2019’s Top Ten Experiences in Africa
By Parker Diakite
The continent of Africa is home to more than 1.3 billion people, 54 countries, and where you will find some of the world’s most exotic beaches and experiences.
Booking a trip to Africa? Here are the top experiences, according to TripAdvisor:
1. Marrakech, Morocco
The “Red City” of Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and alleyways of the historic Medina can easily eat up a day.
Find inner peace at the serene Jardin Majorelle or take in the beauty of one of the city’s historic mosques (taking note that, unless you are Muslim, you are not allowed to enter).
2. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
The Zanzibar Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean 15 miles off the coast of Tanzania, is a breathtaking spot to escape from the world. You’ll enjoy clear, turquoise-blue water; shallow sandbars perfect for wading; and many small, nearly deserted islands virtually unvisited by tourists. Explore the World Heritage Site of Stone Town, Zanzibar City’s old quarter.
3. Fes, Morocco
The oldest university in the world isn’t Oxford or the Sorbonne—it’s the University of Al-Karaouine, and you’ll find it in Fes el Bali. This walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will transport you back to medieval times. Visit the ancient maze-like quarters of the Medina to Fes el-Bali and the four imposing Gates of Fes, with their distinctive Moroccan tile work.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town glistens at the southern toe of the African continent. Tourist brochure-views at Blaauwberg Beach and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are within easy driving distance of “The Mother City.” The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails, and wildlife encounters. On a more somber note, travelers can visit Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years.
5. Essaouira, Morocco
Portuguese, French and Berber architecture frame the maze-like streets of Essaouira, a charming and vibrant port and resort town on the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby, couples and families stroll the beaches of Cape Sim and Sidi Kaouki, which also attract surfers of all types. Relaxation is easy to find here, as is a bus to Marrakech, for those looking for a day trip.
6. Nairobi, Kenya
Known as the safari capital of Africa, Nairobi is an energetic, modern city that serves as a fascinating introduction to both wildlife and nightlife. Music clubs pulse with life, shops, and markets bustle, and a mélange of restaurants will tempt your palate in this former Maasai watering hole. Top sights include the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre and the black rhinos of Nairobi National Park.
7. Arusha, Tanzania
If you’ve ever dreamed of an African adventure, consider Arusha. This Tanzanian city is a wonderful base for Mt. Kilimanjaro climbers and safari enthusiasts, thanks to its location in the Great Rift Valley. Book a guided tour to trek through some of the world’s most beautiful and bountiful landscapes, such as Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara.
8. Overstrand, South Africa
Overstrand Municipality is a local municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is located along the Atlantic coast between Cape Town and Cape Agulhas, within the Overberg District Municipality.
Whale watching is a popular activity in Overstrand and those of you who are seeking a thrill can go shark cage diving.
9. Grand Baie, Mauritius
With lively restaurants, white-sand beaches, ever-expanding resorts, and a natural harbor, Grand Baie is fertile tourist ground. Located on the northwest coast of Mauritius, its fashion and craft shops appeal to landlubbers, while swimming, sailing and windsurfing enthusiasts frolic in the emerald Indian Ocean.
Glass-bottom boat trips provide a window on the underwater world, but for a one-of-a-kind experience, board a two-person submarine and cruise beneath the surface with the tropical fish.
10. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
If you visit Victoria Falls during a full moon, the light of the moon through the waterfall spray produces a lunar rainbow or moonbow.