Here, Michael McCall, Director of Sales, Australia, New Zealand & Asia for Sanctuary Retreats, reveals his top five non-safari experiences.
1. Cooking at Sanctuary Swala, Tanzania
One of the most popular activities at Sanctuary Swala Camp is its Bush Dinner Experience where guests are treated to a traditional East African meal in the middle of the Tarangire bush.
"We find that many of our guests have never done anything quite like this before and really enjoy themselves trying out local delicacies," McCall said.
"Our chef shows them how to make dishes from local ingredients like maize, beans and spinach, using a traditional Jika senefu stove. And once the meal is ready, one of our staff will also instruct them how to eat dishes – local style."
2. Nature walk at Sanctuary Olonana, Kenya
Also high on McCall's list is a walk with the camp naturalist at the award-winning Sanctuary Olonana Camp and a chance to learn about plants, trees and insects and their use in the daily lives of the Maasai tribe.
He'll also share his intimate knowledge about the surrounding environment and how many of the trees and plants can be used for medicinal purposes. Guests are also encouraged to plant a tree, leaving a positive mark in Africa.
3. Star gazing in Serengeti at Sanctuary Kusini, Tanzania
One of McCall's favourite past times is settling into luxurious blankets and cushions around the campfire at Sanctuary Kusini and exploring the beauty of an African night sky.
Many come to Africa looking for wildlife but here you'll also find some of the best star gazing in the world.
4. Batwa tribe experience at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, Uganda
In the Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest, guests have a unique opportunity to meet the local Batwa tribe and learn about their way of life, including a traditional hunting and gathering demonstration, a musical performance and a visit by the local 'goddess'.
"The Batwa tribe are the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. Like most of the tribes in Africa, they have moved from place to place and are now found mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and eastern portions of the DRC."
5. Bathe under the stars at Sanctuary Baines Camp, Botswana
"This is the ultimate in safari chic," said McCall.
"The camp is built on raised platforms high above the Boro River amid a grove of trees bordering the Moremi Game Reserve. The private star bath allows you to enjoy an open-air bubble bath under the stars, as you soak in style. Truly unforgettable."
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