When people consider heading to the mysterious continent of Africa, they may not know which country or countries they should head to first. With two very different ‘types’ of country to choose from (Saharan and Sub-Saharan), it can be daunting to decide on just one or two. This article will help you get an idea of which countries are fantastic and worth a visit to help you make your decision!
Morocco is nestled in the north west corner of the continent, a stones throw away from the Rock of Gibraltar, across the Strait of Gibraltar on the north coast. Morocco is a Muslim majority nation that features some of the most unique landscapes, deserts and cities that you can find. Add to this the fact that it’s bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean, and you have a recipe for a perfect holiday or larger trip. For those who want a great shopping experience, the Jema El Fna Square in Marrakesh and its nearby maze-like souk markets is perfect. To get an idea of the leather industry, head to Fes where you can visit age old leather dying vats and watch the leather be prepared and dried in the sun. Don’t miss a trip to the seaside town of Essouira for cooler temperatures and some stunningly delicious seafood. Plan it right to catch the Gnaoua World Music Festival each summer!
Tanzania is fantastic, varied country with some stunning natural scenery and coastline. For a real treat, head to the island of Zanzibar where the sand is like powder and it’s snow white to boot. The island is home to some of the bluest waters, incredible snorkelling and friendly villagers who don’t hesitate to stop and have a chat with you, while perhaps teaching you a word or two in Swahili. Inland Tanzania is home to many different national parks and regions where animals run wild, and so cheaper options for safaris can be found throughout in the likes of the Selous Game Reserve and near Arusha. Try out a camping safari… where you can camp out under the stars with animals walking through almost any time! For a real challenge, hire a guide and climb Mount Kilimanjaro – one of the most impressive peaks on Earth.
South Africa is ideal for any first timers to the continent. With a strong Dutch colonial background, many parts of South Africa retain its colonial charm and history set in with its stunning natural beauty. Head to Cape Town for the likes of Table Top Mountain – climbable if you’re so inclined or you can take the cable cars. Hire a car and drive around the impressive coastlines. Be sure to hit up some of the inland vineyards in the Cape Wine Region to sample truly delectable fresh, local wines. Plan your trip for springtime to catch the great swathes of wild flowers in bloom throughout the countryside, a real treat for the senses.
So there you have three African countries you should check out now, if not first on your list of potential countries to head to on your big African adventure. One thing is for sure – what they say about Africa is true: you leave a piece of your heart there.