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Top 6 Things to Do in Africa Beyond an African Safari

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The Giraffe Manor is a small mansion in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya.

The Giraffe Manor is a small mansion in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya.

An Africa adventure doesn't start and end with a safari, and the six things to do in Africa beyond safari boast colorful, charming, and unique experiences that you can enjoy.

With over 10,000 miles of coastline, resplendent snowy mountains, vivacious cities, indigenous tribal lifestyles, and stunning marine life, each destination revels in its own sense of vibrancy and authenticity. From meeting with local communities to diving deep into the grandeur of untamed nature, venturing to a mountain peak or lounging on a white-sand beach, you can find endless surprises when in Africa.

No matter the kind of experience you prefer, you can create an elegant addition to a safari itinerary to uncover how much more there is to your Africa trip.

1. Discover the Captivating Cities

Bright colored houses on the streets of Cape Town, South Africa

Bright colored houses on the streets of Cape Town, South Africa

Effervescently framed by nature's backdrops, African cities radiate a vitality that pulls visitors and locals into a rhythm. With colorful movement that creates a hypnotic juxtaposition of tones that blend on enthusiastic streets to a delicate exposition of harmoniously blended cultures, these cities support Africa's major transport hubs, while making them historic points of exuberant market stalls, skylines, and streets lined with informal traders. When visiting a city, you can peel back the layers to discover how jumbled facades hide intriguing and exciting destinations that create its own style and atmosphere.

Best Cities to Visit: Cape Town | Stone Town | Nairobi | Moshi | Durban | Kigali | Livingstone | Johannesburg

2. Embrace the Gorgeous Coastline

Diani Beach, Kenya, Africa

Diani Beach, Kenya, Africa

A beach break is a great way to end an African safari, allowing your body and mind to re-energize. As most visitors are drawn to the continent's mammal-inundated interior, the continent's beaches stand empty and mostly unexplored. The coastline can deliver the revered scenes of beach escapism, where white sand glows in hidden bays for a serene ambiance or coconut palms and postcard panoramas fringe tropical beaches. Majestic forest and mountain backdrops can make it feel as though the coastline is deliberately guarded by other natural habitats and kept secret to protect the magnetic glow of the pristine waters.

Best Beaches to Visit: Bazaruto Archipelago | Zanzibar Island | South Africa’s Wild Coast | Diani Beach | South Africa’s Garden Route

3. Trek the Mountains of Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa

From Mount Kilimanjaro to the wild trails of the Great Rift Valley, Africa is crisscrossed by a series of inimitable mountains and hiking trails. Instead of one long chain of peaks like the Alps or the Andes, the mountains dot the continent, with cones the focus of summit expeditions that can take one day to one week. Many of the mountains are patrolled by wildlife, high-altitude specialists that benefit from the landscape's increased fertility or strong foliage that battles against the colder climates. Whether looking for an immersive lifestyle or rolling escarpments, you can find adventure around Africa’s high-altitude plateaus.

Best Mountains to Explore: Mount Kilimanjaro | Mount Kenya | Mount Meru | Drakensberg Mountains | Damaraland | Rwenzori Mountains | Lesotho | Volcanoes National Park

4. Experience Authentic Culture

Maasai man, Kenya, Africa

Maasai man, Kenya, Africa

Welcome to a land of 3,000 tribes and over 1,000 languages, a patchwork of cultures that have evolved in disparate habitats and continue to preserve traditions. Experiencing iconic customs and traditions is what most excites visitors, but every trip to Africa will encounter a series of different tribes. An African safari is also always a cultural journey into distinct lifestyles, with evocative tales to hear and discover. There is no single image and it's impossible to simplify the tribes of Africa, but meeting people from various tribal groups shows how the multiplicity of the continent becomes a lasting cultural experience.

Best Cultural Excursions: Visit a Maasai Community | Meet with the Himba | Learn local customs from the Zulu | Travel remote Plateaus with the Samburu | Uncover the secrets of the desert with the San bushmen | Explore traditional lands with the Hadzabe

5. Enjoy the Unique Marine Worlds

Dolphins in the waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar, Africa

Dolphins in the waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar, Africa

Africa's rollercoaster of wildlife continues along the coast and into the water, with bountiful marine life mixing the common with the unusual. Thousands of miles of coastline brings unique marine adventures, from diving with great white sharks to swimming with dolphins and watching different whale species breach offshore. From iconic pelagic giants with tropical reefs to encounters with the incredible Sardine Run, unforgettable tropical fish to sailing across crystal-clear waters, when exploring the wonderful marine worlds across Africa you can travel at a slow and peaceful pace or venture far into uncharted waters.

Best marine experiences: Cage dive for great white sharks | Scuba at Mnemba Atoll | snorkel or scuba at Watamu National Marine Park | Watch for whales in Hermanus | Embrace tropical marine life in Madagascar | Watch for dolphins off the Zanzibar coast

6. Enjoy the Natural Wonders and Landscapes

Victoria Falls, Zambia, Africa

Victoria Falls, Zambia, Africa

Africa's landscapes dance with surreal wonders, mostly unnoticed and unknown to the world. Valleys scar distant deserts, sand dunes rise uninhibited for thousands of miles, waterfalls tumble with a thunderous echo, and then there's the calm rurality of historic winelands. Famous lakes provide serene days, while tumultuous rivers offer unique adventure. These destinations are regular parts of an African itinerary, natural highlights that continue the continent's promise of color and enchantment.

Best landscapes to visit: Cape Winelands | Namib-Naukluft Sand Dunes | Nile River | Okavango Delta | Zambezi River | Victoria Falls | Tugela Falls | Murchison Fall | Fish River Canyon | Blyde River Canyon | Lake Malawi | Lake Victoria

Discover Africa Your Way

Yachting at Sunset, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Yachting at Sunset, Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Africa bustles with opportunity and possibility. From trekking across historic landscapes to visiting ancient tribes, exploring the gorgeous beaches to discovering the vibrant ambiance of distinct metropolises, Africa makes a distinctively grand impression. Find wonder at a marine sanctuary, seclusion at a hidden waterfall, or fine cuisine at a celebrated restaurant, with each new experience bound to open your eyes to the ceaseless majesty of the continent beyond the wonders of safari. Learn more about what to do during your Africa trip by filling out a Trip Request to speak with an Africa travel specialist or call our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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