What's On The Bucket List?
Bucket List Destinations Africa Unwind 1
The Bucket List

The Bucket List

Unwind With Us

What We Love
  1. Tick off the Big 5 (& see Vic Falls)
  2. Sleep in a treehouse under the stars
  3. Enjoy a water-based safari
  4. Float in a hot air balloon
  5. Go gorilla-trekking
  6. Stay on a private island

What's On The Bucket List?

What is a bucket list? Simply put, it is a collection of dreams & aspirations that we would like to accomplish within our lifetime.

It is no surprise that when it comes to travel goals, Africa is usually on top of the list. Our beautiful continent dominates all bucket list destinations because of the spectacular memories & moments it promises!

Africa offers its visitors a variety of experiences, including action-packed wildlife encounters, spectacular scenery, pristine beaches & exciting activities.

We have compiled a list of our Top 6 bucket list travel experiences, so come & journey with us as we dive deeper into Africa’s most rewarding safari ‘must-do’s.’

Tick Off The Big 5 (& See Vic Falls) Looking for bucket list travel experiences? A safari should be Number 1 on everyone’s list. Africa offers superb Big 5 game viewing, close-up wildlife encounters & dramatic nature spectacles such as the Great Wildebeest Migration – a ‘not to be missed’ activity on the safari itinerary. Adding on Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World is a great idea.

Sleep In A Treehouse Experiencing the real Africa from the comfort of an open-air treehouse is quite the adventure & definitely an experience of a lifetime. Sleeping under a canopy of stars while listening to the sounds of the wild is what the African Bucket List is all about.

Enjoy A Water-based Safari There are many ways to enjoy close-up wildlife encounters. Open 4x4 game drives & guided walking safaris will take guests straight into the action while relaxing mokoro or boating safaris are the perfect way to get closer to aquatic animals such as hippo, crocodile & birds.

Float In A Hot Air Balloon Hot air balloon safaris allow guests to enjoy a bird’s eye view over the scenic landscape below. Flying over the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei or the game-packed plains of the Serengeti is an experience that should not be missed.

Go Gorilla Trekking What is more magical than spending time with endangered mountain gorillas in the lush forests of Rwanda or Uganda? Hiking through dense rainforests in search of wild, habituated gorillas & chimps is a life-changing experience, to say the least. Observing these amazing creatures in their natural habitat is one you will never forget.

Stay On A Private Island The Indian Ocean is filled with secluded islands where absolute exclusivity is the aim. Most of these islands can only be accessed by helicopter, small plane or sea transfer – which means that you will experience only the best in barefoot luxury where beach villas, private pools & white, sandy beaches await.

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Tick Off The Big 5

Coming to Africa without seeing the Big 5 is like visiting Paris without catching a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower! The term ‘Big 5’ was coined by big-game hunters of the past & refers to the 5 most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot - but is now widely used in the safari industry as some of the most interesting animals to see on a photographic safari. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo & rhino have become ‘celebrities of the bush’ & one of the main reasons an African safari should be on everyone’s bucket list. There are many places in Africa where you can see the Big 5, so journey with us as we share the best of the best. 1. South Africa South Africa is the king of the jungle when it comes to Big 5 game reserves, & this beautiful country offers something for everyone. The best place to see the Big 5 is in Kruger’s Private Game Reserves. Families who are looking for a malaria-free holiday should opt for Madikwe Game Reserve or one of the reserves in the Eastern Cape as these destinations offer a variety of family-friendly lodges & camps. 2. Botswana For an authentic & wild safari experience, you should hop on a small plane & fly to the world-famous Okavango Delta, the game-packed Moremi Game Reserve & the iconic Chobe National Park as these areas all offer superb Big 5 wildlife viewing. 3. Namibia Etosha National Park is Nambia’s cherry on top when it comes to Big 5 game viewing. The park is famous for its numerous waterholes, so you’ll have ample opportunity to witness animals make their way to the water to drink, splash & play. 4. Tanzania Most visitors to Tanzania want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration, one of Earth’s greatest wildlife spectacles. But the country also offers superb Big 5 wildlife viewing year-round. The best places to see the Big 5 is in the game-packed Serengeti National Park & the beautiful Ngorongoro Crater. 5. Kenya The crème de la crème of Kenya is the Masai Mara, a magnet for travellers who want to experience the Great Wildebeest Migration in season. The Mara is also home to the famous Big 5, so guests can tick off both in one holiday. 6. Zimbabwe Most travellers who want to experience a classic Big 5 safari, also want to witness one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World: the majestic Victoria Falls. The Falls can be seen from both Zimbabwe & Zambia’s sides & can easily be combined with a safari to Zimbabwe’s Big 5 regions: Hwange National Park & Mana Pools National Park. 7. Zambia Although Zambia is technically a Big 5 country, rhino is rare & can only be seen in Victoria Falls’ Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park & in North Luangwa National Park. Lion, elephant & buffalo are common across multiple parks while Kafue, South Luangwa & Lower Zambezi are well-known for leopards.

Sleep In A Treehouse

An African holiday is all about making (childhood) dreams a reality. When we grow up, we sometimes forget that life is still full of fantasy, mystery & fun. Many safari lodges throughout Africa offer guests just that – a unique & magical experience…& what is more magical than spending a night in a treehouse under the stars? Each treehouse is luxuriously set up for you, usually accompanied by a special dinner under the stars, a radio & a starry sky as canopy. Some treehouses are located in the middle of the bush (close enough to camp) while others come in the form of ‘star beds’ on your chalet’s open rooftop deck. Step back with us into childhood & see which treehouse stay you prefer. (Please note that most treehouse stays are only available when booking a room at the lodge, in the event that you have to return to your room due to bad weather.) 1. Lion Sands Treehouses, Sabi Sand Game Reserve – South Africa The crème de la crème of treehouses can be found in the game-packed Big 5 Sabi Sand Game Reserve & the Kruger Private Concession in South Africa. Lion Sands have 4 lodges to choose from: River Lodge, Ivory Lodge, Tinga Lodge & Narina Lodge – all offering an unforgettable night under the stars. Their luxury treehouses include Chalkley Treehouse & Kingston Treehouse which sleep 2 adults each & Tinyeleti Treehouse which sleeps 2 adults & 2 children under the age of 15. 2. The Ngala Treehouse, Timbavati Game Reserve – South Africa You get treehouses & you get treehouses. The contemporary Ngala Treehouse will not disappoint. It is the perfect fit for the discerning traveller who wants to be surrounded by nature, but still spend the night in the lap of luxury. 3. Abu Camp Elephant Star Bed – Okavango Delta – Botswana The opportunity to ‘sleep with elephants’ is found nowhere else in Africa. Abu Camp offers a treehouse that overlooks the elephant boma, so you can fall asleep by the contented rumbling & low snores of Africa’s gentle giants. 4. Sanctuary Baines’ Camp Star Bed, Okavango Delta – Botswana This intimate safari camp only offers 6 suites, & each comes with a private deck boasting a romantic ‘sky bed’ & ‘star bath’ – the ideal romantic oasis for couples or honeymooners looking for a unique safari experience. 5. Ruckomechi Camp Star Bed, Mana Pools - Zimbabwe What is more magical than falling asleep to the sounds of nature? Ruckomechi’s secluded Star Bed Treehouse overlooks a game-packed waterhole, so you’ll be able to enjoy front-row seats to one of Mana Pool’s prime wildlife spots. 6. Giraffe’s Nest at Motswari, Timbavati Reserve – South Africa Motswari’s Giraffe’s Nest is a must for those seeking the ultimate, exclusive romantic experience. This stilted treehouse is perched 3 meters above the ground & overlooks the Xanatsi Dam – an active waterhole that attracts all kinds of wild visitors. 7. Jao Treehouse, Okavango Delta – Botswana Jao’s Treehouse is simply beautiful & beautifully simple. With billowing mosquito nets & polished wood floors, the treehouse boasts beautiful views over the bush & there’s even the bonus of a sharp-eyed watchman-cum-butler who will look after your safety & take care of your every need. Bring on the champagne! 8. Tubu’s Treehouse Hide, Okavango Delta - Botswana Deep in the heart of the Okavango Delta, you will find Tubu Tree Camp’s Treehouse Hide (located near camp). At night, the hide is transformed into a magical star-bed experience & before the sun sets, you can enjoy spectacular views over the bush & its passing wildlife. 9. Puku Ridge Star Bed, South Luangwa – Zambia It is not only guided walking safaris that will get you close to Africa’s wildlife. Puku Ridge is home to Zambia’s best star bed experience. Each of the tented suites is built on elevated decks overlooking a game-rich plain & include multi-level verandas with plunge pools as well as towers furnished with ‘star beds.’ 10. Kaingo Elephant Hide Star Bed, South Luangwa - Zambia Set in an ebony tree on the Luangwa River, The Elephant Hide Star Bed is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the wild. Listen to the sounds of Africa while looking up at Africa’s beautiful blanket of stars.

Enjoy A Water-based Safari

Africa offers a wide range of exciting safari activities – but not all safaris take place on land! Some can be enjoyed from the comfort of a canoe, a boat or even a traditional mokoro (dug-out canoe). Exploring Africa on a water-based safari brings you closer to aquatic animals like hippo & crocodile while superb birdwatching can be enjoyed as the sun sets over the bushveld. Elephants are frequently spotted drinking or playing in the water – an incredible sight to see! Not many destinations in Africa offer water-based safaris, but the ones that do, are totally worth the visit! We recommend that you combine a water safari with a land safari so that you can experience the best of both worlds. Land-based safaris include open 4x4 game drives that will get you up, close & personal with Africa’s wildest animals while water-based safaris are relaxing, memorable & plenty of fun. Get ready & dive deeper with us as we explore Africa’s best water-based safari destinations. 1. Chobe River, Chobe National Park - Botswana The Chobe River sits on the northern boundary of the famous Chobe National Park in Botswana & hosts a variety of exciting water-based activities, including sunset boat cruises, game viewing cruises & fishing safaris. You can even overnight on a luxury houseboat & experience the Chobe River in style. 2. Okavango Delta – Botswana A water destination like no other, the iconic Okavango Delta is a water wonderland dotted with private islands, secret channels, open waters & the predator-rich Moremi Game Reserve. The Delta offers a year-round water safari experience, & here you can explore the waterways of the Okavango Delta by traditional mokoro (dug-out canoe) or by boat. Walking safaris are also popular & some camps even offer fishing expeditions. If you are travelling to Botswana, we’ll make sure to suggest the best combination of camps so that you can experience both land & water-based activities. 3. Zambezi River, Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe or Zambia The majestic Victoria Falls is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World & is the longest east-flowing river in Africa. It flows through 6 countries & straddles the border of Zimbabwe & Zambia. Tumbling into the mighty Zambezi River with its many adventure activities, it comes as no surprise that Victoria Falls is known as ‘Africa’s adventure capital.’ The Zambezi River offers sunset boat cruises, canoe safaris, fishing expeditions & white river rafting. 4. Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda Uganda is a country laden with jungles, craters & national parks - & is one of Africa’s top gorilla & chimp trekking destinations. Fit for royals, Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to the famous tree-climbing lions & 2 large bodies of water: Lake Edward & Lake George, both connected by the Kazinga Channel – home to a diversity of wildlife. The channel is one of the park’s main features & boasts the highest concentration of hippos & Nile crocodiles in the world. These aquatic animals are frequently spotted during a boat safari or romantic sundowner cruise.

Float In A Hot Air Balloon

Everyone around the world – regardless of your age, gender or ethnicity has probably dreamt about flying. We’re not just talking about stepping onto an aeroplane, fastening your seatbelt & flying across the ocean to another country…Of course, that is a given. We’re talking about floating in the sky & experiencing life from a bird’s eye view. This is the dream. So why not dream big & set off on a scenic hot air balloon safari? Something magical happens when you observe the bush from a different vantage point. The peaceful surroundings below you are filled with bright colours as the sun rises over the eastern horizon. As the earth warms up, the wildlife starts to become active & it is quite the thrill to spot animals as they move across the plains. The balloon can fly relatively low over big herds (unlike helicopters & small planes), making this one of the best ways to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration. Floating in a hot air balloon is a photographer’s dream. Nothing quite compares to capturing the stillness of the bush from the sky & finding inspiration from nature. Rest assured: Africa has it all. From Sosussvlei’s red sand dunes to the vast plains of the Serengeti & Masai Mara – life in the sky has its rewards. When you touch down on solid earth again, scrumptious champagne breakfast awaits you, prepared & served on the savannah – a wonderful ending to the perfect safari experience. Fly with us as we point out Africa’s most amazing hot air balloon safaris. 1. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania A balloon ride over the Serengeti is one of the most iconic in all of Africa. Known as one of the most famous national parks in the world, the Serengeti is not only home to the Great Wildebeest Migration but will also offer you plenty to see. Keep an eye out for giraffe, elephant, buffalo & impala while you soar through the sky. 2. Sossusvlei, Namibia Surrounded by desert, mountains & a landscape of acacia trees, Sossusvlei is one of Africa’s most scenic destinations. As the sun rises over the desert, the colour of the sand dunes turns blood red – a welcomed surprise for photographers who are eager to take that perfect picture. Visitors are drawn to this area for its sparse, yet beautiful landscape that is best viewed from the sky. 3. Masai Mara, Kenya The iconic Masai Mara is a magnet for travellers from around the globe & known for its vast open plains - home to the Great Wildebeest Migration. Soaring in a hot air balloon over these endless plains is often a highlight of a Masai Mara safari. Spotting wildlife from the air as you glide above the trees is an experience you will never forget. 4. Kafue National Park, Zambia Kafue is one of Africa’s premier hot air balloon safari destinations, because of its remoteness & abundance of wildlife. Get excited, because if you visit Kafue, you will have an opportunity to spot animals like hippo, buffalo, puku & red lechwe from the air. 5. Tarangire National Park, Tanzania Known for its breathtaking landscape, Tarangire National Park is also home to large elephant herds – often visible from the air. Balloon guests can also spot herds of zebra, running gazelles & Verreaux Eagle Owls from the comfort of the basket.

Go Gorilla Trekking

Talking about Bucket List adventures? Look no further, because trekking through the jungles of Africa & coming face to face with endangered mountain gorillas is as good as it gets! The fact that gorillas as a species are on the verge of extinction & treks are a highly restricted activity, puts gorilla-trekking on top of the list when it comes to once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. The rainforest is a challenging environment, so if you want to trek, you need to be fairly fit, in good health & equipped for humid, muddy conditions. Even in the dry season, the steep slopes & thick vegetation can be challenging for some, but if you’re up for the hike, it is worth every moment. Gorillas are susceptible to human illnesses, but don’t have our immunities – so a common cold can be fatal to a gorilla family, which means that you won’t be able to trek if you are unwell. You are not allowed to use a flash when taking a picture & have to wear a protective face mask when approaching the gorillas to prevent spreading viral & bacterial diseases from humans to primates. Each group (a maximum of 6 guests) is led by a professional guide & tracker that will take you into the thick of the forest, in search of a habituation gorilla family. Once found, you’ll be able to spend an hour with the gorillas, watching the adults groom each other & the babies tumble & play. Those wishing to spend more time with the gorillas can purchase a Gorilla Habituation permit, which will allow them – along with researchers & park rangers – to help train gorillas to get used to people. Gorilla Habituation may take between 2 to 3 years to be completed, so being able to actively engage in conservation is an experience of a lifetime. Chimp-trekking is quite different to gorilla-trekking. Although the trekking conditions are much easier, they are wary of humans & a little harder to find. Chimps & other primate species can also be seen on a gorilla-trek – but there are several other superb chimpanzee trekking destinations like Uganda’s Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park & Murchison Falls National Park or Rwanda’s Nyungwe Forest National Park. You can also spot them in Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains National Park & Gombe Stream National Park. If you are coming all the way to Africa, you may as well add a gorilla safari to your itinerary. After all, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with lasting memories. For the best gorilla-trekking adventure, visit one of the following African destinations. 1. Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda The beautiful Volcanoes National Park in north-western Rwanda is Rwanda’s prime rainforest & home to 5 of 8 volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains range. The park was also the base for the revolutionary primatologist, Dian Fossey, & is home to a staggering amount of mountain gorillas, rare golden monkeys & a variety of forest birds. 2. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Uganda The mountain gorillas of Uganda can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – a World Heritage Site of both montane & lowland forest that is home to 120 species of mammals, 350 bird species & 220 butterfly species. Hosting half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, Bwindi also offers thrilling encounters with colobus monkeys & chimpanzees.

Stay On A Private Island

Nothing screams luxury quite like private island living. And Africa’s Indian Ocean offers you a selection of private islands, each boasting pristine beaches, crystal-clear water & total exclusivity. A magnet for discerning travellers – romantics, honeymooners & even families – a private island holiday is the perfect way to relax. Snorkel, dive, swim, eat fresh seafood, get relaxing massages & enjoy a wide selection of water sports. Apart from the fact that private islands allow for total exclusivity, (no other resorts are found on the island) you can enjoy unspoilt beaches, untouched coral reefs & even private butler services. This is luxury at its best. Want to experience the best of both worlds? Why not combine an African safari with an Indian Ocean holiday – & experience your own slice of paradise? Start dreaming as we share our list of Africa’s most amazing private islands. 1. North Island - Seychelles Located on one of the world’s most astonishing private islands, North Island is a rare sanctuary for those seeking a luxurious, unspoiled & completely exclusive tropical haven. Fit for royalty, it was chosen as the 2011 honeymoon escape for Prince William & Kate. 2. Maldives Islands (most are private islands) The Maldives is comprised of 1,190 coral islands, of which 200 are inhabited & only 98 are tourist resorts. This string of idyllic islands is encircled by translucent, ever-changing waters of the Indian Ocean, offering beach-lovers the chance to discover a luxurious island retreat like no other. 3. Azura Quilalea Private Island, Quirimbas Archipelago – Mozambique Azura Quilalea Private Island is an exclusive beach resort set in the gorgeous & remote Quirimbas Archipelago in northern Mozambique. It is a classic ‘desert island’ destination, offering the best in service, accommodation & dining. 4. Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort, Quirimbas Archipelago – Mozambique Medjumbe is the ultimate private island retreat, offering romantic beachfront accommodation, private plunge pools, fresh seafood directly from the ocean, exciting water sports & excellent service. So secluded, Medjumbe can only be reached by small aircraft & therefore ensures an unspoilt, pristine beach experience. 5. Mnemba Island Lodge – Zanzibar Mnemba Island is a tropical paradise of coral reefs, powdery beaches & turquoise water found just off the coast of Zanzibar - & just 1,5km in circumference. Lying on this dreamy isle is Mnemba Island Lodge – a small & intimate boutique-style beach resort with a dedication to providing only the best in barefoot luxury. 6. Four Seasons Desroches Island – Seychelles Four Seasons Desroches Island is set on a private island in the Seychelles. It is not surprising that this slice of paradise is considered one of the most pristine & untouched islands in the world. 7. Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa – Seychelles Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa is a 5* luxury resort set on the east coast of one of the most beautiful private islands in the Seychelles: Silhouette Island. The island is covered with jungles, mountains, rainforests & pristine beaches – offering all who visit an authentic island experience. 8. Six Senses Zil Pasyon – Seychelles The Six Senses Zil Pasyon is set on the private Felicite Island off the coast of La Digue & is a short helicopter or boat ride from Praslin Island, making it a well-placed destination for island-hopping excursions. 9. Constance Tsarabanjina – Madagascar Set on Tsarabanjina, a small private island in the northwestern Mitsio Archipelago in Madagascar, lies Constance Tsarabanjina – a luxury island retreat surrounded by powder-soft beaches, lush tropical vegetation & rich coral reefs. 10. Time + Tide Miavana – Madagascar Off the northeast coast of Madagascar, on Nosy Ankao – the largest of 5 pristine islands that form a protected archipelago – you will find Time + Tide Miavana. Forming part of a 37,000-hectare protected marine area that is only accessible by helicopter, Miavana offers jaw-dropping views over the endless Indian Ocean & direct access to the beach from each villa. 11. Denis Private Island Lodge – Seychelles Denis Private Island, a 375-acre private coral island is located amid the warm waters of the Indian Ocean in beautiful Seychelles. The island is home to lush palm trees & white powdery beaches, ensuring an authentic island experience. 12. Cousine Island – Seychelles The lavish Cousine Island is not only an idyllic & private tropical destination but also one that is dedicated to nature conservation. Yes, the island might be small – around 30 hectares big – yet it is packed with wildlife. 13. Enchanted Island Resort – Seychelles As the name suggests, Enchanted Island Resort is located on a captivating 5-acre private island, just a short boat ride from Mahe Island in the Seychelles. Here, guests can escape the hustle & bustle of everyday life & embrace a luxurious island experience where private plunge pools & outdoor showers are just as important as beautiful, white sandy beaches & crystal-clear waters.

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