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10 of the best African adventures

Africa's wildest sights aren't seen through the windows of a jeep. Set off on foot, in the saddle, by paddleboard, boat or even in a hot air balloon to encounter the most authentic and exciting new safari experiences the continent has to offer

Published 1 Nov 2018, 08:00 GMT, Updated 15 Jul 2021, 13:58 BST
10 of the best African adventures
Photograph by Alamy

Go solar-powered boating

Chobe, Botswana
Chobe Game Lodge is eco-conscious, community-friendly and ahead of its time. Its fleet of solar-powered boats and electric vehicles enable you to observe the wildlife that assembles beside the Chobe River with minimal disturbance.

Kafue, Zambia
Ila Safari Lodge, which opened in 2016, is a true eco-lodge, with solar panels, a biogas plant running on fermented waste and — in a first for Zambia — an eBoat and eLandy (electric Land Rover), for low-noise, low-carbon wildlife watching.

Take nocturnal nature walks

Anjahankely, Diana Region, Madagascar
Black Lemur Camp overlooks a wild, remote forest that thrums with life after dark. Explore with nature guides and pick out mouse lemurs, chameleons and snakes with your torchlight.

St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Visitors to Dune Ridge Country Guest House can don wellies and a head torch and squelch off into the wetlands with a frog enthusiast. The best time to go is September to February.

Track great apes

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge is one of the closest lodges to the Rwandan starting point for one of Africa's most unforgettable wildlife experiences — hiking through the forest to encounter wild mountain gorillas.

Mahale Mountains, Tanzania
Greystoke Mahale Camp stands on Lake Tanganyika, with its toes on a pristine beach and its shoulders draped in luxuriant rainforest where you can track wild chimpanzees. It's only accessible by boat, which just adds to the thrill.

Go on a horse-riding safari

Waterberg, South Africa
The Ant Collection's horses live in the bush and are unfazed by antelopes, buffalos or rhinos, so you can expect superbly close encounters. And with no lions or elephants on the property, mountain biking and running in the bush are possible, too.

Lake Mburo, Uganda
Mihingo Lodge is the sole property in Uganda to offer horse safaris in Lake Mburo National Park. Perched dramatically on a rocky kopje with great views, it's a luxurious pad to return to after riding and fly-camping by the lake.

Go on canoe safari

Lower Zambezi, Zambia
Chiawa Camp is a comfortable collection of thatch-shaded tents scattered along the fast-flowing Zambezi. Its canoeing trips are led by professional guides and offer an exciting perspective on the elephants and hippos that share the river.

Lake Kivu, Rwanda
Kingfisher Journeys was founded by a British watersports guide who's passionate about Rwanda's waterways. He runs kayaking trips on Lake Kivu, where you'll see various birds and catch the rhythmic songs of local fishermen.

Want to try an alternative African safari? We've got plenty of ideas for you right here

Follow @Emma_Gregg

Published in the December issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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