Located in the Indian Ocean, 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania and comprising two large islands fringed by many more, the Zanzibar Archipelago vies with the Serengeti as Tanzania’s most precious natural asset, able to mesmerise even the most jaded traveller into meditative contemplation.Undoubtedly, one of the jewels in East Africa’s crown, Zanzibar (Unguja) can only be described as a slice of tropical heaven. Turquoise blue waters gently lap palm-fringed beaches, which stretch for miles; traditional white-sailed wooden dhows sail on warm sea breezes; bustling spice markets fill the air with a heady mix of Middle Eastern and African scents that leave you breathless.
Known as ‘The Green Island’ in Arabic, Pemba Island lies 31 miles (50km) to the north of Unguja, the largest island of the Zanzibar archipelago and together with Mafia Island forms the ‘Spice Islands’ of Zanzibar. Separated from the mainland of Tanzania by the Pemba Channel, Pemba Island is an untouched slice of paradise. Boasting footprint-free white sandy beaches and healthy coral reefs, lush mangroves and tranquil lagoons, hilly, fertile terrain lined with fruit and spice trees, Pemba is an idyllic and secluded island escape.
Mafia Island is the southernmost island of the three Spice Islands and a secluded untouched paradise far from the touristy crowds of Zanzibar’s larger islands. The largest of a score of islands, atolls and tidal sandbars that make up the Mafia Archipelago, Mafia Island is approximately 31 miles (50 km) long by 9 miles (15 km) across, and is surrounded by a barrier reef teeming with marine life. With a small fishing community of laid, back friendly locals, warm sea and air temperatures year-round and pristine beaches and coral reefs within the protected Mafia Island Marine Park, Mafia Island is the perfect post-safari or honeymoon destination.
South Africa Tours
Anchored at the southern tip of the African continent and home to a melting pot of cultures, fascinating history, incredible landscapes, extraordinary wildlife and world-class destinations, South Africa is undoubtedly one of the most diverse countries in the world. Defined by the iconic Table Mountain, and caressed on either side by two oceans, the energetic city of Cape Town never fails to deliver, with everything from paddling with penguins and white shark diving to world-class dining and cheese and wine tasting. Ancient indigenous forests line the glorious Garden Route coast where you can enjoy adventure trails and hiking, and the shimmering, sub-tropical Indian Ocean coast of KwaZulu-Natal boasts dozens of wildlife-packed reserves, including the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Ecuador and Galapagos
Ecuador & Galapagos
Ecuador may be the smallest Andean nation, but it certainly packs a punch when it comes to startling contrasts, spectacular scenery and striking diversity. From the palm-fringed beaches of the Pacific coast to the icy pinnacles of Chimborazo, this tiny nation enjoys a melting pot of cultures, bustling highland markets, vast tropical rainforest reserves teeming with wildlife, and the historical gem of the capital city, Quito. Explore the untouched utopian paradise of the Galápagos Islands, whose extraordinary wildlife creates a ‘living laboratory of evolution’, surf beautiful breaks on the pristine, untamed coastline, or unwind in one of the many timeless mountain villages where the pace of life slows down to a welcoming halt.
Home to the lush, watery paradise of the Okavango Delta, the vast floodplains and rolling grasslands of the Selinda Spillway and the dry aridness of the Kalahari Desert, Botswana is a country of striking contrast, extreme diversity, and startling beauty. Best known as the stage upon which lion compete with hyena for territory and food, Savuti is a safari aficionado’s paradise, while the open grasslands dotted with the skeletons of drowned trees and nutritious grasses of Chobe attract massive herds of game on their annual migration north. From the marshy swamplands of Linyanti to the dusty saltpans and sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert, Botswana is one of Africa’s most iconic landscapes and greatest safari destinations on earth.
Tucked into the Horn of Africa and bisected by the vast chasm of the Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia is a land of ancient history and culture. With archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years and a celebrated and sovereign history that has left its fertile highlands scattered with historical treasures, Ethiopia is a veritable treasure trove of ancient tombs, stately obelisks, medieval castles and Christian churches. And her landscapes are no less dramatic, from the remote and humid lowlands, which are home to some fascinating tribes to the extreme and hostile environment of the Danakil Depression in the north which proffer tremendous trekking.
Spread between the lofty heights of the snow-capped Mount Kenya, the steep escarpments of the Great Rift Valley and the lush, palm-fringed coastline of the Indian Ocean, Kenya is a country of extraordinary landscapes that stir deep longings for an African adventure. The high-lying plains of Laikipia offer a breathtakingly beautiful diorama while myriad glassy lakes teeming with birdlife on the floor of The Great Rift Valley provide an exceptional experience of nature. Sustaining hundreds of giant big-tusked elephants below the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli region will take you back to a time when giants roamed the earth, while the alluring reef-fringed coastline is a shimmering ribbon of paradise that borders the edge of this rugged safari country. Home to the magnificent Masai Mara, gathering point of the ’Great Migration,’ this gloriously beautiful, wildlife-rich landscape is Africa at her best.
Namibia boasts some of the most spectacular landscapes on the continent, from the mist-enshrouded beaches strewn with bleached whalebones and rusted shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast to the towering red sand dunes, dry cracked earth, and ghostly trunks of dead trees that form the stark beauty of Sossusvlei. Encapsulated by the vast saline desert of the Etosha Pan, Etosha (meaning ‘place of dry water’) hosts some of Africa’s biggest game, while the barren, inaccessible region of Kaokoland is home to the nomadic Himba people and one of the last remaining true wilderness areas on earth. Soak up some German culture and exquisite architecture in the quaint coastal town of Swakopmund, take in the awe-inspiring natural wonder of the Fish River Canyon, or go off the beaten track with a fly-in safari to the isolated Kunene region and experience absolute solitude.
The Land of a Thousand Hills has much to offer in the way of beautiful natural landscapes, diverse wildlife and warm, friendly people, however it is the allure of spending a few hours in the hallowed company of endangered mountain gorillas that draws visitors from far and wide. One of only three countries in the world where these critically endangered creatures live, to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat is a life-changing experience. Other unforgettable Rwandan must-dos include tracking rare golden monkeys on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains, getting up close and personal with troops of chimpanzees in the Nyungwe Forest National Park or heading for the sunny shores of Lake Kivu for an inland ‘beach’ holiday complete with golden sands, swaying palms, and crystal-clear waters.
Incredible wildlife, idyllic beaches, ancient ruins, a mighty mountain, and captivating cultures – Tanzania has all of these and more, wrapped up in the heart of East Africa. The waving golden grasses and flat-topped acacia trees of the Serengeti create the picture-perfect ‘Out of Africa’ image as mega herds of big game sweep majestically across the plains on their annual migration. The untouched wilderness of the Tarangire in the north is a slave to the seasons, where wildlife ebbs and flows like the tides, while the ancient caldera of the Ngorongoro Crater shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth. The majestic Mount Kilimanjaro stands tall over the vast plains like a lone Maasai warrior with a cloak of cloud, a striking metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa.
Hailed as the ‘Pearl of Africa,’ Uganda radiates natural beauty with deep tranquil lakes, soaring majestic mountains, lush tropical jungles and perhaps the greatest natural treasure of all — half of the world’s last remaining mountain gorilla population. Home to the tallest mountain range in Africa, the world’s longest river and the continent’s largest lake, this relatively small country has much to offer. Head into Bwindi and Mgahinga Parks to spend a privileged hour in the company of a family of critically endangered mountain gorillas, or follow habituated troops of chimpanzees in Murchison, Queen Elizabeth, and Semliki. The incredible inland sea of Lake Victoria boasts swaying tropical palms, sandy beaches abutting dense rainforests, and sparkling azure waters that exude a Mediterranean feel.
Primitive and untamed, Zambia is home to some of Southern Africa’s wildest and most remote destinations, promising spectacular landscapes of green and gold grasslands, dramatic lightning storms and an abundance of plains game. Three great rivers, the Zambezi, the Luangwa and the Kafue flow through Zambia, defining the rhythms of life for both wildlife and people. Follow in the footsteps of famous African explorers on a walking safari in South Luangwa, dodge yawning hippos and skulking crocodiles as you meander down the tranquil Lower Zambezi River, or spend the day wandering the rainforest paths and viewing the spectacular wall of water of ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ (Victoria Falls) against a backdrop of chattering monkeys.
Boasting some of the world’s most spectacular natural sites, including no less than four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and home to a plethora of large game, including the Big Five, Zimbabwe is one of Africa’s most beautiful countries. Landlocked in the heart of southern Africa, the country enjoys rich wildlife and natural beauty, ranging from the Matopo Hills and their megalithic boulders to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe that highlight Africa’s great ancestry and the vast salt pans, grassy plains and teeming wildlife of the Hwange National Park. Mana Pools is renowned for being wild and untamed, with an abundance of wildlife from hippo and crocodiles to elephant and lion, while Lake Kariba offers excellent tiger fishing.
Combining breathtaking natural scenery, heart-stopping adventure, ancient history and a rich colonial heritage, Guatemala is one of Central America’s most diverse and fascinating countries. Boasting spectacular landscapes filled with imposing volcanoes, vast rainforests and ancient Mayan sites, this beating heart of the Mayan world has long been captivating adventurers and intrepid explorers. Step into the magical world of the Maya with visits to the millenary cities of Yaxhá, Tikal, Aguateca, and Quiriguá; enjoy adrenalin-rushing trekking, white-water rafting, caving, and zip-lining in the verdant forests and rugged coastline; or take in the colonial grandeur of the cobblestone streets, stately cathedrals and crumbling ruins of Antigua or the capital of Guatemala City. Defined by the legacy of the ancient Maya, this mountainous slice of Central America is loaded with incredible natural, historical and cultural appeal.
From the exotic jungles encapsulating sacred sites of the Inca Empire to the staggering snow-capped peaks and valleys of the Andes Mountains, Peru is an adventure lover’s paradise. Whether you want to trek the ancient winding pathways of the Inca Trail or paddle your way down the Amazon jungle in a hand-carved dugout canoe, swim with rare pink dolphins or explore the monumental adobe temples and pre-Inca ruins along the spectacular desert coast, Peru will leave you breathless. Exuding vibrant Andean culture and one of the world’s richest heritages, Peru is just as famous for its sublime cuisine as its fabulous archaeological arsenal, offering an array of exotic tastes to appeal to curious palates. Hidden highland towns boast vivacious fiestas and colorful markets while the brooding emerald jungles hold a wealth of diverse wildlife and adrenaline-fuelled adventure.