African Holidays & Accommodation

Beautiful African Holidays

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To most Westerners, African holidays are synonymous with the unknown – the ‘dark continent’.

What's Special About Africa

Safari holidays in Africa are the quintessential travel experience in this vast and varied Continent. Most visitors want to see the 'Big Five', which are usually listed as lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants and rhinos, and the term comes from an old classification of which animals were the hardest to hunt. The most famous and best reserves, and the most expensive (which aren't necessarily the same thing) nearly all have the Big Five. However, don't get hung up on spotting these creatures, magnificent though they are. Smaller animals are just as fascinating; hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, jackals, snakes, crocodiles and giraffe are all more than worth seeing, and even the humble dung beetle is interesting.

The African coastline shouldn’t be ignored. There is some great wildlife here too, including sharks and whales. However, if you’re not into animals, then you can also enjoy some fantastic beaches that are much quieter and less developed than coastal spots in Europe.

Although Africa’s most famous for sightseeing, there are some great cultural and historical sights to visit too. Egypt has more than its fair share of amazing things to see, including relics of Ancient Egypt, and some key religious sights. South Africa has done an excellent job of rehabilitating apartheid-era relics into sights that are attractive to tourists without being tacky -Robben Island is now an honest and thought provoking museum, and you’ll find other museums where the same skills have been employed. Other countries like Mozambique and Benin have sights related to colonialism and the slave trade.

There are some great multi-country holidays to Africa available. Backpacking and self-drive holidays are popular with budget travellers. However, you can also see Africa in style. Luxury rail trips are one way to do this – you’ll travel in luxury, stopping off for excursions to safari parks and key destinations.

African Holiday Guide

Northern African states like Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia are generally the most developed destinations on the continent. There are numerous beach resorts along the Med and Red Sea, which are an increasingly popular alternative to France, Spain and other European beach destinations. However, the beach isn’t the only attraction – North African countries have links to ancient and fabled civilizations, so there’s plenty else to see. Some of the best-known attractions on the planet are the pyramids and tombs of Egypt. There are also Roman ruins along the coast, as well as the remains of Carthage. You can also enjoy desert based activities like sandboarding and 4x4 driving. Don’t overlook this region’s cities either – Casablanca, Tunis, Djerba, Marrakech, Tangier and of course Cairo are all well worth a few days, or even longer.

East Africa has some great safari destinations – namely the Ngorogoro and the Masai Mara reserves, but there are many more within Tanzania and Kenya, and also Ethiopia. There are also numerous sights worth seeing in this region. Ethiopia has some of the continents’ oldest buildings, including walled towns and castles. Tanzania has the magical island of Zanzibar, and Kenya has the bustling cities of Nairobi and Mombasa, and is a particularly good destination for golf. All three countries have, or border one, some of Africa’s largest lakes – great for wildlife, but also for fishing. Kenya and Tanzania also have great beaches, and Kenya in particular is a fast-developing seaside destination.

West African has countries that are generally not as established as other destinations, and some that you wouldn’t probably want to avoid at the present time. However, don’t let the countries in the area that are experiencing instability from putting you off the nations that are safe, friendly and welcoming. Togo, Benin and Ghana have excellent beaches and are great for sightseeing. Little Gambia is one of the continent’s success story; its reputation as a chilled out destination far exceeds its size. Gambia is entirely surrounding by Senegal – visit the cities of Dakar and St-Louis, and see fascinating cultural and historical sights.

Southern Africa has some cracking destinations. South Africa has some of the most developed tourist infrastructure in the continent, and more people visit here than any other African destination apart from Egypt – it’s got something for everyone. There are excellent game reserves here and in Zambia, Namibia, Malawi, and Botswana. Mozambique and South Africa have some excellent beaches, as does Namibia – although you’re more likely to go to the latter to experience the vast Namib desert. Swaziland and Lesotho are great for trekking and festivals. If you’re not an outdoorsy type, then Cape Town is one of the world’s most spectacular cities.

Islands that are some distance away from the African mainland shouldn’t be forgotten either. Madagascar is a massively enjoyable destination, with great beaches, as well as the opportunity to see some unique plants and animals. Mauritius is a great destination to chill out and enjoy a family holiday, while the Seychelles would make an excellent honeymoon destination.