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06
AFRICA: 10 oF the best
as boundless as the ocean – this is an the end of the earth.
experience that has no equal. But when it comes to utter remoteness
If you are enthralled by the natural and desert landscapes on an epic scale,
world, you will never be bored. From nowhere can touch Namibia. If you don’t
end to end, wild Africa heaves, buzzes believe me, fly north over the burnt-out
and pulsates with life. Its nights, lit by emptiness of Kaokoland to the desolation
the brightest stars you’ll ever see, echo of nameless hills overlooking the Kunene
to the whoop of hyenas, the chirrup of River. Mass tourism has no place here,
Scops owls and the chiming of frogs, like but hardier souls will pay for the privilege
ice cubes shaken in a glass; and from of coming to such a wild land.
first light to sundown there is always I love the stripped-down safari life,
something amazing to look at. Not just the comforts of soft beds, cold drinks, hot
the Big Five but a cavalcade of antelopes showers and same-day laundry, the taste
and smaller mammals; porcupines, honey of bread baked daily in a bed of hot ashes,
badgers, wild dogs, serval cats. All these the noontide siestas when the wood
and more, together with chameleons and doves are calling, the afternoon game
fishing owls, forest butterflies, flamingos drives that stretch into the golden hour
by the million, and baobab trees older before sundown, when shadows lengthen
than Stonehenge. and cheetahs emerge to hunt for gazelles,
And what lavish backdrops Africa and the last moments before bedtime, On the coast or in the bush, one
provides for your encounters with the watching the campfire sparks flying up thing remains constant, and that is the
wild. In Zambia, the home of walking into the vast African night. innate friendliness of the African people.
safaris, it might be the oxbow lagoons of Where will you stay? Glitzy lodges The camp staff who bring your early
the Luangwa Valley or the winterthorn with private plunge pools are all very morning tea; the cooks and drivers; the
glades of the lower Zambezi. Botswana well, but what could compare with the bush-savvy guides and the poler who
offers the Okavango Delta, that authentic atmosphere of a Zambian steers your mokoro, all are so welcoming,
miraculous oasis in the northern Kalahari bushcamp like Kutandala in North so eager to please; and like the women
where the fish eagle’s cry echoes across Luangwa, with hot bucket showers and you may see hoeing in their vegetable
26,000km² of islands, floodplains and fresh bread baked in a hole in the ground? shambas, and the Maasai herdsmen
crystal channels. One of the best ways to round off a with their red blankets and shining
In Tanzania the Ngorongoro Crater safari is to relax beside the Indian Ocean. spears, they possess a natural dignity
will take your breath away. Imagine Loll in a hammock on Mafia Island or and respect for the elderly that is sadly
waking on the crater rim stay at Kizingo on the island of Lamu and lacking in our own society.
and gazing down into that go swimming with dolphins. Wherever And if you are like me, when your
lost world of flamingo you go, from the Lamu archipelago safari is over and you are safely back
lakes and giant tuskers and all the way down the Mozambique home, not a day will pass when you
600m below. Or driving out coastline you’ll find barefoot beach don’t think of Africa. Looking out of my
from the Ndutu woodlands lodges (a uniquely African concept) window at the green hills of England, I
into the Serengeti when the where all you need is a kikoi and a wonder if it is raining in the Serengeti,
plains are black with wildebeest, sunhat – plus an appetite for fresh and if the lions are roaring across
towards a horizon that feels like lobsters and mangrove crabs. Musiara Marsh. n
MAKe eye ContACt
wIth A goRIllA stAnd on the RooF oF AFRICA
RwAndA tAnZAnIA
Our eyes met. This is a mammal thing, Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a slog by anyone’s standards, but the
the direct stare. With predators such panorama from Uhuru Peak, at 5896m, the highest point in Africa, justifies
as lions it sends a chill down your every effort. You are standing on the rim of a volcanic crater; peering over
spine, with prey animals you feel the edge of a precipice. A thousand feet below, the crater floor is coated
go ngoRongoRo protective, but with a gorilla you are with rime ice. Behind this great white plain, stepped tiers of ice cascade
tAnZAnIA dealing with an equal; intelligence towards the inner cone of the Reusch Crater. The ascent from arid plains
The magic begins the moment meets intelligence. There is no wildlife through humid forest and alpine meadows to this icy wasteland takes
the pristine cloud forests of the crater experience like it. you on an extraordinary journey: fascinating flora, arduous trekking,
highlands close in around you. But extravagant scenery – utterly rewarding.
nothing prepares you for the moment
when you look down for the first time
into the lost world below. The giant
23km-wide caldera’s 600m-high walls
encircle a microcosm of plains, swamps,
flamingo lakes and fever trees,
complete with its own resident lion
prides, rare black rhinos and some of
the biggest tuskers you will ever see.
CAll Us todAy! UK 0800 092 9595 IRe 1800 946 843 UsA/CAn 1800 517 0867 soUth AFRICA 011 881 5765 onlIne www.KUMUKA.CoM
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