By Amélie Fages
Southern Africa abounds with unique landscapes, but XO Africa has selected 7 natural wonders not to be missed, just for you…
1. Victoria falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia
The Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular locations on the planet, are, for us, an African paradise. Standing over 100 m high, 1.7 km long and 550 million litres of water poured per minute, the Victoria Falls are really impressive to see. In addition, you will contemplate the surrounding nature which, with its fauna and flora, its rainforests and the Zambezi River, offers an authentic and beautiful scenery. Many activities are also there to take your sensations to another level and feel the natural force of the falls: rafting, helicopter tours, safaris or cruise on the mighty Zambezi River… And last but not the least, did you know that the Victoria Falls are one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites?
Photo Credit: Ninara
2. Quirimbas Archipelago, Mozambique
The Quirimbas Archipelago have a dozen islands and numerous islets scattered along the coast between Pemba and the Rio Rovuma. I’ll let you imagine the turquoise water surrounding the archipelago. It’s a white sand paradise where you’ll imagine yourself like being in Pirates of the Caribbean. Tranquillity and remoteness are guaranteed. Also, you can discover the submarine jewels of the archipelago thanks to the various activities such as diving, big-game fishing, and walks around islands. With family, a group of friends or with your loved one, this destination is for you.
3. The Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa
We have ticked the Drakensberg Mountains–also known as Dragon Mountain in Afrikaans—off of our bucket list as one of Southern Africa’s natural wonders. These gigantic mountains are a challenge for the adventure amateurs and a paradise for wildlife lovers. Extending from the northeast to the southwest for about 1125 km, the landscape stretches as far as the eye can see. Here you can explore the two of the highest peaks located both in Lesotho, the Thabana Ntlenyana (3482 m) and the Makheka (3461 m). Between us, one of the most famous views of the Drakensberg National Park is located in the northern part in the Royal Natal Park and is called the Amphitheatre.
4. Okavango Delta – Botswana
If you are looking for total remoteness, the Okavango Delta is the perfect place! Located in northern part of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a vast maze of lagoons and numerous islands extending over 15,000 km2. Supplied by several rivers from the north, these waters attract flocks of birds and a large diversity of animals like hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, zebras or elephants each year. It is one of the biggest migration spots of the animal kingdom in the world. Welcome to the heart of authentic nature. For a true and closer contact with this fabulous wildlife, we strongly advise you to go on a mokoro (traditional canoe) safari with a local guide. This is a unique way of navigating through the meanders of the delta.
Photo Credit: Michael Levine-Clark
5. Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sossusvlei is a marvel; a sea of sand stretching for 300 km long and 150 km wide in the heart of the Namib Desert in Namibia. Nobody is insensitive to the infinite sequence of waves of soft and plump sands. And with its range of colours between yellow, orange to ochre, two words come through my mind: unique and beautiful. From a hot air balloon or a plane, you can explore the vastness of the desert like a bird unless you choose the quad bike or 4×4 options to feel the curves of these wonderful desert dunes.
6. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
Offering beautiful and spectacular views, the Blyde River Canyon is located in the province of Mpumalanga in South Africa in the east of the historic region of the Transvaal. This canyon, 26 km long and 800 meters deep, is crossed by the Blyde River and ranks third largest canyon in the world. A rich flora, this place exhibits a rare and sublime nature, which attracts many animals such as baboons, crocodiles, hippos and more.
Photo Credit: Erik Larson
7. Table Mountain , South Africa
The famous Table Mountain. You cannot miss it if you come to Cape Town. Recently named of the new 7 natural wonders of the world, it offers a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding suburbs as well as a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean. Reach the summit by cable car, or by foot for the most adventurous, using the different hiking trails that will take you to the top while admiring the scenery.
Which one of these 7 Natural wonders would you like to your Southern Africa itinerary? Speak to one of our travel consultants to add them to your trip
Phone: +27 (0)21 486 2700 (ZA)