20 Memorable Adventures in Africa

Africa, a continent of immense beauty and diversity, boasts landscapes ranging from vast savannahs to towering sand dunes. Known as the birthplace of humanity, it offers unique encounters with ancient cultures and diverse wildlife.

Choosing where to visit in Africa can be daunting, so here’s a guide to 20 must-see destinations. Discover breathtaking natural wonders, vibrant cities, and thrilling wildlife experiences.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro - What You Want to Know

You have a variety of options for reaching the summit, with routes spanning from 5 to 9 days, including the well-loved Machame Route. It’s important to choose an itinerary that matches your level of mountaineering experience.

During your journey, you’ll pass through diverse landscapes, including vibrant rainforests, serene alpine meadows, arid deserts, and awe-inspiring glaciers.

The ultimate reward awaits you at the summit – an unrivaled vista of Kibo’s volcanic crater and the profound sense of achievement that comes with conquering Kilimanjaro, often referred to as the “Rooftop of Africa.”

Exploring Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

How to Plan a Trip to Tanzania: Frequently Asked Questions | Zicasso

Nestled within the East African Rift Valley, you’ll find the Ngorongoro Crater, a natural wonder of Africa and the largest intact caldera on our planet.

Spanning more than 100 square miles, this UNESCO World Heritage Site came into existence around 2 to 3 million years ago, following the cataclysmic explosion and implosion of a massive volcano.

In the dry season, this crater floor undergoes a remarkable transformation, becoming a lush oasis for wildlife as animals migrate here in search of water.

To experience this incredible wildlife haven up close, take a 600-meter descent along steep tracks to reach the crater floor. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to encounter the famous Big Five, along with flamingos, hippos, and the elusive black rhinoceros. A journey to Tanzania would be incomplete without savoring this unforgettable safari experience.

Visiting the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Pyramids of Giza: Attractions, Tips & Tours | PlanetWare

Standing as the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World, the Pyramids of Giza deserve a top spot on every traveler’s must-visit list.

Located on the outskirts of the Western Desert, near Cairo, these astonishing structures, dating back 4,500 years, offer a captivating journey back in time to the era of pharaohs and deities.

Look upward in sheer amazement at the impeccable symmetry of the Great Pyramid, meticulously constructed for Pharaoh Khufu. Behold the mighty Great Sphinx, an enigmatic marvel that continues to baffle contemporary archaeologists with its mysterious origins and age.

Take a leisurely stroll through the Solar Boat Museum, where you can marvel at a remarkably well-preserved ancient Egyptian vessel.

A visit to these iconic UNESCO World Heritage monuments not only allows you to witness the remarkable engineering achievements but also provides profound insights into the intricate belief systems of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Experiencing the Serengeti, Tanzania

10 Facts About Serengeti National Park | Tanzania Safaris Tours

For an unparalleled view of one of Earth’s most astounding wildlife phenomena, make your way to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

Every year, more than 1 million wildebeest, along with hundreds of thousands of zebras and antelope, embark on the incredible circular journey known as the Great Migration, driven by their quest for sustenance and water.

As you navigate the park in your safari jeep, you’ll find yourself right in the midst of these massive herds, with countless opportunities to witness apex predators like lions, cheetahs, and hyenas as they engage in the hunt.

To make the most of your visit, consider timing it during the brief rainy season between December and February, when you’ll have the chance to see newborn animals in the southern Serengeti. Alternatively, plan your trip for the June river crossings, where you can observe predators preying on wildebeest as they bravely navigate the Mara River. An open-top vehicle safari in this area promises the ultimate African adventure.

Strolling Through Morocco’s Souks

To experience the lively and captivating allure of North Africa, take a leisurely stroll through the bustling souks of Morocco.

In the ancient medina of Fes, meander through narrow winding alleyways adorned with stalls offering an array of enticing goods, from fragrant spices to meticulously crafted leather products and traditional ceramics.

As you explore, be sure to pause and listen to the rhythmic sound of coppersmiths fashioning intricate metal designs, adding to the mesmerizing ambiance of the leather district.

In Marrakech, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the souks that encircle the Jemaa el-Fnaa square. Here, you can engage in spirited negotiations for vivid Berber rugs, aromatic argan oil, and intricately designed jewelry.

As evening descends upon the plaza, it transforms into a lively spectacle, with snake charmers, acrobats, and street food vendors creating a vibrant tapestry of sights and sounds. This captivating scene unfolds against a backdrop of meandering camels and clattering donkey carts.

Exploring Morocco’s bustling markets provides you with endless opportunities to connect with fascinating cultures and acquire unique and exotic souvenirs.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda | Uganda Gorilla Tours | Uganda Safaris

For an extraordinary and once-in-a-lifetime adventure, set your sights on the lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the southwestern region of Uganda. Here, you’ll embark on an unforgettable gorilla trekking safari.

This pristine wilderness is the dwelling place of approximately half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Bwindi offers visitors the remarkable opportunity to join expert-guided groups as they track these critically endangered and remarkably gentle giants through the dense jungle and bamboo thickets.

The privilege of spending a mere hour in the presence of gorillas in their natural habitat, observing them as they care for their offspring and forage for sustenance, is a deeply emotional and impactful experience. It’s also a journey that contributes to the welfare of local communities and the conservation of these magnificent creatures.

However, be prepared to put in some effort, as these treks often demand hours of strenuous hiking through challenging terrain in pursuit of gorilla families.

While the steep permit fees and the physical exertion required might make this encounter a true bucket list aspiration, the reward of connecting with these incredible creatures and supporting their preservation is immeasurable.

Exploring Marrakech’s Medina, Morocco

Marrakech city guide: the bustling red city - Mokum Surf Club

Marrakech’s fortified medina is a mesmerizing portal that transports visitors back in time to the grand Moorish era of North Africa.

At every turn, you’ll encounter a new sensory delight, from the haunting call to prayer reverberating through the streets to the earthy and intoxicating scents of spices and freshly tanned leather wafting from the bustling souks.

Your journey of discovery can commence at the expansive 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, a magnificent structure whose towering minaret dominates the city’s skyline. From there, let yourself wander through narrow winding lanes, where you’ll encounter vibrant riads, tranquil courtyard gardens, and market stalls brimming with meticulously crafted wares.

As you navigate the labyrinthine streets, you’ll witness donkey carts laden with goods and scooters expertly weaving through the bustling crowds, all while absorbing the frenetic energy and enduring charm that define Marrakech.

For the most rewarding experiences, it’s advisable to start your day early and be ready for some map reading, as getting delightfully lost in the labyrinth of alleyways is all part of the adventure.

Cruising the Nile, Egypt

Embarking on a cruise along the storied Nile River is a captivating journey that breathes life into the ancient wonders of Egypt nestled along its banks.

These cruises typically set sail from Luxor and chart a course upstream to Aswan or follow the reverse route, spanning a duration of 3 to 7 nights. Each day brings new opportunities to explore remarkable temples, tombs, and archaeological treasures that grace the river’s edge.

As you look out upon the timeless landscape, you’ll witness feluccas with billowing sails gliding serenely by, much as they did in the days of the pharaohs.

Stepping ashore, you can wander amid the towering stone columns of Karnak Temple and explore the sunbaked tombs of the Valley of the Kings. Pay a visit to the monumental statues of Abu Simbel and savor the serenity of the temples in Abydos.

Equally unforgettable are the sunsets that grace the tranquil waters of the Nile. For an immersive journey into the heart of antiquity, a leisurely cruise along the mythical Nile is an experience not to be missed.

Meeting Gorillas in Rwanda

Nestled in the northwest region of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park has earned the prestigious designation as a UNESCO natural site, primarily to safeguard its endangered mountain gorillas. This park offers a remarkable but challenging opportunity to track these magnificent primates in their native environment.

Although obtaining permits for gorilla tracking can be both limited and expensive, this experience plays a crucial role in generating revenue that serves as a protective shield against poaching and the encroachment of human activities on the gorillas’ habitat.

Be prepared for a demanding hike through steep, densely forested slopes as you make your way to the territory of a gorilla family. Once there, you’ll have the privilege of spending one awe-inspiring hour in their presence.

Observing their human-like interactions, from the nurturing of their young to their foraging for vegetation and moments of rest, offers a profound perspective on the close genetic kinship we share with these remarkable creatures.

It’s imperative to strictly adhere to protocols designed to safeguard the gorillas from human-borne illnesses during this peaceful yet fragile encounter.

Safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, stretching over a vast expanse of more than 7,500 square miles, stands as South Africa’s largest game reserve and offers an unrivaled safari experience in the heart of untamed wilderness.

Renowned for its high concentration of wildlife, including the iconic Big Five, this park promises astonishing wildlife encounters at every turn.

Thanks to an extensive network of well-maintained roads, you have the option to embark on a self-driven safari in your own vehicle. You can pause frequently to observe elephants, hippos, giraffes, and majestic big cats in their natural habitat.

Alternatively, you can elevate your experience by booking a guided game drive in an open 4×4 vehicle, led by an expert guide who can provide valuable insights into the park’s wildlife and ecosystems. Temporary camps within the park allow you to spend your nights in the heart of the wilderness, gazing at the stars.

Regardless of how you choose to explore, Kruger National Park’s diverse ecosystems and accessibility combine to offer the ultimate African game viewing adventure.

Exploring the Okavango Delta, Botswana

The verdant waterways of the Okavango Delta offer a truly distinctive safari experience as you gracefully traverse through swaying papyrus reeds and dense vegetation in a traditional dugout canoe known as a mokoro.

Located in Botswana’s Kalahari Desert and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Okavango Delta undergoes a remarkable transformation each year as seasonal rains inundate the region, causing the delta to swell.

Spanning an impressive 15,000 square kilometers, this natural wonder becomes a thriving ecosystem, attracting a vibrant array of wildlife that congregates along its banks.

Silently gliding mere meters away from bathing hippos, lounging crocodiles, and peacefully grazing antelope, you’ll have the privilege of experiencing close encounters that are both unforgettable and awe-inspiring.

Guided by a knowledgeable local poler, you’ll navigate through shallow channels, winding your way through rustling reeds and past remote islands, allowing you to immerse yourself in the very heart of Africa’s untamed beauty and biodiversity on this iconic aquatic safari adventure.

Trekking in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains

A walk in the wild: one traveller's hike through Ethiopia's Simien Mountains | The Good Times by Intrepid

The Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia beckon adventurers with their rugged terrain, featuring jagged volcanic plugs, sheer cliff faces, and precipitous drops, all set amidst breathtaking alpine landscapes.

Simien National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the proud home of some of Africa’s loftiest peaks, including Ras Dashen, which soars beyond 15,000 feet.

Embark on rustic trails that wind through this remote region, encountering endemic walia ibex and gelada baboons as you journey deeper into the raw natural beauty of the area.

Camping beneath the starlit sky and waking early to witness the sun’s rays casting a radiant glow upon the shimmering rock formation of Jinbar Falls is an experience beyond compare.

While challenging multi-day treks to reach the highest viewpoints demand fitness and preparation, there are also shorter routes that offer a gentler introduction for beginners who wish to savor the splendor of these majestic high-altitude landscapes.

Visiting Djenne’s Mud Mosque, Mali

The Great Mosque in Djenne, Mali is made of mud

Nestled in the quaint riverside town of Djenne, situated in central Mali, you’ll find what is acclaimed as the largest mud-brick building in the world.

The renowned Great Mosque of Djenne traces its origins to the 13th century and endures to this day, meticulously maintained through traditional earthen architectural techniques.

A particularly captivating time to visit is on a Monday, when you can witness the remarkable annual ritual during which local masons reapply a fresh layer of mud plaster to the entire exterior of the mosque, utilizing mud sourced from the nearby Bani River.

While its design harkens back to the original structure, the mosque’s facade exudes an enchanting allure, with sensations of timber beams and palm fronds woven into its appearance.

Despite the travel advisories associated with Mali, a journey to Djenne is a voyage into an architectural wonder, and the town itself is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Having withstood the test of time, including floods, fire, and periods of neglect, this magnificent earthen edifice serves as a testament to an ancient craft and a rich cultural heritage.

Diving in Zanzibar

Diving in Zanzibar: All the Best Dive Sites Revealed –

Surrounded by powdery soft sandy shores, the archipelago of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean is a paradise for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, offering some of the most pristine underwater sites in Africa.

Just off the coast, vibrant coral reefs thrive with schools of tropical fish, graceful sea turtles, majestic rays, and elusive octopi.

The crystal-clear waters provide excellent visibility, granting you the chance to spot larger marine creatures like playful dolphins, gentle whale sharks, and graceful manta rays.

Near the main island of Unguja, popular locations such as the Mnemba Atoll Marine Conservation Area beckon divers to explore reef drop-offs, serene lagoons, and shipwrecks adorned with vibrant coral growth.

For a more accessible experience, you can snorkel directly from the beach at spots like Kendwa. With a variety of established dive shops and hotels offering facilities, Zanzibar presents numerous opportunities to uncover the captivating wonders of the underwater world.

Fishing on Lake Malawi

Often referred to as the “Lake of Stars,” Lake Malawi stretches for an impressive 350 miles through Africa’s Great Rift Valley within the borders of Malawi. It boasts a pristine tropical shoreline and holds the distinction of harboring more fish species than any other lake in the world.

The crystal-clear freshwater of Lake Malawi is a magnet for water enthusiasts, drawing snorkelers, divers, kayakers, and anglers from all corners of the globe.

You can spend your days lounging in rustic beach lodges that dot the coastline, or opt for a unique experience by staying aboard a traditional dhow vessel for multi-day exploration. Don’t miss the opportunity to try your hand at catching malawi cichlids and butterfish that thrive among the rocky reefs.

Alternatively, paddle a kayak into hidden coves, perfect for a refreshing swim. With a temperate climate year-round, Lake Malawi’s relaxed atmosphere and thrilling adventures, such as diving among the vibrant cichlid fish populations, may entice you to extend your stay for weeks on end.

Experiencing Victoria Falls, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Google Map of Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe - Nations Online Project

Spanning the powerful Zambezi River on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls, aptly named, are renowned as the largest waterfall on the planet.

While they may not claim the title of highest or widest falls, their extraordinary expanse stretches over a mile, creating a perpetual mist that saturates the surroundings.

For the most awe-inspiring experience, plan your visit between March and May when the falls are at their thunderous peak flow. You can explore this natural wonder from various vantage points, whether you’re crossing the Knife Edge Bridge or taking in the breathtaking vistas from the Lookout Café perched atop the gorge.

Consider booking a helicopter flight to enjoy unparalleled aerial views of this remarkable spectacle. The region around Livingstone in Zambia and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe offers ultra-luxurious accommodations and a wealth of activities, making it a refined destination for travelers.

No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to witness the enchanting rainbows that form amidst the billowing mist clouds created by this colossal natural marvel.

Discovering the Skeleton Coast, Namibia

Skeleton Coast Road Trip Itinerary | Namibia | Original Travel - Original Travel

Stretching along the Atlantic coast of Namibia, the evocatively named Skeleton Coast holds the haunting vestiges of numerous shipwrecks within its mist-shrouded waters and desolate shores.

For centuries, relentless winds and powerful currents have driven sailors to their doom against the unforgiving rocky coastline, leaving behind skeletal remnants of ship hulls and cargo strewn across the sands and lapped by the surf.

A visit to Cape Cross offers the opportunity to witness one of the world’s largest colonies of seals, while Swakopmund captivates with its well-preserved German colonial architecture.

Driving north along the coast, between the undulating dunes of the Namib Desert, reveals more beached shipwrecks, each with its own compelling story of maritime misfortune.

Despite the somber reminders of past tragedies, the Skeleton Coast entices adventurers with its raw and rugged beauty, coupled with a rich diversity of wildlife in one of Africa’s least populated regions, making it an alluring—if somewhat foreboding—destination for exploration.

Hiking in Lesotho’s Drakensberg Mountains

Lesotho - Drakensberg Hikes - explore the Drakensberg

In the small nation of Lesotho, entirely encircled by South Africa, the Drakensberg Mountains offer an unparalleled experience of hiking and breathtaking scenery.

These imposing peaks and dramatic escarpments, which form a significant portion of Lesotho’s eastern boundary, provide awe-inspiring vistas at altitudes exceeding 3,000 meters.

Embark on multi-day treks that lead you past cascading waterfalls and vivid rock paintings created by the ancient San people.

Accommodate yourself in remote mountain lodges designed to resemble traditional villages, granting you direct access to hiking trails just outside your rustic doorstep.

For those seeking non-technical day hikes, a visit to Royal Natal National Park offers opportunities to summit montane grasslands and witness the splendid beauty of the region.

The Drakensberg’s towering heights and pristine isolation offer rugged adventures and the promise of creating lasting memories in the rooftop of Southern Africa.

Exploring Chefchaouen, Morocco

An Insider's Guide to the Best Things to Do in Chefchaouen

Nestled within the rugged Rif Mountains northeast of Tangier, the enchanting town of Chefchaouen beguiles visitors with its enchanting blue-washed architecture.

Strolling along the steep cobblestone lanes, where vibrant indigo and sky-blue walls envelop you, is akin to stepping into a fairy tale.

While exploring, you’ll stumble upon lively markets featuring vibrant handicrafts, intricate weavings, and delectable local goat cheeses. To enjoy the finest vistas, embark on a hike to the Spanish Mosque, perched gracefully on a hillside overlooking the town.

Alternatively, you can while away hours sipping mint tea on a café terrace, where rugs sway overhead as they hang to dry, creating a serene atmosphere.

Despite its appeal to tourists, this azure-hued town offers a magical simplicity and a laid-back mountain ambiance that provides a glimpse into the enduring rhythms of rural Moroccan life—a memory that lingers long after your visit.

These destinations capture the essence of Africa’s vast and varied landscapes, cultures, and wildlife, promising unforgettable experiences for any traveler.

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