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Discover Africa's Top Holiday Hotspots: Must-Visit Destinations Unveiled!

Mark Twain famously said, “There are lies, there are damn lies and then there are statistics.”

Mark Twain had a point about the tricky nature of statistics! Taking that wisdom onboard, Travel and Home dove into the data, looking at the most-visited countries in Africa by the number of tourists they receive.

After a thorough comparison, here are our picks for some of the top holiday destinations in Africa, listed in no specific order. We’d love to hear about your own experiences too! Join our community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/travelandhome.

UNWTO's international tourist arrivals in Africa, 2019

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) published its list of international tourists for 2019 (January to December). The top ten list consisted of Botswana in the tenth spot, Keny, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa, and Morocco. Egypt walked away with the most international tourists for 2019.

Botswana leopard Africa safari okavango delta TravelAndHome

Best Botswana experiences

  • The Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands as one of Africa’s most untouched and diverse ecosystems. Explore its waterways via mokoro (traditional canoe) and witness an array of wildlife and bird species.
  • Chobe National Park is famed for its vast elephant herds, offering fantastic opportunities for game viewing on both land and water. Take a boat safari along the Chobe River for up-close encounters with animals.
  • Nestled within the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is teeming with wildlife. Its mix of lush floodplains and drier woodlands makes for incredible game drives and unforgettable safari adventures.
  • The expansive salt pans of Makgadikgadi present an otherworldly experience. Here, you can try quad biking, engage in cultural exchanges with the San people, and witness the majestic zebra migration.
  • At Khama Rhino Sanctuary, dedicated to wildlife preservation, you can encounter both black and white rhinos. It’s a community-driven conservation area supporting critical efforts in protecting these incredible creatures and their habitat.

Good to know: UNWTO (2019) listed Botswana in their top ten tourist arrivals list. 

Award-Winning Hotels & Resorts
  • Botswana’s Leading Hotel 2023: Pangolin Chobe Hotel
  • Botswana’s Leading Luxury Safari Lodge 2023: Xigera Safari Lodge
  • Botswana’s Leading Safari Lodge 2023: Sanctuary Chief’s Camp
  • Botswana’s Leading Tented Safari Camp 2023: &Beyond Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp
Tsavo Kenya places to stay

The Chyulu Hills in Kenya are a wildlife paradise, famous for their breathtaking landscapes, diverse animals, and the special mix of dense forests and volcanic land. These hills inspired Ernest Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa” and remain a beloved spot for visitors who want a clear view of Kilimanjaro, without needing to travel to Tanzania separately.

Good To Know: Kenya, one of the Top African destinations to visit in 2023 according to TIME.

Award-Winning Hotels & Resorts
  • Kenya’s Leading Beach Resort 2023: Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort & Spa
  • Kenya’s Leading Boutique Hotel 2023: The Social House
  • Kenya’s Leading Family Resort 2023: Enashipai Resort & Spa
  • Kenya’s Leading Hotel 2023: Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi
  • Kenya’s Leading Hotel Residences 2023: Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, Nairobi Arboretum
  • Kenya’s Leading Luxury Hotel 2023: Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi. Also, Kenya’s Leading Hotel Suite 2023: Presidential Suite @ Villa Rosa.
  • Kenya’s Leading Luxury Private Villa 2023: Sirai Beach
    Kenya’s Leading Resort 2023
    Diamonds Leisure Beach & Golf Resort
    Kenya’s Leading Safari Lodge 2023
    Sirikoi
Ivory Coast Africa

Abidjan, the economic capital, is a bustling city known for its modern architecture, lively markets, and a rich culinary scene. The Grand-Bassam, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a glimpse into the country’s colonial past with its well-preserved architecture.

For nature enthusiasts, Tai National Park is a haven with diverse wildlife and lush rainforests. The country’s vibrant culture, combined with warm hospitality, makes it an appealing destination. It seems like travelers are discovering the diverse and multifaceted charm that the Ivory Coast has to offer. If you’re into exploring unique destinations, it might be worth considering for your next travel adventure!

Good To Know: UNWTO (2019) listed the Ivory Coast in their top ten tourist arrivals list. 

Mozambique Africa TravelAndHome beach holiday things to do

 

Good to know: Trading Economics (December 2021), and UNWTO (2019) listed Mozambique in their respective top ten tourist arrivals list. 

 

Matusadona Zimbabwe

Good to know: Trading Economics (December 2022), and UNWTO (2019) listed Zimbabwe in their respective top ten tourist arrivals list. 

Biskra Algeria

Good to know: UNWTO (2019) listed Algeria in their respective top ten tourist arrivals list. 

Award-Winning Hotels & Resorts
  • Algeria’s Leading Hotel 2023: Four Points by Sheraton Oran
Tunisia tour, book with Viator, travel and home
  • Carthage, an ancient city that was once a powerful civilization is now an archaeological treasure trove. Explore its ruins, including the Antonine Baths, the Carthage National Museum, and the Punic ports. The UNESCO-listed site offers insights into the rich history of this civilization.

  • El Djem Amphitheatre is one of the largest Roman amphitheaters outside of Rome, and an impressive structure showcasing Roman architecture. Built in the 3rd century, it’s remarkably well-preserved and offers a glimpse into ancient Roman entertainment and culture.

  • Sidi Bou Said is a charming coastal town known for its striking blue and white buildings, and a picturesque destination. The narrow streets, vibrant flowers, and stunning views of the Mediterranean make it a favorite among visitors. Don’t miss the iconic blue doors and windows!

  • The Sahara Desert, Tunisia’s portion of the Sahara, offers an otherworldly experience. Visit the desert town of Tozeur, explore the vast salt flats of Chott el Djerid, and take a camel ride through the mesmerizing landscapes. The desert’s beauty, from its golden dunes to its unique oases, is truly captivating.

Good To Know: UNWTO (2019) listed the Tunisia in their top ten tourist arrivals list. 

Table Mountain South Africa UNESCO World travel Awards
  • One of Africa’s largest game reserves, Kruger National Park is a wildlife haven. It offers thrilling safaris where you can spot the Big Five and experience diverse landscapes and ecosystems.

  • A landmark not to be missed, Table Mountain provides breathtaking panoramic views of Cape Town. Hike up or take a cable car for stunning vistas of the city and the ocean.

  • Robben Island, a historic site off Cape Town, served as a prison where Nelson Mandela was held captive for 18 years. Today, it’s a museum, offering insights into South Africa’s history and Mandela’s legacy.

  • A scenic stretch along the south-eastern coast, the Garden Route offers diverse landscapes, from forests to lagoons to beaches. It’s perfect for road trips, outdoor adventures, and exploring charming towns like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

  • Located near Cape Town, the Cape Winelands region is adorned with stunning vineyards and delightful towns. Taste exquisite wines, savor gourmet dishes, and soak in the beauty of the countryside landscapes.

  • Among the planet’s largest canyons, the Blyde River Canyon presents breathtaking sights of cliffs, waterfalls, and vibrant greenery. Noteworthy attractions within the canyon include God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes, absolute must-sees for visitors.

Good To Know: UNWTO (2019) listed the South Africa in their top ten tourist arrivals list. 

  • Marrakech’s Medina is a vibrant core, filled with winding streets, lively markets, and historic landmarks like the Bahia Palace and Koutoubia Mosque.
  • The Sahara Desert is a surreal landscape offering camel rides and camping under the stars. Explore the dunes of Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga for an authentic desert adventure.
  • Chefchaouen, the “Blue City,” is a photographer’s dream with its stunning blue buildings and serene streets—a picturesque and calming escape.
  • Fes boasts one of the world’s oldest medieval cities, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its Medina is a maze of narrow alleys, traditional tanneries, and historic mosques and schools.
  • The Atlas Mountains showcase stunning views and traditional Berber villages. Ideal for hiking, trekking, and cultural experiences, the High Atlas and Ourika Valley are top choices.

Good To Know: Trading Economics (November 2023) as well as UNWTO (2019) listed Morocco in their respective top ten tourist arrivals list. TIME listed Morocco as one of the Top African Destinations to Visit in 2023.

Award-Winning Hotels & Resorts
best to go pyramid giza egypt ancient archeology weather cairo TravelBuddies TravelAndHome

The Grand Egyptian Museum, also called the GEM, is a huge museum in Giza, Egypt. It’s considered one of the world’s biggest archaeological museums. Situated near Cairo, this massive 5.2-million-square-foot museum offers stunning views of the Great Pyramid, located about a mile away.

Good To Know:  UNWTO (2019) listed Egypt in their top ten tourist arrivals list. TIME listed Egypt as one of the Top African Destinations to Visit in 2023.

Travel Tip(s)

The best time for a visit is from October to April. If you’re looking for great places to stay, check out Marriott Mena House in Cairo and Sultan Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi. And when it comes to shopping, keep an eye out for Khayameya, incense, shisha, baklava, and basbosa.

Enjoy your holidays

These destinations promise incredible experiences, so enjoy your holidays with these fantastic travel tips. And hey, come be a part of our Facebook family of fellow travel enthusiasts—we can’t wait to swap stories and share adventures!