The African continent is full of incredible natural wonders, from breathtaking canyons to copper sand dunes, the roar of a thundering waterfall to mighty mountains that you can discover during your trip to Africa.
It is easy to feel like you have been transported to a fantasy land, as Africa compels visitors with dynamic natural creations that beg to be explored, blending picturesque scenery with ultimate experiences such as safaris and city escapes.
These unique destinations are regular parts of an African itinerary, with famous lakes providing serene days, while tumultuous rivers offer unique adventure. Here are six natural African wonders that are not to be missed.
Bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia, the spectacular Victoria Falls are truly magnificent and on top of many post-safari itineraries. Massive sheets of water crash from around 350 feet high into the mighty Zambezi River. The thundering noise can be heard from over 20 miles away and the mist can be seen climbing above the Earth, almost like a sign in the sky directing visitors to their location. Discovered by David Livingstone, the Victoria Falls can be experienced on walking trails or helicopter rides, and for those looking for that little extra adventure, you can sit at the edge of the world in Devil’s Pool, an activity that depends on the water level.
Namibia’s largest conservation area is home to the Namib-Naukluft park and one of the country’s biggest attractions, the Sossusvlei Sand Dunes. Stark contrast exists between the rusty-colored dunes and the white salt pans below them, with some of the dunes noted as among the highest in the world, standing 1300 feet tall. Big Daddy, Dune 45, and Dead Vlei are some of the most popular with visitors. The best time to see the Sossusvlei dunes is just as the sun rises, when shadows cast onto the tall mountains of red to create a dramatic visual of light and dark, a perfect line separating the two.
Located in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, part of the Drakensberg Mountain escarpment and two and a half hours from the famous Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon is spectacular. Widely considered to be the largest green canyon in the world, with red sandstone slopes coated in a blanket of forests and a panoramic sightseeing route running along its precipitous cliffs and escarpments, its beauty is not to be missed. The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve also protects the geological formations known as Bourke’s Luck Potholes and nearby God’s Window, which offers views as far as the eye can see.
A World Heritage Site, the fascinating Okavango Delta is a unique wetland network with intriguing twists and turns, and home to several species of wildlife and some of the best bird-spotting in the world. The Okavango River flows into the Kalahari Desert, with seasonal flooding creating lush landscapes and pumping channels, the dry land mostly coming in the form of islands. The water eventually evaporates, never reaching the ocean. Activities in the area include overland 4x4 game drives, boat rides at sunset, or a spectacular mokoro ride down one of the channels - a highlight on the Southern Africa safari circuit.
Said to be the 9th-largest lake in the world, Lake Malawi is part of the East African Rift system and has a presence in Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Named the Calendar Lake due to it being 365 miles long and 52 miles wide, it is home to a vast variety of sea life, including over 700 species of cichlids. Crystal-clear waters offer a myriad water activities, such as snorkeling, paragliding, kayaking, and diving, with golden beaches that create a haven-like border around the massive body of water. Fishing villages located along the shores allow local residents to show off their rich fishing traditions, affording visitors a cultural experience as well.
Forming part of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit, the Ngorongoro Crater is a caldera formed when a volcano collapsed in on itself, creating the dramatic wildlife haven that exists today. Taking a long, rocky, winding road, the beauty and abundance of animal sightings waiting to be discovered is well worth it. The Ngorongoro Crater borders the famous Serengeti National Park and the Olduvai Gorge, an important site linked to evidence of the early existence of mankind. Other than stopping at Olduvai Gorge, visitors to the area can enjoy a 4x4 game drive on the crater floor, embark on a hike at Empakaai Crater, or enjoy a Massai cultural experience.
Natural Wonders are present throughout the continent of Africa, with numerous lakes, rivers, canyons, and waterfalls worth highlighting and mentioning. Must-see breathtaking and fascinating sites and experiences set within already popular and intriguing destinations make visiting Africa an adventure at every turn. To find out more or to book your African experience, we invite you to fill out a Trip Request or call our team at 1-888-265-9707 to speak with a Zicasso travel specialist.