It is rarely easy to summarise a continent into a neat paragraph – but this is particularly the case of expansive Africa. Made up of more than 50 countries from Algeria in its north to Zimbabwe near the bottom, exploring Africa has immense appeal from many travellers, offering diverse opportunities to discover the continent’s history, culture, cuisine and, of course, the wildlife.

One of my first ever trips as a teenager was to Egypt, a land I’d dreamed of visiting since I pored over books about the pharaohs as a child. Not only were the ancient sites everything I’d hoped, but it was my first taste of the warm hospitality of the northern African region. Later, I’d experience it again in the riads of Morocco where business is always over a cup of tea and kindness is in no short supply.

In 2014 I set about returning to the continent of Africa, this time to the south and east of the continent as I trekked overland through the wide open savannahs from Nairobi to Cape Town. Along the way, I spotted amazing wildlife in Tanzania, enjoyed the warm heart of Africa in Malawi, and had all my preconceptions shattered in Zimbabwe. Oh – and I met my husband, so you could say Africa is pretty dear to me.

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