Africa is a continent abundant with scenic and cultural beauty in all parts. It has amazing destinations to travel with still a dozen of unexplored places where nature and environment still hasn’t been rearranged or even touched by human hands. Choosing between the top places to visit in Africa is certainly not an easy task, with the given size and diversity of the continent, travelling in Africa makes you feel as if you’ve travelled the whole wide world without even having to go any further out of its boundaries. Planning a trip to any of these destinations enlisted below would be worth your time and money and definitely a much needed treat to your mind, body & soul.
So, here we have the top ten places to visit in the continent of Africa. I have used my own discretion to choose between these destinations and let me assure you, it wasn’t easy as you see every other destination in Africa somehow seems to me like a place you must visit before you die.
10. Stone Town, Tanzania
Hundred year old mansions and former palaces along the twisting streets of Stone Town make this port city seem as if of a grander age and importance, once you’re actually in it. Situated on the western coast of Zanzibar, this small town has mighty Old Forts that were built in the 1700s which were used to fend off the Portuguese at the time; these historic monuments are now being used for artistic and touristic purposes. The city is usually jam-packed with bazaars all over but there are however, numerous places for sightseeing and some sea-adventure, as the small city boasts its own haven of local reefs and cliffs.
9. Watamu, Kenya
Delightful, is what comes to mind of enthusiastic eco-tourists when they think about Watamu. Lined with white sandy beaches and hotels dedicated to sustainable tourism all around, Watamu is nearby the Malindi Marine Reserve Park, and Turtle Beach which certainly is an ideal spot for a swim or two. From quaint Kenyan shopping stalls called ‘dukas’ for stocking up supplies to mysterious and heavily overgrown 12th century Swahili village known as the Gede Ruins, the small village of Watamu is a perfect place to start if you want to start a journey towards nature.
8. Durban, South Africa
Durban is an example of the Indian and the colonial influence on Africa. This beach city can’t really be missed as the blend of cultures and architecture here makes Durban perhaps the most unique place all over South Africa. A famous destination for surfers, Durban’s Golden Mile is also host to fishermen as well as families due to its unique blend of natural beauty and modern resort. Major attractions abound the city makes this place a perfect vacation spot for families and couples alike.
7. Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Africa not only has modernized cities like Durban but is also renowned for its scenic landscapes and adventurous trails. Stellenbosch is an oak-lined South African town known for its hiking trails and art galleries but most of all the wines in this town are the number one crowd puller according to tourists who’ve been there several times. With more than a 100 wine cellars, most of which are open to public, operate daily in tasting tours. The Neo-Gothic Moederkerk Church, museums dedicated to toys, military memorabilia, autos and early life on the Cape are among some of the center attractions housed by this historic town.
6. Taroudant, Morocco
Taroudant is the perfect example of a Moroccan market town. There is only so much to do in this town, after some friendly bargaining at a souk in one of the two main squares of the town, revive your spirit with a refreshing soak at an authentic hammam steam bath. Refreshing day trips to Tioute Oasis will assure you have a nice knack of true natural beauty. Enjoy bird-watching at the Souss Massa National Park which lies within the outskirts of the city or you can even decide to sit back and enjoy some Berber folk music under the stars.
5. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Anyone would be taken aback by the vastness of the land covered by the Serengeti National Park, it is so huge that one of the oldest African groups the Maasai called the plains of Serengeti, ‘’the place where the land moves on forever.’’ If you’re lucky enough and have made it there just at the right timing, then you could also witness the famous Serengeti annual migration, the largest and perhaps the longest over-land migration on earth.
4. Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg is perhaps the only place in the world where you can see a mix of big-city culture, all the dining, partying and nightlife with outdoor adventures, up-close encounters with some of the rarest wildlife and visits to historical sites with cultural and monumental importance. Caves and nature reserves to explore, visiting traditional villages by day and dining at café’s or five-star restaurants by night; Johannesburg is a city set to give you an experience you surely haven’t come across in any other part of the world. For all the shop-a-holics, the city features open-air markets and malls and some places that even blend the two, which assures you, will have a shop-till-you-drop experience like never before.
3. Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi is an energetic and a rather modern and happening city that serves as a fascinating definition to both wildlife and nightlife, and is well-known among travel enthusiasts as the safari capital of Africa. Market bustles, mélange of restaurants and all the music pubs and clubs along with the museums, Giraffe Centre and the city’s own National Park featuring Black Rhinos, Nairobi is certainly one place in Africa that just doesn’t compare to any other in regards to the diversity of touristic attractions being provided in a single location.
2. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
More of a daredevil are you? Then try out the adventure-junkie in you by signing on for what’s been called the world’s best white-water rafting. Victoria Falls is surely the height of natural beauty and also a view of nature at its best. I’m pretty sure everyone thinks that Rainbows are cool. But what beats rainbows? Moonbows, yes, if you visit the Victoria Falls during a full moon-night, the light of the moon through the waterfall spray produces a lunar rainbow, or so-to-say a ‘moonbow’.
1. Cape Town Central, South Africa
At the southern toe of the African continent scintillates the Cape Town Central or the Cape of Good Hope as it is better known as. The Blaauwberg Beach and Kristenbosch National Botanical Gardens are within driving distance of the so-called ‘’Mother City.’’ On a more somber note, one could also visit the Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 long years. Hiking trails, wildlife encounters are a natural thing in Africa, however, ‘The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve’ is believed to have the best of it all along with startling sea vistas and amazing local reefs to ponder upon.
FINAL CONCLUSION: Africa is surely a beautiful continent and is an abundant piece of land with plenty of natural beauty and resources. The travel destinations mentioned on the list above are just the scratch on the surface of a tip of the iceberg. The country although considered to be very poor, back-warded and underdeveloped by some of the wealthier nations of the world has so much more to offer than just poor diseased and discarded people. If only the powers of the world were to look at Africa from a different perspective all together, one that is more supportive than disruptive would this continent be able to shine in its full light and be all that it could be.
Nikhil is musician by choice, writer by profession. Currently, studying Bachelors in Hospitality.