AFRICA – a place that will never leave your heart

Girl doing the laundry

Have you ever wondered what it is that captivates travelers with this mystique continent? All you ever hear the media talking about is starvation, war, severe droughts and misfortune – and still, you can leave Africa, but Africa will never leave you as this continent has so much beauty to offer… Here are my personal top five reasons why I can’t get Mama Africa out of my system!

1. Friendly people and fascinating cultures

Friendly People

So far, I have traveled through 17 African countries and I will never stop being mesmerized by the warm and welcoming people and the diversity of traditions: from the Himba Tribe in Namibia with their earthy brown skin color and intricate hair design, the San Bushmen in Botswana with intriguing click sounds to the jumping and colorful Masai in Kenya or the dancing Dogon Tribe in Mali – Africa is full of fascinating cultures. And no matter where you will travel in Africa, you will always feel welcomed by strangers. My most memorable experience was in no man’s land between Mali and Burkina Faso, pitching my camp for an overnight stop-over. Thinking there is no one else around apart from my travel companions, this lovely old man appeared out of nowhere greeting us all individually with an enthusiastic handshake and a tirade of words before disappearing into the night again. His big smile and sparkling bright eyes radiated a happiness and content that simply filled my heart with joy….

2. Diverse and stunning landscapes

Diverse Landscapes Where do I even start? Every time I traveled through a new country, I thought this is the one I love most, only to get to the next one and again been completely blown away. Today, I even give up trying to figure out a favorite country as each and single one of them is unique and truly captivating in its own way. But let me share some of my goose-bumps moments with you; imagine the feeling when you stand up in a hot air balloon and watch the sunrise over the golden plains of the Masai Mara and hundreds of animals stomping over the grasslands – I literally became all teary, as I could not believe how beautiful Kenya is! Another breath-taking moment was a helicopter ride over the thundering Victoria Falls in Zambia/Zimbabwe and seeing thousands of liters of water cascading down the 100m drop across nearly 2km! Although I completely dislike getting up before dawn, it was worth the effort when I finally reached the top of the famous Dune 45 in Namibia and watched an amazing play of colors with the first ray of sunshine peaking out at the horizon. And for those beach lovers out there, I am sure you will be mesmerized by mysterious Zanzibar too – palm-fringed beaches next to the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean! All I can say is that Africa is a place of magic and natural wonders…

3. Breath-taking wildlife encounters

Breathtaking Wildlife Let’s be honest, who does want to see animals in a zoo? There is nothing more thrilling than having those close wildlife encounters on your Safari in Africa where they come in abundance! Listen to that roaring lion in the distance, a cackling hyena right outside your tent or grunting hippos while trying to fall asleep – you have never felt so close to nature! My best wildlife encounter was certainly in Botswana where I pitched my tent in Chobe National Park right next to a tree – at night time I woke up by a crunching noise, heavy breathing and flapping ears… a herd of elephants roaming around our camp site! My heart was beating in my throat and all I saw was a trunk swinging right in front of my nose when I tried to peak out my tent! Can you get any closer to a wild animal? I don’t think so… But even the small things of nature will make your heart skip a beat – beautiful colored butterflies, little frogs sitting on the reed in the delta or a tiny dung beetle, using all his strength to well, roll a piece of dung…

4. Africa will make you feel alive

Feel Alive I can’t describe the excitement I felt in my heart, when touching African soil for the very first time in Dakar. Happy as, I walked through custom and couldn’t believe the utter chaos that was waiting for me at the luggage conveyor. People pushing and pulling each other trying to be the first to get to their bags – only making sure that no-one actually is achieving anything. Finally getting my bag and thinking the worst was over, I didn’t anticipate hundreds of taxi driver all running towards me as soon as I stepped on the tarmac after leaving the arrival halls. By that time, I couldn’t stop laughing – I felt like a comic cartoon and the first days in Senegal, I just wanted to sit at a street corner all day, watching this amazing spectacle unfold: screeching traffic, horns tooting, goats bleating, yelling and laughing people, colorful markets and little street vendors selling grilled meat filling the air with smoke. No matter where you travel on this stunning continent, Africa is stimulating all your senses…

5. Africa has something to offer for every taste

Adventure As diverse its people as diverse the adventure you can have in Africa! It really is a continent that provides something for everyone! If you are an experienced traveler and have ticked off all classic safari destinations, then check out Mahale or Katavi in Tanzania or how about the remote Skeleton Coast in Namibia or a walking safari with the Masai through the wild Laikipia region in Kenya. There is so much to choose from: shark cage diving in South Africa, horse-back-safaris in Botswana, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or Mt. Kenya, wildwater-rafting on the Nile in Uganda or the mighty Zambezi in Zambia, helicopter flights over the Victoria Falls, hot-air-ballon-safaris over the Masai Mara or quad-biking through the Magkadigkadi Salt Pans or kite-surfen, scuba diving or snorkeling on one of the picture-perfect islands – the list is endless. Come and join the fun… Do you want to find out what will captivate you the most? Get in touch today…

Tell us why Africa will never leave your heart…

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