Africa is the second largest continent after Asia and is a great destination for visitors from all walks of life in search of adventure, holiday, tourism, sightseeing and relaxing.
Africa has 54 countries with over 3,000 languages spoken; and diverse ethnicities, cultures, languages and traditions. It has the highest population growth rate and the youngest average population as compared to other continents.
African History and Culture
Africa is known as the birthplace of mankind and is the oldest land mass in the world.
Ancient Egypt in 3100BC had astounding culture and society with unique food production techniques. It had artisans that constructed wonderful buildings like the pyramids of Giza that still stand to date. Its people discovered mathematics principles, language and astronomy that turned the wheels of civilization in Africa.
The African culture is quite diverse as the languages its people speak. There are numerous ethnic groups or tribes with each with its own norms and customs that have been passed on from generation to generation.
Each ethnic group or tribe has its own traditional dressing style, staple food, art, music and dance. It is these different and unique cultures that make visiting any country in Africa an exciting adventure.
The climate of Africa is great allowing it to have wonderful sceneries, plants and animals. There are notable natural wonders that have made Africa a top tourist destination.
The Nile river at 6,650kms is the longest river in the world, that crosses 10 countries, starting from Uganda (the Pearl of Africa) to Egypt.
The Sahara desert at 9,000,000 square Kms is the largest hot desert in the world, covering 11 countries with sand dunes that can be as high as 180 metres.
The Serengeti migration that crosses Kenya and Tanzania is the longest and largest overland migration in the world.
The Okavango delta which was created by annual seasonal flooding usually in July and August; is the largest inland delta in the world.
Mount Kilimanjaro in North East Tanzania is not only the tallest mountain in Africa at 5,895m, but is the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.
The Ngorongoro crater – Africa’s garden of Eden – is the largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world. It covers 264 square kms with over 3,000 wild animals living there. It is the home of the hard to find black rhino.
Lake Victoria whose 7,142 kms shoreline is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, is the source of river Nile. It is the world’s largest tropical lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the world.
Other notable places are Namaqualand in Namibia and South Africa; Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the Underwater waterfall in Mauritius; the Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga, South Africa; the Namib Desert, Namibia; the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe; the Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa; the Avenue of the Baobabs, Menabe in Madagascar; the Zanzibar Archipelago in Tanzania; Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda; Mountain gorillas in Rwanda; Spitzkoppe in Namibia; Nyika Plateau National Park in Malawi; Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana; Draa Valley in Morocco; Sphinx in Egypt; Mount Mulanje in Malawi; Lower Zambezi in Zambia; Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique; Nxia Pan National Park in Botswana and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.
African Ancient Sites
In one’s quest to understand Africa better, visiting its historical sites would play an important role. These sites are rich with history about religion, war, ancient kingdoms, art, trade, culture and lifestyle.
The Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, feature funerary monuments built by the Pharaohs. They have been in existence for 4,000 years now and are credited for their sheer size and perfect geometry. How they were constructed remains a mystery.
Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania is an archaeological site that stuns the world. Fossils that date back to 1.9 million years of hunters and many tools have been excavated from this place. This site plays a big role in advancing the subject on the evolution of mankind.
The Tunisian city of Carthage built in the 9th century BC was an important trading empire home to the ancient Carthaginian civilization. This archaeological site once occupied lands which even belonged to and were later destroyed by Rome in 146 BC and rebuilt on the ruins of the Roman Carthage.
Aksum, part of the Aksumite kingdom is today a rural and dusty modest site but was once home to a great civilization. The town now is full of palace ruins, fascinating inscriptions and underground tombs. This must-visit town is still vibrant, full of life and structures of national importance rarely found to this extent at other ancient sites. It is one of Ethiopia’s most popular sites of interest.
Laas Gaal is an archaeological site in Somalia with a complex of rock houses and caves containing rock art dating back to 9,000 BC. Locals have known about the rock houses and caves for hundreds of years before a team of French researches discovered the site in 2002. Laas Gaal hasn’t been fully explored yet.
The Blombos Cave in South Africa has helped answer many questions about Homo sapiens that occupied the area some 100,000 years ago. The mystery of the cultural origin and behavioural patterns of early man is slowly being uncovered here.
African Modern Towns and Cities
Africa has great towns and cities with great architectural design and planning making them holiday destinations.
Cape Town in South Africa is a vibrant town with wonderful beaches, mountain views and Africa’s best vineyards.
Djenné in Mali is one of the oldest in the country dating back to 250 BC. It is a beautiful place with mud-brick houses and mosques. The largest and most creative mud-made buildings in the world, the Grand Mosque, lie in Djenné.
Windhoek in Namibia’s largest city and capital is a tidy and modern city with stunning pastel-painted buildings and traditional German houses. Modern skyscrapers, neo-baroque cathedrals and castles dominate the city’s skyline.
Other great towns and cities to check out are Essaouira in Morocco, Luxor in Egypt, Stone Town in Tanzania, Nairobi in Kenya, Kigali in Rwanda, Bahir Dar in Ethiopia, Kampala in Uganda, Stone Town, the Island of Mozambique, Accra in Ghana, Tunis in Tunisia, Port Louis in Mauritius, Agadir in Morocco, Johannesburg in South Africa and Lagos in Nigeria.
Africa is perfectly balanced with its rich historical roots and stunning culture; complimented by its unique natural climate, landscapes, variety of wildlife and hospitable people.