11 of our favourite African destinations

Posted by Welcome Lishivha on 19 October 2018

Getaway journalists have explored so many different corners of the world, but Africa has captured our hearts. Below are a few of our favourite destinations from travelling the continent and surrounding isles.

1. Swakopmund to Etosha, Namibia

Photograph by Welcome Lishivha.


Namibia road trip: from desert sands to wild Etosha

I took a road trip through Namibia’s dynamic landscape, from dunes and rolling mountains to green flat plains and wild Etosha National Park. Flying over the Namib Desert into Walvis Bay, I was hypnotised by the beauty of the endless dunes sprawled below me that meet with the infinite ocean. The Namib dunes take up the greater portion of Namibia’s surface area and are some of the highest in the world, and the tallest in this area. It is a wonder that these dunes have not been declared a world heritage site. This desert is as spectacular as the images promise.


2. The Karoo, South Africa

Photograph by Chris Davies.


Go stargazing on this easy Karoo road trip

Karoo skies are among the clearest on Earth. Keep it simple with this easy road trip and get off the tar to see the stars. There’s no better place to experience it than in this wide-open land. The back roads of the Karoo have a strange effect on the mind. It’s as if mile by mile they clear you out, forcing your attention into equilibrium with the passing veld, slowly finding balance, until inside and out are united in a single vast expanse, where koppie-like thoughts appear slowly, take shape, then vanish in the mirror behind, writes Chris Davies.


3. Chobe River, Botswana

Photograph by Welcome Lishivha.


A one of a kind stay on the Chobe River

A stay at Chobe Water Villas offers a wide-ranging experience of taking in the ecosystem of the Chobe River and the Chobe National Park. The park is sandwiched between Zimbabwe, Zambia and the Namibian borders. Upon arrival in Kasane we were transported to the Chobe Water Villas on a calming boat ride that gave me a glimpse of what to expect. Chobe Water Villas lies on the Namibian side of the border overlooking its riverine namesake. From the balcony in my villa, I could see elephants, buffalo and various bird species, which were a bit too far away to identify, circling in swirling motion above the water.


4. Bazaruto islands, Mozambican



Mozambique-Dhow-Safari. Photograph by Melanie van Zyl

Exploring Bazaruto islands on a dhow safari

There are five islands off the coast of Vilanculos, but the only way to stay on one of them is to sleep in the exquisite but expensive high-end lodges. Luckily, there’s another way to experience these turquoise-encircled specks of land; according to Melanie van Zyl, the idyllic Bazaruto Archipelago should really be discovered the old way, by traditional dhow. An overnight camping dhow safari with Sailaway takes you to Benguerra Island, home of freshwater lakes filled with crocodiles, and to towering sand dunes surrounded by the bluest-imaginable hues on the archipelago’s namesake, Bazaruto Island.


5. Diego Suarez, Madagascar

Photograph by Tyson Jopson.


Biking Madagascar: You move, you live!

Ever wanted to travel an entire country from end to end? Here’s why riding a motorcycle across Madagascar could be the trip you never knew you needed. There are a number of motorcycle tour packages available, ranging from easy road-based trips with some off-road to challenging enduro trails. Avoid cyclone season (February and March). The best riding weather is when it’s a little cooler and dry so I recommend the winter months (June to August).


6. Reunion Island

The Grand Gralet- grand indeed. Teagan Cunniffe  shot this slow exposure using the LEE Little Stopper ND filter.

In photos: Reunion Island

Climb an active volcano, swim in rivers coloured ice-blue, sip gin-and-tonics while watching boules and eat questionable food in a place of surreal, natural beauty, writes Teagan Cunniffe. ‘We reached the rim of the crater. One minute you’re climbing and the next you’re one half-step away from the abyss. Down in the crater steam rose through vents in the earth and drifted up into the blue sky to join the high clouds,’ adds Darrel Bristow-Bovey.

7. Mauritius

No trip to Mauritius is complete without chilling at sea on a catamaran. Photograph by Melanie van Zyl.

Exploring Mauritius inside and out

Named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 places to visit this year, Mauritius is already a popular destination for South Africans – in 2017, the island welcomed 112,129 tourists from this country. Sometimes it’s a relief to only worry about the kind of cocktail you should order next (experience says always a piña colada if you’re on a tropical island) while the kids run wild in the beautiful and safe resort grounds. The rainy season is from January to March (there are often cyclones) and the east coast gets very windy in July and August (great for kite-surfers).


8. Zanzibar, Chumbe Island


Chumbe Island, Zanzibar. Photograph by Teagan Cunniffe.

Greening the big blue: eco-friendly travel in Zanzibar

Zanzibar’s gorgeous beaches, warm water and accessibility make it one of our favourite destinations. But this tourist influx is putting stress on the island. We explore four spots that are doing tourism right. South Africans do not need a visa for Zanzibar, which has two rainy seasons, so visit between July and October (we travelled in July) or December and March. The latter is the height of summer though, which can be very warm indeed.


9. Seychelles

Say yes to Seychellois sunsets. Photograph by Teagan Cunniffe

How to visit Seychelles without killing your credit card

Is this magical island holiday your wildest travel dream? Here’s a way to do it without cracking your credit card. Our Associate Editor, Caroline Webb offers 8 super-useful Seychelles budgeting tips. Seychelles is located near the equator, so the temperature is pretty much the same all year. There are trade winds from May to October.


10. Zimbabwe, Harare

Photograph by Melanie Van Zyl.

The inside guide to a weekend getaway in Harare

Harare is like a rebel child of the family – unpredictable, a little unkempt, edgy…and exciting to hang out with. After some time away, Zimbabwean Michelle Hardie soaks up the energy and joie de vivre of Zimbabwe’s capital city. Visit Harare at any time of year. The winters are beautiful with blue skies, sunny days and chilly nights. A really special time is when the jacarandas and flamboyants bloom around September and October ‒ the city is a mass of colour.


11. Lesotho

Everything you need to know about 4X4ing Lesotho

Lesotho’s landscape changes drastically with the seasons. Each brings its own set of joys and challenges. Summers (October to March) are green and wet and best for outdoor activities but some routes around April and May can be a challenge – fast-flowing rivers make water crossings difficult and rains render some sections very slippery. Snow in midwinter (June to August) is spectacularly fun but some of the high-altitude passes are prone to black ice, which is very dangerous to drive on.


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