What is the best destination for an African holiday?
Africa is proving to be an extremely popular luxury holiday destination among adventurous UK travellers, but where is the best place to go?
The continent is huge and there are plenty of fantastic countries that can provide experiences that will live with you forever. Of course, deciding on which is the best comes down to personal taste. Each destination has its own unique charm and character, so it is important to decide what you really want to get out of your trip before you leave the UK.
A lot of people immediately think of safari tours when asked to describe a typical African holiday and those who want to sample an authentic game drive really are spoilt for choice.
Africa boasts an extensive list of famous national parks throughout the continent. South Africa is home to the Kruger National Park, Botswana's gem is the lush Okavango Delta and Tanzania is home to the Serengeti - renowned for the great wildebeest migration.
No matter which of these countries you choose to visit, you are almost guaranteed to see animals including rhino, buffalo, giraffe, the big cats, elephant and hippopotamus. However, Scott Dunn's Africa expert Anna Devereux Baker suggests that an excellent luxury safari location that often gets overlooked is Zambia.
"In terms of pure safari for the real aficionados, Zambia is fantastic. It has amazing game, superb guiding, remote little camps and not too many other tourists around," she comments.
Zambia has a plethora of game reserves that are off the beaten track, making it an extra special destination. The Zambezi River acts as a magnet for animals in search of water, which means the waterway is an ideal place to see large numbers of animals in their natural habitat. Zambia also boasts the stunning Victoria Falls, which are definitely worth seeing.
Clearly, Africa's safari destinations are among the best in the world, but the continent has far more to offer. Ms Devereux Baker comments that people who do not have an interest in animals will still fall in love with Africa, saying that Mozambique has emerged as a quality coastal destination, with mile upon mile of pristine, remote beaches.
"In terms of beach holidays, Mozambique is a wonderful option," she continues.
"Down in southern Mozambique you'll find the Bazaruto Archipelago, which is easily reachable from places like Zambia, Botswana and South Africa. By contrast, Mozambique's northern archipelago works brilliantly with Kenya and Tanzania - there are some very exclusive places to stay in the northern reaches."
Ms Devereux Baker comments that the islands off the east coast of Africa are also sublime beach destinations. These are within easy reach of the mainland, so it is a great way to add a beach element to your African holiday.
"Heading out a little further, you'll find the Seychelles - a beautiful option with an archipelago of little islands just waiting to be explored. Mauritius is another lovely option, easily combinable with Africa. Here, the hotels tend to be larger and a little bit more polished with more of a resort feel to them - but it's still a really lovely island to visit," she added.
For travellers who prefer the hustle and bustle of a city break, South Africa is perhaps the best place - especially Cape Town. The vibrant city is comfortably one of the most picturesque urban areas in Africa. Visitors will be blown away by the stunning backdrop offered by Table Mountain, which was recently named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Cape Town has become a very cosmopolitan city over the past few decades with a distinctly European ambience, thanks mainly to its café culture. South Africa is so diverse that it is perfect for the entire family. By basing yourself in Cape Town, you are within striking distance of the beautiful Winelands and the highlights of the Western Cape.