Africa is a great continent to go on a vacation; there are so many historical sites and tourist attractions all over the continent. From the great Pyramids of Giza to the Kilimanjaro Mountain, Lake Victoria and the Jungles of Botswana, Africa is as adventurous a place as could be. Here is the list of the best countries to visit in Africa in 2016.
Egypt is one of the world’s oldest civilizations and home to one of the seven wonders of the world – The Great Pyramids of Giza. Egypt is located in North Africa close to the Middle East and has so many historical sites. The most popular among them are:
- The Great Pyramids of Giza: There is probably no educated person in the world who does not know about this Great treasure of Egypt. The three great pyramids were built by great Pharaohs and served as tombs to preserve their embalmed bodies called mummies so as to keep them safe in the afterlife, the greatest of the three pyramids was built by Pharaoh Khufu and the other two by Pharaoh Khafre and Pharaoh Menkaure. There are also over 100 other pyramids in Egypt, the great pyramids were built with 2.3 million stone blocks weighing 5.9 million tones. The pyramids were built over 5000 years ago.
- The Sphinx: Half Human Half Lion Statue which lies in front of the Great Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx in Arabic means “Father of Terror”. It is one of the largest and best sculptures in the world.
- The Temples of Abu Simbel: There are two of them; The Great temple and The Small Temple, both were built with sandstone about 3000 years ago by Pharaoh Ramses the second. The temples were excavated from a cliff near the River Nile by European explorers in the early 19th century and moved to their current location.
- Valley of the Kings: This was the burial place of the mighty Kings of Egypt and their cabinet members for more than 500 years from the 11th to the 16th century before Christ. The valley is on the west bank of the River Nile near Luxor. The popular Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun’s tomb and at least 62 other tombs are situated there. There were many treasures in the tombs but most of them have been looted over the years.
- Karnak Temple Complex: This complex is one of the largest religious complexes worldwide, It is a located in the same area with the Great Pyramids of Giza and houses three main temples and many smaller temples. The complex was built by 30 different Pharaohs and the biggest and main temple called the Temple of Amun covers 65 acres of land.
Tanzania is one of the most peaceful African countries and most serene, it is located to the east of Africa. There are many tourist attractions in the country such as the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongo Crater and the beautiful island of Zanzibar, it is also home to many wildlife species.
- Mount Kilimanjaro: The highest mountain in Africa which stands at a height of 19,340 feet above sea level is the most popular tourist attraction in Tanzania. Thousands of tourists and indigenes climb to the top of the mountain (called Uhuru in the native Swahili language) every year and anyone who is moderately fit should be able to make the climb. There is a variety of ecosystems on the mountain including an arctic summit at the top, a tropical rain-forest and savanna.
- Ngorongoro Crater: This stunning crater is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world. It was formed by a giant volcano at the location close to three million years ago. The crater occupies an area of 260 square kilometers and is home to several wild animal species.
- Zanzibar Island: This beautiful island located on the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania is one of the most famous places in Africa. It has many amazing beaches and is quite developed due to it been a center of trade between Arabs and blacks in the past. One of the most popular places on the island is the Stone Town which has many beautiful buildings. Zanzibar is also a wonderful place to go scuba diving.
- Serengeti Wildebeest Great Migration: The largest and greatest land animal migration in the world takes place once every year at Serengeti in Tanzania. Over two million wildebeest, antelope and zebra migrate from the Serengeti and cross the Mara River to enter into Masai Mara in Kenya. The animals face many hurdles such as predators and the river crossing. The migration happens at varying days every year due to several factors such as climate and rainfall, the range of time it usually occurs is July to September yearly.
Namibia is located in southern Africa and is home to the Namib Desert which is one of the largest deserts in Africa. There are also many other tourist attractions in the country.
- Fish River Canyon: This is the second largest river canyon worldwide, second only to the Grand Canyon in the USA. It is carved out from the Namibian desert and is over 500 million years old. It is over 100 kilometers long, 27 kilometers wide and 550 meters deep. The Fish River flows at the bottom of the Canyon and is home to some wildlife species such as mountain zebras, wild horses, klipspringer and kudu. There is also an abundance of bird species in the Canyon.
- Namibian Desert: The Namib desert is one of the largest deserts in Africa and has many attractive sights such as the Sossusvlei which is a huge clay pan, surrounded by a crescent of giant red sand dunes. Sossusvlei means “dead-end marsh”. It is also home to the Naukluft Park which is the fourth largest conservation area in the world.
Zambia is a central African country which is home to the largest waterfall in the world; the Victoria Falls.
Victoria Falls: The great Victoria Falls are situated on the Zambezi River and are the largest body of moving water in the world. The natives call the great waterfall “Mosi-oa-Tunya” which means “The smoke that thunders” and is so called because the sound of the falling waters are heard several miles away. The falls were discovered by explorer David Livingstone and named after Queen Victoria by him in 1855. Victoria falls is a must see place if you visit Africa. There are also several wildlife species close to the fall. Over 625 million liters of water gush over the fall per minute.
Uganda is home to several tourist attractions, the most prominent among them are:
The Virunga Mountains: This is a chain of volcanic mountains which are located on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountains are the last remaining area where the endangered Mountain Gorilla species exist. Other wild ape species which are found there include Chimpanzees, Okapi and Forest Elephants.
The highest mountain in the range is Mount Karisimbii and two of them i.e. Mt. Nyirangongo and Mt. Nyiragira, are active volcanic mountains.