From safaris and wildlife adventures to culinary tours and luxury beach vacations, Africa offers so many different travel experiences it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve rounded up a list of our favorite African adventures, put these at the top of your bucket list.
1. Spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park in South Africa
If you have yet to experience the thrill of coming face to face with a lion on a wildlife safari, then this experience should be at the top of your bucket list. South Africa’s Kruger National Park has become a top destination for travelers who dream of spotting the big five (lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo, and rhinos). Whether you enjoy luxury or like to travel more affordably, there are many ways to experience a safari in South Africa.
2. Marvel at Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe
One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Victoria Falls are wider than Niagara and higher than Iguazú – and have more activities to offer than both of them combined. You can simply admire the view of these breathtaking falls, or get an adrenaline fix by rafting or bungee jumping above the Zambezi.
3. Track Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda
There are fewer than 900 mountain gorillas in existence, and gorilla trekking provides a rare opportunity to observe the everyday interactions of these gentle, mysterious primates. Since these critically endangered creatures can’t survive in captivity, the only way to see them is by trekking up to their natural habitat: misty cloud forests that can reach altitudes of 14,763 feet.
4. Hike Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest point, one of the Seven Summits, and the world’s highest freestanding mountain. Scaling the 19,341-foot dormant volcano requires no technical skills and climbers with a moderate level of fitness and a positive attitude have a good chance of success. The trek is grueling, but the views are spectacular and the physical and mental challenge and achievement will be a point of pride forever.
Kenya neighbors Tanzania, and is another place in Africa you should consider visiting. Here are our favorite places to visit in Kenya.
5. Explore the Sahara Desert by Camel in Morocco
The Sahara Desert is mostly impassible due to its unfriendly climate and frequent sand storms. Luckily, there is an access point to from the northern edge of Morocco in the town of Zagora. From here, take a camel safari into the dunes, camp out for the night, and let the local Saharawi men entertain you with drums and singing around the campfire while gazing at the stars.
6. Scuba Dive in Lake Malawi in Malawi
Lake Malawi is one of the largest lakes in the world and was recently recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Its incredible biodiversity is comparable to the Galapagos and contains 13,000 species of tropical fish – more than any in the world. Here are five more great places to Scuba dive around the world.
7. Explore the Okavango Delta in Botswana
The Okavango Delta is the ultimate African safari destination, with breathtaking scenery and some of the best wildlife on the continent. A World Heritage Site, this vast and virtually untouched freshwater wetland lies at the heart of Botswana’s arid Kalahari Desert and supports an abundance of wildlife within a setting of dazzling natural beauty.
8. Relive History at the Great Pyramids of Egypt
This really needs no introduction. As one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the pyramids are the most iconic landmark in Egypt – and perhaps one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. Built between 2700-2500 BC, these 4500-year-old tombs are a marvel to see in person.
9. Relax in the Seychelles
Suspended in the Indian Ocean, miles east of Kenya and north of Madagascar, is the 115-island archipelago known as the Seychelles. There are few places on earth that are more isolated and beautiful than this heavenly cluster of islands. With pristine beaches, unabashed natural beauty and wildlife, the Seychelles are the ultimate romantic escape.
10. Visit Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater was created when a volcano exploded 3 million years ago, causing the land to collapse 600 meters. It is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera, and was named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Approximately 25,000 animals live in the crater and it is one of the best places in Tanzania to see the critically endangered black rhino.