The simmering sun sinks beneath the delicate stretch of a baobab tree as the first notes of the Lion King’s soundtrack play. It’s that iconic image that many of us carry as our first introduction to the massive and marvellous continent. For others, it’s the awe-inspiring remainders of history in the form of the Egyptian Pyramids. Some might connect it to the swaying green waves of grass in the Savannah. Others might hear the waves that strike the shore of the Seychelles and say its name.
This is Africa – a continent so diverse, packed full of beautiful countries, backed by a rich heritage and tinged with a complex and painful past. The chance to explore its corners is a gift. Each slice of this content, each sliver is a revelation. The essence of this continent breathes from every inch of the land. It is in the mud underneath the hand of the great Gorilla lumbering in the jungles of the Congo. It is in the winds that sweep across the curve of the Table Mountain. It pulses in the streets of the sprawling cities. It ebbs and flows in the rhythms of Swahili, Igbo, Zulu, Amharic, Arabic, French, Shona and the other languages that populate it. It rumbles and splashes with the Great Victoria Falls.
We could honestly write a book (or a million) about the awe-inspiring nature of African Tourism. Today, we’ll restrict ourselves to an introduction to a land that was once called Akebulan.
Below are regions and highlights of Africa tourism:
You’ll wish you had 1000 eyes to take in everything in this gorgeous part of Africa. There’s a little something for everyone. History, adventure, delectable cuisine and more. First, the countries and areas you can visit in North Africa include Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and the Western Sahara. Gape in awe at the pyramids of Giza, with the Sphinx standing guard. Sway with the jumble and rhythms of Marrakesh’s busiest markets. Bear witness to the ancient brilliance of the city of Luxor in Egypt. Drink in the blue-white beauty of Tunisia and visit the ancient medinas. Climb to the snowy tops of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Let your eyes drift over the silky, sandy dunes of the Sahara Desert.
Currencies: Egyptian Pound, Algerian Dinar, Tunisian Dinar, Morrocan Dirham
Cultural diversity and rich history are served on a platter – sample it in full, leisurely bites. Visit one of the oldest sub-Saharan cities – Mali – where you’ll get to mingle at the market and pay your respects at the Grand Mosque. All nature-enthusiasts must make a stop at Loango National Park in Western Gabon where you will meet whales, gorillas, elephants and chimps. Experience the epitome of tranquillity at Goree Island in Senegal and visit the Dogon in Eastern Mali, whose homes are made from the cliffs. Float along the lanes of Ganvie in Benin – a village built on a lake. Ever heard of Timbuktu? Well now is your chance to visit this lovely desert town. Visit the colonial forts built by European colonisers in Ghana and hike up to Mount Cameroon (Mongo ma Ndemi) in Cameron. Countries to visit in West Africa include Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and more.
Languages: Yoruba, Igbo, Bambara, Fula
Currencies: West African CFA Franc, Sierra Leonean leone, Ghanaian cedi, Naira, Liberian Dollar and more.
Central Africa is a treasure chest of natural beauty and wildlife. The capital city of the Central African Republic – Bangui – is settled right on the banks of the Ubangi River. A visit here is a must to experience the vibrant nightlife and markets. Immerse yourself in the culture of Congo by visiting the tiny village of Zinga, where you’ll see traditional houses and meet the locals. If you’re wild for wildlife, take a trip to the Manovo-Gounda National Park where you may get a chance to see the incredibly rare black rhino. For more natural wonders, visit Boali, a small village which houses the incredibly powerful Boali falls. If you’re a history buff, visit one of the most ancient burial grounds in Bouar. Dating back to the Neolithic ages, this is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Countries in Central Africa include the Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo and more.
Languages: French, Sango, English, Portuguese
Currencies: Congolese Franc, CFA Franc, Sao Tome and Principe dobra
Pick any destination in East Africa…it’ll steal your heart and take your breath away with its natural beauty, diverse cultures and varied ecosystems. It’s a wonderland for wildlife lovers, starting with the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda the stunning Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Ngorongoro Conservation area in Tanzania. This is the home of the iconic African safari. Add the proud Mount Kilimanjaro, the gorgeous beaches at Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Watamu (Kenya), the historic town of Lalibela (Ethiopia), the Stone Town (Zanzibar) and the annual phenomenon of the Great Wildebeest Migration and you won’t want to leave. Countries in East Africa include Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and more.
Languages: Kiswahili, English, French, Kirundi, Amharic, Arabic
Currencies: Kenyan Shilling, Tanzanian Shilling, Ethiopian Birr, Seychellois Rupee, Malagasy Ariary and more
If variety is the spice of life, then South Africa is piping hot and delicious. A tumultuous history (Apartheid), varied landscapes and a diverse group of people make this a trip to absorb, delight and amaze you. Filled with a raw and vibrant energy, the city of Johannesburg should definitely be on your list of places to visit. If wine is on your mind, a trip to the Boland Basin (northeast of Cape Town) should satisfy those urges. To see the world’s gentlest giant, head to the Addo Elephant National Park, where you’ll also see antelopes, ostriches and warthogs. Watch the whales breach the water at Hermanus. Live the big life in South Africa’s second-largest city Durban, with its great beaches and vibrant nightlife. If you’re a nature buff, then Kruger National Park should top your list. Finally, enjoy the Mediterranean magic of Cape Town with its gorgeous coastline, the iconic Table Mountain and Bay, stunning beaches and lush green vineyards. Counties in Southern Africa include Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe
Languages: Portuguese, Setswana, Nyanja, Afrikaans, English and more
Currencies: Angolan Kwanza, Botswana Pula, Malawian Kwacha, South African Rand, Namibian Dollar and more
*Do note, that while Africa is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities and diverse cultures in the world, there are currently a number of military and political conflicts across the continent. It is advised that you do a little research before booking a trip, just in terms of safety in travel and accommodation.
**Also, we have tried to cover the basics of each part of Africa. However, its vastness and complexity are part of its charm and innate nature. We have not covered every country, currency or language but have offered small bite sized pieces as to where you should visit here. Visit the respective country tourism page to read about the country in detail.
It’s no stretch to say that this continent takes up a sizeable portion on the earth’s surface – it is the only continent large enough to be in both the southern and northern temperate zones. Africa is located between the powerful Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Roaring in the north, is the azure Mediterranean Sea. Slashing its way across several African counties is the world’s equator. The continent consists of 55 different countries, 9 territories. This mammoth continent takes up 22 percent of the world’s land mass.
One of the greatest things to do in Africa is to go on a safari. For many tourists, wildlife spotting becomes essential when they decide to visit a country in Africa. May to October is perfect to visit the game-rich plains of South and Eastern Africa. In the North, the deserts are extremely chilly during winter, are pleasant in autumn and simmering in summer.
By Air: The fastest way to travel to Africa is by flight. You have the choice of landing at some of the biggest international airports, like O.R Tambo International Airport, SSR International Airport in Mauritius, Cape Town International Airport or Cairo International Airport. All these airports are well-connected to India and offer many flights from Delhi and Mumbai. The major Airlines in Africa include South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways. Other airlines that send flights to Africa include Emirates, Etihad, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways.
By Road: If you are in Africa already and are looking to move between countries, the road network is excellent in South Africa and Botswana. Bus services are available across the continent. The most popular bus routes are found in East Africa and South Africa.
By Train: The train network in Africa is extensive and efficient, particularly Egypt and South Africa. If you’re looking for luxury travel you can take the Blue Train in South Africa from Cape Town to Victoria Falls. If you’re in Kenya, take the Mombasa-Nairobi-Kisumu to see the rare wildlife on the route. Botswana and Morocco also offer good rail services.
Charting the history of Africa is a long and infinitely fascinating process. It is considered to be the oldest inhabited territory on earth, and the human species is said to have originated from here. This is the beginning of the beginning. Farming, writing, tools, weapons were all built here originally by indigenous communities. This is where the mighty Egyptian Civilization peaked and ebbed. Rome and the Arabs came to conquer this continent, leaving indelible impressions that last till today. In the 16th century, Europeans began to transport African slaves across the Atlantic. Slave trade was only banned in 1807. Colonization by European powers like the British and the French carved up Africa and it was only through uprisings and movements for independence that most African countries gained their freedom in the last 1950’s to 60’s.
Africa is a land of many contrasts, where on hand it has retained its raw impact, there is also a gradual move towards modernization. Therefore, Africa Holidays are not just about natural reserves and tribal life. The theme parks remain highpoints of Africa tours. Africa has enthralled tourists and literatures since time immemorial. Calm environ pinched occasionally by the resounding roar of lions, nature and man walk hand in hand here.
The tones of red and orange and stark ferocity will leave you spell bound on your Trip. Avail Africa travel packages now to savor this rawness. This Holiday packges will also take you to some of the most scenic landscapes your eyes have ever seen. An Africa Tour will leave your refreshed and astound simultaneously. Vacation packages also include a lot of the local cuisines, something to tantalize your palate and fill your soul. These travel packages are therefore a soul stirring, enriching experience for every traveler.
A large number of travel packages include the continent’s most famous sites that are a must-visit for every tourist and have a history of attracting them in large numbers. These packages are designed to take care of the all arrangements necessary to allow travellers to focus on their unique experiences without having to worry about every little detail at every step of their journey.
Africa offers lots of options of activities to its visitors. The desert safari trips are much popular these days among those visitors who are seeking inspiration in new experiences. Indulging in a camel safari as the temperatures dip in the desert can often become an unforgettable experience; staying etched in your memory for the rest of your life. For those planning a trip to the desert, spring and fall months serve as the best time to visit.
Presenting travellers with an experience that doesn’t feel repetitive is a huge challenge for travel companies and Thomas Cook is always ready for it. We have purchased many packages from Thomas Cook but their 10 night package for South Africa simply proves to be most amazing. Whether it is exploring Cape Town or taking us to the best beaches, Thomas Cook made sure that our itinerary is the best.
Nothing matches the beauty of watching the Serengeti Wildbeest migration than an early morning hot air balloon ride. It was just because of assistance from Thomas Cook that we found out about this attraction. We could have gone to the same boring locations that we have visited over and over again, but thankfully their team convinced us to choose Serengeti and it was worth it.
The moment we arrived in Johannesburg, we figured out that this trip is going to be amazing. Our drive to Mongena Game Lodge and sighting of the big five was simply an incredible experience. Our hotels, travel companions and itinerary were all made with extreme care so that we don’t miss anything. Thomas Cook made sure that we get the best experience of Africa in our first visit.