Written by Lindsay Krause
Brimming with rare travel experiences, Africa has worked its way to the top of many travelers’ bucket list adventures. With our finger on the pulse of upcoming travel trends and do-before-you-die journeys, our team of expert travel advisors presents 10 bucket list African travel experiences not to miss out on . From culinary safaris in the Kalahari Desert to transformative getaways in Tanzania, let this list inspire your 2020 travels.
If witnessing Egypt’s ancient pyramids is on your bucket list, why not do it from the luxurious haven of the Sanctuary Nile Adventurer. The 32 cabin ship will take you on a 4-day cruise down the Nile, stopping at Egypt’s top sightseeing spots with the most experienced Egyptologists by your side. Sit back, relax, and sail into 2020 like Cleopatra herself.
Discover the jungles of Rwanda and experience the thrill of a face-to-face encounter with Mountain Gorillas at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest. This jungle sanctuary is located on the foothills of the Virunga Volcano Range, offering 14 secluded suites fused with their natural surroundings. Your days will be adventurous, tracking endangered mountain gorillas while golden monkeys leap overhead and exploring the Musanze Caves, a network of caves formed over 65 million years ago. And your nights? You can be rest-assured that they will be nothing short of luxurious.
Food lovers assemble! We’ve got a culinary safari experience that will leave even the most discerning travelers’ mouth-watering. Working in partnership with South Africa’s first and only Michelin star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Tswalu Kalahari offers a world-class dining experience in the heart of the Kalahari. The menu is a homage to the cultural heritage of South Africa and is driven by a low-impact ethos.
Reset your mind at Ellerman House’s Wellness Retreat in 2020. Led by internationally-renowned Elite Wellness Consultant, Harry Jameson, this luxury retreat will have you recharged in no time. In addition to Ellerman’s usual luxuries, this 4-day retreat incorporates soothing spa treatments, nutritional workshops, one-on-one wellness consultations, guided meditations and a sleep ritual workshop. Did we mention Ellerman House will have 5 dedicated Sleep Rooms for retreat goers? Here, you can learn the Ellerman House Sleep Ritual which promotes the parasympathetic nervous system, reduces inflammation, manages stress and improves mental focus.
New year, new hobby. Duba Plains Wild Photographic Safari is the perfect creative addition to your 2020 bucket list adventures. The lodge offers Canon cameras and lenses to guests, 4×4 safari vehicles with camera mounts, as well as a dedicated photographic boat for exploring the Okavango Delta. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, Duba Plains will have you kitted out to ensure you leave with the perfect shot.
Disconnect from your digital devices and let nature entertain you at Fregate Island Private. An eco-friendly hideaway in the Seychelles, Fregate Island Private is dedicated to restoring and protecting the Island’s rare and exotic species. Meet the ancient Giant Aldabra Tortoises, witness sea turtles come ashore to nest and spot over 100 species of tropical birds all while soaking up the private island’s tropical landscapes. From island hopping and scuba diving to mountain biking and yoga, a stay at Fregate will have you off your emails and Instagram in no time.
Pull on your walking shoes and discover the birthplace of walking safaris in 2020, South Luangwa National Park. Zambia’s premier safari camp, Time + Tide Chinzombo is the epitome of wild luxury. Located on the banks of the Luangwa River, the camp gives you direct access to the untamed beauty of the National Park. While game drives give you quick access to Africa’s wildlife, nothing quite compares to exploring the untamed beauty of Africa on foot, especially when you have award-winning guides by your side.
Want to make a difference in 2020? A vacation at Gibb’s Farm in Tanzania will leave you feeling transformed. Located on the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater, Gibb’s Farm offers an idyllic retreat for East Africa safari-goers. Beyond your traditional safari experience, Gibb’s Farm invites guests to lend a helping hand in the communities that support your travel experience. The Haymu Primary School serves over 600 eager scholars and has limited resources. You can make a difference by packing resources for the school or donate a desk at only $70 and return home knowing that you’ve made an invaluable difference to the local community of Ngorongoro.
Located in the Eastern Serengeti, Lemala Nanyukie Camp invites you to float above the annual wildebeest migration in a hot air balloon – two bucket list experiences in one. Tick! With canvas tents as your base for the migration, the camp offers an authentic safari experience with a luxurious touch. A must-see wildlife spectacle, the Great Migration sees hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, antelope and zebra migrate clockwise across the Serengeti-Masai Mara plains in search of fresh water and green pastures with predators following suit.
Fall asleep under the African night sky with an overnight stay at Victoria Falls River Lodge – Island Tree House Suites. Located on the private island of Kandahar, the lodge offers 2 double storey Starbed Treehouses elevated over the iconic Zambezi River. Spend your days discovering one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Park before tucking yourself in for the night under the stars.