Where to go in Africa? The 10 most beautiful places to discover

afrique du sud

Indulge your wanderlust with these magnificent places to discover in Africa!

Do you yearn for life-size adventures? Africa is the destination of choice for getting off the beaten track. The continent has everything to delight travelers in search of a change of scenery. Indeed, it’s so rich in culture, history and spectacular scenery that its every nook and cranny arouses curiosity and wonder.

With over 50 countries and just as many destinations to choose from, perhaps you don’t know where to start your journey in Africa? We’ve put together this short guide to take you on a journey from the Rift Valley to the Sahara, via the Kilimanjaro massif. There are so many places to discover in this land of contrasts, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

Victoria Falls: Zambia and Zimbabwe

One of the seven natural wonders of the world
chutes victoria

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Torsten Reuter

  • 💙 We love: spectacular views, thrilling activities

Straddling Zambia and Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is as majestic a spectacle as the queen whose name it bears. This 108 m-high curtain of water spills into a narrow ravine with such a roar that it scatters the air with mist and spray visible from 20 km away. Locals rightly call it « Mosi-oa-Tunya » or « the smoke that roars ».

To better appreciate this picture woven by nature, take the boat toLivingstone Island, nestling on the Zambian side of the abyss. Once you’ve circumnavigated the island, don’t hesitate to dive into the adjacent Devil’s Pool. A true paradise! You’re just as spoiled by the view, which covers 75% of the site on the other side, in Zimbabwe. Come on a full moon day to admire a lunar rainbow!

Lake Malawi: Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique

Africa’s third-largest lake
lac malawi

Photo credit: Shutterstock – LMspencer

  • 💙 We like: the panorama between lake and mountains, water sports activities

Stretching over 29,600 km² between Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique, Lake Malawi can be discovered and enjoyed both above and below the water’s surface. It’s impossible not to marvel at this translucent body of water bordered by pristine beaches and fishing villages! But the surprise doesn’t stop there, as a whole kingdom populated by endemic fauna lurks beneath.

Lake Malawi is a veritable Eldorado for scuba diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Put on your mask and snorkel, and set off to meet Malawi’s cichlids – the waters are home to almost 700 species! You can also take a kayak trip to explore the islands, or simply laze on the warm sand in the secluded coves.

The Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Rendezvous in the heights of Berber land
montagne atlas

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Alberto Loyo

  • 💙 We love: spectacular landscapes, Berber culture, outdoor sports

It’s time to gain altitude in the Atlas Mountains! This vast mountain range stretches some 2,500 km across Morocco,Algeria and Tunisia. Morocco comprises three mountain ranges: the High Atlas, the Middle Atlas and the Anti-Atlas. They offer a variety of landscapes promising unforgettable hikes.

The panoramas are set with rugged peaks, cedar forests, red-ochre canyons, verdant valleys, ruined kasbahs and Berber villages with long-lasting traditions. The High Atlas, in central Morocco, is home to Mount Toubkal. At 4,167 m, it is the highest peak in North Africa. It takes climbers who are not afraid of the cold approximately three days to conquer its eternal snows.

The sand dunes of the Sahara desert in Algeria, Libya, Mali, Niger and Chad

An ocean of dunes as far as the eye can see
désert sahara

Photo credit: Shutterstock – freedom100m

  • 💙 We love: lunar landscapes, local culture and traditions, stargazing

Satisfy your thirst for discovery in the Sahara Desert. Here, the word « infinite » takes on its full meaning, as it unfolds endlessly in a succession of sandy dunes towards the horizon. And with good reason! With its 9.2 million km², it covers almost the whole of North Africa. What’s more, this place is anything but desert.

Indeed, this ocean of golden sand is the stage for a myriad of activities. Dromedary trekking (or méharée), sandboarding (or dune surfing), fireside under the stars or exploring caves adorned with cave paintings. The possibilities are endless. Finally, don’t forget to sink your head into the warm dunes. It’s an excellent remedy for rheumatism!

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

In the sanctuary of the Big Five
parc serengueti

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Vaganundo_Che

  • 👍 Best period: between June and September
  • 💙 We love: savannah animals, the great migration

This is one of Africa’s best-preserved wildlife havens. This setting, studded with plains and acacia-covered hills, is home to some of the planet’s most fascinating animals. In addition to mammals (giraffes, cheetahs, impalas, chimpanzees, etc.), there are over 500 species of birds (ostriches, marabouts, pink flamingos) and reptiles (crocodiles, gecko, giant tortoises).

In particular, it’s one of the best places to see the Big Five: lion, buffalo, rhinoceros, elephant and leopard, the Holy Grail of every safari enthusiast! The park also offers a natural spectacle unique in the world: the Great Migration. Every year, around 2 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope – followed by predators – set off in a clockwise direction to reach the pastures of the Masaï Mara.

The Kilimanjaro massif, Tanzania

The roof of Africa
kilimanjaro

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Volodymyr Burdiak

  • 👍 Best period: December to early March
  • 💙 We love: high-altitude landscapes, breathtaking views over the plains, sunrise above the clouds

It’s undoubtedly one of Africa’s most iconic images: a towering silhouette dominating the savannah, haloed by clouds and eternal snow. The Kilimanjaro massif is made up of three volcanoes: Shira (3,962 m), Mawenzi (5,149 m) and Kibo (5,895 m) – the roof of the continent. While the first two are extinct, Kibo is still active. But hush, it’s sleeping!

You can choose between six different routes to climb Kilimanjaro. The climb will take you from one world to another, from the scorching sun of the savannah to a white paradise of snow and glaciers. Once at the summit, you can admire the sublime panorama offered by the plains stretching as far as the eye can see.

The heavenly beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania

A piece of Eden in the Indian Ocean
plages zanzibar

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Denis Belitsky

  • 💙 We love: wild beaches, cultural and historical heritage

With its string of 50 islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar is the perfect setting for those who love to get away from it all. With its sandy beaches, vestiges of the Omani and colonial eras, lush forests and spice plantations, you’ll (delightfully) lose your bearings.

Take your place on Nungwi beach, a ribbon of pristine sand bordered by turquoise waters. It’s protected by an abundant coral reef, making it a must-see diving spot in Zanzibar. If you just want to relax, then Pongwe beach is the place for you. It is secluded and forms a natural pool thanks to the coral reef.

The Rift Valley in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya

The Valley of Wonders
vallee rift

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Joanna Rigby-Jones

  • 💙 We like: diversity of landscapes, wildlife parks, nature reserves

The Rift Valley is a gigantic fault that runs from the Red Sea through several East African countries, including Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. Some 7,000 km long, it unfolds in a kaleidoscope of valleys, savannahs, lakes, volcanoes, rocky escarpments and nature reserves.

On the Kenyan side, Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the region’s main sanctuaries for rhinoceros and the (rare) Rothschild’s giraffe. It is also home to an alkaline lake where a flock of pelicans and flamingos frolic. Hell’s Gate National Park is another must-see near Nairobi. It is remarkable for its imposing red cliffs and steaming geysers.

The dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia

Dunes millions of years old
dunes sossusvlei

Photo credit: Shutterstock – muratart

  • 📍 Distance: 60 km from Sesriem
  • 💙 We like: the lunar landscape, climbing the dunes, Dead Vlei and its gaunt acacias

Located in the heart of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the Sossusvlei dunes are gigantic sand pyramids stretching for almost 60 km. They can reach 400 m in height, and are composed of quartz and iron oxide – which gives them their intense red color. They are estimated to be between 5 and 80 million years old.

The most famous dunes are Dune 45 (170 m) and Big Daddy (345 m). You can climb them for a breathtaking view of the Namib Desert – preferably at sunset. Right at the foot of Big Daddy lies Dead Vlei, a large basin covered in cracked white clay, where acacia trees have been frozen by time and wind.

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Meeting the last mountain gorillas
rwanda parc

Photo credit: Shutterstok – Attila Jandi

  • 💙 We like: trekking in the rainforest, observing primates in their natural habitat

Volcanoes National Park is located in the Virunga mountain range in north-western Rwanda. It owes its name to the 5 volcanoes it shelters, the highest of which is Karisimbi at 4,507 m altitude. It features unspoilt landscapes dotted with bamboo forests, grasslands, moorlands and swamps.

This high-altitude kingdom is home to 300 mountain gorillas. In the misty forest, follow in the footsteps of Diane Fossey, the famous primatologist, to observe the last representatives of this species in their natural habitat. This oasis is also home to another rare species of primate: the golden monkey, which lives in colonies of 80 to 100 individuals and is particularly fond of bamboo!

Africa is a concentration of natural wonders, and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your next destination. Which of these destinations has awakened your longing for more?