Best Places to Visit in Africa: Top 13 Destinations


A visit to the world’s second largest continent is a transformative experience that you simply cannot afford to miss. The best places to visit in Africa offer striking contrasts and breathtaking diversity in every respect. Everything about it spells variety – from the scenic landscapes and the deep cultural roots, to the wildlife and the people.

Considering how vast it is, you may want to sample its top destinations for the best feel of the continent. Our collection of Africa’s best places to visit offers an opportunity to do precisely that.

We have picked out the most incredible African vacation destinations that will give you a taste of everything that the continent has to offer. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a culture buff or an adventure lover, there is something here to tick every box.

Let’s dive right in:



What makes Kenya one of the best places to visit in Africa is the incredible diversity. The country is renowned for a wide range of stunning landscapes. There are vast savannas and mountains, an extensive tropical beach and the Great Rift Valley. Arid desert landscapes sit in the north and south, a tropical rainforest in the western region and a variety of volcanic sites dot the land.

Wildlife lovers will appreciate the Kenyan safari drives through the most incredible national parks. Be sure to visit the Maasai Mara, one of the best places in Africa for a comprehensive wildlife experience. If you are fortunate, you might catch the famous Wildebeest Migration in action.

For cultural trip lovers, Kenya’s rich tapestry of cultures is fascinating. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience with the Maasai and the Samburu. If you crave adventure, there is plenty to do here including paragliding, mountain trekking and hot air ballooning.


Once a major world power, Egypt boasts some of the most iconic historical sites on the continent. The country gives you a peek into ancient civilizations at the Pyramid of Giza, the Valley of the Kings and the Sphinx. Its deep historical significance goes hand in hand with a rich culture, including fascinating art, food and interesting traditions.

Egypt is also home to a beautiful tapestry of natural attractions. These include the Nile – the world’s longest river – where you can enjoy a scenic cruise. The Red Sea riviera on the other hand is one of Africa’s best places for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. It boasts clear waters and stunning coral reefs as well as a rich underwater world for archeological exploration.

For the most beautiful sunrise and sunset views here, be sure to visit the White Desert. It is home to fascinating natural sculptures formed over thousands of years. These limestone formations will blow your mind.

South Africa

South Africa makes our list of Africa’s best places to visit thanks to its delicate blend of modernity and a wilderness experience. It is home to the world-renowned Kruger National Park where you can enjoy some of the best sightings of the Big Five. There are close to 150 species of mammals here – the highest number in any African country.

Spectacular beaches line the southern edge of the country, calling out to tropical vacation and ocean lovers. In addition to the striking coastlines, the country also boasts magnificent mountain scenes such as the Table Mountains.

When it comes to adventure activities, this is one of the best places to visit in Africa in terms of variety. Whether you fancy shark cage diving or bungee jumping, or prefer something less extreme, it is all accessible. For the food lovers in the house, the culinary experience is matchless. Enjoy an abundance of craft beer, fine wine and great coffee too.



Anyone who loves the outdoors and enjoys exploring remote, breathtaking terrains will certainly love Namibia. A tour through the country takes you through an otherworldly experience unlike any other. Everything from the desert terrain to the savannah grasslands and the beaches offer an enchanting experience.

Namibia is home to the world’s oldest desert, the Namib desert, and parts of the Kalahari, the second largest desert in Africa. Some of the most spectacular landscapes here include the rugged Damaraland and the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei. Enjoy exceptional wildlife viewing at the Etosha National Park – home to rare desert life species.

For astronomy enthusiasts, Namibia is one of the world’s best places for stargazing. It has incredibly clear skies and very low light pollution. Immerse yourself in a variety of unique cultures such as the indigenous San people and the Himba. Adventure seekers will love the opportunities for quad biking and hiking the Fish River Canyon.


If your idea of a dream vacation includes vast tropical beaches and stunning coastal views, you must visit Mauritius. This tropical paradise sits on the Indian Ocean surrounded by white sandy beaches and spectacular coral reefs. It offers a wide array of water activities from deep-sea fishing and sailing to scuba diving and snorkeling.

Beyond the beaches, this is one of the best destinations in Africa for mountain trekking and birdwatching. You will find some of the continent’s best waterfalls and tropical forests here and explore the iconic Seven Colored Earths.

The sun shines almost all year round, making it ideal for outdoor lovers. Home to a multiracial society, it is a cultural trip lover’s dream. There is an interesting blend of European, African, Indian and Chinese influences in the food and art.



One of the most popular African destinations, Morocco has a unique blend of attractions for every traveler. It is home to ancient cities such as Casablanca and Marrakech, which host intricate mosques, beautiful palaces and busy medinas. Marrakech is in fact one of the most popular bucket list cities in the world.

The land also boasts a variety of landscapes from mountain ranges and fertile oases to stunning coastal areas. The largest hot desert in the world, the Sahara covers a huge part of the country. It is home to some of the continent’s most remarkable desert adventures. Adventure lovers can also enjoy trekking in the Atlas Mountains and water sports on the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.

Morocco’s vibrant culture is a byproduct of a blend of influences from Europe, the Arab world and Berber origins. This gives rise to a fascinating mix of cuisine, music, art and tradition – ideal for cultural trips.


One of the top beach vacation destinations in Africa, Seychelles is renowned for its great weather and remarkable beauty. This tropical island sits close to the equator and is known for dazzling white sands and idyllic coastal views. Some have referred to it as the “most beautiful place on earth” and for good reason.

Seychelles is a picture-perfect tropical paradise consisting of 115 islands. These charming islands are home to a fascinating array of marine species, animals and bird life. Meet the remarkable Aldabra giant tortoises named after the Aldabra Atoll. The Aldabra Atoll is among the most popular diving sites in the world with at least 700 species of coral and 1,000+ fish species.

Indulge yourself in the Creole culture, lifestyle and cuisine, a blend of Asian, African and European influences. Explore the scenic island mountains and enjoy a memorable hiking adventure.



As one of the largest islands in the world, Madagascar is a vast landscape with astounding diversity. Some call it the eighth continent and it’s easy to see why. The captivating island is full of natural wonders and opportunities for adventure. If you do not fancy large tourist crowds, you will love the remote and unspoiled beaches of Madagascar.

A little further inland, the tropical paradise consists of lush rainforests, picturesque coastlines and dry forests. Here you will find a wide range of unusual flora and fauna. 80% of the plant species are not found anywhere else on the planet. This is also the only part of the planet where lemurs exist in the wild alongside a variety of birds (300+ species) and reptiles (260 species). Keep an eye out for humpback whales between late June and October every year.

Beyond the coastal attractions and wildlife, extraordinary landscapes characterize the island. They range from the Avenue of Baobabs the limestone pinnacles of Tsingy de Bemaraha.


Tanzania is one of Africa’s best destinations for wildlife encounters. It is renowned for the iconic Serengeti National Park, a strategic viewing point for the Great Migration. It is also home to the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. This is a popular vacation spot for mountain trekking.

Naturalists love the diversity of wildlife surrounding the 300-square-kilometer caldera that makes the Ngorongoro Crater. This inactive volcanic site sits in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to 25,000 large mammals.

Just off the main land is the tropical island of Zanzibar, a beautiful gem on the Indian Ocean. Just like the coastal areas of Tanzania, the island is a great destination for snorkeling, scuba diving and dolphin watching.


As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Ethiopia is one of the best places to visit in Africa for a cultural trip. The country is home to eight UNESCO (Cultural) World Heritage Sites, a representation of its vibrant history and culture. There are medieval castles, rock-hewn churches and historic monuments.

Aside from the cultural aspect, Ethiopia also has unique landscapes. Some of the best sites for nature lovers include the Blue Nile Falls, the Erta Ale volcano, Simien Mountains and the Danakil Depression. The Blue Niles Falls is particularly remarkable. It is nearly 150 feet tall and so powerful that it sprays water droplets hundreds of meters away.

Its unusual geographic layout and the fact that it has 16 climate zones give Ethiopia unique appeal. It is home to endemic wildlife species that you will not see anywhere else on the continent. These include the Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf, caracal, Gelada baboon and Simien fox. Birdwatchers will also spot a number of rare birds here including the bearded vulture.


Popularly referred to as “the land of a thousand hills,” Rwanda overflows with natural beauty. It is among the best places to visit in Africa and the world at large if you wish to see endangered mountain gorillas.

About 50% of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world live in the region’s Virunga Mountains. If you fancy seeing them in their natural habitat, include gorilla trekking on your itinerary. Plenty of other primates call this country home, including golden monkeys, chimpanzees and blue monkeys.

Beyond the primates, Rwanda has varied landscapes consisting of stunning mountains and dramatic valleys. It is home to Africa’s largest rainforest, Nyungwe Forest, countless lakes and breathtaking vistas



Looking for an opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature in an untamed setting? Botswana is the best place in Africa to enjoy this and much more. Its stunning landscape includes vast wilderness expanses that remain untouched by human civilization. These stretch from the Kalahari Desert and Chobe National Park to the Okavango Delta.

The latter is a popular destination for once in a lifetime trips. It holds the title of world’s largest inland wetland despite sitting in the heart of the desert. The Okavango offers some of the country’s best spots for wildlife viewing. Explore the waterways of this legendary attraction on the famous mokoro (dugout canoe) safari. Birdwatchers might catch a sight of the rare pels fishing owl, the wattled crane and the slaty egret.

Be sure to include a tour of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. The expansive salt pans here span close to 3,000-square-kilometers, offering a spectacular sight of shimmering salty landscape. This is one of the best stargazing destinations in the world due to the absence of light pollution. If you visit the park in November/December, you might just catch the awe-inspiring Zebra migration.


If your idea of a dream African vacation is a game-viewing marathon, the best place to visit is Zimbabwe. It is home to a wide array of national parks and game reserves. Among these is Hwange National Park, which is said to have widest variety of mammals compared to all other national parks worldwide. There are at least 50,000 elephants in this park alone, considered the highest population worldwide. The number of endangered wild dogs is also remarkable, the highest in Africa.

Zimbabwe is also one of the best places to visit in Africa for a birding vacation. Even though there are no endemic species, the country has at least 670 species of birds. However, there are some special treats including the rare Taita falcon and the Angola pitta (African pitta). The area is also home to eight of ten species endemic to Africa.

Complete your Zimbabwe tour with a visit to the magnificent Victoria Falls thundering down into the Zambezi River gorge. At over 100 meters high and 1.708 kilometers wide, this is the largest waterfall worldwide. It is also one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of only two places on the planet where you can watch a lunar rainbow or “moonbow.”

Create Your African Vacation Bucket List

Whether you are visiting the continent on an African Safari, a nature vacation or a cultural trip, these destinations tick all boxes. There are plenty of adventure activities, places to visit and sights to see in each of these countries.

Since you might not get to try everything out the first time, how about creating a vacation bucket list of your favorite African destinations? This way, nothing gets left out when the opportunity arises.

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