“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life, because after Africa nothing has ever been the same…” – Suzanne Evans
Occupying almost a quarter of the globe’s surface, Africa is a place of contrast and colour, of palpable energy and extraordinary sights, sounds and experiences. It offers its visitors infinite horizons and intimate insights. As Mark Twain once said, Africa exhibits a full palette of “incongruities and incredibilities.” This ‘incredibility’ is showcased in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which is why we, at Nalah Africa, wake up every morning with a renewed passion for introducing our travellers to all that this region has to offer.
With its unofficial motto being ‘A World in One Country’ and its official motto being ‘Unity in Diversity’, South Africa delivers on its promises, and then some.
Cape Town is one of the world’s most exquisitely situated cities, boasting breath-taking views – from eternity-stretching seascapes to its awe-inspiring Table Mountain. As high-spirited as it is magnificent to behold, The Mother City offers visitors hip bistros and elegant hotels, world-class vineyards and Old Dutch heritage. Take a hike up to Lion’s head, bathe with penguins at Boulders beach, rub shoulders with the rich and famous in Camps Bay or embark on a voyage of discovery in a cable car, whatever feeds your travel bug, Cape Town is a must-see.
The Kruger National Park and its first-class selection of wildlife-rich private game reserves like Sabi Sabi and Shambala, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Africa’s most high-end and luxurious lodges and camps. Offering unparalleled opportunities to experience a safari in all its glory, the Kruger National Park is as well-conserved as it is well-appointed, giving the discerning traveller access to not only the continent’s creatures but creature comforts, too.
Commonly considered one of Africa’s greatest success stories, Botswana isn’t highly populated which means that it is a highly desirable safari destination. It’s unspoilt, vast, picturesque terrain is home to large herds and lone rangers, to sunset-drenched vistas and seemingly endless deserts. From the magnificent Kalahari to the geographically-significant Okavango Delta, Nalah Africa deems Botswana one of its favourite earthly places. There is no starker contrast than ’the great, green exception’ that carves tranquil lagoons and life-giving waterways into the dry, daunting, ruthless Kalahari sands. It’s amid these natural contradictions that our travellers enjoy all that Botswana’s isolated luxury camps and unrivalled wildlife has to offer.
If Namibia is ‘Africa for beginners’, as is often said, what a wonderful place to start.
Be left speechless by the highest sand dunes on Earth, be left in awe of the 192 species of mammals, 250 species of reptiles and 645 species of birds, and be impressed by the community commitment to wildlife conservation… these are just some of the marvels that await visitors to Namibia. A staggering 50% of the country’s wildlife live freely and abundantly within its several conservancies, which is why a safari to this special portion of the continent is guaranteed to be unforgettable.
Few countries in Africa can match Namibia’s sheer natural beauty. The country’s name derives from its (and the world’s) oldest desert, the Namib, and there are few more stirring desert realms on the planet, from the sand sea and perfect dead-tree valleys at Sossusvlei to the otherworldliness of sand dunes plunging down to the sea at Sandwich Harbour and the Skeleton Coast. Inland, running through the heart of the country, a spine of mountains creates glorious scenery – the Naukluft Mountains, the Brandberg, Spitzkoppe, Damaraland and the jaw-dropping Fish River Canyon. With rivers and wetlands in the Caprivi Strip and the endless gold-grass plains of the Kalahari, it’s difficult to think of an iconic African landscape that Namibia doesn’t possess.
Having read the papers and watched the news, you may feel hesitant and unsure about paying a visit to Zimbabwe. However, to discount this destination due to some bad press would be a real pity. Zimbabwe is an incredibly country to visit, despite its politics, because not only is it very reasonably priced by it boasts five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the warmth, hospitality and friendliness of the Zimbabwean people is extraordinary.
Labelled ‘the adrenaline capital of Africa’, the Victoria Falls offers those with an adventurous spirit several ‘bucket list’ opportunities, from white-water rafting, bungee jumping and croc-cage diving to helicopter flights over Mosi-oa-Tunya (“the smoke that thunders”). Just a short distance downstream from the mighty falls, are the Mana Pools, another World Heritage Site and an opportunity to experience the many herds and plentiful flocks of wildlife attracted by the four massive oxbow pools, impressively moulded and carved out of the landscape by the energetic currents of the Zambezi over centuries. Zimbabwe also offers its visitors the once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness one of the largest elephant herds in Africa and over 400 species of birdlife at its world-renowned Hwange National Park.
Take a laid-back hike down to the Boiling Point, passing troops of baboons along the way; witness a brave bungee jumper take the plunge from the famous bridge overhead; enjoy a refreshing sundowner on the deck of the uber-luxurious Royal Livingstone hotel; ramble down the river in a canoe hoping to spot a herd of hippo sunning themselves on the banks; savour a delicious breakfast in the true Old Colonial tradition on Livingston island; or – if you’re there at the right time of year – dare to go for a dip in Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool perched on the edge of the Falls.
With so much to do and see, and be awe-inspired by, it’s clear why Zambia has earned itself the title of ‘one of southern Africa’s up-and-coming holiday destinations’. One of the safest countries on the continent – and easily accessible via Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone or Kenneth Kaunda International Airport just outside Lusaka – Zambia offers its visitors 17 waterfalls, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site (the Victoria Falls) and 19 national parks, including South Luangwa which is regarded as ‘the birthplace of the walking safari’.
Soft, white sand, sapphire blue water and secluded, unspoiled beaches make Mozambique the perfect beach getaway. As much food for the soul as it is a feast for the eyes, ‘the pearl of the Indian Ocean’ offers visitors 2,500km of picture-perfect beachfront on the mainland and an array of exquisite, tranquil tropical islands just off its shores.
From reef fish and game fish to sharks and manta rays, the waters that frame this little piece of heaven are teeming with marine life. It’s a scuba divers’ paradise, offering those that venture into the ocean a veritable kaleidoscope of Mother Nature’s finest, including the ever-present ‘maybe’ of a leatherback turtle or humpback whale sighting.
As attractive to honeymooners as it is to families and water sport fanatics, Mozambique offers travellers an opportunity to truly unwind, unplug and reconnect with the things that matter – with each other, with nature, with themselves. Whatever your idea of relaxation is, from a horse ride to a boat excursion, from snorkelling to sunbathing, from deep-sea fishing to an authentic Mozambican meal, this paradise won’t disappoint.