Africa is the second most populous continent in the world and is home to over 1.1 billion people, as well as a great number of nationalities, languages and cultures. Among the conflict and poor countries are quite peaceful, safe and interesting for tourists. Many travelers are familiar with countries like South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. In this article we’ll tell you about the places where you can spend your time pleasantly south of the Sahara.
1. Sierra Leone .
Perhaps the most unexpected state on this list is Sierra Leone, which not so long ago was torn apart by civil war for ten years. Since 2002, however, Sierra Leone has changed dramatically and is now one of the most peaceful countries in the Global Security Index (GPI). Sierra Leone is considered to be one of the most religiously tolerant countries in the world, and the life expectancy of the local population is 57 years, which is not bad by African standards.
Sierra Leone has many beautiful nature reserves, such as the Gala rain forest or the Autamba Kilimi National Park, clean beaches on the Atlantic coast, and its capital, Freetown, is the oldest city in West Africa.
A leader in security on the African continent. Whether it’s because peace and tranquility is one of the main traits of both the Tswana and the Bushmen, or because the Botswana understand the economic contribution of tourists, but either way there is a very low crime rate.
No one, however, does not promise that you will not be attacked by baboons, so during the safari it is recommended not to feed these belligerent monkeys and not even smile at them. In general, animals in Botswana is very abundant; for example, the largest population of elephants in the world lives here.
One of the popular tourist attractions, along with a safari in the Kalahari Desert and visit to national parks, even with the 30s of last century is the search for ancient treasures hidden from the colonizers in the caves Gchvihaba. The treasure has not yet been found, but the caves themselves, with amazing stalactites up to 10 meters long, are worth the trip to the north for the sake of them.
Ghana was ranked as the safest country in Africa by the Global Security Index in 2008 and has held the top position ever since. The country has few internal conflicts and peaceful relations with its neighbors. People here are very friendly with tourists and speak English, which is the official language of Ghana.
You can visit the numerous nature reserves with elephants, antelopes, monkeys and other exotic animals, visit the ruins of castles and fortresses of Cape Coast and Elmina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and spend time on clean beaches.
This country in Southwest Africa is an oasis of stability and security in the turbulent black continent. It was discovered quite late (in 1878) by Europeans, quickly emerged from all internal and external conflicts and is now one of the richest African countries.
Here is the oldest desert on earth – Namib, the legendary Skeleton Coast, many national parks, the site of the fall of the largest meteorite Hob, the second largest canyon after the Colorado Canyon, and much more. Don’t miss: 15 of the most spacey places on Earth
Namibia has good highways, and The Desert Express tourist train runs between the capital city of Windhoek and the resort town of Swakopmund, making stops at particularly notable places along the way.
Uganda is considered by both the GPI and public tourist opinion to be a safe country for foreigners. This may be due to the fact that it is not customary here for vendors and beggars to harass people, perhaps because the percentage of urban population in the country is only 13% and the main attractions are not in the villages.
Tourists in Uganda have a lot to see: one of the oldest in Africa Queen Elizabeth National Park, botanical garden Entebbe, where the first movie about Tarzan was filmed, the mountain range Ruwenzori – most likely, they were called the Moon Mountains by ancient Egyptians. There is sailing on Lake Victoria and rafting on the Nile, which originated in Uganda.
While the locals here do not cause much trouble for tourists, you have to be careful with the animals, especially if you see an elephant with a baby elephant. By the way, Uganda is located on the main migration route of the northern birds: eagles, cuckoos, swallows, kites and many other birds we are used to see here in winter.
6. Cape Verde
Cape Verde or Cape Verde Islands – an archipelago off the west coast of Africa. Tranquility, peacefulness, relative cleanliness and reasonable level of service (European companies are invested in the local tourism) await tourists here, in the homeland of the famous singer Cesaria Évora.
The islands have enough picturesque landscapes: extinct volcanoes, mountain ranges, where you can do tracking, blooming meadows, which is worth simply strolling. But the main feature of Cape Verde, of course, is the ocean – it is used to its full potential: from beaches with black volcanic sand, continuing to dive to the sites of shipwrecks and ending with windsurfing, which schools are on every island, but they are especially famous island Sal.
Kenya, the country of the Maasai tribe and the calling card of the real African nature is very beautiful, friendly and touristy. Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain on the continent after Kilimanjaro. Throughout the country you can watch schools of migrating birds, and the view of the highest mountain in Africa (Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania) from Kenya’s Amboseli Park, perhaps even better than the view from the mountain itself. See also: The Charm of the African Continent. Magical Kenya.
The people of Tanzania are friendly and smiling, but like everywhere else, travelers shouldn’t let their guard down – there are plenty of muggers. But in Tanzania there are still many tourists who travel here without fear. Here, in the homeland of Freddie Mercury, there is a lot to see.
Firstly volcano Kilimanjaro, to the top of which there are numerous hiking trails. Secondly, the island of Zanzibar – a resort area, where the beautiful Stone City, founded by the Arabs in the IX century. From here go on tours for spices, during which you can cut cinnamon and try strange spices. Third, the famous Serengeti National Park, which covers a huge area and is home to more than three million large wild animals.
Fourth, the Ngorongoro Biosphere Reserve, located in the colossal (21 km in diameter) crater of an extinct volcano. It is home to about 25 thousand different animals and has the highest concentration of predators in Africa.
Madagascar is a separate continent in miniature: so it looks like neither Africa nor any other place on earth. It has amazing landscapes, and 80% of the animals and plants found nowhere else.
The island has many natural parks and protected areas. The largest reserve is Cingy de Bemaraha, which, like many others, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country is rich with beautiful beaches, and it is traditionally considered safer to swim on the west coast – there are fewer sharks. Take a look at this: 6 endangered tourist spots
Zimbabwe is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa: it is here, on the border with Zambia is the famous Victoria Falls. In Zambia, by the way, there are fewer tourists, so those who prefer a more secluded setting are recommended to admire the wonder of nature there. It is definitely worth seeing: The most amazing places to swim in the world
Zimbabwe has a very good conservation structure and animals are unusually plentiful here even for Africa, so hunting is allowed in some places (almost everywhere else on the continent is already banned).
In addition to countless national parks, there is a unique historical site – the stone ruins of Greater Zimbabwe: a pagan temple complex built more than a thousand years ago.
Tourists going on a trip to Africa, be sure to do all vaccinations, their list is usually on the website of embassies. Even in those countries for which travel to vaccination is not required, you must take anti-malarial pills, and start taking them before your trip. It is strictly forbidden to drink raw water, even for brushing your teeth.
Are you going on a trip? Don’t forget about your insurance! Source: africaranking.com
Top 10 Countries to Visit in Africa
Representing much more than just the location of safaris, beaches and pyramids, Africa is the second largest and most populous continent on Earth.
All of the continent’s 54 countries and island nations boast their unique history, heritage and culture, and this is partly what makes traveling in Africa such a fascinating experience.
While beautiful beaches and rocky cliffs are found along long coastlines, Africa’s vast expanses cover everything from mountains and deserts to rainforests and the Nile River.
Around these diverse landscapes you’ll find amazing historic sites, secluded villages and vast metropolises.
Africa is home to so many different cultures and languages, and offers an intoxicating blend of old and new, as many of its age-old traditions and customs have survived to this day.
Known for its amazing wildlife, Africa’s outstanding natural beauty makes it interesting to explore, and the presence of fascinating historical and cultural sites means that there is something for everyone. Here is a list of 10 most interesting African countries:
Located in the southwest of the continent, Namibia is one of the most sparsely populated countries in Africa. This is because much of its territory consists of arid, desert landscapes and the unforgiving Namib Desert.
A former German colony, it only gained independence from South Africa in 1990, so some colonial-era architecture can still be seen in its capital, Windhoek.
However, most people visit Namibia’s magnificent national parks, which are home to incredible wildlife and stunningly beautiful landscapes.
For example, in Etosha National Park, you can see lions, elephants, and black rhinos roaming the Kalahari. Another popular tourist destination is the Skeleton Coast, where many eerie but strangely picturesque shipwrecks are scattered along the dangerous shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean.
Although often overlooked in favor of Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa, Namibia and its incredible national parks are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.
Long a popular tourist destination, Tunisia lies between Algeria and Libya on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa. Because of its incredible warm weather, attractive beaches and well-developed tourism industry, many Europeans come here to relax on the golden sands and swim in the sea.
Tunisia has much more than just sun, sea and sand: the country also abounds with impressive archaeological sites that date back thousands of years. That’s because throughout its history, it has been ruled by everyone from the Carthaginians, Romans and Ottomans to the Arabs and then the French.
Of its many historical sites, the stunning Roman amphitheater at El Djem and the remains and ruins of Carthage are the undoubted virtues of Tunisia.
In addition, it also has the Atlas Mountains for you, as well as the lively coastal towns of Sfax, Sousse and Tunis, its vibrant capital. If all that wasn’t enough, the endless sands of the Sahara will beckon you with their enchanting dunes, troglodyte dwellings and secluded desert oases.
Landlocked Uganda is not only the continent’s highest mountain range and the source of the Nile River, but also borders the largest lake in Africa.
Although its tourism industry and infrastructure are far less developed compared to neighboring Kenya and Tanzania, this makes Uganda’s spectacular landscapes even more intriguing to explore.
Uganda, long overlooked by visitors to the continent because of its turbulent and tragic past, is gradually regaining its title as the “Pearl of Africa.”
This is largely because it is one of only three countries in the world where you can see mountain gorillas in the wild. Watching the majestic creatures in the rainforest clouds of the Rwenzori Mountains is an amazing experience that is a must-see in Uganda.
In addition to trekking through the dense undergrowth, you can also go rafting on the Nile or go on safari to discover the Big Five. With so much stunning scenery and so much wildlife to see, it’s definitely worth a trip to Uganda before it becomes even more popular.
While Mauritius certainly takes some getting used to, visitors invariably come to marvel at the incredible beaches, mountains and waterfalls. Located more than 1,000 kilometers east of Madagascar, this amazing island and its remote location means it is home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the world.
Thus, trekking through its mountainous interior is truly a pleasure, as flocks of brightly colored birds circle above the rainforest canopy.
Hidden among the dense foliage, you’ll encounter steep and deep gorges as well as sparkling waterfalls. The island’s volcanic landscapes certainly create some of the most beautiful scenes imaginable.
Next to the inviting waters of the Indian Ocean are idyllic white sand beaches where you can relax. And there are plenty of fantastic scuba and snorkeling dives to take to the sea as well.
Because of its diverse population and unique cultural heritage, Mauritius is also known for its delicious and varied cuisine. You can sample some of its great French, Chinese or East African dishes in any of the tranquil fishing villages that dot the island’s shores.
There is so much to see and do in Tanzania that, at times, it is very difficult to know where to even begin. Only in the north of the country is the wonderful Ngorongoro Crater and the world-famous Serengeti, which are must-sees if you want to go on safari and see the Big Five.
Here you will also find the snowy Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Indeed, this amazing part of East Africa is blessed with many different landscapes, each one more spectacular than the last.
For example, its Indian Ocean coastline is surrounded by gorgeous beaches and the country’s largest and most vibrant city, Dar es Salaam. Not far from the coast you can also find the impressive archipelago of Zanzibar, which boasts many magnificent beaches and is itself a popular tourist destination.
Tanzania, one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse countries in Africa, is also home to some very important and impressive archaeological sites that date back thousands of years.
Due to the fact that Africa’s three Great Lakes are partly within its borders, Tanzania certainly has something special for everyone, whether it is history and traditions or culture and wildlife.
About 1,500 kilometers east of the African mainland, the Seychelles is the smallest and least densely populated country on the continent. The archipelago of 115 islands, the vast majority of which are uninhabited, is incredibly beautiful and surrounded by the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean.
While the paradisiacal islands are surrounded by magnificent beaches, their interior is rather mountainous and covered by lush tropical forest. Because of their remote location, they are home to many species of unique fauna and flora.
Most of the Seychelles islands are now nature reserves. Offshore, colorful coral reefs and an abundance of marine life make these islands an unforgettable place to dive or snorkel.
On Mahe, the largest of the islands, you can find many luxury resorts, bars and restaurants, as well as the capital, Victoria. From here, you can easily take a boat trip to some of the more secluded islands and beaches that are nearby.
A magical place to visit, Morocco is home to a bewitching array of beautiful old towns, medinas and souks. They are located along the country’s picturesque Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines or tucked away among the Saharan dunes and High Atlas Mountains.
The continent’s most northwestern country has long attracted different peoples and cultures to its shores, and its rich heritage now draws on African, Arab, Berber and Western influences.
This amazing diversity is on display wherever you go, with Essaouira, Fez, and Marrakech, for example, among the most popular tourist destinations.
In addition to exploring the lively Jemaa el-Fna and the magnificent mountain town of Chefchaouen, visitors can relax on one of the country’s beautiful beaches or head to the Sahara. Morocco is undoubtedly one of the most impressive countries to visit in Africa.
8. South Africa
Occupying the southernmost tip of the continent, South Africa boasts some of the best and most well-managed national parks and reserves in Africa. Of these, Kruger is by far the most famous and visited, and Addo Elephant National Park is also a very popular attraction.
Known as “Rainbow Nation” because of its multicultural population, South Africa’s cities are fascinating to visit because each has its own distinct look, feel and identity.
While Johannesburg is teeming with life, Cape Town is more laid-back in nature, and the stunning Table Mountain, near which the wonderful Stellenbosch wineries are located, opens up past it.
South Africa is not only the towering Drakensburg Mountains, but also the arid Kalahari Desert and the lush Garden Route. To top it all off, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts abound with stunning scenery and fabulous beaches. Many adventurers dive with great white sharks in the sea.
Kenya is one of the best places in the world to see wildlife, and for many people Kenya is the home of safaris. Its endless savannas and arid deserts teem with life, with lions, elephants and buffalo roaming along with herds of antelope, flocks of flamingos and rare black rhinos.
Its dramatic landscapes are also home to some of the continent’s most famous peoples and cultures, such as the Maasai, Kikuyu and Swahili, each with their own rich languages and traditions.
In contrast to their age-old way of life, in Kenya you can also find one of the continent’s most popular cities–its thriving and affluent capital, Nairobi.
Along with the open plains, Kenya is home to freshwater lakes and forests, and the Great Rift Valley stretches from north to south. Combined with the beautiful coastline of the Indian Ocean, all this makes Kenya one of the best countries to visit-not only in East Africa, but on the continent as a whole.
Famous for its ancient monuments and archaeological sites, including the pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and the Valley of the Kings, Egypt is unlike any other country on earth.
Once home to one of the world’s greatest civilizations and cultures, its history is on display everywhere you go, with tombs and temples lying alongside statues and obelisks, all looking very mysterious and enigmatic.
Located in the northeastern part of the continent, Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, with the Sahara Desert to its south and west. The Nile River flows through Egypt and is the source of the country’s life.
While many people come to see Egypt’s historical monuments or explore all that Cairo has to offer, others prefer to explore its fantastic Red Sea beaches. There is so much history and culture to dive into in Egypt, and so much stunning desert and coastal scenery.