It might be just my opinion, but I think that Africa is the perfect destination for a truly epic journey. In support of this opinion, in July I shared some one-of-a-kind ways to knock a marriage proposal out of the park in Africa. If you missed it, you can check it out here.
This month, I want to talk about 10 ICONIC African safaris that are perfect for celebrating your milestone birthdays. You are iconic … your birthday deserves to be too! Here are our top 10 favorites!
CAPE TOWN AND SURROUNDS
We definitely can’t talk about iconic trips to Africa without including Cape Town and surrounding areas. It’s a great place to start an epic journey, but if you love food, wine, and culture, you might want to stay a while! It’s also home to iconic Table Mountain, boasts scenic views galore along the Cape Peninsula, and is an easy drive away from the legendary Cape Winelands.
VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE/ZAMBIA
When you think of iconic destinations in Africa, Victoria Falls certainly has to make the list. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, this thundering waterfall is a bucket list destination. It’s a must-see, whether you’d like to admire its power from afar or get the adrenaline pumping with a variety of activities including ziplining, bungee jumping, whitewater rafting, or a swim in Devil’s Pool at the edge of the falls.
MAASAI MARA, KENYA
Perhaps the world’s most famous safari destination, the Maasai Mara is home to incredible populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, and elephant, and it also hosts millions of wildebeests from July to October during their annual migration. It is also home to the Maasai tribe, members of which are known for their colorful clothing, beaded jewelry, and, of course jumping skills.
OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA
A visit to Botswana’s Okavango Delta is iconic in its stark differences from so many other traditional safari experiences. Here, depending on the season, you’ll head out in search of wildlife in a Land Rover that splashes through the seasonal floodwaters, float peacefully in a traditional canoe called a mokoro, or slice your way through deeper waters on a speedboat. Watching lions stalk lechwe through high waters and seeing elephants carve pathways through flooded greenery are experiences that make an Okavango Delta safari truly iconic.
SAFARI IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
If you’ve been on safari in South Africa, it was probably in or near Kruger National Park. It is the premier safari destination in South Africa, and it is home to all of the iconic species you want to see on safari. In fact, it’s considered by many to be the best place in the world to see a leopard. The park itself is huge — about 7,600 square miles — but to avoid the crowds, it’s best to head to the private game reserves adjacent to the park, which encompass another nearly 700 square miles of wilderness area.
GORILLA TREKKING, UGANDA/RWANDA
Can you get much more iconic than an epic trek to view the last remaining mountain gorillas in their natural habitat? Head out into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda to start this truly impactful trip and spend an hour getting to know these breathtaking creatures up-close-and-personal. What a way to mark a milestone birthday!
Want to learn more about gorilla trekking? Check out our recent blog post for all of the details.
GREAT MIGRATION, SERENGETI
The Great Migration is considered one of the most awe-inspiring natural spectacles in the world. During the migration, hundreds of thousands of zebras and millions of wildebeest (and thousands of predators) migrate through the southwestern border of Kenya and the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania. Throughout the year, this massive herd of wildlife follows the rains on a loop through the Grumeti Reserve, Masai Mara, Ngorongoro Crater region, and the Serengeti.
For more about the Great Migration, check out our recent blog post.
KILIMANJARO AND NGORONGORO CRATER, TANZANIA
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, so its status as an icon is not up for debate. Even if you’re not up for the climb, catching a glimpse of this iconic mountain (either from Tanzania or Kenya) can make for an epic experience.
To double your iconic destination count, combine Kili with a visit to Ngorongoro Crater — the world’s largest inactive caldera — which is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world and is home to a tremendous number and variety of animal species.
SKELETON COAST, NAMIBIA
Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is an up-and-coming iconic African destination. Beautiful yet eerie landscapes of desert, sea, and shipwrecks fill this isolated area. The juxtaposition of arid desert dunes and the wild Atlantic Ocean creates vistas and wildlife unlike any other.
We talked about Namibia at length in our May newsletter. Click here to see a copy!
VISIT THE LEMURS IN MADAGASCAR
Lemurs are synonymous with Madagascar, and searching for these only-in-Madagascar creatures in the country’s national parks and reserves is an definitely an iconic journey. For an animal-lover, this might just be the most iconic way to spend a milestone birthday!
What do you think? Are any of these destinations iconic enough to be the site of your next milestone birthday celebration? If so, we’d love to be a part of your planning process so that we can add in the special experiences that will make your birthday one for the record books!
Here’s the link to submit your trip request; we hope to hear from you soon!