What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear about Africa? If you haven’t had the chance to visit this continent yet, it’s most likely you’d imagine a picture of vast land with wild beasts roaming freely around. Though the thought of this excites most people, some, especially those travelling with kids, don’t see a safari adventure as an ideal choice and ultimately dismiss the continent from their travel plans.

However, Africa is more than just a safari destination. With over 50 countries making up its territory, this sunny continent (literally named after the Latin word aprica, which means sunny) prides itself on its unique natural wonders, historical sites and rich and diverse culture.

Africa also hides a wide range of activities and unique experiences for easy travelers and thrill-seekers alike. Below are just four of the many things that are in store for you when you visit Africa:

Cultural diversity

Aside from the fact that it is considered as the cradle of civilization, Africa has a very diverse culture due to a substantial number of native tribal groups that were influenced by decades of colonial rule. On top of that, being in close proximity to some some of the world’s largest religious centres has also left some African countries with a healthy mix of influence from Islam and Christianity.

On the northwestern region lies Morocco, a country where traditional Berber culture and Muslim faith intertwine. It was annexed by France in the early decades of the 20th century, and thus, was also heavily influenced by the French culture. When visiting this country, exploring the souk markets and treating yourself to traditional food, native products and handicrafts are a must.

On the southeastern side of Africa is Mozambique, another culturally diverse country. Since it sits along the continent’s Indian Ocean coastline, Mozambique was heavily influenced by Arab traders. It was also subjected to foreign rule by Portuguese for about 400 years, whose influence in architecture and language is evident up until today.

If you’re on the lookout for other African destinations that serve as cultural melting pots, the cities of Johannesburg, Dakar and Addis Ababa are also worth noting.

Luxury intertwined with nature

Because Africa is just so massive (it’s 3.9 times bigger than Australia!), there’s plenty of room to hide pockets of extraordinary natural destinations fit for nature enthusiasts, as well as for those who simply want a respite from life in general.

Anse Lazio in Seychelles’ Praslin Island is notable for having Instagram-worthy sceneries. You wouldn’t want to miss seeing the sun set along Anse Lazio beach, so make sure to include this in your itinerary if you’re planning to visit.

Other island countries lying on Africa’s eastern and western coasts, such as Mauritius and Cape Verde, are home to luxury beaches with crystal clear waters. Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and other African countries also have white sand beaches perfect for a relaxing tropical getaway.

Thriving city life

Urban dwellers will love the hustle and bustle of city life offered by different African countries. Middle Eastern and European influences mixed with local culture make for exquisite cuisines that will expand your palate. The cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa and Lagos in Nigeria are excellent destinations to discover unique dishes, extraordinary treats and special gifts and mementos to share with your friends back home. These cities also boast of thriving nightlife, rich art scene and modern sprawls that bring the best experiences from all over the continent within convenient reach.

African adventure trail by train

Much like Europe, Africa also has an extensive railway network, making it easier for tourists to travel to multiple destinations in just one trip. You could explore South and East Africa’s natural wonders while being treated to a luxurious coach accommodation. This should be exciting as trains are now being used often in urban transport. Seriously, when was the last time you enjoyed a long train ride?

Finding the perfect getaway destination and creating an itinerary according to your travel needs can be a bit tedious. Good thing there are many travel packages available in the market, such as the African tours by Bench Africa. If you’d like to be more hands on in planning your trip but don’t want the stress that comes with it, you can always consult with Bench Africa’s friendly staff who will help you tailor an itinerary according to your liking.

Start planning your African trip now and explore different corners of the world one trip at a time.