These best places to visit in Africa include a range of countries so you can experience the best of the continent, from safaris to spas, history to beaches.
Best places to visit in Africa
As the southernmost country on the continent, South Africa offers fantastic diversity. From safaris to scenic deserts, and beautiful beaches to charming towns, South Africa has it all, including many ways to say hello in South Africa!
Head to the best cities to visit in South Africa, like Cape Town and Johannesburg but also take trips to the beautiful nature spots as well as the fantastic Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park is a game park, home to more than 140 mammal species, including the Big 5. There are some beautiful lodges to stay in and around the National Park and plenty of tours are available from the nearby cities, for those looking for a day trip.
Other National Parks you could visit nearby are:
- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: Located on the border with Botswana, this park is known for its black-maned lions.
- Hluhluwe and iMfolozi National Park: Located in the east of the county, this is a park where you can find the Big 5 along with a huge rhino population.
- Addo Elephant National Park: Located on the South Coast, you can obviously see elephants here along with the Big 5. This is also a great option for those wanting a self-drive safari.
- Pilanesburg National Park & Game Reserve: You can find the Big 5 at this national park, which is ideally located near Johannesburg. This is a popular option for those wanting to experience a safari as a day trip from Johannesburg.
The remote region of Namaqua is usually a wasteland, but during the month of July, the winter rains bring wildflowers across the land, creating a picture-perfect view.
Cape Town is the most popular destination in South Africa, offering fantastic food, vibrant nightlife, and impressive views from Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.
Learn about the country’s horrific history at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and with guided tours available at both the museum and the Constitutional Court.
Once you have learned about the history, head to Robben Island, the maximum security prison that ran until 1996. Many political prisoners were held here including Nelson Mandela.
Known for its natural beauty, culture, and wildlife, Tanzania is one of the best places to visit in Africa.
Begin a trip way exploring Serengeti National Parokne of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world. This is also one of Africa’s most renowned national parks and home to the Great Migration of Wildebeest and zebras. When planning where to go on safari, Serengeti should be on the top of your list!
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak, attracting climbers and trekkers from across the world. For those who want to see the impressive mountain without the climb, you could take a Kilimanjaro helicopter tour and witness the spectacular views from above.
Just off Tanzania’s coast are the pristine beaches of Zanzibar. Often overlooked, this beautiful destination not only offers breathtaking beaches and stunning sunsets but you can also spend time visiting the old part of Zanzibar City, known as Stone Town.
If you can time your visit, head here in July to experience the Festival of the Dhow countries; one of the best African celebrations to experience.
Beyond planning a Tanzania Safari, make sure to learn about the incredible cultures in Tanzania, like the Maasai Culture and their distinctive attire and traditional way of life.
Spend time visiting the Great Lakes; including Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi, and Lake Tanganyika but also visit the Ngorongoro Crater; a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a unique natural wonder in the country.
Located between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site.
Plan a visit in April or May to see the falls at their best, with Devil’s Pool, knife-edge Bridge, and Livingstone Island offering the best vantage points.
After seeing the falls from above, don’t forget to go whitewater rafting in the Zambezi River for a different angle of the famous falls.
How to visit Victoria Falls:
- Choose which entry point you want to travel from; you can access the falls from the Zimbabwean side and the Zambian side, both offering incredible views and lots of activities.
- Find out the Visa Requirements for your chosen side, these will vary depending on your nationality. Information is often found on your local government website.
- Book accommodation in advance as this area is very popular in the peak tourist seasons and luxury hotels and lodges are few and far between.
- Guided tours are also available, including helicopter rides, bungee jumping opportunities, sunset cruises, and white-water rafting.
Often overlooked, Rwanda is a great place to explore, especially if this is your first visit to the content.
The city of Kigali is a clean, thriving city with a low crime rate. Here you can find plenty of restaurants, cafes, galleries, sports events, and nightlife options.
Then head out of the city to explore the Volcanoes National Park, home to mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.
Rwanda is known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’, so, of course, you can expect plenty of stunning landscapes to explore and appreciate.
Rwanda is also known for gorilla trekking; with the Volcanoes National Park being home to several gorilla families that you can observe for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
You can also enjoy the diverse wildlife at Akagera National Park, home to elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, and plenty of bird species.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is a dense rainforest full of chimpanzees and colobus monkeys that you can appreciate along the canopy walks.
If you still have some energy left after all those parks and hikes, make sure to head up Mount Karisimbi for amazing views.
Known for being the home of the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya is another one of the best places to visit in Africa, where you can see some of the best wildlife Africa has to offer.
This is the destination to visit if you want to see animals up close. Enjoy plenty of safaris across the various parks and game reserves, with the best being Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, and Samburu.
Trek up Mount Kenya, the second-highest peak in Africa then see the flocks of pink flamingos at Lake Nakuru.
Spend time in the capital city of Nairobi, home to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Giraffe Centre, and the Karen Blixen Museum.
For one of the most unique hotels in the world, you could stay at the Giraffe Manor located in Kenya too.
Plan a visit between July to October to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara.
For a luxurious beach vacation, head to Mauritius. With powdery sands and high-end resorts, this small island is the ideal romantic destination for many.
Plus, you can enjoy the local seafood, teas, and rums whilst you soak up the sun and meet the friendly locals.
Enjoy the stunning beaches of Mauritius, with the best being Flic en Flac, Belle Mare and Trou Aux Biches. Along many of the beaches, you can enjoy water activities like scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, and kite surfing.
Take a boat trip to Ile Aux Cerfs, a beautiful quiet island that offers watersports and golf courses but also enjoy a thrill at the Casela World of Adventures.
You can also take a dolphin-watching excursion here before taking a rum distillery tour.
Mauritius is known as one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world and for good reason. There are plenty of luxury resorts and hotels to choose from here, with some of the best listed below:
- Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita: Offering incredible overwater bungalows and beachfront villas, this is a stunning award-winning resort, perfect for honeymooners. Plus they have a fantastic spa and golf course onsite.
- Shangri-la’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa: Offering stunning views and a nearby private island, this is the place for those who want to relax during the day and enjoy a fun evening. The beach has some trendy beach clubs and many restaurant choices, so you can explore the different spots nearby.
- The St. Regis Mauritius Resort: Located on a pristine beach, St. Regis offers elegant suites, a luxurious spa, and fine dining options.
- Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge: For those looking for a more intimate experience, this boutique lodge is an eco-friendly option, with a more personal touch in a unique lodge.
Of course, Egypt is another one of the best places to visit in Africa. Known for its iconic pyramids, Egypt offers plenty of historic landmarks, attractions, culture, food, and accommodation choices.
When planning a trip to Egypt, you must visit Cairo. Cairo is a bustling place to start but is where you can find the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile River.
Explore the Egyptian museum in Tahrir Square, where you can find treasures of Tutankhamun also learn more at the Coptic Cairo.
Whilst in Cairo, you can also explore the historic district of Islamic Cairo, home to medieval alleyways and interesting mosques, but also discover Khan el-Khalili Bazaar whilst you are in this area of the city. We recommend spending at least 3 days in Cairo to see all the best sites and landmarks.
Then head over to Luxor to explore the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple Complex. Take a tour of the Luxor Temple and then learn more about the city and history of Egypt at the Luxor Museum.
Morocco is another must-visit destination in Africa.
Marrakech is a bustling city with a picturesque, unique old city center and a vibrant, fun market. Head to the mosque, forts, and palaces in the city but then head out to see the natural beauty outside of the city too, such as the Ouzoud Falls and desert.
Take a camel trek or try out a desert camp in the Sahara Desert, for a unique experience in Morocco.
Spend time visiting the ancient city of Fes, known for its historic mosques, vibrant Fes el-Bali Medina, and medieval architecture.
Whilst in Morocco, you could also visit the Atlas Mountains, hiking up to those amazing views or visiting the Berber villages for an interesting experience.
This small, landlocked destination in Africa is a beautiful place to explore, offering diverse wildlife, a gorgeous lake, and incredibly friendly people.
Lake Malawi is one of the deepest lakes in the world and you can enjoy kayaking and sailing along the lake before soaking up some sun on the white sandy beach. Cape Maclear is a popular place to visit on the lake too.
Malawi offers plenty of hiking and trekking options, so head to Mulanje Mountain, Nyika Plateau, and Zomba Plateau for stunning views and wildlife spotting.
You could go on safari at Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve to see elephants in their natural habitat but also try to visit the Mulanje Tea Estates to learn about tea cultivation and processing in the country.
For crystal clear waters and pristine beaches, Seychelles is the place to visit in Africa for you. Beyond relaxing on the beach, why not appreciate the incredible coral reef and marine life; with snorkel and dive trips offering you a chance to see colorful fish, rays, turtles, and even whale sharks?
This is another destination perfect for honeymooners, with many luxury resorts that often include private villas and overwater bungalows.
Some of the most romantic resorts in Seychelles include:
- Six Senses Zil Passion: This is a modern, eco-friendly resort with villas including private pools and ocean views.
- Raffles Seychelles: This is a high-end luxurious resort on Praline Island, with a beautiful beachfront location. You can expect spacious villas here as well as a great spa.
- Four Seasons Resort Seychelles: Of course, Seychelles has the monopoly on the best resorts on these gorgeous African islands. Perched on the hillside on Mahe Island, the resort offers incredible views of Petite Anse Bay, wonderful villas, and modern amenities for all couples.
- Coco De Mer Hotel and Black Parrot Suites: Located on Praline Island, this resort offers accommodation along the beach, easy access to the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve, and a great spa.
- Avani Barbarons Seychelles Resort: We love Avani hotels because they offer a great blend of luxury and affordability. Located on Mahe Island, this resort offers comfortable rooms, a good spa, and a fantastic location with quick access to Barbarians Beach.
Discover the unique biodiversity in Madagascar, a place where you can discover lemurs, baobab trees, and chameleons.
Madagascar is the only place on Earth where you can find lemurs in the wild, so make sure you find every opportunity to appreciate this beautiful primate.
Visiting the breathtaking Avenue of the Baobabs, a famous natural wonder of ancient baobab trees, then head to Tsingy de Bemaraha. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its jagged pinnacles, caves, and unique ecosystem.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.