From The Dust in the Desert to the Mist Rising in the Wetlands

Terrains of the vast African continent

Anne Bonfert
Published in
9 min readFeb 9, 2023


The African wilderness. Much more than just sand and dust. | Credit: Anne Bonfert

The rain is dropping onto the roof of our tent. The raindrops appear to fall slower and slower. The sky is clearing up as the birds begin to sing again. The roaring thunder from earlier this morning is long gone and almost forgotten. Another day in the wet season. In Africa.

No place on earth has ever fascinated and intrigued me as much as the African continent. While many think it’s one country, Africa has 54 countries hosting more than 3,000 tribes speaking in over 2,000 languages to each other.

If this doesn't represent the variety of this vast continent, I am going to mention its geographical features that spread further than just the well-known Sahara desert.

In Africa, you can find red and black sand. You can find sand on beaches and inside one or the other desert. You can find the longest river (Nile) and you can find the tallest lone-standing mountain peak on earth.

You can get heat stroke and die of cold. You can experience sand and snow storms. Yes, it does snow in Africa and not just on top of the tallest mountain on the continent.

I haven’t been to all 54 countries on this continent but I’ve been to 9 so far. And the rest are on my list. I’ve seen snow on top of Kilimanjaro and I’ve felt the power of a sandstorm inside the oldest desert on Earth. I’ve experienced the heaviest rains in my life in Africa. I’ve experienced floods and droughts.

And I fell in love with this continent. With every piece of it.

I’d like to share and explain my love by presenting the diverse terrains I have come across in the past eight years of traveling and living in Africa.

Deadvlei, Namibia. | Credit: Anne Bonfert


While it took me a few months to get to experience a desert and it wasn’t even on my list during my first visit, I will never forget my thoughts and feelings when I saw those massive dunes for the first time.



Anne Bonfert

I am a traveler. Photographer. Writer. Teacher. Skydiving instructor. Adventure enthusiast. Nature lover. And fell in love with the African continent.