This is a guest post from the lovely Amy Mia Goldsmith; a budding writer, business assistant and avid traveler from Melbourne, Australia. Last year she took a trip to Southern Africa and had such a wonderful time she wants to share her experiences and encourage other people to visit this beautiful continent. Thank you so much for sharing Amy!
I am a traveler which means I am always on the road exploring new places and the world’s hidden treasures. For years now I have dedicated my life to unraveling the most extraordinary attractions around the globe. And finally, after such a long time, I have arrived to Africa. Have you ever visited a place and thought that you were in another dimension? Like it is something out of the ordinary, something magical, like from a fairytale? If I could describe my African experience I would probably say that it is a small glimpse of paradise…And here is why:
Just off the coast of East Africa lies a Tanzanian archipelago in all its glory and marvel. The correlation of azure beaches, coral reefs and turquoise water make the beaches of Zanzibar a true haven. If you are a fan of water sports, these beaches offer countless opportunities for exploring the depth of the Indian Ocean. On the main island called Unguja you can find the Stone Town which is a World Heritage Site whose architecture dating back to the 19th century reflects the diverse culture of the Swahili people. As Zanzibar is mostly known for its spice industry and tourism, the scent and mixture of different spices only make the tour through this place even more amazing. So, hurry up and book your visit to Tanzania!
Renowned as the “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean” the Bazaruto Archipelago represents a group of six islands in Mozambique. If I could choose one place to get lost, I would not hesitate for a minute before choosing this destination. If I tell you now that some of the most popular activities here are horseback riding along the beach coast, diving and snorkeling through the crystal clear water along with the oceans residents like dolphins, seahorses, turtles and sharks, you would probably mark me as a liar. But this is only a small glimpse of this Archipelago. And because I prefer nomadic travels, which means that I tend to travel lightly and without a lot of money, I was happy to find out that there are a lot of affordable options when it comes to accommodation,transport and similar.
Perhaps my favorite destination on this whole peregrination was discovering the volcanic island nation of Mauritius. If you wish to experience Mauritius in all its might, do not hesitate to take a walk along the tea plantation or sugarcane fields. Another exciting venture is discovering the hidden villages of this place with its blend of cultures. Here it is not unusual seeing Muslim, Christian and Hindu people living side by side. Get acquainted with the locals and absorb their culture. Visit the carved Mauritian temples, see the world’s largest idol of the Hindu god Ganesha and participate in the local traditions. If you are liquor enthusiast, do not miss the chance to try one of the best rums in the world. This is truly a place where everyone can find something to their liking. From the impeccable wildlife, native flora and fauna, rainforests, waterfalls and mountainous surfaces to their cultural life, traditional cuisine, local markets and festivals – it really has it all.
If you wish to admire the miracle of nature in all its glory, well then Seychelles are the perfect destination for you. I have never seen such a complex and versatile natural blend in one place. Seychelles are comprised of 115 islands, all of which contain enchanting nature life. The second largest island named Praslin is known for its tropical forests which are home for countless animal and plant species. It is said that General Charles George Gordon of Khartoum was convinced that the Vallée de Mai Nature Preserve was the Biblical Garden of Eden. Its rare wildlife, coral reefs, white sand beaches and nature reserves are only a small part. For a more artistic and cultural approach, in Victoria, which is the capital of the Seychelles, you simply should not miss the National Museum of History or the Natural History Museum. Creole cuisine with its classic spicy dishes and exotic influence are best felt on the local markets, such as the Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market, which is actually the hotspot for the local people.
Possibly the most famous African destination, Maldives is known for its tropical allure and heavenly surroundings. The best way to fully experience this place is to get to know it from the inside. So do not hesitate to talk with the locals and ask them to show you their customs; join the fisherman on one of their deep-sea fishing trips and do not fail to taste some of their traditional foods and beverages, like raa, the local brew which is a type of sweet toddy made from the crown of the coconut palm. But beside its secluded paradise life, because of its tourism industry, Maldives also offers a wide range of luxury resorts which are quite popular among newlywed couples. Maldives also has a completely different side. The capital Malé, which was traditionally known as the King’s Island was founded as a trading post in the 16th century by the Portuguese. It is mostly known for colorful buildings and historical mosques. Besides this, in the National Museum, which is located in the Sultans Park, you have the opportunity to see artifacts like the coral stone head of Lord Buddha and various ancient weapons. Its crowded streets and busy lifestyle truly create a visible contrast to its paradise beaches, for which Maldives are mostly known for.
If you are in any way similar to me, if you have a brave soul hungry for new experiences and adventures, then do not hesitate for one minute before heading to Africa. Do not be afraid to grab this life by its horns and live it fully. There is no better way of experiencing life than exploring all the worlds’ phenomena. And always remember that no destination is unreachable and the only limits you have are inside your head.
Amy Goldsmith is a business assistant from Melbourne. Her job allows her to travel a lot, which also happens to be one of her greatest passions. Find out more about her travels on Twitter.