Africa has so many unique and evocative experiences to offer that it’s difficult to cram them into an all-encompassing list. Here are a dozen
bucket list things to do in Africa specially suited to summer.
See Maasai warriors jumping, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The Maasai in Africa call it the Adumu which means ‘to jump’ in the Maa language, and it’s performed to mark the coming of age of young warriors who will protect the cattle from predators. Jumping is straight bodied and heels never touch the ground, so supreme fitness is needed too. There’s usually music to help encourage jumping and the highest jumper is also the girls’
Snorkel in Lake Malawi, Malawi
Livingstone called it The Lake of Stars for its twinkling waters, yet what lies beneath the water’s surface has to be experienced to be believed. Near Thumbi island in Lake Malawi, Africa is a dive spot called The Aquarium, for its rainbows of
Gaze over Victoria Falls Zimbabwe and Zambia
David Livingstone named the falls for his Queen, locals simply call them Mosi
Avenue of Baobabs Morondava, Madagascar
There are nine known species of baobab; eight occur in Madagascar, Africa and of these, six are endemic. This is the home of baobabs, believed to be the quintessential tree of life. The area near Morondava in the west of Madagascar is baobab mecca. There are an uncountable number of these stoic looking trees here and the ‘avenue of baobabs’ is at the heart of it.
This sand road, which is a national road and used daily by locals and their ox-drawn carts, is lined by towering baobabs and is magnificently beautiful
especially at sunset. Locals fail to understand visitors walking the stretch
of road and admiring the trees, and drive past bemused and with wide smiles.
Drive the Skeleton Coast Namibia
On the Skeleton
locals say the sun only shines here in December – the rest of the year is chilly and fogged in. There is a surreal beauty here, a deep stillness and
many skeletons of ships, whales and even drilling rigs.
Get lost in the alleyways of Stonetown, Zanzibar
Zanzibar is as exotic and sultry as its evocative name, and Stonetown is the quintessential old African labyrinth-like city. It’s wasn’t actually designed to be that way, but the lure of Stonetown is wandering the narrow streets dotted with tiny shops and getting completely lost. When it’s time to retreat ‘home’, simply ask a local for directions and you’ll be out of the enchanting tangle of streets where time stood still and a magical atmosphere still prevails.
rock hewn churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia
They’re said to have been inspired by the dreams of King Lalibela, and some were built with the help of angels and completed in a single night. The
UNESCO protected churches just in the town, and others in caves in the
surrounding countryside. When you step inside it’s a lovely cool escape from the summer heat and dust.
Take a traditional East African dhow trip Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
It’s the traditional mode of travel in East Coast waters and the sailing
efficiency of dhows is still lauded. Built of wood and mostly powered by
wind and sail – with horsepower backup – these sailing boats epitomise
African slow travel. Sailing turquoise tepid waters between jewelled islands
in the Quirimbas of northern Mozambique, watching flying fish and
snorkelling en route is a summer travel experience par excellence. It’s a
fully catered and guided trip through paradise.
Commune with hundreds of dolphins, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Proclaimed the dolphin capital of the world for its huge schools of bottlenosed dolphins that frequent Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth is cetacean central. Not only could you be surrounded by up to 600 dolphins frolicking around the boat, but during the winter
Visit little Switzerland in Africa, Rwanda
This tiny central African country doesn’t only look like Switzerland, being mountainous and verdant and clean, it’s also amazingly efficient and progressive. The road network is first class, telecommunications are extraordinary, and wifi is everywhere. It’s way ahead of the pack in Africa and there are unique and unusual natural attractions too: endangered mountain gorillas and chimps in the highland
Visit the southernmost tip of Africa,Cape Agulhas, South Africa
Watched over by a stocky lighthouse, this is as far south as you can go in
Africa. You can also dine in the southernmost restaurant, or enjoy a pint in
the southernmost pub. Cape Agulhas, or Cabo das Agulhas, means Cape of
Needles and was so named by Portuguese sailors because their compass needles faltered here. This rugged coastline, with wild and windy weather, is also the official meeting place of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Winters here can be freezing, so summer is a good time to visit Africa’s southern tip.
See turtles laying and hatching on the beaches, South Africa and Mozambique.
Every summer from October to March is
Maputaland. The northern KwaZulu-Natal coastline around Kosi
By Keri Harvey