5 Astounding African Travel Destinations To Visit This Year
54 remarkably diverse countries, one enormous continent, and only two stamps in my passport. Aside from a couple of unbelievable trips to Morocco, Africa is one place that I have yet to explore.
Africa travel is overflowing with intriguing destinations, so I thought I’d take a virtual journey through places I’d most love to see. Here are a few highlights from my search.
Makalali Conservancy, South Africa
If you’re interested in visiting Africa, odds are you’re eager to see some of the amazing wildlife that can only be found on this continent. Africa has no shortage of national parks and conservancies for a luxury safari, but South Africa’s Makalali Conservancy is a great choice if you’re a new traveler, as it offers a chance to see the “Big Five” game animals in its 64,000 acres of savanna before returning to your glamping accommodations at night.
It can all be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time safari-goer. I suggest that you consult with experts to get an experience designed for your particular travel style. Teams like Bench Africa can help you create a personalized itinerary tailored to your preferences and requirements.
While you’re in South Africa, don’t miss a chance to visit Cape Town, Table Mountain, and Boulders Penguin Colony, as well as go wine tasting in the nearby Cape Winelands.
Nosy Be, Madagascar
Madgascar is often overlooked by tourists, with only about 300,000 visiting each year, but it’s a place that’s just waiting to become the next big thing. The island is one of the most biodiverse places in the world (it’s no surprise the Madagascar films are named such!) and is home to a massive variety of endemic species you won’t find anywhere else on the planet.
An island off an island, Nosy Be is ideal for those who want to combine beach vacation vibes with wildlife tourism. Encounter lemurs, see if you can spot chameleons, snorkel the coral reef, or simply sit back and enjoy the idyllic beaches.
This one I can personally vouch for: Chefchaouen is just about as picturesque as it gets. Nearly every inch of the mountain village is painted blue, with narrow, cobblestone alleys, unique doorways, and stucco abodes. Chefchaouen’s medina is the perfect size for wandering. You can also get out and enjoy one of the many surrounding Atlas Mountain hiking trails.
I’m not saying I’m a fan of choosing your destinations for the Instagram opportunities, but, well, if you’re into it, it doesn’t get much more Instaworthy than Chefchaouen. Plus, it’s just a few hours from the larger cities of Tangier, Tetuan, and Fes, so Chefchaouen is definitely worth a trip, even if just for a day.
If your idea of paradise is a relaxing beach vacation, Zanzibar, is, without a doubt, the place for you. Zanzibar is an archipelago located fifteen miles off the coast of Tanzania’s largest city, Dar Es Salaam, and most visitors opt for Zanzibar Island, also known as Unguja. There, you’ll find some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world.
Zanzibar is chock-full of beach resorts for a laid-back holiday. But if you grow bored of sunbathing in paradise, the island was also an important stop in Africa’s historical spice trade, so it’s fabulous for history lovers. Stone Town’s inner city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a unique mix of Africa, Moorish, Indian, and Middle Eastern influences.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Rwanda has certainly come a long way since the 1990s, and it’s now a stable, peaceful country with some of the most beautiful nature the world has to offer. Volcanoes National Park, just two hours from Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, will give you spectacular views of tropical rainforests, five colossal volcanoes, and, most excitingly, populations of rare gorillas.
Just be aware that you’ll need to obtain a permit before you begin your gorilla-viewing trek around Volcanoes National Park. And if gorillas aren’t your thing, keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of monkeys, 178 species of birds, and perhaps even elephants.
Africa was already high on my bucket list, but after researching these destinations, honestly, I can barely resist buying a flight there tomorrow. Fingers crossed I’ll get there soon! Makalali, Nosy Be, Chefchaouen, Zanzibar, and Volcanoes National Park are just a small sampling of all that Africa has to offer.
So tell me, have you been to Africa? Which destinations would you most recommend?