Africa will undoubtedly get under your skin. Home to some of the most varied landscapes in the world, no place feels like the next—which will keep everyone in your group entranced wherever you are.
Here you will find an endless parade of the utterly amazing: herds of elephants and antelopes grazing side by side in the prairie; prowling female lions partially hidden in the tall, swaying grass, checking out the menu for tonight’s dinner; vast savannahs that stretch for miles into the horizon; and the world’s largest waterfall roaring for eternity.
Few places in the world offer this diverse and haunting range of natural beauty, deep-rooted culture and dazzling wildlife. If you’re planning a trip with your partner or family, or simply looking for new places to put on your bucket list, these three landmarks are musts.
Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve
Covering an astonishing 590 square miles, the Masai Mara Game Reserve’s vast, tawny plain supports an incredible array of wildlife, from lions and hippos to cheetahs and giraffes. Hemmed in by tribal villages and Mount Kilimanjaro—one of those majestic peaks that actually earns the right to be called “majestic”—the natural beauty is almost as breathtaking as the animals that call it home. Visit during the great migration between July and October, when thousands of wildebeests, Thomson’s gazelles and zebras march from the Serengeti to the Mara, filling the reserve with a wild and chaotic symphony of brays, fur and dust.
Plunging 354 feet into the Zambezi River, the legendary Victoria Falls is one of the most astonishing waterfalls in the world. The powerful mist generated by the falls can be seen a dozen miles away and was once dubbed the “the smoke of the thunders” by famed explorer David Livingstone. The falls can be seen from many different viewpoints, including the aptly-named Knife Edge Bridge, as well as two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Do not—and we repeat, do not—pass up the chance to take a dip in the infamous Devil’s Pool, which sits at the crest of the cataract and puts you perilously (but safely) close to the water pounding below.
The Markets in Marrakesh
There’s more to Africa than wildness and wildebeests—the continent’s culture is also a mesmerizing draw to visitors of all ages, especially Marrakesh. The best way to immerse yourself in this Moroccan jewel is by visiting the markets, or souqs, that decorate the vibrant, cobblestone streets of the city. The Medina is Marrakesh’s Holy Grail – home to a beautiful clash of old and new, with collections of circling ramparts offering up silks, spices, street food, ceramics, shoes and more. A few tips before you shop – be selective, bargain before you buy, and let yourself find balance in the chaos.