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10 Best Things to Do in Africa

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Sylvia Paige

The continent of Africa is a remarkable place, home to 54 countries and more than 1,000 living languages. At every turn, there are exotic animals to discover, natural wonders to explore, and cultures to experience–yeah, it’s pretty remarkable. Having the chance to visit can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you don’t want to miss out on any of the most exciting activities.

Well, fear not because we’re going to check out the ten best things to do in Africa. Follow these recommendations, and you’ll understand exactly what makes the continent so special. So, grab your passport, and let’s go to Africa!

1. Visit the Victoria Falls

Whether or not you’ve done research on things to do in Africa, you’ve probably heard of the famous Victoria Falls. The waterfall holds the status of having the largest volume of falling water. During the high season, more than five million cubic meters of water plummets from the top of the falls and crashes 108 meters (355 ft) below.

Victoria Falls sits along the Zambezi River, which divides Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are plenty of experiences to have in the area, including swimming in the Devil’s Pool located at the lip of the waterfall (for thrill seekers), boat rides, white water rafting, and paved paths to the best viewpoints. 

Don’t worry about having to pick viewing the falls from Zambia or Zimbabwe because you can easily cross the border and experience both sides!

2. Experience Cape Town’s Wine Region

Cape Town, South Africa, is known for a lot of things, but taking a trip through the Cape Winelands District is something you just can’t miss. Throughout the district, there are endless vineyards that cultivate dozens of varieties of grapes. It’s truly the mecca of wine in Africa.

You can drink your way through dozens of quaint towns that have beautiful mountains as backdrops. The most popular villages to sip wine or book a few nights on a vineyard are Franschhoek, Paarl, and Stellenbosch. You’ll have an endless selection of world-class wines to choose from, so get ready for a good time.

The best part about the Cape Winelands District is that it’s a stone’s throw away from the city, so you can easily fit it into your 7-day Cape Town itinerary!

3. Take a Big Five Safari in Tanzania or Kenya

A trip to Africa isn’t complete without going on a big five safari. Big Five refers to lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and African buffalo, and there are a handful of locations where you can see them all on the same day. 

The hard part is deciding which country to take your safari in. Well, in East Africa, you can have an unforgettable experience in Tanzania, where the big five, hippos, monkeys, zebras, and several more exotic animals are located. Or, just north of Tanzania, Kenya, too, offers a top-notch safari adventure. You can learn more about the differences between the two countries’ safari experiences here.

Regardless of which country you choose, a safari is one of the best things to do in Africa and an experience you’ll never forget. Check out these 11-day Tanzania and 7-day Kenya itineraries to get an idea of what to expect.

4. Vacation in the Paradise of Mauritius

Don’t let the mainland of Africa divert your attention from one of the most gorgeous countries in the world: Mauritius. The island nation is located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and although it might be small, there are countless activities and experiences to enjoy. While you’re planning your trip, use our 7-day Mauritius itinerary for some inspiration!

Get a glimpse of the island’s stunning wildlife at La Vanille Nature Park. You’ll have the chance to get face-to-face with Aldabra giant tortoises–don’t worry, they won’t bite! There will also be lemurs, monkeys, eels, and more to see, so bring your camera!

When you’re relaxing on the pristine beaches of Mauritius, you might have to pinch yourself to make sure it’s not a dream. Check out spots like Trou aux Biches, Blue Bay, and Belle Mare Plage for the most picturesque beaches to chill and do watersports.

5. Go Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Have you ever wanted to see gorillas in the wild? Well, now you can! In Uganda, the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are home to about 14 gorilla families, which range from 10 to 40 members in each group. You can sign up for single-day or multiday tours that consist of lodging deep in the national parks and having a guide take you on excursions to see the largest primates in the world. 

African gorillas are endangered species as their habitat continues to become smaller and poaching continues to be an issue. So, only eight visitors are allowed to view a single family of gorillas per day, which is good for the animals and allows for a more intimate experience. 

6. Explore Ait Ben Haddou in Morocco

In northeast Africa, you can explore Ait Ben Haddou, a fascinating World Heritage Site in Morocco. The site is an earthen clay ksar (fortified village) with buildings that date back to the 1600s; however, researchers believe the area has been inhabited for much longer. It was once an important trade post for trans-Saharan caravans, but it eventually became obsolete.

Today, it’s said around 5 to 10 families still live in the historic village, but the tourist site is an important source of income for the locals who live across the Ounila River. Walking through the buildings will give you an up-close look at the remarkable architecture, and you may even recognize the village from movies like Gladiator and The Mummy.

Oh, and while you’re in Morocco, don’t miss out on visiting Essaouira, one of the most beautiful cities in Africa!

7. Have a Beach Day with Penguins

You might be surprised to learn that there are penguins in Africa–yes, you read that correctly. Down in Cape Town, a colony of adorable African Penguins hangs out at Boulders Beach, which is part of the Table Mountain National Park. For just a small entrance fee, you can spend the day relaxing under the sun and swimming with the quirky little birds.

Although African Penguins are being pushed out of their natural habitat, the fee you pay to enter the beach goes towards preserving and restoring their environment, so don’t feel bad about going!

8. Marvel at the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Egypt, where one of the greatest architectural mysteries is waiting to be marveled at. Ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids of Giza thousands of years ago, and we still don’t know how such a massive project was completed. Some of the rocks used to build the pyramids came from more than 500 miles (805 km) away and weighed around two to three tons–shocking, right?

Although the structures remain a mystery, visiting the ancient site is a moment you’ll never forget. Explore the inner passageways and tunnels and try to imagine what life would have been like in Egypt thousands of years ago. 

While you stand in front of these jaw-dropping structures, you’ll quickly understand why it’s one of the best things to do in Africa.

9. Go Scuba Diving in Mozambique

Who’s up for a day of scuba diving? Mozambique is the perfect spot to explore a vibrant coral reef where you can spot marine life gliding through the water. Chances are you’ll see species like manta rays, giant lobsters, barracuda, and massive schools of kingfish. If you’re lucky, you might even swim with whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, which are known to come around in the winter and spring.

Of course, Mozambique has other great activities like lounging on the beach, visiting national parks, and chowing down on delicious seafood. So, make sure you know how to create the perfect travel itinerary to fit everything in on your trip!

10. Witness the Great Migration

It’s nearly impossible to visit Africa and not be blown away by the wildlife. But for the ultimate experience, there’s no better activity than witnessing the Great Migration. You may have seen video clips of massive herds of zebras, antelopes, and wildebeest trekking through the open grasslands. Well, that, in fact, is the Great Migration, which is actually a yearlong event.

Throughout the year, these animals move from Tanzania to Kenya (from Serengeti National Park to Masai Mara Game Reserve), depending on the season. Along the journey, while millions of animals move about, predators stalk the herds, and you can get a glimpse at the unforgettable spectacle. 

Final Thoughts

A trip through Africa will blow your expectations out of the water. The large continent offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, nature lover, or history buff, you’ll have no problem filling up your itinerary. So, take inspiration from these ten best things to do in Africa, and plan the trip of a lifetime–you won’t regret it! Enjoy your trip, and remember to always be open to new experiences!

Sylvia Paige

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