Going to Africa? Lend a Helping Hand While Going on Safari

Posted by nick_niesen on October 29th, 2010

To those living outside of the continent, Africa represents exotic locales, the opportunity to witness an incredible variety of wildlife, and experiences that will create lifelong memories. The idea of an African safari conjures up images of bumpy rides on dirt roads, lodges with few amenities, and glimpses of elusive creatures during the night. Today, while a classic African safari is certainly available, an increasing number of travelers are opting to make a safari part of a larger eco-friendly vacation that includes giving back to the people and places of Africa through volunteerism.

Africa: More than You Imagine

When you spend your holidays in Africa, you find that each country and region offers a unique array of opportunities, from gorilla trekking to white water rafting to mountain climbing to the traditional safari.

With the Masai Mara's open savannah, Kenya is known for the safari experience. Yet it also offers enticing treks up Mt. Kenya, exciting white water rafting down the Nile, and scuba diving and sailing along the Kenyan coastline. Meanwhile, Tanzania beckons with the Serengeti and the world's most densely populated area of wildlife. It also features the largest volcanic depression, the Ngorongoro Crater, as well as Mt. Kilimanjaro, and the spectacular beaches of Zanzibar.

If you choose to vacation in South Africa, you'll encounter an ocean lover's paradise in Cape Town, the whale watching capital of the world. After your ocean safari, you can experience breathtaking botanical gardens and a penguin colony, as well as the primate sanctuary in Tsitsikamma National Park.

The country of Namibia offers a gateway to Victoria Falls, as well as subterranean lakes, enormous canyons, and a desert that brings together lions, giraffes, elephants, and rhinoceros. For the ultimate safari vacation, though, a trip to Botswana is in order. Both the Chobe National Park and the Moremi Game Reserve will give you the opportunity to view unprecedented varieties of wildlife and birds.

When it comes to Egypt, culture reigns. You can experience the wonders of the Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, and the Egyptian Museum. The contrast of ancient artifacts against the backdrop of modern Cairo marries the past and the present for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Holidays that Help

When you embark on an African holiday, you can do more than experience the natural wonders of the continent. You can book your travel with a company that is committed to empowering local communities and that engages in sustainable tourism. When you do, you can not only make arrangements for a safari, but you can also volunteer a few days or a few weeks of your time to help with construction, health care, conservation, or teaching.

Holidays that combine a safari with volunteer work give you a unique perspective on African culture and allow you to come home with a sense of satisfaction for your contributions to a grand and wondrous continent. There's no better feeling in the world!

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