Think of a holiday to Africa and your mind may go directly to thoughts of wild animals and safari. Indeed, getting up close and personal with the native animals of this dramatic continent is a once in a lifetime experience.
But think beyond the square and Africa delivers magical beaches, exotic cities and rich cultures unlike anywhere else in the world. Africa is huge and incredibly diverse – we break down everything you need to know for a trip in our Africa travel guide here.
There is Egypt, with the humming marketplaces in Cairo, majestic river cruises on The Nile, the grandeur of the pyramids and the country’s incredible cuisine.
In Morocco you’ll find enchanting cities like Marrakech, where colourful architecture, medieval souks, winding alleyways and snake charmers will steal your heart. Morocco is also home to the incredibly photogenic “blue city” Chefchaouen, where you can wander around the azure alleyways and drink in the heady scents of the spice market. Morocco’s capital city Rabat is also well worth exploring, with its rich culture and drool-worthy restaurants.
If you want action, big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town are fabulous places to base yourself for your South African adventure. With incredible food, amazing boutique shopping and a wealth of luxe accommodation offerings, these locations are perfect for those wanting a bit of a city splurge. You can also journey through South Africa’s winelands if exploring vineyards appeals to you.
For those who want to take it slow you can relax on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, like those in Mauritius and the island paradise that is The Seychelles (where you can marvel at some of the richest marine life on the planet). You can also surf the world class waves in Jeffrey’s Bay if that’s your thing.
Head to the remote Cape Verde archipelago (off the coast of West Africa) to immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage of Europe’s first settlement in the tropics. It’s a part of the world only a lucky few get to experience.
If you want a little more pace to your vacation, then there are many adventures that await you in Africa. Hiking, four-wheel-drive tours, journeys through the desert … the options are endless. If you’re a solo traveller you might like to check out some of the excellent group tours on offer in Africa.
Africa is also a shopper’s paradise. Sure, there are the huge malls that you will find in Johannesburg and other big cities, but get off the beaten track and you’ll find so many unique things you won’t find at home. You can purchase amazing leather backpacks and shoes, old world wines, the iconic and colourful Kente cloth in Ghana, or unique woven baskets, silverware and art in Morocco.
The accommodation options are endless. Stay at a desert lodge in Namibia, have breakfast with giraffes in Nairobi, holiday like a billionaire in South Africa or stay at Sir Richard Branson’s eco lodge.
If this has whet your appetite for a trip to Africa, check out our comprehensive content below on where to stay, what to do and what to eat across this incredibly diverse continent.