Are you considering planning a trip to some of the best places to visit in Africa? Continue reading!
Having to think about Africa, people, in general, often form the visuals of deserts, wild safaris, and vast dry regions inhabited by different African tribes. But what makes the second largest continent on the Earth more special is its uniqueness.
Something that can only be experienced by traveling to this exceptional part of the world which is waiting to be explored, understood, and appreciated for its raw beauty.
Considered to be the birthplace of mankind, approximately 1.75 million years ago, the human race in the form of early man spread across the different parts of Africa. Africa is world-famous for two exceptional geographical features, including the Sahara Desert and the Nile River System.
While Algeria is the biggest country in Africa, Seychelles, an archipelago, is the smallest and one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. Africa is also home to the world’s tallest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro, in terms of free-standing at 19,340 ft, which is located in Tanzania.
Another beautiful natural wonder is the Nile River, which is the longest river in the world that runs from Burundi to Egypt. Covering 4,100 mi and also among the most visited places in Africa.
Africa consists of 54 sovereign nations and bounded by the Atlantic Ocean towards the western coast, the Mediterranean Sea in the North, the Red Sea on the Northeast and the Indian Ocean towards the Southeast.
Home to a wide array of ethnicities, wildland, cultures, flora, and fauna, would you still think Africa is only about safaris, deserts, and tribes? Prepare yourself to fall in love with your visit. Africa will not fail to get into your heart.
From the tropical coastline to tropical rainforests to dunes of the Namib Desert, or the highlands and deep canyons of Rift Valleys, Africa’s landscape will bring you closer to the world of wilderness, epic battles between prey and predator, and ecstatic experience. So, if you are in for one of them out of the world experience of your lifetime, Africa awaits you.
But then of all the 54 nations, how would you decide what best places to visit in Africa without having to waste your time researching about each place and preparing an itinerary.
To make your job easy and less time consuming, here are the top 20 places to visit in Africa, that is going to blow your mind in some way or other. Get your notes up or pin this article for an ultimate Africa bucket list giving you the top places to visit in Africa that will leave you speechless.
Table of Contents
- 1 Here’s the List of Places to visit in Africa
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Check out these activities in Africa
- 4 Are you on Pinterest? Pin this for later read!
Here’s the List of Places to visit in Africa
Tanzania is one beautiful country in the East African side of the continent. Famous for its beaches, fascinating cultures, and wildlife, Tanzania is worldwide known for Mt Kilimanjaro.
The forested flanks, graceful height, and snow-capped top, Mt Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest peak and also the highest free-standing mountain volcano in the world. The rocky trails, muddy slopes, beautiful views are famous among the climbers who are rewarded by enthralling sunrise views and shadows on Tanzania’s plains.
For those wanting to explore more of Tanzania, this land of Safaris offers you everything from Wildebeest stampede, Hippos jostling, wandering Elephants, and Chimpanzees are swinging across the forests. The country provides you unparalleled opportunities for experiencing nature and wildlife.
While the mountain lovers can treat themselves with the northern circuit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the Indian Ocean on the eastern side is magical. The sleepy villages, tranquil islands, and Swahili culture, everything you need to relax on white beaches with baobabs and palm trees.
Among the famous things in Africa, experiencing the local culture of Tanzania is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Get first-hand experience of a local meal, a traditional dance by merely spending time with locals.
The Tanzanian people are known for their politeness, warmth, and dignity that has helped them preserve their beautiful culture. While planning a trip across Tanzania, one can take:
- Water safari in Rufiji River in Selous Game Reserve to see snoozing crocodiles.
- Jeep Safari in Ruaha National Park to witness giraffes stand around the baobab trees.
- Visit Rubondo Island and watch water birds.
- Or, sit tight, while lion walks around your jeep in the Ngorongoro Crater.
- Multiple tours are available for Mt Kilimanjaro Trek, Serengeti-Ngorongoro Safari, and Tanzania & Zanzibar wildlife adventure.
- Spend time with red-cloaked Maasai warriors or meet Mt Hanang’s semi-nomadic Barabaig.
- Don’t forget to learn the famous Tanzanian phrase ‘karibu tena’ (welcome again).
Where to stay: Best hotels in Dodoma, Tanzania
Remember the song “I like to Move it Move it” from the famous animated movie Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa? That’s precisely the vibes Madagascar gives you.
Located in Africa’s southeast coast in the India Ocean, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and also one of the best places to visit in Southern Africa.
The Island is a Best African destination for people who love the outdoors, including diving, hiking, desert, rainforests, and of course, lemurs. Antananarivo is the capital city of Madagascar, and the Malagasy ariary is the currency used in the country.
What makes Madagascar unique is that 5% of planets known plant and animal species are found here alone. The signature animal of the Island is the lemur, but not limited to them only.
From a cat-like looking predator fossa to colorful chameleons, odd-shaped insects, turtles, vivid frogs, and species of humpback whales and sharks, you name any animal or bird, Madagascar will give you.
The diversity in landscape and wildlife make it a number one destination for people who love nature and wildlife. Your Madagascar itinerary may include:
- Off-road driving to see Rova, the fortress-palace in Ambohimanga hill, or to Fort Dauphin.
- Drive to Parc National d’ Ankarafantsika to see the dry western deciduous forest.
- Swim with sharks at Nosy Be or do whale watching at Ile Sainte Marie.
- The numerous wildlife reserves and parks on the Island reveal the rare wildlife in Analamazoatra Special Reserve, Amber Mountain National Park, Tsingy National Park, Parc National de Tsimanampetsotse, and more.
- Book from various Ultimate Madagascar adventure tours as per your holidays, and check Madagascar from your Africa bucket list.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Antananarivo, Madagascar
Uganda is a beautiful landlocked nation in East Africa with a diverse landscape including the tallest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains, which is also the main source of Earth’s longest river Nile.
Kampala is the capital city bordering the famous and the largest lake in the country, Lake Victoria. The country is renowned for abundant wildlife which includes rare birds and chimpanzees.
Uganda is also considered as the safest country in Africa to visit. Uganda offers some of the best places to visit in Africa and here’s the list of things to do in Uganda:
- Visit Gorilla sanctuary at Remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, or Murchison Falls National Park for hippos.
- Canoeing or Rafting on the Nile offers the best adrenaline adventure you can ever imagine.
- Popular tours include Gorilla trekking, 6 Days Kidepo National Park Safari.
- Expert guide tours to Murchison Falls National Park and Kidepo Safari, Uganda & Gorilla Overland.
Kenya is an East African country alongside the Indian Ocean coastline which is known for its Lakelands, dramatic rift valley, and mountain highlands.
Home to the savannahs, reserve for endangered species of black rhinos, and abundant wildlife of zebras, lions, and giraffes. Nairobi is the capital of Kenya that also acts as a starting point for all the safari trips in the country, making it one of the best places to vacation in Africa.
Kenya offers an epic landform and age-old story of Africa’s best-known tribes including Samburu, Swahili, Tukana, and Kikuyu. It’s also home to Amboseli elephant species, Tsavo’s red elephants, and pink flamingos. Kenya is the perfect destination to fill your desire to experience the wilderness.
Some of the places to see in Africa, especially in Kenya consists of:
- Plan your visits to Amboseli National Park to find the best view of Mt.Kilimanjaro and watch Elephants in their natural habitat.
- Wonderful Kenyan National Museum exhibits natural history and an array of cultural diversity.
- A day watching Wildebeest migration and spending time at Maasai villages in Masai Mara National Reserve
- Flamingo watching at the lake Nakuru or relax at Diani beach.
- Visitors can also book special tours such as Maasai and Migration, Kenya Wildlife Safari, and much more.
Read also: Top 10 National Parks in Africa
South Africa is the largest southernmost nation in the African continent with 57 million people. It’s the 25th biggest country by land and the world’s 24th populous country. The population of South Africa majorly consists of European, India and multiracial ancestry.
Among other countries in southern Africa, South Africa, by far, has the best safaris in Africa that offer Big 5 of rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and lions.
Driving into the wild world of Kgalagadi, Kruger, and other national parks with rangers on guided walks and drives will give you adventure as well as a thrilling experience like never before. South Africa is all about changing scenery with adventure-filled activities such as:
- Try hiking or rock climbing in Cederberg and other wildlife reserves
- Surfing on the Eastern coast of the capital city of Cape Town.
- Bungee jumping at Garden Route’s Bloukrans Bridge
- Off-roading in Kalahari semidesert, or overnight trek to snow-capped mountains of the Drakensberg.
- Vineyard carpeting in the Cape Winelands or enjoy the dramatic landscape from the capital city offers the best vacation spots in Africa.
- Tour to book from Cape town includes likes of Garden Route, Safari & Winelands Wonder, Garden Route, and Addo Adventure, and many more.
Where to stay: Best hotels in Cape Town, South Africa
Morocco is a North African country that has strong ties with the Middle East, Europe, and sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a mixture of Berber and Arab population weaving the path for best of the traditions and excellent escape for the visitors looking for adventure and spice.
From high peaks of High Atlas to dry Saharan dunes, Morocco has tailor-made destinations for everyone’s taste. The country gives you simple yet breathtaking pleasures and glistening night skies of the mighty desert, making it among the best countries to visit in Africa.
What’s the best way to explore Morocco? To start with, get on the main street square of Marrakech, Jemaa el-Fnaa and enjoy watching people in the cafes with coffee and shopping while planning to do other things in Morocco, such as:
- Trek to Toubkal, the highest mountain peak in High Atlas mountains in Morocco, North Africa, and the Arab World.
- Camel trekking in the Saharan desert, Erg Chebbi, or learning to make couscous in Rabat.
- Stop at Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco, which is famous for its landscape garden.
- Morocco offers multi-day adventure tours including North Morocco Adventure, South Morocco Discovery.
Egypt is situated in the northeast part of Africa that links the continent to the Middle East and welcomes you with the world-famous river Nile. Besides being famous for its lush delta, enchanting desert, magnificent monuments, and welcoming people, the country takes you back to the pharaohs area.
Egypt is also one of the most visited countries in Africa, due to its famous Pyramids of Giza’s and Luxor valley, which are among the most famous places in Africa and must-visit while on an African trip.
Cairo is the capital city and home to landmarks such as the Egyptian Museum and Muhammad Ali Mosque. Most of the parts of Egypt comprises of dunes and Sahara deserts and are completely uninhabited.
Travelers can take a day tour to Sahara dunes by jeep or camel. Nile River has exceptional importance for Egypt as, without it, there will be no food, electricity, and fertile land, making it a true gift to the country.
Travelers can see most of the ancient monuments from the famous Nile cruise that remains a popular way to travel. Egypt is among the most renowned tourist countries in Africa, and some famous places to visit are:
- Don’t forget the world’s famous Pyramids of Giza complex and Great Sphinx of Giza, which is located towards the west of Cairo.
- Visit the Kings in Luxor valley and hop off the boat to visit waterside temples such as Edfu, Dendera, etc.
- Stop by the impressive temples at Abu Simbel to see huge rock carvings of Egyptian pharaohs.
- Take special museum tours like Egypt Explorer – Felucca cruise & Red Sea, Nile Adventure – Felucca cruise to capture the archaeological art and ancient pharaonic art of Egypt.
Located on the northeastern edge of Africa, Ethiopia is a landlocked country. The country is unique in its way with its thrilling wildlife, peerless history, archaeological wonders from 3 million yrs.
The country’s landscape is both beautiful and upscale. From trekking in the mountains of Bale and Simien to the stirring deserts, plateaus, lakes, canyons, and highlands of savannah, Ethiopia is a dream destination for everything adventurous.
Some of the essential sites of Ethiopia include ruins of Aksum, the ancient city with tombs, obelisks, and castles. Visitors can venture into the rich traditional lifestyle of local tribes like Mursi, Hamer, Anuak, Surmi, Afar that has remained intact and untouched by the modern world.
The best time to experience the privileged celebration of these tribes is during the festival time when the age-old rites and ceremonies are performed, and anyone witnessing that can take the memorable moments along with them for a lifetime. Some important must-do things in Ethiopia include:
- Home to Africa’s largest market and the capital city of Addis Ababa stopover is a must for all the people wanting to see churches, mosques, and incredible nightlife
- Trekking in the Simien Mountains which have been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site because of their unusual formations.
- Experience a day out among the indigenous people of the Omo valley.
- Do not forget to visit the second Jerusalem, Lalibela city where you can see magnificent St. Georges Cathedral
Rwanda is located in the heart of the continent and famously known as Land of a Thousand Hills (Le Pays des Mille Collines). The beautiful landscape of Rwanda is filled with lush highlands, inland beaches, and majestic Virunga volcanoes.
Some of the oldest remaining gorillas are also found in the hidden jungles of bamboo forests. Nyungwe Forest National Park plays an important role to protect the montane rainforest and offers a haven for many species of primates.
Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, which is known for its sophisticated charm and among the safest places to visit in Africa. Some of the places to visit and things to do while you are in Rwanda include:
- Visit the capital city of Kigali and stop by at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre that addresses the dark past.
- A day relaxing at boat tour in Lake Kivu or Kibuye
- Hiking or a day-long trek to Mt. Bisoke and see the crater of the volcano filled with water.
- Safari experience in Akagera National Park to see wildlife, including more than 500 bird species.
- Book Adventure tours of Rwanda to Masai Mara or 3 Day Gorilla Trekking Budget Safari for some Gorilla trekking and overall experience of the region.
The Gambia is the smallest African country located on the western side of the continent, surrounded by Senegal and 80km of African coastline.
The country has a diverse ecosystem along with abundant wildlife surrounding the Gambia River. The major tourist attraction sites in the country include Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve and Kiang West National Park where visitors can go to watch leopards, hyenas, monkeys, hippos, and many birds.
You can say it is one of the best countries to travel in Africa due to its tropical weather, less crowd, and exceptional beauty.
Banjul is the capital of Gambia, which is close to the western end of the Serrekunda, offering you a picturesque view of beaches. The tropical climate, beach holidays, and a paradise for bird watchers make it a lovely getaway for a colorful holiday destination in Africa. Here’s what all you can do at the Gambia:
- Wander around the Albert market in the capital city for some local vibes.
- Experience best of bird watching and seeing colorful and exotic species.
- Visit the popular tourist attraction Kachikally Crocodile Park
- Relaxing narrowboat trip on Gambia River to Tendaba. You’ll spot plenty of birdlife and maybe some monkeys and crocs on the banks of the river.
- Book popular tours such as Senegal and The Gambia to explore the region with other travelers.
Lesotho is a beautiful landlocked high altitude country which is easily accessible from the South African city of Johannesburg and Durban. Maseru is the capital of Lesotho that mostly comprises of ruins from the 19th century making it an amazing historical place to visit.
This Alpine country is covered in green grasses, including many indigenous trees like Wild olives and Cape willows. Trekking and hiking are among the popular activities of Lesotho, giving travelers pastoral charm, grazing animals, and round huts setting a perfect destination for natural adventure.
Lesotho is a safe haven that offers you a wholesome holiday vibe making it the best places to visit in Southern Africa.
It also boasts the highest peak in Southern Africa and the highest pub in Africa, both at 3482m above sea level. Other beautiful places to visit and things to do are as follows:
- Visit Tsehlanyane National Park, which is surrounded by rock-ribbed mighty mountains of Maloti.
- Hiking in nature reserves and parks of Sehlabathebe National Park, Bokong Nature Reserve, and Sani Pass.
- Trip to watch Abseil Maletsunyane Falls or perhaps book famous tours like Hiking South Africa & Lesotho.
Ghana is a West African country located on the Gulf of Guinea coast sharing borders with Burkina Faso on the northern side and Togo towards the east. Ghana welcomes all visitors with beaches, rich culture, extraordinary hinterland, diverse wildlife, vibrant cities, and comfortable transport.
Get mesmerized with the entirely different cultures and vibes in the northern part of Ghana. Accra is the capital city of Ghana, which is vibrant and modern in every respect and is often the base for all the trips in the country and other travel destinations in Africa.
- Surfing experience in Kokrobite.
- Trip to Cape Coast Castle for Ghana’s history
- Go close and personal with elephants at Mole National Park
- Memorable canopy walk in the jungles of Kakum National Park
- Shopping in Makola and Kejetia Market
- Book customized tours ranging from 7-Day Northern Ghana Tour to Highlights of Ghana
Namibia is a southwestern African country popularly known for the oldest desert in the continent, Namib desert. The country also forms an abode for excellent wildlife including the cheetah population.
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia that offers a lot for the visitors in the form of colonial-era architecture like Windhoek’s Christuskirche. Places to visit in Namibia include:
- 4X4 tour to Dune 45 in Namib desert
- Doing an overland Safari with a 10 Day Namibian Explorer tour will enable you to experience the best of the natural beauty in Namibia.
- Don’t forget to visit the second most visited tourist attraction in the country, Fish River Canyon.
- Etosha National Park is a must-visit elephant watching destinations.
Zimbabwe, as many known for its cricket team, is a landlocked South African country with distinct wildlife and exciting landscape. Famous for its parks, Safari, and reserves, natural resources like Zambezi River are renowned for bungee jumping, rafting, and kayaking.
While visiting Zimbabwe, get awed by the best natural wonders on the planet. Yes, the Victoria Falls, one of the most beautiful places in Africa.
Another unique destination to visit is the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, which comprises of the most ancient and most massive structures inside sub-Saharan Africa. Also take your pick from:
- Spot the Big 5ss including the Rhinos at Matopos National Park which is also a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
- Experience walking Safari at Mana Pools National Park
- Book popular 6-Day Affordable Victoria Falls and Hwange Experience tour
Another South African country famous for best safaris in Africa is Botswana, which is also a landlocked country defined by Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert. The natural reserve in Kalahari is home to river valleys, grasslands, and wild animals.
The delta is a must-see place in Africa for anyone coming to Botswana because of this place has an unparalleled beauty that you can experience through guided safaris. Whether it’s the first or tenth visit, Botswana will always be one of Africa’s friendliest nations. Experience some of these unique places while traveling in Botswana:
- Experience 4WD drive in Botswana and enjoy ingenious camping across the country at your own pace.
- Mekoro rides to see hippos. Consider 6 Days Mokoro Safari Experience tour to witness the amazing wildlife of the country.
- Track the Big5 at Moremi Safari and Safari offering air balloon experience on the Okavango Delta.
Eswatini, also known as Swaziland, is a tiny landlocked country in the Southern part of Africa. The country is famous for its unique traditional Swazi customs and wild nature reserves.
Giving travelers an exceptional dose of nature, hiking in the Lebombo Mountains at Mlawula Nature Reserve is one of the most famous outdoor activities in Eswatini. Take a wild safari in Hlane Royal National Park for a quaint experience of watching elephants, hippos, and lions. What else? Take your pick from:
- Overnight stay to watch black and white rhinos in Mkhaya.
- Be the part of Reed dance and Umhlanga dance festival to experience the best cultural.
- Combine your South African and Eswatini tours with Southern Africa with Victoria Falls, Botswana & Eswatini.
Unspoiled and stunning, Seychelles should be one of the must-visit countries in Africa. It is an archipelago of 115 granite and coral islands towards off East Africa on the Indian Ocean.
Home to exceptionally beautiful nature reserves, beaches, and reefs, you can also get lucky to see the biggest and rarest Aldabra tortoises.
Spend your holidays hiking in the mountains, visiting marine sanctuaries, rock climbing, and tasting Créole cuisine. For outdoor adventure lovers, snorkeling, diving, sailing, and surfing options are available in abundance to pass time and record some memorable moments. Some of the best places to visit in Seychelles would be:
- Watch turtle nesting in Seychelles’ most beautiful beach, Mahe.
- Take a day tour to Curieuse Island from Praslin Island on boats.
- Moderate hike on the Morne Blanc range in Morne Seychellois National Park.
- Seychelles National Botanical Gardens in the capital of Seychelles.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a Central African country formerly known as Zaire. The country has seen a lot of turmoil in the past, which makes people step back when it comes to exploring the region. However, the country is making a comeback and offers magic wilderness.
There are plenty of UNESCO designated parks and reserves in the country that are must-visit for anyone traveling to Congo. Kinshasa is the capital of Congo and has a great street culture, and among the must add on places in Africa list for art and culture. More fun things to do includes:
- Head to the heart of the continent for gorilla trekking chance in Virunga National Park.
- Hike in the trekker’s paradise in the Rwenzori Mountains
- Relax and watch the sunrise and twinkling stars at Tchegera Island.
- Jungle safari, camping, and hiking in the Rwenzori Mountains
Famous for its beaches like Tofo and marine parks, Mozambique is a South African country along the long coastline of the Indian Ocean. Mozambique is one of the less touristy countries in Africa, which makes it more appealing because the natural beauty offered by this amazing country is a must experience.
The delighted destinations range from historical forts, National parks, relaxing islands, and cultural experience in the capital city of Maputo. Influenced by Portuguese heritage, you must not miss the local cuisine while you are experiencing the bits and pieces of this beautiful country. Here’s your quick little note for places to visit in Mozambique:
- The ferry rides to Fort Sao Sebastiao and Island hopping.
- Scuba diving and swimming with Dolphins at Ponta do Ouro
- Book your safari tour to wildlife experience in Gorongosa National Park.
Senegal is the West African country which is considered to be one of the most stable nations in the country. What makes it a traveler’s delight is its impressive colonial French heritage and plenty of natural wonders.
Darak, the capital city has endless energy and will be a great welcome Africa travel destination for those who might think of Africa otherwise. Here are some fun things to do while you are in Senegal.
- Drive for 4 hrs from Darak to see spectacular Pink Lake, which contains a high amount of salt and special species of bacteria.
- Visit Goree Island to find some history of Africa’s slave-trading
Plan beachy tours to Petit Cote and Cape Skiring
- Desert safari in Lompoul Desert
Frequently Asked Questions
What places in Africa are safe to visit?
All the countries shared above are some of the safest places to travel in Africa include Botswana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Madagascar, Egypt, Namibia, etc. Since traveling comes with its risk everywhere you go.
Begin your plans by making traveling to Africa checklist, and make sure you follow it and ensure you save all the important numbers handy in case of any emergency. Your checklist should include research on safe places to visit in Africa, Africa tourist map, what to carry, what not to carry, and similar information to stay updated on your travel destination.
Where should I travel to Africa?
Africa, as a continent, has a lot to offer to anyone looking for diversity in about everything. Starting from colorful Madagascar to ancient Egypt, Africa offers wildlife, nature, ancient civilizations, and vibrant cities, and so much of culture. Each one comes with its uniqueness. Go through these 20 beautiful countries list to take your pick and create your very own African bucket list.
What are the most beautiful places in Africa?
Some of the most beautiful places in Africa include Nile River, Victoria Falls, Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Madagascar, Masai Mara in Kenya, Okavango Delta in Botswana, Ait Benhaddou in Morocco. And Wild safaris in any of the countries as mentioned above has the best in Africa.
What is there to do in Africa besides Safari?
Beside Safari travelers can have the first-hand experience of Gorilla Trekking, exploring local traditions of different tribes, hiking in mountain ranges, and attending local festivals. Also, climb Victoria Falls, water rafting in the Nile river, and trekking in Volcanoes are some of the best things you can do in Africa.
When should I visit Africa?
When you plan your holidays in Africa, make sure you do your research on the regions you want to visit and the climate conditions of that place. Depending on the wildlife of Africa, the time between May and October is considered to be the best traveling season in the plains of South and East Africa.
In North Africa, the winters are chilly; summers are hot while spring as well as autumn, are pleasant. Wildebeest Migration can be seen between June to September, whereas Gorilla trekking is available throughout the year in Rwanda and Uganda.
Check out these activities in Africa
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