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The Best Tours Around the World series highlights one-of-a-kind tour adventures told through the experiences of world travelers.
Are you fascinated by safari? Or, maybe you’re intrigued by the desert. We asked travel bloggers to reflect on the best tours they’ve ever taken. From snorkeling with seals to a historic city walking tour, keep reading to find these incredible experiences in this list of the top tours in Africa.
Marrakech to Merzouga 3-Day Desert Tour
- Tour Company: Desert Berber Fire Camp
- Location: Merzouga, Morocco
- Experience told by Martina from Places of Juma
Merzouga is for sure one of the most amazing places in Morocco, and going there on a desert-tour is really one of the top tours in Africa. It is located in the Sahara Desert, near the Algerian border. Here is the gateway to Erg Chebbi, a huge expanse of sand dunes with a height of around 200 meters.
Already getting to Merzouga is an unforgettable experience. The tour leads over the imposing Atlas Mountains, further on the fantastic road of the 1000 Kasbahs and past the juicy oasis Tinghir. When reaching the desert town, visitors are amazed by all the golden sand dunes that are already situated next to the city.
Camel trekking on the vast dunes of Erg Chebbi, watching the most incredible Sahara sunset. Singing songs next at the Berber camp, camping underneath the brightly shining stars, and spending the night in a desert camp are just a few of the highlights on any trip to Merzouga.
For a perfect trip we recommend booking a 3-day tour from Marrakesh to Merzouga. The best time to go there is in autumn, winter, or spring. Avoid summer; it will definitely be too hot. The budget can be variable, depending on your needs, but you should calculate at least 100 Euro for a basic tour.
Mokoro Trip on the Okavango Delta
- Tour Company: Bulrush Mokoro Safari
- Location: Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Experience told by Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan
In Africa, there are countless places where you can go on safari in a jeep. But in how many places can you go on safari in a canoe? The Okavango Delta in Botswana offers a unique, watery landscape that’s teeming with wildlife, and the best way to experience it is on an Okavango Delta mokoro trip. “Mokoro” is the local name for a traditional canoe that’s propelled through the water using a long pole. As you glide through the narrow water channels, you’ll have the chance to see all kinds of animals, ranging from tiny white reed frogs to huge African elephants.
The city of Maun is the best place to organize a mokoro trip. Quick day trips are possible, but to get the full experience you should stay overnight, camping on one of the many islands in the delta. Your guide will also take you on a walking safari on the island, where you will have more opportunities to spot the local wildlife. I highly recommend Mogale, co-founder of Bulrush Mokoro Safari, who is the best safari guide I’ve had the joy to meet.
Mogale is a true animal lover and has been a vegetarian since childhood, which is a real rarity in Botswana! Unlike other guides, he refuses to carry a gun when leading tourists on walking safaris. He’s certain that the animals can sense that he is friendly and would never harm them, and in return, they don’t harm him or anyone with him. On our mokoro safari with Mogale, the animals certainly did seem to be much less nervous and skittish than on other safaris I’ve been on where the guides carried guns. For a fully catered overnight mokoro trip, expect to pay about 5,500 Botswana pula per person.
Read the Rest of the Series:
- Top Tours in North America
- Top Tours in South America
- Top Tours in Europe
- Top Tours in Asia
- Top Tours in Oceania
Free Walking Tours Cape Town
- Tour Company: Free Walking Tours Cape Town
- Location: Cape Town, South Africa
- Experience told by Hartej Kahai from Hello Manpreet
Having traveled to many places around the world and taken many tours, the free walking tour in Cape Town stands above them all as far as top tours in Africa. No, not because it was free, but there is so much more to it.
A walking tour of this quality would usually cost us around 20 USD per person. But, a new wave of tour operators has been emerging to bring a different experience to tourists.
This tour was operated by a group called Free Walking Tours Cape Town, a small organization that uses volunteers who live in the area to commit a few hours a day in return for a tip as their wage. This one particular tour is our favorite because the knowledge of the volunteers was incredible. Since they are local residents and have grown up in the area their whole life, they were able to tell us intricate details of the streets we were walking around, right down to the name of people in some of the houses!
The tour takes you on a walk to see churches where famous speeches were made during the apartheid movement, the city hall where Nelson Mandela made his first speech after being released from prison, and finally through the famous Bo Kaap known for its beautifully colored houses.
Please tip generously as the tour guides deserve it and use this experience to help pay for their way through life.
Snorkeling or Diving with Seals
- Tour Company: Pro Dive
- Location: Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
- Experience told by Campbell Louw from Stingy Nomads
Swimming or scuba diving with brown fur seals is a popular adventure activity in Plettenberg Bay, an amazing animal interaction experience in South Africa. The Seal Colony I visited during this excursion is located on the Robberg Nature Reserve, and there are an estimated 6,000 animals in the colony!
The 10-minute boat ride from Plett’s main beach to the Marine Protected Area is beautiful, with incredible views of the nature reserve from the water. It feels like the seals are sitting on the rocks waiting for you. When we entered the water, many of the seals jumped off the rocks and came to investigate.
Whether you are diving or snorkeling, you will have many playful seals swim up close to you and swim around you with some impressive underwater acrobatics.
Diving with the seals is only allowed for 20 minutes for qualified open water divers; snorkeling interaction is 30 minutes. If you do not have a scuba qualification, you can still dive with the seals by doing a Discover Scuba Diving, resort course dive with an instructor. This takes a bit longer since you’re learning basic theory and lessons before the dive. To snorkel with the seals, you need to be able to swim.
The seals are generally friendly, but are wild animals and should not be touched. Tours run from September to April and take approximately 1.5 hours. The excursion with Pro Dive Plettenberg Bay is done with a professional dive guide, and sightings are guaranteed. Wetsuits and snorkeling or diving equipment are included.
Which of these top tours in Africa do you want to experience?
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