Valley Of Desolation, South Africa
The Valley of Desolation is a haven for campers and hikers. Home to a variety of plant and animal life, including 220 species of birds, 336 plants, and 43 mammals, including the endangered Cape Mountain Zebra, the majestic Black Eagle, and the world’s heaviest flying bird, the Kori Bustard. The valley of Desolation is an incredible natural wonder just about 9-mile drive from South Africa’s fourth oldest town, Graaff-Reinet, in the Eastern Cape. There are three hiking trails that range from 1 hour in duration to overnight hikes.
Located in South Africa’s Camdeboo National Park, the Valley of Desolation is referred to as the “cathedral of the mountains”. Surrounded by astounding rock formations, carefully balanced giant dolomite rocks, and pillars that drop sharply by 400 feet to the valley floor below, the Valley of Desolation is a breath taking sight! Rocky peaks that formed over 100 million years ago by a violent volcanic shift, frames a hauntingly quiet environment that echoes with the quietest of whispers. The valley of desolation is a dream vacation destinations of south Africa.
Mount Mulanje, Malawi
Mt. Mulanje is located to the east of Blantyre, the main city in southern Malawi. Mulanje is an alluring sight to behold with its summit, Sapitwa Peak being the highest point in Malawi at 9,850 feet. The Mt. Mulanje is locally known as the “island in the sky” because it rises almost straight up to the sky from the flat plains below. Unlike some of the world’s peaks that are obscured by surrounding ranges, Malawi has a genuine sense of awe as you draw closer to Mulanje and see its looming surroundings. One of the best sight you can witness. You can drive around the foot of the massif in a day, but it is best to walk, trek, hike, and camp on the mountain for the best memories.
Local myths and legends abound around Mulanje, tell visitors to keep the mountain’s spirits “appeased” in the hope of a successful ascent!
Located about 224 miles (7 hour drive) from west of Ghana’s capital, Accra, lies the village of Nzulezo. Nzulezo is located on Lake Tandane, part of the Amasuri Wetlands. The place boasts an amazing ecosystem which is very sensitive for the touch of the globalization. Nzulezo is home to an impressive array of flora, fauna, and countless rare birds.
Nzulezo is the only village in Ghana built completly on stilts and is often called as “Ghana’s Venice.”The town is nestled in a mangrove forest and is only accessible by canoe from the coastal town of Beyin. Nzulezo’s estimated 600 inhabitants are farmers, fishermen, or brewers of the famous, local alcoholic “gin,” “akpeteshi.” Nzulezo is entirely depended on tourism.
Legends say, the ancestors of Nzulezo’s modern-day inhabitants were from the ancient Ghana Empire in today’s Mali. In the 15th century, after a war was fought over fertile land and gold, the people were forced to flee. According to legends, their god appeared as a snail and led them to today’s Ghana.
Continuously forced to move onwards by other tribes or by slave traders, they followed their god until finally reaching Lake Tandane. Here they remained, believing the lake would protect them against enemies and provide them with food.
Draa Valley, Morocco
The Draa valley sits out near the settlements of Zagora and Tinfou, where a curiously lone sand dune sits, in the middle of a vast gravel plain. I know, I am making feel gothic but the Draa Valley is much of a mystery! you will find a sign here, which says “Tombouctou 51 jours,” translating to “Timbuktu fifty-one days” – 51 days by camel. That is a measurement dating back to the days when Morocco controlled all ways leading across the Sahara Desert and into Mali.
At 680 miles long, the Draa is Morocco’s longest river. The Valley stretches from the city of Ouarzazate to the Sahara Desert in the south of Morocco. The area is known for its date farming, and production of cereals, vegetables, and henna. A very authentic Morocco vibes is oozed out of Draa Valley. It is also famous for its ancient kasbahs, fortresses that were used for defense when cities came under attack.
Lalibela in northern Ethiopia is known for its unique rock-hewn churches that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. The sight of these architectural churches gives out some stranger things vibe. Carved out of rock, there are eleven medieval churches, some of which are linked by underground tunnels and trenches and with some containing bas-relief and colored frescos.
These strangly beautiful churches are ancient pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians and are still used for services today. These rare churches include the majestic Bete Medhane Alem, home to the Lalibela Cross, and the cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis, are the last of the 11 churches to be built. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This incredible place should defiantly be on your bucket list.