African Cultural Trip: 6 Hidden Gems to Visit on a Culture Safari


The African continent is home to some of the world’s oldest native tribes and peoples. An African cultural trip is your chance to enjoy authentic experiences.

Exploring the rich heritage of indigenous people is a great way to spice up any vacation. It is a unique learning experience that broadens your horizons. If you have a goal of venturing out of your comfort zone, a cultural tour is the best place to start.

South Africa, Egypt and Morocco are among Africa’s most popular cultural destinations. But if you would rather veer off the beaten track, there are several hidden gems worth exploring. Let us take a look at the most fascinating of these.

Lesser-Known African Cultural Trip Destinations

Comoros Islands

In addition to its vibrant colors and stunning natural attractions, Comoros boasts a rich cultural heritage. Situated in the Indian Ocea, this island nation has an exotic fusion of influences behind its culture. These include a mixture of African, French and Arab traditions.

A trip to this volcanic archipelago is an opportunity to feast your eyes on amazing architecture. It has a mix of traditional thatched-roof houses made from coral stone. On the other hand, the urban centers beautiful French architecture from the colonial era.

The region is also renowned for its thriving arts and crafts scene. You might want to carry souvenirs of traditional baskets and sculptures, intricate jewelry, pottery and wood carvings. If your timing is right, you might also get to see traditional dances which feature colorful attire and vigorous dance. Here are some additional African island destinations with unique cultural immersion experiences.

Banfora, Burkina Faso

Banfora is one of the best places to visit in Burkina Faso, with plenty of breathtaking sights. Sindou Peaks, Karfiguela Waterfalls and the Domes of Fabedougou are just a few of the attractions. Besides these natural wonders, it is also one of the most culturally diverse regions in the country. Major ethnic groups here include the Bwa, Senoufo and Bobo. Though each has its own unique traditions, they interact to create an intriguing blend.

One of the main highlights is the unique craftsmanship of the people. Their different artforms such as carvings and sculptures tell the local history, myths and legends. The artistry is also evident in their clothing – most people wear traditional garments made from brightly colored, patterned fabrics.

Banfora is also a great foodie destination, whose staples include yams, sorghum and millet. They serve these with sauces made from baobab leaves and okra among other ingredients. Grilled meat and peanut soup also feature prominently in the cuisine. While here, you will also love the outstanding Islamic architecture that defines urban areas.

Ennedi Plateau, Chad

If you have a soft spot for desert adventures, Ennedi is one of the best places to visit. It is home to the widely famed Ennedi Massif, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Sahara Desert. This landscape hosts unique sandstone formations, canyons and sand dunes. It has intriguing stone arches designed by nature and beautiful oases teeming with life.

The Toubou people are the dominant ethnic group here, renowned for their nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyle. Their religion is a mix of Islam and traditional beliefs and they speak the Teda language. Though their cuisine is simple, it reflects their rich culture and resourcefulness.

Ennedi is also famed for rock paintings and carvings that date back thousands of years. This prehistoric art collection offers a peak into ancient cultures that lived here.

Samburu, Kenya


Many adventurers who have taken an African cultural trip in Kenya have come across the Maasai. But have you heard of the Samburu? The Samburu are a subtribe of the Maa community. Just like the Maa people, the Samburu have a fascinating way of life. They have their own mode of dressing, unique traditions and distinctive music and dance.

This semi-nomadic community is characterized by colorful traditional attire and beaded jewelry. They wear elaborate necklaces, anklets, bracelets and earrings and spot intriguing hairdos. Face painting is also a common practice among them.

Their architecture is equally fascinating, with huts built in clusters known as manyattas. Women construct these huts using mud, cow dung and sticks. They are easy to assemble and disassemble, perfect for their semi-nomadic lifestyle.

In addition to their interesting culture, the Samburu live in a wildlife-rich area. Located in the Samburu National Reserve, it is home to over 450 species of birds. There are vast populations of reticulated giraffes and Grevy’s zebras here, and all of the Big Five.

Abomey, Benin

One of the most intriguing African cultural trip destinations is Benin. Abomey is steeped in cultural heritage. Once the capital of the Dahomey Kingdom, it traces its roots back to the 17th century. As a result of these deep roots, it is home to numerous historic palaces. Many among these currently boast UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Take a trip into the past by visiting the Museum of Abomey. In addition to having a vast collection of historic artefacts, it has royal thrones and various exhibits. These paint a picture of the kingdom that was.

For an immersive experience into the rich culture, visit Abomey’s markets. Here you can taste astounding varieties of delicious African street foods and feast your eyes on traditional artworks.

What To Do on Your African Cultural Trip

An immersive cultural experience is not just about meeting people from different cultures. There are plenty of things you can do to make your tour special and memorable. Consider a few ideas:

  • Learn a new language
  • Learn to cook a traditional meal
  • Get accommodation in a homestay instead of a hotel
  • Take a dance lesson
  • Work with the locals in conservancies and animal sanctuaries
  • Visit historical sites and museums
  • Attend traditional festivals and ceremonies

Embrace the African Cultural Mosaic

These are some of the best destinations for your African cultural trip. Each of these locations is known for its rich cultural heritage, in addition to natural and architectural wonders. A tour of these destinations will therefore surpass mere cultural tourism. It is an opportunity to connect with the heart and soul of these places and their peoples. Make the most of every moment here and enrich your understanding of the diverse African mosaic.

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