Seychelles, tropical paradise Indian Ocean island nation

6 Outrageously Over-the-Top Africa Vacation Ideas

It’s Monday morning after a holiday weekend, and I was feeling a little groggy — not quite awake yet on my weekly conference call, guzzling coffee, trying to look alive. But when I got organized to put up today’s guest post, I found my inspiration real quick. I’m up, I’m up! Helloooooo big world.

And I suspect you will feel alive too, when you let your wanderlust dreams run wild, thanks to the second-in-a-series post from GeoEx Africa expert Starla Estrada. To refresh, Starla has adventured through 17 African countries (modes of transportation: on foot, 4×4 vehicles, quad bikes, kayak, canoe, hot air balloon, helicopter, various small aircraft), and she’s off again this Friday for a month of exploring on the continent.

Before she goes, she’s provided her spectacular picks for over-the-top Africa vacation ideas. I’m so excited to share them with you here:

Lower Zambezi

Lower Zambezi sunset

Lower Zambezi sunset

Where else can you do day and afternoon game drives, night drives, safari walks, canoeing (with hippos and crocs, of course), catch-and-release-fishing, spot leopards (!!!), and sleep in small, exclusive tented camps along the edge of the mighty Zambezi River, on either the Zambia or Zimbabwe side? The Lower Zambezi. It is stunning.



Seychelles, tropical paradise Indian Ocean island nation

Seychelles, tropical paradise Indian Ocean island nation

When I was young, I must have seen a photo of the Seychelles… those white powdery beaches, turquoise waters, smooth boulders, and the exotic notion that the 100-plus islands are situated exactly in the middle of nowhere in the Indian Ocean. Many years later, my young beach-girl dream came true. And yes, they are the most beautiful beaches in the world.


Cool dudes in Johannesburg

Cool dudes in Johannesburg

I have visited this sprawling urban forest several times, but it wasn’t until my most recent trip that I dedicated time to exploring this city. It is the world’s largest urban forest, sprawling in verdant tree-lined streets. A desolate, Detroit-esque downtown, revitalized in small sections by local artists, designers, restauranteurs. A dyamic history. And ladies who rock cutting-edge fashion and hair like nobody’s business.

Starla at Arts on Main

Starla at Arts on Main


Sandstone deserts, rainforests, spiny Tsingy forests, dry forests, riverine ecosystems, tropical island hideaways, and one crazy language. (Antananarivo is the capital and one of the shorter words in the Malagasy language!)


If I could jump on a plane tomorrow and re-visit the remote ancient Dogon country in Mali, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Red sahel sands, ancient mud mosques and architecture, Dogon tribes, ancestral diviners, 1000-foot desert cliff dwellings that used to be covered in lush jungle… it’s the stuff that fictional adventure story books are made of.


Reprise: #Kingdom of Morocco #PURE @pure_theshow

A photo posted by starla estrada (@starbase) on

Marrakech is consistently named one of the top cities [to visit] in the world. It’s a mix of ancient labyrinthine Medina and cosmopolitan European influenced clubs, a curiously diverse city mixing Berbers, Tuaregs, Arabs, Europeans, and North Africans. Parties last well past the 5am call to prayer…


For more from the girl who’s seen it all in Africafollow Starla on Instagram for jaw-dropping Africa travel photos.

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