Get physical in Africa - it's home to active adventures galore! Here's where to find the best adrenalin-pumping escapes...
South Luangwa, Zambia
South Luangwa NP is the birthplace of the walking safari. The walking isn’t tough – distances are short and the pace is slow to allow time to study pugmarks and droppings, to learn about plants from the excellent guides, and to wait while animals do their thing. It’s a great choice for safari first-timers, with a chance to see the Big Five – and much more. Get started: The best time to visit is June-August, when landscapes are greener and the weather dry and cooler.
In the Nama language, ‘damara’ means ‘those who walked here’ – so Damaraland, in north-west Namibia
, is clearly an apt place for walking safaris. This rugged, shadeless countryside is spectacular, dotted with granite kopjes, deep gorges and open plains; it’s also an incredible place to track rare black rhino on foot. Head out with a guide and prepare to play Sherlock before being rewarded with a sighting. Get started: Damaraland is best visited May-September. Carry plenty of water.
Mount Toubkal, Morocco
Ambitious walkers can walk up and down North Africa’s highest (4,167m) mountain
in two or three days, snow permitting. Newbies however should approach at a slower pace – to lessen the effects of altitude, and to spend more time enjoying the lush valleys, Berber villages and mint tea tastings en route. Get started: Toubkal is around 60km from Marrakech. A guide is recommended. In winter climbers will likely need ice-axe and crampons.
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Kilimanjaro
, or the ‘Roof of Africa’, is the ultimate trekker’s challenge with a steady incline; it’s a 5,895m goal achievable by anyone with a bit of fitness and determination. Treks, via one of five routes, take from six days: guides are compulsory, altitude sickness common, life-changing experiences guaranteed. Get started: The closest airport is Kilimanjaro International, near the hub towns of Moshi and Arusha.
Snorkel the Red Sea, Egypt
The world’s northernmost tropical sea is a super snorkelling spot. These waters nurture more than 800 species of fish, which dart between luminescent corals. Even better, there are great shallow reefs that you can reach straight from the beach, so no need to take a boat. For the best coral, head to sites just outside Dahab (the Canyon, Blue Hole) or snorkel from the sands of pristine Ras Mohammed National Park.
Get started: Take sea shoes – the seabed can be rather rocky.