Luxury African Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Whether you start in Capetown or Casablanca, luxury African tours tend to focus on one area of this vast continent, the world's second largest. Leaving Egypt and the Pyramids (the last surviving of the seven wonders of the ancient world) aside, one particularly inviting area is the southeast. Marvelous safaris across the Kalahari and the Serengeti plains offer a memorable taste of Ernest Hemingway's Africa and sightings of the world's great wild game.

Luxury African Tours: A Sampling

South Africa's landscape is particularly varied. Integral to almost all luxury African tours, its attractions include numerous national parks, rich wine country, extensive savannah, the Transvaal, and Bushveld plateau. To the north flows what Rudyard Kipling described--in his children's story How the Elephant Got His Truck--as the great, gray-green, greasy Limpopo River. Here the Bi-colored Python Rock Snake curled, giving the Elephant Child advice on how to deal with the Crocodile.

Just to the north of South Africa is Botswana, a broad and flat subtropical plateau. The Okavango River in its northwest empties into the sands of the Kalahari plain, creating the world's largest inland river delta, home to a rich diversity of birds, plants, and smaller animal species. Botswana also offers its vast Makgadikgadi salt pans, which are home to equally vast herds of wildebeest, numerous antelope species, and the brilliant flamingo.

Northeast lies landlocked Zimbabwe, Africa's water wonderland, and a certain stop for luxury African tours. It was here that European explorers in 1870 came upon the ruins of a city believed to be the site of King Solomon's mines. Today, however, it is more famous as being home to Victoria Falls, which span 5,600 feet and drop 420 into the Zambezi gorge with a roar and a cloud of mist that can be heard and seen as many as 25 miles away.

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