Aside from being the second largest continent on earth, Africa is also one of the most diverse and beautiful. Here, we show you our 10 Original reasons to love bespoke Africa holidays, and prove that there is so much more to this amazing region than an archetypal safari...
1. Indigenous Tribes
Africa has an absorbing cultural history, but also an eclectic and fascinating array of indigenous tribes. Southern Ethiopia has to be one of the best examples, with over 50 tribal groups in the Omo Valley region alone. From the Mursi people with their giant lip plates to the Dorze tribe's tall beehive style homes, the sheer diversity of cultures will astound even the most knowledgeable African aficionado.
2. Private Houses
One of the best ways to experience Africa is packing a private house full of friends and family as a base from which to explore an area. A private house allows for added privacy and space, as well as true flexibility to do your own thing and relax. Our choice of private hire options in Kenya is second to none and ranges from luxurious private safari houses to cosy family-owned game ranches and private tented camps.
The beach certainly isn't the first thing that springs to mind when most people think of Africa, but we think it really should be. With mile upon mile of unspoilt white sandy beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, countries like Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique are perfect beach country. We recommend heading to the Spice Islands of Tanzania for a real Robinson Crusoe experience.
4. Long Weekend
Yes, you heard us right - you really can go to Africa for a long weekend. With overnight flights and minimal time difference South Africa is the perfect Big Short Break destination; and where better to head for a weekend than vibrant Cape Town?
5. Mobile & Walking Safaris
There's no better way to get up close and personal with Africa's vast array of flora and fauna than on foot. Zambia is the birthplace of the walking safari (with Zimbabwe hot on its heals) and South Luangwa is still undoubtedly the best place to go for the most authentic and memorable experience. We also love the added adventure of a Mobile Safari (walking during the day to a new mobile camp each evening).
With its wide expanses, Africa is a horse rider's paradise, and nowhere gets much better than beautiful Botswana. Head there in the dry season from May to October for fast-paced riding in the pans, while during the green season, from November to April, you can view the last surviving migration of zebra and wildebeest in Southern Africa.
7. Luxury Lodges
Africa is awash with truly luxurious lodges, ideal for a special trip away or a romantic break (and just perfect for honeymoons). The Serengeti has a number of superb lodges, all of which form a perfect base from which to explore the region while staying in the lap of luxury.
8. Flying Safari
This remains one of our all-time favourite African experiences and something we urge you to put it on your 'travel wish list' if it is not on there already. Flying at near sea-level along the whole of Namibia's extraordinary Skeleton Coast allows for spectacular views of the incredible landscape, seal colonies, shipwrecks and, if you are really lucky, the endangered black rhino.
Africa isn't just about wildlife above ground - there is also a huge variety of marvellous creatures to see below the water too. As well as world class snorkelling and diving, you can go sea kayaking, fishing and sailing on a traditional dhow. We recommend Northern Mozambique as the perfect place to dive in.
10. Food and Wine
Just an hour from Cape Town is the pretty town of Franschhoek, the gastronomic capital of South Africa. Located in the heart of the Winelands it has many excellent restaurants and, as you would expect, a great range of wines, offering a world-class gourmet experience.