The best vacations in Africa can be found all over the world’s second largest continent. Its boundaries range from the Middle East (technically on the continent of Asia) and across the Mediterranean coastline south over the Sahara Desert and the Equator to the tip of the Cape of Good Hope south of the beautiful city of Cape Town. Its westernmost point is Cape Verde, the island nation off the coast of Senegal, and its easternmost point includes the island nations of Seychelles off the coast of East Africa and Madagascar off the coast of Mozambique. The best African vacation spots can be on a romantic tropical isle like exotic Zanzibar, hiking in high mountains of Morocco where there is actually skiing available, trekking through rainforest and jungle, or camel trekking through arid deserts.
Many look to find the best safari vacation when they think of this continent, and these can also be found in varied regions. For the classic vast plains and savannas with the largest concentration of wildlife, the best safari vacation will be found in the East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania. This region was the birthplace of the classic safari, and is home to the Serengeti ecosystem where one of world’s most magnificent wildlife spectacles occurs. The great migration is a constant year-round movement of millions of zebra, wildebeest, and other antelope in search of greener grasses. It moves in a huge clockwise circle between the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Each country also boasts numerous other parks in varied ecosystems that range from semi-arid desert to lush tropical rainforests. Here are also are the tallest (Mount Kilimanjaro) and second-tallest (Mount Kenya) mountains on the continent.
You can find more wildlife experiences in several other countries. To find one of the world’s rarest and most endangered creatures, as well as get in some rigorous physical activity, the best safari vacation might be a trek into the Virunga Mountains found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo—home of the mountain gorilla. Botswana boasts the Okavango Delta and some of the continent’s most exclusive and intimate luxury lodges. Zimbabwe and Zambia both have wonderful and remote wildlife parks, not to mention magnificent Victoria Falls.
If you are looking for the greatest contrasts in scenery and experiences, then the best vacations in Africa will be found in South Africa. The country has dozens of public and private parks and reserves, including Kruger National Park, the country’s signature game reserve. There are fabulous beaches with five-star resorts, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, and deep sea fishing. The city of Cape Town is one of the most sophisticated and beautiful in the world, presenting a magnificent cityscape against the backdrop of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. There is a scenic wine region with bucolic vineyards, graceful Cape Dutch wineries, and charming bed and breakfast inns—not to mention some of the world’s most respected wine labels. You can travel the scenic Garden Route by rental car or on the legendary and luxurious Blue Train. There is even snow skiing in the Drakensburg Mountains. South Africa is one of the best African vacation spots if you want to fit in the widest possible variety within a single itinerary.
For some, the best vacations in Africa will be spent exploring the ancient monuments of Egypt where you will find some of the world’s most iconic and mysterious remnants of one of the world’s most celebrated civilizations. Here are ancient temples including Karnak in Luxor, burial monuments such as the great Giza Pyramids outside Cairo, and the vast Valley of the Kings and Queens. Your choice of accommodations range from international five-star hotels to comfortable budget hotels. You might even choose Nile River cruises. Egypt also has great beaches in both Alexandria as well as at numerous Red Sea resorts like Hurghada.
Look for more beaches in Morocco, where you will also find more ancient culture. If beaches are what you seek, then the best African vacation spots may well be on one of the Seychelles islands. These remote islands lie in the Indian Ocean about 1,000 miles off the coast of East Africa. They are known for the pristine quality of their long stretches of sugar-fine sand and their romantic luxury resorts. Like Hawaii, Seychelles is an extremely popular place for exotic destination weddings and honeymoons.