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How do you capture the essence of Africa on paper without using up every cliché in the book? No other continent comes close to it for scale, variety and pure, raw impact. Africa offers a travel experience a thousand kilometers from the well-backpacked, air-conditioned tourist trails of Southeast Asia or the cash-cow theme parks of Australia or Europe.

Africa’s natural history alone would make a dozen visits worthwhile – where else on earth can you fall asleep to the sound of lions roaring, or watch a million flamingos take off from the waters of a remote soda lake? Parts of Africa boast scenery so spectacular they’ll damn near blow your mind, but the essence of this incredible continent isn’t in any desert, mountain or lake. It’s the spirit of the people – pushing, shoving, sweating, dancing, singing and laughing – that infects so many visitors with a travel bug so powerful they’ll never stop coming back, sometimes against all sense or reason.

Reproduced with permission from the Lonely Planet website

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