International Holidays Destination Africa Highlights 2019

posted 6th September 2018 by Danica Wilson in Travel advice

International Holidays Africa Highlights 2019

Hi. I’m Steph, one of the specialists here at Encompass Africa and I wanted to share with you a few ideas if you are International Holidays Africa researching.  Use this article to help learn about the latest in Africa when it comes to holidays and safaris.

As specialists, we only focus on Africa and pride ourselves on keeping up to speed with the latest developments, changes to old favourites and exciting conservation initiatives that see growth in wildlife numbers.

So this is just our, shall we say interesting five international Holidays Africa tips for 2019. We share the places, the highlights and things to be mindful of because travelling in Africa is not always easy.

Let’s go on a little journey around Africa together.  And to check out our 2019 deals, click here.

Our Map

Shows the countries we offer right now. The continent can be divided roughly into East, Southern and the Indian Ocean Islands and Coastline.

In the East you will find countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda.

In the South you have countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa.

In the Indian Ocean Islands and Coastline you have Mauritius, Seychelles, Zanzibar, Madagascar and Mozambique.

East Africa

boasts an enormous variety and huge concentrations of large mammals, over 1.500 bird species and thousands of insects and reptiles.  The Great Rift Valley runs through so there are plains, snow capped mountains, rainforests, extinct volcanoes, lakes and pristine stretch of coastline. Cultures here are rich and rewarding when you have real interactions.  Something for everything, there is budget accommodation right through to five star uber elegant luxury. 

We have two hot tips for East Africa in 2019 outlined below.  

International Holidays Africa Highlights

East Africa Tip #1

Uganda beyond the gorillas. 

Known for its rainforest mountains home to mountain gorillas, Uganda also has spectacular wilderness areas abundant with wildlife and fewer people.

This means a more immersive Uganda safari holiday experience.  Its equatorial climate is tempered by high altitude and temperatures are usually 25 – 30 degrees.

Take in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, the Ruwenzori Mountains and Mount Elgon. Don’t miss the crater lakes around Fort Portal and Lake Victoria. 

International Holidays Africa Highlights

East Africa Tip #2

Ethiopia beyond the wildlife

Ethiopia is one country we specialise in that certainly has a fascinating assortment of wildlife in spectacular landscapes. With dramatic scenery, more endemic bird species than any other African country (with exception of South Africa), endemic mammals like the mountain nyala, Simien Fox, gelada baboon and walia ibex it is a dream destination.

Beyond the wildlife the cultural and historical stories are rich and fascinating from the churches of Lalibela, Some 100 mosques inside the high walls of Harar (also home to the ‘hyena men’ who feed them by hand as the animals usually scavenge at the city’s outer edges. Ruins and stelae surround the 2,500 year old city of Axum with a royal compound enclosing five 16th century castles in Gondar.

The list goes on with the Blue Nile to explore, Lake Tana and Bahar Dar for its ancient island monasteries. 

International Holidays Africa Highlights

Southern Africa Tip #1

Namibia beyond the desert and dunes

Namibia has recently become one of the most popular counties to visit in Southern Africa.  Awesome scenery, fantastic wildlife, luxury lodges accessed by light aircraft as well as self-drive routes allowing for independent exploration.

A trip here will stoke your interest in landscapes like nowhere else.

Beyond the desert and red dunes that are iconic images of Namibia there is the Skeleton Coast. As eerie looking as its name tells, this stretch of coastline is called such due to the number of shipwrecks that ran aground here, and whose wrecks remain. Experience this area on a four day flying safari, or be lodge based staying at the brand new Shipwreck Lodge. The name says it all really.

Travel with a private naturalist guide so you will leave with not only a camera full of photos but also a mind full of knowledge. Include the Skelton Coast alongside Namibia’s other greats such as Sossusvlei, Etosha and Damaraland to name a few.

International Holidays Africa Highlights

Southern Africa Tip #2

Zambia beyond the Victoria Falls

Zambia is a country found on too few bucket lists. Home to some amazing national parks, offering a variety of activities away from the crowds – if you are after an authentic safari experience then look no further.

Kafue National Park is probably the least known national park in Zambia and yet it is the largest, covering 22,400 square kilometres. With only a few lodges here you will be surrounded by wilderness as far as the eye can see. Within the park itself are different areas, Busanga Plains is a favourite. Big prides of lion, a great area to see cheetah and wild dogs. For a true treat take a dawn hot air balloon journey over the plains, the sun rising ahead of you and animals grazing below.

Combine Kafue with the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi and really get under the skin of Zambia and its wildlife.

International Holidays Africa Highlights

Indian Ocean Islands and Coastline Tip #1

Zanzibar beyond the beach

Zanzibar, its name itself conjures up images of exoticism and the island does not disappoint. Officially named Unguja, located only a 30 minute flight from mainland Tanzania and easily accessible from the safari regions, with all flights landing in Stone Town,  Zanzibar’s capital city.

Whilst the beaches of Zanzibar and surrounding coral reefs definitely deserve some time, Stone Town should firmly be on your list. A myriad of winding, cobbled streets and alleyways, with beautifully hand carved Zanzibari doorways entice you to explore this historically rich city.  Outside of this enclave lies an island rich in spices – cloves, nutmeg, black pepper and cinnamon are produced. Take a spice tour combined with a cooking lesson to learn some authentic Zanzibari dishes. Alongside spices, Zanzibar is also home to the red colobus monkey which can be seen on trips out to the forest. A buzzing night food market allows you to mingle with locals, sampling all sorts of local cuisine.

Away from Stone Town you can stay in luxurious beach resorts, small boutique hotels, or locally run guesthouses. If you are wanting to get even further off the beaten track then head to the smaller island of Pemba, barefoot luxury at its best.

International Holidays Africa Highlights

Indian Ocean Islands and Coastline Tip #2

Madagascar beyond the lemurs

Madagascar, shot to fame with the helping hand of both Disney and David Attenborough and is a country with much to offer. Madagascar is enormous, and its infrastructure is limited so itineraries need to be carefully considered.

Madagascar offers the spectrum of budget accommodation to high end luxury even private islands where  no expense is spared. Miavana is the most expensive showcasing pristine beaches, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, nature walks to observe the lemurs as well as much more. In contrast you can travel on the main island where it is rugged, roads are not the best, accommodation does vary and your flights might well be delayed. So it is not for the faint-hearted but the rewards for those keen on the flora and fauna, and lemur sightings quickly make you forget that you asked for tea and received coffee, twice.

Madagascar, given its size really needs a few weeks to do an in-depth exploration, for those after a beach break one week will do perfectly, and something very exciting is a new flight route linking up with Ethiopia – a truly off the beaten track itinerary featuring history, culture and beach time.