Think of Africa and a picture of untamed wildlife and dramatic landscapes springs to mind. But as well as offering the ultimate safari experience, Africa is the ideal destination for thrill seekers, sailors, sun-seekers and those with an eye for the spectacular, the unexpected and the breathtaking.
Africa is a magical place on a scale which allows for the most incredible variety. Its diverse landscapes and natural beauty, its abundance of wildlife and warm-hearted people who welcome visitors with open arms, Africa will enchant and captivate from the moment you arrive.
This vast continent of stark contrasts, the second largest and second-most populous continent in the world, is home to 1 billion people and for many visitors it is the people they will remember as much as the incredible experiences and amazing sights they have encountered on their African adventure.
Most vacationers head to this continent of plenty for an African safari holiday. They come seeking that
holiday of a lifetime and leave finding it exceeded their expectations.
Safaris, stunning scenery, sailing and sun
Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe all offer safari holidays, each with their individual characteristics, but all guaranteeing a superb safari adventure.
The most exclusive and expensive safari destination is Botswana with very high standards of safari accommodation and some quite exceptional game viewing in some of the private reserves.
The first country to buck the safari trend, Kenya is home to the iconic Masai Mara which still attracts enormous numbers of tourists. Kenya caters for the mass market and combines safaris with affordable beach holidays. With the warm waters of the Indian Ocean this is also an ideal location for those seeking sailing holidays for singles.
Namibia attracts visitors more for its dramatic scenery than the wildlife. The Skeleton Coast and Sossusvlei offer some outstanding landscapes but for game Namibia cannot compete with its neighbours, nor does it claim to do so.
Possibly Africa's most well known safari destination with the Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Crater topping the lists of must-see attractions, Tanzania is also a great place for walking safari's and for combining a safari with a beach holiday in the fascinating city of Zanzibar.
Zambia is another ideal country for walking safaris, although the safari season is a short one – May to October. Neighbouring Zimbabwe too has some excellent value safaris and is a great location for canoe and boating safaris. It also boasts some incredible camps and outstanding lodges which combined with some of Africa's best game viewing make this land-locked country an unbeatable safari destination.
For a totally different and unique experience jungle safaris in the remote region of the Congo Basin offer an opportunity to track lowland gorillas, forest elephants and Ba'Aka pygmies.
South Africa is also a haven for game seekers with some fabulous game reserves, the most well-known of which is the Kruger National Park. The astonishing wildlife and spectacular scenery of this jewel in South Africa's crown, make it an unmissable destination for those with an appreciation for the sublime.
Most visitors can't wait to return, they leave Africa intrigued and enlightened and if they don't manage to get back they will most likely spend the rest of their lives dreaming about it.
Idania Silvia is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a number of mainstream press, travel and holiday websites and blogs. Before she got married she experienced many sailing holidays for singles but now she enjoys them with her husband and four children who each share her wanderlust for the world. Her last adventure was an African safari where she encountered breathtaking scenery, extraordinary people and the most incredible wildlife.