The arrival of May during my northern hemisphere childhood promised the long, warm and sometimes sunny days of summer. South of the equator, however, things are heading in the opposite direction. Days are shortening and chairs are getting pulled a little closer to the campfire.
Welcome to the world’s adventure playground! Africa is the destination to stretch your horizons and free your intrepid spirit. We’ve rounded up the best of the best rides, from mountain bikes to camels, horses to elephants and even a Harley-Davidson cruise!
With a coastline that clocks in at 26 000km or over 16 000 miles, it is not surprising that Africa has some of the best beaches in the world. Throw in pristine water, thriving coral reefs, swaying palms and frolicking dolphins and you have all the ingredients for the ultimate family beach holiday. And the accommodation doesn't let you down either: instead of heaving mega resorts, queues for fresh towels and sun lounger territory wars, expect to find laid-back African family beach villas packed with everything from their own pools, Jacuzzis and private beach access to being taken care of by friendly and knowledgeable butlers, housekeepers, drivers and chefs.
Namibia is a land of endless blue skies, vast horizons and crisp mornings: pure joy for photography enthusiasts. It is also safe, clean and organized with an excellent infrastructure, making it a favourite destination for family vacations, especially self-drive safaris (that’s travel lingo for independant road tripping - an ideal way to vacation with teenagers).
It’s 3:30am, -8°C / 18°F and all I want to do is lie down and go to sleep. The only reason I'm keeping my feet moving is my guide, Milton's, unceasing encouragement.
Few destinations rival South Africa when it comes to offering a wide range of attractions combined with an easy and convenient regional travel. Home to the Big 5 and breathtaking natural beauty, South Africa is an ideal safari destination for families, honeymooners and adventure seekers of all ages. The teeming game reserves are home to lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino in addition to rare cheetah and all the plains game favourites, like zebra, giraffe and gazelle. South Africa's Kruger area is widely considered the best place in Africa to see leopard, the most elusive big cat.
Contrary to popular belief, bucket lists aren’t only for retired folk. Today, youngsters are more switched on than ever before and after spending hours watching BBC or Lost Planet documentaries, many can’t wait to come to Africa and experience the thrill of seeing a leopard in the wild or elephant family at play for themselves.
April is when Africa’s great summer starts winding down and the year catches its breath before winter. Down in the sun-baked Western Cape, the city of Cape Town welcomes its first autumnal showers. Further north, safari destinations like the Kruger, Botswana and Zimbabwe emerge after months of heavy rain. Cloaked in green, they offer lovely scenery and birding but big game is often hard to find.
Walking along the banks of Zambia’s Luangwa River, watching the antics of kingfishers and African fish eagles over the water, all while following a guide tracking giraffe prints… this is what a really wild African safari entails. Sometimes, your own two feet are the best way to experience the wild wonders of the African bush.
The Serengeti, Victoria Falls, the Kruger Park ... Africa's most iconic destinations have long delighted their visitors but if you're the kind of person who likes to do things a little differently and prefer your wildlife encounters without the crowds, then maybe it's time to take the road less travelled in Africa.