Every nook and cranny of Africa is packed with magic, from coast to coast and corner to corner. It’s totally timeless and full of eye-opening, heart-warming surprises at every turn. On safari in Africa, you’ll be a tiny presence in a land that’s larger than life, dwarfed by vast plains, mist-shrouded mountains, thundering falls and huge herds crossing the savanna. It’s bound to give you a whole new perspective and keep you coming back for more.
If you’ve never been to Africa before, now is the perfect time to sneak it onto your list of New Year’s Resolutions as a late addition. Waking up to the sounds of the bush, watching elephant roam at dusk and seeing playful lion cubs rough’n’tumble on the savanna will be something that stays with you forever. We know from experience that it will be life-changing and we guarantee that by the end of the year, you’ll be as hooked as we are! So here’s to 2014, the year of African adventures!
Choosing where to go in Africa is an altogether more tricky affair. The possibilities are almost as endless as the views over the Great Rift Valley. But fear not – help is at hand! We’ve been prowling high and low to find the best tips for visiting Africa in 2014. Here’s our Travel Butlers Top Five guide, from morning game drives to mountain gorillas and majestic falls.
If you’re an animal lover or nature nut, Kruger is the place for you, with some of the best game viewing on the entire continent. Take sundowner safaris through the bush, sleep under a canopy of stars in a tented camp and get totally lost in a world of wild romance. If a Kruger safari has been forever on your wishlist but out of your financial reach, 2014 is the perfect time to go. As an added bonus, the South African currency is currently weak, making Kruger an amazing experience at amazing value for money!
The Great Migration is something that has to be seen to be believed. It’s just impossible to imagine the immense sight or the deafening sound of 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 350,000 gazelles charging across the plains. Every single year, millions of hooves create an epic rumble and kick up a vast swirl of dust on the savanna as the greatest herd on earth travels to greener pastures. There just aren’t words to describe the feeling of seeing this firsthand. It’s incredible, humbling, hair-on-end stuff and we can’t recommend it highly enough for 2014 – or indeed for any other year!
3. Cape Town
Cities just don’t come better than Cape Town. With a coastline to die for, a remarkable cultural history and the magnificent backdrop of Table Mountain, it combines stunning natural beauty with a truly cosmopolitan buzz. The Lonely Planet has rated Cape Town of one of its Top Ten Cities for 2014, and we couldn’t agree more. Not only this, but 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of the end of Apartheid, so go this year to honour the great Nelson Mandela and join a national celebration of hard-fought freedom and tolerance.
Trekking through tropical forest to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is a truly privileged, awe-inspiring affair. It’s something that few travellers are lucky enough to experience and, with only around 650 gorillas currently left in existence, it’s becoming rarer and rarer by the day. Visiting these extremely endangered silverbacks in north west Rwanda and Uganda is a great way to support their future, and right now they need your support more than ever. What better reason could there possibly be to travel?
Thundering, roaring, cascading, bubbling, spraying – Victoria Falls has a life all of its own. This is Mother Nature at her mightiest and 2014 is a great time to see her in all of her glory. Troubles in Zimbabwe have been steadily smoothing over and the introduction of the US dollar has made visiting the Zimbabwean side of the falls more economical, which has prompted The Lonely Planet to feature Victoria Falls on its Top Ten Regions for 2014. Moreover, Zimbabwe is planning to create what it calls a ‘Disneyland for Africa‘ next to the falls, so we implore you to get there now before it turns into a glitzy tourist playground!
So, there you have it – our top Africa tips for 2014. We hope this inspires you to set off on your very own African adventure for 2014 and we’re always here if you need a hand with the planning.
As Hemingway famously said, “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy”. Wherever you choose in Africa, you can’t go far wrong. In other words – hakuna matata! Happy 2014 to one and all!