The Best Destinations in Africa

If visiting the wide and wild open spaces of Africa is top of your bucket list then this post will surely spark the fire into flame!

A while back I asked some of the top international travel bloggers from around the world to share with me their favourite places on the African continent. I posted a series of posts about the best countries, best islands, best cities, best national parks and best experiences to have and most unique places to travel to in Africa, today I thought I would gather them all into one mega list…

The Best of Africa

Below you’ll find all of their suggested must-see destinations in Africa, but for more info be sure to visit each of the posts linked above.

Countries

The Gambia

The Gambia may be the smallest country in Africa but it packs a really big punch. Not many people realise this but the Gambia has some gorgeous golden beaches with hardly any tourists on them. As soon as you step off the beach though you can explore cute fishing villages or wander through the jungle…

 

Mozambique

Mozambique is one of the most underrated African countries with gorgeous and unspoiled coastline, diverse wildlife, rich culture and traditions, delicious food, and welcoming people make it also one of the most beautiful….

 

Benin

Benin is a rather unusual destination for the majority of travellers, even those who know Africa very well. It might be underrated but it has everything one may seek…

 

Uganda

Known for its thriving lively cities, rolling jungle landscapes that gorillas call home, safari-filled steppes, and high alpine environments, Uganda has something for every flavour. The Pearl of Africa packs a lot of awe-inspiring adventures into a small, scenic package…

 

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the most interesting and fascinating countries in Africa. It is the only country in the continent which was never colonized by a European country so it is still very authentic, especially in its food and traditions…

 

South Africa

South Africa is the ultimate adventure destination: whether you’re hoping to go on a safari to spot magnificent wildlife, to hike in a stunning mountain range, to go scuba diving with Great White Sharks, to take a helicopter ride over one of the most beautiful urban coastlines in the world, or to surf on fantastic beaches, South Africa has you covered…
 
Ghana

Ghana is a beautiful diverse country in western Africa and easily reached. It’s coast on the Gulf of Guinea is part of the Gold Coast with lots of heritage. The central part has nature parks and remains of the old Ashanti kingdom…

 

Senegal

Among stretches of red soil, baobabs, colourful textiles and women carrying baskets full of fruits on their heads, your first impression of Senegal will leave you speechless. The sound of djembes will touch your soul, while the heat of Africa will stick onto your skin.

 

Morocco

The great thing about Morocco is that it’s totally different from anywhere else on earth, and it’s a country so diverse that there’s something for everyone, no matter what sort of traveller you are. From the Imperial cities that have 1001 tales to tell and the lofty Atlas Mountains hiding Berber villages and world-class trekking, to the rugged whitewashed coastal towns and the endless golden desert, it’s an adventurers paradise….

 

Islands

Seychelles Islands

Seychelles is the best destination in Africa because it is perfect for getting away from it all. If your version of paradise is stunning natural scenery and not many tourists then Seychelles is a great pick…

 

Madagascar

When couple of years back the opportunity presented itself to go on an educational trip to Madagascar, I didn’t think twice. Our most treasured memories was definitely meeting the Lemurs in the various national parks…

 

Zanzibar, Tanzania

In Zanzibar, you are surrounded by the most beautiful beaches and seascapes. If you go to the tourist beaches during the windy season, colourful kites glide over the turquoise water and you can take a dhow ride. During the windless season, you can go deep diving or snorkelling. Zanzibar is definitely a must-see…
 
Comoros Islands

Comoros, off the east coast of Africa, is far from your typical African destination, there are no safari options here, but instead, will you be able to relax at what´s maybe the best beaches in the whole of Africa, far away from the tourist’s crowds…

 

Cape Verde Islands

A few hundred kilometers from the west coast of Africa, this archipelago of 12 islands is perfect for beach lovers, watersport fanatics and hikers alike. It’s a great place to do some island hopping as each of the islands has a very distinct feeling…

 

Mauritius

Mauritius is an amazing island with a diverse culture and history. The island is more than just a beach holiday with beautiful places of worship, delicious seafood. Mauritius is a melting pot of culture…
 
Lamu, Kenya

Lamu is just off the coast and while you could reach it by public transport and boat from the mainland, the easiest and most convenient way to reach Lamu island is by plane. On the island, you’ll find the incredible Lamu town – one of the oldest inhabited places in the world! The tiny streets of Lamu town are colourful, busy and full of people…

 

Rodrigues Island

Rodrigues is the African island you’ve probably never heard of. A part of the Mascarene Islands it sits well off the beaten track around 560km North East from Mauritius. This remote gem of an island is surrounded by a shallow lagoon while the white surf of a reef breaks in the distance. Rolling hills and ravines reach down to white palm studded beaches…

 

Cities

Essaouira, Morocco

The seaside hamlet of Essaouira, Morocco is a wonderful place to get a sense of North African culture without some of the pitfalls of bigger cities. You can wander the low-pressure streets of the ancient medina, watch fishermen bring in their daily catch at the wharf, visit artisans at work, eat amazing Moroccan food, ride a camel through sand dunes and so much more…

 

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is the best destination in Africa because it’s one of the best cities in the world. There are many things to do beyond Table Mountain including beautiful beaches, many great museums and the possibility to see another side of Cape Town with a township tour…

 

Dahab, Egypt

Dahab is an idyllic town on Egypt’s Red Sea Coast, renowned for its spectacular scuba diving. There are shallow lagoons with an incredible array of tropical fish perfect for first-time divers, as well as deeper dives for the more experienced…

 

Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is my favorite big city in Africa, at least out of the ones I’ve been to. Johannesburg has a life and saw to it that is vibrant, welcoming, and more integrated. There is such a rich history as the center of the anti-apartheid movement…
 
Marrakech, Morocco

Morocco is home to many interesting cities, and Marrakech is one Morocco’s most popular cities to visit. It’s easy to see why. The city is a treasure trove of historic architecture, gardens, palaces, mosques and souks (a Moroccan market/bazaar). The old city, the medina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site…

 

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Bulawayo is one of the best cities in Africa to visit because it’s quaint yet bustling with art, history, and culture. There are hostels, national parks, museums, restaurants, and nightlife opportunities…

 
Durban, South Africa

Durban is the Barcelona, and also India of South Africa. It has a beautiful coast of temperate waters, is avant-garde and its inhabitants seem chosen among the most charismatic of the country…
 
Nairobi, Kenya

Where else in the world can you spend the morning on safari, the afternoon shopping, and the evening enjoying fine dining? Kenya’s bustling capital city can feel overwhelming at first, but stay long enough to scratch the surface and you’ll find plenty to appreciate…
 
Chefchaouen, Morocco

Located in northern Morocco, Chefchaouen is nestled high in the Rif Mountains and has a Spanish influence. If you are traveling to Morocco, be sure to visit Chefchaouen. It really is a city that allows a break from the heat and a chance to truly immerse in the culture as a local would…
 

National Parks

Chobe National Park, Botswana

A safari in Chobe National Park, Botswana, is an unforgettable African Safari experience. The National Park is known to have the largest concentration of elephants in Africa as well as large populations of hippo, water buffalo, big cats, birds and countless other wildlife. The Park is bordered by the Chobe River in the north which provides a unique opportunity for an early morning or late afternoon river cruise…

 

Masaai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the best destinations in Africa because it’s a vast, world-renowned wildlife sanctuary, where you can see exotic animals in their natural habitat. Here you can spot the ‘Big Five’ – lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and rhinoceros – as well as a host of other colourful creatures…

 

Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

The Samburu National Reserve in Kenya is a rather special pace. Ideal for anyone who’s already done a traditional safari somewhere like the Masai Mara, the landscape here is a wonderful contrast, with mountain peaks and high escarpments and well as savannah plains plus the wildlife in the Samburu is abundant..

 

Addo Elephant Park, South Africa

Located along the Garden Route, this South African National Park is easily reached from Cape Town and even closer to Port Elizabeth. With thousands of animals in the park, you may see elephants, zebra, giant tortoise, giant lizard, cape buffalo, leopards, antelope and lion.
 
Watamu Marine National Park, Kenya

Watamu is a small coastal town just north of Malindi, characterised by white sand beaches and clear turquoise water. There is also a Marine National Park and there are barrier reefs just off the shore of Watamu that are home to turtles, moray eels and lots of different species of fish…
 
Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Accessible only by 4×4, or by chartered flight, Mana Pools lies in the shadow of the Southern Zambezi escarpment mountains in Zambia. With the Zambezi River snaking its way through the park, the vast flood plains – with the mountains as a backdrop – are a wildlife photographers dream. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mana Pools is widely recognized as one of the finest game viewing regions in Africa…
 
Kruger National Park, South Africa

One of the best places to go in Africa is Kruger National Park. It has the most amazing game viewing opportunities. And all of Africa’s iconic safari species, including the Big 5, call it home. It’s also considered the best place in the world to see leopards in the wild…

 

Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Lower Zambezi National Park has it all – huge amounts of animals, including the big 5, variable sceneries and great lodges and camps from budget to splendid luxury. You can go on a traditional game drives with open 4x4s, on a walking safari with a ranger in the origin of this way of experiencing the wild Africa, or you can even go on a canoe safari in the Lower Zambezi…

 

The Serengeti

Spanning 30,000 square kilometres across northern Tanzania and southwestern Kenya, the Serengeti is one of the last great wildlife refuges left on earth. Named after the Masaai word for “endless plains,” it’s home to mind-boggling numbers of zebra, giraffe, gazelles, wild cats, elephant, buffalo and more…

 

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

The best thing about Tarangire is you will see all the wildlife alone. You do not get the jeep-jam like in other more popular Tanzanian national parks like the Serengeti….
 

Places

Okavango Delta, Botswana

One of the highlights of Africa, the Okavango Delta is a huge swampy oasis located in the Kalahari desert. It’s considered one the best safari destinations in the world, due to its rich wildlife and lush green surroundings. It’s home to some of the world’s most endangered animals and it has a unique, beautiful and complex ecosystem…

 

Mountains of the Moon, Uganda

There is nowhere else on earth like the mystical Mountains of the Moon. Straddling the equator, this mountain range, officially called the Rwenzori Mountains, has glaciers and fantastical plants endemic to these mountains. It can be approached from Uganda (Rwenzori Mountains National Park) or the Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park), though the Ugandan side is safer and more set up for trekking…

 

The Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt

Built over 5 000 years ago, The Giza pyramids are wonder like nothing on Earth and it’s no surprise it was named one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.  The Giza pyramids, which took over 15 years to be completed, were originally built as tombs for the Egyptian Pharaohs but have now become the greatest landmark seated in the heart of Cairo…

 

Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

One of the most exciting and unique destinations in Africa is the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia  This region is known to have one of the most hostile life conditions in the world and the Depression consists of a huge salt desert and active volcanoes…

 

Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Situated at the highest point in the Rift Valley, the region around Lake Naivasha is a geologically and ecologically diverse area of Kenya. For travellers, this means plenty of photo opportunities. More than 400 species of birds have their homes around the lake…

 

Etosha Salt Pan, Namibia

Etosha National Park in Northern Namibia contains the magnificent Etosha salt pan, the largest in Africa, and which is also visible from space. Forming part of the Kalahari Basin in the north of Namibia, it gets filled with watering holes that provide a meeting place for giraffes, elephants, gazelles, lions, hippos, and more…

 

Kalahari Desert, Botswana

The Kalahari in Botswana is a destination for adventurers who are looking for a real wilderness experience. Only accessible by 4×4 vehicles, the Central Kalahari Game Reserve guarantees big skies, vast views, and wildlife galore. And even better, you might not see another human for days…
 
Mount Toubkal, Morocco

Morocco is a fascinating country to visit. Most visitors stay for a city break in Marrakech or Fez, but if you venture inland to the Atlas Mountains, you find a quieter world of craggy, arid slopes dotted with traditional villages…
 

Mount Ngyirorya Volcano, DRC

This volcano is situated in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It takes 6 hours to reach the top, but it definitely worth it!  Once the sun goes down, grab a tea and watch the lava – it has a life of its’ own.

 
Aswan, Egypt

Aswan is a fairly small city located on the banks of the River Nile, in the southern part of Egypt. It’s a nice enough town to spend some time in; there’s a large market and the Nubian Museum with exhibits on Nubian culture, but I’d recommend visiting the town to take day trips to some of Egypt’s biggest attractions…

 

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Ol Pejeta is a not-for-profit Wildlife Conservancy in Laikipia County, Kenya. They are a role model for conservation, and Ol Pejeta is the place where the world’s last two northern white rhinos live. They also have 110 critically endangered black rhinos living in the area, among many other iconic African wild animals…

 

Experiences

River cruise on The Nile, Egypt

One of the Nile’s most luxurious floating hotels is the Sonesta St George, which sails from Luxor to Aswan. History buffs go wild for the Nile as classic itineraries include visits to The Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the famous mummified crocodiles at Kom Ombo Temple…

 

Desert tour in the Sahara Desert, Erg Chigaga, Morocco

The epitome of Morocco in most people’s minds is the Sahara Desert. And while Morocco has so much more to offer (thing lush green landscapes, epic surf, and even snow-capped mountains), the Sahara Desert is certainly a must visit….

 

Swimming in Devils Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia

The ominously named Devil’s Pool is a small, naturally formed hollow on the lip of the 108-metre high Victoria Falls. Booking a guided tour is essential if you would like to swim in Devil’s Pool.

 

Trekking to the Gorillas in Uganda

A close encounter with the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is a memorable experience. Nothing can prepare you for coming face to face with the incredibly emotional, gentle eyes of the giant mountain gorillas…

 

Sailing on Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is a beautiful destination and one of Southern Africa’s best kept secrets. Some lakeside destinations, such as Senga Bay, are so quiet and serene that it feels as if you are the only tourist there…

 
Diving with Great White Sharks in Gansbaai, South Africa

The fishing town of Gansbaai, South Africa is known as the ‘Great White Shark capital of the world’ making it a popular destination for tourists the world over. Adventure seekers come here to tick off bucket lists going cage diving with Great Whites in their natural habitat…
 
Visit Tutankhamun‘s Tomb in The Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt

Luxor lies on the banks of the Nile river in Egypt and is rooted in amazing history. Marvel at the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, explore Karnak Temple, shop in the local souq and visit the burial temple of Hatshepsut…

 

Visit the Penguins at Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Africa has some of the most incredible wildlife in the world…and it’s true too of Simon’s Town, where a colony of penguins have taken up residence on the town’s beaches. The quaint town is the base for the South African Navy and boasts a handful of restaurants and pubs, a few museums and gorgeous beaches…

 

 

So now you know the 50 best things to do in Africa! A bucket list of epic proportions!! Which place are you keen to visit first?

 

Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

open