Safari.com
5 minute read
13 Nov 2019
10:38 am

Top five African destinations to put on your bucket list

Safari.com

Gorilla trekking is regarded by many travellers as the ultimate experience to be had in Africa. 

Africa is an ever-growing tourist destination with more and more people around the world looking to experience the continent’s pristine beaches, majestic wildlife, and rich cultural heritage. But with so many destinations to choose from, it can be rather difficult deciding which offers the most rewarding experiences.

We have put together the Top 5 destinations in Africa that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.

  1. Botswana

If you’re looking for an exclusive safari getaway, then Botswana is the perfect destination for you to visit. Botswana is home to a sought-after wilderness destination known as the Okavango Delta. Being the world’s largest inland river delta, you can expect to see an array of wildlife and flora species, including the famous Big 5 and rarer animal species such as cheetah and wild dogs. With over 400 birds species, Botswana is a top destination for bird-watching safaris. 

If you enjoy learning about culture and meeting locals then a visit with San people who have been around for thousands of years is a must! Their way of life is incredibly fascinating. 

Accommodation in Botswana ranges from 3 to 5-star luxury lodges to mobile camps that are great for those adventurous travellers. Activities on offer at the camps generally include twice-daily game drives, guided bush walks and bird watching. Some camps also offer mokoro excursions, boating safaris and fishing expeditions. 

  1. Kenya

Kenya is an ideal destination for couples and families looking for an exceptional safari experience and a beach holiday. 

The Masai Mara National Park offers great game viewing, with all members of the Big 5 present. The Mara is incredibly popular during migration season when more than 1 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope move in a circular direction between Kenya and Tanzania in search of fresh pastures that have sprouted after the rain. 


Amboseli National Park is also a fantastic wildlife destination and offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s largest mountain and the second biggest in the world. 

Diani Beach is a favourite for beach getaways; offering a stunning stretch of white sand beach, luxurious beachfront accommodations and a wide range of activities. 

  1. Zanzibar

Zanzibar is an island paradise that is often combined with a safari in Tanzania. The island boasts a crystal clear blue ocean, palm-fringed beaches and decadent cuisine. Stone Town is known for its rich cultural heritage with visits to the market and spice tours being incredibly popular. 

Pemba Island is a hidden gem just 100 kilometres from Zanzibar – a perfect option for a more exclusive experience.  

Zanzibar is a diver’s dream with pristine coral reefs and diverse species of marine life. There are a number of activities to enjoy on the island, including a glass-bottom dhow cruise and visits to a local village. 

  1. Victoria Falls

It’s incredible to know that Africa is home to the largest falling curtain of water in the world and is often described as Africa’s adventure capital because of the range of activities on offer. From bungee jumping to scenic helicopter flights and sunset river cruises – there is something for everyone!

For a once in a lifetime experience, one should include a luxury train trip with Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Victoria Falls; seeing parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe that not many get to see. 

Victoria Falls sunrise. Picture: iStock

With its close proximity to surrounding game reserves, it is possible to combine Victoria Falls with a safari or include a full-day safari experience in the Big 5 Chobe National Park.

Victoria Falls offers a range of luxury lodges that are within close proximity to the Falls or nestled on the banks of the Zambezi River. 

  1. Rwanda & Uganda

Rwanda and Uganda are both countries that offer an experience that can be experienced nowhere else in the world – Mountain Gorilla trekking.

Sharing 98% of human DNA, it is a rather humbling experience when you get to meet these incredible animals up-close. They are incredibly powerful and intelligent, living in tight-knit family units high up in the mountains of east-central Africa.

Thanks to conservation efforts, the population of mountain gorillas has steadily increased over the years, from 620 gorillas in 1989 to around 1,004 today. Gorilla trekking is expensive but contributes directly to the protection of a species that for many years had faced extinction. 

Gorilla treks can be tough as you head out into the forest in search of your assigned gorilla family but the hour you get to spend with them is incredibly rewarding. As you quietly sit only metres away, you watch as they interact with each other and the young play. Gorilla trekking is regarded by many travellers as the ultimate experience to be had in Africa. 

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