Africa Stays on Our Travel List For example, I have visited the pyramids in Giza, Egypt, twice and was thoroughly impressed both times. Las Vegas may have a pyramid replica, but there’s nothing like the real thing that has stood for thousands of years alongside the Sphynx. It is regrettable that Sudan cannot get its act together since it has impressive pyramids at Meroë.
Safari ExperienceI just read an article entitled: “Best Places to Visit in Africa in 2023-2024.” It lists Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park as the #1 tourist attraction out of the top 15. The article touted safaris that would allow you to see elephants, giraffes, zebras, and wildebeests in their natural habitats. While somewhat expensive, there are few places on earth to see such animals in the wild. Another such place in Tanzania is the Ngorongoro Crater, which also has diverse wildlife and is mentioned within the general listing of Tanzania (#3), along with red Lake Natron, and of course Mount Kilimanjaro – the tallest mountain in Africa.
Other sites for wildlife attractions in the top 15 list were Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve (#5) and South Africa’s Kruger National Park (#11). Both offer a variety of animals to view that one doesn’t see outside of zoos – lions, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, and buffaloes.
To get the most out of your safari experience, you must engage licensed, certified tour guides who understand not only where to take you but also when the best times are for safe animal viewing. Some wildlife sites allow you to stay overnight in protected locations in the wild. Hearing the calls of animals as you go to sleep is a unique experience.
Although we have beautiful beaches in the United States, only a precious few (including perhaps in Hawaii) could rival those such as on Tanzania’s island of Zanzibar (#6). I visited there with my wife several years ago for a conference in Arusha, and afterward, the group we were with went onto Zanzibar before returning to the United States. We found it to be so lovely that my wife and I ditched the group to spend time alone on and near its magnificent beach and pledged to return one day for another visit.
Natural OpportunitiesAnother conference I attended and managed 20 years ago was in Mauritius (#4). It was so beautiful that even at the airport for the flight home, I was considering faking an illness to stay behind and enjoy it more. In the end, I didn’t because my wife was not there to enjoy it with me. The same thing happened when I went to Mombasa several years earlier to do training; I didn’t stay on because I didn’t want to enjoy it alone. It was not on the top 15 list, but it was lovely, nonetheless.
I have also been to Madagascar (#12), famous for its 100+ variety of lemurs, but it also has various other natural wonders that have yet been unspoiled by development. Isalo National Park and Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve are prime places to visit, and don’t forget to do some island hopping to Nosy Be, for example, for its world-class beaches.
There are natural opportunities to observe wildlife that are missed because countries limit their tourism to preserve the natural environment and safeguard the wildlife or just escape the notice of travelers. An example of the former is Botswana (#14), which has a strong conservation focus. Protected areas such as Chobe National Park, Khama Rhino Sanctuary and Moremi Game Reserve, the oldest reserve of the Okavango Delta, allow limited visitors. Adventurous tourists can enjoy mokoro (canoe) safaris quad biking or helicopter tours.
Malawi (#13), because of its small size and its landlocked location, might not seem to be a likely location for beaches and water sports, but Lake Malawi is one of the world’s deepest lakes and offers visitors ample opportunity for water sports such as kayaking, sailing or just lounging on a white sand beach. The country also boasts nine national parks that are less crowded than in other African tourist destinations, and the diverse wildlife can be accessed by either self-drive or guided tour options.
Vacation SpotsHoneymooners in North America often flock to Niagara Falls in Canada, but Victoria Falls (#2) is a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. It straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is approximately twice as deep and wide as Niagara Falls. Popular vantage points include Knife-Edge Bridge, Livingstone Island and Devil’s Pool. You can admire the falls from a different angle by whitewater rafting on the Zambesi River.