Africa is a vast and incredibly diverse continent with vibrant cultures, spectacular landscapes, and abundant wildlife. As more and more travellers discover Africa’s beauty and adventure, specific destinations have become top destinations. Here is a breakdown of the best places to visit in Africa in 2024 based on popularity, safety, affordability and overall experience.
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Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Due to the annual Great Migration, the Serengeti is Africa’s most famous national park, where over 2 million wildebeests, zebras, and other animals travel searching for fresh grazing lands. The best time to witness the migration is between June and October. The Serengeti offers superb game viewing year-round, with lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes and more.
Visa Requirements: Visitors must obtain a tourist visa in advance through the eVisa system. Single-entry tickets cost USD 50.
Accommodation: Safari lodges range from simple tent camps to high-end clubs like Four Seasons Safari Lodge. Prices range from $150 to over $1500 per night. More affordable options are basic guesthouses in towns like Arusha, which services the Serengeti.
Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the planet’s most spectacular natural wonders. Over a mile wide and 350 feet high, Victoria Falls has awe-inspiring views. The falls form the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with excellent tourist infrastructure. Activities like guided hikes, white water rafting, and helicopter tours are available.
Visa Requirements: Zambia and Zimbabwe offer visas upon arrival for certain nationalities, while others need e-visas purchased in advance.
Accommodation: Livingstone, Zambia and Victoria Falls town, Zimbabwe, offer hotels ranging from backpacker dorms to 5-star hotels averaging $150 to $300 per night. Higher-end safari lodges with fall views are also available.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is arguably Africa’s most beautiful and cosmopolitan city. Popular attractions include Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Cape of Good Hope, award-winning vineyards, beaches, high-end shopping and dining, and an exploding cultural scene. Conde Nast Traveler named Cape Town the #1 African city in 2022.
Visa Requirements: South Africa allows many nationalities to enter without a visa for tourism stays under 90 days.
Read Also : The Top Travel Agencies in South Africa for 2024
Accommodation: A wide variety of capacities is available, from hostel dorm beds costing $15 per night to luxury hotels averaging $250 per night. Airbnbs are also very popular.
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The Masai Mara Reserve is one of Africa’s best places to see big cats like lions, leopards, cheetahs and the annual wildebeest migration between July and October. Balloon safaris provide a unique aerial perspective. Culturally, the native Maasai people also attract tourists.
Visa Requirements: Many nationalities can obtain an eVisa online before arrival, while some qualify for visas upon arrival. Prices start around USD 50.
Accommodation: The small towns around the reserve offer budget guesthouses for around $50 per night, while luxury safari lodges in the park range from $300 to $1500 per night. Camping is also allowed in certain areas.
Marrakesh allures visitors with its ancient architecture, bustling souks (markets) full of handicrafts and spices, stunning mosques and vibrant city culture blending North African and Arab influences. From snake charmers in Jemaa el Fna Square to towering minarets, Marrakesh overwhelms the senses.
Visa Requirements: Most travellers can obtain a one-month Moroccan tourist visa for approximately arrivalUSD 25.
Accommodation: Marrakesh offers a tremendous variety of capacities, from $20 dorm beds to luxury five-star resorts, averaging $200 to $400 per night. Beautiful traditional riads converted into boutique hotels provide local cultural immersion.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
The iconic Kruger National Park offers classic African safari adventures. Kruger provides excellent chances to see the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo) along with cheetahs, giraffes and hippos. The park features a wide range of accommodations and easy accessibility from Johannesburg.
Visa Info: As stated above, South Africa allows visa-free entries for most nationalities.
Accommodation: Kruger has luxury safari lodges averaging $300 to $800 per night, standard hotels and park-run guest cottages for approximately $100 per night, and extremely basic campsites for $15 per night. All options sell out months in advance during peak seasons.
The Seychelles are the place to experience paradise beaches surrounded by tropical forests. Located northeast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, the Seychelles’ 115 islands offer stunning luxury resorts, world-class diving and snorkelling in protected reefs, boat excursions and wildlife like giant tortoises.
Visa Requirements: Visitors must have an approved Entry Permit before arrival. Permits cost USD 70 and are valid for 30 days.
Accommodation: Given the Seychelles’ status as a luxury beach destination, hotels range from $300 to $1200+ per night. Budget guesthouses under $100 per night are very rare. Reservations are strongly recommended.
The semi-autonomous Zanzibar Archipelago dazzles visitors with UNESCO-listed Stone Town, stellar beaches, snorkelling, diverse culture fusing African, Arab and Indian influences, historic sites like Anglican churches and 19th-century palaces, and lush spice plantations. Relaxation or adventure – Zanzibar offers both.
Visa Requirements: Visitors must obtain an Approved Letter before arrival, costing USD 100 for 90 days. Americans pay USD 134.
Accommodation: Beach resorts average $250 to $400 per night, while basic guesthouses can be found for under $100 per night. An array of Airbnb also offers lodging options and cultural immersion.
Scientists have deemed over 90% of wildlife found in Madagascar unique due to millions of years of isolation. Lemurs get top billing, but the islands off Africa’s east coast contain much more biodiversity, plus spectacular landscapes like Isalo National Park’s eroded sandstone formations. The culture also fascinates visitors.
Visa Requirements: An eVisa purchased before arrival is required, costing approximately USD 80.
Accommodation: Madagascar offers tremendous variety, from basic guesthouses under $50 per night to luxury rainforest retreats averaging $300 to $500 per night. English and French are commonly spoken in main tourist areas.
More Great Places to Visit
Other fantastic places to visit in Africa that didn’t quite make the top list include Maasai Mara National Reserve (Kenya), Pyramids of Giza/Cairo (Egypt), Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary (Senegal), Nosy Be (Madagascar), Mountain Gorillas (Uganda/Rwanda), Sossusvlei dunes (Namibia) and more.
FAQ About Visiting Africa
Which African country is best for tourists?
Based on visitor numbers and popularity, South Africa and Morocco are considered the most tourist-friendly countries in Africa. South Africa boasts superb infrastructure, wildlife and beaches, while Morocco allures visitors with ancient medinas and welcoming hospitality.
Which part of Africa is best for tourists?
East Africa and Southern Africa offer travellers the most diverse attractions, activities and accessibility. Places like Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa receive millions of visitors annually. West Africa is an up-and-coming region that is gaining more tourism.
What is the most visited tourist place in Africa?
The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt famously welcome over 14 million visitors per year, followed by Djemma el Fna market square in Marrakesh, Morocco (approximately 10 million annually). Victoria Falls and Kruger National Park in Southern Africa also rank among Africa’s most visited sites.
Where is the prettiest place in Africa?
Numerous survey polls and travel industry experts name Cape Town, South Africa, the most stunning city in Africa thanks to its coastal setting below Table Mountain, top-notch hotels and restaurants, nearby vineyards and cosmopolitan yet laidback lifestyle. Seychelles and Zanzibar islands are also consistently ranked as Africa’s top tropical paradise escapes.
What is the most beautiful city in Africa in 2023?
Conde Nast Traveler magazine named Cape Town the best city in Africa for 2023 thanks to its stunning natural setting, exploding food scene and cultural attractions like Robben Island – where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years before ending apartheid and becoming president of South Africa.