That moment you spot a leopard having a nap atop a rocky outcrop, the colours of its coat so vivid in the sun’s rays. Or the time a huge elephant, fresh from a mud bath, uses the safari vehicle as a convenient scratching post while you are just centimetres away. And nothing tops following a pride of lions on the hunt, successfully bringing down a warthog. It is wild, visceral, and will forever be cemented in your memory.
But there is so much more to Africa than her national parks and array of creatures great and small. There are wine regions with blankets of vines with a backdrop of mountain peaks. There are beaches, surf breaks, Victoria Falls, rivers where hippos soak and thousands of birds flock, the timeless sands and stark landscapes of Namibia and ancient cities in Egypt and Morocco that turn back time. Then there are wonderful places and ways that you can give back to this sun-drenched land … through conservation and Travelling with a Purpose.
Adventure World knows Africa, after 40 years of touring, discovering and learning about this continent, and has put all its experience into planning a new range of itineraries that fit the company’s ethos of responsible travel and culturally immersive experiences that make a difference to the local communities, and help conserve wildlife.
In the Greater Kruger region, guests on the ‘Authentic Southern Africa’ itinerary will visit the Kapama Game Reserve, bordering Kruger National Park. Its anti-poaching units are crucial to conservation of species in the greater Kruger region. Education is key to conservation, and as part of Kapama’s community development program, guests can visit Makwetse School during school term, see their Eco Village, exchange with the students and teachers, and can provide additional support via their Pack for a Purpose program.
The emphasis is on gorillas in the ‘Authentic Gorillas and Masai Mara’ itinerary where a visit to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park includes access to the Ellen de Generes campus of the Dian Fossey Fund. Guests will learn how gorillas are tracked and how important this is to their survival. Trekking through forest to see these mighty primates in their own environment will be a spine tingling experience. This itinerary will also take guests to The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. This centre raises and reintegrates orphaned elephants and rhinos, and is very active in anti-poaching measures.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is also on the itinerary of ‘Authentic East Africa’, which showcases mind-blowing scenery. In Tarangire National Park stay in a lodge fringed by baobab trees and marvel at the sheer amount of elephants in the park – one of the largest concentrations in Africa. Stupendous views await at a lodge perched on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, a conservation area home to over 25,000 large animals.
A different Africa
This land of plenty is home to many cultures and great contrasts. Away from the plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara, explore a different part of Africa, one of history going back thousands of years. Adventure World’s ‘Authentic Morocco’, ‘Authentic Oman’, and ‘Authentic Egypt and Jordan’ itineraries weave timeless tales through stunning landscapes, and will do it the Adventure World way, engaging with communities conserving the past, culture and traditions.
Egypt’s archaeological treasure will be uncovered with Adventure World’s local guides, many of whom are qualified Egyptologists. Guests will also be able to see a huge range of ancient artefacts on a visit to the soon-to-open Grand Egypt Museum, where precious and priceless items are to be presented for the world to see.
Adventure World Authentic Africa trips are all for independent travellers and can be customised to suit any style. For those itching to get off the beaten track, consider Adventure World’s 11-day self-drive trip in Namibia. After meeting an Adventure World representative, who will deliver your hire car and go through the itinerary and all the information about the trip, you can set off knowing you have the company’s concierge service should you need it. Namibia is known for its striking landscapes, from the Namib Desert, to Damaraland, the stark beauty of the Etosha Salt Pan, the dunes of Sossusvlei, and Etosha National Park, home to a variety of unique and rare wildlife including desert-adapted elephants, lions, rhinos and giraffes. Travellers will learn about the indigenous communities of Namibia, including the Herero, Himba and San people, with community visits to available in Damaraland and Okahandja.
Several properties, such as Onguma Tented Camp, Ongava Lodge and Mowani Mountain Lodge are all located on conservancies and are great examples of community-based conservation and sustainable tourism.
The connections you make to Africa, its people, and its wildlife, will resonate long after your journey home. But know this, it won’t be long before Africa tugs on your heartstrings again, and you will long to return.
To find out more about Adventure World’s new Authentic Africa itineraries, visit adventureworld.com.au