of wildlife, as a safari destination, Botswana is hard to top.
The north and west of Botswana include the dazzling water worlds of the Okavango Delta and the Chobe River ecosystem whereas the south and east of Botswana consist of the jaw-dropping Kalahari Desert and lunar-like pans at Nxai and Makgadikgadi.
One of the largest salt pans in the world, Makgadikgadi was once a lake covering 10,000 square kilometers of north-eastern Botswana. While the cracked and dry Makgadikgadi Salt Pans may not look like the type of environment that would attract a large population of wildlife and / or birdlife, you’d be pleasantly surprised when visiting this unique part of Botswana. There is far more to the Makgadikgadi Pans than what meets the eye!
During its summer season, the desolate dry expanses of Makgadikgadi comes to life with thriving grasslands, attracting a vast diversity of wildlife, including springbok, wildebeest and zebra followed closely by lion and cheetah. Shallow waters begin to flood over seemingly endless pans, drawing thousands of flamingos.
By far one of the top highlights of visiting the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans during Botswanan’s wet season is seeing Southern Africa’s largest zebra migration from the Boteti River. During the annual zebra migration visitors will have the opportunity to witness thousands of zebras move through Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks. The annual zebra migration is the second largest migration of wildlife in Africa.
Besides being the largest salt flat in the world, the Makgadikgadi Pans is one of Botswana’s more remote locations and somewhat of a hidden gem that many are yet to discover. This makes it the perfect destination for this particular memorable and magical safari experience in Africa – Enjoying a glorious night under the milky way and falling asleep with nothing but the beautiful starlit night sky and magical hue of the moonlight providing a slight shimmer of light. It sounds like a dream doesn’t it? Only now you can make it a reality – How incredibly lucky are you?
To add a bit more magic to this already unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll have the pleasure of relishing in every single second of pure peaceful silence and serenity as you gaze up at the spectacular, sweep-you-right-off-your-feet starlit night sky. It is not only the epitome of star gazing, it is star gazing like you’ve never seen before, and probably never will again. It truly is out of this world!
#13 Kayak on the third largest lake in Africa
If it’s tamer waters (and adventure) you seek, then going kayaking on the third largest lake in Africa – AKA: Lake Malawi – should be right at the top of your African adventure bucket list! Located in the captivating African country of Malawi, Lake Malawi slices through the landscape in a trough / channel formed by the Great Rift Valley. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is undoubtedly where gram-worthy travel moments are made & shared, not to mention it is the ultimate adventure playground for any & all adrenalin junkies & avid thrill seekers. That’s not all! The untamed & rugged terrain, combined with Malawi’s balmy weather, and the clear Lake Malawi water, swarming with a vast array of colourful cichlid fish, create an extraordinary and exhilarating environment that beckons nature enthusiasts from around the world to experience a surreal adventure unlike any other.
As Lake Malawi has no wild currents, rapids, or tides to contend with, going kayaking on the cool lake water promises to be an exciting and fun-filled adventure experience. The calm and cooling waters of Lake Malawi also makes it the ultimate aquatic playground and watersports mecca for eager adventurers looking to go snorkelling, water skiing, sailing, scuba diving, and kayaking (to mention merely a few adventure experiences).
#14 Take on the highest commercial abseiling adventure on the planet in South Africa
Calling all die-hard adrenaline junkies & fearless thrill-seekers – this incredibly exhilarating & wildly daring adventure experience in South Africa’s beautiful, vibrant, and exciting city of Cape Town is just for you! You better strap in, it’s going to be one WILD adrenaline-fueled ride that’s for sure! If it’s the thrill of a decent you’re after then Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain is exactly where you want to be for this once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list worthy adventure.
Standing tall at a staggering 1,086 meters above sea level, Table Mountain is known as the all-mighty giant of the Cape Town skyline. Named one of the New7Wonders of Nature, this 600 million years old flat-topped mountain is not only one of Cape Town’s most iconic landmarks and sought-after attractions, not to mention one of the most recognizable mountains in the world, it is also the ultimate mecca for nature lovers, avid hikers, and keen adventure seekers. Table Mountain and the surrounding Table Mountain National Park boasts a thrilling variety of hiking trails, sensational panoramic views, tons of hidden gems & secret spots, and a vast diversity of unique fauna & flora – all of which makes exploring Table Mountain’s natural beauty and surrounding landscapes an exhilarating adventure in every way.
While admiring this magnificent mountainous giant from below is beyond breathtaking, there are few things that can compare to standing on the summit of the world-renowned Table Mountain & looking out over the vast Atlantic Ocean, iconic Lion’s Head, stunning Signal Hill, beautiful Camps Bay & Clifton, glorious Mother City and beyond. And, to take it one step further, why not abseil down it? As this iconic tall-standing mountain is the highest commercial abseiling route on the planet, it gives daring travellers & avid adrenaline junkies the rare & remarkable opportunity to experience one of the most thrilling once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the world – IT LITERALLY IS AN ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME – how could you not jump at the opportunity to tick this ONE-OF-A-KIND ULTIMATE ADVENTURE EXPERIENCE off your bucket list??
There is absolutely NO denying that taking on the highest commercial abseiling route on the planet is not only one of the top adventures in all of Africa, but the world too! The only question is, are you fearless & adventurous enough to take this massive & beyond thrilling leap of faith & show the all-mighty Table Mountain exactly what you’re made of? GO FOR IT – WE DARE YOU!
#15 Go mountain biking in Hell’s Gate | Kenya
Synonymous with once-in-a-lifetime adventures & unforgettable experiences, Kenya is an icon of adventure travel in Africa. Avid travellers and wildlife enthusiasts looking to combine adventure, travel, and bucket-list worthy experiences with phenomenal game viewing, vast unspoiled landscapes, the magic of the African bushveld, beautiful beaches, bucket-list worthy experiences and so much more, the magnificent East African country of Kenya is a one-of-a-kind African safari destination which will undoubtedly exceed all your expectations. Home to some of the best – if not THE best – national parks, conservancies, and wildlife reserves in Africa, people travel from all around the world to experience all of Kenya’s wilderness wonders, safari adventures, unparalleled wildlife viewing, and wild unapologetic natural beauty first-hand.
However, no trip to Kenya would be complete without stepping foot into Hell’s Gate National Park. Once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley, Hell’s Gate National Park is a tiny park named after the pair of massive red cliffs of the Njorowa Gorge that enclose an area of hot springs and steam vents. Regarded as one of Kenya’s hidden gems, Hell’s Gate National Park is known for its steep cliffs, dramatic scenery, plunging gorges, and basalt columns. While it may be one of Kenya’s smaller national parks, it is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including lion, leopards, cheetahs and so much more.
Besides Hell’s Gate National Park’s vast scenery, dramatic landscapes, and incredible wildlife, it is unique among Kenya’s wildlife parks and safari destinations as it is one of the two parks in Kenya that allows visitors to explore the terrain on foot as well as cycle through the park without a guide present. This makes Hell’s Gate the ideal place for travellers, thrill seekers, and nature & wildlife lovers to enjoy a wide range of adventure experiences such as hiking, mountain biking, bush walks, camping, and rock climbing.
For an added dose of adrenaline, take on the rocky Hell’s Gate terrain by bike. As it’s one of the only National Parks in Kenya that allows cycling, it gives visitors the exciting opportunity to spot herds of giraffes, zebras, antelopes, ostriches, lions, cheetahs, and the all-elusive leopard right from their saddle.
#BONUS: Traverse 120 million years old granite cliffs in Namibia
Welcome to Namibia, a land of natural wonders that will leave you in awe! Here, nature’s marvels take on a whole new dimension. It’s the place where the giants of the animal kingdom, the world’s largest land mammals, embark on epic migrations. Here, the world’s oldest desert, with its ever-so-subtle shifts, has stood the test of time. It I also where ancient rock art, dating back to the dawn of African history, was unearthed, and colossal dunes rise majestically to heights rivalling mountains.
If you’re seeking the ultimate adventure, look no further than an overland tour in Namibia. But, if you’re ready to elevate that adventure to new heights, allow us to introduce you to Spitzkoppe. While most see it as one of Namibia’s iconic landmarks, others view it as a 1,728-meter-high challenge waiting to be conquered. The Spitzkoppe and Pontok area are a true climber’s paradise, boasting over 100 sport and traditional routes just waiting to be conquered.
Legend has it that the first ascent of Spitzkoppe was made way back in 1904 when a daring soldier of the Royal Schutztruppe supposedly soloed the peak, lit a fire on its summit, and vanished into history. But fear not, for this place is alive with the spirit of adventure. The Spitzkoppe continues to draw intrepid rock climbers from around the world, all eager to take on Namibia’s most formidable peak.
As the day transforms into night, be prepared for the sky to paint itself with burning red hues, providing a spectacular backdrop to your journey. With panoramic views stretching into the heart of the Namib Desert, this primal landscape is tailor-made for incredible travel adventures. Here, you’ll find uncrowded climbing routes and boundless expanses of untouched wilderness, just waiting to be discovered and explored by you.
So, whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or simply seeking a taste of the extraordinary, Namibia beckons with open arms. Come and experience the warmth of its landscapes, the friendliness of its people, and the vibrant spirit of adventure that awaits you around every corner.