Africa, the second largest continent in the world is known for its extensive, photo-perfect nature and eclectic cultures. Owing to the vastness of the continent, if you’ve at least seen the natural wonders of Africa, that’s one great achievement indeed!
The Splendor of 5 Natural Wonders of Africa Revealed
On February 11, 2013, the seven new natural wonders of Africa were declared in Arusha, Tanzania following voting by world experts. Each of these natural wonders is a testimony to Africa’s glorious natural diversity, from geographical features that fit into the world’s biggest and longest to indigenous and rare animal life. Here’s a look at 5 of these wonders.
1. Serengeti Migration
The Serengeti is an ecosystem stretching from the northern parts of Tanzania to south-western Kenya. This ecosystem with grasslands, woodlands, swamps, riverine forests, and kopjes is the location of the world’s largest and longest overland migration. Between January and March, approximately 1.5 million wildebeest begin traversing around the plains along with 500,000 Thompson’s gazelles, 200,000 zebras, and 18,000 elands. In the process of looking for food, the animals encounter geological obstacles and must risk their lives, moving precariously across rivers having crocodiles and hippos in them. Many birth and death occur during the circulatory migration.
One of the best time to witness the migration is from July to August, from Kenya and primarily from the Mara River. ‘Maasai Mara’ is the term used for the Serengeti in Kenya. Stay at Angama Mara is also recommended by Forbes for the best view of the migration.
2. Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is fondly known as ‘Africa’s Garden of Eden,’ is the world’s biggest but inactive and unbroken volcanic caldera. The crater is situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation area, Tanzania. No less than 25,000 animals resided in the crater and included among them is the endangered black rhino and the Big Five – African lion, African elephant, African leopard, Black rhinoceros and Cape Buffalo. In Lake Magadi, a huge lake southwest of the crater, you can see thousands of chiefly lesser flamingoes.
The caldera floor is 2000 feet down from crater rim and so looking from the top makes for a jaw-dropping view. It contains open grassland with a few wooded areas.
3. The Sahara Desert
At 3.5 million square miles, the Sahara is the world’s largest hot desert and its third largest desert, coming in just after the Antarctic and Arctic deserts. The desert covers almost the entire North Africa. Wandering nomads or tribes and animals such as foxes, dromedary camels, red-necked ostriches, the Saharan silver ant, African wild dogs, goats, sand vipers and desert crocodiles do inhabit the desert. Amazingly, you can find dunes here as tall as 600 feet. In certain areas of the desert, tourist activities such as wildlife viewing, cultural tours and camping are available.
4. The Nile River
This longest river of the world – The Nile, stretches 6650 km (4132 miles) with two sources, one in Ethiopia and the other in Uganda. The Nile flows through 10 countries, culminating in a huge delta before entering the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. This famous Northeast African river is a key source of water for people in Egypt and Sudan. The majority of Egypt’s cultural and historical sites and thus, a majority of its population too are situated along the banks of this river.
5. Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is the world’s biggest delta formed by annual seasonal flooding which climaxes in July and August. Instead of flowing into the sea, the delta’s waters evaporate. Interestingly, the flooding occurs not during the wet season but rather, during the dry season. Thus, native animals and plants have harmonized their biological cycles accordingly.
A wide variety of wildlife has this Botswana-located delta as their home. The animal population includes even endangered mammal species such as the African wild dog, the cheetah, the black rhinoceros, and the white rhinoceros.
If you’re a travel enthusiast, it’s surely worth making dates in your calendar to check out the natural wonders of Africa.