The African continent is one of the world’s most mesmerizing destinations. There are so many diverse adventures to be had on this amazing continent, home to more than 50 different countries, that it’s hard to narrow them down for a best places list, but we have tried here. Behold the top 5 tourist attractions in Africa!
1. Cape Town, South Africa
One of the most beloved destinations on the continent, Cape Town sits at the southern tip of South Africa, near where the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean meet at the Cape of Good Hope. It is a culturally rich and visually stunning city that is very easy to fall in love with on a first visit. There is so much to see and do in Cape Town. There are active adventures, like hiking to the top of Lion’s Head to watch the sunrise. And important historic explorations, like taking a somber trip to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner for 27 years before the Apartheid regime fell.
The city is also home to a plethora of museums, galleries, local boutiques, and world-class restaurants and hotels. You’ll want to spend some time exploring the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, as well as the downtown around Long Street and Greenmarket Square.
2. Visit Zanzibar, Tanzania
A visit to Zanzibar feels like stepping into another world, one where time stands still, and the only city, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Tanzania is a place where Arab dhows (fishing boats) still ply the picture-perfect turquoise sea, and you can get lost in the beauty of Stone Town, wandering its narrow alleys past old mosques, vibrant bazaars, and riads with intricately carved doorways.
Away from the hustle of the “city” (really it feels like a small town), the rest of the island is filled with gorgeous beaches where days are spent lazing on white sand or snorkeling and diving in the colorful coral reefs surrounding the island. These are still teeming with life and home to more than 500 marine species.
3. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.
Watching the sun rise or set over the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt from the back of a camel is an experience you’ll never forget. The pyramids and the Great Sphinx date back to the 26th century BCE and are Egypt’s most iconic attractions.
The Pyramids of Giza are easy to access from Egypt’s capital and largest city, Cairo, which is equally fascinating to visit. Set on the banks of the Nile River, Cairo is a chaotic and buzzy place that appears to never slow down, even in the dead of night. Here, ancient history meets a modern metropolis and there is much to see and do, with a visit to the Egyptian Museum at the top of most lists.
4. Go Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda.
Trekking to see endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is on the bucket list for many animal lovers, and Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains are home to more than half of the remaining wild population on the planet.
Volcanoes National Park is where the treks to see these majestic primates take place. You cannot just go on your own, but must join a guided trip that requires a permit.
Rwanda is one of Africa’s smallest countries and its capital city of Kigali is heralded for being one of Africa’s cleanest. It is also located just 2.5 hours from the gorilla trekking, making this emerging tourism destination easy to explore.
5. Watch The Great Migration in Masai Mara, Kenya.
Every year, millions of wildebeest and other hoofed animals like zebra and gazelles migrate between Tanzania’s Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya in what has become known as the Great Migration. The most dangerous part of this journey is crossing the Mara River, where many of the grazing animals get picked off by hungry lions and other predators.
The crossing usually happens between July and August, but the timing can change with the year. Watching the Great Migration in real time is a dream for many wildlife enthusiasts, who plan safaris to this part of Kenya to coincide with it.