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.
Encounter exotic wildlife in Kruger National Park, get off the mainstream tourist trail while spending a night in the community of Shalati, witness a traditional dance, do it all in just four days.
Travel to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and uncover their natural wonders. From the Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls, to safaris in Kruger National Park.
Spot the Big Five in game parks and reserves, visit villages and Cape Town, search for wildlife in Kruger National Park, take in southern Africa’s dramatic scenery, experience local dancing.
Get up close to some of the Zambezi’s fascinating wildlife and participate in animal protection or support a local school project
Encounter the wildlife of the famous Masai Mara, learn traditional ways at a Masai settlement in the Loita Hills and photograph wildlife at Lake Nakuru National Park, all in less than a week.
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.
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.
Visit Africa and travel through Kenya and Tanzania to follow the road to Zanzibar. From Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, experience a once in a lifetime African adventure.
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.
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.