Travel to see these seven very magnificent nature experiences

1. Okavango Delta in Botswana

The Okavango Delta is Africa’s greatest wilderness, its biggest oasis. It is a not to be missed journey. I would even go so far as to say it is an experience of a lifetime. I drove there twice from Cape Town in South Africa. I once went to the area around Moremi and Savuti (coming from Maun) and on my second visit to Botswana I went to the Chobe National Park, entering from Kasane. The whole area is close to Namibia, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This Yellow-billed hornbill was a regular visitor when I camped in the Savute area. When I first saw it I couldn’t believe birds like this exist, it was like in a film. In African mythology/folklore, the Yellow-billed hornbill is the optimistic one, it stands for the belief that everything will be alright in the end. That is the spirit, right? 

Yellow-billed hornbill sitting on the tree branches of a lush tree.

2. Vivonne Bay in Australia

More than a third of Kangaroo Island is dedicated to conservation parks. It feels heavenly isolated from the rest of the world.

Some say this beach on Kangaroo Island is Australia’s best. But wait till you discover all the other ones, I have yet to set eyes on an ugly beach in this country. Their beauty becomes your standard and it gets pretty hard to travel and appreciate other beaches. OK, there are also all these stunning beaches in South Africa. Clear water, and an endless sandy beach. I visit on a pretty overcast day; imagine this place in bright sunshine. I went here for a long beach walk after I visited Seal Bay, home of one of Australia’ largest sea lion colony.

To get to Jervis Bay and to catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island, I drove the 800 kilometres from my Melbourne home. Those were the days. Did you know that the time difference between South Australia and Victoria is 30 minutes? Discussions about a time zone shift are ongoing.

Secluded and wide white sand beach with blue-green water under a blue sky with big fluffy clouds.

3. Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia

This park is Africa’s largest conservation area. The sand here is 5 million years old. That puts most things in perspective, right? Some of the dunes are 400 metres high, and they are red in colour due to its iron oxide content.

The most photographed dune in the world, which gets its names from the distance to the entry gate of the park is right behind me. I took this photo of my Land Rover parked at Dune 45 after I drove along a (soft) sandy 4×4 track to Sossusvlei.

I love driving through Southern Africa; there is so much to experience. This type of travel gives you a true sense of the vastness of this part of the African continent. From here I made my way to the Etosha National Park, close to Angola, and later all the way back to Cape Town in South Africa

Read more about Namibia: Survival of the fittest.

White and lonely Land Rover parks under a tree next to a large red dune in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia.

4. Arthur’s Seat in Scotland

It is the highest point in the 640 acre Royal Park in Edinburgh. The dormant volcano sits 251 m above sea level, and I was happy that it is so very great for hiking. Read all about my adventures finding perfect food in Edinburgh.

High cliffs in front of a town with green hills and the sea in the background.

5. Corsica in France

On a hike from Bonifacio to a sort of nearby lighthouse along the limestone and granite cliffs at the Strait of Bonifacio (a protected Marine Park), I made the major mistake not to carry enough fresh water with me.

The walk along the cliffs is beautiful, the view is breathtaking, the vegetation, a mix of shrubs, herbs and alpine flowers is really special. I took far too many photos and was far too long in the sun. I came to a beautiful beach, and silly me decided to go for a swim. You can imagine how thirsty I was. I was too embarrassed to ask the other swimmers (there were only a very few around) for a drink.

It was a roughly two-hour walk back to town, but on the way, I had the feeling to collapse (true). All the time, I wondered how I could end up like this. I travelled extensively through Australia, I travel to terribly remote areas in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia and now I am going to collapse in France. I remember well that I could hardly walk anymore, but I thought: "toughen up princess." I just made it to a fountain. I was in heaven to drink that cold water. 

Visit Corsica, it truly is a magical place. Now is a great time to Corsica - here is why.

A bach in a small bay between vegetation on cliffs with the sea in the background.

6. Muriwai Beach in New Zealand

Roughly 1,200 pairs of gannets nest here from August to March each year. It is the most wonderful experience to watch them fly over the Tasman Sea and to see how they navigate to find a landing place in the midst of their colony. Can you see the surfers in the ocean, waiting for the next wave? The 50 kilometres long stretch of coast is of outstanding beauty, and the beach is black volcanic sand. As I turned away from the viewing platform, to walk back down to the beach, I saw a young rabbit, sitting in the green, chewing a big leaf. What a place this is.

That night, I camped on a beach in Waihihi Bay. I cooked Gnocchi (you can prepare a lot even with small equipment). As I tucked my toes into the sand at dinner time, the sunset over the South Pacific was the loveliest orange, pink, and purple. Sweet memories. Not too far from here, you can dance on an active marine volcano.

A colony of Gannets nest on cliffs towering high over the ocean.

7. Wilsons Promontory in Australia

If you like breathtaking scenery, beaches that are to die for (the water here is a protected marine national park) rainforests, and plenty of opportunity for bush walks, this National Park in on the southernmost tip of mainland Australia is the place for you. And after that, you might plan to go on a road trip from Melbourne to Uluru.

Boulders and cliffs along a blue-green coloured ocean. There is a white sand beach in the middle.

Where can I have more magnificent nature experiences? Can’t wait to hear from you.

From Berlin with love