Africa is an explorer’s dream come true and the kind of natural treasures Africa houses is barely matched by any other continent. While we believe the entire continent is a wonder in itself, but here we bring to you a list which is widely accepted by most travellers as the 7 wonders of Africa. These bring to you the very best and diverse experiences that collectively introduce you to the magic called Africa!
1. Nile River
The longest river (often in contention for that title with Amazon) in the world is more than 6,600 km long and is shared by 11 countries in the world. It is the primary source of water for the entire population of Egypt and Sudan; one could say that the Nile was responsible for the birth of these two civilizations. The river’s origin is in Uganda and Ethiopia, and it ends in a delta before draining into the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. It has two parts, the White Nile that originates in Uganda, and the Blue Nile that originates in Ethiopia. These two merge together in Sudan before flowing further Northwards towards Egypt.
2. Mount Kilimanjaro
Located in Tanzania, this is Africa’s youngest, albeit dormant volcano and the highest mountain. It is also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, with an altitude of 19,341 feet above sea level. It forms the centre of Mount Kilimanjaro National park and is popular among mountaineers. The volcano features three distinct cones- Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo. The mountain has seven different peaks, Uhuru Peak being the highest. The mount Kilimanjaro is a coveted trek amongst trekkers all around the world. There are three prominent trekking routes – Machame, Lemosho and Rongai – each having its own pros and cons.
3. Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert, and third overall, after the cold Arctic and Antarctic deserts. It covers 11 countries and is spread over more than 9 million square kilometres. For perspective, that is comparable to the entire area of the United States! The dunes here can be as high as 180 metres. Several species of gazelle, cheetah, fox, monitor lizard, desert crocodiles, African wild dog, camels, Saharan silver ant, and goats find their home here. Oases cover about 2% of the Sahara, and about 2 million people, mostly belonging to wandering tribes and nomads live around them.
4. Mara-Serengeti Migration
A phenomenon that needs to be seen to be believed, this spectacle features over 1.5 million wildebeest, about 800,000 zebra, and thousands of gazelle. It is the largest land migration in the world, covering 18,000 square miles in the Mara and Serengeti Plains, between Tanzania and Kenya. Wildebeest calving also takes place during this time, with about 500,000 calves being born. This attracts a lot of predators like lions, leopards, and cheetahs here, where they can treat themselves to plenty of prey. This is also dubbed as the foremost wonder of the natural world, globally!
5. Ngorongoro Crater
This is the largest unbroken caldera in the world and is often called “Cradle of Life”, and “Garden of Eden” for Africa. It is 19 km across, covers more than 290 square kilometres, and rises about 2,000 above the caldera floor. It is home to over 30,000 animals, its open grasslands providing an appropriate habitat. This is also home to all the “Big 5” predators- Lions, Cheetahs, Elephants, Black Rhino, and African buffalo. The crater has more animal density than anywhere else in Africa.
6. Okavango Delta
Located in the centre of the Kalahari’s endorheic basin, this is a massive stretch of swampy inland delta. The waters from the Okavango river begin to fill this area in March, and the delta has the most water during July and August. The Moremi Game Reserve is towards the eastern side of this delta and is home for a plethora of wildlife, like Hippopotamus, South African cheetah, bush elephant, African buffalo, Rhino, baboons and many more. Okavango Delta has been declared as a UNESCO world heritage site for its scale and magnificence.
7. Red Sea reef
The Red Sea reef is over 2000 km long and stretches from the coast of Egypt to Eritrea. Around 1,100 different fish species live here, 10% of which are endemic. Around 200 hard and soft coral species also live here. The coral reefs of this sea are between 5000 to 7000 years old and are associated with features like platforms, cylinders, and lagoons. Visitors can indulge in activities like Snorkelling and diving, but a little caution is advised; 44 different species of sharks also prowl here!
How many of these wonders have you seen? If you have not seen any, then this is the right time to start! If you lie somewhere between 1 to 6, then this is your moment to complete the 7 and claim your title of being the explorer of Africa!
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