There is something so exotic about Africa. From the wildlife; lions, zebras, giraffes and gorillas. To the landscape; white sand beaches, deserts and dense jungles. Africa offers up some truly once in a lifetime experiences that can only be had on this amazing continent.
It’s a place that inspires the inner adventurer.
Here are some of the most iconic, bucket-list worthy destinations in Africa.
1. Cape Town, South Africa
If you’re looking for a laid-back vibe then Cape Town may be the spot. Between the crystal clear waters and the imposing Table Mountain (3,500 ft high) Cape Town is filled with things to do – at your own pace. Ride a cable car up to Table Mountain and take in one of the most breathtaking views you’ll find, all while sipping on a coffee or wine from the cafe. For another unforgettable sight head out to Boulder’s Beach and check out the thousands of African penguins and after take a tour of the world-renowned wine region of Stellenbosch only 45-minutes outside of Cape Town.
2. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Standing in at 19,340 feet tall Kilimanjaro is the worlds tallest freestanding mountain. Over 5-9 days of walking you’ll go through 5 different climate zones ranging from farmland at the base, to rainforest, desert and eventually arctic. Though you don’t need any specific climbing gear, make sure you have good hiking shoes as well as the proper layers to keep you comfortable during the hike.
3. Mozambique, Africa
Not usually a destination that springs to mind for the African traveler, Mozambique rewards those looking to go off the beaten path with sprawling dune filled beaches, well-preserved corals filled with colorful fish and crystal clear waters. Also to explore is Gorongosa National Park, a large area home to lions, hippos, and elephants – traditional safaris are offered for the more adventurous as well.
Tailored made for the explorer, Morocco conjures up images of a saharahan oasis. The landscape is made up of the beautiful mountains of the High Atlas, rugged coastlines, forested hills and of course the desert. When in the cities check out the winding medina’s and brush up on your haggling skills or learn to cook Moroccan style – famous for its fragrant spices – as most hotels or riads offer culinary classes. September marks a good time to go as the summer heat winds down, yet the chilly air from the mountains has yet to reach the city.
An archipelago in the Indian ocean 15 miles from the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is as exotic a destination as they come. If your looking for escape than this may be the place. Breathtaking salt-white beaches, crystal clear turquoise blue water and a whole host of untouched smaller islands waiting to be explored. Check out Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage home to mosques and winding lanes of bazaars. Look to go June – October as these months are relatively cooler (27C).
6. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Uganda
If you’re looking for the experience and privilege of seeing what very few people ever do, then a trip to this mythical landscape should be high on your list. Dotted with Volcano’s and covered with dense fog filled forests, the Mghahinga Gorilla National Park is home to the endangered mountain Gorilla. Getting to see them is not guaranteed, nor is it easy. These treks can last up to several hours in dense vegetation – filled with stinging nettle and red ants so seal yourself up! – but the reward for persevering is the opportunity to see these critically endangered animals in the wild.
7. The Maai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
When thinking of Africa you can’t help but think of the word Safari. One of the best places to experience something unique to Africa is the Maai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This is your best opportunity to see the “Big Five” in a day as it also connects with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. For an unforgettable experience book a hot air balloon ride between the months of July and October, this is when the wildebeest migration occurs in Maai Mara
8. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
No list of African adventures would be complete without mentioning the pyramids. For those looking for a cultural journey filled will history, then Egypt is your spot. There are three main pyramids at Giza; the oldest and largest being The Pyramid of Khufu which is surrounded by both The Pyramid of Menkaure and Khafre. Check out the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo for the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts including Tutankhamun’s gold death mask and sarcophagus