When people visit Africa, it’s more than just a trip. It’s a spiritual experience. Many people have a sense that they’ve finally “come home” and it has a measurable effect on their bodies. Their blood pressure drops, their stress hormones reduce, and they generally feel happier and healthier. But why do they have these feelings?
There’s a name for it in the scientific literature: biophilia. Humans have lived on the savannas of Africa for thousands of years. In fact, it was only very recently in our evolutionary history that we moved out of Africa and into other parts of the world. When we return to Africa, we feel at home once more, as if we’re back in our natural habitat.
Africa is just about as wild as it gets for humans. Here are some unique experiences you can have in this region.
Meet The Hadza
The Hadza are one of the last, free living wild human populations in the whole world. They live on a diet of root vegetables and freshly foraged fruit and have some of the lowest rates of chronic diseases in the world. Being with the Hadza is just about the closest tourists can get to experience what life was like before the dawn of civilization. The way they live their lives is so different to how we live in the West. The majority of their time is spent looking for and preparing food.
Image via Flickr by Hadza Archery
Though they live off the land, they are a surprisingly long-lived. Once children make it past the age of about five, they can look forward to many decades of life, hunting, and foraging in the wild.
The time to visit the Hadza is now. Soon, they’ll become integrated into the local African populations, and their way of life will be lost to history.
Experience A Safari
The Okavango Delta in Botswana has been described as one of nature’s masterpieces. And it’s not hard to see why. The UNESCO world heritage site is one of the only sources of year-round fresh water in the region, attracting wildlife from hundreds of miles around in all directions. The Delta itself is a great place to spot Africa’s megafauna, including elephants. And for tourists, there’s the added bonus of having your own canoe guide who will punt you across the delta, while you use your binoculars to spot animals.
Visit The Pyramids
Image from Pixabay
The pyramids of Giza began construction more than 3,000 years ago. But despite their age, they’re among the most impressive objects in the whole of Africa, even today. What their actual purpose is remains unknown. Mainstream archaeologists say that they are probably burial chambers, but alternative theories abound. Some of these theories, like the Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis, suggest extraterrestrial involvement in their construction. Whatever the truth, they are nonetheless one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world and should be a part of any tour of Africa.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Formed by volcanism in the Rift Valley, Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most impressive and imposing objects on the African landscape. Though it is tall, the unique way that it was formed makes it relatively easy to climb compared to other peaks throughout the world.