Southern Africa Itinerary-to-be

We’re in Africa!!  And as we get ready to start our adventure, I thought it’d be fun to post our “itinerary-to-be” for the trip.

The last time I did this was for my Southeast Asia trip, where I opted for the “one beach, one city, one other” plan for each country to get the most experience for what time and money I had.

But southern Africa has a lot of quintessential “others” (like sand dunes!)(and snorkelling!)(and safaris!), so I’ve organized our possible “must-sees” and “want-to-sees” under different names: wildlife, beaches, adrenaline, and landscapes. Quintessential “must-sees” will catch anything else.

South Africa

We weren’t planning on spending much time in SA just so we could concentrate on more out-in-the-wild independent 4×4 time, but it seems plans might be changing:

Landscape: Cape Town – This was always on the docket, because of Table Mountain and because of this view:

Table Mountain Cableway
Table Mountain Cableway by Paul Scott
Wildlife: Kruger National Park, probably the most famous of all the wildlife reserves. We were going to ignore it, but were told we’d be crazy to, and also, that it’s one of the more convenient ways to get from Mozambique back into the country.

Namibia

Namibia was Moreno’s primary focus for the trip, and it seems to have the most to offer from our list of “priorities”…

Namibia - Dunas Sossusvlei by Rui Ornelas
Namibia – Dunas. Sossusvlei by Rui Ornelas
Wildlife:  Etosha National Park, one of the world’s greatest for wildlife viewing, including lions, elephants…you name it.

Beach: Skeleton Coast – Not quite a beach, but an exciting coastline of rolling fog and scattered shipwrecks.

Adrenaline: Swakopmund, known as the adrenaline-capital, to try some sand boarding!

Landscape: Fish River Canyon for a five day hike in the valley of this astounding gash in the earth.

Quintessential: Sossusvlei sand dunes, towering 300 meters over the surrounding roads.

Zambia

Crossing Luangwa River by Geoff Gallice
Crossing Luangwa River by Geoff Gallice

Wildlife: South Luangwa National Park for the highest quality guides in the country and one of the best park experiences in Africa  .

Adrenaline: Victoria Falls – Bungee jumping here has been on my bucket list for years!

Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls - Zimbabwe Side by Steve Jurvetson
Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe Side by Steve Jurvetson
Quintessential: Great Zimbabwe, the medieval city of ancient Africa.

Wildlife: Mana Pools National Park, “Africa’s only park (with lions) that allows unguided walking safaris.” (LP) I suppose this also fits under adrenaline.

Adrenaline: Canoeing down the Zambezi River for some game viewing.

Malawi

Village facing lake malawi by hiroo yamagata
Village facing lake malawi by hiroo yamagata
Wildlife: Majete Wildlife Reserve for some possible black rhino spotting, as well as for the lions, recently reintroduced into Malawi parks. 

Beach: Lake Malawi – We’ll definitely be stopping on Africa’s third largest lake for some snorkelling, kayaking and beach-bumming, whether on the main shore, the Chizmulu or Likoma islands, or Nkahata Bay.

Landscape: Mt. Mulanje, the highest point in Malawi standing at 3000 meters, with most summits reachable without technical climbing.

Mozambique

Once we decided to expand our trip from just Namibia, Mozambique’s beaches became my primary focus.

Ilha de Inhaca, Maputo, Mozambique by Paulo Miranda
Ilha de Inhaca, Maputo, Mozambique by Paulo Miranda

Beach: Mozambique is made for beach getaways, so we’ll likely be beach-bumming all the way down the coast. That said, Quirimbas Archipelago with its white sands and translucent turquoise waters looks absolutely idyllic.

Adrenaline: I’d like to try my hand at surfing again, and Moreno loves his diving, so we’ll likely be stopping at Ponta Malongane and Tofinho for a mix of some surfing/snorkeling/diving/yoga-ing/hammocking fun.

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