10 Must See African Countries to Visit

Introduction

Africa is the world’s second largest continent with 54 countries and a population of 1.2 billion people.  With so many countries and sights to see such as ancient cities, safaris, and gorgeous beaches, it can be tough to decide where to visit first. Read on find out about Bucket List Traveler’s Top 10 African countries to visit!

10) Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has eight main national parks, with the largest being, Hwange National Park.  The most visited tourist destination is The Victoria Falls National Park, which is the world’s largest sheet of falling water measured by height and width.

Zimbabwe has large number of medieval era city ruins built using dry stone style which is unique in Africa.  The Great Zimbabwe ruins in Masvingo is the most well known example of these ruins.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

9) Namibia

Located in southern Africa, Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa. This country is known for its many lodges and reserves that accommodate eco-tourism. Some top places to visit include Etosha Pan, Caprivi Strip, Sossusvlei, Skeleton Coast Park, and the capital city of Windhoek.

Namibian Desert near Windhoek
Sable Antelope in Bwabwata National Park, Namibia

8) Rwanda

Located in central Africa, Rwanda is lush with rainforests, volcanoes, and waterfalls. This is one of the many African countries with a vast array of wildlife to see. One of the most popular animals to observe are the mountain gorillas. More top destinations include Volcanoes National Park, Nyungwe Forest National Park, Akagera National Park, and Lake Kivu.

Tea Fields, Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda

7) Uganda

Tourist attractions in Uganda include national parks, game reserves, and tropical forests. However, the main reason to visit Uganda is for the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is cheaper than in Rwanda and safer than in Congo. Other top destinations in Uganda include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kibaale National Park.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Rollings hills of Uganda

6) Botswana

Botswana is famous for the Okavango Delta, a swampy inland delta. Other popular sites include the UNESCO world heritage site and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Safari lodging options range from luxury lodges and safari camps, to budget camping grounds. Top destinations include Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Chobe National Park, and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Okavango Delta, Botswana
Chobe National Park, Botswana

5) South Africa

South Africa offers wide variety of sights to tour including game reserves, diverse cultural heritage, picturesque landscapes, and highly regards wine regions.  Wildlife is in abundance. This country is home to the “big five” along with adorable colonies of penguins.

Popular destinations include Kruger National Park, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, Cradle of Humankind, the wine routes of the Western Cape, and much more.

Penguins at Boulders Beach, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

4) Egypt

Egypt is rich with ancient wonders to explore. It’s one of the most famous and historic African countries. Top site to visit include the Great Pyramids of Giza, Abu Simbel Temples, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, and much, much more.

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor, Egypt

3) Tanzania

Located in East Africa, Tanzania has 16 National Parks, 29 Game Reserves, and 40 conservation areas. About 38% of the country is set aside for conservation purposes. As a result, a wide variety of wildlife and geological features can be found here.One popular site is Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet above sea level.

Aside from visiting the plethora safari destinations, Tanzania also has beautiful beach resort destinations located on the historically significant Zanzibar.  Popular tourist destinations include Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Selous Game Reserve, and Lake Manyara National Park.

Giant Baobab Trees in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Traditional Sailboat in Zanzibar, Tanzania

2) Morocco

Morocco is a country with many ancient cities and historical sites. It’s home to landscapes that vary drastically from one region to the next. Vast deserts contrast with the forested Atlas mountains and Mediterranean coastlines. Morocco has a long history of being under various empires, colonies, or protectorates such as the Phoenicians, Romans, French, Spanish and even some ports being controlled by the Portuguese.

As a result of all the shifting cultural influences over the centuries, Morocco offers a slew of delicious Middle Eastern-European fusion foods.  And, of course, a trip to Morocco is not complete until the you’ve tried the tagine and gone on a camel ride in the desert with an over night stay at a berber camp.

Merzouga Desert Camel Ride to Berber Camp
Marrakech, Morocco

1) Kenya

One of the more affordable Safari destinations, Kenya has some of the best national parks and reserves for seeing a variety of wildlife including the “Big Five”.  Top areas for going on Safari are the Masai Mara, Samburu, Amboseli, Tsavo East, and Lake Nakuru National Parks.

The landscapes throughout the country vary greatly between grassland savannas, deserts, mountains, rain forest, and tropical beaches. One of the best travel experiences in the world is taking a hot air balloon ride over the great wildebeest migration at Masai Mara National Reserve.

Zebras in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Elephant in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Honorable Mention:

As Mentioned in the beginning of the blog, African is a sweeping continent made up of a whooping 54 countries. This list is only a sample of what African has to offer. Here are a few more that are also amazing to visit:

  • Seychelles
  • Madagascar
  • Ethiopia

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Comments

  1. Aleks says

    South Africa is hard to beat is you going for a self-driving safari. Roads are great, rentals are cheap, guides are available if you need them, and country is very safe, plus no immunization is needed.
    You can add Swaziland to you list if visiting SAR.
    Personally I would move Egypt in front of many on your list if visiting for purposes of combining great historical and architectural wonders with natural ones (desert, Red sea, Nile, etc.) From what I’ve seen it is much richer than Morocco for example. For above reasons you can consider Tunisia instead of Morocco, plus much better services.

  2. KK says

    Nice article… but it should also mention viability to visit as tourists. The author should also weigh-in the transportation logistics getting to their destinations. Not every destination is served by safe reputable airlines.

    Zimbabwe is politically and financially unstable and in some urban areas, it’s just not safe. Tanzania is homophobic and uses Shariah law when it’s applicable to their favor. Namibia is still reeling from racial inequality from colonial days and their land expropriation rules are implemented too slowly.

    Please do your research and value your safety before going.

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