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Many people who return to Africa may struggle to explain why exactly they come back. But they know with a certainty that each year, no other destination will offer quite the same excitement. What is it about Africa that makes you want to return?

Most will answer that its the wilderness and a feeling of being back in a nature untouched, from the roaming game to the gnarled and tangled forests. Its the open skies, stretching to the horizon with dappled cloud cover or filled with stars, which shine out brighter than at home. Its the brilliant and beautiful sunsets, all the more precious because of their brevity. Most will probably agree that its the people – an openness that helps to open our own minds.

This is why we see Nkwichi as a symbol for Africa, and for what makes its so special. Once you arrive, you’ll instantly recognize what will pull you back to Africa.

Firstly, free from roads and mobile phones, Nkwichi’s environment will blow you away. Zebra and buffalo walk close to the lodge under cover of darkness, and even though they may be difficult to spot, just coming across spoor and droppings will remind you they’re there. They may not wander through the camp and won’t have names like George or Scar, but their presence lingers in the air.

On the doorstep of this pristine woodland sits Nkwichi’s greatest treasure; its beach. Fine soft sand gently slips into Africa’s 3rd largest lake, its crystal-clear fresh water teeming with fish, offering the perfect conditions for a swimming experience like you’ve never had before. After a day of hiking and snorkelling, you’re sure to be rewarded with the most beautiful of all; the red simmering sunset over the immense blue lake, chased away by an endless open sky filled with constellations of brilliant stars.

Last but not least, and almost lost, are the people of the lakeshore. Famed for their friendly smiles, Nkwichi means meeting the real people. There’s no sanitised shows of tribal dances or mock villages filled with woven wares, just the people and their culture, changing and adapting as only Africa knows how. There might be mud huts and subsistence farming, but equally there’s endless smiles and energy.

Whether you’re a first-timer or an Africa-addict, when discovering Nkwichi you’ll realise. This is Africa. This is why I come back.