It is said that once you visit Africa, it gets under your skin and you forever long to return. The wildness, the teeming life, the colours and the ancient landscapes are like nowhere else on earth. 

South Africa offers incredible safari experiences, sophisticated cities, world-class wineries and colourful cultures – a great place to start for the first-time visitor! Return again to catch the Great Migration in East Africa, the thundering Victoria Falls, the dunes of Namibia, or the wildlife paradise of Botswana. Yes, one of the biggest challenges when planning a trip to Africa is to narrow down where to go! It’s a tough call when there are so many iconic highlights on offer. With this in mind, World Journeys has put together its list of favourite experiences – a great place to start your planning....

5 Top Experiences in Africa

Gliding through crystal-clear waterways, at eye-level with tiny painted reed frogs, the gentle snorting of hippos in the distance… Welcome to the Okavango Delta, Botswana’s, and possibly Africa’s, hottest safari spot. Explore the channels and lagoons by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe, Africa’s answer to punting! Serene yet exhilarating, it’s an experience that places you truly in the wilds!

The aptly named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is our favourite place to seek out up-close and personal encounters with these impressive yet endangered primates. Your trek through dense jungle and mountainous terrain is rewarded a thousand-fold by even a glimpse of a gorilla family in its own environment. Ask anyone who’s been: it’s thrilling, moving, fascinating and even emotional. A gorilla-trek is that special.

Ethiopia tells the tale of human history, from the fossil of the 3.2 million- year-old hominid, “Lucy”, to the Orthodox Church of Axum (thought to house the Ark of the Covenant), to ancient Islamic trading cities. To be invited to experience a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony is your chance to engage with the incredibly friendly locals and discover an enduring tradition rich with ritual, etiquette and spice!

Madagascar is about more than lemurs! This Indian Ocean island evolved in isolation for over 88 million years, resulting in an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, with 90 per cent of its wildlife found nowhere else on earth. A melting-pot of Asian, Arab and African influences, it offers delicious seafood on white-sand beaches, towns with narrow cobbled streets and artisan workshops, and unfailingly friendly people.

The sound of thousands of wildebeest hooves thundering across the Masai Mara is a stirring experience, and to witness a river-crossing with its life or death drama is as spectacular as it gets! The plains of Kenya and Tanzania are host to this annual movement of vast herds of game, and of course the predators they attract. Be in the right place at the right time to witness the age-old game of survival in the wild.

Have you ever experienced Africa? Tell us about it in the comments below.