Sub-Saharan Africa


Separated from North Africa by the continent’s massive band of desert, Sub-Saharan Africa gives way to a mosaic of vastly different worlds. The sprawling landscapes are teeming with biodiversity and megafauna unmatched by any other continent; habitats range from the boundless savannas of Tanzania and Kenya to the dense jungles of Rwanda, home to the world’s last mountain gorillas. Equally as thrilling—but perhaps less visited by international travelers—are the dynamic metropolises, from the pulsating culture capital of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to cosmopolitan Cape Town, with its spirited dining scene and surrounding Cape Winelands that produce some of the world’s most coveted wines.

1 /

Example Itinerary 1

Ancient History and Modern Jazz in Ethiopia

A true cradle of civilization and the only African nation never to be colonized, Ethiopia has fostered a long cultural and religious history. The country’s oldest city, Axum, was the seat of an empire that extended across the Red Sea to Arabia. Here, you can learn from scholarly guides about sites including obelisks, cathedrals, and ruins.

Further south, the town of Lalibela was a stronghold of Christianity that was cut off from the outside world for centuries. Walk among white-robed devotees through underground medieval churches, each of which was chiseled wholly from stone.

Travel to the Simien Mountains to stay in an architecturally designed lodge constructed from rammed earth, wood and thatch on the edge of a deep gorge. The property serves as a base for treks to observe the region’s varied fauna, including the gelada monkey, bearded vulture and horned walia ibex.

In the nation’s capital, Addis Ababa, you can visit national museums, taste true Ethiopian coffee, and experience the world’s most unique jazz scene.

1 /

Example Itinerary 2

The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

The last three decades have brought monumental change to Rwanda. In the wake of the 1994 genocide, the tiny, landlocked country now has one of the fastest growing GDPs in the world, and today, the capital of Kigali is filled with young creatives and entrepreneurs. Rwanda is also home to the world’s last mountain gorillas, which live in the misty, jungle-covered hillsides of the country’s volcanic peaks, and are one of the most sought-after wildlife experiences in the world.

Few animal encounters feel so intimate as this close brush with our hulking genetic relatives. Trek through dense jungle with porters and a ranger guide through a Jurassic forest of lobelia, bamboo and hagenia trees in Volcanoes National Park for an up-close encounter with a family. Standing mere feet away, you’ll encounter playful juveniles, mothers cradling their young, and austere silverback males—the largest primate on earth—experiencing the great humanity of these creatures who, until recently, faced extinction in the wake of rampant poaching, habitat loss and civil unrest. After the trek, return to your lodge in the foothills of the jungle and look out to the peaks of surrounding volcanoes.

Oh and also...

Explore the people and landscapes of Kenya for a glimpse of the Great Migration herds while connecting with the Masai people who coexist with them.

Meet the artisans, herders, and elders of the nomadic Himba peoples of Namibia and climb the world’s tallest sand dune.

Explore the art and architecture of cosmopolitan Cape Town and head to its outskirts to dine at a historic winery estate.