From fabulous wildlife to diverse cultures, the highlights of this incredible continent will stop you in your tracks

The ‘Big Five’ in South Africa

The highlights of South Africa are many and varied, but every trip to the Rainbow Nation simply must include a safari. Home to the ‘Big Five’ – that’s lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino – the national parks here encompass every possible landscape, deserts and forests, mountains and coasts. From world-famous Kruger to the lesser-known but equally enthralling Tala Game Reserve, there are many to explore. And nothing beats the experience of watching incredible wildlife in its own natural habitat – whether that’s watching a pride of lions feasting on a fresh kill or elephants playing and bathing in a river.

Dune landscapes of Namibia

Although up against some pretty stiff competition, Namibia is where you’ll experience some of Africa’s most impressive landscapes. The Sesriem Canyon is a 30-metre-deep gorge carved by nature millions of years ago, while on the other end of the scale you’ve got Sossusvlei’s dramatic red-hued sand dunes, which tower up to 400 metres. As you explore you’ll see the occasional skeleton of a dried-out tree piercing the blue sky of this arid region – it’s a photographer’s dream come true. The same can be said for Moon Landscape – which as the name suggests is an otherworldly stretch of stark land that’s become a firm favourite with film crews!

Masai tribes of Kenya

As well as the home of the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, southern Kenya is also where the country’s Masai tribes live a traditional, and fascinating, lifestyle. Their long-preserved warrior culture, distinctive style of dress and authentic rituals have made them an enduring symbol of the country. Leading a semi-nomadic existence as cattle herders, their homes are circular huts made from mud, grass, wood and cow dung, and on a trip to Kenya, you may be lucky enough to see these for yourself. Prepare for a rousing welcome display of the warriors’ famous jumping dance, and don’t be too shy to barter for hand-crafted beaded jewellery.