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four safaris with a little extra soul

Wildlife is far from the only reason to go on safari in Africa.

Safari means “journey” in Swahili. However, he is often locked up in the collective imagination in his quest to encounter wildlife. But this wild Africa undeniably rubs shoulders with another world rich in history and cultures. Here are some reasons to go on safari… But not only.

SEE THE FILE – Safari: travel guide, information and advice from Le Figaro

For sports fans

Eldoret in Kenya is the heart of running. SIMON MAINA / AFP

The African continent cultivates a certain sporting excellence. If the big names have made themselves known in Europe during the Olympic Games and other world events, the continent is full of incredible places, nurseries of great athletes. You can therefore combine your safari with a discovery of this face of the continent.

  • Eldoret at Kenya is the heart of the practice of running. The great champion Eliud Kipchoge, marathon world record holder, developed his practice there like all the great Kenyan long-distance runners. Between two stages, take a break for a few days and train with the best athletes in the world… if you dare!
  • Rugby is a religion in southernSouth Africa and particularly at the University of Stellenbosch. Discover the facilities and attend a match of the university championship a few tens of kilometers from Cape Town, after a broader discovery of the country… Or take advantage of your visit to Johannesburg to experience a great match at Ellis Park, the country’s legendary stadium (seen in the film Invictus).
  • Cycling is not the main discipline on the continent. But the Rwandais an exception with his tour of Rwanda and some renowned cyclists. If you practice cycling seriously “, training can be organized on the superb roads of the country… Be careful, this country is called that of the 1000 hills!

For history buffs

In the region of Masvingo, in the south of Zimbabwe, there are monumental archaeological remains. Adobe Stock / evenfh

All the countries of the continent have a dense past and it is easy to integrate stopovers and historical visits.

  • L‘South Africa and particularly the city of Johannesburg is a must: visit the fabulous and modern Apartheid Museum, sleep in Gandhi’s house or walk in the alleys of Soweto in the footsteps of Mandela or Desmond Tutu. A strong step before going on safari in the east of the country.
  • the Zimbabwe bears in its name the interest it should arouse. Meaning “house of stone”, it is not only the land of Victoria Falls and the great adjoining reserves. In the Masvingo region, not far from Bulawayo, in the south of the country, there are monumental archaeological remains. Traveling through this region gives it a whole new dimension. To be visited with a guide.
  • Unexpected and yet: Zanzibar, before being a mythical island, unmissable after a safari in Tanzania, was one of the equivalents of Gorée in East Africa. This former sultanate dependent on Oman was the starting point for the slave trade to the Arabian Peninsula and Asia. From this heritage there remain a few palaces in the old town and sites whose visit offers another look at the history of this region… so little known.

For foodies

Ali Barbour’s Cave restaurant. Photo press / Ali Barbour’s Cave

African cuisine is little known and, it must be admitted, a little despised. Due to the isolation of the regions visited, safari does not necessarily rhyme with gastronomy. However, two places are worth the detour.

  • The garden route is located in South Africa around the town of Knysna. This region is rarely visited and yet it has one of the richest soils in the country. On the menu: fruits, vegetables, lamb (the best from the neighboring Karoo) and of course, seafood and oysters. In short, a paradise for gourmets.
    The address:Seafood at the Plettenberg, located in a Relais & Châteaux in Plettenberg Bay in the heart of the garden route. Everything is there.
  • The south coast of Kenya departs from Mombasa towards the Tanzanian border via the coastal town of Diani where many hotels are located. Here, seafood (fish, giant prawns and lobsters) are cooked with Arab-Indian influences. The must: enjoy a good meal on a dhow (traditional boat) in the shade of a deployed sail.
    The address:Ali Barbour’s Cave. Located not far from Diani, this restaurant has settled in rocky cavities created by sea erosion. Under a starry sky, surrounded by powerful rocks, an atypical dinner ideal for enjoying the flavors of the region.

For climbers

The Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda. Adobe Stock / Mathias

Safari is often associated with a combination of physical activities. It is not so. Most often in a car, you will not reach your 10,000 daily steps. To exert yourself or surpass yourself, treks and hikes are possible in the most beautiful landscapes: walking on the edges of the Ngorongoro crater in Tanzania, on the giant dunes of the Namib desert or by sinking into the fabulous Blyde River Canyon by South Africa… The opportunities abound.

  • Less known, wilder and smaller, the Empakai crater is a “small” crater in Ngorongoro in Tanzania which can only be visited on foot. Guaranteed sensations… always accompanied of course.
  • For climbers, there are some famous peaks in Kenya : Mount Kenya or its prestigious neighbor Kilimanjaro. Between five and seven days are necessary to accomplish these climbs which will take you beyond 5000 meters of altitude. A timeless experience, appreciable before resting on safari.
  • Secrets, the Rwenzori Mountains, located in Uganda on the Congo border, offer an extreme mountain experience but perfect for an original and physical experience. After that, we will go on a game drive before embarking on the famous gorilla trek in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

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