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Expansive and diverse, Africa is a land unlike any other. Offering the chance for incredible wildlife viewing, an African safari is the classic bucket list item. But Africa also offers so much more, like meeting local tribes, wine-tasting, and scenic ocean drives. Let Stride be your guide for finding the perfect trip, combining both comfort and excitement.
Africa adventure traveler, I presume? You’re not alone. Doctor David Livingstone, Henry Stanley, Sir Richard Burton, Ferdinand Magellan . . . explorers have long been drawn to the wonders of Africa.
But your trip will be worlds easier than that of past adventurers. Stride has found the best African tours: vacation packages that showcase the continent’s top attractions, offering adventures, photo ops and memories galore.
The second-largest continent, Africa is definitely big in size -- but to many outsiders it’s an even bigger mystery. We’ll fix that. What adventuresome person hasn’t dreamed of taking an African safari, gazing upon the pyramids of Giza, haggling in a Moroccan souk or trekking across the Sahara? It’s time to get your “Dr. Livingstone on.”
A safari is the first thing that usually comes to mind when you think about visiting Africa. Translating as “to journey” in Swahili, “safari” tours offer opportunities to see animals found nowhere else.. The big ten of African wildlife are elephants, lions, hippos, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, cheetahs and leopards. But don’t overlook the thrill of possibly encountering a mountain gorilla, watching an ostrich sprint across the Savannah, or looking up to see a long-tailed widow bird streaking through the air.
Stride Travel’s knowledgeable tour operators know the lay of the land and ensure that you see as many of these majestic creatures as possible. Lions may average 20 hours of sleep per day, but veteran guides can track them down. You may spot leopards (after all, they’re notably spotted) or hippos, humongous vegetarians that can reach breakneck speeds of 20 miles an hour (one reason they’re considered the most dangerous of all African animals). Your tour vehicle may even stay neck and neck with a herd of giraffes, or come upon elephants noisily feasting on the local vegetation.
Are Egypt’s pyramids and Nile River cruises off your radar? Then we say “tut-tut.” Taking a tour to the Cairo’s Giza pyramids – also site of the inscrutable Sphinx -- treats you to an unparalleled history lesson in the marvels of ancient engineering. And a Nile River cruise will transport you in comfort to the architectural wonders of fabled Luxor while drinking in the passing panorama of rural Egypt.
Desert treks can be a memorable feature of the Africa tour experience. The Sahara is as large as the U.S.’s Lower 48 and -- at just three inches of annual rainfall – is one of the driest spots on the planet. But you’ll also find incredible beauty and remarkable people who have adapted to living amid all that sand. And far to the south, watching the breeze shape the pink-hued dunes of Namibia is also pure magic.
And that’s just a taste of what you can discover on an Africa tour. Did we mention Indian Ocean beach holidays that afford romantic getaways by turquoise seas? Pointing your compass to an Atlas Mountain hike in Morocco? Visiting castle-like mud houses in the wilds of West Africa? The list of unforgettable experiences is nearly endless.
Ultimately, taking an Africa tour becomes part of who you are -- luring you back to this spectacular continent again and again.
• Pack some warm clothing for high-elevation areas, such as Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,000-feet-plus) and Ngorongoro Crater (5,900 foot elevation). And nights can get downright chilly anywhere in Africa, even near the Equator.
• The African sun is hot. Bring wide-brimmed hats, lightweight long sleeve shirts and, of course, good sun block for your safari.
• Be prepared to get up early and out into the game park as near to sunrise as possible, while the air is still cool. That’s when the animals are up and about – but not all the competing safari vehicles will be.
• As a buffer against long hours of riding on bumpy, unpaved roads, consider bringing a seat cushion along. Cameras take a beating, too, especially from the dust (protective plastic bags help).
• As for keeping the camera steady in a safari vehicle, a tripod is best but bean bags (if supplied by your driver/guide) fit easily across the edge of roof openings and reduce shake.
• Bring a good pair of high-powered binoculars – you won’t regret it.
• Don’t ignore some of the “lesser” creatures in the wild, such as hyenas and lizards, or the bird life: ostriches, cranes, flamingos, secretary birds (named for their quill-like feathers) and nest-knitting weaver birds.
Egypt, Namibia, Kenya, Morocco, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Madgascar, Ghana, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Algeria, Malawi, Togo, Gambia, Swaziland
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