Top five tips for experiencing the best of Africa

Go wild on safari

You can’t think of Africa without imagining the incredible wildlife that stalks its vast savannahs, and game drives are at the heart of any trip to Kenya or South Africa. Nothing beats the excitement of heading off on an early-morning or late-afternoon safari in the hope of ticking off the ‘Big Five’. And no two game drives are the same, with the wild animals you’re likely to spot all equally thrilling. Whether it’s a magnificent lion feasting on its prey, a herd of elephants – babies and all – or a family or warthogs foraging for food in the long grass, it’s an experience you’ll talk about for years to come.

Have a whale of a time

South Africa offers some of the best whale-watching opportunities in the world. The best time to catch a sighting is between June and November, when Humpback and Southern Right whales migrate to warmer waters. Hermanus, on the Western Cape, is a great place to head. You can keep your feet on dry land and look out for whales from the beach or the Cliff Path, or take a cruise to get even closer.

Out-of-this-world scenery

From the sweeping plains of the Masai Mara to the cascading beauty of Victoria Falls, wherever you are in Africa, you’ll see scenes that look like they’ve been painted on canvas. Watch the sun set behind a lone acacia tree surrounded by parched desert, or look on as hippos and crocodiles wallow in the muddied waters of the Mara River. South Africa’s dramatic scenery is equally enthralling. There’s the famous Garden Route sandwiched between towering mountains and the Indian Ocean, and the picturesque Cape Winelands, home to more than 300 wineries.

Experience unique cultures

The African continent is home to a diverse mix of cultures, where people, traditions, customs and cuisines are quite different to our own. Of Kenya’s 40-plus tribal groups, the best-known is semi-nomadic Masai tribe, cattle herders renowned for their traditional way of life, while the largest ethnic group in South Africa is the Zulu tribe. The staples of Kenyan cuisine are maize, corn, potatoes and beans, with plenty of meat such as goat, chicken and beef also on the menu. Head to the coast, where seafood is plentiful, and try ugali, cornmeal added to boiling water and formed into a dense block, or irio, which is peas, mashed potatoes and corn kernels. Must-tries in South Africa are a traditional braai, or barbecue, and biltong – a dry-cured meat.

Sun-drenched beaches

With so much to see and do on this amazing continent, you’ll need some serious rest and relaxation after your sightseeing extravaganza. That’s where white-sand beaches lapped by azure waters come in! Off the coast of Tanzania you’ll find the ‘spice island’ of Zanzibar, where you can soak up the sun and slip into the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Then in South Africa you’ve 1,500 miles of coastline to discover, including Boulders Beach, home to a colony of African penguins.