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Which are the best places to visit in Africa?

Updated on December 31, 2016
Prakash Dighe profile image

A Mechanical Engineer by profession, Prakash has lived in India, Germany and East Africa before settling in the US. Now a creative writer.

The Sphinx and the Great Pyramids at Giza, Egypt

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Sunset in a Game Park in Kenya

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The four best places to travel in Africa

If you are planning on visiting the African continent and are not sure which are the best spots on the continent, you might wish to consider these four destinations (from North to South), with a suggested itinerary:

· Egypt: Plan on a week’s vacation in this country that has over a hundred Pyramids, and countless monuments and tombs.

  • Spend two days in the capital city Cairo, and visit the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Built several thousand years ago, they are truly one of the major Wonders of the World. Spend half a day at the National Museum that has a magnificent collection of ancient treasures and artifacts from the days of the Pharaohs.
  • Fly to Luxor and spend a day (or two), and visit the Luxor Temple and the Karnak Temple, both on the east bank of the Nile. Visit the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Kings on the west bank, and the numerous tombs and temples.
  • Board a cruise ship that takes you on a four or five day cruise along the river Nile down south to Aswan. The region between Luxor and Aswan along the Nile literally teems with ancient temples, tombs and monuments, depicting the country’s very rich history. Undoubtedly, a country with a wealth of ancient monuments and one of the cradles of civilization.

· Kenya/ Tanzania: These East African countries abound in Game Parks, and one should plan on spending at least a week here.

  • Spend two days in the beautiful capital Nairobi of Kenya, situated a mile high and blessed with probably the best weather in the world. Visit the National Museum that depicts the human evolution going back to our ancestors, the Zinjanthropus that roamed in East Africa more than two-and-a-half million years ago. Dine at the famous restaurants, including the “Carnivore” that serves a feast of about a dozen different grilled meats for the true carnivores!
  • Take a “Safari” (this word originates from this region and means a trip or journey) to the famous Game Park, Masaai Mara that stretches into the Serengeti in neighboring Tanzania, and teems with spectacular wild life. If possible, witness the annual migration, a unique seasonal phenomenon when about a million wildebeest (similar to bison) migrate from one region to another, along with thousands of gazelles, zebras and giraffes. Stalking and pursuing them are their predators, the lions, cheetahs and leopards.
  • Spend a night at the “Treetops”, a luxury lodge built literally on treetops. In the comfort of glass enclosed lookouts, get a ringside view of the watering hole, where various species of wild life come in all night to drink water. It might be comforting for you to know that today's most famous royal personality visited the lodge as Princess Elizabeth in 1952. While spending a night at the lodge, her father King George the Sixth of England passed away, and she emerged from the lodge the next morning as the Monarch of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth.
  • Travel to Lake Nakuru, a volcanic lake that has the world’s largest population of flamingos – more than a million of them! At first sight the lake appears to be one vast pink blanket! View the Great Rift Valley, a massive “rift”, a deep fissure or a fault caused long ago by a massive earthquake. It runs thousands of miles along eastern and southern Africa, and astronauts have reported sighting it from outer space.
  • Mountain climbers might wish to scale the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya or the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Tanzania also boasts of the largest wild life game park in a volcanic crater, the Ngorongoro crater. This region is uniquely the best travel place in Africa. (For more details, see the author’s Hubs Where is the best weather in the World? – and Which is the best country to visit in Africa?).

· Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia: One can plan on an overnight's stay in either Livingston in Zambia or Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

  • The Horseshoe Falls at Niagara on the US/Canadian border are undoubtedly spectacular, but the Victoria Falls are awesome, and during the peak rainy months of April and May, they form the largest sheet of water in the world. At 355 feet (108 meters), these falls are more than twice as high as the Niagara Falls, and at 5,600 feet (1,700 meters), they are more than a mile long and more than twice the width of the Horseshoe section of the Niagara Falls. The spray from the falls rises more than 1,500 feet in the air and is visible nearly 30 miles (48 km) away.
  • The Victoria Falls lie on the famous Zambezi River, and are divided lengthwise between two countries, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and must be viewed from both sides. The width along the Zambian side is narrower, but the walk across the “knife-edge” steel suspension bridge, with the thunderous roar and the upwards shooting spray from the massive falls seemingly only a few feet away, is not for those weak at heart - but it's an absolute thrilling experience! The Zimbabwean side is much broader and offers several memorable views as one walks along the rain forest facing the falls.

· South Africa: Plan on a weeks stay in this mineral rich country - the most developed country on the continent and an economic powerhouse.

  • The capital Johannesburg at an altitude of about 7,000 feet is as modern as any European (or American) city and has several attractions. However, the favorite destination for tourist is the Cape Peninsula. The city of Cape Town lies at the foot of a plateau called the Table Mountain, and a cable car ride up to the top offers some spectacular Ocean views. There is plenty to visit around Cape Town – vineyards offering some best wines, Marine parks with African Penguins (a much smaller species), Seals. Dolphins and Otters.
  • A few miles down the Peninsula is Cape Point, the southern most tip of the African continent, and the meeting point of two oceans – the cold and windy Atlantic and the warmer and calmer Indian Ocean. A famous Lighthouse at Cape Point atop a rocky tip of the continent offers a panoramic view of the two oceans. From the parking lot, a funicular railway called the Flying Dutchman takes you up a steep incline stretching some half-a-mile. From the windy observation point at the Lighthouse, one can view the “Cape of Good Hope”, some half mile below to the northwest. This was the name given by the European sailors several hundred years ago, since the winds near that point are at times furious and treacherous, and the sailors believed that they needed to navigate safely past that landmark to enter the calmer and safer waters of the Indian Ocean.

This then is a quick reference guide for traveling to some of the best places in Africa. Enjoy your trip - you will not regret it!

Victoria Falls - Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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Cape Town, South Africa

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    • Prakash Dighe profile image
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      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      Thanks for your comments, lex123. I've visited Zanzibar island and it is beautiful. So are the other islands of Seychelles and Mauritius. There are so many other beautiful places in Africa.

      I plan to read some of your Hubs - I can see you've covered many interesting topics.

    • lex123 profile image

      lex123 5 years ago

      Great hub. During my visit to East Africa, I had visited Zanzibar Island also, which is a beautiful place. I had even met people coming to Zanzibar from different parts of the world for a family get together.

    • profile image

      workpermit 5 years ago

      Yes, I hope to have the chance to come to country. Now have some travel agent in Vietnam organize the tour to Egypt but few customers register. So may be if I go, I will register air ticket, visa and hotel only to go. I am operate one site http://www.rushvietnamvisa.com to support the visa to Vietnam and Vietnam work permit for any foreigner want to come here, so if you have any friend or need any my assistance, please let me know.

    • Prakash Dighe profile image
      Author

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      Thanks for visiting my Hub, workpermit. You may wish to avoid summer - I'm sure summers must be hot and dry in Egypt. We visited during the winter and the weather was very pleasant. Incidentally, I've also visited your beautiful country some years ago, and spent a few days in Ho Chin City (formerly Saigon). A very vibrant city with some very nice people - many of them on 2-wheeler vehicles, particularly young women smartly dressed and wearing long hand gloves and broad chic hats to protect themselves from the sun. I'm sure you'll find Egypt exciting.

    • profile image

      workpermit 5 years ago

      I have never gone to Egypt, but my friend, he went there some years ago and said that. It is very excited to go there but the weather is very hot. hotter a lot than the weather in Vietnam, my country.

    • hockey8mn profile image

      hockey8mn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Unfortunately not. I don't have the money for the plane ticket and the government owns my soul for the next 4 years.

    • Prakash Dighe profile image
      Author

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      Yes, Egypt and the Great Rift Valley would be of tremendous interest to you as an anthropologist, hockey8mn. Thanks for your comments - and I do hope you'd be making your trip soon!

    • Prakash Dighe profile image
      Author

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      Thanks for your comments, edmob1. I'm sure it would be wonderful to get back there. You must include Victoria Falls, in case you haven't been there. Have a great day!

    • hockey8mn profile image

      hockey8mn 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Awesome hub. I have been to Africa (Morocco and Senegal) and am planning on going back to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro. As an Anthropologist, Egypt and the Great Rift Valley have always been on my list of places to go. It has given me a few other ideas of places to visit. Thanks.

    • edmob1 profile image

      edmob1 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Prakash my first visit to Egypt was just the sort of trip you highlight here and it left me wanting more. So I have made many visits since there is a hub I did on a one week Luxor-Aswan cruise.

      I use to work in South Africa so getting to the game parks of eastern Africa was not so expensive for me and your right the migrations are spectacular. Then there is the jewel that is Cape Town I have so many fond memories and fully intend to make another visit in next few years.

    • Prakash Dighe profile image
      Author

      Prakash Dighe 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas, USA

      I know you may have to make some tough choices! All the places are wonderful. Thanks for your comments, Bill.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Prakash. Have always wanted to go to Africa and this guide will be helpful when the times comes. Only problem will be deciding which area to visit? Would love to get to them all someday. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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