Find adventure in Southern Africa.
(photo credit: Expert Africa)
Gen Y Africa:
Adventures made for 20 to 30 year olds
Young travelers often opt for more adventurous vacations that involve a pump of adrenaline.
Whether it is cliff diving, close-up safaris, river rafting, terrain biking, or scuba diving, you can do it in Africa.
Expert Africa, a group specializing in personalized trips to South Africa, has chosen a Top Ten list for the Generation Y:20 to 30 year olds seeking a little thrill.
Africa is the continent of diversity in geography. From dry desert sands, to rolling
tundra, lush rainforest, tranquil beaches, and busy cityscapes; Africa offers everything. The south eastern region of Africa offers all those ecosystems. “Much more big game and more diversity” is what this region has according to Expert Africa. Because there is so much diversity in the ecosystems of south east Africa, there is that much more diversity in the species that you will see on your trip.
The managing director of Expert Africa, Chris McIntyre can create customized itineraries to best suit your interests. If you’re looking for major adventure coupled with some relaxing beach days, it’s possible with Expert Africa. If you’re in it all for the excitement and danger, those trips are available as well.
“People in their 20s and 30s will be drawn to these trips because they are out of the ordinary. People these ages are looking for new life experiences and that is what Expert Africa offers. There are fun and unusual activities we arrange that most people don’t get to do” says Chris McIntyre. The Top Ten Adventurous Getaways for Generation Y are all trips that provide a new and extraordinary life experience.
Top Ten Adventurous Getaways for Generation Y
Devil’s Pool: Zambia
One of the seven natural wonders of the world is in Zambia, Victoria Falls. The breath taking views of the magnificent falls alone makes this place a “pleasure” to visit as one Expert Africa customer put it. But if simply looking at the drop isn’t your thing, try bungee jumping over the more than 300 feet drop. Or for a more tamed thrill take a helicopter ride over the falls to get a view like no other. Or take a dive into the Devil’s Pool if your trip is in September through December. That is when the natural rock pool is shallow enough for swimmers to take a dive and swim safely.
Bungee-jump over the 300 ft. drop over Victoria Falls.
There a many options for lodging around Victoria Falls. Directly next to the falls are two large hotels, the Royal Livingstone Hotel and the Zambezi Sun. Activities around the falls are not usually booked through these hotel though.
If you’re looking to be immersed in the Africa experience try lodging in the nearby Tongabezi Lodge that offers small cottages. These houses are a little more costly then a hotel room but have the perk of one side of the house being completely open air to the views of the Zambezi River. Activities and meals can also be arranged with the lodge here as well.
Mana Pools National Park: Zimbabwe
If you’re in Africa, you must go on a safari. Do you want to get as close to the big game as possible for the ultimate thrill? Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe delivers. The park offers multiple walking and driving tours of the park getting you within meters of wild bull elephants or some of Africa’s largest rare predators.
But for a more unique experience try the canoe safari they offer on one of the four ox-bow lakes within the park grounds. Get closest to Africa’s largest animals bathing and drinking in the water as you row by.
Staying near the park means giving up some luxury, but for those adventure seekers, camping in authentic thatched houses might be the perfect fit. Ruckomechi Camp is one of the three camps surrounding the park and it offers beautiful views of the Zambezi from ten large reed and thatch chalets. Who knows what might walk by your cabin at night? Maybe an Elephant?
Camp guides provide walking and canoeing tours of the park as well as fishing trips along the river. “What a wonderful dedicated guide” Penelope M, a guest at Ruckomechi Camp said of her guide, along with multiple praises for the whole staff.
Go on a canoe safari in Mana Pools National Park.
Biking Safari: Zambia
A very different safari experience can be had at the Tafika Camp near the South Luangwa National Park. Mountain bikes are provided by the camp and in groups of no more then four you are lead out on an exciting safari accompanied by an experienced cyclist guide and an armed National Park scout for safety.
But “there is always some level of danger when you travel” McIntyre said about being cautious on the safaris.
For bike enthusiasts this is a great place to experience African wildlife. Another adventurous activity this camp offers is a morning micro flight. Small air gliders show guests a different perspective over the Luangwa River.
A couple who took the flight says it was “pure magic.” Some of the most experienced guides in the continent are at this camp, the least experienced one having eight years guiding safaris.
A literal fossil mine, the Kalahari Desert salt pans will take visitors back in time, far away from the technologies and business of modern life. The vast sand covered arid lands, while not for everyone, house some of the best geological and historical treasures around. On you tours of the land you will see pre-historic tools littering the ground and some of the world’s first paintings. If your trip is around January and March, this is when the salt pans flood and wildlife fills the vast ground. During this time flamingos, zebra, and wildebeest arrive and make for spectacular tours.
4 wheeling over the Salt Pans of Botswana.
(photo credit: Expert Africa)
San Camp rests in the middle of the desert and is the camp Expert Africa recommends for great adventures for younger travelers.
One way to get an adrenaline fix is taking a tour of the Makgadikgadi Pans on a quad-bike. Zoom over the vast terrain and take in the sight of the remote Kalahari at top speeds.
Big Game Canoeing: Zambia
Another spot to view some of Africa’s biggest game from the water is in the Lower Zambezi National Park. Your guide will navigate your boat along the banks of the river, making sure to row around the hippo pods and monster crocodiles that fill the river.
Chiawa Camp is recommended for this excursion, sitting right on the banks of Mana Pools, with most rooms having an uninterrupted view of the water.
Trek with Bushmen: Namibia
For an experience of cultural immersion like no other, go to Nhoma to live like the Bushmen. The Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of South Africa. They had a vast knowledge of their environment in the Kalahari Desert, which is amazing to witness in person. A civilization of hunter gatherers they survive off the land for most of their needs, but since their skills are such a sight tourism has become a major part of their society.
Join in on the trance dances of the Bushmen.
Nhoma Camp is one of the only camps that Expert Africa supports that lies in the heart of Bushmen land. Trips that center on viewing a specific culture have to be handled with sensitivity, or else risk of major miscommunication issues is huge.
Nhoma handles this delicate process with great pride, offering guests and authentic yet sensitive look into the culture so different from our own.
Lessons on how to gather food, make weapons, and track game are taught by the Bushmen. If you physically fit you can take your experience to the next level, going on a day long hunt with the men, and make it back for trace-dances with the villagers at night.
The Destelbergen family gave great reviews of their experience with the Bushmen. “What makes Nhoma camp very special is the Bushmen experience. Besides having full access to the Bushmen way of life in their village we were thrilled with a day long hunt where we were taught Bushmen survival skills. Overall a very enjoyable and special experience.”
Mozambique is the perfect place for a beach retreat. 2,000 km of white sand coast along clear blue waters, inhabited by vibrant coral and interesting marine life makes this country a beautiful spot to stop and relax. But for those Generation Y travelers looking for adventure, diving in these waters is almost incomparable.
Unexplored islands and dive sites surround the mainland where you will see harmless whale sharks, spectacular game-fish, whales, dolphins and rare dugongs (sea-cows).
While Mozambique stay at the Quilalea resort. On Quilalea Island, a small coral island, you can dive right from the beach and see all the wonderful marine life. A very eco-sensitive resort, the electricity is solar powered and wind generated. You can rent out a villa for your stay that looks out over the ocean.
Get up close to the wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda. (photo c
While Rwanda is mostly known for the horrible genocide that occurred there in the 90’s, most don’t know that about half the world’s population of gorillas live in Rwanda. The closest relative to humans, taking a safari to see the gorillas is an interesting experience.
On the safari you will travel high up into the mountains to spend an hour with a group of wild gorillas, often sitting only a few feet from them.
“The trip was amazing. It was the combination of the history, the culture and the wildlife that made it all so special.”, said one couple who stayed in Rwanda.
Seeing the great migration… on foot: Tanzania
The Serengeti is one of the more famous ecosystems, known for the migration on millions of animals including wildebeest, zebra, antelope, and gazelle, along with the large predators who hunt there. It is an iconic African wildlife area with many safaris offering car rides in to the tundra to see the animals. But now, Serengeti National Park can arrange with Expert Africa private walking safaris. Expert guides will take your group to see the animals close up, for breath taking views of the migration herds.
While visiting the Serengeti, Expert Africa suggests staying at Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge. Panoramic views of the tundra make this beautiful hotel a great spot to stay after exploring the lands. Thatched buildings make guest’s experiences truly authentic to life on the Serengeti.
Ride in the dug out canoes or Mokoros in search of the rarest animals.
Camp out from a dug-out canoe: Botswana
If you’re looking for an exciting trip through the water ways of Botswana, try the Kanana Mokoro Trail. Guides will take your group on a few dug out canoes, or mokoros, and paddle you through the secluded water ways in search of the more rare wildlife in Africa. You will search for the elusive Pel fishing owl, and maybe see a giraffe or two.
On the trip you will be staying in a tent set up on a campground where staff will be to serve all your needs. Two professional guides, personal chef, waiter, housekeeper and mokoro guides will be there to make your trip the most insightful, exciting, and comfortable trip possible. This is a great vacation for wildlife enthusiasts.
Hannah Monahan is an editorial assistant at GoNOMAD and a communications major at the University of Mass in Amherst. She updates the Travel News Notes blog on GoNOMAD.com.
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