Are you getting ready to pack away the swimming cozies and curl up with a good book on the couch in front of the fire? Not so fast! Did you know that winter is one of the best times to go on holiday, especially when exploring Africa?
We’ve rounded up some exciting holiday destinations in Africa for you to consider for the up-coming winter holidays.
1. Go glow diving in Mozambique
“Mozambique is a fantastic destination for South African travellers during the winter holidays as the country offers warm temperatures and beautiful stretches of uninterrupted beaches where travellers can enjoy the winter sun,” says Natalie Tenzer-Silva, Director Dana Tours.
Tenzer-Silva explains that Nuarro Lodge, north of Nacala, is an excellent choice for the winter holidays. Set in a marine reserve, this eco-lodge is built entirely from natural materials, by the local community.
The lodge offers some of the most amazing and unique activities. Travellers can enjoy water-based activities such as snorkeling, kayaking into the mangroves, dhow sailing or scuba diving. Nuarro’s PADI dive centre also has two underwater scooters, as well as the option to go ‘glow diving’. With the assistance of blue lights and special filters, divers will be able to see many marine organisms glowing in the dark, from coral polyps to crazy nudibranchs during a night dive.
For those who want to have a taste of the culture of Mozambique, the lodge organises trips into the local villages, either on foot or by bicycle. Or, of course, you could simply relax with a drink at the lodge’s beautiful beach bar.
SEE: Mozambique - A paradise on our doorstep
ALSO SEE: Mozambique: Budget-friendly escapes for South Africans
2. Explore new cultures in Morocco
Why not swop winter for summer by taking a guided, hassle-free tour of Morocco with Trafalgar?
Imagine haggling in the buzzing bazaars or riding camels in the shimmering Sahara. You’ll explore the bustling cities of Casablanca, Fez, Marrakesh and Tangier, where you’ll lose yourself in ancient mazes of corridors so narrow you can touch both walls as you walk. You’ll travel to the oasis of Tinghir, brave the Todra Gorge and visit Ouarzazate where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed.
“Morocco is an ideal destination for South African travellers between the months of April and October,” says Theresa Szejwallo, Managing Director of The Travel Corporation. She adds that Trafalgar now operates on a 100% guaranteed departures for all its tours.
For those also wanting to venture out of Africa, Szejwallo mentions the Spain, Morocco and Portugal trip is hugely popular for South African travellers as a winter getaway. Travellers are guided around the three countries by Jason Simpson, Trafalgar Travel Director of the Year. He says: “I love taking guests to a primary school in Fez Medina, which you would never find on your own. The kids love it and they shout out in French as we walk past.”
Simpson’s advice when travelling to Morocco with Trafalgar: “Utilise the time and tell your Travel Director what you’re interested in. Spend a few hours in a city; sit down, order a coffee and watch the local life revolve around you; it’s a very special and intimate moment.”
ALSO SEE: Morocco: Where history and colour collide
3. Tap your inner adrenaline junkie at Vic Falls
Zimbabwe, and especially the Victoria Falls, is the ultimate playground for adrenaline junkies. From wild-water rafting to bungee jumping to helicopter flips, the Victoria Falls offers every single possible adrenaline activity in one place. Imagine jumping head-first down a bridge in the morning and go on a photo safari or wild-water river adventure the same afternoon.
Says Angela Wood, GM Marketing Thompsons Travel, “Winter is coming, and for many South Africans this is a dreaded time of year with the cold snaps keeping us in the confines of our own homes… We say: “get out there!”. Travel to escape winter with breakaways to favourable warmer climates. Go on a weekend winter retreat to the mighty Victoria Falls! Suitable for year-round travel, this natural world wonder should be on your list of places to visit! Be charmed by the friendly locals and dazzled with exceptional service whilst not having to lift a finger!”
SEE: WATCH: White-water rafting in Africa’s 'adventure capital', would you do it?
SEE: Who jumps off a bridge for fun?
4. Relax on a yoga safari in Zambia
Want to go on a wildlife experience with a healthy twist? Yoga safaris are the latest trend when travelling into Africa. You’ll be able to meditate in some of the most beautiful wildlife surroundings in the world.
During an Africa Yoga Walking Safaris, travellers walk, practice yoga and meditate in Africa’s most remote and untouched wilderness areas, such as the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Take guided bush walks, enjoy a game drive or canoe down the Zambezi to get in touch with your inner self.
Henk Graaff, MD SW Africa explains, “The act of being on foot in the wilderness is yogic by nature. Travellers are able to truly slow down and synchronise to rhythms of the wilderness surrounding.”
SEE: Visa-free travel: Where your South African passport can take you
5. Help save the environment in Seychelles
What could be more unique and heart-warming this winter than saving the environment on a trip to the Seychelles?
Four Seasons Resort Seychelles has started offering a unique experience, called the Love Grows Beautiful Things, which provides couples the opportunity to contribute to the ongoing reef restoration project at Petite Anse.
You will help prepare a rescued coral fragment for attachment to a heart-shaped metal frame. The coral will then be planted into the coral nursery for a full recovery before it is transplanted back to the reef.
Under the expert guidance of Georgina Beresford, the WiseOceans Reef Restoration Project Officer, you can take to the water to watch the planting of your fragment in the coral nursery. When the strengthened coral is transplanted back onto the reef after a few months, you will receive email updates on your fragment to allow you to keep up to date on its progress.
SEE: Seychelles to get new international airport
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- #AfriTravel: Here's what a R34m Mozambique island adventure entails