Are you as excited as I am about the slow but steady lifting of travel restrictions? The last time I had to catch a flight somewhere, I faced the likelihood of being quarantined at a hotel for 14 days, and everyone at the airport seemed so tense that the thought of letting an unexpected cough rip in the queue to passport control scared me to no end. Now, while we’re not completely in the clear, it makes my heart sing to see a small but consistent light at the end of the travel tunnel we’ve been stuck in these last eighteen months.
I am just about to venture out on my first international trip in ages (wish me luck), but as I hunt for the best flight deal I can find to Valencia in Spain (yes we allllwaaays need to do that), thoughts of travel take my mind back to the some of the many trips I made across Africa and some of the crazy experiences I had meeting people, trying new things and well, living my best life really..!
So for anyone who’s thinking of dipping their pool into an adventure that’s unlike any other, or for anyone who has ben to Africa before and is thinking of paying the continent a visit one more time, allow me to reminisce about some of those journeys by sharing with you five unexpected delights about travelling in Africa.
Your state of mind
If you’re looking to free your mind from thoughts of 9-5, bills to pay, or chores to run you need to go someplace where you can really switch off. The moment you set foot in Africa you know you’ve arrived somewhere truly different. This teases your senses to no end and pulls you into the present. There is a lesser need to rush, and after a while the low pace starts to feel... well, normal.
You’ll truly get the chance to experience this by booking with intention. Choose a location like Bushman’s Kloof, or a retreat in Namibia Kenya or Tanzania for instance
For me I had this experience in Ghana. I found it so much easier to let my mind take a break from overthinking by spending my days doing every little. By spending my time being in the moment with those I was with. This is such a different experience that it refreshes the senses and makes you concentrate on the here and now.
If you find yourself going on holiday and returning just as tired, or feeling bored, or uninspired, then you're minds telling you it's ready for a change. It’s time to go something with a different pace.
The casual banter
Another amazing thing is how easy it is to make new connections. On my last trip to Malawi fondly called ‘the warm heart of Africa’ for - you guessed it, it’s friendliness - I found it so easy to strike conversations with everyone; from the porter who carried my luggage to the room, the chauffeur who dropped me off where I needed to be, and the colleagues I met at business meetings. I got invited to partners’ family lunches, parties and almost missed my flight back simply for having too much fun. I also had a lovely person who showed me around and went out of his way to secure the best rates on safaris trips we went on together. I can’t wait to visit that lovely place again to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.
The great deals
Calling all bargain hunters! No more watching Auction Hunter shows on TV thinking you could have gotten a better deal, travel to Africa and live the dream yourself .
Except it gets better because rather than guess what the lucky auction items might be, you’ll get to inspect before you buy so there are no nasty surprises, and you can bargain on price until the final number hits your sweet spot. Bargaining is a fun sport which tests your ability to negotiate using the carrot and stick approach; one minute you’ll find yourself complimenting the seller ridiculously - and threatening to walk away the next. Good thing is, it's expected! Your seller would be disappointed if you didn’t even try.
Not only will you thoroughly enjoy this, you’ll get to leave with some fantastic finds that your friends and family will squabble over when you return home.
As a child I grew up in a household with 2 traditional languages; Bakossi (on my mom's side) and Bamileke on my dads. Each language belongs to a tribe with different histories, likes and dislikes and whole unique ways of being. Infact my parents' tribes had a history of going to war so often that strangers would often laugh when they met them and ask ‘ how on earth did you guys meet?’ That is a but a tiny reflection of Africa; the continent has over 3000 tribes, each with their own languages and rich in art and culture. You’ll see this wherever you go; from the Himba tribe in Namibia with their thick red locks of hair, to the karo in Ethiopia with their intricate face and body painting, the powerful maasai warriors, the driven igbos and many many more. And don’t get me started on the art, the dancing and the music! Culture is so spiritual and poignant, that you can just about taste it.
Expand your taste buds
Now this cannot be a complete list without mentioning something we all love…. Food! African food is known to be rich in flavour, textures and varieties. Pounded yams, stewed meats, rich soups … and did I mention how tasty the fruits and veggies are ? Nothing is as succulent as fruits that are allowed to ripen until they fall from the trees, signalling they are ready to be eaten. After eating fully ripened organic tomatoes in Ghana, I could never look at a tomato from my supermarket in Edinburgh in the same way again. Just be prepared; if visiting anyone you will be overfed, and leaving food on a plate when served is often seen as a sign that you did not enjoy the meal (to the detriment of your host’s feelings) so if invited for lunch, make sure you arrive hungry!
So hopefully these gave you an idea of some of the little pleasures your next trip to Africa holds. And a trip like this is so much easier if you have someone local showing around - in fact that’s what made my Malawi experience so special. We are launching our network of local guides in 2022, so please sign up for our updates, so you know when this gets launched!
Gosh, hasn't it been a while since we all got to unwind amongst our friends under the stars, as the pulsing beats of the latest bands teased our eardrums to oblivion?
With any luck we’ll get the chance to do this again soon, as we make slow but steady steps towards recovery thanks to the increasing availability of the vaccines. In fact a number of festivals are looking to take place this year - so if like me you’ve missed them I’m sure you’re waiting with indrawn breath for the official go ahead for these!
In case you're wondering (and you must be since you're reading this blog), festivals in Africa are pretty awesome. Over the years the continent has seen the likes of Michael Jackson, Oasis, U2, Wiz Khalifa, Foals, Elton John, Rihanna and more all grace it’s shores to share their greatest hits live with adoring fans under the beautiful rays of the African sun. And these festivals are increasingly pulling in a diverse international crowd, which isn't a surprise. I mean, what other trip could combine safaris, beautiful natural landmarks, glorious sunshine and your greatest bands all one?
If you’re one for festivals and you’re ready to embrace your next amazing adventure, here are 3 awesome festivals in Africa to check out this year or next:
Mawazine (meaning "rhythms of the world") is a Moroccan International music festival held annually in Rabat, Morocco that has been going on since 2001.
It’s popularity knows no bounds, reaching attendees of 2.5 million people in 2013. Artists of all sorts have graces it stages; from the likes Rod Steward to Kanye, Maroon 5, Usher, Akon, Pit Bull, Mariah Carey and even the great Whitney Houston (boy would I have loved to see that!) Expect unforgettable concerts from phenomenal bands all set in the backdrop of the beautiful Rabat and it’s sister city Sale. Given it's size the festival has no less than 8 different stages and offers 8 wonderful days of non stop entertainment. This is certainly one to watch for the music lovers.
The festival also presents an opportunity to explore the historic coast city of Rabat—which was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012 for its many 12th-century buildings and it’s Islamic and French-colonial heritage, including the Kasbah of the Udayas. This Berber-era royal fort is surrounded by formal French-designed gardens and overlooks the ocean. It’s also worth mentioning the city's iconic Hassan Tower, a 12th-century minaret, which soars above the ruins of a mosque.
Lake of Stars, Malawi
This amazing festival usually takes place every September besides the sun kissed sandy shores and crisp waters of the ocean-like Lake Malawi, an incredible location for an awe-inspiring Afro-pop music and arts festival. Ticket holders can expect to dance all day and night to a diverse array of performers from all parts of the globe including local musicians and recognized DJs.
Lake of Stars usually lasts for 3 days and welcomes hundreds of performers. If you are open minded about the unfamiliar acts, you’ll be rewarded with eye-opening new African music, poetry, workshops and short films. And for those who like their comfort, rest assure the festival comes with electricity, showers and proper toilets - woohoo!
Not to forget while you're there, you’ll be spoiled by an endless list of things to do in Malawi - check out our recommendations here.
Cape Town International Jazz Festival – Cape Town, South Africa
Ahhh how could we forget South Africa. Given the impressive number of festivals that take place here every year it couldn’t escape our list. We had loads to choose from, in the end we decided to go with The Cape Town International Jazz Festival to offer a new genre of music. This annual music festival is usually held in Cape Town in the first half of the year. Recognized as the fourth largest jazz festival in the world, it is also the largest jazz festival on the African continent.
The festival attracts over 35,000 people every year who come to see live performances from over forty international and African artists, across 5 different stages in 2 days.
This phenomenal event takes place at the foot of the Table Mountain, which make it worth the trip for the views alone. And South Africa of course offers much to the visitor, from vineyard tours to safaris, beaches and more. One that should be on your list.
And here's a bonus tip ... Afrochella, Ghana
I know we said 3 but there's just so much choice I had to squeeze one more in there. Ghana is closely following South Africa's footsteps with a rich plethora of festivals worth checking out every year. This time we’ll be focusing on Afrochella, Africa's answer to Chochella, which usually takes place between Christmas and New Year.
Afrochella celebrates the continent's diverse culture and the glowing work of African creatives and entrepreneurs. This one day festival attracts 10,000 visitors every year from all over the world to learn about African culture, interact with people of all backgrounds and absorb top notch African music from the likes of Afro beats pioneers like Wande Coal. And charity is a big part of Afrocahella, with the organisation investing in food trucks to deliver free meals to poor communities across Ghana.
Did I mention that Ghana made CNN's list of top places to visit in Africa this year? Here’s why
So if music and adventure are your thing, be sure to check these out - and see do some more digging to see what else is there - these examples of just the tip of the iceberg.
Ready to go on a trip? Here’s a list of things you need to bring
Today we celebrate Independence Day in Malawi woohoo!
At midnight on July 6th 1966, Malawi became a fully independent member of the Commonwealth, with thousands attending the changing of the flag ceremony at the Central Stadium. It marked a day of freedom, celebration and hope for the nation, and to this day is celebrated annually. Like many countries in Africa it’s independence day reflects just how young a nation Malawi truly is as it makes determined steps towards prosperity.
But what's the history of Malawi, how did it come to be colonised and what led to independence in the end you might ask?
Never fear, we’ve got the answers for you right here!
The region was once part of the Maravi Empire. The name Malawi is thought to come from the word Maravi. The people of the Maravi Empire were iron workers. Maravi is thought to mean "Flames" and may have come from the sight of many kilns lighting up the night sky. The people of the Maravi empire are said to have migrated from what is known as modern day Congo to escape unrest and disease. They migrated, and made their way to the Malawi lake.
Initially, the Maravi Empire's economy was largely dependent on agriculture, producing crops which led to progressive agricultural practices. It was during the Maravi Empire, sometime during the 16th century, that Europeans first came into contact with the people of Malawi. During that time the people of the Marvai empire had access to the coast, so they used this to trade with Portuguese who wanted ivory, iron, and slaves who were sent to work on plantations mainly in Mozambique or Brazil.
Over time the Maravi Empire dissipated, to give way to the Agoni people followed by the Yao people who came up from Southern Africa in the 1830’s. By the time they arrived, independent growth of indigenous governments and improved economic systems was severely disturbed by by the arrival of foreign intruders in the late 19th century.The French who were in the area started trading with the Yao people and also introduced the Sultan of Zanibar to the region who facilitated the expansion of the Islam faith. The Yao were known to be travelled, could read and write using the Arabic alphabet, knew irrigation and built schools.
In 1859 Livingstione arrived. He recorded that he discovered Lake Malawi and after 2 years there started to establish his plans for colonising the land. His first move was to build a church, however his attempts to ‘civilise’ the Yoas was met with resistance bcause they had already converted to Islam. To win the conflict Lingstone took sides with the Mang'anja who were non-Muslims. Together they shot the Yao, burnt their houses and fields. Because the Yaos resisted Chritianity they were branded as uncivilised invaders and enslavers. After failing to convert the Yao in Magomero in 1861 the Scottish sent different groups of missionaries to the region and slowly won the rounding areas to Chsirtianity, drowning out the Yao's faith and their beliefs. Arabic education was not recognised from the 1860s and by 1940’s education in Malawi was controlled by the church.
British influence continued under the church until colonial rule was formalised in 1891 when 1891 the British established the Nyasaland Districts Protectorate. Road. This brought some benefits such as the building of railways and the cultivation of cash crops by European settlers. On the other hand little was done to enhance the welfare of the African majority, while the needs of the European settlers were prioritised. African agriculture remained underdeveloped causing many able-bodied men to migrate to neighbouring countries to seek employment. Between 1951 and 1953 the colonial government's decision to expand the federation beyond Nyasaland caused further despair to it’s African inhabitants.
These negative effects of colonial rule prompted the rise of a nationalist movement. From its humble beginnings during the period between the World Wars, African nationalism gathered momentum in the early 1950s. A key driver was the imposition of the federation, which nationalists feared as an extension of colonial power. The full force of nationalism as an instrument of change became evident after 1958 under the leadership of Hastings Kamuzu Banda, who had returned to the country from the UK where he had studied and practiced medicine. Under Banda’s leadership the nationals achieved independence as the federation was dissolved in 1963.
After independence the countries still face numerous challenges. For one, political independence didn’t result in economic independence. In its first year as an independent nation the country had a £7 million deficit out of a recurrent budget of £16 million. In a country with 4 millions inhabitants just 300 roles in the 2,000 posts in the civil service were held by Africans and no commissioned African officers in the Malawi army. There was also huge regional inequality. After independence the country made some positive strides under Hastings Kamuzu Banda; transport and communications systems developed as well as cash crop agriculture and food production. But this was curtailed by external pressures in the 1980s including Banda’s ties with South Africa's apartheid regime with affected relations with many influential countries and civil unrest fueled by a president who established a single party system and was declared ‘President for Life’.
So where are we now?
Banda has since stepped down and Malawi is embracing a future with promise; it continues to work towards agricultural self-sufficiency, it is investing in conservation and tourism and it’s peaceful and welcoming nature is reputable across the continent - and indeed the world!
There are still many strides to go for it to attain political and economical utopia but it’s determination to achieve this is palpable. Something you do to help is pay it a visit from time to time. And if you happen to arrive on independence day, you will be welcomed with national flags dressing the streets and people celebrating together and a sense of joy and hope for the future lingers in the air.
African Affairs Vol. 69, No. 274 (Jan., 1970), pp. 60-64 (5 pages)
Malawi is an up and coming destination, with some of the best culture, scenery and wildlife that Africa has to offer. It boasts the highest mountain in Central Africa, the third largest lake in the continent, and – most importantly – year-round warm weather. It’s also a unique country with a history of collaborating alongside others, such as the 156-year-old Scotland-Malawi partnership; the locals have a reputation of being some of the friendliest towards foreign visitors.
All of this, combined with affordable prices, means Malawi should be at the top of your travel bucket list. Before you go ahead and book a flight, however, make sure you’re fully aware of all you need to know about travelling to magical Malawi.
1. When to Visit
The first thing you’ll want to do when planning your visit is to determine the best time of year to go. Weather-wise, try to avoid the summer months when it’s too hot, humid and wet; these conditions are especially problematic because of the increase in mosquitos, and therefore the risk of malaria. May to October are considered Malawi’s winter months, and although some parts in the north can get chilly, you’ll still find plenty of sunshine and warmth across much of the country. We’re sure you’ll want to spot wildlife during your trip, and your best chances of doing this is also in winter, when the drier weather drives the animals towards the watering holes.
So now that you’ve narrowed down the dates you want to visit, you’ll need to check your passport. It must have at least six months’ validity at the time of departure in order to be granted entry into Malawi. The visa process depends on your country of origin, and some, such as Ireland, don’t even require a visa at this point in time. Thanks to the good relationship between Malawi and countries like America and the UK, it’s easy to secure a visa at the airport upon arrival. You can choose between single or multi-entry, depending on your travel plans for the next six or twelve months.
Before you finalise your plans, be sure to make an estimate of your total costs, including flights and accommodation. Malawi offers great value for money, and you might be surprised at how cheap this holiday destination is and how much luxury your money can buy you. One tip to help you save money is to look for your return tickets – which are required for entry into the country – on Skyscanner, Kayak or another price comparison site, to ensure you’re picking the best price options for your chosen dates. For hotels, check websites such as Booking.com or Hostelworld for price comparisons and the option to book refundable accommodations, which you can change or cancel for free until the very last minute, giving you more flexibility.
It is important to check government guidelines on travelling to Malawi before flying. Thankfully, Malawi is considered relatively safe; most governments just urge you to exercise caution and make common safety-conscious decisions, such as not going out alone at night. This tourist-friendly country has been dubbed the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ because of its welcoming locals. However, visitors should be aware that – as with most countries geared towards tourism – there will be pickpockets and other petty criminals operating, taking advantage of those who’ve been careless with their valuables. As with any travel, always remember to get insurance before departure, stay aware of your surroundings and take any necessary vaccines and precautions, so you can spend your time enjoying, rather than worrying about, your experience.
5. What to Do When There
Now that we’ve covered all the hard parts, it’s time to have some fun planning your activities for your trip. Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure, it would be criminal not to allocate some spare time to exploring all Malawi has to offer. To gain insight into the local culture and receive authentic advice on the best food to eat, sights to see and entertainment to experience, sign up to spend time with a local guide. NuTravel Africa can pair you with a trusted guide for a few hours, days or however long you have to spend adventuring. You also won’t want to miss out on meeting Africa’s Big Five, so be sure to book a safari tour package in advance.
Now that you’re ready to commit to that flight, you’ll want to stay up to date with all the current advice and tips for travelling to Africa. Our Africa Travel VIP newsletter can provide this information and more, as well as the chance to win exclusive prizes, so don’t forget to check it out.
“Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.”
― Criss Jami
The last couple of years has seen our relationship with the media change… We’ve gone from trusting everything we hear on the news, to realising how often we are told stories from one narrative only, rather than being presented with all the facts so we can freely make our own conclusions.
When it comes to Africa, this has been the narrative for … an eternity. From the days where Africans were dehumanised to somehow justify the slave trade, to present day. Dominant stereotypes of what the media calls ‘the Dark continent’ conjures images of the starving child, disease, little education, a distant land with no rule of law. Going to Africa is only for the brave or charitable, as there is little on the continent to appreciate or if there is, it certainly isn’t worth the trip.
While Africa isn’t perfect, no continent is. And the media’s treatment of Africa is a dire shame because all its potential and it’s beauty remains hidden from the world.
So today join me as we break down the some of the lies the media spreads about Africa, to unravel the full story behind their tales.
Africa has little to offer
Africa is often seen as a poor continent always looking for handouts. In pictures and newsreels all we see are shantytowns, emaciated children, older people, dry red earth and barren landscapes. Even the terminology used is patronising, such as ‘debt forgiveness’.
These stories overlook a number of things. It overlooks the fact that Africa did not come into debt alone or deliberately, in fact this debt was caused by mainly Western banks who lent monies for dubious projects and on unrealistic terms to newly independent African countries, knowing fully that repayment was not going to be easy.
They also overlook the reality of Africa’s potential to become a powerhouse. Rich in oil and natural resources, Africa is the world’s fastest-growing region for foreign direct investment. And it punches above it’s weight in resources. It has approximately a third of the earth’s remaining mineral resources and the largest reserves of precious metals with over forty percent of the gold reserves, over sixty percent of the cobalt, and ninety percent of the platinum reserves. North Africa has vast oil and natural gas deposits, the Sahara holds the most strategic nuclear ore… heck, coltan mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been used for our dearly loved iPhones!
Africa also has the potential to be a substantial manufacturing and consumer economy. Almost sixty percent of Africa's population is under the age of 25, making Africa the world's youngest continent. Africa also has one the fastest growing middle class both in terms of population and spending power.
It is completely corrupt
We’ve all seen and heard the stories of yet another corruption scandal. We have gasped at the dramatic tales of Idi Amin, shaken our heads as stories of the 2020 demonstrations in Nigeria hit the press and sighed at Zimbabwe’s struggle to regain footing since Mugabe’s ‘less than triumphant’ exit. However what do we know about corruption on a global scale? It can be found everywhere; from dodgy conversations with Ukraine to influence the U.S. elections to David Cameron’s secrets text to Rishi Sunak to help out his good ol’ mate Greensill.
Th difference between the African stories and the Western examples is while we have a wider lens on what’s happening in the West, the lens on Africa seems permanently skewed on the negative. Positive stories on Africa just aren’t as sexy to the press. Rwanda’s economic boom which has seen it bloom to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world hardly makes our news podcasts. Ethiopia’s determination to make its way out of poverty doesn’t create as much of a buzz as stories of it’s past demise. In 2020 despite the pandemic six of the top 10 fast growing economies were African... Now that doesn’t just happen to be a coincidence, but I bet you didn’t hear much about that, or maybe you heard China mentioned … am I right?
It is completely unsafe
Now I’m not saying that it’ okay to get up at midnight to take a stroll all by your lonesome in a middle of a bustling city in say Kenya, to 'see where the night takes you'.. because that would be bad advice. But frankly, that would be bad advice for almost every city in the world.
What makes Africa so complicated is its infrastructure and expansion. Cities are constantly expanding as populations grow and more migrate to the city. As new building blocks, bridges, roads and railways spring up the landscape changes. Many areas are also without postcodes. This plus the limited satellite imagery across Africa means you can’t rely on google maps to show you around, making it more complicated to know where you going. Transport also works differently; some locations have a taxi system rather than bus routes and often do not depart/arrive at set times.
This means when travelling to an African city, invest some time in researching your destination to know how to get around, where to stay etc, or better yet, go with someone who knows it well and can show you around, like one of our buddies for example. Also practising the same safety measures needed for any new travel destination, such as being aware of your surroundings, keeping an eye on your items, taking advice from a stranger on the street with a pinch of salt, etc are a useful rule of thumb.
The future is bright, find out for yourself!
Africa is a perfectly imperfect continent - like every other continent on the planet. It has its sad tales and its woes, but it also has miraculous, delightful ones. It is the second most populous continent with a rich diverse culture – imagine having over 1,200 different languages! It is home to the oldest university in the world. The Pharaonic civilization of ancient Egypt is one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations. The world’s largest, tallest and fastest animals all come from Africa (points if you can guess what they are!)
Africa represents one of the last great adventures. Only in Africa do the great herds still roam free. It is a vast continent, an immense landscape of incredible contrasts, from beaches to mountains, deserts to wetlands, and mountains to endless open savannah.
And the opportunities for growth are palpable; with tech hubs sprouting across the continent and investment flowing in spite of the pandemic from the Netherlands China, France, the UK and United States. The pandemic has been tough on the continent but like any other it’s slowing picking itself up again.
So if you’ve been skeptical about Africa, here’s your chance to open yourself up to the possibilities. To find out the truth of Africa, take what you heard in the media with a pinch of salt, do some extra digging yourself and don’t be afraid to challenge your preferred media to do and be better.
And remember, your African adventures await.
About this blog.
This blog was written by Sandy, founder of NuTravel Africa. We’re launching soon! Sign up to be notified when that happens and also to learn exciting new things about Africa and for some great Malawi travel advice.
So the past twelve months or so have been a bit of a bummer when it comes to travel right?
If like me you like nothing more than to grab your bag and head for the airport to soon-to-be-discovered destinations, you’re probably feeling a bit down right now.
Well hope is on the horizon as countries slowly but steadily make their way of out lockdown, and administration of the vaccine ramps up. This means there’s a good chance that by the end of the year, we just might be in a position to travel.
As soon as that happens Africa should be your go-to destination; whether you’ve been there before or haven’t yet made the trip. Here are 5 reasons why:
Africa hasn’t been as hard hit by the pandemic
Africa been quite sheltered from the spread of Covid 19. The continent as a whole with a population of over 1.3 billion people, has actually had lower death numbers from from COVID-19 than the U.K. alone, which has a population about a 20th of it’s size. Whilst numbers vary across the different regions South Africa which had highest death rate in 2020 – was still 40% lower than the UK.
There isn’t a succinct reason for this, but a number of possible explanations has been suggested such as the median age of Africa, which is about
Whatever the reasons are, the benefits to us is that prospect travelling to locations that are still were less impacted by the virus.
Less Travel Restrictions
This is a side effect of the earlier reason. Because the numbers have been much lower in Africa, many countries haven’t really experienced the high level of lockdowns we’ve had in Europe or the US. This means there are hundreds of beachside resorts, wildlife parks and beautiful landscapes just waiting for you to explore. And while there are travel requirements you must comply to – and rightly so – some of the more stringent restrictions such as a covid passport for example are less likely to be introduced early.
Expand your horizons
Africa is a truly unique place to visit. It inspires so many cultures globally through its arts and crafts, folklore and religion, clothing, cuisine, music and language. Geographically it boasts of seven natural wonders; from the Red sea-reef of the coast of Egypt, to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Sahara Desert, the Serengeti Migration, the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, the Nile river and Okavango Delta in Botswana.
But even more remarkable than these earthly treasures it’s people. Take Malawi for instance, often described as the friendliest country in the world. From the moment you arrive at the airport you are welcomed with a smile. Hospitality and kindness are the takeaways you will leave with following your visit.
Great holiday travel deals
For the financially savvy who keep a careful eye on their wallets, you would have picked up on the impact the pandemic has had on the travel sector. Most of it has pretty much been closed for business these past twelve months. This means that the moment it is safe to travel again there’ll be deals coming out your ears! With that being the case, would you rather save twenty percent of a five hundred pound trip to a neighbouring city, or twenty percent of a two thousand pound trip for the most amazing safari of your life? It’s a no brainer if you ask me.
When you’re ready to check out those deals, there are lots of sites that can help – Skyscanner can help you compare prices to figure out where you want to go. Airlines like British Airways offer package flight and hotel deals. Plus there’s lot of independent travel agents that would jump for joy have you as a client. So shop around and find the right deal for you.
You deserve it
We’ve all had a crazy year and it’s easy to brush it up and settle back into your old routine as soon as that becomes possible. But the reality is; you could use a break. A chance to rediscover who you are and connect with yourself and what you truly want in life. You can’t do that working nine-to-five looking out the same window everyday and doing the same old things. You need to reignite your fire with new stimuli from new places, new food and newly discovered friends so you come back refreshed and ready to take on the world.
About this blog
This blog was written by Sandy, founder of NuTravel Africa and connoisseur of the best African adventures.
We’re launching soon! Sign up to be notified when that happens and also to learn exciting new things about Africa and Malawi, our 1st destination.
In 2016, it was reported that over 30 million people visit Africa each year. The 54 countries that make up the continent are coming of age and travellers are finding plenty of reasons to jet off to Africa. Not only can you find one of a kind attractions, but you can meet locals on holiday and learn more about the region thanks to NuTravelAfrica.
Africa offers visitors a number of great travel options from adventure holidays abroad to learning about new cultures. Here are the top 10 holiday destinations in Africa you shouldn’t miss.
1. Lake Malawi
Malawi is situated in southeastern Africa. The country is defined by its beautiful natural scenery that brings travellers to its towns and cities each year. Malawi is growing as a travel destination, and according to its Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malawi will receive over 1 million tourists a year by 2022.
One of the reasons so many people go to the country is due to Lake Malawi. The large, freshwater lake is an important part to the people who call the country home. According to CNN, it is the lifeblood of Malawi and provides everything from food to water to recreation.
Lake Malawi is surrounded by golden beaches that soak up the rich African sun. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to as many as 1,000 species of fish. Birds, hippos, and elephants are also attracted to the lake to cool off and quench their thirsts.
2. Mount Kilimanjaro
Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. The mountain can produce one of the most exciting adventure holidays abroad. Mount Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic cones Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, all of which are dormant.
Mount Kilimanjaro provides a gradual incline, so hikers experience a challenging trek rather than climbing up a straight face. You do need to be fit to summit Mount Kilimanjaro as it will challenge and push you to your limits.
Image: Mount Kilimanjaro
3. Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World and around 1 million visitors experience this adventure holiday abroad each year. Situated on the Zambezi River which runs between the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the falls are a breathtaking natural phenomenon thanks to their sheer size.
According to Rough Guides, the majority of Victoria Falls run on the Zimbabwe side. Victoria Falls National Park is located on the Zimbabwe side giving you the chance to experience the falls from well positioned look outs.
4. Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
In 2017, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve receive around 2,500 animals after the original population had been nearly hunted out of the area. Today, Malawi’s Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is a well-maintained area that attracts visitors year-round thanks to its scenery and thriving animal population.
The park’s 520 elephants are one of the most popular reasons to visit the park. Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve is one of the best destinations for solo travel and gives travellers the chance to see unique wildlife in a beautiful natural setting up close.
5. Table Mountain
Table Mountain provides visitors unparalleled views of Cape Town, South Africa. The flat-top mountain’s a cable car ascends to the top of it giving you breathtaking photo opportunities. Table Mountain is one of the best destinations for solo travel thanks to its easy to access nature.
The location in Cape Town also gives you the chance to explore one of South Africa’s most modern cities. Table Mountain is iconic and using My Buddy Abroad to meet locals on holiday to Cape Town will give you the chance to learn even more about the landmark.
6. Sossusvlei Dunes
Sossusvlei Dunes are situated is Africa’s largest conservation area, the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt, and clay pan that is surrounded by red sand dunes.
Although the Namibia Desert is a harsh area, you will find a number of unique plants and wildlife that call it home. There are various natural attractions to explore near Sossusvlei including Dune 45, Big Daddy, and Sesriem Canyon.
Image: Sossusvlei Dunes
7. Praslin Island
Praslin Island is a paradise with perfect white sand beaches, stunning resorts, and large tropical forests. The island is different than many of the other destinations in Africa, and after an adventure holiday abroad, it is a great place to stop for some rest and relaxation.
Praslin is the second largest island in the Seychelles, but it has a population of just 6,500 people. The island is extremely quiet, laidback, and has a chilled-out vibe in the air. You can stay at one of the top-class resorts and day trip to other local islands when not sitting on the beach.
In 1859, British explorer David Livingstone proclaimed the areas around Lake Malawi as an excellent place to set up European settlement. Today, Livingstonia still exists as an historic town and cultural centre.
Founded in 1894 by Robert Laws, the town provides panoramic vistas of Chitimba Bay and the Livingstone Mountains across Lake Malawi and into Tanzania. Laws’ former home is now a museum and lodge providing a great base for your trip to Malawi.
9. Sahara Dunes
The Sahara Desert stretches some 9 million kilometres and is the second largest sand desert in the world. The Sahara Dunes are beautifully manicured natural formations thanks to the wind that blows across the desert.
Erg Chebbi is the most popular Sahara Desert destinations for adventure holidays abroad. Tourists from all over the globe head to Morocco to begin their exploration of the vast Sahara Dunes.
There is no more mystical travel destination in Africa than the Egyptian pyramids. According to the BBC, 8.3 million tourists visited the pyramids in 2017 making them one of the most seen landmarks in all of Africa.
The most famous Egyptian pyramids are located just outside of Cairo in Giza. The location makes it possible to combine a holiday in the Egyptian capital while visiting the tombs of the pharaohs. The Pyramid of Khufu is the most famous and largest of the pyramids located at Giza. Due to its importance, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
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