Africa is the world’s second largest continent, with over 1.1 billion people and covers around 20% of the earth’s total land area. It is also home to some of the most breathtaking places on the entire planet. Whether it’s the stunning deserts of the Sahara, the lush beauty of the Rwandan Rainforest or the raw power of Victoria Falls, Africa is a treasure trove of exotic locations just begging to be explored. The following are 10 of the continent’s most breathtaking attractions.
Sahara Dunes – Morocco
The Sahara desert is one of the most stunning landscapes on earth and nowhere is this more apparent than the huge sand dunes of Morocco. The dunes can reach heights of up to 150 metres and span a distance of around 50km. The Sahara dunes are also one of the best places in the world for star gazing, thanks to the complete lack of light pollution from towns and cities.
Bazaruto Archipelago – Mozambique
Exotic desert islands may not be the first location that springs to mind when you think of Africa but the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique is home to one of the most stunning islands on earth. Benguerra Island is surrounded by unspoilt golden sand and crystal clear turquoise sea and is one of the most beautiful locations on the planet to see whales and dolphins.
The Rwandan Rainforest – Rwanda
While the Rwandan Rainforest is stunning enough on its own, the real reason for travelling here is to see the incredible mountain gorillas. The lush rainforest is home to a large proportion of the endangered species and, with less than 1,000 mountain gorillas remaining in the world, Rwanda offers the opportunity of a lifetime to see the beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
Lake Nakuro National Park – Kenya
Much like the Rwandan Rainforest, Lake Nakuru in Kenya is beautiful enough on its own but the real reason to visit the national park is to see the huge numbers of pink flamingo. The lake is home to an astounding 1 to 2 million of the stunning birds and witnessing them all on the shores of the lake is an unforgettable sight.
Nyiragongo Volcano – Congo
At over 2km wide and with a regularly active lava lake, Nyiragongo is without doubt one of Africa’s most stunning places. The active volcano can be found in Eastern Congo and stands at an impressive 3,470m. The volcano last erupted in 2002, when 400,000 people had to be evacuated to nearby Rwanda.
Victoria Falls – Zambia & Zimbabwe
It may not be quite as well known as Niagara, but Victoria Falls is just as impressive a sight. The huge waterfall is 108 metres high and 1,708 metres wide, making it officially the largest waterfall on the planet, with around twice as high a flow of water as Niagara Falls.
Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, standing at an incredible 5,895 metres. What really makes the mountain a favourite with climbers though is its varied landscape; from lush rainforests at the bottom, to alpine meadows in the middle, all the way to the snow-capped summit.
Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx – Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are one of the oldest and most famous structures in the world and one of Africa’s biggest tourist attractions. The site dates back to around 2,500 BC, with the largest structure, the Great Pyramid, holding the title of ‘tallest man-made structure’ for over 3,800 years. If you’re looking for some history on your travels, the Pyramids of Giza are a must visit.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Botswana is home to one of the world’s largest inland deltas, receiving some 11 cubic kilometres of water each year. The lush landscape of Okavango helps to attract a huge variety of wildlife, from elephants, buffalo and rhinos, to hippos, antelope and lions, making this one of the best places to go on safari on the planet
Lake Malawi – Malawi
Lake Malawi has made this list for a number of reasons: It is one of the largest lakes in the world, has more species of tropical fish than any other lake on the planet and is one of the best places on earth to go freshwater diving. What’s not to love!