From Mail Travel
Think of a holiday in Africa and, although geography tells you it’s merely a few hours away on a plane, it still seems like a world away.
From what we know of it, from what we see in guide books, watch on the television and read about in glossy travel mags and shiny new travel websites like yours truly, where else in the world could be more different to the UK than mighty Africa? It’s a tropical paradise – the land of contrasts, of exotic pleasures and thrilling charms.
You’re completely right of course – there is nowhere like Africa. Utterly stirring, magnificently beautiful and thoroughly unique. Africa is a travellers dream.Adventure and excitement are never far away in Africa. Spot wild elephants, lions and giraffe on safari; relax on paradisal islands like Cape Verde, Seychelles and Mauritius; or explore 5,000 years of history in Egypt: whatever kind of holiday you choose in Africa, this vast and mysterious continent promises to transport you to new and inspiring worlds.With complex tribal groups, ancient civilisations, overflowing cities and over 1,000 languages spoken, the continent of Africa is a cultural feast. Its natural wonders are just as diverse, from rich game reserves and towering desert dunes to steamy jungle, high mountains, crashing waterfalls and the world’s longest river.
Beach holidays in Africa generally centre around the spectacular reef-filled waters of the Red Sea or on the Mediterranean or Atlantic coasts of North Africa. Predominantly the Red Sea has quickly become a favourite amongst British tourists, its temperate year-round climate, dramatic mountainous landscapes, prolific underwater life and range of quality hotels making it popular with watersports enthusiasts and holiday-makers alike.Day trips to Egypt’s iconic sights in Cairo and Luxor are also available from many Red Sea resorts, making these an ideal base from which to combine culture and relaxation.
In Morocco, Agadir, located on the Atlantic coast, is probably the best known of the country’s seaside resorts and offers visitors extensive sandy beaches and a taste of modern Morocco. Not far up the road, pretty Essaouira is a charming town known for it’s fleet of bright blue fishing boats and the fresh catch they deliver daily.Ironically the main draw of exploring Africa, as a holiday destination, is the very same thing cited as its fundamental drawback. The continent of Africa is huge and not always easily navigated – with a breadth of attractions that include wildlife safaris, beaches, modern cities alongside traditional villages and a vibrant cultural scene; so naturally, it can be difficult to know where to start!One way around this is to opt for an escorted tour to this most fascinating of destinations. Thus taking all the stress out of planning your itinerary – and travelling with a knowledgeable, English-speaking guide – meaning you won’t miss out on the best Africa has to offer.Alternatively you might prefer to discover the incredible contrasts of Africa in comfort and style on an ocean cruise.
Whether it’s Egypt and the remains of its ancient civilisation, or South Africa with its abundance of wildlife, our selection of cruises offers the absolute best of what this expansive continent has to offer, paired with unrivalled service and top-notch on-board facilities! It’s certainly a different and more measured approach to exploring Africa but, for many, it’s the perfect solution to their only qualms.The mighty Nile is one of the world’s best-known rivers, and is key to Africa’s culture and economy. Discover fascinating remains of Ancient Egypt on a Nile Cruise, which takes in many of the key sights including Luxor and Karnak Temples, the Valley of the Kings and the Colossi of Memnon. The Nile itself exudes an almost magical atmosphere, and the many views that can be enjoyed along its length – sunset over mountain ranges, felucca sailing past, children playing along the banks – make this a truly unforgettable experience.It’s difficult to convey the raw magic and rousing soul that pulses through Africa. Bubbling under its surface is an energy and a passion that has to be experienced to be believed. Travel in Africa and you won’t just see something new, you’ll feel it too.Travel Africa with Mail Travel.
Ned’s tips: When you’re in Morocco, take time to visit the magical port of Tangier. Reminiscent of the bygone era of Hollywood, the sumptuous hotel El Minzah will whisk you back in time to Casablanca’s heyday, and lovers of Matisse will enjoy his favourite inspiration the Grand Hotel Villa de France; and for the best time in Sharm spend a few days at Le Royal Sharm el Sheikh Resort, – all part of Sir Nadhmi Auchi’s wonderful Le Royal Hotels & Resorts