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Acacia Africa Releases 2016 Bucket List

Leading safari specialist, Acacia Africa has been offering adventures on the continent for over 20 years and their nine wanderlust hotspots should definitely be on your 2016 bucket list.

Africa has been making its mark in recent travel polls; Lonely Planet naming Botswana as the number one country to visit in 2016 and Nat Geo placing Uganda in their top ten places to see the world’s wildlife. East Africa is also basking in the limelight - the region in at three on Lonely Planet’s best value destinations round up.

Leading safari specialist, Acacia Africa has been offering adventures on the continent for over 20 years and their nine wanderlust hotspots should definitely be on your 2016 bucket list.

1. South Africa took the number one slot as the pleasing exchange rate makes the country ideal for travellers who have a budget sized travel itch. With the follow up to Nelson Mandela's best selling autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom” due to be published posthumously in 2016 and South Africa taking first place on Buzzfeed’s most beautiful countries in the world list, the Rainbow Nation is undoubtedly bucket list territory. View some of the country’s breathtaking panoramas on the eight day Coast To Cape Town. Head from Durban through to the Mother City on the small group safari; the Drakensberg Mountains, Addo Elephant Park, Tsitsikamma, Kynsa and Hermanus visited en route. From £751pp (two sharing) including transport, accommodation (twin chalets with en-suite facilities), most meals and services of a tour leader/driver. Guaranteed departure 30 May.

2. The Namibian dollar is pegged to the South African Rand making the country another great value destination. Arno Delport, Sales & Marketing Manager for Acacia Africa comments, “A great addition to any tour in South Africa, explore the otherwordly sights of Namibia on a desert dune climb, enjoy 24/7 game viewing at Etosha and boulder across the rocks at Spitzkoppe in search of ancient Bushman paintings.” 12 day Cape Desert Safari northbound from £705pp (no single supplement).

3. Botswana is clearly one of the frontrunners for this year’s travellers, its 50th anniversary of independence scheduled for 30 September. Still to be unveiled, there are plans for ongoing promotions including fashion shows, carnival market days, cultural festivals and traditional games. One of Africa’s last wild frontiers, Lonely Planet put Botswana at the top of their best places to visit in 2016 list: over 17% of its area given over to conservation. A must see, the Okavango Delta is a UNESCO World Heritage site - walking safaris, wild swimming and sunset mokoro safaris just some of the off the beaten track highlights on the 12 day Desert & Delta Express northbound from £785pp, no single supplement.

4. Zimbabwe’s new $150 million dollar Victoria Falls International Airport terminal officially opened in December 2015 and the possibility of new direct flights is expected to be a “game changer” for Southern Africa as a region. With the falls at their lowest flow from mid-July through mid-February this is an ideal time to go white water rafting on the Zambezi, while travellers visiting during the high water season will have amazing views of the falls. Still making its mark with adventurers, Hwange is home to the Big Five and the national park is one of the last strongholds for Africa’s endangered wild dogs. New for 2016, Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park is now a major highlight on several of Acacia Africa's small group itineraries including the 14 day Southern Africa Magic (from £1,395pp (two sharing) + Safari Pass from £870pp including transport, accommodation (twin share chalets and guest houses with en-suite facilities 12 nights, pre-erected tent with en-suite facilities one night), most meals and services of as tour leader/driver), 11 day Delta & Chobe Waterways, seven day Kruger & Victoria Falls and seven day Okavango Wilderness Trails.

5. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is inhabited by more than half of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas, so it undoubtedly deserved to feature on Nat Geo’s list of top ten wildlife wonders.  “Expect thick jungle, a lot of sweat, and then the miracle of going eye to eye with the very deep gaze of a watchful silverback,” NatGeo Society revealed. While there are no guarantees, this is travel in its rawest form. Meet these gentle giants on the 18 day Mountain Gorillas To The Mara from £1,325pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £450pp + gorilla & chimp permit from £460pp.

6. Kenya has made it back into Acacia’s must visit list as governments across the globe have eased restrictions on travel to the country.  Arno Delport, comments, “It’s all about perception, and with advisories being lifted, Kenya will be one to watch.” 13 day Kenya & Tanzania Adventure from £1,065pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £830pp. One for set-jetters, in December 2015, the timeless “Out Of Africa” movie celebrated its 30th anniversary and in what could be another win-win for Kenya, Angelina Jolie is working on a big screen biopic of conservationist and palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey. “We will make the film and it will be made in Kenya - for sure,” Leakey commented. The script by Oscar winning screen writer, Eric Roth, is described as a 'sweeping epic,' and tells the story of African-born Leakey, a fossil hunter who helped to find the bones of early man, but later turned his attention to combating elephant and rhino poaching. News just in, the Masai Mara’s Marsh Pride (stars of many BBC-TV documentaries) recently introduced the two youngest members of their family to an adoring public. When the two three-week old cubs emerged from the undergrowth, the pair were christened Kamili and Kamageo.

7. After suffering years of unrest, Mozambique is now a rising star on the travel circuit. Heavily geared towards those on a budget, its backpacker tourist hubs, including Tofo, have a laid back allure. From Vilankulos to Xai-Xai, the turquoise waters are literally teeming with marine life; giant manta rays, turtles, reef sharks, dolphins and the rare dugong on the list. Recent comparisons also suggest diving in the Bazaruto Archipelago rivals that of the Red Sea, but this underwater safari won’t break the bank. 14 day Mozambique & Zimbabwe Explorer from £1,395pp (no single supplement).

8. East Africa came in at number three on Lonely Planet’s Best Value Destinations for 2016 list. Arno Delport, comments, “There’s no doubt Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are ripe for explorers hoping to experience some of the world’s great wonders, from gorilla encounters to Rift Valley scenery and stunning palm fringed beaches.” Visit all three countries on the 26 day Ocean To Gorillas itinerary, the adventure including game drives at Lake Nakuru, gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and a beach stay on the Spice Island of Zanzibar. From £1,950pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £570pp + gorilla permit from £460pp.

9. Land of the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, the Spice Islands and more, Tanzania took eighth place on Buzzfeed’s list of top 20 most beautiful countries in the world.  Zanzibar was also named as the world’s leading dive destination at the 2016 World Travel Awards. 11 day Highlights Of Tanzania from £1,055pp (no single supplement).

 

  • Date published: 16th March 2016

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