Africa Travel Guide
Welcome to Africa, the cradle of humanity and a continent that's incredibly rich in diversity and contrasts. From its vast savannahs where lions roam to vibrant cities buzzing with energy, Africa is a travel destination like no other.
Its sheer scale and variety can be overwhelming - it's the world's second-largest continent, after all - but therein lies its allure. Africa has something for everyone, whether it's exploring ancient civilizations, taking in its stunning landscapes, or connecting with local cultures.
Every corner of Africa offers a unique adventure, a chance to see, feel, and experience something profoundly moving and life-changing.
Where do you want to go? Click on the region you want to explore.
Delve into the wonders of North Africa, a land where ancient pyramids meet bustling medinas, and the Sahara Desert kisses the Mediterranean Sea. Traverse the historic corridors of Egypt’s tombs, explore the Roman ruins of Tunisia, and get lost in Morocco’s vibrant souks.
North Africa includes countries like Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt
West Africa, a diversity of cultures, languages, and terrains, invites you to experience its rich traditions and diverse landscapes. From the animated beats of Senegalese drums to the grandeur of Mali’s ancient mud mosques, and the bustling markets of Nigeria, this region offers an authentic taste of African vibrancy and heritage.
West Africa includes countries like Benin, Guinea, Senegal, and others.
Journey to the heart of the continent in Central Africa. This is a realm of dense rainforests, winding rivers, and enigmatic wildlife. Trek through the Congo in search of lowland gorillas, sail on the Oubangui River under a canopy of stars, and immerse yourself in the traditions of the Baka people. Central Africa promises raw and untamed adventures.
Central Africa includes destinations like Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
East Africa, the cradle of humanity, offers majestic landscapes that take your breath away. From the vast savannas of the Serengeti teeming with the “Big Five,” to the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro and the depths of the Great Rift Valley, there’s no end to its wonders. Dive into the island cultures of Zanzibar and Seychelles or witness the great wildebeest migration. This is a region where nature truly comes alive.
East Africa includes popular destinations such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Southern Africa beckons with its wild beauty, from the dunes of Namibia to the delta of Botswana and the iconic Table Mountain of South Africa. Embark on a safari in Kruger National Park, traverse the Okavango Delta in a traditional mokoro canoe, and feel the thunder of Victoria Falls. With its blend of indigenous and colonial cultures, Southern Africa offers a journey of discovery and awe.
Southern Africa includes countries such as South Africa (obviously), Botswana and Namibia.
Quick Facts About Africa
- Africa is composed of 54 sovereign states including Madagascar, and an additional 9 territories.
- The largest countries by land area are Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan.
- Africa’s subregions:
- Northern Africa: Comprising countries like Egypt, Libya, and Morocco.
- Western Africa: Including countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal.
- Central Africa: Home to countries like Chad, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Eastern Africa: This includes countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
- Southern Africa: Comprising nations like South Africa, Botswana, and Lesotho.
- Africa is the most linguistically diverse continent with over 2,000 distinct languages.
- Arabic is widely spoken in North Africa, while in sub-Saharan Africa, Swahili, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Zulu and Amharic are among the most widely spoken.
- Islam and Christianity are the dominant religions in Africa.
- Islam is widely practiced in North Africa, parts of West Africa and East Africa.
- Christianity is more dominant in Central Africa, Southern Africa, and parts of East and West Africa.
- There are also numerous indigenous religions across the continent.
Africa, A Continent of Many Records
- Africa is the second-largest continent on Earth, covering about 30.37 million km2 / 11.7 million square miles.
- Africa is home to the world’s largest desert, the Sahara, spanning across 11 countries.
- The Nile river in Africa is the longest river in the world at approximately 6,650 km / 4,132 miles.
- Lake Victoria, spanning Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya, is the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by surface area.
- Africa has the world’s largest population of black rhinos, elephants, and a variety of bird species.
- Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest point in Africa, standing at 5,895 meters / 19,341 feet.
- Africa is the hottest continent on earth; the world record for the highest temperature ever recorded, 57.8°C / 136°F, was set in Tunisia.
- Africa has the world’s largest land mammal (the African elephant) and the tallest (the Giraffe).
10 Handpicked African Highlights
10 fantastic places and experiences in Africa, in no particular order.
- Explore the majestic pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza, Egypt.
- Embark on a thrilling safari in the Serengeti, Tanzania, or Maasai Mara, Kenya.
- Climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the highest peak in Africa.
- Visit the ancient rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, Ethiopia.
- Get up close with mountain gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda.
- Marvel at the beauty of Victoria Falls, at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Explore the vibrant and colorful markets of Marrakech, Morocco.
- Take a cruise down the Nile River in Egypt, from Luxor to Aswan.
- Explore the breathtaking landscapes and rich wildlife of the Okavango Delta in Botswana.
- Visit Robben Island in South Africa, a significant site in the history of South Africa’s struggle for freedom.
When to Go to Africa
Africa is a huge continent with many different climates, so the best time to visit can greatly depend on your destination. However, a few general pointers include:
- For wildlife safaris, the dry seasons (June to October for southern and eastern Africa, and December to April for northern Africa) are generally considered the best times for wildlife viewing.
- North Africa is best visited in the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) to avoid extreme summer heat.
- The best time to trek Mount Kilimanjaro is during the dry seasons, from late June to October, and from late December to February.
Traveling to Africa
- Stay updated about the political situation in the country you’re visiting.
- Ensure your vaccinations are up to date, and take precautions against malaria in many parts of Africa.
- Use reputable companies for activities and tours, especially for wildlife-related activities.
- Be cautious of petty crime in major cities.
- Respect wildlife rules and guidelines in national parks.
- Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.
- Ensure your travel insurance covers all your activities and medical emergencies.
- Be aware of local customs and dress codes, especially in North Africa and rural areas.
Getting to and Around Africa
- Major airlines fly into several African countries from various parts of the world.
- Intra-continental flights can be a quick way to cover large distances.
- Buses and minibuses are a common way to travel within and between countries.
- Cars are useful in major cities and for exploring attractions near urban centers.
- Trains provide a leisurely and scenic way of covering long distances, like the Blue Train in South Africa or the Marrakech Express in Morocco.
- Africa offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury game lodges and five-star hotels, to budget guesthouses and backpacker hostels.
- Camping can be a wonderful way to experience the African wilderness, with many national parks and nature reserves offering camping facilities.
- Homestays or community-run guesthouses can offer a unique cultural experience and an opportunity to support local economies.
- Prices for accommodation can vary greatly depending on the country and location. Generally, coastal and safari destinations tend to be more expensive.