Top Experiences for 2020

December 18, 2019  By: Gretchen
Mokoro adventure Okavango Delta Botswana

While many people initially decide to visit Africa to see the continent’s iconic wildlife – rumbling elephants, roaring lions and charging rhino, etc. – there’s so much more to do than “just” go on a game drive. You can see the wildlife from a different angle (read by boat, on foot or in the dark!); sample exotic or new food and delicious wine and beer; learn about ancient cultures, meet new people and much more! Here are our top insider tips for the most interesting, unique and exciting activities available in Africa in 2020. Read on and then let us know which ones you’d like to incorporate into your next African adventure.

Explore Ancient Cultures | Trek to See Two Gorilla SpeciesAfrica by Air | Northern Africa Desert AdventuresArt, Food & WineAfrica on Foot | Cooking Classes | Conservation Activities | Around-the-World Wildlife Viewing | Be the First | Family and Multi-Generational Escapes | Photography-Focused Safaris

San bushmen Botswana Tsodili Hills
Photo courtesy Nxamaseri Island Lodge

Explore Ancient Cultures

Botswana’s sacred Tsodilo Hills are home to mysterious rock paintings that are 27,000 years old. More than 4,000 of the paintings dot the site, whose enigma deepens when visitors realize it is more than 150 miles from any other known rock art site in southern Africa. Recent studies point to this area as potentially being the site of the origin of humankind.

We recommend visiting with an anthropologist to enhance your experience while walking the ancient trails of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Consider adding on a visit to a Himba community in Namibia to deepen your southern Africa cultural exploration.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
Photo by AAC Journey Specialist Anisha

Trek to See Two Gorilla Species

We have long recommended that travelers interested in primates visit Rwanda or Uganda (or both!) to trek to see Africa’s endangered mountain gorillas – one of the most incredible wildlife experiences on the continent. In 2020, we recommend taking the primate experience to the next level by combining a mountain gorilla experience in Rwanda and/or Uganda with a trek in the Republic of Congo to see the lowland gorillas. A visit to see both species is incredibly rewarding and unforgettable!

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge helicopter, Botswana safari
Photo courtesy Chief's Camp

Africa by Air

We love to see our favorite continent from lofty heights! Whether it’s peering down at the vastness of the Great Migration in East Africa from a hot air balloon, zooming by helicopter above the ocean along South Africa’s beautiful 12 Apostles mountain range, or microlighting above the thundering Victoria Falls, we recommend that our guests get up in the air.  Ask a Journey Specialist to incorporate some of these sky-high elements into your 2020 safari!

Sahara Desert Morocco
Photo courtesy AAC traveler Thomas Webster

Northern Africa Desert Adventures

North Africa is home to the ancient tombs of the pharaohs, the pyramids, winding alleyways fragrant with spices and the Sahara Desert, the largest hot desert in the world. This year, explore the desert in unexpected ways by camping under the stars in a Bedouin camp in Morocco and cruising along the River Nile in Egypt.

Delaire Graff Estates, food and wine with winelands view
Photo courtesy Delaire Graff

Art, Food & Wine

We know – art, food and wine aren’t your first thoughts when you envision a trip to Africa, but it’s time to update your thinking! From beautiful hand-made items found in villages to high-end shops featuring established painters and sculptors to one of the world’s most renowned modern art museums, Africa has an abundance of opportunities for art lovers to indulge their passions.

The continent’s food scene runs the gamut from the exotic tastes of North Africa to some of the world’s finest restaurants in Southern Africa. Underground supper clubs, private chef’s tables, extraordinary meals served in exceptional locations, lively restaurants in townships – Africa will deliver more culinary excitement than you can imagine! To take it up a notch, South Africa is well-known for its exceptional wines and the stunningly beautiful Winelands where they are produced.

If you’re interested in incorporating art, food and wine elements into your safari, let your Journey Specialist know.

Plains Camp Rhino walking safari
Photo courtesy Rhino Walking Safaris
Cooking class at Chefs Studio in Cape Town
Photo courtesy Chef's Studio Cape Town

Cooking Classes

Take your appreciation of food one step further by rolling up your sleeves to learn the intricacies of a new cuisine! We offer fun and immersive cooking classes throughout Africa. Some of our favorites include shopping for ingredients with a local and using them to whip up Ethiopian dishes, cooking a traditional stew on the banks of the Zambezi River and learning the art of ‘bush cooking’ from a renowned chef on the slopes of Mount Kenya. This is just a taste of the cooking classes we can arrange. We also offer a variety of itineraries and activities focused on food – just ask a Journey Specialist for ideas!

Rhino notching
Photo courtesy AAC traveler P Hrabal

Conservation Activities

Many of our travelers are conservationists at heart. Make 2020 the year you make that ethos part of your travel. AAC travelers have participated in rhino notching, counted game with a conservation team, joined patrols searching for snares and more.  What cause or species are you passionate about? We can pair your interest with a project on the ground.

Penguin in South Africa
Photo by AAC Journey Specialist Sara

Around-the-World Wildlife Viewing

Do you love penguins? Are elephants your favorite animal? Always wanted to see a whale shark? What does that mean for you? Lots of exciting travel opportunities! The new decade is a great excuse to plan trips to spot your favorite animal in different countries or even continents. Some of our favorite “Out of Africa” wildlife and nature destinations include the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), India and Argentina.

Gelada 'bleeding-heart monkey' in Ethiopia
Photo courtesy Dinknesh Ethiopia

Be the First

You like to be intrepid and be the first to experience a new place – we can help with that! Because we spend a great deal of time exploring Africa throughout the year, we know the newest camps and wildest places, along with new experiences, restaurants, museums and more! We also know the best places to get off-the-beaten-path, letting you explore the unexplored and to make discoveries. This year be the person at the dinner or cocktail party with the travel story no one has heard before.

Kids playing drums on safari
Photo courtesy Norman Carr safaris

Family and Multi-Generational Escapes

We know that planning a big family or multi-generational vacation can be daunting. Let the experts at Africa Adventure Consultants help! You’ll reduce your stress and ensure a trip that has something for everyone, whether it’s in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa or beyond. Whether it’s a trip to celebrate an anniversary, birthday, graduation or other milestone, or just the chance to escape together to reconnect and build new memories, we can customize a trip that’s just right for you and yours.

Photo safari with camera
Photo courtesy Wilderness Safaris

Photography-Focused Safaris

Are you a keen photographer? From amateur to pro, we’ve got you covered. We can offer specially customized and outfitted vehicles, expert photography guides, high-end equipment to borrow during your travels, camps with special photographic hides and more. What do you envision for your 2020 photography safari? Tell a Journey Specialist to make it happen.

Which of Our Top Experiences for 2020 Made It to the Top of Your List?