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5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa You Didn't Know Exist



5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa
Looking for a new vacation spot? Tired of the same scenes and need something unique? How about Africa? This diverse continent is rich in history, ancient cultures, scenic views, mesmerizing beaches, and unrivalled wildlife.

Head to Northern Africa to trace Arab history, check out ancient architecture, and visit colourful markets and mosques. Or trace the historic and recent impacts of colonialism in Eastern or Southern Africa, before spending a relaxing moment on the soft sand of the beaches. Or maybe you need more adventure. Africa has that too. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find a city or even a whole country that has your ideal vacation.

1. Zanzibar, Tanzania
5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa
Rich colonial history? Yes. Clear blue water beaches? Check. An all-around everything-you-want cultural vacation? Definitely. Whether you want to spend your days wandering down winding streets learning about the island or about Tanzanian culture or spend your days relaxing with your toes in the sand, Zanzibar has it all. Located right off the coast of Tanzania in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar’s perfect beaches are the ideal spot for your time away from the world. When you’re done with your time in the picturesque waters, head to Stone Town, Zanzibar’s historical centre, full of old forts and markets selling handcrafted souvenirs. The Swahili cultural tours take you on a journey to see the island’s Catholic and Anglican influences as well as the historic Sultan statehood. The island is also home to spice farms, where you can learn about the spice trades and even try the flavours.

2. Cape Town, South Africa
5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa
Head to a city with everything. Cape Town has beaches, mountains, and everything in between. From the welcoming people to the amazing views from the mountains, your time in Cape Town will be nothing short of incredible. Take a cable car (or a hike!) up to the top of Table Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views of the city below, and later visit beautiful flora at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Head outside the city a bit for Simon’s Town, where you can get up close and personal with a penguin colony at Boulders Beach. If simply seeing them isn’t enough for you, head to Foxy’s Beach to even swim with these black and white friends. Robben Island is a can’t miss if you’re a history buff, a Nelson Mandela fan, or just anyone who wants to learn more details about South African history. A short boat ride from the city you can get tours of the limestone quarry, the cells of South Africa’s freedom fighters, and of course, a look into Mandela’s cell.

3. Mombasa, Kenya
5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa
Head down Kenya’s coast for a taste of history, big city, and beaches all wrapped up in one trip. Mombasa is the second largest city in the country, with a population of over 1 million. The city is also home to centuries of coastal Kenyan history, as the largest port in all of East Africa. Visit Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage site leftover from the Portuguese in the 16th century. Mombasa’s Old Town is filled with old architecture, all containing Arab, Asian, and European influences. Animal lovers will love the giraffes, Cape buffaloes, zebras, hippos, and more at Haller Park, a wildlife reserve in the city, while those who can’t get enough of the water will love Mombasa’s picturesque beaches and the Mombasa Marine National Park, where you can go snorkelling and diving.

4. Masai Mara and Serengeti Parks, Kenya & Tanzania
5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa
The ultimate animal lover’s vacation? Without a doubt. Okay, these are technically two different places in two different countries, but they are so close to each other that if you’re in one, going to the other is a pretty easy journey. Masai Mara National Reserve in Southern Kenya is a nearly 590 square mile park that is known as an ideal spot to view lions, as well as zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, African elephants, and more. Just on the other side of the border is the Serengeti National Park, in Northern Tanzania. The park contains nearly 5,700 square miles of land full of all the animals you want to see on your safari, plus a few globally endangered animals. The best time to book your safari is said to be between June and February, though it is best to check the specific area you are heading to. Going on a Safari in these parks is a must-do adventure while in Kenya or Tanzania.

5. Marrakech, Morocco.
5 Best Vacation Spots In Africa
Imagine strolling through crowded markets full of the most beautiful crafts and most delicious scents. This is Marrakech. The bustling Moroccan city combines old traditions with new adventures. Head to Jemaa el-Fna, Marrakech’s main square, filled with crowded stalls. Surround yourself with the colours of the crafts for sale, the sounds of snake charmers and dancers with their traditional music, and the smells of the grilled meats sold all around the noisy square. Head to one of the many mosques to see the beauty of the stunning architecture and colourful, intricate tile designs, or take a cooking class to bring all the spices and flavours of Moroccan cuisine into your home after you leave. Marrakech is also a great place for a hot air balloon ride over the Maghreb -- best at sunrise for a view that will astonish you.

6. Giza, Egypt
You learned about the Great Pyramids of Giza in school, but have you ever seen them up close? Why not go to Giza for your next vacation to wander the ancient tombs yourself? The pyramids were built roughly between 2630 and 2611 BC out of limestone blocks. The largest is the Pyramid of King Cheops, containing approximately 2.5 million limestone blocks. When you’re done at the pyramids, head over the Great Sphinx of Egypt, or to the Wissa Wassef Art Center nearby to see the tapestries and pottery right after they’re made. The Eastern and Western cemeteries, on the eastern and western sides of the pyramids respectively, give you easy access to enter some of the tombs and even explore ancient Egyptian burial chambers.

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