The BBC spoilt us again with their recent visual spectacular of the Earth’s wildest continent: Africa. They promised great things and they delivered, introducing us to new species, uncovering previously unseen animal behaviour and shedding light on some of the most remote parts of Africa.
Footage of touching gorilla gatherings, extraordinary lion-leaping lizards and high-octane marine melodrama had us all captivated every Wednesday evening for six weeks; four years of unyielding dedication and hard graft from the BBC Natural History Team certainly paid off.
New developments in technology helped to bring us scenes of nocturnal rhino rendezvous at an Etosha water hole and peek into the bizarre lives of tunnel-dwelling Desert mole rats. There was high drama in the Namibian desert during a staggeringly brutal giraffe battle and summit serenity ensued with the sweeping aerial shots over the roof of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro.
Thanks to Sir Attenborough and the BBC team, travellers have been inspired to journey into this incredible continent, whether it’s a first time foray or a return to delve into deeper, undiscovered corners shown in this ground-breaking series.
So here are the big five African adventures everyone is asking about…
GORILLAS & MASAI MARA
Consistently one of the best-selling holidays in the whole Exodus collection (that is around 500 trips in 90 different countries), and for good reason. Top and tailed by two of the world’s most iconic wildlife experiences; trekking to see Mountain gorillas in Rwanda and a safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara with a bit of adrenaline-fuelled adventure in between, this overland odyssey really is a trip of a lifetime.
NAMIBIA: DESERT 4WD EXPLORER
Anyone who saw that first episode of BBC’s Africa surely can’t resist the draw of Namibia; those magnificent dunes, that epic giraffe battle and the tragic plight of the Desert elephant calf. Days here are spent out game viewing in areas where animals vastly outnumber human visitors and nights are spent in camp under a blanket of stars. Many species, including the nocturnal congregations of Black rhino, are drawn by Etosha’s precious waterholes making it the perfect spot to snap that picture-perfect safari shot. Yes this is wild camping, but it is camping with plenty of creature comforts!
CLASSIC KENYA SAFARI
Combining a lakeside safari in the spectacular Lake Nakuru National Park with time on the rolling savannahs of the Masai Mara, this trip is wildlife extravaganza! There is a high concentration of rhino in Nakuru, and hundreds of bird species wheeling overhead or foraging amongst the foliage, while in the Mara, the big cats, big herds and even bigger skies await. On this Kenyan adventure big game encounters are guaranteed, as is the staggering scenic beauty of the Great Rift Valley. Staying in a luxurious bush camp in the Mara brings you close to nature in a wonderfully wild setting.
KILIMANJARO & MERU
The chance to take on two of Tanzania’s iconic peaks is an irresistible challenge for keen trekkers. Beginning with Meru improves chances for Kili success with more acclimatisation time. Mt Meru rises 4,566 metres above the plains of Arusha National Park, so trekkers will likely pass grazing giraffe, zebra and other game as they set out. Atop both Meru and Kilimanjaro, staggering views of crater rims, glaciers and the sprawling plains await. However, you can only see the curvature of the Earth from the Roof of Africa!
CYCLING THE DRAKENSBERG & KRUGER
If you like to discover new lands under pedal power, this trip combines two of South Africa’s greatest natural wonders; the Drakensberg Mountains and Kruger National Park. Cycle over the highest mountain range in the country reaching heights of 3,400m before descending through the sandstone formation of the Golden Gate National Park headed for a safari in the one of the world’s most renowned game reserves. With two days spent out on game drives in Kruger, expect to have just as much fun on four wheels as you have on two! From the mighty elephant to the spritely springbok, wildlife encounters await at every turn.