The backpacker tours you can do on your gap year in Africa are almost as diverse as the continent itself. Africa in general is often simplified as one place in the world's press (and certain charity singles) and the whole continent has something of a bad reputation, but as anyone who has travelled there will tell you, the situation is far more complex than we're sometimes led to believe.
Many African backpacker tours are focussed on the extraordinary diversity of wildlife, which includes the classic Big 5 - elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo - and then some. You can also join more culturally focused tours, which take you into the heart of traditional tribes and communities, like the Masai Mara in Kenya.
While some countries, like Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia, are currently off limits, most countries are perfectly safe and have been for years. These include places like South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana and Morocco.
The slave trade may have been abolished centuries ago, but evidence of the slave trade remains. Join this tour to see the sites which once held slaves, destined for a life on another continent.
See a mountain gorilla up close and personal, search for chimpanzees in Kalinzu Forest Reserve, photograph diverse wildlife, raft down the White Nile River in Jinja.
This short but exciting trip combines three of southern Africa’s most phenomenal sites: Hwange and Kruger national parks and the breathtaking Victoria Falls.
Southern Tanzania is one of Africa’s best kept secrets. Herds of elephants, prides of lions and packs of wild dogs are among the encounters waiting at the parks of Selous, Mikumi and Ruaha.
Wander medinas and Roman ruins, camel ride in the Sahara, spend a night in a desert tent and a mountain gîte, enjoy Moroccan fare at a local home, shop in Essaouira and see blue Chefchaouen.
Tanzania is home to some of the best diving in the world. The crystal clear waters host a wealth of habitats and wildlife, making this a perfect location to scuba dive and explore underwater
Roam the Serengeti National Park, nearly 15,000km2 of rolling savanna that shelters an astounding array of animals from miniature dik-dik antelopes to lions and the noble African elephant.
Lap up atmospheric Marrakech and its colourful medina. Witness striking Todra Gorge, camp in the Sahara and explore amazing Ait Benhaddou - the legendary fortified kasbah.
Explore the best Tanzania and Kenya have to offer on this short safari and beach overland tour. The highlights include the Serengeti’s game filled plains and meeting colourful Masai tribes.
Spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park, gaze out across Victoria Falls, search for rhinos, observe wildlife from a 4x4 in Matobo National Park, witness Shangaan traditions and discover Zimbabwe.