Africa is this continent only 14 kilometers away from Europe through the Gibraltar Straight, but that feels very far from our western countries. We only hear about it on television and the newspapers when something bad happens, and it may seem quite often. Sadly, Africa is probably the most feared, unknown and underrated continent among western countries and its tourists. When I told my family that I was going to Africa, it was like the world was crumbling.
Nevertheless, Africa has everything that would make any traveller thrill with excitement. The adventure and the unexpected is guaranteed almost daily. The landscapes are sublime and variated. From deserts to tall range of mountains, impenetrable forests, gorgeous white sand beaches, mighty rivers, beautiful waterfalls or peaceful savanna. In my opinion, it’s the best continent to admire the stars and its never ending sunsets.
The Dark Continent has an extremely rich culture and traditions are still very important today despite of the powerful influence of our western modernity. Some tribes feel almost untouched, the houses where they live haven’t changed in the last centuries, they use the same systems to cook, hunt or cultivate the lands. Many times, when talking to them, you feel like in a documentary discovering a lost civilization.
In Africa you can never get bored, there’s an endless list of activities to do and the safaris are one of the most popular. You can be overwhelmed by the roar of a lion or the tenderness of a mother elephant hiding her baby from our cars. There’s adventure sports for the most active, like rafting, sky diving or quad biking, but you can also visit local villages, sun tan at the beach, sip a cold local beer or take a panoramic flight.
Personally, my favorite in Africa are the people. There is no other continent in the world where the kids, doesn’t matter the country they are from, run after your truck just to say hello. The children are not spoilt and never cry when they fall down. They just stand up again without complaining. And then we have the african women, they work from sunrise to sunset to be able to feed their children with a few dollars. You can spend hours looking at them with admiration.
Africa is a continent to discover before it gets too crowded with tourists, before they realize what they have been missing all this time. Maybe it sounds selfish but Africa is a jewel that shoudn’t be polished, from a tourist point of view. It’s one of those places that we should visit sooner better than later, before it develops out of control, before it’s too late.
Marc is a Tour Leader in Africa for Tucan Travel