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Journey through Africa: highlights from the TravelLocal team

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Africa is a continent of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures and unparalleled diversity. Every country offers something unique, which is the very reason our team have travelled far and wide across them. From awe-inspiring archaeological sites in Tunisia, to elephant-filled safaris in Botswana’s Chobe National Park, read about their stories below – then, chat with one of our local experts if you’re feeling inspired to get out there and explore these incredible destinations for yourself.

Natacha’s Tunisia

Tunisia is a country you think you know until you arrive, and whoever sets out to discover it, should expect to see clichés vanish. The intoxicating scents of spices, the folklore of a generous capital, the mysteries of an unknown desert, fingers burned by mint tea or glued by succulent pastries, marvelling at Ottoman palaces, meandering medina streets, whitewashed walls with colourful doors and tiles, cats surrounding you waiting for your leftovers, the captivating sound of prayer, and the blend of ethnicities… this fantasy destination offers delights for every traveller.

Tunisia is the home of warm-hearted people, full of curiosity, and they welcomed me with open arms. This country has a rich heritage and its inhabitants, calm and proud, have managed to preserve what history has given to them. I found it to be such an inviting place to visit.

Tunisia, Africa, Natacha

Leisa’s Uganda

Uganda hasn’t earned its nickname ‘The Pearl of Africa’ by chance. Probably best known for the opportunity to visit the last remaining home of the charismatic mountain gorillas, for its chimpanzees, and for its big game, there is so much more to this richly varied country. For a start, it’s a bird lover’s paradise; with around 1,100 species it’s home to 10% of all the bird species in the world – in one tiny country! Don’t leave home without your binoculars because the wildlife is indisputably spectacular.

The icing on the cake of this wonderful country though, is its people. Ugandans exude a warmth and brightness of spirit. Nothing is too much trouble, everyone wants to help. Their smiles go from zero to 100% in a heartbeat. There are no half-measures here; their friendliness is contagious. 

It’s hard to pick a highlight as I genuinely loved every moment and experience of my trip. Perhaps the most unexpected highlight was wild swimming in the volcanic crater lakes. There are over 50 crater lakes in western Uganda, and they are simply stunning! The deepest lake, Bunyonyi, found south in the Kisoro district, boasts 29 natural islands and is a perfect place to head for to relax after visiting the gorillas in Bwindi. Stop for lunch at Arcadia Lodges on the way, which offers a spectacular view of the lake, before heading to the shore to take a boat to one of the islands.

Lake Buyonyi, Uganda, Leisa TravelLocal team in Africa

David’s Ghana

Ghana has so much to offer, it really felt like I had multiple vacations in one, in just nine days. Safaris, beaches, waterfalls, history, and the people who are so wonderful and welcoming. I’d advise you to use Accra as a base to travel to and from the different areas, giving yourself a free day to relax and refresh at Labadi Beach half-way through your trip!

Elephants in Ghana, David TravelLocal team in Africa

Kathryn’s South Africa

South Africa ranks highly across many bucket lists for very good reason. This beautiful country of contrasts offers so much to explore. Most will head straight to see the penguins in Cape Town or the Big Five on a safari (and both are incredible experiences you don’t want to miss), but dig a bit deeper and you’ll discover so much more. 

The beautiful wine valleys of the Cape extend beyond the scenic small town of Stellenbosch, and it’s worth exploring the wine and food of the Franschhoek Valley or the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus. Don’t miss a drive through the vast Karoo plains as the darkening rain clouds gather on the horizon, or a walk along a wild stretch of sand on the West Coast. Spend time in the majestic mountains of the Drakensberg and embrace the space and silence of the Cedarberg. 

The Garden Route is a favourite destination for locals, with the beaches of Nature’s Valley, Buffalo Bay and Keurbooms being particularly popular. But nothing beats a safari sundowner, where you can enjoy an ice-cold beverage from the comfort of your safari vehicle while listening to the lions roaring as the darkness settles, following the Milky Way home! South Africa is spectacularly scenic, but it’s the people that make this country truly special, so take every opportunity to share moments and hear their stories… trust me, I’m a (relocated) local!

winelands in South Africa

Emily’s Botswana

Out of all the countries I’ve visited in Africa (and I’ve been incredibly lucky to visit many), Botswana is probably my absolute favourite! Its incredibly stunning landscapes in the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park are not to be missed – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many elephants as I did on my visit to Chobe National Park, just dozens and dozens of them, including families with babies – it was an unforgettable experience.

I also had the opportunity to spend the day in the Kalahari Desert with the San people, the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, where they’ve lived for at least 20,000 years. They taught me how to make fire and track wildlife using their traditional techniques! I couldn’t recommend this country and its unique experiences enough.

Okavango Delta in Botswana, Africa

Veronica’s Tunisia

In 2018, I spent a long week in Tunis – I found it to be a fascinating place, full of colour and perfumes! My accommodation was an old house in the ancient Medina of Tunis, where the walls are white and streets are narrow. It was a great location near the city centre, where the streets are even smaller and become extensions of the shops, with tents that cover the cobblestone streets providing some shade from the sun.

After past events, tourism in the country dwindled, so I was welcomed and thanked by everyone which was very moving. The Medina of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and is an incredible place to visit where you can enjoy mosques, browse shops, and drink mint tea. A few of my recommendations for must-visit places include the Bardo National Museum and the Carthage Archaeological Site. This country deserves to be loved!

Tunisia, Africa, Veronica

Make it happen

Has our team at TravelLocal inspired you to book a trip of your own to Africa? Speak to our local experts today and take the first step to booking your tailor-made trip so you can explore like a local.

  1. Tunisia
  2. Uganda
  3. Ghana
  4. South Africa
  5. Botswana 

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