Starla Estrada GeoEx Africa specialist, Sossusvlei Dunes

6 Spectacular Places to Travel in Africa Before You Die (With Jaw-Dropping Photos!)

I’m feeling very inspired this morning, with wanderlust dribbling down my chin like so much infant twin drool. That’s because I have a guest poster with the most stunning stories to tell: (In addition to being my dear friend and fashion inspiration for 20 years,) Starla Estrada is the Africa travel expert for GeoEx. As such, she has journeyed through 17 African countries — on foot, 4×4 vehicles, quad bikes, kayak, canoe, hot air balloon, helicopter, and any number of small aircraft. (Can I have your life? Kthxbye.)

Here, Starla provides her bucket list inspiration for places to travel in Africa before you die — it’s the first in a two-part series on Africa travel from the total insider, with photos that will make you drool. Without further ado:

Starla Estrada’s 6 Places to Travel in Africa

Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. Adult and young gorilla

Gorillas at Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

“It’s simple: Looking into the eyes of a mountain gorilla is, in essence, looking at yourself. Then, there are the hands, fingernails, unique fingerprints and palm lines. There are an estimated 800 mountain gorillas in existence. Tireless conservation keeps this small number steady, however they are constantly at risk. Tracking these majestic and gentle creatures in the wild … it is sheer glee. Also: baby gorillas!”

Northern Frontier District, Kenya

Turkana, Kenya

Turkana, Kenya

“Frankly, there are few words to describe the panorama of flying via helicopter over the Lake Turkana region, Silali Crater, Hoodoo and Painted Valleys, an ancient cycad forest … and alighting atop Desert Rose, to a band of singing Samburu warriors. It is your own private version of Baraka.”

Serengeti, Tanzania

Migration over the Serengeti, Tanzania

Migration over the Serengeti, Tanzania

“The Serengeti spans a wilderness area of 12,000 square miles and hosts the largest mammal migration in the world: a mega-herd of one million wildebeest and zebra crossing predator filled plains and rivers. It is jaw-droppingly, mind-blowingly primal. Also: Wildebeest are the animal kingdom’s court jester — hilarious and shockingly dumb.”

View from Table Mountain, South Africa

Table Mountain sunset, Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain sunset, Cape Town, South Africa

“Cape Town is one of the world’s most beautiful small cities. The view from the flat-topped Table Mountain inspires adventure and exploration … and contentedness at being on that mountain, in that moment, overlooking an ocean that extends to Antarctica. Its protected areas are a World Heritage Site and habitat to more than 2,000 species of plants, including the king protea, a flower that is both Dr. Seuss and sophistication.”

Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia

Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia

Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia

“These pink-orange-red dunes are some of the highest and most remote in the world. At the crack of dawn, before anyone else has arrived, you can lie at the base of Big Daddy, amongst the deadvlei, and have the entire, serene world to yourself.” (That’s Starla pictured at the dunes in the photo at the top of the post.)

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Okavango Delta, Botswana

“The Delta is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The world’s largest inland sea fills with flood water from Angola every year, completely reconfiguring the landscape and ecosystem. There are islands and oases and an abundance of big game. It is pristine wilderness and wildlife and one of the world’s best examples of conservation.”

Want to read more from the girl who’s seen it all in Africa? Come back soon for her over-the-top safari vacation ideas!

Meanwhile, follow Starla on Instagram for jaw-dropping Africa travel photos.


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