Christine, Digital Nomad, Travel Expert
Africa travel tips and top destinations
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Africa Travel Tips and Top Destinations
Africa is a continent with 54 sovereign countries, with a combined population of 1.3 billion people with over 2,000 different languages that has diverse ethnic, cultural, political, and geographical differences. Not only are two countries that border each other completely different but two cities only miles apart in one country can be opposites.
Like its varied people, landscapes, and wildlife Africa’s political landscape varies from country to country, there are conflicts happening throughout Africa, therefore before you travel to Africa you must do your research and have a game plan.
Below we have listed the top ten most popular travel destinations in Africa but before you start booking your flights here are some things you need to understand in order to travel to Africa safely.
Is it safe to travel to Africa?
It is safe to travel to Africa if you have done your research and have a good game plan. Like any other destination in the world, Africa has its fair share of crime and violence and travelers are advised to take precautionary safety measures when traveling in Africa. Some African nations have ongoing conflicts, and so its probably not a good idea to travel to those countries (Libya, Sierra Leone, and Sudan just to name a few). Most western nations have travel advisories for foreign nations and so it would be best to adhere to those.
Like most other nations, Africa is made up of large metropolitan cities where all your modern-day needs (hotels, restaurants, public transportation) are met but are surrounded by rural areas where you might not be able to find cellphone service/wifi for miles. In these metropolitan cities you will have pick pockets like any other city and so you must guard your personal belongings. If you are into the nightlife, traveling at night is riskier and must be done in groups.
Is it expensive to travel to Africa?
Your largest expense will be the flight to Africa, once in Africa everything else like hotels and food is very cheap. There are budget hotels and five-star hotels so depending on how much you want to spend on your lodgings, you have great options. There are plenty of viable transportation options in the cities, but it is advised to contract directly with your hotel for transportation. The only other large expenditures you will have is the booking of tours and safaris.
Are there health risks while traveling to Africa?
Diseases such as hepatitis, malaria, typhoid and yellow fever are common in some countries and so vaccination/medicine for those diseases are required. Food and water safety are especially important, you should only eat well cooked food and avoid tap water completely in all countries.
Is Africa safe for women travelers?
Women travelers should take the same precautions in Africa as they would anywhere else. Traveling alone at night should be avoided and always be aware of your surroundings. In some countries that are predominately Islamic there will be cultural/religious norms that must be adhered, wearing modest clothing and hair coverings.
What countries should I visit in Africa?
Travelling is undoubtedly one of the many ways of relaxation and fun. From exploring new and unknown destinations, to learning about and being a part of different cultures, travelling is a wholly beautiful venture.
Africa in recent years has played host to a great number of travelers and tourists. This is due to it being home to captivating and beautiful travel destinations coupled with a perfect blend of the new and old. Africa's rich and diverse culture, exotic foods and spices, warm and welcoming people, and the abundance of beautiful landscapes and wildlife has made it a great place for tourists.
Top Travel Destinations
1. Egypt (Great Pyramids)
Egypt is without doubt one of the best travel destinations in the world. A dazzling place of historical sites and captivating landscapes. Egypt offers many mind-blowing sites ranging from the historical Pyramids Of Giza, the sole surviving of the seven wonders of the ancient world, an ancient tomb built for the mighty Pharaohs of old, to the tranquil town of Aswan where one can relax while taking a river ferry across the Elephantine Islands. Egypt is also home to the famous Nile River, the history packed Egyptian Museum, the captivating White Desert, and the Abysimbel Temples. The traveler to Egypt is never at a loss for activities to indulge in as there are lots and lots to see and do.
2. Morocco (Sahara Desert)
In 2019 Morocco witnessed an upsurge in tourism and was the most visited African country of the year. This is mostly due to the beautiful sceneries and wonderful landscapes. There are a lot of fascinating places in Morocco, coupled with its lovely and welcoming people, and its rich culture. Starting from the imperial city of Marrakech where one can stop and savor the rich history and culture to the Famous Sahara Desert with its captivating and beautiful sunset. If you love trekking, the High Atlas is a great place to do so. Running across Morocco for almost 1000km, the High Atlas is North Africa’s highest mountain range. Not to be left out is the capital city Rabat, the fishing town of Sidi Ifni, the quaint blue buildings of Chefchaouen and the beautiful coastal town of Essaouira amongst others.
3. Tanzania (Mount Kilimanjaro)
For lovers of safaris and wildlife, Tanzania is the perfect place to visit. Housing some of Africa's largest National Parks, Tanzania is home to thousands of species of wildlife. A must do while in Tanzania is a visit to the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro the highest Peak in Africa. The beautiful snowcapped mountain has drawn a great number of adventurers. The country’s National Parks, from the Serengeti National Park home to millions of animals to the Ngorongoro Crater where thousands of buffalo, wildebeests and zebras live. The annual Wildebeest Migration which takes place in May or June draws myriads of visitors to Tanzania. Other notable spots in Tanzania include the Olduvai Gorge, the Lake Manyara National Park, the Tarangire National park, the Stone town, the Mafia island and the Zanzibar Islands.
4. Kenya (Maasai Mara)
Stunning Kenya, with it’s diverse and mind-blowing array of national parks, landscapes, and wildlife is a must do destination for travelers and lovers of wildlife. Its famous safari parks, mountains, and coral reefs makes Kenya one of the best travel destinations in Africa. Notable tourist spots in Kenya include the Maasai Mara National Reserve, a magnificent extension of the Serengeti park of Tanzania, the visitor is offered the chance to view the magnificent wildlife of Africa. The Maasai Mara is also very famous for the Great Migration of wildebeest and buffaloes which runs through the Serengeti. The Amboseli National Reserve is a captivating place that gives to travelers the opportunity of viewing large herds of elephants up close and personal. It is also home to different species of birds, lions, cheetahs and a myriad of other animals. Other notable destinations to visit in Kenya are Lamu Island, Lake Naivasha, Nairobi National park, and many others.
5. Madagascar (Ranomafana)
The Natural beauty and diversity of Madagascar has earned it the nickname the “Eighth Continent.” Madagascar is home to different species of plants and animals as well as captivating sites. Notable amongst them is the Ranomafana National Park which is one of the nation’s most popular parks containing densely forested hills with streams running across them. The park is also home to the Golden bamboo lemur. Visitors to Madagascar would be thrilled to visit the Masoala National Park, the Royal hill of Ambohimanga, the Ifaty fishing village, and the Asalo National Park amongst other breathtaking sites.
6. South Africa (Kruger National Park)
In beautiful South Africa, the traveler is thrilled by a wonderful blend of the old and new. Its famous game reserves, mountains and plants makes it one of the best travel destinations in Africa. Destinations worthy of note in South Africa include the Kruger National Park where wildlife lovers are thrilled with an array of games, and home to the Big Five. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park which is one of the largest wilderness of the world provides travelers with exciting and captivating views of different animals including the Black-maned Kalahari Lion, meerkats and birds. Other destinations to stop by are the Stellenbosch Village Museum and The Pilanesberg National Park.
7. Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls)
Endowed with beautiful landscapes and a wide variety of plants and wildlife, Zimbabwe is one of the top travel destinations in Africa. A visitor to this beautiful country is never at a loss for places to see nor activities to take part in. Some of the wonderful destinations in Zimbabwe include the Victoria Falls, this popular wonder of the world has drawn many visitors by enchanting beauty. Located on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Victoria falls is twice the height of Niagara falls. It is made even more spectacular by the Savannah which surrounds it. Flying over the Victoria falls with a helicopter tour, the view is mind-blowing and that’s the reason why this particular flight is called “The flight of angels”. Zimbabwe also offers to the tourist lots and lots of other spectacular destinations such as the beautiful Lake Kariba, the Hwange National Park, and the Domboshava caves.
8. Botswana (Okavango Delta)
With its impressively beautiful landscapes, it’s phenomenal array of wildlife and it’s desert, Botswana is one of the top travel destinations in Africa. Home to different animals which include crocodiles, zebras, rhinos, cheetahs and a myriad of other animals, the Okavango Delta is a great place for safaris and game watching. The stunning scenery and ecosystem of the Moremi Game Reserve makes it another must see in Botswana. The Central Kalahari with its herds of wildebeest and springbok will surely blow your mind. Other notable destinations in Botswana include the Chobe National Park with its exotic creatures, the oldest town of Francistown, Gaborobe, and Jwaneng.
9. Namibia (Sossusvlei)
Namibia is undoubtedly beautifully endowed with unique scenery and extraordinary landscapes. Simply driving through the country alone is an experience. Notable travel destinations in Namibia include the famous Sossusvlei which is an endless sea of dunes, rust-red and enchanting, coupled with the gnarled ancient trees which come together to form an unforgettable picture for the visitor. A trek into the Sossusvlei should be the highlight of a trip to Namibia. There is also the Etosha National Park with its abundance of wildlife, a perfect place for safaris and game watching. The Skeleton Coast, Fish river Canyon and Kaokoland are also wonderful spots offered by the beautiful country.
While making a list of top travel destinations in Africa, Tunisia is never to be left out. The country possesses an exotic appeal, a perfect blend of new and old. Notable destinations in Tunisia are the Carthage which is itself a piece of history, remnants of the Carthage can still be seen across the Bay of Tunis. The National Bardo museum along with the Egyptian Museum are the top two museums in Africa. With it’s collection of mosaic arts, a stop at the National Bardo museum is simply worth it. The enchanting city Sidi Bou Said can also be found in Tunisia.
Above, we have listed Africa's top ten travel destinations, from historical sites, to safaris, game reserves to a natural collection of colorful landscapn es, wonderful wildlife, complete with water falls and mountains, so go right ahead and choose the spot that suits you the best. Discover and explore!!