Africa is a destination many travellers dream of visiting. Known for its breathtaking landscapes, countries home to rich cultures, unbelievable safari destinations and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experiences, the continent is a haven for avid adventurers. While Africa’s treasure trove of destinations is waiting to be explored, the question is, which country should you plan to visit first? Grab your pen and paper, and get ready to add these five African countries to your 2018 travel bucket list.
With its diverse cultures and customs, beautiful beaches and coastal towns, and Big 5 safari destinations, South Africa offers travellers a world of adventure! Home to many different cultures, you can expect to enjoy rich cultural experiences in South Africa, both in the city and at the many game reserves dotted across the country. You can learn more about South Africa’s history at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, experience the Cape Malay culture of Bo-Kaap in Cape Town, visit Africa’s largest arts festival in Grahamstown, and enjoy traditional African fare at one of the country’s top restaurants. The Big 5 can be seen at Kruger National Park, Madikwe Game Reserve, Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Inverdoorn Game Reserve. Better yet, you can see the Big 7 at Addo Elephant National Park – the safari gem of the Eastern Cape. Planning a South African getaway can be overwhelming, as there are many must-visit landmarks and destinations in the country. To make the most of your visit, book a two week holiday to experience everything this diverse destination has to offer!
Tanzania is the safari gem in east Africa’s crown. The country has plenty to offer travellers who have never had the pleasure of exploring wild Africa before! A highlight on any Tanzania itinerary is a safari holiday, where you’ll see and experience the best of the country’s wildlife. While on safari, you can expect to see wild animals, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, buffalos, elands and kudus. Tanzania is a birdwatcher’s haven, as the country is home to over 1 000 species of birds. On a Tanzania safari, your safari guide will take you on walking safaris, game drives and boating safaris, all of which offer superb game viewing. Another must-visit destination is the Serengeti National Park, where you can witness one of the most amazing natural wonders – the Great Migration. The annual migration sees herds of wildebeest and zebra move from Tanzania to Kenya. Safari-goers who wish to see the Big 5 – elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino – can visit Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and adventurous holidaymakers can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, or simply view the wild animals of the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.
Madagascar is an Indian Ocean island set off the southeast coast of Africa known for its fascinating animal species, beaches and its breathtaking natural setting. Travellers can visit the vibrant city of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. In the city, you’ll discover a world of cuisine, history and culture. Top attractions include Parc de Tsarasaotra, a private park home to some of the most beautiful birds of Madagascar, the royal palace of Rova of Antananarivo, and the island’s World Heritage Sites – the rainforests of the Atsinanana, the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga – an ancient burial site – and the Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve. Wildlife experiences on offer include whale watching on the island of Île Sainte-Marie, and lemur spotting at Isalo National Park, the Anja Reserve and Andringitra National Park. For the ultimate beach getaway, you can head to Nosy Be – an island off the coast of Madagascar where you can spend your days sunbathing and swimming. You can catch a boat to Nosy be from Madagascar.
Zambia is another one of Africa’s must-visit safari destinations. With many national parks located in the country, a variety of thrilling game viewing activities can be enjoyed while on holiday. For an extraordinary safari experience, you can book a holiday at South Luangwa National Park. The park is home to one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. The wild animals that roam the park include lions and leopards, as well as elephants, hippo, buffalo, zebra, and over 400 species of birds. Zambia is also home to the renowned Victoria Falls. This spectacular natural landmark is the perfect spot for outdoor enthusiasts, and activities that be enjoyed at the falls include white water rafting, bungee jumping off the Victoria Falls bridge, and microlight flights over the waterfall. If you’d like to explore Zambia’s wildlife by boat, you can explore the waters of Lake Kariba – the largest man-made lake in the world – on a cruise. From the boat, you’ll be able to see hippos and crocodiles. For an ell-encompassing experience of Lake Kariba, you can book a houseboat holiday, where you can spend your days fishing and game viewing.
This African kingdom is a must-visit if you wish to see and explore lush green hills and mountains, and marvel at the blue skies of a true African gem. One of the best places to experience the natural beauty of Lesotho is at Tse’hlanyane National Park – the largest park in the country. Set in the Maloti Mountains, the national park is home to an abundance of fauna and flora, wild flowers and one of Lesotho’s few indigenous woodlands. While visiting the park, you can make a stop at Maliba Lodge, a luxury lodge in the park known for its five-star dining. At Maliba, you can enjoy a meal or a drink at the restaurant and bar, which boasts a superb view of the Tse’hlanyane National Park Valley. Travellers in Lesotho can add a trip to Maletsunyane Falls to their itinerary. The 192-metre-high waterfall is one of the highest single dropping waterfalls in Africa. The walk along the Maletsunyane River to the waterfall is scenic, and at the end of your walk, you can swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls. Other must-do activities in Lesotho include pony trekking, hiking in various parts of the country, a Sani Pass 4×4 day trip, and a visit to the ‘Highest Pub in Africa’ at Sani Mountain Lodge.