Why Africa should be on your bucket list

The other day I was enjoying my morning coffee and some raisin toast at the local cafe and I couldn’t help eavesdropping on the conversation at the table next to me.

This conversation was philosophical as it had to do with “Bucket Lists”. The group consisted of five ladies who were happily chatting about things that they had always wanted to do but just hadn’t gotten around to.

One lady, let’s call her Sarah, piped in that she had always wanted to learn how to juggle! “Well, grab three oranges from the counter and give it a try now” were my immediate thoughts, but none of her friends seemed to channel my suggestion.

Another lady we’ll call Susan who, from what I could tell was the quiet one of the group finally had her say and announced that she wanted to see Africa. Well this is getting interesting now, I thought, I can be of assistance here!

“Africa, wow! What do you want to do over there?” asked her friends. “Well, firstly, I’d like to see all of the animals, you know elephants and lions and things.”

Aha! I thought, A visit to Kruger National Park will help Susan to see some of the “Big 5” African animals and she could stay at one of the affordable private lodges and game reserves that surround the national park.

Kruger National Park is world renowned and offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best across all of Africa. Most of us have only ever seen Africa’s amazing animals at the zoo but imagine how fantastic if would be to see them up close in the wild.

Another in the group seemed to baulk at the idea of the “flies, the heat, tent-camping”, adding “and I’m not keen on trekking through jungles or rafting down rivers.“ At this point I nearly opened my mouth, but Susan added, ”I was watching a program on TV a few weeks ago which featured a luxury train in South Africa so I would love to take a trip by rail and just stare at the country side passing by”

‘Bingo!’ I thought ‘What a great idea Sue! The Blue Train is a luxurious 5-star rolling hotel and is a perfect alternative to flying between Cape Town and Pretoria. The trip takes around 27 hours and covers 1600 kilometres. The Blue train is described as opening “A window to the soul of South Africa” The train is packed with luxury including magnificent suites, elegant lounge areas and fine dining. Travellers enjoy all of this luxury while taking in some of South Africa’s most diverse and spectacular scenery.

“What about Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls?” chimed Sarah the potential juggler, revealing that she too, had looked into the idea “Oh yes that would be fantastic as well” dreamed Susan.

The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, I nearly interrupted. It’s amazing! You can take a guided walking tour around the falls and enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River then relax in the luxury of your lodge accommodation which overlooks the Zambezi National Park.

I had to leave the ladies to their dreaming and musings as there was so much more I could suggest about travelling in Africa; a self guided driving holiday through the Winelands on Route 62, a classic luxury camping safari in Namibia or a visit to the Masai Mara in Kenya. We can’t forget trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro or visiting the gorillas in the wilds of Rwanda.
I finished my coffee and as I passed their table I quietly handed each of them my travel agency’s business card and smiled, “I can make dreams come true” I said which made them laugh as they worked out what I meant. I left the cafe with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.

Of course there are so many more amazing experience awaiting you across the African continent, from small intimate safari lodges to grand 5 star resorts- Africa has it all!

Will you tick Africa off of your bucket list this year?