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Enchanting Africa

Southern Africa: an ancient land of contrasts, offering everything you could want in an escape and more, writes Amanda Angus...

Enchanting Africa

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Here, mind-bendingly immense landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see: lazily flowing ribbons of river become tumbling, thundering waterfalls; beautiful sunsets give way to night skies so clear you’d swear you could see Saturn.

Whether you go in the hope of seeking out the Big Five — lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo — or to experience the diverse cultures and histories that make this part of the world so fascinating, you’re almost guaranteed to find exactly what you’re looking for.

If you’re intrigued by the history, you’re spoilt for choice. For an insight into the historical battles that shaped the history of both South Africa and Britain, explore the infamous Zulu battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift and pay a visit to the sombre remains of stone forts, graves and memorials. Alternatively, the perfect way to step back in time is to spend a few nights aboard an elegant vintage train recalling the heyday of luxury rail travel. Watching the sun sink beneath the horizon, illuminating the African bush with its last golden rays, you really could be looking out on a scene captured decades ago!

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If you go in search of spectacular natural beauty, the majestic Victoria Falls must be high on your list — this magnificent cascade is named after Queen Victoria by explorer David Livingstone, after he exclaimed, “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”. Or you could take to the skies on an exhilarating light aircraft flight following the course of the mighty Zambezi River as it makes its way from Zambia to the Indian Ocean.

If it’s the wildlife that really tempts you, perhaps seek out the unspoilt beauty of Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, home to one of the most intense concentrations of wildlife in Africa, including 60 animal species and over 400 species of bird. Alternatively, make your way to Hwange National Park. Roughly the size of Wales, it’s renowned for the over 40,000 elephants that make their home here, as well as over 100 species of mammal, including eight large carnivores and 400 species of birds.

For more information on Saga holidays to Africa, go online at saga.co.uk/africa or call 0800 414 383 for details.