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The most unusually cool places to visit and things to do in Africa

things to do in Africathings to do in Africa
things to do in Africathings to do in Africa

The most unusually cool places to visit and things to do in Africa

When visiting a different country, like Africa, often visitors are swayed by the more ‘touristy’ options. These are great for those who are only spending a short time in a country but if you have a longer trip planned out, you should  try visiting one of the places listed below or trying your hand at one of the unique activities for a more exciting trip.

 

Orange River rafting

If you are looking for a truly unique experience, Orange River rafting is the ideal choice for you. There are many companies which offer different packages, some of which involve camping overnight on longer journeys.

The Orange River rises in the Drakensberg in Lesotho, where it is known as the Senqu. The river rafting options along this river are always guide-led, with many courses being chosen because of their safety and ease for beginner canoeists. There are some packages which are tailored for those with more experience which require higher levels of fitness and experience. Be sure to pack comfortable clothing for this adventure and ample water supplies and sun-protective gear.

 

The Tankwa Karoo

The Tankwa Karoo is a strangely beautiful place to visit, with its arid landscape providing the backdrop for one of Africa’s more popular music and art festivals, AfrikaBurn. If not for this unique festival, the Tankwa Karoo would have remained in obscurity.

The Tankwa Karoo is a four-hour drive from Cape Town, making it easily accessible for those who are vacationing there. When visited in the right season, this desert rivals any green paradise, offering a breathtaking experience for birdwatchers, stargazers and hikers alike. It can be a harsh mistress so be sure to pack essential supplies for any situation.

 

Explore the Cango Caves

If you are claustrophobic at all, then it is best to sit this one out. The Cango Caves are located inland from the Garden Route, and offer a unique day trip for those who are looking for something different to do.

You can choose from the adventure package, which explores the deeper recesses of the caves or you can choose an easier walking tour of the larger caves. Be aware that the adventure tour can only be taken by those who meet the size requirements, as the tour ventures into very tight areas of the caves. Both tours are led by professional guides who are highly knowledgeable about the Cango Caves.

 

The Eco Shrine

The Eco Shrine can be found in Hogsback in the Eastern Cape. It is a weird and wonderful installation piece in the Amatola Mountains, found after weaving an intricate path through a leafy tunnel of hazelnut trees.

The Eco Shrine was created by artist Diana Graham, and is an ode to the combining of art and ecology. Her work explores the intertwinedness of art and nature, science and the spiritual. Visitors can look forward to an intriguing lesson from the artist herself, as well as being able to visit her studio to view her other works of art. Aside from the mosaics of the Eco Shrine itself, one of the main attractions is a six metre tree sculpture of an angel carved out of a redwood tree that was struck by lightning.

 

Take a bath on a cliff

Another adventure to have in Hogsback is to visit the Away With the Fairies Backpackers lodge. One of the major features of this lodge is that it has a bath fitted into a cliff, which can be found at the end of the garden.

Not only will you be able to view the Amatola Mountain range uninhibited, but the lodge itself is said to be peaceful and idyllic. You will find on offer nightly campfires, a treehouse getaway option and many of their units have glorious sunset views over the mountain range. The bath is free for anyone to use, and is lit by a traditional boiler which means it is up to guests to keep it stoked for others to use. It is available from 10:00 am to 20:00 pm, with 30 minute slots available daily.

 

The Big Baobab

If you are visiting Limpopo, be sure to stop off at the Big Baobab, found in Modjadjiskloof in Sunland Nursery. The tree is 47m wide and holds a pub inside. It stands at 22m tall and is considered to be the oldest baobab in the world, estimated to be 1 700 years old.

In April 2017, the tree toppled over, but this did not stop the people from coming to see the majestic specimen. You can still visit the pub and experience the beauty of the tree. Baobabs are known for toppling or braking as they grow older, and the owners say there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it. While the tree may not be fully standing, the sheer size of what is left is truly impressive.

 

Conclusion

There is a plethora of unique and exciting things to do and see when visiting Africa, and many of them are family friendly and highly affordable. You could take your family to go bird-watching in the Karoo, visit the Cango Caves with your adventurous friends or spend time luxuriating in a bath on a cliff. All of these will allow you to experience a side of Africa that is not shown in the tourist brochures.

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Start: 20 November, 2018
End: 20 November, 2018