This blog post was updated on January 23, 2023.
There’s just something about Africa. Every traveler, whether of the world-weary or armchair variety, has to admit that deep down something draws them to the region. Some sense of awe or adventure that they can feel calling to them to pay a visit to the second-largest — and second most populated — continent on the planet.
Maybe it’s the splendor and beauty of Africa’s wildlife or its renowned and diverse mix of cultures. But whatever the reason, if you want to head to Africa there are plenty of destinations to choose. Dare we say — with 54 countries and 9 territories — too many destinations?
So if you want to head to Africa, but don’t know where to start, here are some countries to add to your travel list.
Often considered the most popular travel destination for Westerners wishing to explore the continent, South Africa is home to a ton of different attractions and activities. The country’s wildlife features the “big five” game animals — lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros — so you’ll be able to get some amazing safari pictures. There are also some famously amazing beaches, a profoundly important history, not to mention the prominent use of English as one of the country’s national languages.
Home to rich wildlife and breathtaking natural landscapes — including the previously mentioned “big five” and the world’s second-largest freshwater lake — Kenya is also renowned for its enchanting culture and history beloved by tourists. Over the last few years, Kenya has become a hot destination for European tourists and tourism has become one of its dominant industries.
With a vibe that’s more Middle-Eastern than African, Morocco is a must-visit for any wannabe world trekker. Its cities are packed with history and stunning architecture, as well as friendly multilingual locals, and are all a train ride away from some fantastic hiking opportunities. Oh, and the country is just a short ferry ride to Spain, so it’s an excellent point of entry or departure for continent hoppers that prefer a more down-to-earth travel experience.
Zimbabwe, like many other African nations, is home to impressive wildlife (living in a host of parks and reserves. But the country’s definitive must-see attraction is awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfalls, which are known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya.
This West African nation offers a pleasurable blend of bustling urban markets, beautiful beaches, and wondrous nature reserves. The former French territory features several major cities, including the capital Dakar, home to a famous art scene, and the historic Saint-Louis, as well as over 300 miles of coastline against the Atlantic ocean. Northern Senegal is famous for its birdlife and has many sanctuaries and reserves, the Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — among them, that attract birdwatchers from all over the world.
Did we leave out your favorite African country? Tell us about it in the comments below!