Christine, Digital Nomad, Travel Expert
Africa Bucket List
Updated: Jun 9, 2021
The Ultimate Africa Bucket List
An expansive and super diverse continent boasting dramatic landscapes, fascinating cultures as well as unrivaled wildlife, Africa, by far offers the most spectacular travel experiences.
Depending on which part of Africa you want to visit, your trip to this continent will wildly vary, but regardless of where you’ll end up, you can expect to enjoy the warmth of African people, their beautiful traditions, and intriguing history.
If you’re planning your first trip to this part of the world, here are the best adventures in Africa.
North Africa Ultimate Bucket List
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
One of the most iconic sights in Egypt and a world-renowned attraction, Pyramids of Giza tops any
African itinerary and it’s easy to see why.
Defying the wrath of weather elements and standing the test of time for over 5000 years, these colossal structures have intrigued even the smartest engineers across the globe.
The sheer scale, size, and construction mastery displayed by the pyramids rivals any modern skyscraper.
Although the pyramids can seem like an overhyped destination or touristy there is always a unique twist you can add to your visit to have a special experience.
For instance, you can opt for a camel ride from one pyramid to another (instead of driving) especially if you’re visiting during cooler months.
Home to one of the oldest universities in the world (Al Quaraouiyine), and part of the four imperial cities in Morocco, Fez/ Fes has a lot to offer whether you’re yearning for a moment to indulge in rich culture, fascinating history, or a great gastronomic experience.
With traditional handicrafts, hammams, and tanneries dotted across the city, Fes, is reputed as the country’s cultural epicenter.
Some of the things you can do in this bustling city include visiting the oldest medina in North Africa, Fes El Bali, or strolling around maze-like souks such as Boujloud Souk.
With most tourists ending up in Tunisia by chance rather than a planned sojourn, this part of North Africa is loaded with unspoiled natural gems and breath-taking attractions.
Famed for its straggling sand dunes, laidback beaches stretching along the Mediterranean, and elegant spas, this country offers some of the best experiences in Africa at a bargain.
Probably due to the cultural contrast, Tunis is particularly enthralling. Tunis Medina is hands down the most awe-inspiring medieval medinas in the world and the highlight on most of Tunisia’s itineraries.
Bardo National Museum, which is situated within an ancient palace in the city, is also among the best museums in the northern part of Africa.
Southern Africa Ultimate Bucket List
Victoria Falls, Zambia
Popularly known as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ by locals, (which directly translates to ‘smoke that thunders’) Victoria Falls is a sight to behold.
With over 500 million cubic metres of water from the Zambezi River cascading the extensive basalt cliffs every minute, it’s no wonder Victoria Falls is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Aside from the actual wide sheet of the falling waters, there are dozens of fun-filled activities that you can try including bungee jumping, river rafting, and zip-lining.
Nosy Be, Madagascar
Located off the northwest shore, just 5 miles from mainland Madagascar, Nosy Be is the most popular beach destination in the country and the perfect escape for a peaceful, laidback vacation.
Dabbed as the ‘scented island’ owing to the ylang-ylang plantations, (indigenous vegetation with a fragrant flower) this island offers loads of natural beauty, flora, and fauna plus wildlife that are unique to Madagascar.
In addition, the crystal clear water from this part of the Indian Ocean offers unrivaled opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming with sea turtles.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
If anything as a nature lover should be on your bucket list it should be topped by a safari in Kruger National Park.
Established in 1926 and spanning 20,000 km², Kruger is the oldest as well as the largest National Park in South Africa.
Kruger is also the most famous and the best-loved wildlife sanctuary in the country - one of the few places in the world where you can spot the Big Five without breaking a sweat.
The park is located at the northeastern tip of South Africa and it’s a destination of solitude, tranquillity, and excitement.
Eastern Africa Travel Bucket List
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
A gleaming illuminant of the African beauty, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point in the continent and fulfilling activity to kick off your African bucket list.
Towering majestically 5892 m above the African plains and recognized as the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is a must-visit while exploring this continent.
The best part is you don’t have to be an avid mountaineer to reach the peak. In fact, it’s more like a walk than a climb and this degree of difficulty goes all the way to the summit.
All you need is to be in reasonable shape and pack loads of determination.
Masai Mara, Kenya
Probably the most iconic safari destination in the world, Mara is an amazingly diverse wildlife reserve that beckons any animal and nature admirer.
It was established in 1961 and since then, this vast sanctuary welcomes thousands of tourists every year. Mara is home to famous Big Five species and an abundance of other wildlife.
However, what makes Masai Mara the most fabled wildlife reserve in Africa is the Great Migration – one of the biggest nature phenomena, where thousands of wildebeests cross over from Serengeti into Mara in search of water and pasture.
Watch in awe as these creatures in their thousands take a deadly yet necessary jump into the crocodile-infested Mara River in an attempt to escape drought.
This yearly nature spectacle happens between July and October.
Danakil Depression, Ethiopia
At 125 m below sea level, this massive plain located in Afar, north of Ethiopia, is among the lowest and the hottest places on the planet.
The area is dotted with geysers, sulfur springs, salt pans, acid pools, and colorful mineral-filled lakes all of which give this vast desert an otherworldly appearance.
Despite a seemingly inhospitable environment, salt miners and tourists transverse this alien landscape every day - some with an aim of earning livelihood while others travel from far and wide to experience this geographical wonder.
West Africa Travel Bucket List
Lome, the capital city of Togo is one of the best places to indulge in a true African atmosphere. The streets are loaded with bustling markets, warm people, and great food.
Although this city is quite small and compact, it’s filled to the brim with interesting things to do and see.
Some of these include a stroll through Grand Marché, Monument de l’Independence, Lomé Cathedral, West African Art Museum, and of course, the brown sandy beaches.