Introducing Southern Africa
An astonishingly diverse region fused by its prolific wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and remnants of ancient culture, Southern Africa will etch itself on your heart.
Southern Africa has some of Africa’s great safari destinations: Kruger, Etosha, South Luangwa and Hwange National Parks, and the Okavango Delta. The sheer number of elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, rhino, buffaloes, antelope and myriad other species will quickly overwhelm your camera. Spot them on self-drives, guided wildlife drives or charter flights...and if that’s not up close and personal enough, what about the chance to track highly endangered black rhino...on foot?
There's famous Table Mountain, that mighty gash hacked out of the earth’s surface at Fish River Canyon, and the desertscapes of the Kalahari, but the lonely rural tracks that expose visitors to a wandering wilderness are just as memorable. In Namibia, huge slabs of flat-topped granite rise from mists of wind-blown sand and swirling dust. And Zambian floodplains are dotted with acacia trees and flanked by escarpments of dense woodland. Want to see all the landscapes the region has to offer? Put aside a lifetime.
For insight into extraordinary rock art left by ancestors of the San, an ancient people with direct links to the Stone Age, visit Tsodilo Hills in Botswana and the extensive rock art galleries in Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Step back through the centuries in the cultural melting pot of Mozambique Island; stay in a mud hut in Zimbabwe and watch Shona sculptors at work; prop up the bar at a shebeen in Soweto; or mingle with Basotho people in highland villages in Lesotho.
Namibia is Southern Africa's headquarters for adrenaline-pumping fun, but there’s adventure to be had all over the region. Sail by dhow past remote islands off Mozambique’s jagged coastline, abseil Livingstonia in Malawi, and try tackling the ferocious rapids down the Zambezi River or bungee from a bridge at Victoria Falls. In South Africa, the Garden Route with its old-growth forests offers shark-cage diving, surfing, skydiving, canoeing and kloofing (canyoning). And that’s just scratching the surface.
The many and diverse faces of Southern Africa make it the continent’s most accessible destination. It's perfect for the intrepid – think Zambian wilderness, remote Mozambican archipelagoes and Namibian deserts; and it's ideal for visitors wanting to slide a toe onto the continent for the first time – think sophisticated South Africa, compact Swaziland and friendly Malawi. From Okavango Delta luxury lodges to Cape Town budget digs, this is truly Africa.
Every country in the world displays some diversity, but South Africa, stretching from the hippos in the Limpopo River to the penguins waddling on the Cape, takes some beating. It befits its position at the southern end of the world’s most epic continent, with more types of terrain than photographers can shake their zoom lens at.