Africa is an enigmatic continent for many visitors and if you are one of them, a virtual tour around its top ten places may be worthwhile before you start packaging your suitcases.
The first stop on African soil is the spectacular Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. With a total width of 1,708 meters, the Victoria Falls is the largest water curtain in the world. It is a truly breath-taking experience to see this mass of water (about 500,000 cubic meters of it) dropping from 107 meters into the Zambezi gorge every minute. The whole area of the Victoria Falls is remarkably well preserved mostly due to the fact that it has been declared a world cultural heritage. This is the perfect spot for wildlife lovers and adventure seekers, who can feast their eyes on the remarkable flora and fauna of the great Zambezi River. You can fly in from Johannesburg and stay in the nearby town, which lies on the southern bank of the river, only eighteen km away from the airport. Apart from sightseeing, you can also hire a small airplane and take a bird’s eye view of the whole area, with the falls and everything or do some white water rafting or boating up the river.
Human life is too short to see all the beautiful places on the planet, but the pyramids in Egypt are a place that everyone must visit. The first European archaeologists who came to Egypt were stunned on realizing that the monumental structures, true architectural miracles, were thousands of years old, serving to accommodate the dead body of one man – the Pharaoh. He, ancients believed, transformed into the king of the dead after death. It will take you a good deal of several weeks to visit all pyramids, tombs, and temples scattered across the Nile Valley and, unless you are a professional archaeologist, you will understand little of what you will see. So, it is recommended that you take one of the standard tours around Egypt. These usually include visiting the pyramids, boating on the Nile River, and a tour around Cairo’s numerous marketplaces.
Marrakech, the Red city, is one of Morocco’s imperial cities, just like Fes and Rabat. The city is more than ten centuries old, combining the mysticism of the Orient and the dynamism of modern times. While you are in Marrakech, you must visit the famous Jemma el Fna square, which is bustling with activity when night falls. Here you can find snake charmers, tattooists and even dentists, all eager to attract the tourists’ attention and most of all, their money.
Windhoek is a good starting point of your visit to Namibia, as this is the country’s administrative and business center. You can stay in some of the big hotels in the town. Alternatively, you can find some perfect bead-and-breakfast spot, if you are more of a traveller than a tourist. From Windhoek you can take a trekking trip in the sands of Sossuvlei or a hiking tour in the mountains of Damaraland. If you are seeking a seaside holiday, Swakopmund is you place. The city’s palm-lined streets are clean and calm, and its architecture is in the colonial German style. The town is also proud of its large colony of Cape fur Seals, spreading to the north Swakopmund, which is on of its main attractions.
The Seychelle Islands are the perfect spot for those seeking a romantic seaside holiday with crystal clear warm waters, white sand beaches, coconut palms, and a lot of sun. Accommodation should not be a problem since tourists can choose from a constantly growing number of hotels and cosy retreats, all promising an unforgettable stay. The Seychelles offer to their visitors all kinds of summer seaside holiday activities such as scuba diving, windsurfing, horse-riding trips, fishing, hiking etc.
If you want to visit Tunisia, you can stay in one of the recommended hotels such as Villa Didon, Hotel Dar Said, Dar El Medina, or Dar Bibine. Tunisia is famous for its vast cork forests, amazing Roman ruins, and very beautiful mountains. While in Tunisia, you must visit the Bardo Museum in Tunis, which has one of the best-preserved collections of Roman mosaics. If you are a fan of Star Wars, you can go to the places where some of the episodes were shot.
Vuvuzela horns and football – this has been the most popular stuff in Cape Town and Johannesburg, as South Africa was the host of the Football World Cup. Needless to say, one of the most attractive destinations in Johannesburg is the Soccer City Stadium.
Of course, your trip to Africa will be somehow incomplete if you do not go on a safari in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, climb Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest snow-capped peak – or visit the amazing Toamasina port in Madagaskar.
Images Courtesy of Charles Raywriter, Tobias Alt