We’ve all heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the ‘Natural’ Wonders of the World. While their lists may differ, they all have one thing in common-they contain world renown spectacles which leave us amazed at the beauty, and mysteries of the world.
The Natural Wonders of the World are naturally formed occurrences, places or formations which are astonishing in every aspect, so much so that they’ve been singled out above the rest.
Unfortunately, we are often guilty of being oblivious to some of the greatest natural phenomenons because we either didn’t know it existed, was possible, or because we had no exposure to it, due to not living in, or visiting the particular place that it occurs.
What we don’t want you to miss out on, however, is the incredible Natural Wonders of Africa. The continent is awe-inspiring, as it’s home to most of the world’s most coveted wildlife, and boasts great open spaces in the form of overwhelmingly vast grasslands and desert terrain. The many different cultures, beliefs and languages add that extra bit of spice to an already fascinating place and the natural beauty never fails to leave visitors speechless. There’s so much to marvel at and appreciate, but there are seven wonders in particular that shouldn’t go unnoticed. A list of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa have been created to pay homage to the extraordinary sights, places and peaks that make Africa the gem that it is – and will perhaps serve as your perfect travel guide to the breathtaking continent.
The Great Mammal Migration, Tanzania and Kenya
Every year almost 2 million mammals make their way across the plains of Africa in search of greener pastures, water and the ideal place to give birth to their young. Depending on the time of year, the mammals either migrate from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania, to the Masai-Mara in southwestern Kenya, or vice versa. The sight is nothing short of spectacular, as the likes of wildebeest, zebra and giraffe gallop through the desolate plains and breathe life back into the quiet, isolated grasslands. Tourists flock from all over the world to see the event in the flesh, and experience one of the most authentic African adventures, that’s been described as ‘soul-stirring’. The river crossing is one of the main attractions of this spectacle as the mammals rush through the water and awaken the surroundings. Unfortunately, many of the mammals don’t make the journey, as they are either hunted down by the big cats – including leopards, cheetahs and lions- or they come across an unfortunate encounter with a croc, while crossing the rivers.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, is a dormant volcano made up of three volcanic cones. The mount is a popular hiking spot for ambitious hikers from all across the globe, who are brave enough to take on its peaks. It’s one of the most famous natural landmarks in Africa and is a stunning sight that adds to the character of Tanzania. The country’s typography is extraordinary, as it boasts grasslands that extend for miles, lakes, coastal areas and of course one of the most superlative formations: Mount Kilimanjaro. The diverse landscapes of Tanzania are quite remarkable, especially noting that the size of the country is not overly large.
Sahara Desert, North Africa
The Sahara Desert stretches far and wide over northern Africa, so much so that its area can be compared to that of China or the United States. The desert covers 31% of the continent and is the third largest desert in the world. The desolate area contains many unusual formations, such as protruding mountains (of which many are volcanic remains) in unique shapes, salt flats, sand seas, gravel plains and lakes. One of the most fascinating aspects to this desert is the many dinosaur fossils that have been discovered here, as well as various rock paintings and carvings that were created by the early inhabitants of Africa. The desert also contains various oasis’, with the most well known, and arguably the most beautiful, hidden in south-western Libya.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The Okavango Delta, nestled in the heart of Botswana’s ‘swamp-like’ region, is a water channel that’s home to almost every one of the wildlife species, that Botswana is known for. It’s one of the only water sources that’s filled throughout the year, and for this reason it is riddled in wildlife, bird species and healthy vegetation. From above, the views reveal a picturesque fusion of greens and blues and during the wet season it’s fairly difficult to point out the water’s edge, as the water spills over into the outskirting grasslands, known as the ‘spillways’. The Okavango Delta is a major attraction in Botswana, as it offers visitors the chance to witness the movements of the wildlife, from the water. Elephants and hippos are frequently spotted splashing about in its waters, and lions, leopards and buffalo come to drink the fresh water.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is a large volcanic caldera found in the crater highlands of Tanzania. The crater contains the Olduvai Gorge, which is world-renown for being home to many great discoveries that have furthered the understanding of human evolution. One of the first known specimens of the human Homo Habilis as well as hominidae were found here, and it continues to offer invaluable insights into early human life. The crater is in a protected area, although one can visit the park to marvel at its beauty and get up close and personal with the many wildlife species that roam the vast plains.
The Red Sea Reef, Coast of Egypt, Eritrea and Sudan
The Red Sea is situated between the continent of Africa and Asia and is known to be one of the main spice-trade routes, of the middle ages. The sea is also famously known for its incredible coral reef, which is surprisingly healthy, even though the waters are one of the saltiest on earth. Snorkelling and diving in the red sea has become a major attraction, as people are eager to see and learn more about the colourful, underwater world beneath the waters of the Red Sea.
Nile River, North-East Africa
The Nile is known to be the longest river in the world, passing through a total of eleven countries. Other than being world-renown for covering a great distance, it was also a key feature in the stories of the early Egyptians, who lived off this water source and made paper out of the papyrus plants that grew along its banks. The Nile is home to the Nile Crocodile, as well as hippo’s. Rhino’s have also been spotted around the outskirting areas of the river.
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