Taking a flight to a city, staying in a cozy hotel room and if needs be take a 4wd for visiting a few major attractions in and around the city, well this is one way of spending your vacation in Africa. But if you really want to dig deep into the continent and find some real adventure and enjoyment then you have to be a little adventurous yourself as well. Visiting some famous rivers for example; yes your car can take you to the bank of the river where you can see the beautiful river and also the locals who are fishing and sailing in it, but you can’t really get the feel of it until you sail in it yourself not on a luxurious yacht but some traditional boat of the region.
Nile is the longest river in the world, and there is no other better way of exploring it than sailing on a traditional Felucca, a small sailing boat with a capacity of 6 to 8 people. These boats are sailing in the river’s waters for centuries in fact for millenniums, because the remnants of the oldest boat found in the area was from the era even before the birth of Christ. Aswan in Egypt, famous for its gigantic dam is the place where you can easily hire a Felucca along with its crew. Aswan does not have its own airport so if you are travelling from outside of Egypt then take a direct flight to Cairo and make the rest of the journey on a car or the regular bus service running between the two cities. The experience of sailing in Nile on a Felucca is classic, you will get the real feel of the river. It’s worth spending a couple of days in the river that means sleeping on the boat or on any of the islands in the river of Nile.
Niger is another major river of Africa and has served as a trade route for the western and central Africa for centuries. The best sailing experience will be in Mali, between Mopti and the famous city of Timbuktu. The river flows in the middle of the desert and sailing in it is a fascinating experience. The journey between Mopti and Timbuktu requires 3 days and you’ll be spending these 3 days on the deck of the boat so take a sleeping bag with you. The view of the river and the far stretched desert of Mali is stunning and picture perfect so do not forget to bring a camera with you to capture these marvelous sceneries. The only major airport of the Mali is in Bamako the capital of the country. Many African and European airlines offer cheap flights to Bamako.