It’s easy to lose sight of just how massive and varied Africa is. The landmass covers more than Europe, the United States and Australia put together. Within it, you’ll find dense jungles, sprawling deserts, bustling cities, and more history and culture than you could reasonable sift through in a lifetime’s worth of holidays.
If you’re going to get the most from your trip to the continent, then, you’ll need to be a little bit selective. Let’s take a look at a few must-visit destinations, and why they’re so culturally significant.
This country was home to one of the earliest and most powerful civilisations ever to exist. For thousands of years, people flourished in this part of the world, thanks largely to the river that runs through the centre of it. There’s still plenty of evidence of this period in history: there’s the sphynx, the Pyramids of Giza, and a vast assortment of other burial sites and temples.
At the heart of this Mediterranean nation is Marrakesh, which is among the most vibrant and famous trading hubs in history. Nowadays, it’s not quite such a hub of commerce – but the bustling marketplaces and eye-popping mosques are still there for visitors to marvel at. There’s also the largest city, Casablanca, to consider; it’s got plenty to offer, even if you’re not a fan of Humphrey Bogart.
Perhaps Kenya’s biggest draw is its wealth of unblemished parkland, ripe for exploration. Thus Kenya is one of several countries where you’ll get some of the best African safaris available. But there’s also a great deal of culture to absorb. Ethnically, Kenya is something of a mishmash, with forty identifiable tribal groups making their home in the country, along with 13% of the population being of non-African descent.
One thing that Kenya is famous for is the quality of its marathon runners, which is in part thanks to the naturally low-oxygen training environment available at altitude. If you’re a distance runner and you want to experience what the champions go through, you’ll be able to do so thanks to the training camps in Iten Kenya.
South Africa has a history and culture that’s perhaps unique among African nations. While you’re in the area, you’ll want to make time to explore this history with the help of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, and the island prison on which Nelson Mandela spent so many years: Robben Island.
Your trip needn’t be totally solemn, however; South Africa is home to a unique blend of cultures and museum experiences, including the Franschhoek Motor Museum, the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch, and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town Central.