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8 Best Places To Go In Africa And What To Do There

Over the last two decades, the global travel market has exploded. Travel has become the #1 consumption interest for an entire generation, and the entire world’s hospitality industries have been rewarded for it.

Areas once seen as no-go zones like Columbia and Cambodia have in recent years become thriving tourist destinations. Travelers are increasingly stepping out of their comfort zone and abandoning the cookie-cutter hotels and cruises in favor of more memorable experiences and unique destinations.

While the rest of the world has seen a boom in tourism, one substantial area of the world is still gradually growing in its appeal – Africa. The beautiful cradle of humanity has experienced a great deal of political strife over the decades, making it a difficult place to travel in the past.

Today, however, Africa offers some of the richest, and relatively untouched travel experiences available in the world – and it’s never been safer, nor more affordable and accessible.


Africa is a massive continent with a rich and vibrant mix of cultures and regions – this article will touch on 8 of the best among them.

1. Uganda

Like most of its neighbors, Uganda had a tumultuous history in the 1900s. Between 1970-1990, the country underwent significant political strife, including nearly ten years of ruthless rule by dictator Idi Amin. Since then, however, the country has run democratically elected officials and has improved dramatically.

For more info on Uganda’s history and the dictator Idi Amin take a look at the History’s Article.

Although still one of the poorest countries in the world, Uganda shows a high degree of promise moving forward. It’s been a relatively politically stable place since the mid-90s. Uganda also hasn’t experienced any systemic violence or upheaval in that time – despite countries like the DRC and Rwanda nearby threatening to destabilize the entire region.

In fact, Uganda is largely a very safe place to visit and explore. The Ugandan police have made significant strides in crime reduction, and political instability and strife are typically relegated to the more remote areas.

Despite the country’s problems, Uganda is generally a safer place to travel than many top travel destinations.

The small country is one of the best places to take great pictures in Africa, featuring the stunning Rwenzoris (Africa’s tallest mountain range), the source of the Nile. Uganda is famous for being one of the few places you can see the world’s last mountain gorillas in their natural habitat – as iconic a tracking and mesmerizing experience as you’ll find anywhere in the world.

If you’re looking for an adventure so memorable you’ll remember it for the rest of your life, start with a plane ticket to Jamhuri ya Uganda. 

Love Uganda and want to see more photos? Check out my personal photography I’ve taken in Africa here..

2. Namibia

As a member of the southern African block of countries, Namibia has long been one of the wealthiest and most politically stable countries in Africa. Namibia still has a lot to offer, despite political turmoil in recent years making it a slightly less appealing destination than its immediate neighbors to the right and south. It is largely a safe place to explore.

Namibia has often described as “Africa for beginners.”  Much like South Africa and Botswana, Namibia offers a lot of benefits to first-time travelers to the continent. Good infrastructure, good mobile data, English-speaking locals, and amazing weather makes it a very accessible place to start.

Namibia is first and foremost famous for its deserts, dunes, canyons and national parks. Cushioned between the Sossusvlei and the Kalahari desert, Namibia offers a healthy mix of safari (including all Big 5 animal tracking), and desert adventure travel. Namibia is a popular destination for self-drive safaris, providing travelers with this incredible experience at very reasonable costs compared to the other more famous East Africa safaris.

The sub-Saharan also offers a unique colonial history, starting as a German colony before gaining independence during a Southern African revolution. A trip to the country will take you everywhere from riding buggies in some of the world’s largest sand-dunes, to exploring old Germanic colonial homesteads from the Bismarck era. 

Oh, and pack some moisturizer – Namibia is the driest country in Africa.

3. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a singularly unique nation in the continent of Africa. It’s 100 million+ population comes from history as rich as you’ll find anywhere in the world. Ethiopia has the earliest evidence of homo sapiens, and some of the most powerful empires of early-modern human history started in this land – once known the world over, as Abyssinia.

Ethiopia shares a unique history, with rich cultural and historical traditions of its own. It is perhaps only matched by Egypt as a country that doesn’t share the same colonial roots as most of its neighbors. As a result, Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa that speaks its own language (Amharic) and has an extremely unique and rich culture, cuisine, and history. Ethiopia has one of the largest and most developed economies in all of Africa.

The country smack dab in the middle of the Horn of Africa features historic tourism you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Take a stroll through Lalibela – once known New Jerusalem – and experience some of the untouched early days of Christianity. Explore some of the glorious 400-year-old, fully preserved castles in Gonder. Take a trip to the Simien National Park to experience wildlife that’s unique to the region- especially land monkeys.

Ethiopia offers the intrepid traveler incredible histories, beautiful landscapes & bustling cities to explore. Amongst them, Ethiopia’s Omo Valley – one of the most remote parts of this breathtaking country, filled with incredible indigenous cultures.

Want beautiful Africa photography prints? Check out my gallery collection here

4. Mauritius

“Heaven was copied after Mauritius” – Mark Twain.

Where can you find Africa’s most developed economy, the highest standard of living, and the vastest array of biodiversity and natural life? 

Well, Mauritius, of course.

The tiny island nation off the coast of Madagascar is probably the best-kept secret in all of Africa. The country is characterized by low crime, high literacy rates, and one of the most open economies and democracies in the world. Mauritius is easily Africa’s crown jewel, in terms of social, economic and political success.

Much like it’s neighboring Madagascar, Mauritius shares close ties to India. Millions of laborers from India traveled through Mauritius during the British colonial slave trade, leaving their mark on the small island nation. Locals share many physical similarities to their Indian counterparts, and the culture shares much with the subcontinent. For example, the Appravasi Ghat, a UNESCO world heritage site that was once the immigration depot Indian slaves would land on during their travels. This hauntingly beautiful site reveals the troubled, yet hopeful history of Mauritius.

Mauritius is famed for its world-class beaches and resorts, but to spend more than a day or 2 at one of those is not doing the country justice. The real Mauritius is off the beaten paths – plantations, quiet fishing villages, and authentic wildlife experiences will transport you back in time to an era of pirates, ships & raw post-colonial history.

Want beautiful Africa photography prints? Check out my gallery collection here

5. Morocco

Start your day with homemade bread prepared in ways pioneered over 10,000 years ago. Then, go out and spend a few hours exploring the bustling street & spice markets, largely similar to the Arabic ports of commerce they heralded thousands of years ago. Finally, watch the sunset with a great book and a delicious local coffee in the same place Hemingway once sat and penned some of his finest works.

Welcome to Morocco.

While Islamist extremists threatened to tarnish the country’s reputation at the turn of the century, Morocco continues to be Africa’s top tourist destination – and for a reason. Travel through the beautifully authentic streets of Chefchaouen Medina, where iconic Islamic scholars and poets roamed. Spend your days exploring the bustling city of Casablanca, where modernization has hit the historic city in hard and unique ways. Leave the hustle and bustle of urban life to spend the weekend roaming the famous High Atlas mountains.

Oh – and prepare to sample some of the most exceptional cuisines you’ve ever experienced. 

Want beautiful Africa photography prints? Check out my gallery collection here

6. Kenya

Africa isn’t just wildlife, nature & tribal history. It’s also home to bustling international cities, and world-class educational institutions – to ignore those would not do justice to this incredible continent.

To get a well rounded African experience, look no further than Kenya. The relatively tiny country is not only home to large numbers of the Masaai people – one of the oldest, organized groups of people on the planet. It’s also the home to one of the world’s most bustling high-tech scenes. This includes the founding of M-Pesa, the company to pioneer mobile payments technology globally.

Spend your trip exploring the hipster bars, beautiful cafes, and make sure to try the famous Kenuan grilled meat- the delicious Nyama Choma. Take a tour around enlightening museums of Nairobi, before heading on some of the most exquisite hikes you can find anywhere in the world in Mt. Kenya. And of course, finish off the trip exploring Kenya’s natural parks and safari wildlife – home to the largest mass migrations in the world, and the best view of Elephants you’ll find anywhere.

7. Lesotho

Ask around about Lesotho, and at best, you might hear, “oh, it’s that country.” Yes – it’s that country – the only country in the world that’s completely landlocked by one single other country – South Africa. It spends more time as the answer to an obscure trivia question, than as a tourist destination.

So if you’re looking for a truly a once in a lifetime travel experience, then this is the place to do it.

The country of Lesotho is less than 3-4 hours drive from Johannesburg – it’s democratic, extremely safe, and tiny. It’s also the highest country in the world. The country’s lowest point rests an absurd 4500 feet above sea level. It features some of the most epic mountain ranges you can imagine, all at eye-level from the moment you leave the airport. You could easily spend an entire day just driving around and enjoying the landscapes.

End your day with a hearty meal of stew and pap-pap, followed by a beer with the locals. The local Basotho are some of the friendliest and most welcoming people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

Want beautiful Africa photography prints? Check out my gallery collection here

8. Botswana

What country are we describing? One of the fastest-growing economies in the world with a GDP per capita similar to Turkey, one of the five safest countries globally by crime rate and one of the highest human development ratings in the world, what do you have in mind?

You’re probably not thinking of a country in Africa. And you are certainly not thinking of a country immediately neighboring countries like Zimbabwe and South Africa which suffer from so much violence, economic & political instability.

We are, of course, speaking on Botswana. Amidst all of Africa’s challenges, Botswana has been a shining light for decades. It features a strong democracy, progressive values, and one of the largest stretches of untouched preserved nature you’ll find anywhere in the world. Botswana is so rigidly protective of its wildlife, the vast majority of its land has been conserved at the expense of economic development. The (rather well-equipped) Botswana military is tasked full-time on stopping poachers.

Botswana features the largest elephant population in the world; there is simply no better place on Earth to have an incredible safari self-drive. The locals are all highly literate, thanks to free education programs, and will gladly help guide you through this magnificent African heartland.

Oh, and did we mention it has the famous Kalahari desert smack dab within its borders?

There you have it – the eight best places to visit in Africa. There has never been a better time to visit the amazing continent. Most places are safe for travelers, yet remain relatively untouched so you can avoid the tourist crowds. It also features biodiversity and landscapes that the rest of the world simply can’t match.

Want to visit landscapes that rival Iceland, see flora and fauna that rival the Amazon, and experience history that rivals the Middle East?

Welcome to Africa.
Check out some beautiful images of the above countries and more here.

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