13 Best Countries to Visit in Africa

by Jen
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Are you dreaming of exploring Africa? Well, you’re in for a treat! We’ve put together the ultimate list of the most incredible countries this vibrant continent has to offer.

Think about standing in the shadow of Egypt’s majestic pyramids one day and then chilling on the pristine beaches of Seychelles the next. Africa is this amazing mix of history, culture, and natural wonders that’s just waiting for you to dive in.

Picture this: You’re haggling in the colorful markets of Marrakech, then fast-forward to watching lions roam free in the Serengeti. Africa’s got this unbeatable blend of adventure and beauty. From Ethiopia’s ancient rock churches to the laid-back island vibes of Mauritius, every place has its own story to tell.

So, whether you’re all about getting that adrenaline rush, soaking up centuries-old cultures, or just basking in some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, Africa’s got it all. We’re about to take you on a journey through the best of Africa – the hidden gems, the breathtaking views, and those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Pack your bags, folks, and let’s kick off an adventure that’s going to stick with you forever!

Best Countries to Visit in Africa in 2024

Are you ready to discover the best countries to visit in Africa? This guide is your first step to building the ultimate itinerary for the greatest adventure of your life so far. From the sweeping savannas of the Serengeti to the vibrant, rhythmic beats of Cape Town, let’s explore the best African countries to see in 2024.

1. Morocco: Where Every Alley Tells a Story

Who’s up for a journey into the pulse-raising heart of Morocco? This place is a whole sensory explosion. Picture yourself getting lost in the souks of Marrakech, where every corner spills over with spices, vibrant fabrics, and the buzz of life.

Kick off your Moroccan escapade at Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech. This marketplace is a carnival of culture with storytellers, acrobats, and the aroma of delicious street food. Next, why not time-travel in Fes? Wander through its ancient medina and feel the pulse of centuries-old craftsmanship.

Craving a bit of tranquility? Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of Morocco, awaits with its dreamy blue streets. This city is like a living, breathing artwork.

And for the ultimate adventure, how about a night under the stars in the Sahara Desert? Riding camels into the sunset at Merzouga and sleeping in a Berber tent is the stuff of legends.

Make sure to dive into the local music scene – Moroccan Gnawa music is a soulful experience. And if you’re a foodie, join a cooking class to learn how to make authentic tagine. The ideal time to visit? Aim for spring or fall when Morocco is just showing off its best weather.

Morocco is one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Jemaa el-Fnaa Square in Marrakech bustling with vibrant culture, storytellers, and street food.

2. Egypt: A Journey Through Time and Wonders

This one’s for the history heads. Ready to step back in time in Egypt? This country is a living museum dating back over 5000 years. Imagine standing in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Giza, not just marveling at their size but feeling the weight of millenia under the Egyptian sun.

Your Egyptian adventure should start in Cairo, bustling with life and echoing with history. The Egyptian Museum is filled with ancient wonders, including the golden mask of Tutankhamun.

Sail down the Nile on a traditional felucca from Luxor to Aswan. It’s not just a river cruise; it’s a voyage through the heart of ancient civilizations, with temples like Karnak and Philae dotting the banks.

And for a taste of the underwater world, the Red Sea is a diver’s paradise. Places like Sharm El Sheikh offer vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life – it’s like swimming in an aquarium.

Insider tip: For a unique culinary experience, try koshari, a local street food favorite. And if you’re into photography, capture the surreal landscapes of the White Desert – it’s like another planet.

Great Pyramids of Giza, iconic ancient structures, standing tall under the sun.
Great Pyramids of Giza, iconic ancient structures, standing tall under the sun.

3. South Africa: A Rainbow Nation’s Adventure

Who’s ready to dive into the vibrant world of South Africa? This place is a melting pot of cultures, landscapes, and adventures. Imagine yourself in Cape Town, under the watchful eye of Table Mountain, where the city’s energy is as captivating as its stunning backdrop.

Start your South African journey with a cable car ride up Table Mountain. The view from the top? Breathtaking. It’s not just a scenic spot; it’s a moment where you feel on top of the world.

But there’s so much more to South Africa than its iconic mountain. Take a trip to the Kruger National Park. Here, going on a safari is all about immersing yourself in one of the most incredible wildlife habitats on the planet. Spotting the Big 5 is a bonus!

And for a taste of history and culture, the streets of Johannesburg offer a deep dive into the country’s past and present. This one of the most livable places in South Africa, hands down.

Indulge in the local flavors with a Braai (South African BBQ) – it’s a culinary tradition. And for wine lovers, the vineyards of Stellenbosch are a must-visit. The best time to visit? Between May and September for wildlife viewing, and from November to March for the perfect beach weather.

Explore the vibrant energy of Cape Town to the majestic presence of Table Mountain.
Explore the vibrant energy of Cape Town to the majestic presence of Table Mountain.

4. Kenya: A Safari Wonderland

Now let’s explore Kenya, one of the best countries to visit for wildlife and culture. This place is where your safari dreams come to life. Picture yourself in the vast Masai Mara, witnessing the awe-inspiring Great Migration – it’s one of the world’s great spectacles of nature.

Begin your Kenyan journey in Nairobi, a city that’s a vibrant blend of urban and natural, making it one of the top places to live and visit in Africa. The Nairobi National Park, right on the city’s edge, offers a unique wildlife experience with a city skyline backdrop.

But Kenya’s wonders don’t end with the Mara. Amboseli National Park offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and the chance to see elephants roaming freely is something you’ll never forget.

For a change of pace, the Kenyan coast is a hidden gem. Places like Diani Beach offer pristine sands and turquoise waters, perfect for some post-safari relaxation.

Engage with the local Maasai culture for an authentic and enriching experience. And for the best wildlife viewing, plan your visit between July and October. Don’t forget to try some local Kenyan dishes like nyama choma (grilled meat) and ugali – they’re delicious!

Kenya is one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Amboseli National Park features a scenic wildlife reserve with iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

5. Tanzania: A Tapestry of Wild Beauty

Who’s up for exploring Tanzania, home of Africa’s largest mountain? This place is a treasure trove of wildlife, culture, and stunning landscapes. Imagine waking up to the sounds of the Serengeti, home to some of the most spectacular wildlife on Earth.

Your Tanzanian adventure should start with a safari in the Serengeti. Here, you’ll experience the best of African wildlife. Witnessing the Great Migration here is like watching nature’s own drama unfold.

But Tanzania’s magic doesn’t stop at the Serengeti. The Ngorongoro Crater, a haven for wildlife, offers a safari experience in a unique setting – it’s like entering a lost world.

And let’s not forget about Mount Kilimanjaro. Whether you’re climbing to the summit or admiring it from afar, it’s an awe-inspiring sight.

For a beach escape, Zanzibar awaits with its white sands and clear blue waters. It’s the perfect place to unwind after your safari adventures.

Dive into the local Swahili culture for a rich cultural experience. And if you’re into snorkeling or diving, the coral reefs around Zanzibar are a must-see.

Discover Tanzania, the land of Africa's largest mountain, with a wealth of wildlife, culture, and breathtaking landscapes.
Discover Tanzania, the land of Africa’s largest mountain, with a wealth of wildlife, culture, and breathtaking landscapes.

6. Namibia: Where Deserts Dance with the Sky

This country is fast becoming the most on-trend destination on the continent. It’s safe to say that Namibia is now one of the coolest countries in Africa. This place is all about vast landscapes, where the desert meets the sky in an endless dance of natural beauty.

Start your Namibian adventure at the Namib Desert, home to the iconic Sossusvlei dunes. Climbing these massive sand mountains is like an otherworldly experience, especially at sunrise when the colors change every minute.

The Skeleton Coast, with its shipwrecks and seal colonies, is hauntingly beautiful. It’s like stepping into a mysterious, windswept world.

For wildlife enthusiasts, Etosha National Park is a must-visit. Here, spotting elephants, lions, and rhinos is just a part of your daily routine.

For a unique dining experience, try a traditional Braai under the stars in the desert. The combination of local meats and the starry sky is unforgettable. And don’t miss out on a cultural tour with the Himba people – it’s a rare insight into one of the world’s last traditional tribes.

Namibia is one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Namib Desert is a vast and ancient desert, known for its stunning dunes and unique landscapes.

7. Botswana: A Wild and Untouched Paradise

Hey there, wildlife lovers! Botswana is a bit of a hidden gem despite being one of the must-see countries in Africa. This country is a haven for those who want to experience nature in its most unspoiled form.

Your Botswana adventure should definitely include the Okavango Delta. It’s a sprawling wetland teeming with life like hippos, elephants, and a myriad of birds.

Chobe National Park is another gem in Africa, known for having one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. The sight of elephants playing along the Chobe River’s banks is something you’ll remember forever.

And for a truly unique experience, the Makgadikgadi Pans offer an otherworldly landscape. During the wet season, it transforms into a water wonderland, attracting thousands of flamingos – a surreal and beautiful sight.

Try a night safari for a different perspective on wildlife. Seeing the African bush come alive under the stars is magical. And for a touch of local culture, visit a village near Maun to learn about the lives of the Bayei and San people.

Botswana is one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Okavango Delta is a breathtaking natural wonder, featuring a unique inland delta and diverse wildlife habitats.

8. Rwanda: Land of a Thousand Hills and Endless Discoveries

Despite its checkered history, Rwanda is an important inclusion on the list, with one of Africa’s most dynamic landscapes and a kind and welcoming population.

Your Rwandan journey should undoubtedly include Volcanoes National Park. Here, trekking to see the mountain gorillas has to top your itinerary! Being in the presence of these gentle giants in their natural habitat is something you’ll treasure forever.

The vibrant streets of Kigali, the capital, are a testament to the country’s progress and welcoming spirit. The Kigali Genocide Memorial offers a poignant and important insight into Rwanda’s history.

For a scenic adventure, Lake Kivu offers serene beauty and a chance to unwind. Whether you’re kayaking or just enjoying the lakeside, it’s a perfect blend of relaxation and natural splendor.

Insider tip: Engage with local artisans and craftspeople at the markets in Kigali for unique souvenirs. And for coffee enthusiasts, don’t miss out on a Rwandan coffee tour – the country’s coffee is renowned for its quality and rich flavors.

Don't miss Volcanoes National Park for a memorable encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
Don’t miss Volcanoes National Park for a memorable encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

9. Zambia: Where the Wild Roams Free

Welcome to Zambia, one of the top African countries for untamed wilderness. This place is all about the wild, the mighty, and the breathtaking.

Start your Zambian adventure with a visit to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Witnessing the sheer power of the falls up close is an exhilarating experience. Don’t forget your raincoat!

The South Luangwa National Park offers some of the best safari experiences on the continent. This game drive is an intimate encounter with lions, leopards, and more.

And for something truly off the beaten path, Lower Zambezi National Park offers a remote and pristine wilderness. Canoeing down the Zambezi River offers up a journey into the true heart of Africa.

Take a walking safari in South Luangwa for a more immersive wildlife experience. And don’t miss out on trying a traditional Zambian dish like nshima – it’s a taste of local culture.

Victoria Falls with a vibrant rainbow, one of the world's most stunning natural wonders.
Victoria Falls with a vibrant rainbow, one of the world’s most stunning natural wonders.

10. Uganda: The Pearl of Africa

Get ready to dive into the awesomeness of Uganda – it’s seriously one of the coolest spots in Africa to check out. This place is teeming with wildlife and natural beauty.

First up, you can’t miss the chance to trek and meet the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Who’d want to miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures right in their wild habitat.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is like a safari wonderland, famous for lions that climb trees and tons of amazing birdlife.

And if you’re into some heart-pounding action, Jinja is your spot. You can tackle the white-water rapids of the Nile River – a wild adrenaline rush filled with adventure!

Pro tip: Hang out with the local communities for a taste of their culture. Swing by a Batwa village to learn about their traditions. And don’t leave Uganda without trying a Rolex – it’s a tasty street food that won’t break the bank.

Explore the safari wonderland of Queen Elizabeth National Park, known for tree-climbing lions and abundant birdlife.
Explore the safari wonderland of Queen Elizabeth National Park, known for tree-climbing lions and abundant birdlife.

11. Madagascar: An Island of Unique Wonders

Buckle up for an extraordinary journey to Madagascar, the kind of place you’ve only dreamt about – it’s seriously one of those must-visit African gems. This island is like nowhere else on Earth, with its mind-blowing wildlife, diverse ecosystems, and some of the most beautiful beaches you’ve ever seen.

Okay, first things first, you’ve got to check out the Avenue of the Baobabs. It’s like something out of a fairy tale. These ancient baobabs create a landscape that feels like it’s from another planet, and watching the sunset here is absolutely surreal.

Head over to Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, where you can meet the indri lemurs – these fluffy guys with big eyes are something you’ll never forget. And trust me, you’ll spot all sorts of unique wildlife while you’re there.

Now, if you’re more of a beach person, Nosy Be is your tropical paradise. White sandy shores and crystal-clear waters –  it’s basically an underwater wonderland where you can snorkel to your heart’s content.

For you thrill-seekers, make sure you hit up the Tsingy de Bemaraha, a wild limestone forest with narrow canyons and jaw-dropping rock formations – you’ll feel like Indiana Jones on an epic adventure.

Avenue of the Baobabs, an iconic natural landmark featuring majestic baobab trees lining the dirt road.
Avenue of the Baobabs, an iconic natural landmark featuring majestic baobab trees lining the dirt road.

12. Mauritius: A Blend of Cultures in Paradise

Get ready to explore the enchanting island of Mauritius, often hailed as a paradise where cultures blend seamlessly. This place offers luxurious resorts, diverse cuisine, and natural beauty.

To start your Mauritius adventure, you must visit the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earths. This geological wonder is a mesmerizing display of seven different colored sands, a phenomenon that’s left scientists puzzled for ages. You’ll want to snap a few photos here.

Port Louis, the capital, is a bustling city with a rich history. Explore the Central Market for a taste of local life and grab some delicious street food.

Now, for a dose of luxury, the island is brimming with top-notch resorts. The beaches of Flic en Flac and Belle Mare are world-class. Head here if you’re looking for fine dining and even finer hotels.

Dive into the local street food scene; try dholl puri or roti. And if you’re into hiking, head to the Black River Gorges National Park for some stunning trails and waterfalls.

Mauritius is one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Discover Mauritius, a seamless blend of cultures, offering luxurious resorts, diverse cuisine, and natural beauty.

13. Ethiopia: A Journey Through Ancient Civilizations

Embark on a captivating journey through Ethiopia, a land steeped in ancient civilizations and natural wonders. This place is all about exploring historical wonders, unique landscapes, and rich traditions.

Begin your Ethiopian adventure in Lalibela, home to the astonishing rock-hewn churches, a testament to human ingenuity and devotion, carved right into the rock.

Ethiopia is also a land of stunning landscapes. Head to Simien Mountains National Park for dramatic cliffs, deep valleys, and incredible trekking opportunities. It’s a hiker’s paradise.

Lalibela is an Ethiopian town famous for its rock-hewn churches and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Lalibela is an Ethiopian town famous for its rock-hewn churches and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Now, for a touch of culture, visit Addis Ababa, the capital. The National Museum is a must-see, especially the exhibit showcasing the fossilized remains of our ancient ancestor, Lucy.

Insider tip: Dive into Ethiopian cuisine; try injera with various stews – it’s a flavor explosion. And if you’re into unique experiences, attend a traditional coffee ceremony where coffee is roasted and brewed live before you as part of a traditional ritual. You’ll never look at coffee the same again.

The top countries to visit in Africa for all types of travelers
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