Are you planning for an African vacation in your next summer holidays? Africa is a continent that provides endless beauty and curiosity. Let’s show you the best African countries to visit on your next vacation.
The Motherland, the origin of man, and the lifeblood for many parts of the world. Africa is a content comprised of 54 distinct and culturally rich countries. It is unfortunate that many view it as a monolithic place of poor and wild attractions.
On the contrary, African countries are diverse and filled with enriching experiences. The resurgence of interest in touring African countries is two-fold: culture and natural wildlife. Over 7.7 million people work in tourism across the continent.
With so many places to go, it might seem difficult to choose the best African countries to visit. We understand the feeling, that’s why we’ve gathered a helpful list of the top places to visit. At the very least, you can narrow down your options.
Best African Countries to Visit for Vacation
It’s time to update your bucket list, here is your best guide towards choosing the best African countries to visit during summer.
We start our list with one of the most popular destinations for the U.S. and the UK. Tanzania has a great mix of sights and activities for tourists to fill their itinerary. You have beaches giving you access to the Indian Ocean. Tanzanian cities also have a great mix of modern shops and local bazaars.
We can’t forget the amazing Tanzanian Safari. The safari brings a different experience depending on the time of the year. The most famous natural event in Tanzania is the Great Migration.
If you are thinking of going on a safari, you probably wonder what is the best time to visit Tanzania. This question depends on what it is that you want to experience. Since most of the visitors are interested in the Great Migration, we tell you the best time to go to Tanzania for the Serengeti Migration.
This is when millions of animals (mainly wildebeest) cross the Serengeti each year. The height of the migration usually happens in August. It’s a good idea to book safari accommodations in advance during this time, they fill up fast.
If monkeys are your favorite animals, then Uganda is one of the best places in the world to see them. This is one of only three places in the world where you can view mountain gorillas in the wild. At Mgahinga Gorilla National Park you can see the famous Nyakagezi gorilla family.
This is a prominent gorilla family that has five adult silverbacks, the alpha males. These viewings of the mountain gorillas are intimate and very special. Only half a dozen tourists get to see them at a time and you can only stay for an hour.
It’s worth the price of admission to see some of the most loving and intelligent beings in the wild.
Uganda makes our list for both its amazing rainforests and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Unlike the very wet and crowded rainforest, this park is very diverse in wildlife and the environment. Leopards, hippos, chimpanzees, lions, bat caves, and more.
For a dramatic change of scenery, we pick Namibia. Home to the largest sand dunes in the world, Namibia is one of the best places to visit in Africa. When you first touch down, the vibrant colors and textures hypnotize you.
The star attractions and the sand dunes look unassuming in pictures. In person, though, those dunes are towering and seemingly endless. Most tourists take on “Dune 45” for climbing. It’s a fairly straightforward climb, but you must be fit.
Climbing dunes has to be done during sunrise, any later and the sun will bake you. Climbers are advised to go shoeless, too, so avoiding the sun means avoiding scorched feet. It’s a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed, despite the difficulty.
For something a bit more green and wet, Namibia is also home to the second-largest canyon in the world. Fish River Canyon spans 160km, 27km wide, and up to 550m in depth. This canyon, like the desert, may be sparse with wildlife, but there’s plenty of life in it.
This hidden gem of Africa is not usually on the top places of tourist lists. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty to offer, of course. Botswana has built up a nice reputation for luxury and all-inclusive vacationing.
Because it receives fewer visitors than some of the bigger countries on our list, you get a more VIP experience. Safari trips are some of the best you’ll ever encounter, both by land and by water. You can get up close and personal with bathing elephants, as long as you travel smart.
Because Botswana receives a consistent offering of rain, the wildlife there is very dense and diverse. The best opportunity for viewing is during the winter. The rainy season causes the Okavango Delta to flood, which can hinder access.
Both the Kalahari and the Moremi game reserves provide excellent camps and safari trips. All the big cats and grazers fill the plains up, so there’s always an opportunity for action.
Everyone should visit South Africa, even if it’s just to spend time at the Cape. This is considered one of the easiest places for newcomers to settle on the African continent. There are plenty of Westernized accommodations and English speakers to make the trip effortless.
South Africa has a wide range of natural surroundings: mountains, forests, grasslands, and ocean beaches. Cape Town even offers visitors the ability to surround themselves with sharks in a dive cage. There are a number of choices for safaris, due to the many private reserves.
This can be good or inconvenient, depending on the type of traveler. The good thing is that it’s easier to get closer to the bigger animals and see them all in one trip. The downside is it might feel a little less spontaneous, as it is essentially a giant zoo.
South Africa is also home to malaria-free safaris, which can ease the nerves of some travelers.
What can be said about Egypt that most do not already expect to see? You have the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Nile River, and amazing artifacts from Ancient Egypt. This is a historical experience that often makes one reflect on the history of mankind.
Egypt has many natural attractions, as well. Mount Sinai is hard to miss, standing 7,497 tall. Ras Muhammad National Park is home to coral reefs for diving and snorkeling, beaches, and mangroves.
Visit the historic Tahir Square, the site of the popular Egyptian uprising the “Arab Spring”. Cairo is a very modern and yet ancient city. Stop inside the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities for a collection of 5,000 years of history.
On the Aswan Islands, there is a unique historic and natural identity to each. You can reach them by plane, train, car, or even a cruise ship. There are cruises that run up the Nile River.
Private tours are cheapest during December, despite Egypt being categorized as a year-round season. European spring breaks and Easter are in high season. With tourist numbers down there are some great deals to be had. Just keep a close eye on vacation packages.
This country is just as much Arab as it is African. Morocco is a place that will delight the senses. It is a hub for the spice trade and traditional culture. Morocco also happens to border Spain, which brings even more fusion culture.
Of course, Morocco has plenty of great natural wonders to visit. The Sahara Desert, the Todgha Gorge, the Atlas Mountains, Tizi n’Tichka, and Agdal Gardens, to name a few. Anyone of these places can be a multi-day vacation.
The Djemaa el Fna is the largest market in Morocco and will amaze you with food, music, dancing, and artists. Not to be outdone, Chefchaouen is another amazing city of color and architecture. Its cerulean blue buildings against the backdrop of the Rif Mountains are mesmerizing.
You can find plenty of hiking and nature tours from Chefchaouen. Most of Morocco is very accessible, including Dades Valley, Essaouira, Ait Ben Haddou, and Tangier.
Tips for The Best African Countries to Visit
Whether you plan on visiting multiple countries in Africa or just one, it’s important to plan your trip early. Any of the best African countries to visit on our list will have plenty of all-inclusive vacations to choose from. Safaris are best researched separately based on value and experience.
Compare airfare rates, monitor for changes, and pay for travel insurance. Without travel insurance, things are a bit more stressful for first-timers. You can’t help but worry while camping out on a safari.
The other big thing to prepare for is the sun. Both the sun’s rays and the heat can put a cramp in your trip, literally. Some travelers prefer to travel with their own Lifestraw, which filters out 99% of contaminants.
Before you depart on your trip, learn some of the native languages. At Ultimate Serengeti, we cannot emphasize how useful it is to know Swahili words for safari trips.
For more help with your safari vacation to Africa, contact us anytime.