African Safari, African Vacations, Middle East Tours & Travel Experiences
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During the middle of the 19th century, Africa was referred to as the "Dark Continent," because it was a mystery to most people. This has now changed dramatically and, with enlightenment, there is such a wide range of excellent reasons to now visit this amazing continent on African vacations.
The Big Five
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and boasts “the Big Five”, the lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the rhinoceros plus a myriad of other wildlife species and birds. An Africa safari/game drive here will be an unforgettable experience. There are literally over 100 game reserves in South Africa. Some of the better known ones include Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Addo Elephant Park, Madikwe and Pilanesberg. When it comes to exceptional coastal scenery, the Garden Route is hard to beat and stretches pretty well from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. It features lakes, lagoons, lush forests and amazing rugged coastal scenery. Some of the major towns are Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, The Wilderness, Tsitsikamma National Park, Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn.
In Southern Africa, three other countries also offer amazing wildlife safaris. Botswana, where most of the animals are allowed to roam freely, has some first-rate game reserves such as Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta and Moremi National Park, all teeming with wildlife. In Zimbabwe, 12% of the country is devoted to either National Parks or Game Reserves suitable for Africa safari tours. The two principal wildlife reserves are Hwange which contains more than 30,000 elephants and Lake Kariba. Zambia has excellent game reserves such as South Luangwa National Park, which also boasts a large colony of elephants. The jewel in the crown for both Zimbabwe and Zambia is Victoria Falls, an awe-inspiring sight of beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River.
An abundant amount of animal viewing is available in East Africa on an Africa safari. Both Kenya and Tanzania offer a breathtaking array of wildlife on their savannah grassland plains. Kenya is a country of diverse landscapes with its vast plains, majestic snow-capped Mount Kenya and tropical palm-fringed beaches along the Indian Ocean coast. For your game viewing, you have a wide selection of parks to choose from. These include Amboseli, Mount Kenya, Aberdare, Lake Nakuru and the renowned Maasai Mara with its annual wildebeest migration, one of the remarkable wildlife attractions of Kenya. Take a break on the coast in Mombasa with its white sand beaches, coral reefs and exotic atmosphere while travelling on African tours.
Top islands for a beach vacation in Africa
Two other considerations for either an après-safari sojourn or just a beach vacation are the Seychelles and Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast. The beaches are uncrowded with powder-soft sands nestled next to turquoise waters. For water sports enthusiasts, there are wonderful opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.
South Africa has been described as “a World in One Country”. It has been blessed with spectacular natural beauty, a great climate and diverse cultures. There are awesome mountain ranges such as the Drakensbergs, subtropical forest, exceptional wetlands and bushveld alive with wild animals, all available on African vacations. Cape Town, a cosmopolitan and modern metropolis, is a premier contender for the world’s most beautiful city award with its natural setting sandwiched between the striking background of Table Mountain and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
The nearby Cape of Good Hope offers striking natural beauty and a short boat ride takes you to the infamous Robben Island. Johannesburg is a modern city with interesting attractions such as Gold Reef City for a glimpse of the Gold Rush era and Soweto Township, a community purpose-built for native African people and former home to Nelson Mandela. Pretoria is known as Jacaranda City with its impressive parliament buildings and the Voortrekker Monument. Durban with its mild climate and sandy beaches is a good place to relax, swim or maybe surf. Also take in the exotic spice markets. There are a number of other outstanding South African cities all of which have something to offer the visitor. on African tours.
The Garden route is also a great place for whale-watching on African vacations. For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Cape Winelands is a must with its magnificent mountain backdrop and classic Cape-Dutch homesteads. Visits to world-class wineries are available in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek. The Panorama Route is nothing less than breathtaking with the world’s third largest canyon, Blyde River Canyon. Scenic spots here are God’s Window, the Pinnacle and the Three Rondavels. And don’t leave out Pilgrim’s Rest, an authentic Gold Rush town. Zululand is the heart of the Zulu Kingdom, the place where many tribes and clans came together to form a united kingdom. The nearby battlefields have been witness to many clashes between the British and Zulus.
Namibia is a country with the highest sand dunes in Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert and the lowest canyon in the world in Fish River Canyon. Windhoek has historical buildings dating back to German colonial rule. Etosha National Park has an abundance of wildlife and a jeep safari will bring you close to the animals on an African safari.
Tanzania is home to thousands of wild animals and tropical birds when considering an African safari. Serengeti is the most renowned wildlife reserve bordering Lake Victoria. It is also well known for its animal migration which takes place twice a year. It has the highest concentration of large mammals on the planet and is famous for its lions, the highest concentration found anywhere. Other notable parks include the incomparable Ngorongoro Conservation Area, known also as “Africa’s Eden”, Tarangire National Park with the largest population of elephants in Tanzania and Lake Manyara with its tree-climbing lions and pink flamingos. Mount Kilimanjaro, visible from Nairobi, is a target for trekkers and climbers who want to reach the summit. Just off the Indian Ocean is the island of Zanzibar with its winding streets in the old port city of Stone Town. Other East African countries offering wildlife Afrrica safari tours are Uganda and Rwanda where you can also experience Gorillas close-up.
Egypt, one of the world’s oldest civilizations, is steeped in fascinating history and archaeology. Cairo offers the world’s most extensive pharaonic collection of artifacts at the Egyptian Museum. And who wouldn’t want to visit the Giza, Memphis and Saqqara pyramids. The best way to capture the essence of ancient Egypt is on a Nile Cruise sailing between Luxor and Aswan while visiting the Luxor and Karnak Temples and the Valleys of the Kings and Queens with a side trip to Abu Simbel with its huge reassembled edifice.
Don’t discount a visit to Ethiopia on African vacations, the oldest independent country in Africa and a land of contrasts and remote and wild places. These include the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains and Lalibela, with its network of old churches hewn out of red volcanic rock. Addis Ababa has many museums including the Ethnological Museum located within Emperor Haile Selassie’s former palace.
African Beach Resorts
Tunisia offers great beach resort opportunities on Africa vacations which include Hammamet, Djerba and Sousse. Then there is Carthage with its Roman amphitheatre and citadel. Morocco has a mix of excellent beach resorts, snow-capped mountains, cedar forests and the colourful Sahara Desert. Beach resorts include Casablanca, Agadir and Tangier. For something more exotic, head to Marrakech in the foothills of the snow-covered Atlas Mountains with its charming ambience, Rabat with its Kasbah (market), Hassan Tower and Royal Mausoleum and Palace and Fez, one of the best preserved walled medinas (old city) in the Arab world.
Ancient Israel and Jordan's Christian Sites
The Middle East is the place to see contrasting neighbouring countries such as Israel and Jordan. Israel is steeped in history and bursting with religious interest which can be found in abundance in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea of Galilee, Bethlehem and Nazareth. A visit to the Dead Sea is a unique feature. Jordan offers ancient Roman sites, Crusader castles, interesting churches, excellent beaches and unique desert landscapes. Petra is an important archaeological site inhabited by the Nabateans approximately 2000 years ago.
In the Persian Gulf are two exceptional stopover destinations, Dubai with its stunning white beaches and excellent shopping and the quieter Oman with is ancient forts, castles and souks from a bygone era.
Africa and the Middle East with their extraordinary and exciting destinations await your visit! Book one of our Africa tours, an African safari, or a trip to the Middle East today!
"Globetrotting with Goway" blog articles
For some additional reading, the following articles are from our blog “Globetrotting with Goway”….. a great source of information for those people who are, or who want to be, world travellers!
....... visit our Globetrotting with Goway blog for more articles
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