Born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa, this continent is in the blood for TravelManagers’ personal travel manager Gail Hughes. Over the past fifteen years she has travelled to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania, and she has compiled a list of her quintessential African experiences.
Stand in the place on Livingstone Island where Dr David Livingstone discovered the “Smoke that Thunders”, the mighty Victoria Falls. If you are brave enough, take a swim in the Devil’s Pool at the very edge of the falls, and then reward your daring with a scrumptious brunch.
When the Falls are in full flood and the spray makes it almost impossible to see them from the ground, take to the air and see why Dr David Livingstone said, “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”.
I love nothing more than spending time with the local people when I travel through Kenya and Tanzania. They will always warmly welcome you into their manyatta with singing and dancing, before showing you where they live, eat, sleep and tend to their livestock. If you arrive early enough you will have the opportunity to help the young boys herd in their cattle and sheep at the end of the day!
Spend a night out on a raised deck under a million stars, listening to the animals -both predators and prey – below.
If you’re going to Cape Town, it is a must to hop on the ferry and make the journey across to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years in jail. The island is now home to a colony of African penguins and you may also see Cape Fur Seals and various species of whales and dolphins.
After your safari in East Africa, head to the truly African island of Zanzibar and soak up the sun in this barefoot paradise. You’ll need to spend at least two full days exploring the historical capital Stonetown and it’s best to find a guide who will take you through the cobblestone streets, show you some beautifully carved doors, the church where slaves were kept, the birthplace of Queen’s Freddy Mercury and so much more.
No matter where you go in Africa, one of the best times for game viewing is in the late afternoon. Your guide will take you to their favourite spot and pour you a sundowner, (typically a gin & tonic) and then watch the sun sink below the African horizon.
If Gail has inspired you to experience one of her African highlights or for more expert advice on your next African adventure, you can contact her here.