This year has been one that will long be remembered – not always fondly!

But what better way to turn all the negatives to positives than by finishing off 2020 with an extraordinary holiday that leaves you with good memories for years to come?

Of course, there are some extra considerations this year. As Mark Havercroft, Minor Hotels Regional Director for Africa, says: “The year may be almost over, but COVID-19 isn’t. We need to continue taking precautions whether we’re at home or away. But the good news is that the best destinations are doing everything they can to protect both visitors and staff.”

So while we cannot be complacent, we can still have a great time, while supporting the travel and tourism industry right on here on our home continent.

1.     Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda

Every animal lover should have an encounter with gorillas on their bucket list. The endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda are closely monitored and protected. Tours through the magnificent landscape are led by expert guides and you’ll get to observe these amazing creatures close up, along with a variety of other animals.

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Western Lowland Gorilla
Western Lowland Gorilla
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2.     Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe

These spectacular falls are located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. See them from one of the land-based viewing points or take a trip on the river for another perspective. Either way, be sure to take a raincoat. The Anantara Royal Livingstone Hotel on the Zambian side boasts sweeping views of the Zambezi River and the adjacent savannah, wildlife roaming freely in the grounds and safari-style luxury at every turn. Check their website for advance purchase specials available now.

A weekend on the edge of the world – What to do when visiting the great Victoria Falls

3.     Nyiragongo Volcano, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

This one is for adrenaline junkies. Nyiragongo, a beautiful and active volcano in the Virunga National Park, last erupted in 2002. The crater is 1.2km wide and filled with boiling lava, which glows at night. No one is sure when it will next erupt, but for now you can join hiking tours to the summit, with the option to spend the night there in a tented camp. Your holiday photos will be unbeatable.

4.     Table Mountain, South Africa

From the flat top of Table Mountain, lofty 360 degree views of the beautiful City of Cape Town unfold. Ride a rotating cable car up or, for the more energetic, take one of the hiking routes to the top. Pathways on the summit are well laid out and, if you’re lucky, you may spot a dassie sunning itself on a rock. Look out for a variety of special offers available to locals.

5.     Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak at 5 805 metres. To climb it, you’ll need to be relatively fit and put in the essential pre-training. The journey takes you through grassland plains, rain forests and alpine meadows, to an almost lunar landscape just before the summit, which often sits above the clouds. As altitude sickness can be a factor, it’s important to work through a reputable tour operator.

6.     Kruger Shalati Train on the Bridge, South Africa

The Kruger Shalati Train on the Bridge perches on the historical Selati Bridge, high above the Sabie River in the Kruger National Park. The original steam train carriages have been converted into glass-walled, luxury rooms with incredible views of the river bank below, where wildlife gathers to graze and swim. Game drives, gourmet food and excellent service complete the package. Sign up for the newsletter for advance notice of special offers.

7.     Cape Verde Archipelago

This archipelago comprises 10 islands off the west coast of Africa. African and European influences blend to make for unique offerings of music, arts and cuisine. With balmy temperatures all year round, luminous blue water and beaches with sand that ranges from milk-white to black, this is a beach-lover’s dream. Other activities include sailing, jet skiing and diving, hiking, and bird or sea turtle watching.

8.     Masai Mara, Kenya

The Masai Mara is one of the best places in Africa to view the continent’s wildlife. Try a horse-back safari or take a traditional game drive or guided walk to experience the magic of the African bush with a local expert. Depending on the time of year, you’re likely to encounter anything from lion, elephant, hippo, buffalo or crocodiles through to vast herds of migrating zebra and wildebeest. The Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp’s remoteness is perfect for enjoying the bright stars and busy wildlife in comfort.

9.     Nzulezo Village, Ghana

This village in western Ghana is like a rustic and much smaller version of Venice, where the locals have lived their lives the same way for centuries. It’s built entirely on stilts over the water so canoes are the only method of transport – and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to help paddle. While you’re there, you’ll want to try the world-famous local gin, which is made from raffia palm.

10. Seychelles

This group of 115 islands off the coast of East Africa is famous for its warm, turquoise water, white beaches and dense forests. When you tire of the beach, island hopping, water sports and gorgeous landscapes, sit down to enjoy Creole cuisine at its best. A private luxury villa on the beachfront at the Anantara Maia Seychelles on Mahé may well be one of the very best ways to experience this fabulous destination.

The choice is yours – where will you go this holiday season? For the best prices, book now then sit back, relax and enjoy your time out.

The Seychelles for South Africans – Cost-saving tips & activities

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