Looking for the top destinations and best places to visit in Africa? We have your back:
The African continent is often forgotten when we talk about tourism. Even the best places to visit in Africa are not widely known as top destinations.
This is more than a shame since there are countless unique places to visit in Africa that are unlike anything you can find on any other continent.
Learning a bit more about African traditions, the natural beauty of the land, and historical landmarks is the best way to become more aware of the treasures of the Big Continent.
To provide a quick start and challenge some of the common preconceptions about traveling to this part of the world, we prepared an overview of the 8 best destinations in Africa that could appeal to solo travelers as well as groups or families.
Do you have a personal favorite? Let us know in the comment section!
What to know before traveling to Africa
In our minds, Africa is just a massive shape somewhere in the South, but in reality, it is a massive continent with more than 50 different countries and over 1 billion inhabitants. It is home to many different cultures and features several distinct geographic regions, including deserts, rainforests, savannahs…
Security is admittedly a problem in some places, but there are many safe African countries to visit where guided tours are available.
Another issue that should be taken seriously is a tropical disease, and vaccines are necessary for traveling to some parts of the continent.
This is why it is highly advisable to gather information from official sources such as your country’s embassy, or the national tourist bureau before scheduling a flight to one of the most beautiful places in Africa.
1. Cape Town, South Africa
Some people think that South Africa is the best country in Africa for Western visitors because of its large cities and developed infrastructure.
Cape Town is definitely one of the best places to visit in South Africa if you would like to taste a different culture while enjoying all the perks of urban life.
This city is located next to the sea and features amazing beaches, while the visitors interested in history might want to visit the infamous Robben Island where freedom fighter Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Where to stay
Radisson RED hotel V&A Cape Town Waterfront – Ideally placed on the waterfront of Cape Town, this unique hotel is close to the main tourist sites and the central business district.
You can relax in a modern room decorated with wall art, enjoy great food in the on-site restaurant, or unwind by the pool in RED Roof Bar with amazing views of one of the most beautiful cities in Africa.
2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania
Tanzania has a reputation as one of the safest African countries to visit, and it’s also renowned for its untouched nature. Ngorongoro conservation area was named after a volcanic crater and is today regarded as one of the top places to visit in Africa for nature lovers.
The area is rich in wildlife, including big game like lions, rhinos, and buffalos, making it perfect for a photo safari. If you are looking for cool places in Africa, Ngorongoro must be near the top of your list!
Where to stay
Planet Lodges – This hotel is located in Arusha and features African-style chalets that are equipped with mosquito nets and air conditioning, making it one of the safest places to visit in Africa.
A bar and restaurant on premises offer a selection of drinks and serve dishes from international and local cuisine. Guests can relax with a massage of choice or linger by the pool in the lush garden whilst enjoying the view of Mount Meru.
3. Okavango Delta, Botswana
With an official place on the list of ‘Seven Natural Wonders of Africa’, the Okavango Delta is rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa.
This region is located on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, and as an inland delta represents a unique ecosystem.
Okavango Delta is among the best places to vacation in Africa if you want to go off the beaten path and explore the wilderness. A visit to the nearby Moremi Game Reserve is a great idea once you arrive in this amazing region!
Where to stay
Hilton Garden Inn Gaborone – A modern hotel in the Central Business District, less than 1 km from the Three Dikgosi Monument and Square Mart Shopping Centre. The rooms are comfortable and equipped with private bathrooms, LCD TV, AC, and complimentary wi-fi.
Garden Grille & Bar is one of the best places in Africa to go if you want to try steaks from the best quality Botswana beef. An outdoor pool is a perfect antidote for hot days typical for this part of Africa.
4. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Many international tourists count Kenya as one of the best African countries to visit, and the Maasai Mara National reserve receives a steady influx of visitors.
It’s a jaw-dropping destination where large African fauna including elephants and lions can be encountered in its natural habitat.
If you don’t know where to travel in Africa and haven’t been to Western Africa until now, Maasai Mara is an excellent choice that combines picture-perfect scenery with an abundance of fun activities for a truly memorable experience.
Where to stay
Ol Tukai Lodge – Located inside the Amboseli National Park, this eco-rated lodge has a unique collection of African art and is one of the best spots to watch elephants directly from your room.
In case you don’t want to stay in the room, there are a restaurant and 2 bars available for snacks and drinks throughout the day. Accounting for the proximity of Mt. Kilimanjaro, this is clearly one of the best places to visit in Africa.
5. Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda
Virunga Mountains in Rwanda are one of the last refuges of the mountain gorilla, so this area is one of the best places to visit in Africa if you’re looking for a chance to get a glimpse of endangered animals.
This region also happens to be one of the most beautiful places in Africa, as the terrain is of volcanic origin and therefore quite impressive.
In addition to mountain gorillas, you can observe other animal species in this area, for example, golden monkeys and countless exotic birds.
Where to stay
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge – This eco-lodge is set around 1 km from Volcanoes National Park, which is the starting point of the exciting gorilla trekking tours and one of the best places to visit in Africa.
30 spacious cottages are available for accommodation, and all of them come with fireplaces and private bathrooms. Each night the guests are treated to Rwandan traditional song and dance, put on by the local community.
6. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
There are very few famous places in Africa that compare to the Pyramids in terms of global interest. This ancient location has a special charm and belongs on the shortlist of the best places in Africa to visit if you are into cultural monuments.
Since the Pyramids are located very close to Cairo, the tombs of the Pharaohs are easily available for a touristic visit, with plenty of organized tours. That’s why the Pyramids of Giza are one of the best places to travel in Africa for a first-timer.
Where to stay
Azar Hotel – This hotel is located in central Cairo, within a 10-minute walk from the National Egyptian Museum and the famous Tahrir Square. The rooms are equipped with anything you can wish for, from LCD TVs to balconies with amazing city views.
If you are visiting the town because of the leading tourist attractions in Africa, the Giza Pyramids are only 13 km away from the hotel.
7. Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Mozambique stands out among the beautiful countries in Africa for its marvelous coastline, and few locations can match the natural beauty of the Bazaruto Archipelago.
Comprising six lovely islands in the Indian Ocean, this area is protected as a national treasure and attracts many tourists from around the world.
In addition to marine life, you can also experience the savannah and sand dunes in this area, making Bazaruto a microcosm of the entire continent and one of the best places to visit in Africa.
Where to stay
Bahia Mar Boutique Hotel – Set on the island of Vilanculos, this hotel is the right choice for people who want to experience local culture and the famous beauty of the Bazaruto Archipelago.
This luxurious property features a spa, a wellness center, an infinity pool, and a tropical garden. Great accommodations definitely help Bazaruto rise up a notch on the list of best places to visit in Africa.
8. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
The iconic, snow-covered mountain is without a doubt one of the enduring symbols of Africa. It is located in Tanzania, which is among the safest countries in Africa as we discussed before, and well-connected with flights to Europe, Asia, and America.
Any tourist with doubts about where to visit in Africa should put Kilimanjaro on the top of the itinerary and experience the magic that inspired so many works of art.
Where to stay
Green Light Hotel – The hotel is ideally located in Dar es Salaam, just 7 km away from the International Airport. The rooms are spacious and some of them even have luxuries such as a sauna & Jacuzzi.
You can log on to the internet for free from anywhere in this hotel, so you can stay in touch with your friends at home or explore where to go in Africa next after you see Mt. Kilimanjaro up close.
Keep reading: 5 Maps that will help you understand Africa