There is a unique way, I have often noticed, the African sun embraces, with some unreserved eagerness, like some warm wooly blanket that clings urgently to the body, as if it, too, feared the stranger of cold. Maybe, just maybe, that is what lends Africa her name, as that historian of time, Leo Africanus, did suggest, as ‘a land free of cold and horror’. Surely, that unique way is the brazen way of Africa, the way Africa can cling to one, like the alluring scent of wild jasmines. I guess that is why Africa becomes a privileged dream destination for many tourists, and home to natural and manmade wonders. Of these wonders a-many, seven top my inadequate list.
Many are oftentimes scared of heights, but the heights of the Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania do offer more to admiration than fear. With the Mountain towering at about 19, 340 feet (5,895m) from the ground, it is estimated to take a determined journey of around six days to reach any of its seven peaks. If one, however, isn’t a highlander, or aspiring to be one, possibly, taking a trip to the beautiful city of Cape Town in South Africa will be a worthier option. With its remarkable boast as one of the most alluring, culturally diverse, cities in the world, Cape Town is a phenomenon of Africa’s beauty. Yet another, touted as Africa’s Garden of Eden, is the Ngoro Ngoro Crater, which is reputably the largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world, with a width of over 19 kilometers, rising about 2000 feet above the caldera floor. Within this God-made marvel, live over 30,000 animals of different species, including the rare black rhino. Travelling to Mali instead, one may venture a visit to Djenne, one of the oldest cities of sub-Saharan Africa, established as far back as 800 BC, and likewise a center for trade and Islamic learning. Particularly, the magnificent Grand Mosque, the largest mud house in the world, is a symbol of Djenne’s historic creativity with mud. Still, a trip to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya can gift one the opportunity to witness the annual Serengeti (meaning “endless plains”) migration that spans Tanzania and Kenya, traversing over 30,000 sq. km, as the longest overland migration in the world with diverse animals like the wildebeest and the zebras. For those seeking a more picturesque setting, the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, are reckoned as the largest waterfalls in the world, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. During the rainy season, it is recorded that over 500 million liters of water fall scenically into the Zambezi River, hence, its nickname, “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, the smoke that thunders. Finally, no adventure would be complete without a visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Built more than 5000 years ago as burial chambers for the pharaohs, the pyramids tower magnificently and tell of the glory of African civilization.
While choice of a tourist destination is always wrought with indecision as to the better option, picking any of these seven destinations appears every bit worth its weight in gold. Like some overripe fruit, every taste of Africa’s splendor offers near-equal satisfaction, whether it is running the plains of the Serengeti or basking in the sunlit beaches of the Cape Town. Truly, without doubt, Africa doesn’t disappoint. Its way is the path of the rainbow, with colors that dance in your eyes, and embrace you with familiar tenderness.
Article submitted by Nicholas Anakwue
Best Destinations in Africa – Travelers’ Choice Awards, Trip Advisor (http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Destinations-cTop-g6).
Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, Africa Geographic (http://africageographic.com/blog/the-7-natural-wonders-of-Africa/).