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.
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.
Track the Big 5 across the Serengeti, chill on the beaches of Zanzibar, wildlife viewing and beach lounging with a flight between safaris and the island and get close to nature by camping.
The ultimate African adventure tour. See chimps in Kenya’s Kibale Forest, elephants in Uganda and go on a gorilla safari in Rwanda. This tour is unforgettable.
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.
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.
Travel to Ethiopia, the land of our ancestors and the home of the Simien Mountains. One of Africa’s true hidden gems, this collection of rock formations provide a unique trekking experience.
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.
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.
From Ottoman Istanbul, the battlefields of Gallipoli, Roman ruins, the Aegean Coast and the mineral pools of Pamukkale to the Pyramids, the Valley of the Kings and sailing in Egypt.
Spot the Big Five in game parks and reserves, visit local villages and cosmopolitan Cape Town, camp amongst Southern Africa’s dramatic scenery, visit three countries in two weeks.