The 15 Best Places to Visit in Africa

by | Africa

Feb 4, 2023

In Africa, we are fortunate enough to enjoy and live around many beautiful places, so I have provided a simple breakdown of Africa’s best places to visit.

From the Mountains of Ras Ben Sakka in Tunisia to the tabletop mountains of Cape Town in South Africa and the Peninsula of Dakar, Senegal, to the Horn of Africa in Somalia, Africa is indeed a land of diverse beauty, cultures, and languages. 

The African continent remains one of the most diverse and heterogeneous continents in the world. Africa remains home to beautiful national parks such as the famous Yankari National Park in Bauchi Northern Nigeria and Kruger National Park in South Africa, amongst a host of many others as well as an array of cultures, cuisines, and languages.

However, amid her exhilarating beauty and the yumminess of culture which Africa possesses, the question of where to go always arises in the mind of would-be tourists, which is why this article is meant to serve as a Pathfinder. 

We will be focusing on some countries as a whole and certain cities within the countries as well for the sake of emphasis. 

Here are the 15 best places to visit in Africa.

1. Namibia

Namibia is a country that possesses so much awesome and wonderful experiences. It is one of the few places in the world where the Desert meets the ocean along the coastal region. 

It is filled with many sceneries and sights to soothe the stressed tourists seeking time away from the crowds and din of overpopulated cities like Lagos, Johannesburg, and even Cairo. 

An adventure on the sand dunes would leave every tourist with an experience that is worthwhile. 

Namibia is the dwelling place of the second-largest canyon in the world, called the Fish River Canyon. 

Read: The Top 10 Safest Countries to Visit in Africa

2. Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is also fondly called The Pearl of Africa by Tourists and admirers. It has one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. It offers many spectacular and exciting surprises.  

Many countries in Central and South East Africa border the lake. The greater part of the lake is in Tanzania and Uganda and is also situated on the border with Kenya. Tourists from the Tanzania or Ugandan borders mostly access it. 

There are also several tour outfits operating around the lake regardless of which side of the border of the lake you might be staying on during the course of your holidays. 

Lake Victoria is also home to over two hundred species of fish, which can be enjoyed fresh and grilled at any of the exquisite hotels and restaurants situated along the Lake at any time of the day. 

3. Ugunja or Zanzibar Islands, Tanzania

Not many people know that another name for Zanzibar is Ugunja. For this article’s sake, we shall call it the Zanzibar islands. Zanzibar is an archipelago of other small islands. It is about 35km from mainland Tanzania. 

Zanzibar is also a semi-autonomous Island. It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities outside mainland Africa. It has experienced a lot of cultural and social influence from the Arabs, Swahilis, Indians, and even Europeans but most especially Portuguese. It is not surprising to find a good number of third and fourth-generation Indians on the Island. 

Take a tour around Stone Town, where historical structures such as the House of Wonders, an 1883 palace for the Sultanate of Zanzibar, and UNESCO world heritage sites, amongst other exciting sights to behold. 

The Indians and Swahili mostly influence the cuisines. Zanzibar cuisines also have a mixture of Arabian and Persian cultures. It is not surprising to find original Arab and Persian cuisines on the menu in most restaurants and hotels in the city. 

Read: The Best Tourist Destinations In Africa

4. Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Egypt - Best Places to Visit in Africa

Cairo is one of the megalopolis cities in Africa and the largest in the Arab world. 

As a tourist in Cairo, you would be amazed at the chains of luxury hotels and restaurants in the city. Cairo also offers tourists and visitors an opportunity to see the ever-flowing Nile River slithering along its majestic bank and to eat in one of the riverside side restaurants. Tourist attractions also include a boat ride down the river. 

The most synonymous theme associated with the city is the pyramids of Giza just outside the ancient city. The pyramids remain one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and people come from far and near to see them. 

It is commonly said that a tourist visit to Egypt is only complete with a tour of the Pyramids of Giza. So if you’re visiting Egypt, add the Pyramids of Giza to your bucket list of places.

5. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town also called the Coastal Gem, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Africa and the world at large. It is positioned on the coast of South Africa, one of the southernmost places in Africa. And is home to the Table Mountains, which provide stunning and immaculate views of the city and ocean. 

Cape Town is one of the triple capitals of the nation of South Africa. It is the seat of the South African parliament, with the others being Bloemfontein and Pretoria. 

Capetown is also famous for its Sun, Sea, and Scenery. 

Capetown also includes the famous green market square, Lion’s head peak, Bo-Kaap, and the Table mountain national park. 

A visit to Capetown is not also not complete without checking one of the many world class-restuarants and visiting some of her finest wine cellars, and tasting some vintage wine.

Capetown is also on the side of history, like the famous Robben Island, where the Late Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life behind bars. The prison is now a UNESCO World Heritage site since the year 1999. 

Read: 10 Romantic Weekend Getaways in Africa

6. Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis, as fondly called by Ethiopians, is one of the highest capital in the world; situated at over 2665 meters above sea level and primes itself as the political capital of Africa, possibly as a result of the headquarters of the African Union there. 

It has endeared itself on the path of history ever since it was founded by the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in 1892 as the rallying point for all Ethiopians. 

It isn’t just a city of Political influence. It is also the symbol of Ethiopian unity despite the diverse and multicultural nature of the People of Ethiopia. Many calls it the Cosmopolis of Africa as almost everyone from all part of Africa is represented in the city. 

From the bustle of Addis-Ababa to the countryside, we have the Blue Nile Falls, one of the most exciting sights to see in the country, and the many ancient ruins and historical sites such as Lalibela, St. George Church, etc.

Ethiopia is indeed a land of wonders and cultural richness. 

7. Seychelles

Seychelles is one of the most beautiful Archipelagic countries in the world. It comprises several tropical islands and is over 800km from mainland Africa. 

Seychelles is endowed with pristine coral reefs, numerous beaches, and nature reserves.

A visit to Seychelles should include an experience at her beautiful beaches and a memorable stay at one of her many resorts. If you’re in Seychelles, Mahe Island is among the most gorgeous places to visit in Africa. The Island is family-friendly, and it’s the ideal place to spend your vacation.

8. Marrakesh, Morocco

Marrakech, or Marrakesh, is also called the city of Luxury due to its numerous gardens, palaces, hotels, luxury spas, and triads (Traditional Houses). The city offers a glimpse into everyday life in North Africa. It is also one of the four imperial cities of the kingdom of Morocco. 

Medina is home to a lot of tourists during their stay in the city as she boosts a lot of hotels and beautiful landscapes designed with Arabian and Western concepts in mind. 

It is one of the most colorful cities you would ever visit as it has a lot of colorful structures along its skyline. 

Marrakech also has a sprawling and bustling market where trinkets and souvenirs can be purchased for a good bargained price. 

Marrakesh and even Morocco at large have a lot of Western cultures infused with her Arab heritage, thereby giving it a desirable blend that makes it a good tourism destination and also owing to its closeness to Europe. 

9. Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi is also one of the remarkable places to visit in Africa. The city is the cosmopolis city in Kenya and is also called the Safari Capital of Africa due to the nearby Nairobi National Park.

Nairobi also means the Land of Cool Waters in the original Maasai Language. 

Nairobi has its National Park, where tourists and locals can find Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, and other wildlife. The statue of Jomo Kenyatta can also be found in the city; there is the Nairobi city Mall, Anniversary towers, KICC auditorium, and even the Times tower. 

According to Wikipedia, Nairobi has two informal nicknames—the “Green City in the Sun,” derived from the city’s foliage and warm climate, and the name Safari Capital of the World, which is earned because of its prominence as a hub for safari tourism.

It is a city built from scratch to accommodate British trade and Political interests in East and Central Africa. 

Read: Top 10 List of African Foods and Their Countries

10. Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali is a prototype of the future of African cities. Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda. Some urban enthusiasts have called it the Dubai of Africa as a result of its well-paved, clean roads and well-planned and administered city. 

Kigali has been making efforts over the past few years to make become the Silicone valley of Africa due to her enabling ICT ecosystem. A visit to the Genocide Memorial would help you understand how it has wriggled itself out of the bloodshed of the past into becoming one of Africa:s top tourism destinations. 

Kigali is also becoming a thriving art scene, as evidenced by the budding Rwandan Film Festival, which is becoming globally recognized. 

There are many iconic places to visit in Africa that bring to life every page of African history, and Kigali, Rwanda, is definitely one of them.

11. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, fondly called Eko, is the sixth most populous city on earth and the most populated in Africa. Lagos is the most populous city in Nigeria, closely followed by the city of Kano. Her status as Africa’s Entertainment and Cultural Capital is not in dispute. 

Lagos is one of Nigeria’s best cities and one of the best places to visit in Africa. The state is also Nigeria’s commercial and financial capital and, to a very good extent, a financial giant in the Sub-Saharan region. It is also the chief Port City of Nigeria, and all Major banks and institutions have their head offices there. 

Lagos is home to almost all genres of music ranging from Highlife to Afro Pop, RnB to Fuji, Hip Pop, etc. It is also the base of the Nigerian film industry, popularly called Nollywood. It is also the location for some of the world’s largest church auditoriums, such as the Winners Chapel, Redemption Camp, Etc. 

Lagos is an ever-bubbling city; from the waves at Elegushi Beach in Oniru to New African Shrine in Ikeja, there is always an entertaining reason to be awake. It has been said that Lagos doesn’t sleep as the city is always awake. 

A tour around the city would include a visit to notable places such as the National Theatre Iganmu, The Cathedral Church of Christ in Marina, Tafawa Balewa Square, Freedom Park, etc. 

It has been said in some quarters that Lagos summarises Africa.  

12. Cape Verde

Cape Verde, or Cabo Verde, is one of the best places you should visit in Africa. It is a country off the coast of West Africa and consists of 10 volcanic islands, and has a strong Portuguese heritage and influence.

Cape Verde has stunning scenery, good year-round weather, all-inclusive resorts, white sandy beaches, and friendly locals are some of the main reasons people visit. 

The locals are said to be skillful in the business of hospitality as the country is said to be poor in natural resources. 

13. Tunisia

Tunisia has a lot to offer when it comes to tourism, and the Capital, Tunis, is a good example. A visit to Tunisia would afford you an opportunity to bask in the Mediterranean, marvel at the historical archeological sites, and trudge through the hot sand of the Sahara. 

The market affords you an opportunity to buy everyday Carthage items at a reasonable price. 

Hospitality is very common with Tunisians as they are known the world over for it. It has the Sidi Bou Said for tourists and is one of the most visited places in Africa. 

Read: 15 Countries With The Most Beautiful Women In Africa

14. Ghana

The Gold Coast, as Ghana used to be formerly called, is a land of rich cultural diversity and warm people. 

Ghana is a land filled with lots of tourist attractions. There are several places to visit, such as the Kintampo falls, Tagbo Falls, El-mina Castle, and Cape Coast. Ghana has a good nightlife like Lagos, even though it is not as lively as the latter. 

Ghana is the place to be, and we say Akwaaba!

15. Dakar, Senegal

Dakar is the capital of Senegal and the most populated city in the country. It is said to be the cultural and commercial nerve center in French-speaking West Africa. 

It has the Dakar beaches, the Leopold Senghors memorial, and the largest statue in Africa. There is also the Museum of African art as well as the Medina Mosque. 

Dakar is indeed the black beauty of Africa. This is one of the most popular historical places to visit in Africa.

Factors to Consider While Planning Your Trip to Africa

If this is your first time taking a trip to Africa or traveling within Africa, then there are things you need to understand about Africa itself as you plan to visit these best places in Africa. The continent is huge and diverse in terms of people, culture, and religion. 

So, you should make your choice of places to visit based on your own individual belief to avoid conflict in areas such as Religion and Culture. 

It would be best to make adequate arrangements as to how to connect with the various cities of your chosen destinations. 

It is advisable to make proper arrangements with reputable airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, South African Airways, and Rwandan Airways, amongst others, to avert delays and ensure a seamless connection. 

Most importantly, keep an open mind, and respect the people, and you will enjoy their hospitality. 

Bottom Line

As you have seen, just like other continents, Africa has a pretty diverse mix of sights that you must see on your first visit. We hope that after knowing about places to visit in and around Africa, you will be excited to visit these places soon. So, plan a trip to Africa today and head to these spectacular bubbling destinations.

By Lonely Africa Editors

The Lonely Africa Team covers everything about Africa. Our team of experts provides in-depth analysis that helps you understand complex topics on the African continent.

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