5 of the Best African travel destinations for 2024
1. Madagascar Enjoy the fragrance of tropical blossoms afloat on the gentle sea breeze on islands off the coast of Madagascar, such as Nosy Be, known for its underwater life that draws scuba divers and other ocean lovers.
Arrive by helicopter on Time + Tide’s Miavana, on Nosy Ankao private island, which provides perhaps the pinnacle of luxury in Madagascar. You’ll have a private butler and privacy, space and time contribute to the ultimate island relaxation among the dense forests, sandy shoreline and vibrant reefs.
For those who prefer a more raw and authentic experience of Madagascar, the mainland offers adventure in abundance. Travel can be a little arduous on roads that are less than perfect, however, the natural beauty and biodiversity creates an insatiable appetite for more in those who visit. Get to see iconic ring tailed lemurs up close in the Anja Community Reserve, visit the Avenue of Baobabs, swim in crystal clear waters in the Masoala Peninsula or Île Saint Marie.
Leopard’s Founder and Director, Diana Granoux visited Madagascar in October and had this to say, “What a magical place! The scenery and wildlife are unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and the people are so kind and lovely.
If you don’t mind dealing with a lack of infrastructure and inconvenient logistics, add this country to your bucket list for 2024. They certainly need tourists and Madagascar has so much to offer the intrepid traveller!”
2. Tanzania The Serengeti is an essential stop if you’re visiting Tanzania for the first time and we recommend splitting your stay here into two different camps to explore its varied offering. We love the all female-run Dunia Camp in central Serengeti. It is a good idea to choose a second location in the Serengeti based on the time of year you are travelling and whether you would like to experience the migration. It’s also worth exploring the country’s many other highlights.
The Ngorongoro Crater is incredibly scenic and from lions to elephant, wildlife is abundant. This stop also offers a chance to visit an authentic Masai village within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area or enjoy the Empakaai caldera or Olmoti caldera rim hikes.
Tarangire stands out as an exceptionally beautiful park, renowned for its extensive elephant herds and iconic baobab trees. In contrast to the Serengeti which can get busy, Tarangire offers a more tranquil setting.
3. Cape Town, South Africa Cape Town is a firm favourite of travellers to South Africa. It’s favoured for its natural splendour, food, and fine wines.
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront is a hub of activity where people gather to enjoy the sights and sounds of this vibrant harbour and enjoy food, drink and entertainment. In addition to those at the Waterfront, some of Cape Town’s must-visit restaurants include Fyn, The Conservancy at Cellars Hohenort and Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic.
Take the cableway to the top of Table Mountain or for those who’d like to explore on foot, you can do a guided hike to the top. There are also guided walks through the Bo Kaap, with its brightly coloured houses, where you can enjoy Cape Malay cooking, or try the Constantia Wine Walk. This curated journey will take you to three wine farms where you’ll stroll through vineyards, taste 10 different wines and savour a platter of eats, all while learning more about the areas’ history, including the legendary soirées at Groot Constantia. Other Cape Town highlights include visiting the African penguin colony at Boulders Beach, Robben Island and the picture perfect Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
4. Okavango Delta, Botswana Botswana’s Okavango, a UNESCO World Heritage site, beckons travellers with its unique blend of water and wilderness. This part of Africa assures a safari adventure unlike any other with small chartered flights bringing you into the heart of the world’s largest inland delta. Once in this game-rich environment, sustained by the life-giving waters, you can explore by boat, game drive vehicle, on foot, horseback or by helicopter (which we always recommend). You can read about Diana’s recent stay at Beagle Expeditions, a luxury mobile camp in the Delta, here.
Botswana regulates the number of visitors to this area to reduce human impact on this important conservation area, however, there are a few new lodges set to open in 2024. We are most excited about Wild Expedition’s Karangoma Camp opening in May 2024. Contact us if you’d like to be one of their first guests!
5. Zambia Besides sharing Victoria Falls with Zimbabwe, Zambia is perhaps less well known than some of its southern African neighbouring countries, however, it’s unquestionably among the continent’s top safari destinations. With its many waterways such as those in Kafue and South Luangwa National Parks you can experience a safari similar to those in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, yet at a more affordable rate.
Conservationist Norman Carr pioneered the walking safari in South Luangwa, believing that discovering the African wilderness on foot provides visitors with an immersive experience, and a unique connection with nature. Along with traditional game drives, walking safaris in Zambia are a highlight.
Seasonal events such as the massive annual bat migrations in Kasanka National Park and the Kuomboka Festival, where a ceremonial boat with a replica of an elephant on top, which celebrates the Lozi king’s journey from the floodplain to higher ground, are also drawcards.
Happy travelling in 2024 and beyond,
The Leopard Team
P.S. Get in touch if you’d like help planning an amazing holiday to Africa in 2024!