Un­tamed Africa

Outer Edge - - Contents -

No des­ti­na­tion is more in­her­ently wild than Africa and with that sense of the great un­tamed comes the un­de­ni­able call of ad­ven­ture. The ad­ven­tur­ous pur­suits you can un­der­take in Africa, with its rag­ing wa­ters, vast hori­zons and snow-capped peaks, are bound­less. Com­bin­ing this with con­tin­u­ally shift­ing weather pat­terns, in­hos­pitable en­vi­ron­ments and the ever-present big game, things can cer­tainly get a lit­tle in­ter­est­ing and that’s ex­actly why we love it!

Walk­ing For those seek­ing to get closer to na­ture with some heart stop­ping mo­ments along the way, a walk­ing sa­fari is the way to go. am­bia is the birth­place of African walk­ing sa­faris and there are a se­lec­tion of ex­em­plary out­fit­ters there of­fer­ing fully mo­bile op­er­a­tions which will see you walk­ing through di­verse, un­charted ter­rain through the day and set­ting up camp in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion each night. With game un­used to man and wildlife den­si­ties un­seen in other parts of the con­ti­nent am­bia’s South Luangwa is a phe­nom­e­nal des­ti­na­tion to get back to your own two feet, wit­ness the ground level in­tri­ca­cies of the bush and have your evo­lu­tion­ary in­stincts stirred as you track big preda­tors on foot!

Ca­noe­ing – selinda ca­noe trails The teem­ing oa­sis of the Oka­vango Delta is per­haps Botswana’s most cel­e­brated des­ti­na­tion. By ca­noe you can nav­i­gate shal­low chan­nels, glide si­lently through clouds of col­or­ful birdlife and reach re­mote pock­ets of this re­mark­able ecosys­tem. Sight­ings of ele­phant, wild dog and buf­falo are com­mon and, un­per­turbed by the si­lent ca­noes, wildlife re­mains calm and still al­low­ing for phe­nom­e­nal en­coun­ters. Set­ting up camp on tiny de­serted is­lands is the stuff of child­hood ad­ven­tures and sleep­ing by the warmth of the crack­ling fire as the sun sinks below the si­lent wa­ters, the peace of the wilder­ness sur­rounds you.

Salt pan sleep-out Fewer are aware of the sur­real lu­nar land­scape of Botswana’s vast Magkadigkadi salt pans, of­fer­ing miles and miles of still, end­less space. Thrill seek­ers can break the eerie si­lence by tear­ing across the flats on a quad bike, fly­ing full tilt in a straight line for miles with­out any ob­sta­cles in the way. -our­ney­ing to the cen­tre of the pan where lit­tle wildlife will ven­ture, you can sleep with noth­ing be­tween you and the vast empti­ness but a sheer mos­quito net and a mat­tress on the salt crust. If you’re lucky you may spot a rare brown hyena slop­ing past or hear the scur­ry­ing of tiny meerkat feet but on the whole it’s just you, the stars and the si­lence.

Horserid­ing with the mi­gra­tion Nowhere in the world is the move­ment of an­i­mals as im­mense as the wilde­beest mi­gra­tion through Serengeti Na­tional Park to .enya’s iconic Ma­sai Mara. On horse­back you do not wit­ness this spec­ta­cle, you join it. Al­low­ing your horse to graze amongst the her­bi­vores and gal­lop along­side them as the mass move­ment be­gins, you are ab­sorbed into the herd. En­coun­ter­ing lion or leop­ard, your horse’s ears prick and his eyes widen as in­stinct kicks in and he quiv­ers on high alert but boldly obeys your com­mands to stand and watch. On horse­back, you ex­pe­ri­ence the bush as the wildlife does; your adren­a­line surges and the ex­hil­a­ra­tion is in­de­scrib­able.

Kili Climb Peak­ing at al­most 000m above sea level, Mount Kil­i­man­jaro is Africa’s high­est moun­tain and beck­ons walk­ers and moun­taineers from across the globe. The Lo­mosho Shira Plateau -West­ern Breach Route was pi­o­neered in 1 and be­ing re­mote and sel­dom-trav­elled, is the most scenic and un­spoilt. Start­ing in the Mon­tane For­est, the day hike takes you through lush veg­e­ta­tion and eco­log­i­cally rich jun­gle, up near ver­ti­cal climbs, through windswept, bar­ren passes and across cold lava rocks and slip­pery glacial ice. Be­ing a non-tech­ni­cal’ route it does not re­quire the use of ropes and ice axes but en­dur­ing this chal­lenge does re­quire some phys­i­cal prepa­ra­tion. Progress can be slow with two strained breaths for ev­ery step and at the peak there is only half the oxy­gen that there is at sea level. Weather, al­ti­tude sick­ness and ex­haus­tion are all fac­tor into mak­ing this climb an im­mense chal­lenge. A good level of health and fit­ness and a stout men­tal re­solve are es­sen­tial but at the sum­mit it will all be worth­while and climber’s am­ne­sia (re­mem­ber­ing the ec­stasy, never the pain) doesn’t take long to set in!

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