Africa is a continent, a whole world in fact, like no other. There are the charming cities in the southern Garden Route of South Africa as well as their wineries. The scenic Garden Route, starting in Port Elizabeth, eventually leads to magnificent Cape Town. There are the townships in Cape Town and Johannesburg that reveal to us the sordid history of South Africa and how Apartheid forever changed the face of that country – both the good and the bad of it. And of course, there is stunning Kruger Park, the largest of all the national parks, and one of the many homes to the Big Five.
But leave South Africa and go further north to countries like Zimbabwe and Botswana, and you have arrived to someplace other worldly. For in spite of the beauty and wonder of South Africa, countries to the north are where the “real “ Africa begins. Companies such as Grand Circle Travel and OverseasAdventure Travel have several options from which to choose. The Grand Circle Highlights of South Africa trip will enable you to see these contrasts as part of their Victoria Falls post trip. Overseas Adventure Travel on the other hand, has two trips that will enable you to spend more time in that part of Africa with either their Ultimate Africa or Southern Africa trips.
Zimbabwe is home to Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the Natural World, and one of the largest falls in the world. It has 15 lookout points on the Zimbabwe side, one of which seems t have perpetual rainbow. Another four lookout points are on the Zambia side. The Falls are so wet at times it is life heavy rain, so raincoats are provided when you take a walking tour. Be repaired to see some incredible rainforest and families of baboons in the trees s you take in the falls The animals come right up to you, and entire families are closely visible as you walk. . Also, take an extra pair of shoes along in your trip. Your tennis shoes at the Falls get so drenched, you will need have your hotel dry them for a few hours. So an extra pair of shoes is essential.
There is so much to see in Zimbabwe, a few days is really not enough. In fact, Livingstone, Zambia is just across the Zambezi River from the Falls, and the bridge to cross into Zambia is easily visible, but not always easy to do if you plan to see more on a short three of four day trip. The Zambezi River Cruise is a fantastic experience, and allows you to see African sunsets in all their glory.
How can you not get romantic about Africa and after seeing flocks of birds fly against the sunset as your boat leisurely goes down the river? Or once you hear the chorus of hippopotami as though they are addressing you and your party directly? No matter how much of a safari you have previously experienced, the Zambezi river cruise is just one more fantastic African experience.
On a longer trip, a few days in Zambia would be an ideal pairing, with Hwang National Park for a continued and unforgettable safari experience. On a shorter trip however, where the Zimbabwe visa just allows for a maximum of two entries back into the country without having to purchase another visa, there are other options. With just a few days in Zimbabwe and no time to see Hwang, a day trip to Botswana to take a morning safari into Chobe NationalPark is a must, followed by an afternoon cruise down the Chobe River. Chobe National Park has one of the largest concentrations of game in all of Africa. Amid the wetlands, you also find your safari vehicle driving down portions of the arid Kalahari desert.
The Chobe River cruise is an unforgettable experience, where you can see 250 Cape buffalo cross the Chobe River, and herds of elephants paddle across the river, with the country of Namibia and its tall grass almost in touching distance from your boat. No matter how many animals you have seen to date, if you have not been to Botswana, you really have not seen the best. As a travel destination it is a standout. And if you have only been there for a day, a longer trip may very well be your next destination, especially if you enjoy observing animal behavior in the wild. The geography will not change much. But the experience with animals certainly changes by the hour, and might be life changing in terms four attitude towards wildlife and animal preservation.