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Lonely Planet Africa

Lonely Planet Africa

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Lonely Planet Africa

valutazioni:
3/5 (1 valutazione)
Lunghezza:
3,139 pagine
29 ore
Pubblicato:
Nov 1, 2017
ISBN:
9781787011472
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Lonely Planet Africa is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you.

Wander the cobbled streets and graceful pracas rimmed by once grand churches and stately colonial-era buildings, against a backdrop of turquoise seas, on the Unesco-listed Mozambique Island; drink your way around whitewashed Cape Dutch architecture and the endlessly photogenic hills and vines of South Africa's Winelands; or discover the wildlife of the acacia-studded savannah of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya -all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Africa and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet's Africa Travel Guide:

  • Colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, culture, wildlife, safaris, cuisine, music, environment
  • Covers Egypt, Tanzania, Morocco, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Madagascar, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Cabo Verde and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Africa, our most comprehensive guide to Africa, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled.

Looking for just a few of the destinations included in this guide? Check out the relevant Lonely Planet destination guides, our most comprehensive guides that cover destinations' top sights and offbeat experiences.

About Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet is a leading travel media company and the world's number one travel guidebook brand, providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveller since 1973. Over the past four decades, we've printed over 145 million guidebooks and phrasebooks for 120 languages, and grown a dedicated, passionate global community of travellers. You'll also find our content online, and in mobile apps, video, 14 languages, 12 international magazines, armchair and lifestyle books, ebooks, and more, enabling you to explore every day. Lonely Planet enables the curious to experience the world fully and to truly get to the heart of the places they find themselves, near or far from home.

TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 winner in Favorite Travel Guide category

'Lonely Planet guides are, quite simply, like no other.' - New York Times

'Lonely Planet. It's on everyone's bookshelves, it's in every traveller's hands. It's on mobile phones. It's on the Internet. It's everywhere, and it's telling entire generations of people how to travel the world.' - Fairfax Media (Australia)

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
  • Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
  • Add notes to personalise your guidebook experience
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
  • Embedded links to recommendations' websites
  • Zoom-in maps and images
  • Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

Important Notice: The digital edition of this book may not contain all of the images found in the physical edition.

Pubblicato:
Nov 1, 2017
ISBN:
9781787011472
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Lonely Planet has gone on to become the world’s most successful travel publisher, printing over 100 million books. The guides are printed in nine different languages; English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Chinese and Korean. Lonely Planet enables curious travellers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place via guidebooks and eBooks to almost every destination on the planet, an award-winning website and magazine, a range of mobile and digital travel products and a dedicated traveller community.

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Anteprima del libro

Lonely Planet Africa - Lonely Planet

Africa

Contents

Plan Your Trip

Welcome to Africa

Africa's Top 20

Need to Know

First Time in Africa

What's New

If You Like

Month by Month

Itineraries

Safaris

Eat & Drink Like a Local

Regions at a Glance

On The Road

Algeria

Algeria Highlights

Algiers

Northern Algeria

Constantine

Central Algeria

Ghardaia

Understand Algeria

Algeria Today

History

People

Cuisine

Music

Survival Guide

Egypt

Egypt Highlights

Cairo

Saqqara, Memphis & Dahshur

Alexandria

Sinai

Dahab

Sharm el-Sheikh & Naama Bay

Suez Canal

Port Said

Red Sea Coast

Hurghada

Nile Valley

Luxor

Aswan

Philae

Abu Simbel

Understand Egypt

Egypt Today

History

People

Cuisine

Survival Guide

Libya

Understand Libya

Libya Today

History

People

Religion

Environment

Food & Drink

Morocco

Morocco Highlights

Mediterranean Coast & the Rif

Tangier

Chefchaouen

Atlantic Coast

Rabat

Casablanca

Essaouira

Agadir

Western Sahara

Dakhla

Imperial Cities & the Middle Atlas

Fez

Meknes

Central Morocco & the High Atlas

Marrakesh

Draa Valley

Ait Benhaddou

Merzouga & the Dunes

Understand Morocco

Morocco Today

History

People

Cuisine

Survival Guide

Tunisia

Understand Tunisia

Tunisia Today

History

People

Religion

Sport

Women in Tunisia

Benin

Benin Highlights

Cotonou

Southern Benin

Route des Peches

Porto Novo

Ouidah

Grand Popo

Possotome & Lake Aheme

Abomey

Northern Benin

The Atakora Region

Parc National de la Pendjari

Understand Benin

Benin Today

History

People of Benin

Religion

The Arts

Food & Drink

Environment

Survival Guide

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso Highlights

Ouagadougou

The Southwest

Bobo-Dioulasso

Banfora

Sindou Peaks

Gaoua & Lobi Country

The South

Reserve de Nazinga

Tiebele & Kassena Country

Understand Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso Today

History

People of Burkina Faso

Religion

The Arts

Food & Drink

Environment

Survival Guide

Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde Highlights

Santiago

Praia

Sao Vicente

Mindelo

Santo Antao

Fogo

Sao Filipe

Cha das Caldeiras

Sal

Boa Vista

Understand Cabo Verde

Cabo Verde Today

History

Culture

Food

People

Religion

Music

Environment

Survival Guide

Cameroon

Cameroon Highlights

Yaounde

Western Cameroon

Douala

Buea

Limbe

Bamenda

The Ring Road

Bafoussam

Foumban

Bandjoun

Southern Cameroon

Kribi

Ebolowa

Campo

Ebodje

Eastern Cameroon

Bertoua

Understand Cameroon

Cameroon Today

History

Culture

Food & Drink

Environment

Survival Guide

Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo Highlights

Brazzaville

The Coast

Pointe-Noire

The North

Parc National d'Odzala

Ouesso

Parc National Nouabale-Ndoki

Understand Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo Today

History

People & Religion

Survival Guide

Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire Highlights

Abidjan

The Eastern Beaches

Grand Bassam

Assinie

The West Coast

Sassandra

San Pedro

The Centre

Yamoussoukro

The North

Man

Parc National de Tai

Understand Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire Today

History

Arts & Crafts

Environment

Survival Guide

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea Highlights

Bioko Island

Malabo

Ureca

Rio Muni

Bata

Rio Campo

Cogo

Isla Corisco

Monte Alen National Park

Understand Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea Today

History

People of Equatorial Guinea

Arts & Crafts

Environment

Survival Guide

Gabon

Gabon Highlights

Libreville

Around Libreville

Pointe Denis

Pongara National Park

Coastal Gabon

Port-Gentil

Omboue & Fernan Vaz Lagoon

Loango National Park

Sette Cama

Mayumba National Park

Central Gabon

Lambarene

Lope National Park

Ivindo National Park

Understand Gabon

Gabon Today

History

Culture

Arts & Music

Environment

Survival Guide

The Gambia

The Gambia Highlights

Banjul

Serekunda & Atlantic Coast Resorts

Western Gambia

Abuko Nature Reserve

Makasutu Culture Forest

Tanji

Brufut

Gunjur

Lower Gambia River

Albreda, Juffureh & Kunta Kinteh Island

Baobolong Wetland Reserve & Kiang West National Park

Basse Santa Su

River Gambia National Park

Sanyang

Wassu Stone Circles

Understand Gambia

The Gambia Today

History

People

Arts & Craft

Environment

Survival Guide

Ghana

Ghana Highlights

Accra

Volta Region

Amedzofe

Tafi Atome & Tafi Abuipe

Wli Falls

The Coast

Kokrobite

Anomabu

Cape Coast

Kakum National Park

Elmina

Takoradi

Axim

Busua

Akwidaa & Cape Three Points

The Centre

Kumasi

Lake Bosumtwe & Abono

The North

Tamale

Mole National Park

Bolgatanga

The Northwest

Wa

Understand Ghana

Ghana Today

History

People of Ghana

Religion

The Arts

Survival Guide

Guinea

Guinea Highlights

Conakry

Iles de Los

Fouta Djalon

Mamou

Dalaba

Mali-Yemberem

Forest Region

Kissidougou

Nzerekore

Bossou

Parc National du Haut Niger

Understand Guinea

Guinea Today

History

Survival Guide

Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau Highlights

Bissau

Arquipelago dos Bijagos

Ilha de Bolama

Ilha de Bubaque

Ilha de Orango

Ilha Joao Vieira

The Northwest

Quinhamel

Varela

The South

Parque Natural das Lagoas de Cufada

Parque Nacional de Cantanhez

Understand Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau Today

History

People

Arts & Crafts

Survival Guide

Liberia

Liberia Highlights

Monrovia

The Coast

Marshall

Robertsport

Buchanan

The Southeast

Zwedru

Harper

Understand Liberia

Liberia Today

History

Culture

People

Arts & Crafts

Environment

Survival Guide

Mali

Understand Mali

Mali Today

History

Culture

People of Mali

Environment

Survival Guide

Mauritania

Mauritania Highlights

Nouakchott

Atlantic Coast

Nouadhibou

Parc National du Banc d'Arguin

The Adrar

Understand Mauritania

Mauritania Today

History

Culture

People

Arts & Crafts

Environment

Survival Guide

Niger

Understand Niger

Niger Today

History

Culture

Environment

Survival Guide

Nigeria

Nigeria Highlights

Lagos

Southern Nigeria

Abeokuta

Ibadan

Oshogbo

Benin City

Calabar

Northern Nigeria

Abuja

Understand Nigeria

Nigeria Today

History

Culture

Environment

Survival Guide

Sao Tome & Principe

Sao Tome & Principe Highlights

Sao Tome

Sao Tome (city)

Northern Coast

Southern Coast

Ilheu das Rolas

Interior

Principe

Santo Antonio

Understand Sao Tome & Principe

Sao Tome & Principe Today

History

The People

Environment

Survival Guide

Senegal

Senegal Highlights

Dakar

Around Dakar

Ile de Goree

Petite Cote & Sine-Saloum Delta

Mbour & Saly

Palmarin

Toubakouta & Missirah

Toubab Dialaw

Northern Senegal

Saint-Louis

Parc National des Oiseaux du Djoudj

Central Senegal

Tambacounda

Parc National de Niokolo-Koba

Casamance

Ziguinchor

Cap Skirring

Understand Senegal

Senegal Today

History

People & Culture

Survival Guide

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Highlights

Freetown

Freetown Peninsula

Banana Islands

River No 2

Tokeh Beach

Bunce Island

The North

Makeni

Mt Bintumani

Outamba-Kilimi National Park

The South

Bo

Turtle Islands

Tiwai Island

Gola Rainforest National Park

Understand Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Today

History

Culture

Survival Guide

Togo

Togo Highlights

Lome

Southern Togo

Lac Togo

Aneho

Kpalime

Atakpame

Northern Togo

Kara

Koutammakou

Dapaong

Sokode

Understand Togo

Togo Today

History

People

Religion

Arts & Culture

Environment

Survival Guide

Angola

Understand Angola

Angola Today

History

Culture

Environment

Central African Republic

Understand Central African Republic

Central African Republic Today

History

Culture

Environment

Chad

Understand Chad

Chad Today

History

Culture

Environment

Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo Highlights

Kinshasa

Eastern DRC

Bukavu

Goma

Parc National des Virunga

Understand DRC

DRC Today

History

People

Cuisine

Survival Guide

Sudan

Sudan Highlights

Khartoum

Around Khartoum

Begrawiya (Meroe)

Naqa & Musawarat es-Suffra

Northern Sudan

Wadi Halfa

Wawa

Kerma

Dongola

Karima

Eastern Sudan

Kassala

Port Sudan

Suakin

South of Khartoum

Gedaref

Understand Sudan

Sudan Today

History

Culture

Survival Guide

South Sudan

Understand South Sudan

South Sudan Today

History

Culture

Environment

Burundi

Understand Burundi

Burundi Today

History

Culture

Environment

Djibouti

Djibouti Highlights

Djibouti City

Around Djibouti

Lac Assal

Lac Abbe

Tadjoura

Goda Mountains

Understand Djibouti

Djibouti Today

History

Culture

Survival Guide

Eritrea

Eritrea Highlights

Asmara

Keren

Massawa

Understand Eritrea

Eritrea Today

History

Religion

Survival Guide

Ethiopia

Ethiopia Highlights

Addis Ababa

Northern Ethiopia

Gonder

Simien Mountains National Park

Aksum

Rock-Hewn Churches of Tigray

Lalibela

Eastern Ethiopia

Harar

Understand Ethiopia

Ethiopia Today

History

People of Ethiopia

Food & Drink

Survival Guide

Kenya

Kenya Highlights

Nairobi

Southern Rift Valley

Lake Naivasha

Nakuru

Lake Nakuru National Park

Central Highlands & Laikipia

Mt Kenya National Park

Naro Moru

Aberdare National Park

Northern Kenya

Isiolo

Samburu, Buffalo Springs & Shaba National Reserves

Marsabit

Loyangalani

Lake Turkana

Western Kenya

Lake Victoria

Kakamega Forest

Masai Mara National Reserve

The Coast

Mombasa

Malindi

Watamu

Southeastern Kenya

Amboseli National Park

Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo East National Park

Understand Kenya

Kenya Today

History

Culture

People

Kenyan Cuisine

Survival Guide

Rwanda

Rwanda Highlights

Kigali

Northwestern Rwanda

Musanze (Ruhengeri)

Volcanoes National Park

Gisenyi

Kibuye

Southwestern Rwanda

Huye (Butare)

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Understand Rwanda

Rwanda Today

History

Survival Guide

Somalia

Understand Somalia

Somalia Today

History

Culture

Environment

Tanzania

Tanzania Highlights

Dar es Salaam

Zanzibar Archipelago

Zanzibar

Pemba

Northeastern Tanzania

Bagamoyo

Tanga

Usambara Mountains

Northern Tanzania

Moshi

Marangu

Mt Kilimanjaro National Park

Arusha

Arusha National Park

Tarangire National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Serengeti National Park

Lake Victoria

Mwanza

Bukoba

Lake Tanganyika

Kigoma

Gombe National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park

Southern Highlands

Ruaha National Park

Southeastern Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve

Mtwara

Mikindani

Understand Tanzania

Tanzania Today

History

People

Survival Guide

Uganda

Uganda Highlights

Kampala

Around Kampala

Entebbe

Eastern Uganda

Jinja

Mbale

Mount Elgon National Park

Sipi Falls

Southwestern Uganda

Fort Portal

Crater Lakes

Kibale Forest National Park

Semuliki National Park

Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Kasese

Rwenzori National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Kabale

Lake Bunyonyi

Kisoro

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Ssese Islands

Northern Uganda

Murchison Falls National Park

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary

Gulu

Kidepo Valley National Park

Understand Uganda

Uganda Today

History

Daily Life

Survival Guide

Botswana

Botswana Highlights

Gaborone

Eastern Botswana

Khama Rhino Sanctuary

Francistown

Tuli Block

Makgadikgadi & Nxai Pans

Nothern Botswana

Chobe National Park

Okavango Delta

Maun

Eastern Delta

Inner Delta

Moremi Game Reserve

Kalahari

Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Understand Botswana

Botswana Today

History

People of Botswana

Environment

National Parks & Reserves

Survival Guide

Lesotho

Lesotho Highlights

Maseru

Morija

Roma

Thaba-Bosiu

Northeastern Highlands

Sani Top

Central Highlands

Semonkong

Southern Lesotho

Malealea

Quthing

Understand Lesotho

Lesotho Today

History

The Culture

Environment

Survival Guide

Madagascar

Madagascar Highlights

Antananarivo

Central Madagascar

Antsirabe

Fianarantsoa

Parc National de Ranomafana

Ambalavao

Southern Madagascar

Parc National de l'Isalo

The Great Reef

Northern Madagascar

Nosy Be

Diego Suarez (Antsiranana)

Eastern Madagascar

Parc National Andasibe Mantadia

Andasibe

Tamatave (Toamasina)

Ile Sainte Marie

Understand Madagascar

Madagascar Today

History

Madagascar's People

Religion

Environment

Survival Guide

Malawi

Malawi Highlights

Lilongwe

Northern Malawi

Karonga

Livingstonia

Nyika National Park

Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve

Mzuzu

Nkhata Bay

Likoma Island

Central Malawi

Monkey Bay

Cape Maclear

Southern Malawi

Liwonde

Liwonde National Park

Zomba

Blantyre & Limbe

Mt Mulanje

Majete Wildlife Reserve

Understand Malawi

Malawi Today

History

The Culture

The Arts

Environment

Survival Guide

Mozambique

Mozambique Highlights

Maputo

Southern Mozambique

Inhambane

Tofo

Vilankulo

Bazaruto Archipelago

Central Mozambique

Beira

Chimoio

Quelimane

Northern Mozambique

Nampula

Mozambique Island

Cuamba

Lake Niassa

Pemba

Quirimbas Archipelago

Understand Mozambique

Mozambique Today

History

People

Food

Wildlife

National Parks & Reserves

Survival Guide

Namibia

Namibia Highlights

Windhoek

North-Central Namibia

Erongo Mountains (Erongoberg)

Erindi Private Game Reserve

Okonjima Nature Reserve

Waterberg Plateau Park

Tsumeb

Etosha National Park

Northern Namibia

Rundu

Khaudum National Park

The Caprivi Strip

Northwestern Namibia

Damaraland

The Kaokoveld

The Skeleton Coast

Central Namibia

Swakopmund

Namib-Naukluft Park

Southern Namibia

Fish River Canyon

Luderitz

Understand Namibia

Namibia Today

History

The Namibian People

Environment

Survival Guide

South Africa

South Africa Highlights

Cape Town

Winelands

Stellenbosch

Garden Route

Knysna

Plettenberg Bay

Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma Section)

Sunshine Coast

Jeffrey's Bay

Port Elizabeth

Hogsback

The Wild Coast

Port St Johns

KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)

Durban

Zululand

Drakensberg & uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

Free State

Bloemfontein

Gauteng

Johannesburg

Soweto

Pretoria

Mpumalanga

Nelspruit (Mbombela)

Graskop

Kruger National Park

Northern Cape

Kimberley

Upington

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

Understand South Africa

South Africa Today

History

People

Religion

Survival Guide

Swaziland

Swaziland Highlights

Mbabane

Central Swaziland

Ezulwini Valley

Lobamba

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Manzini

Malolotja Nature Reserve

Northeastern Swaziland

Hlane Royal National Park

Mlawula Nature Reserve

Mkhaya Game Reserve

Understand Swaziland

Swaziland Today

History

Culture

Environment

Survival Guide

Victoria Falls

Victoria Falls Highlights

Seventh Natural Wonder of the World

Activities

Zambia

Livingstone

Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls (town)

Zambia

Zambia Highlights

Lusaka

Eastern Zambia

South Luangwa National Park

Southern Zambia

Lower Zambezi National Park

Siavonga

Western Zambia

Kafue National Park

Liuwa Plain National Park

Northern Zambia

Kasanka National Park

Shiwa Ngandu

Kasama

Lake Tanganyika

Kalambo Falls

The Copperbelt

Ndola

Kitwe

Chingola

Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage

Understand Zambia

Zambia Today

History

People

Survival Guide

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Highlights

Harare

Northern Zimbabwe

Kariba Town

Matusadona National Park

Mana Pools National Park

Eastern Highlands

Mutare

Chimanimani

Chimanimani National Park

The Midlands & Southeastern Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe

Gonarezhou National Park

Western Zimbabwe

Bulawayo

Matobo National Park

Hwange National Park

Understand Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Today

History

People of Zimbabwe

Environment

Survival Guide

Understand

Understand Africa

Africa Today

History

Culture

African Music

Environment

Wildlife

Survive

Directory AZ

Accommodation

Bargaining

Children

Customs Regulations

Dangers & Annoyances

Electricity

Embassies & Consulates

Emergency & Important Numbers

Insurance

Internet Access

Legal Matters

LGBTIQ Travellers

Maps

Money

Opening Hours

Photography

Post

Public Holidays

Telephone

Time

Toilets

Tourist Information

Travellers with Disabilities

Visas

Volunteering

Women Travellers

Work

Transport

Getting There & Away

Getting Around

Health

Before You Go

In Transit

In Africa

Language

Behind the Scenes

Our Writers

Welcome to Africa

Africa. There's nowhere like it on the planet for wildlife, wild lands and rich traditions that endure. Prepare to fall in love.

Natural Beauty

Whether you're a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent's epic story is written is itself astonishing, and reason enough to visit. From the tropical rainforests and glorious tropical coastline of Central Africa to the rippling dunes of the Namib Desert, from the signature savannah of the Serengeti to jagged mountains, green-tinged highlands and deep-gash canyons that mark the Great Rift Valley's continental traverse – wherever you find yourself on this big, beautiful continent, Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty.

New Africa

The past retains its hold over the lives of many Africans, but just as many have embraced the future, bringing creativity and sophistication to the continent's cities and urban centres. Sometimes this New Africa is expressed in a creative-conservation search for solutions to the continent's environmental problems, or in an eagerness to break free of the restrictive chains of the past and transform the traveller experience. But just as often, modern Africans are taking all that is new and fusing it onto the best of the old.

Ancient Africa

On this continent where human beings first came into existence, customs, traditions and ancient rites tie Africans to generations and ancestors past and to the collective memory of myriad people. In many rural areas it can feel as though the modern world might never have happened, and they are all the better for it, and old ways of doing things – with a certain grace and civility, hospitality and a community spirit – survive. There are time-honoured ceremonies, music that dates back to the days of Africa's golden empires, and masks that tell stories of spirit worlds never lost. Welcome to Old Africa.

Wildlife Bonanza

A Noah's ark of wildlife brings Africa's landscapes to life, with a tangible and sometimes profoundly mysterious presence that adds so much personality to the African wild. So many of the great beasts, including elephants, hippos and lions, call Africa home. Going on safari may be something of a travel cliché, but we're yet to find a traveller who has watched the wildlife world in motion in the Masai Mara, watched the epic battles between predator and prey in the Okavango Delta, or communed with gorillas and surfing hippos in Gabon and has not been reduced to an ecstatic state of childlike wonder.

Maasai warriors, Masai Mara National Reserve | Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock ©

Why I Love Africa

By Anthony Ham, Writer

Africa is for me a place of the soul. It is the wildlife, the great deserts and the savannah plains that speak of eternity, and the people who bring such warmth to the experience. It is the Serengeti and the Sahara, Etosha and Amboseli National Parks, the Namib Desert and the forests of Madagascar. It is drawing near to a black-maned lion in the Kalahari, or watching the hyenas stream across the plains of Liuwa Plain National Park, or sleeping in a luxury lodge or remote wilderness campsite and staring up at the stars in utter, blissful silence.

Africa's Top 20

Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

The mighty Victoria Falls is worth crossing the continent for, whether it's to laze in the aptly named Devil's Pool (take the precarious walk, literally out across the top of the falls to this natural infinity pool, to see what we mean) or to get active with all manner of adventures from white-water rafting to bungee jumping within sight and sound of the falls, known locally as 'the smoke that thunders'. It's a beautiful, beautiful place, not to mention one of the most awe-inspiring sights on the continent.

Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock ©

Top Experiences

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The last of the seven wonders of the ancient world stands right on the edge of Cairo, as if guarding the desert from the city's creeping urban sprawl. You may have seen the images a thousand times beforehand but nothing beats your first face-to-face meeting with the impeccable geometry and sheer bulk of this mammoth funerary complex. Battered by the passing of time, from the Sphinx' chipped nose to the graffiti of past explorers, these age-old structures have not lost their ability to awe.

Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock ©

Top Experiences

Medinas, Morocco

Ancient meets modern in the medinas (old, walled city-centres) of Morocco, and those of Fez and Marrakesh sit at the top of any traveller’s list. Narrow alleys hide centuries-old riads restored into fabulous guesthouses, while the delivery man outside unloads his donkeys while chatting on his mobile phone. Fez is the oldest of the two, with celebrated mosques and the longest and most-winding streets, while in Marrakesh all paths seem to converge on the Djemaa el-Fna square, which springs to life daily with 1001 nights' worth of attractions.

MICHAEL HEFFERNAN/LONELY PLANET ©

Top Experiences

Mozambique Island, Mozambique

There are no crowds and few vehicles, but Mozambique Island is hardly silent. Echoes of its past mix with the squawking of chickens, the sounds of children playing and the calls of the muezzin to remind you that the island is still very much alive. Wander along cobbled streets, past graceful praças (plazas) rimmed by once-grand churches and stately colonial-era buildings. This Unesco World Heritage Site, with its time-warp atmosphere and backdrop of turquoise seas, is a Mozambique highlight, and not to be missed.

YURY BIRUKOV/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

Lalibela, Ethiopia

Follow a white-robed pilgrim down a dark passageway, hear the hypnotic thud of a muffled drumbeat, smell the sweet aroma of incense and emerge into a sliver of daylight just in time to see a priest in royal robes, holding a cross of silver, enter a church carved into and out of the rust-red rock. Lalibela is a place of pilgrimage where the buildings are frozen in stone and the soul is alive with the rites and awe of Christianity at its most ancient and unbending.

Bet Giyorgis | JON BRATT/GETTY IMAGES ©

Top Experiences

Stone Town in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Whether it's your first visit or your 50th, Zanzibar's Stone Town never loses its touch of the exotic. First you'll see the skyline, with the spires of St Joseph's Cathedral and the Old Fort. Then wander through narrow alleyways that reveal surprises at every turn. Linger at dusty shops scented with cloves; watch as kanzu-clad men play the board game bao; admire intricate henna designs on the hands of women. Island rhythms quickly take over as mainland life slips away.

MATTIAATH/GETTY IMAGES ©

Top Experiences

Dakar, Senegal

Hit West Africa’s trendiest nightlife venues and swing your hips to mbalax, the mix of Cuban beats and traditional drumming that forms the heart and soul of the Senegalese music scene. Relax with a lazy day at the beach and feast on fresh-off-the-boat seafood, or explore the workshops of Senegal’s most promising artists at the Village des Arts. Finally, climb up one of Dakar’s 'breasts' to contemplate the controversial, socialist-style African Renaissance Monument and take in sweeping views across the city.

DEREJE BELACHEW/500PX ©

Top Experiences

Etosha National Park, Namibia

There are few places in Southern Africa that can compete with the wildlife prospects in extraordinary Etosha National Park. A network of water holes dispersed among the bush and grasslands surrounding the pan – a blindingly white, flat, saline desert that stretches into the horizon – attracts enormous congregations of animals. A single water hole can render thousands of sightings over the course of a day – Etosha is simply one of the best places on the planet for watching wildlife.

Zebras | KERRIN/500PX ©

Top Experiences

Kalahari, Botswana

There is something about the Kalahari. Perhaps it owes its unmistakable gravitas to its sheer vastness; Africa’s largest protected wilderness area is a place where the San inhabitants once roamed free and still guide travellers out onto their ancestral lands. The presence of black-maned Kalahari lions doesn’t hurt either. Whatever the reason, this is not your average desert; it's home to ancient river valleys, light woodland and surprising concentrations of wildlife around its extensive network of salt pans. And then there is the silence of the Kalahari night…

Red hartebeest | JOHAN SWANEPOEL/500PX ©

Top Experiences

Masai Mara Wildlife, Kenya

The sweeping savannah of the Masai Mara, studded with acacia trees and cut through by the occasional red-dirt road, is the perfect theatre for the world’s most spectacular display of wildlife. Gangly giraffes, ambling elephant herds and skittish zebras are just some of sights you’re pretty much guaranteed to see. The drama is at its most intense in July and/or August, the start of the tragicomic wildebeest migration, when vast numbers of the hapless animals fall prey to rushing rivers, pacing lions and scavenging hyenas.

Silhouette of a wildebeest and acacia tree | MARIO MORENO/500PX ©

Top Experiences

Gorilla Tracking

It's one of the most thrilling wildlife encounters on the planet; nothing can really prepare you for that first moment as you stand just metres from a family of mountain gorillas. It’s an utterly humbling experience – particularly that first glimpse of the silverback, whose sheer size and presence will leave you in awe. Or the glee as you watch adorable fuzzy-black babies clowning about. The term ‘once in a lifetime’ is often bandied about, but gorilla tracking in Uganda's Bwindi, Rwanda or DRC is a genuine one that you’ll cherish forever.

Gorilla in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda | ERIC LAFFORGUE/LONELY PLANET ©

Top Experiences

Cape Town, South Africa

Sitting in the continent’s southwest corner, Cape Town is one of those places that travellers don’t want to leave. The city is heavily peppered with fine restaurants, theatres, museums and galleries; the suburbs boast encounters with penguins, seals and baboons. The coast caters to beachgoers, surfers and photographers with its white-sand beaches and craggy ocean-sprayed cliffs. And sitting amid it all is the ever-visible form of Table Mountain, a hub for adventure activities including hiking, climbing, mountain biking and abseiling.

MICHAELJUNG/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

Parc National d'Andringitra, Madagascar

With more than 100km of trails, a majestic mountain range, three challenging peaks and epic landscapes, this national park is a trekker’s paradise. Walkers will be rewarded with a dip in natural swimming pools and wonderful accommodation. You could also spend a couple of nights under the stars: the park office rents out everything you need to mount your very own expedition, from guides to cooks, porters and even camping equipment. Just don’t forget a warm sleeping bag.

MILOSK50/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

Lake Malawi & Likoma Island, Malawi

This emerald jewel in Malawi's crown is fringed by golden beaches and offers travellers an underwater palace to swim among brilliantly coloured chiclid fish. On this 'interior sea', measuring 587km long and 84km wide, is a hidden idyll straight from a Bond movie: Likoma Island. With its towering cathedral, the country's finest backpacker hostel and one of Africa's most chichi boutique hotels, Likoma is the ultimate escape. Think turquoise coves, scuba diving, candlelit beach dinners and rock-carved rooms…and you're halfway there.

ERICHON/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

Slave Forts, Ghana

No matter how well versed you are with the history of the slave trade, nothing can prepare you for the experience of visiting Ghana’s slave forts. Standing in the damp dungeons or being shut in the pitch-black punishment cells will chill your blood, and the wreaths and messages left by those whose forebears went through the ordeal are poignant. Cape Coast Castle and St George's Castle are the two largest and best-preserved forts, but there are many smaller ones along the coast too, which tell the same sorry tale.

Cape Coast Castle | FELIX LIPOV/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Strolling through the bush single file with a rifle-carrying scout in the lead, there’s no Land Rover engine sounds, no obstructed sight lines and no barrier between you and the wildlife, both predator and prey. Animals scurry in the underbrush upon your approach, which means the focus is on the little things, including a CSI-like investigation of animal dung. Even simply sitting under a tree looking over a plain filled with munching grazers is an opportunity for a quasi-meditative immersion in the park.

Hippo yawning | MARCO POZZI PHOTOGRAPHER/GETTY IMAGES ©

Top Experiences

Loango National Park, Gabon

Of Gabon's myriad spectacular national parks, Loango is undoubtedly the most impressive. Heaving with elephants, hippos, gorillas, buffaloes, monkeys and crocodiles, Loango offers long journeys through island-studded lagoons, nature hikes through virgin rainforest and lonely walks along empty beaches. Whether you visit the luxuriously appointed north of the park, with its eye-wateringly expensive safari lodges, or choose a far cheaper Do-It-Yourself approach in the charming hamlet of Setté Cama in the south, the impressive wildlife, the vast Eden-like empty spaces and the charming locals will be the same.

MICHAL JIROUS/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

Sossusvlei, Namibia

The towering red dunes of Sossusvlei rank among the most beautiful desert landscapes on earth. They're also one of the more improbable: the sands originated in the Kalahari millions of years ago and are now reclaiming land from the sea. The valley is dotted by hulking dunes, and interspersed with unearthly, dry vleis (low, open landscapes). Clambering up the face of these constantly moving giants is a uniquely Namibian experience, and as you survey the seemingly endless sand sea that surrounds you, you'll feel as though time itself has slowed.

SBEDAUX/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Top Experiences

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango in Botswana is an astonishing, beautiful and wild place. Home to wildlife spectacles of rare power and drama, the delta changes with the seasons as floodwaters ebb and flow, creating islands, river channels and pathways for animals that move this way and that at the waters’ behest. No visit to the delta is complete without drifting in a traditional mokoro (dugout canoe). Exclusive and remote lodges are an Okavango speciality, and self-drivers can find outstanding campsites in the heart of the Okavango’s Moremi Game Reserve.

TORSTEN KAROCK/GETTY IMAGES ©

Top Experiences

South Africa's Winelands

Whitewashed Cape Dutch architecture dots an endlessly photogenic landscape of rolling hills and vines in neat rows. The Winelands is the quintessential Cape, where world-class wines are the icing on the proverbial cake. Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl, the area's holy trinity of wine-tasting towns, host some of the southern hemisphere's oldest, largest and prettiest wine estates.

ILONDE VAN HOOLWERFF/500PX ©

Need to Know

Currency

More than 25 different local currencies. US dollar ($) most readily recognised international currency; euro (€) and UK pound (£) also accepted

Language

Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and thousands of African languages

Mobile Phones

Buy local SIM cards to access local mobile networks cheaply.

Money

ATMs are increasingly common but don't rely on them or being able to pay by credit card; always carry sufficient cash.

Time

Four times zones from UTC (former GMT) in the west to UTC plus three hours in the east.

Visas

For short trips sort out visas before leaving home; for longer ones, arrange as you go. In some countries they're available at borders, others not.

When to Go

High Season

A North Africa Nov–Mar is the coolest period.

A Central Africa Jun–Sep is the dry time.

A East Africa Dec–Feb and Jun–Sep are the two main dry seasons.

A West Africa Nov–Apr is the dry season.

A Southern Africa Nov–Mar, but rain can continue until Dec in South Africa.

Shoulder

A North Africa Apr, May, Sep and Oct.

A Central, West & Southern Africa Oct and May.

A East Africa Mar and Oct.

Low Season

A North & West Africa Jun–Aug.

A Central Africa Nov–Apr.

A East Africa Apr, May and Nov.

A Southern Africa Jun–Sep; great for wildlife watching.

Useful Websites

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/africa) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Safari Bookings (www.safaribookings.com) Fantastic resource for booking your safari, with expert and traveller reviews.

Expert Africa (www.expertafrica.com) A tour operator with extensive online coverage of the region.

Travel Africa (www.travelafricamag.com) Features articles on every corner of the continent and a useful 'safari planner'.

Africa Geographic (www.africageographic.com) Nature-focused Africa online mag with good wildlife and birdwatching info.

BBC News (www.bbcnews.com/africa) Good for up-to-the-minute news from Africa.

Exchange Rates

For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than US$100

A Dorm bed: US$10–20

A Double room in a budget hotel: up to US$75

A Meal at cheap hotel or street stall: less than US$5

Midrange: US$100–250

A Double room in a midrange hotel: US$75–200

A Lunch or dinner in a midrange restaurant: US$20

A Car hire: from $30 per day

Top End: More than US$250

A Safari-lodge or top-end hotel room: at least US$200

A Guided safari or 4WD rental: from US$150 per day

A Meal at a top restaurant with wine: US$50–100

Arriving in Africa

Cairo International Airport Buses E£4, every 20 minutes 7am to midnight, up to two hours to central Cairo; taxi around E£120 to E£150.

Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport (Senegal) No public transport; taxis outside arrivals hall cost CFA5000 to city centre.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi) Recommended to take taxi (KSh2000 to KSh2500, but bargain hard) to centre of Nairobi (up to one hour).

OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) Taxi R400 to central Jo'burg; trains (R145) and bus shuttle (400) to downtown (one hour).

Getting Around

In Africa, the journey is very often the destination. There's everything from impossibly crowded minibus services along rutted roads to international-standard airlines between major cities.

Air Major capitals are reasonably well connected by flights within Africa; smaller capitals may require inconvenient connections.

Bus & Bush Taxi Often the only option in rural areas, bush or shared taxis leave when full; buses connect major cities.

Car & 4WD Reasonable road infrastructure connects major cities; roads deteriorate elsewhere, and are sometimes impassable after rains so 4WD is often required.

Train Trains operate in West Africa and South Africa with limited services elsewhere and very few cross-border operations.

First Time in Africa

Checklist

A Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months and has plenty of free pages for stamp-happy officials.

A Inform your debit-/credit-card company that you’re heading away.

A Arrange for travel insurance.

A Leave time for researching visas and making visa applications.

A Arrange vaccinations well before departure.

A Ensure you have a yellow-fever certificate.

What to Pack

A Mosquito repellent, net and malaria medicine

A Neutral-coloured clothing for safari

A Sunscreen

A Torch (flashlight)

A Wind- and waterproof jacket

A Yellow-fever vaccination certificate

A Spare camera batteries and memory cards

A Swiss Army knife

A Photocopies of important documents

A Water purifier

Top Tips for Your Trip

A Book months ahead if you're travelling here during high season, especially during Christmas and European summer holidays.

A If driving, fill up with fuel at every available opportunity – you never quite know when supplies will run out, and off-road driving uses up much more fuel than you might think.

A Distances can be long – plan your trip to see a few places well so that you don't spend all your trip driving.

A Consider taking an off-road introductory driving course before setting out.

A Wildlife seasons are quite specific and vary significantly across the region.

A In the main safari areas, book your luxury lodge, tented camp or self-drive campsite, many months in advance for peak periods.

A Book months ahead also for your 4WD rental vehicle in Southern Africa.

A At many luxury lodges or tented camps, laundry is usually included, so no need for a really full suitcase.

Safari, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania | BLUEORANGE STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Sleeping

Lodges usually need to be booked far in advance; hotels and hostels should be reserved during high season.

A Lodges & Tented Camps A speciality in Southern and East Africa; often in remote wildlife-rich areas, they offer an all-inclusive experience.

A Camping Southern Africa has the best campsites, from wilderness sites with no facilities to well-provisioned camping grounds. Less common elsewhere.

A Hotels From cheap and cheerful to high-end international chains. More often it's a simple, uninspiring place and the only game in town.

A Guesthouses & B&Bs A handful but quite country-specific (South Africa and Burkina Faso, for example).

A Hostels Plenty from Nairobi to Cape Town.

What to Wear

Africans generally expect visitors to dress neatly and respectfully, so loose-fitting, light casual wear is the recommended minimum; avoid dirty, torn or overly revealing clothes. At least one nice set of clothes (eg a button-up shirt for men) or two is a good idea for nicer restaurants and hotels. Out in the bush, light neutral tones are recommended. In rural and/or predominantly Muslim areas, clothes that cover most exposed skin are recommended; a scarf of some description is worth carrying by women so that you can cover your head when visiting mosques; it can also be useful for keeping wind-blown sand at bay in drier areas.

Bargaining

In many parts of Africa, especially in markets and/or craft and curio stalls, items are worth whatever the seller can get. Once you get the hang of bargaining, it's all part of the fun. Hagglers are rarely trying to rip you off, so there's no point getting hot and bothered about it. Decide what price you're prepared to pay and if you can't get it, decline politely and move on.

Tipping

The situation with regard to tipping varies across the continent, but as a general rule the following applies:

A Hotels & Restaurants Usually expected in top-end hotels and restaurants, very rarely in cheaper places.

A Safari Lodges Count on US$10 per guest per day, plus more for guides.

A Taxis Rounding up is usually sufficient.

Etiquette

Although things vary greatly, social mores remain generally conservative. Even so, Africans are usually relaxed in their dealings with foreign travellers; good manners and acting politely and modestly are key to avoiding offence.

A Greetings are always important. Even if you're in a hurry, greet people you meet, ask how they are, how their day is going and so on.

A Treat elders and those in positions of authority with deference and respect.

A If in a frustrating situation, be patient, friendly and considerate. A confrontational attitude can easily inflame the situation and offend local sensibilities.

A Always ask permission to photograph people.

A Avoid vocal criticism of the government or country; the former could get your friends in trouble and many Africans take the latter personally.

A When receiving a gift, accept it with both hands, sometimes with a slight bow.

A Be respectful of Islamic traditions and don't wear revealing clothing.

What's New

Soweto

With cool cafes and hip restaurants popping up, Soweto is becoming much more than a spot for a simple day trip from Johannesburg.

Caprivi Wildlife

Namibia's Caprivi Strip is definitely a safari destination to watch, with lions, wild dogs and other charismatic megafauna returning in small but significant numbers; try Bwabwata National Park.

Boutique Booze

There are now nearly 200 microbreweries across South Africa’s nine provinces, but it’s not all about beer. Cider-makers, gin distilleries and even craft-soft-drinks producers are opening around the country.

Okonjima Nature Reserve

Okonjima Nature Reserve ( GOOGLE MAP ; www.okonjima.com) in central Namibia has been there a while, but a shift in focus by AfriCats has transformed it into a major big-cat attraction.

Elephants on the Move

The logistical challenges of moving over 500 elephants from Malawi's overcrowded Liwonde and Majete to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve are massive. The results are fantastic.

Rhino expansion

News from the world of rhinos has been relentlessly bad, but there's some good news: the Okavango Delta's reintroduced rhino population is growing and increasingly sighted, while the new Lusaka National Park has white rhinos, too.

Parc National d'Odzala

Republic of Congo's showcase national park has undergone a facelift with luxury camps and improved infrastructure.

Ouaga Cool

Ouagadougou has been one of West Africa's coolest cities for some time now, but given recent political turmoil and other challenges, the ongoing transformation is remarkable.

Príncipe

The island of Príncipe is about to take off, and why not? This unspoilt island has a spectacular lost-world ambience with good accommodation and an international airport.

Ponte Kassuende

In November 2014 the Ponte Kassuende was inaugurated in Tete, Mozambique. Three years in the making, this modern road bridge over the Zambezi River has eased local congestion and cut journey times between Zimbabwe and Malawi.

For more recommendations and reviews, see http://lonelyplanet.com/africa.

If You Like…

Beaches & Islands

The rigours of travelling in Africa mean that many visitors looking for a break from life on the road end up on a beach or island. And what beaches and islands!

Zanzibar The very name conjures up a spicy heaven of perfume plantations, endless white beaches and whispering palm trees.

Príncipe World-class beaches in a blissfully remote setting, including gorgeous Praia Banana and Baia das Agulhas.

Watamu Seven kilometres of unspoilt beach with a lovely fishing village nearby.

Pemba Lovely white-sand coves with plenty of space to spread your towel.

Lake Malawi Soft sand fringes the shore of this turquoise lake lined with reggae bars.

Tofo A long arc of white sand with azure waters, plus surfing and diving with manta rays.

Isla Corisco Beaches here are the stuff of dreams: pure white sands, swaying palms and azure sea.

Mayumba National Park Bodysurfing the waves while watching humpback whales breach in the distance.

Akwidaa & Cape Three Points Sweeping beaches; trips through plantations and mangroves; and, in season, turtles nesting in the sand.

Cap Skirring The coastal jewel of Casamance, with some of Senegal's loveliest beaches.

Watching Wildlife

Some of the best wildlife viewing on the continent – nay, on the planet! – is at your fingertips. Unique opportunities abound while on safari.

Masai Mara National Reserve Arguably the best place to spot cheetahs, leopards and lions and much more, especially from July to October.

Serengeti National Park Even if you're not here for the migration, the Seronera River is big-cat central.

Chobe Riverfront Africa’s largest elephants draw near to the water’s edge with predators prowling nearby.

Etosha National Park Incredible wildlife viewing with animals crowding around easily seen water holes.

Kruger National Park South Africa’s famous park has 5000 rhinos alone, and landscapes from woodland to mopane-veld.

Mana Pools National Park ( h6am-6pm) For the wild at heart – you’re almost guaranteed to see lions; unguided walks allowed.

South Luangwa National Park Abundant wildlife, wonderful scenery and walking safaris.

Parc National Andasibe Mantadia Madagascar’s largest lemur, the indri, is easily seen – and heard! – here.

Loango National Park Elephants on the beach, surfing hippos and habituated gorillas – what a place!

Music

In Africa music is more than a way of life. It is a force. Get ready to feel it at these rhythmic destinations.

Dakar Get down to Senegal’s mbalax, a blend of Cuban sounds and traditional drumbeats.

Conakry One of West Africa's most important musical cities, with numerous live venues.

New Afrika Shrine Fela Kuti’s family keep his name alive at Lagos’ earthiest, funkiest club.

Harare Zimbabwe's capital has a rockin' music scene and the Harare International Festival of Arts.

Cape Town Groove at musical events from November through March, including an international jazz festival.

Stone Town Visit Zanzibar for its five-day Sauti za Busara Swahili Music Festival in February.

Essaouira Visit this laid-back Moroccan resort in June for its Gnaoua and World Music Festival.

Abidjan Hit the bars and dance floors and experience the crazy upbeat sound of coupé-décalé.

Saint-Louis This charming French-colonial settlement in Senegal hosts an international jazz festival in May.

Ouagadougu Jazz à Ouaga: Afrobeat, soul and blues influence jazz in the Burkinabé capital.

World Heritage Sites

Among the 129 Unesco World Heritage Sites of Africa, well over half are cultural or mixed, representing both natural and cultural factors.

Pyramids of Giza The last remaining wonder of the ancient world.

Okavango Delta One of the most beautiful and biodiverse corners of the continent.

Lalibela A mind-blowing maze of Unesco World Heritage–listed rock-hewn churches.

Elmina Ghana's slave castles and one of the oldest European structures in sub-Saharan Africa.

Aksum Ponder the mysteries of the one-time home of the Queen of Sheba.

Medina of Fez One of the most magical urban spaces in Africa, with ancient, tangled lanes.

Namib Sand Sea The desert of childhood imaginings, with perfectly sculpted sand dunes.

Serengeti National Park One of the best places on the planet to watch wildlife.

Robben Island Nelson Mandela's former prison and cultural touchstone of a continent.

Fez medina, Morocco | SABINO PARENTE/500PX ©

Adventure Activities

Many travellers are drawn to Africa by the lure of high-adrenaline thrills. If you're among them, you'll want to make a beeline for these locations.

Victoria Falls Adrenaline activities at both the Zambian and Zimbabwean sides of the 'smoke that thunders'.

Swakopmund World-famous for its sweaty and breathless opportunities, from sand-dune surfing to skydiving.

Jinja The source of the Nile, with white-water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking and quad bikes.

Dahab Chic-and-hippie Egyptian resort that's a prime base for Red Sea diving and snorkelling.

Orange River Canoe and white-water raft through spectacular canyons along the Nambia–South Africa border.

Semonkong Plunge 204m down Lesotho's Malesunyane Falls on the world's longest commercially operated single-drop abseil.

Great Usutu River White-water rafting in Swaziland including Grade IV rapids not for the faint-hearted.

Inspiring Landscapes

Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty, encompassing everything from the shifting dunes of the Sahara to the steamy rainforests of the Congo.

Masai Mara National Reserve Backed by the spectacular Siria Escarpment and breathtaking year-round.

Fish River Canyon ( GOOGLE MAP ; per person per day N$80, per vehicle N$10) This epic tear in Africa's fabric is often called ' Africa's Grand Canyon'.

Sani Pass This 2865m road pass affords spectacular views across the southern Drakensberg.

Mt Kilimanjaro Hiking up the continent's highest peak is an experience never forgotten.

Okavango Delta Take in the lush, watery scenery from a mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA; h6am-6pm) Perfectly formed crater, lost world of wildlife and exceptionally beautiful landforms.

Danakil Depression Unique in the world, the sub-sea-level volcanic landscape here is eerily beautiful

Simien Mountains National Park hpark gates 6am-6pm) Huge cliffs, oddly formed mountains and unusual Afro-alpine habitat.

Parc National d'Odzala Astonishing wilderness with elephants and gorillas deep in the Congo rainforest.

Amboseli National Park, Kenya, against the backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro | IAN LENEHAN/500PX ©

Trekking & Mountains

As befitting a continent where humankind first walked out of the jungle, there are world-class hiking trails all across Africa, plus mountains so high they are capped by glaciers.

Mt Meru In Arusha National Park, this peak offers some lovely hiking.

Mt Kenya Africa's second-highest mountain crowns some wonderful hiking country and provides superb views.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park Uganda's fabled Mountains of the Moon feature snow and glaciers and a lack of other climbers.

High Atlas Tread steep paths past flat-roofed, earthen Berber villages, terraced gardens and walnut groves in this beautiful part of Morocco.

Simien Mountains National Park This very popular park holds some of the most stunning mountain scenery in Africa and trekking is easily organised.

Drakensberg From day hikes to weeklong treks, South Africa's dramatic Drakensberg creates happy hikers.

Fish River Canyon The best way to get a feel for this massive gash in the earth is to embark on a five-day hike along the valley floor.

Waterberg Plateau Park Four-day guided and unguided trails are available through some pristine wilderness landscape.

Month by Month

Top Events

Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, January

Fespaco, February/March

Saint-Louis Jazz Festival, May

Festival of the Dhow Countries, July

AfrikaBurn, April

January

High season across most of Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. The northern-hemisphere winter is also cooler in North and West Africa; one downside can be the early arrival of the dust-laden harmattan winds.

z Cape Town Minstrel Carnival

Called the Kaapse Klopse in Afrikaans, the Mother City's equivalent of Mardis Gras runs throughout the month. The big parade on 2 January sees thousands take to the street in satin- and sequin-bedecked costumes.

Parade participant, Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, South Africa | URBANCOWBOY/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

z Voodoo Festival

Held on 10 January across Benin; the celebrations in the voodoo heartland around Ouidah are the largest and most exuberant.

z Timkat

Ethiopa's most important Christian festival is this celebration of Epiphany on 19 January involving elaborate costumed processions and ritual.

Timkat, Ethiopia | DEREJE/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

February

Relatively cool, dry weather in North, East and West Africa makes for good hiking and it’s the last month where you would sensibly head into the Sahel (a semiarid region that stretches from Mauritania, the Gambia and Senegal to Chad). Rains, high temperatures and good birding in Southern Africa.

z Buganu (Marula) Festival

One of Swaziland's most popular 'first fruits' harvest festivals, Buganu celebrates the marvellous marula. Throughout this month and March women make buganu (marula wine), men drink the results and everyone celebrates. Swazi royals attend the three-day ceremony.

6 Hands-On Harvest

The wine-producing region of Robertson, South Africa, celebrates the first of its five annual festivals (www.handsonharvest.com). Budding vintners can help with the harvest and sample the results.

3 Sauti za Busara

Zanzibar gets even more rhythm than usual with the three-day Sauti za Busara (Voices of Wisdom; hearly–mid-Feb). Swahili songs from every era fill the night, and dance troupes take over the stages of Stone Town and elsewhere on the island.

1 Wildebeest Births

The annual wildebeest migration midyear may grab the headlines, but the species’ great calving, a similarly epic yet also heartwarming sight, occurs in February in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, with approximately 500,000 births occuring in a three-week period.

3 Marrakech Biennale

Held on even-numbered years, the Marrakech Biennale is the city's foray into both high and popular artistic culture, with everything from public art displays to chin-scratching conceptual installations.

z Carnival

West Africa’s former Portuguese colonies celebrate Carnival (sometimes spelt Carnaval) with infectious zeal. Bissau – with its Latin-style street festival of masks, parties and parades – or Mozambique are the places to be; Porto Novo in Benin also gets into the spirit. Usually in February, but sometimes January, sometimes March.

z Mask Festivals

Held in the villages around Man in western Côte d’Ivoire, the region’s most significant mask festival (Fêtes des Masques) brings together a great variety of masks and dances from the area.

3 Fespaco

Africa’s premier film festival is held in February or March in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso in odd years. Cinemas across the city screen African films, and there's a prestigious awards ceremony.

March

While temperatures are warming up in North and West Africa, the harmattan winds are blowing in Southern and some of East Africa. It's beginning to cool down as the season moves to autumn.

2 Cape Town Cycle Tour

Held in mid-March, this spin around the Cape Peninsula is the world's largest timed cycling event (www.capetowncycletour.com), attracting more than 30,000 contestants from serious racers to costumed Capetonians.

3 Infecting the City

Cape Town's squares, fountains, museums and theatres are the venues for this innovative performing-arts festival (http://infectingthecity.com) featuring artists from across the continent.

2 Kilimanjaro Marathon

Runners can take part in the full marathon, half marathon or fun runs around the base of the great Tanzanian mountain. The entire race (www.kilimanjaromarathon.com) is held between 830m and 1150m above sea level, on good tarred roads.

2 Marathon des Sables

Starting and finishing in Morocco’s movie town, Ouarzazate, the Saharan ultramarathon (www.marathondessables.com) is an epic. The gruelling six-day challenge, held in March or April, crosses 243km of desert. Water is provided.

z Enjando Street Festival

The Namibian capital's biggest street party, also known as Mbapira, occurs in March every year. It's also a good excuse for people to dress in extravagant ethnic clothes that bring the streets to life.

3 Maitisong Festival

Botswana’s largest performing-arts festival is held annually over seven days from mid-March to early April in Gaborone. The festival features an outdoor program of music, theatre, film and dance, with top performing artists from around Africa.

April

Much of the Sahel is too hot for comfort and the harmattan is a staple throughout the month. The humidity along the West African coast and hinterland gets uncomfortable as temperatures drop in Southern Africa.

z AfrikaBurn

Inspired by the USA's Burning Man event, this is both a subcultural blowout and a survivalist challenge (www.afrikaburn.com). Art installations and themed camps turn a corner of the South Africa's Karoo into a surreal experience even without mind-altering substances.

3 Jazz à Ouaga

An established fixture on West Africa’s musical circuit, this fine festival traverses jazz, Afrobeat, soul and blues with some respected regional names in attendance.

3 Festival of Sufi Culture

Fez’ festival hOct) hosts events including films and lectures, and concerts with Sufi musicians from around the world. The setting is the Andalusian-style garden of a museum, which is housed in a 19th-century summer palace.

May

Avoid the northern and western desert and coastal areas unless you favour extreme heat and humidity. Rains should be easing in green-as-green East and Southern Africa.

3 Harare International Festival of Arts

A not-to-be-missed event in Zimbabwe, Harare International Festival of Arts features local and international performers in opera, jazz, classical music, funk, theatre and dance.

z Festival Azgo

This Maputo-based extravaganza (www.azgofestival.com) has become Mozambique's largest arts and culture festival, featuring artists from Mozambique as well as elsewhere in the region.

z Art Bienale

In even years in May, Dakar hosts the Dak’Art Biennale, which is easily West Africa’s premier arts festival. In addition to the main exhibitions, there’s some fabulous fringe stuff happening.

3 Saint-Louis Jazz Festival

Hands down the most internationally renowned festival in West Africa, this Senegal festival attracts major performers to this sexy, Unesco Heritage–designated colonial town.

June

The rains are underway in West Africa. Morocco and other North African countries start to see the annual influx of summer visitors from Europe. High season, with great weather and growing crowds, in Southern Africa.

z Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

One of Kenya’s biggest cultural events, this fascinating festival (www.laketurkanaculturalfestival.com) focuses on the numerous tribal groups that inhabit northern Kenya, among them the El Molo, the Samburu, the Pokot and the Turkana.

3 Festival of World Sacred Music

Fez’ successful world-music festival has hosted everyone from Youssou N’Dour to Bjork. Equally impressive are the concerts by Moroccan tariqas (Sufi orders); fringe events include exhibitions, films and talks. May be held in May depending on Ramadan dates.

3 Gnaoua & World Music Festival

A passionate celebration held in Essaouira in late June, with concerts featuring international, national and local performers, and art exhibitions. A great chance to hear some bluesy Gnaoua, developed here by freed slaves.

July

Rain is heavy south of the Sahara – it's a good time for a travel bargain in South Africa, for example. In Morocco, Europeans flood the country; accommodation can be pricey and scarce. High-season peak in Southern Africa.

z National Arts Festival

Feel South Africa's creative pulse at the country's premier arts festival (www.nationalartsfestival.co.za), held in Grahamstown in early July.

z Festival of the Dhow Countries

The Zanzibar International Film Festival (Festival of the Dhow Countries; hJul) is the centrepiece of this two-week jamboree of arts and culture that can sometimes kick off at the end of June.

2 Lesotho Ski Season

That's right, skiing in Southern Africa. Lesotho's peaks and passes receive snow in winter – particularly around Oxbow where a ski slope makes the most of snowfall. It all happens at Afriski Mountain Resort (www.afriski.net).

5 Oyster Festival

Travel to the South African Garden Route resort of Knysna to indulge in a 10-day oyster orgy (www.oysterfestival.co.za). Events include the Knysna Forest Marathon.

1 East Africa Migration

Wildebeest cross the Mara River en masse, passing from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, with predators following in their wake. It’s one cliché that just happens to be true: this is the greatest wildlife show on earth.

3 Marrakech Festival of Popular Arts

This street-theatre festival hJul) is a typically colourful Marrakshi event, highlighting the best of Moroccan traditional and popular culture. Djemaa el-Fna is even more anarchic than usual during the opening-night parade, featuring 500-plus performers.

August

Rains and humidity make travel difficult in West and East Africa. The peak of Southern Africa's high season, with Europeans escaping their winter in Botswana, Namibia and elsewhere.

3 Panafest

Ghana’s Cape Coast hosts the biennial Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (Panafest) with a focus on African contemporary and traditional arts, including music, dance, fashion and theatre. Its centrepiece is a moving candlelit emancipation ceremony to honour African slaves.

z Umhlanga Dance

A showcase of potential wives for the king: marriageable young Swazi women journey from all over the kingdom, carrying reeds, to help repair the queen mother's home around August or September (dates vary).

3 Camel Racing

Maralal’s Yare Camel Cup in northern Kenya is at once serious camel racing and a chance to join the fun. It’s a huge event.

September

The wet weather is beginning to ease in East and West Africa while Southern Africa moves out of winter towards spring – look out for brilliant displays of wildflowers in South Africa's Northern and Western Cape regions.

z Hermanus Whale Festival

One of the world's best land-based whale-watching destinations is the town of Hermanus, 122km east of Cape Town – visit during this annual September/October 'enviro-arts festival' (www.whalefestival.co.za).

z Meskel

Starting on 27 September, this two-day festival h27-28 Sep) is the most colourful after Timkat. Bonfires are built, topped by a cross to which flowers, most commonly the Meskel daisy, are tied. Priests don their full regalia. Addis Ababa, Gonder and Aksum are good places to be.

3 Lake of Stars Music Festival

‘Glastonbury on the beach’: this brilliant three-day Malawian festival bubbles with stellar UK and African bands, and a host of celebrated global DJs. Money raised goes towards the Children in the Wilderness charity.

z Ashanti Festivals

Coinciding with the yam-harvest season, the Adae Kese Festival in Ghana celebrates the glorious Ashanti past and involves ritual purifications of the ancestral burial shrines.

October

Clear, post-rain skies make for good visibility and the high-season crowds have yet to arrive across much of the continent. Temperatures can be decidedly chilly in Morocco, especially in the High Atlas. Rains on the way in the south.

3 Felabration

The weeklong celebration of Afrobeat-legend Fela Kuti in October in Lagos takes place around the great man’s birthday on the 15th. Concerts, theatre pieces and exhibitions, culminating in a free gig at the Shrine.

6 Oktoberfest

Windhoek in Namibia stages its own Oktoberfest – an orgy of food, drink and merrymaking in an event that showcases the best in German beer, usually drunk at tables set up inside large marquees. There’s plenty of traditional German dress on display too.

2 Gorilla Tracking

Although the dry-season months of June to September are the prime months for gorilla tracking in Uganda, the short (and not-so-disruptive) rains in October and November see permit prices drop; permits are also much easier to obtain.

November

The beginning of the month can be a quiet time to travel across the continent. Rains in the south and East Africa. Nighttime temperatures in desert regions drop close to zero.

3 Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts

Summer music festivals take place in stunning settings nationwide. In the Western Cape province, the choice includes the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts in Cape Town's botanic gardens.

3 East African Safari Rally

This classic car rally (www.eastafricansafarirally.com) held in late November is more than 50 years old, and there’s more than a whiff of colonial atmosphere about it. The rally traverses Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and is open only to pre-1971 vehicles.

z Maulid Festival

A huge celebration in Lamu, Kenya, this annual four-day celebration (www.lamu.org/maulid-celebration.html) of the Prophet Mohammed's birthday falls in October/November in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

z Festival of Maryam Zion

This vibrant festival is held in Aksum, Ethiopia. Thousands of pilgrims head towards Aksum ahead of the event, which begins on 30 November.

December

High season is very much underway south of the Sahara, and accommodation should be booked months in advance; beach areas are particularly busy with sun-starved Europeans. Weather is mild and dry.

z Marrakesh International Film Festival

This event (www.festivalmarrakech.info/en) lives up to its name, with stars from Hollywood to Bollywood jetting in to walk the red carpet. The week culminates in wildly eclectic awards shows – with honours

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  • (3/5)
    Got the job done, I guess. Sort of uninspired. (Much like this review, you say? Oh, you!) I do find that for places like Japan and Turkey Lonely Planet is good at providing cultural information and treating them like places with history, whereas for Africa there's a lot of the "safari park fallacy."