Africa Overland Tours

6 Travel Experiences in Africa (That You Will Only Find in Africa)

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When I first arrived in Africa, it took me two days to work up the courage to leave my hotel. Seriously, it took me two days and I walked just two hundred metres to a nearby show before returning to a hotel.

But then the most incredible series of travel experiences in Africa followed.

It was my first time to go backpacking and I decided to join an overland tour in Africa. In truth, I had no idea what to expect and went from one day to the next completely unaware what was happening next. You see, we had a tour leader – you don’t need to think about anything at all when you have a tour leader!

Anyway, since then, I have spent almost ten years travelling around the world. And you know what? Nowhere comes close to Africa.

Here are six travel experiences in Africa that you won’t find anywhere else:

6 Travel Experiences in Africa That Will Blow Your Mind

Mountain Gorilla

1. Trek for Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

Where – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Nothing compares to an encounter with mountain gorillas in the wild. The permit for this privilege is quite high but if you opt for Uganda over nearby Rwanda, you will pay a lot less. Either way, as far as wildlife experiences are concerned, there is nothing like this trek.

Needless to say, the gorillas move around and nobody controls when or where they go. For this reason, the trek to find the can last one or two hours but on the other hand, it can last the entire day! Even if this happens, this is hands down one of the most unique travel experiences in Africa.

Himba Tribe Africa

2. Spend Time with a Himba Tribe in Namibia

Where – Kunene Region, Northern Namibia

The Himba Tribe is a very colorful and famous tribe in Namibia. From Bantu/Herero origin, these peoples are indigenous to the area and very distinct in terms of appearance. They were skinned skirts/clothing and cover their skin with red ochre, fat and dirt which protects their skin from the harsh sun. On a spiritual level, this mixture is believed to bring them closer to the earth and mother nature.

In my opinion, this is the most authentic and profound tribal encounter you can have in Africa. They live a very primitive life and as far as travel experiences in Africa go, this is certainly one of the most enlightening.

African Lion Pride

3. Witness a Pride of African Lion in Tanzania

Where – Serengeti National Park

As you know, lion can be witnessed in many countries in Africa such as Kenya, Botswana and South Africa. However, there is something truly special about seeing them in Serengeti National Park. Maybe the sheer scale of the park makes it different or maybe it stands out due to the backdrop of these landscapes. Either way, to see them in the wild like this is an unforgettable travel experiences in Africa.

Travel experiences in Africa

4. Fall Asleep to the Sound of the Wild in Kenya

Where – Masai Mara National Park or Hells Gate National Park

Whether the animals come to snoop around the tent or not, falling asleep to the sound of the wild is incomparable. Further, falling asleep to the sound of the African wild is really something. You can enjoy this kind of experience on most safari’s or overland tours but really, when you have a tent, camping in Africa is super easy as long as you take the right precautions.

Great white shark

5. Stare into the Eyes of a Great White Shark in South Africa

Where – Gaansbai (Near Cape Town)

I can safely say that this is one travel experience I will seek to avoid. Funnily enough, on my very first visit, I was booked onto a Great White Shark Dive as part of my  on my Cape Town itinerary but it was overbooked and I was asked to reschedule. Luckily, my flight home was the next day. Anyway, the great shark dive usually takes place in Gaansbai and gives punters a chance to step into a cage on the side of the boat, for an encounter they will never forget!

Humpback Whales

6. Swimming with Humpback Whales

Swimming with Humpback Whales in East Africa is not something you will find on the bucket list of your average person. Me personally? I’m absolutely terrified of anything bigger than me so humpback whales is a bit of “no, no”. That being said, I think we can agree this would be absolutely incredible for anyone who enjoys scuba diving and getting up close to these creatures is surely a once in a lifetime experience.

And that’s it – my first six travel experiences that you will only find in Africa! Have I missed anything? What do you suggest? Let me know in the comments!

Derek Cullen is an experienced overland tour leader in Africa. He is best known for cycling across Africa and writing about travel in Africa for many online media publications. If you would like advice or information for your trip to Africa, you can speak with him directly through the LiveChat box!

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