The Best Natural Wildlife Areas In South Africa

Natural Wildlife Areas In South Africa

The country of South Africa is a large area of the tip of the African continent, and has been making large strides in terms of developing tourism over recent years.  The end of Apartheid in the country may have been a turbulent time for the people of South Africa, but it was also an important step in making the country acceptable in the eyes of the rest of the developed world.  Today tourism is an important part of the economy of this African country, and it is the natural beauty and the sights that can be seen here that bring people into the country from around the world.

Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is probably the most famous of the parks in South Africa, and is located in the north east of the country spanning the borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  As well as being one of the most well known, it is also one of the largest parks in Africa, with animal stocks recovering well after a significant period of poaching in the 1980s.  A safari in the Kruger National Park can reveal all of the important game animals in one trip on a good day, with healthy populations of African Elephants, Black Rhinos, Buffalo, Lions and Leopards to be found in the park.

This national park is one that is geared towards tourism, with several sites across the park that allow visitors to stay overnight for extended visits in the park.

The Addo Elephant National Park

This is one of the most impressive natural locations in South Africa, located in the Eastern Cape area of the country which is on the south coast.  Although the park itself is named after the elephants that are to be found in the park, the mission of the park is to maintain populations of the five major game animals spotted on safari along with the whales and white sharks to be found in the waters off the coast of the park.  With over four hundred elephants living in the park this is one of the main attractions but a guided safari will often allow visitors to also spot buffalo, leopards, lions and zebra too.

The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park

While many people may associate South Africa with safari and the rolling plains, the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park is located around the eastern borders of Lesotho.  The park incorporates much of the Drakensberg mountain range which has some sensational scenery, and also has some of the best hiking routes in South Africa taking visitors through some sensational locations.  The park is home a variety of highland animals such as the bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, baboons and the lammergeier, a huge species of bearded vulture.  As well as the animal attractions here, the park is also home to over five hundred caves filled with rock art.

Mapungubwe National Park

Located on the northern border of South Africa, Mapungubwe is not only a naturally beautiful location but is also one of historical significance, with archaeologists having revealed a significant Iron Age settlement on the site.  There are many animals that live in the park, but as well as the game animals Mapungubwe National Park is also noted for the diversity of the bird population in the park.  The sandstone outcroppings of the hills in this region give Mapungubwe a very distinctive landscape that is different from many other parts of the country.

The Top Activities To Enjoy In Namibia

The Top Activities To Enjoy In Namibia

The country of Namibia is a large territory on the west coast of southern Africa, and is one that has been developing its own identity since it gained independence from South Africa in 1990.  One of the main differences is that Namibia is formerly a German colony, and this culture is felt in the language that is spoken in the country and the heritage of the people who live in the country.  The country also benefits from superb natural resources, with beautiful scenery and is also known for producing some of the world’s best diamonds.

See The Rock Engravings At Twyfelfontein

Twyfelfontein is the name for a valley in the north west of Namibia where the native people of the country have been living and hunting for thousands of years, which is noted for the superb rock engravings and paintings found in the caves in the area.  Some estimates suggest that the earliest art here could be as much as ten thousand years old, with the paintings depicting men, animals and creatures of legend.  As well as the fifteen individual sites in the area where the rock art has been found, this part of Namibia is also near several other important natural attractions in the north west of the country.

Hiking In The Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon hiking trail is one of the most popular long distance walks in southern Africa, and is located inland in the south of Namibia.  The trail itself is around ninety kilometers in length, and takes visitors along the course of the Fish River for almost the entire length of the canyon, which is the second longest canyon in the world, offering some sensational views.  The route is known for the harsh climate for much of the year, and for the safety of visitors hiking is only allowed in a narrow season between the first of May and the fifteenth of September.

Climb The Spitzkoppe

The Spitzkoppe is a group of granite mountains located in the Namib desert region on the west coast of the country.  Rock climbing in the Spitzkoppe is one of the most popular visitor activities in this region of Namibia, and is noted for offering quite technical climbing routes that tend to be very exposed, meaning it is a destination for experienced climbers.  The peaks are visible for miles around, as they rise seven hundred meters above the plains that surround them, and offer some excellent climbing challenges for those looking for a remote and isolated climbing challenge.

Explore The Desert In Kaokoland

Kaokoland is the arid region of Namibia that is a short distance inland from the Skeleton Coast National Park, and is a great place to find out more about the desert itself and the native tribes that live here.  One of the interesting experiences available in Kaokoland is the cultural visit to the Himba people, who still faithfully maintain their traditional way of life whilst also introducing this to the visitors.  The area is also a good place to spot animals such as the black rhinos, mountain zebras, giraffes and springboks.

The Top Activities To Try In Senegal

The Top Activities To Try In Senegal

Senegal is a relatively small country located on the west coast of Africa, and takes its name from the Senegal River which is one of the most prominent features in the country.  The country spent many centuries as a French colony, and still retains many French features in the culture and language in the country.  As a coastal country there are many international influences that can be found in Senegal, with the capital city of Dakar being an important trading port as well as an economic center.

Go Bird Spotting In The Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary

Located in the north west corner of Senegal is the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, which is one of the most important wetland habitats for birds in this part of Africa.  The park is located on the Senegal river and is a particularly important resting place for the migratory birds that have flown north over the Sahara desert.  Visitors to the park will find it a beautiful place to visit with various bird populations present depending on the time of year, with pelicans, ospreys, flamingos and aquatic warblers all present at different times of the year.

There are also several animals such as jackals and crocodiles that feed on the birds, and visitors can use the paths and hides located around the sanctuary or it is also possible to visit the area on a small boat.

Visit Saint-Louis

The city of Saint-Louis is located in the north west of Senegal, and is a city that is particularly noted for the vibrant cultural scene with regular festivals held throughout the year.  Having served as the capital of Senegal for many years before this was transferred to Dakar in 1902, the city has some wonderful colonial architecture and in many areas looks more like a French town than a traditional African city.  For those who are music fans visiting Senegal, timing a trip to coincide with the annual Saint-Louis Jazz Festival is well worth doing.

Go Shopping In Dakar’s Sandaga Market

The thriving city of Dakar is one of the busiest cities in Africa, and with good transport links with Europe and beyond is one of the main points of arrival for visitors coming in to West Africa.  The Sandaga Market is one of the most interesting and notorious spots in the city, and as well as being a thriving market it is also popular with pickpockets, so make sure you keep your purse or wallet close.  Despite this, exploring this wonderful market is a joy, with the area around the main building packed with all manner of different stalls offering almost everything you might want, while inside the market there are two floors of food stalls and a top floor of restaurants offering traditional Senegalese cuisine.

Relax And Unwind In Cap Skirring

Located on the south west coast of Senegal is the beautiful and relaxed town of Cap Skirring, which is now a popular tourist destination for those looking for wonderful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere.  There are several hotel complexes here to accommodate the visitors, many of whom travel from Europe, and a trip here is a relaxing way to end a trip to Senegal.  The golden sandy beaches and warm waters of the Atlantic help to make this a stunning place to unwind.

The Top Natural Attractions In Ghana

The Top Natural Attractions In Ghana

The country of Ghana has a long and varied history, and was previously known as the Gold Coast Crown colony while it was under British rule in the nineteenth century, because of the gold reserves in the country.  Much of the country actually remained entirely untouched by the influence of man until the eleventh century, until the eleventh century when several native tribes developed trading posts here based around the locations where they had found gold.  However, much of the country is still in an almost untouched state, and this means that there are several wonderful natural areas worth visiting in Ghana.

Kakum National Park

Located a short distance inland from the south coast of Ghana is the Kakum National Park, which is an area of almost untouched tropical rainforest that is a great place to visit.  As well as a network of maintained paths that give visitors a look at the park from below, there are also several canopy walkways that offer a view at the treetops of the forest, which is a great place to try and spot some of the birds in the forest.  Species to be found here include meerkats, forest buffalo and pygmy elephants, and the forest is also home to over five hundred different species of butterfly, and plenty of birds too.

Lake Volta

One of the greatest natural features to be found in Ghana is Lake Volta, the largest reservoir of fresh water by area in the world.  The large Akosombo Dam is an impressive sight and uses the huge power of flowing water from the reservoir to provide electricity for Ghana and several other African countries in the region.  Visitors can take a trip out on to the lake and there are also several other areas nearby worth exploring, with some great hills and mountain scenery to explore.

Mount Afadjato

Located in the east of the country close to the border with Togo is Mount Afadjato, which is the highest peak in the country rising to 885 meters above sea level.  The mountain is covered in a tropical forest that makes for a particularly interesting hike to the peak, and is a challenge that can be combined with the nearby mountain of Aduadu which is just over the border in Togo.  Visitors to the Mount Afadjato area can also take a tour of the forest without making the journey to the peak, and this should be combined with a trip to the Tagbo Falls and the Wli Falls, which are both popular local sites.

Mole National Park

The Mole National Park is located in the north west of Ghana, and is a typical savannah region which has a steep cliff that marks out the southern border of the park.  There is plenty of lush greenery found in the park, and it is home to a particularly wide range of different species, including elephants, hippos and buffalo.  The park is also home to several species of monkey, and also has thriving population of birds, ranging from the storks and herons to the large birds of prey like marshal eagle and the white-headed vulture.

Top 5 Magnificent Places to Visit in Africa

Africa is not only the second largest most populated continent in the world, but also houses the most magnificent places where ancient civilization and natural history dwells. Africa’s wildlife will really blows your mind, from the sound of desert animals thriving, lions roaring, to the lovely jungle birds sing and a million flamingos flying to a soda lake. There are more to enjoy in Africa that aren’t found in any desert, lake and mountains around the world. Here are the top 5 places you must visit to experience the mystical, natural and historical settings of Africa:

1. Abu Simbel in Egypt – The dazzling magnificent two temples of Abu Simbel Egypt is known for its historic relocation and citation from its original cliff. Its architectural sand stone cliff carvings were built during the time of Egypt’s great Pharaoh, Ramesses II, about over 3 millenniums ago.

Because of the Aswan High Dam construction in 1960, the temples were dismantled and relocated exactly the same as of the original and still infusing the presence of its real history. The new location still imparts the true relationship of the temples to each other and to the sun, surrounded by an artificial mountain. You can see a photo exhibition of Abu Simbel Temples’ historic relocation at the Abu Simbel dome.

2. Mt Kilimanjaro – Mt Kilimanjaro is known to be the highest mountain in Africa which 19,340 ft. high and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. This is a perfect place for mountain climbers and adventure seeker individuals or groups.

The experience to be in the top of the world is very overwhelming, a breath taking and very exciting, much more the same way of experience when reach the peak of Uhuru. Plus you will not only enjoy the view of the African wilderness but you will also adore the premier wildlife reserves and parks in Kilimanjaro region.

3. The Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt – Once belongs to the 7 wonders of the world, the Egyptian pyramids has been the icons of the most historical relics and ancient settings of Egypt. As known by many, the great Pyramids of Giza were built as tombs where the ancient Egyptians used to preserved dead bodies of their pharaohs, in their beliefs that they will continue to received blessings and prosperity.

 

The tomb of Pharaoh Khufu or Pharaoh Cheops is the greatest Pyramid built among the other 100 pyramids found in Giza. The great Sphinx is another known landmark in Giza which also known as the oldest and the largest statue in the world.

4. Victoria Falls on the Zambia – Aside from the historical and mystical sites, Africa also outlines a countless splendid natural locations and the greatest among these is the Victoria Falls found on the Zambezi River between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The glorious waterfalls are considered to be the “largest curtain of waterfalls on the earth”.

5. Valley of the Kings in Egypt – This was the richest historical valley in Egypt immerged about 500 years during the 16th century and 11th century BC. It was also the place where kings and other nobles were entombed. Today, Valley of the Kings is one of the most famous world’s archaeological sites.

 

A weekend away in Marrakech

Marrakech holidays are fast becoming a hot weekend break destination, and with its mix of vibrant culture, fantastic cuisine and unusual atmosphere, it’s easy to see why. It’s easy to forget you’re at the bottom of the dramatic Atlas Mountains, as their serene snow-caps are a world away from the hustle, bustle and noise of the streets of Morocco’s ‘Red City’ below. A compact city, it’s easy to enjoy getting lost in the labyrinthine lanes of the Souks, or covered markets, and backstreets of hidden grand palaces and Riads.

If you really want to experience the Morrocan lifestyle then consider Riads as an alternative form of accommodation to hotels or B&Bs. Often hidden down winding alleys, riads are an old-fashioned, but charming way to rest after a busy day in Marrakech. Large stone buildings, with windowless walls, light rooms, pools and terraces thanks to the open ceilings and skylights. Staying in a Riad, you’ll be amazed by how distant the hustle and bustle of the city seems outside; meanwhile you can chill out on the rooftop or relax in the luxury of a traditional Hammam. The terraces provide secluded sunbathing for those who want to visit Marrakech for a quick-sun break. As well as providing unique accommodation – and offering a huge variety in price, there really is a Riad for most budgets, with top-end accommodation coming with all the luxury you would expect, but smaller budgets still finding rooms with exceptional value for money – tea houses and restaurants can be found in Riads which make the perfect afternoon getaway from the heat of the city.

However, Marrakech is a city with sights just waiting to be explored, and the best of them, unlike the hidden Riads, are fairly easy to stumble upon. Marrakech is possibly one of those rare holiday destinations – having just the right amount of activities and being the perfect size for a weekend getaway. The first sight you’ll notice, and indeed, spend a lot of your time around, is the Dejemaa-el Fna square. Here food-lovers and those looking for a true travelling experience will enjoy eating al fresco with the locals at the traditional food stores, while others will simply love soaking up the atmosphere of the street dancers and storytellers – all looking for a way to entertain the tourists and locals alike. Here, right in the middle of Marrakech life, the wise holidaymaker will take a ‘when in Rome’ attitude and haggle. The street vendors are used to haggling every sale, and it is even considered rude not to, so be brave, suggest a lower price at the market stalls and save yourself some extra money.

The Koutoubia Mosque is another of Marrakech’s highlights. Located right next to the Dejemaa-el Fna, even when you’re out of the city centre the Mosque is visible. Marrakech’s answer to Paris’s Eiffel Tower or New York’s Empire State Building, the Koutoubia Mosque’s towering Minaret can be seen all over the city and provides a peaceful spot to visit – just make sure you cover up if you want to visit.

El Bahia Palace is another of Marrakech’s sights which show how the rich lived in tranquility from the bustling normality of the city. This 19th century palace is beautiful, ornate and popular with tourist tours. However, it is well worth the entry fee to marvel at the spectacular décor and pretend to be a nobleman or one of his harem for a few hours!

Sometimes the usual European city break hotspots of Paris, Madrid and Rome can get a little…well, tired. But it is possible to fit in 48 hours of fun, food and new experience somewhere new, but equally close to home, as the European classics. Consider weekend breaks in Marrakech!