Africa is fast becoming known as a tourist destination with countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt and South Africa making waves and creating a new era in tourism. This article treats us to the top 10 popular tourist destinations in Africa.
For countries like Kenya, tourism contributes a very substantial amount to national revenue every year. Certain tourist attractions are popular because there is a special feeling it gives to people who visit such places and this is outside the fact that places like this hold a very rich heritage and recognition.
There are a few places in Africa that are worth mentioning when it comes to Africa’s popular tourist destinations. Here are the top 10 well known tourist destinations in Africa.
10. Mount Kilmanjaro, Tanzania
Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don’t even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).
9. Omo River Region, Ethiopia
The Omo River Region is an area in the Southwestern Ethiopia and home to more than 50 different tribes. If you love African culture, you should pay this place a visit because of its huge cultural heritage. It is still a place in Africa where much of traditional customs and beliefs are very much intact for most of the tribes and this has made it an enchanting tourist attraction for those interested in African culture. This region is quite accessible by vehicle. The warriors will sling Kalashnikovs(riffles) slung against their backs. This can be a bit disconcerting but the tribes are quite friendly and this is perhaps the only western accessory you will see them wear.
8. Zanzibar, Tanzania
Zanzibar is a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa. On its main island, Unguja, familiarly called Zanzibar, is Stone Town, a historic trade center with Swahili and Islamic influences. Its winding lanes present minarets, carved doorways and 19th-century landmarks such as the House of Wonders, a former sultan’s palace. The northern villages Nungwi and Kendwa have wide beaches lined with hotels. It is the second tourist site in Tanzania on our list.
7. Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic Of Congo
Virunga National Park is one of the most biologically diverse protected areas on the planet. Half of all the biodiversity in sub-Saharan Africa can be found in Virunga. The park is also a geologic wonder and contains two of the world’s most active volcanoes. For much of its long history, though, Virunga National Park has been severely threatened by armed conflict. Thanks to the dedication of the park’s rangers and wardens, Virunga has been able to survive. Certain politicians, the European Union, conservationists, philanthropists, and private donors have also played a vital role in Virunga’s survival.
6. Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech is the second largest city in Morocco. Located at the foot of the ice covered Atlas Mountains, the imperial city of Marrakech is large and quite noisy. However, the great thing about the city is its enchanting and rich history. It is regarded as one of the most culturally rich places in Morocco. If you follow archaeology, you would know that numerous stone implements have been unearthed in the area; if you enjoy a daily assault on all your sense organs then you’ll have a lot of fun. There are certain locations that are a must visit if you find yourself in this city and they include places like:the majorelle gardens or the gardens around the saadian tombs and the local farmers or flee market may be fun to spend a Saturday morning.
5. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island in Table Bay. The notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela is now a living museum.
4. Djenne, Mali
Djenné, the oldest known city in sub-Saharan Africa is situated on the floodlands of the Niger and Bani rivers, 354 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Timbuktu. Founded by merchants around 800 AD (near the site of an older city dating from 250 BC), Djenné flourished as a meeting place for traders from the deserts of Sudan and the tropical forests of Guinea. The town is famous for its distinctive adobe architecture, most notably the Great Mosque which was built in 1907 on the site of an earlier mosque.
3. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Situated Southwest of Kenya, covering an area of 1 510 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains. The quintessential Masai Mara safari delivers many attractions and is home to an excellent year-round concentration of game as well as the two million animals that make up the Great Migration.
2. Victoria Falls, Zambia
Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
1. The Pyramid and the Sphinx
The Sphinx was carved over 4,500 years ago. It was for the Pharaoh Khafre. It had his head, the body of a lion. The Sphinx was carved out of a huge big stone. It is guarding Khafre’s pyramid. The Sphinx was covered by sand which preserved it all these years. Its body is extremely soft rock and its head is very strong rock but some people used the head for gunshot practice. No one knows for sure what it was decorated with in the days of the Ancient Egyptians but it must have been very beautiful then.
The Pyramids were constructed to hide the tombs of the Pharaohs. The first pyramids were step pyramids to help the pharaoh climb the steps and join the sun god Ra in the sky. After that (about 4,500 years ago) came the biggest pyramids of all, the pyramids of kings Khufu and Khafre. Until about a hundred years ago these pyramids were the tallest structures in the world! No earthquake could destroy them. They were each built of more than 2 million blocks of stone, which each weighed about as much as a small elephant. The limestone coverings were stripped by later peoples for building use. In the pyramids were a lot of false doors to trick grave robbers but they didn’t work!
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