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Top 10 Natural Wonders of Africa

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There are lots of interesting natural wonders that one should not miss while in Africa.

1.) Victoria Falls

Located on the Zambezi River at the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Victoria Falls are a must-see site in Africa. At 1,708 meters wide and 108 meters high, Victoria Falls – also known as “Mosi-o-Tunya,” (the Smoke that Thunders) are the world’s largest curtain of falling waters.

A spectacular feature of the falls is First Gorge – the whole depth of the gap that the water falls. Its depth varies from 80 meters on its western end to 108 meters in its center. Read more on  Victoria Falls.

2.) Kilimanjaro

Located in northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano in Kilimanjaro National Park and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 meters above sea level. The mountain has three peaks: Shira at 3,962 meters, Mawezi at 5,149 meters and Kibo (also known as Uhuru) at 5,895 meters. Kilimanjaro is also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.

Thanks to its accessibility to anyone of modest fitness level, Kilimanjaro is extremely popular with both experienced and inexperienced climbers.

3.) The Great Wildebeest Migration

The plains of Masai Mara Game Reserve (Kenya) and Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) are renowned for the Great Wildebeest Migration – an annual wildlife show that sees over 2.5 million wildebeest and zebras moving to greener pastures as the seasons change.

Although the event is unpredictable, visitors who tour the Masai Mara between July and September are likely to catch the migration.

4.) Fish River Canyon
Located in the south of Namibia, the Fish River Canyon is the world’s second largest canyon after the famous Grand Canyon in Colorado. The spectacular canyon features a mammoth ravine (160km) which is up to 27 km wide and 550 meters deep in some sections.

In the belly of the ravine flows the Fish River, Namibia’s longest interior river. The river flows periodically, flooding in summer and becoming a chain of long narrow pools for the better part of the year.

The Canyon is home to a thriving population of wild animals including kudu, mountain zebra, wild horses as well as a prolific bird life with more than 60 bird species.

5.) Congo Basin
Lying astride the Equator in central Africa, the Congo basin is home to the second largest rain-forest in the world after that of the Amazon. Covering more than one million square kilometers in six countries, it represents about a fifth of the earth’s remaining closed canopy tropical forest. The Congo basin is one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Africa. The rich flora and fauna and the diverse landscapes make the basin an ideal destination for an African holiday.

6.) Ngorongoro Crater

Located near the Southern Serengeti in Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera measuring 19 km across and 600 meters deep from its rim to its floor.

Ngorongoro Crater has a total floor area of 260 square kilometers and is considered a natural enclosure for wildlife, thanks to the thriving population of animals inhabiting the floor.

7.) Okavango Delta

Situated in northern Botswana within the Kalahari Basin, Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta and one of the world’s greatest enigmas of water in a desert.

Okavango Delta, Botswana

The delta covers an area of over 17,000 square kilometers and it was formed thousands of years ago after the drying up of Lake Makgadikgadi. The lake used to be fed by the Okavango River, which today empties its water into the sands of the Kalahari desert forming the Okavango Delta – a spectacular labyrinth of inland lagoons, floodplains, waterways and forested islands.

Okavango Delta is considered one of the best safari destinations in Africa due to its diverse flora and fauna. The delta is home to the Nile crocodile, African buffalo, African bush elephant, the black and white rhino among many other animal species. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded in the delta.

8.)  Table Mountain

Offering a spectacular backdrop to South Africa’s city of Cape Town, the Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming part of the Table Mountain National Park.

The prominent landmark is one of the most famous mountains in Africa and a significant tourist attraction, offering mountain climbers several trails of varying difficulty.

The mountain is renowned for the sheets of clouds (referred to as table cloth) that pours incessantly down the slopes – attributed (in old women tales) to a smoking competition between the devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks.

Table mountain was named one of the Seven Wonders of Nature  in November 2011.

9.) The Nile River

The Nile River is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, running for 6,695 kilometers through ten countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt.

The river has two major tributaries: the Blue Nile (source of most water and fertile soil) and the White Nile (the longer tributary). The two tributaries meet near the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, from where the river flows almost entirely through a desert. The Nile river ends in a wide delta that drains into the Mediterranean Sea.

10.) Sahara Desert

Sitting on an area of about 8.6 million square kilometers, the Sahara Desert is the world’s largest hot desert covered by huge areas of sand dunes, gravel plains, salt flats and mountain areas.

One of the striking features of the desert that sometimes gets no rain for several years is the mountain ranges whose peaks offer magnificent snow during the winter season. They include Tibesti in Chad, Hoggar in Algeria and Azbine in Niger.

Sand sheets and dunes are also major attractions of the Sahara Desert and so is the Qattara Depression (Egypt) – the lowest point of the Sahara at 130 meters above the sea level.

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