FIVE OF AFRICA'S MOST CAPTIVATING WILDLIFE EXPERIENCES
Africa lures many for its exceptional wildlife and safari experiences, with big-game species that we’ve known and loved since childhood. But if you’ve been on safari and are looking for a reason to return to this vast continent, here are five unique wildlife encounters not to be missed...
Witness the desert-adapted wildlife of Etosha National Park
If you’ve ticked off the “Big Five” in East Africa and are looking for a big game wildlife experience with a difference, head to Namibia to seek out its unique, desert-adapted wildlife. Elephants, lions, rhinos and zebras here have evolved unique behaviours and physical traits to compensate for the limited water resources in the country’s harsh and unforgiving desert environs.
Travelling through the remote but breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of Damaraland, Kaokoland and the vast Namib Desert is not for the faint hearted, but will satisfy every adventurous traveller's safari dreams.
'A desert-adapted elephant traverses Etosha National Park, Namibia'
Get up close to mountain gorillas in the Virunga Mountains
Home to some of the world’s last remaining, endangered mountain gorillas, the Virunga Mountains straddle the border between Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Trekking to see these majestic primates is a bucket list item for many travellers, with the option to see them in Uganda's Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park or the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There’s also another small population in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, with the financial resources raised from treks helping to ensure their habitat is protected for future generations.
'A mountain gorilla in the Virunga Mountains'
Trek to see “Bleeding Heart Baboons” of the Simien Mountains
Ethiopia is fast emerging as one of Africa’s “must visit” destinations and the Simien Mountains are just one of the many reasons people are flocking here. As well as offering exceptional trekking and breathtaking views, the Ethiopian Highlands are home to endemic Geladas or “Bleeding Heart Baboons”. They’re frequently spotted playing on the edge of the Simien Mountains’ dramatic escarpment, with lush plains sprawling below.
In addition to these Old World monkeys, this UNESCO-listed national park is home to Walia ibex, caracal and endangered Ethiopian wolves.
Photograph the incredible birdlife of the Okavango Delta, Botswana
With more than 400 bird species recorded and a constant presence of water, Botswana’s majestic Okavango Delta is a twitcher’s paradise. This watery wonderland features seasonal floodplains that transform with the seasons, attracting not only waders and water-loving bird species but big game such as elephants, giraffes and hippos. Walking safaris are a highlight of visiting the delta and make it a prime birding destination, with safaris in traditional mokoro dugout canoes another captivating way to spot birds without the hum of an engine.
'An African fish eagle soars above the Okavango Delta'
Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration
Featuring more than a million wildebeest as they traverse 3,000 kilometres across East Africa, the Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the world’s most impressive wildlife spectacles. It’s been hailed as one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”, with the action centring around Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve in neighbouring Kenya. In addition to hundreds of thousands of zebra, eland and Thompson’s gazelle that accompany the wildebeest herds as they seek out fresh shoots of grass, opportunistic predators, such as lions, leopards and cheetahs follow in their wake, hoping to snag an easy meal.
'A huge herd of wildebeest cross a river in the northern Serengeti'
Something for the road…
I was tired of digging around in my toiletry bag trying to find what I needed, so it was the flat design of this cosmetic bag that really appealed to me. In an instant you can have the bag completely flat, with all the items clearly visible, then contract it just as easily, ready for packing.
Aside from being waterproof and stain resistant (two essentials when dealing with cosmetics), it’s also got a few convenient little extras. There are two interior zipper pockets where you can stash cosmetic cottons or sharp items like tweezers, as well as an exterior mini pocket for any quick-grab items.
I’ve discovered that this drawstring cosmetic bag is not only a perfect travel companion but works just as effectively in day-to-day life back home to keep my cosmetics organized and easily accessible.
You can buy me here!