Five of the most visited countries in Africa
Africa can surprised and amaze how many new things there are to see and to do even if you have already visited this continent
People tend to think of Africa as a country, not a continent. But with 54 countries calling it home, Africa’s topography, landscape, and activities vary drastically by region. To make it easier for you to plan a trip, see some of the most popular countries to go in Africa.
Most visited countries in Africa
Morocco, a North African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. Marrakesh’s medina, a mazelike medieval quarter, offers entertainment in its Djemaa el-Fna square and souks (marketplaces) selling ceramics, jewelry and metal lanterns. The capital Rabat’s Kasbah of the Udayas is a 12th-century royal fort overlooking the water.
Casablanca is home to Hassan II Mosque, an Islamic landmark with a 210m minaret, and the city of Fes is notable for its medina, Fes el Bali. Elsewhere in Morocco, historic sites include earthen-walled Aït Benhaddou (a fortified trading post) and the Roman site Volubilis, which has ruins of a basilica and triumphal arch. Visitors can take camel rides across the Saharan dunes of Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga, or go hiking and skiing in the central Atlas Mountains. Beach destinations include the resorts of Essaouira, a windsurfer favorite, and Agadir, known for its crescent-shaped bay.
South Africa is a country on the southernmost tip of the African continent, marked by several distinct ecosystems. Inland safari destination Kruger National Park is populated by big game. The Western Cape offers beaches, lush winelands around Stellenbosch and Paarl, craggy cliffs at the Cape of Good Hope, forest and lagoons along the Garden Route, and the city of Cape Town, beneath flat-topped Table Mountain.
The stark northwestern Kalahari is a semiarid savannah that’s home to leopards, cheetahs and several game reserves. In KwaZulu-Natal province lie the Drakensberg Mountains and the Amphitheatre, a dramatic semicircular cliff with the Tugela Falls at the top. Major urban areas include Johannesburg and the township of Soweto, where Nelson Mandela worked to end apartheid. Durban’s Golden Mile has a refurbished promenade and is famous for its surfing beaches. Northeastern Sun City is a huge resort complex of casinos and golf courses. Capital Pretoria features key historic Transvaal sites such as the Voortrekker Monument and Kruger House.
Tunisia is a North African country bordering the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert. In the capital, Tunis, the Bardo Museum has archaeological exhibits from Roman mosaics to Islamic art. The city’s medina quarter encompasses the massive Al-Zaytuna Mosque and a thriving souk. To the east, the site of ancient Carthage features the Antonine Baths and other ruins, plus artifacts at the Carthage National Museum.
Whitewashed coastal communities favored for their beaches, resorts and water sports include Monastir, also known for its 8th-century ribat (fort), and the island Djerba, which has a traditional Jewish quarter. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, a pilgrimage site dating to 670 A.D., is a landmark of Islamic architecture. El Djem has Roman ruins including the 3rd-century amphitheater of Thysdrus, the set for the movie "Gladiator," while the Berber town of Matmata and its subterranean desert homes appeared in scenes from the "Star Wars" films. The city of Sfax is known for its well preserved medina (old town) and souks.
Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza's colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor's hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities.
The Mediterranean port of Alexandria is the site of Greco-Roman remains such as Pompey’s Pillar and the rock-cut Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa. On the Sinai Peninsula lie biblical Mt. Sinai and Red Sea beach resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh, known for Ras Mohammed National Park’s coral reefs. Far to the south in Nubia are the temples at Abu Simbel, built for Pharaoh Ramesses II and Nefertari, and moved to save them from the rising waters of the Nile. Still, much of Egypt is uninhabited Sahara desert and dunes, which can be reached on safari by camel or jeep.
Algeria is a North African country with a Mediterranean coastline and a Saharan desert interior. Many empires have left legacies here, such as the ancient Roman ruins in seaside Tipaza. In the capital, Algiers, Ottoman landmarks like circa-1612 Ketchaoua Mosque line the hillside Casbah quarter, with its narrow alleys and stairways. The city’s Neo-Byzantine basilica Notre Dame d’Afrique dates to French colonial rule.
Algiers’ Jardin d'Essai du Hamma, begun in 1832, is a botanical garden with extensive grounds and a palm-lined promenade toward the sea. The nearby National Bardo Museum exhibits ancient artifacts in a carefully restored 18th-century villa. In the country’s northern Saharan interior, traditional Berber walled settlements and oases dating to the 10th century are preserved in the M’zab Valley. In the northeastern mountains, the provincial capital Constantine is distinguished by its picturesque bridges spanning deep river gorges. The Mediterranean port Oran is the birthplace of Bedouin-influenced raï music.
Which way you go?
CHOOSE WISELY. TRAVEL MORE OFTEN.
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