31 BEST African Countries to Visit

If you’re dreaming of an adventure and looking for the best countries to visit in Africa, we have you covered! There are so many unique places to see, foods to eat, and people to meet. And honestly, nothing is better than watching the sunset on the African horizon.

We spent a year self-driving crossing through so many unique African countries, and no other trip will ever compare. Every year since, we make an effort to step foot on the African continent at least once. All of these African countries to visit we have personally been to and love!

It’s hard not to walk away smiling after seeing a herd of elephants or a pack of wild dogs in the wild. Here is a list of all our personal favorite African countries to visit!

Best Countries to Visit in Africa


White Pearl Resort in Mozambique
Mozambique is one of the most amazing places to visit in Africa

When we set out to travel Mozambique we were unsure of what was in store. However, after a month in the country, it turned out to be one of the best decisions we made in Africa. We tell everyone it’s one of the best African countries to visit.

Traveling the Mozambique coast has not just been a highlight of our time in Africa, but has been one of our favorite regions to travel ever. It’s one of the best places to visit in Africa and still relatively untouched by tourism.

There is a side to traveling Mozambique that comes with an interesting history, Portuguese architecture, warm hospitable people, stunning beaches, and amazing Afro/Portuguese food. Every day, I dream of empty beaches and delicious seafood on the African coast.

Don’t let the news deter you from visiting; it’s seriously a beautiful country with downright amazing beaches!

Articles on Mozambique

South Africa

on safari in South Africa / Best African Countries to Visit

Traveling to South Africa is an excellent decision as it’s one of the best places to visit in Africa. It’s one of the easiest countries to travel on the African continent yet still offers creature comforts Westerners might be used to. Even though South Africa is the most modern country in Africa, it still provides visitors with that “Africa” experience and has an exciting culture.

Before our long vacation in South Africa, the nation was one I knew little about. I watched the Color of Friendship like any little girl addicted to The Disney Channel and was introduced to apartheid.

I watched nature documentaries showcasing the beautiful visuals of the Cape and the effects of the two colliding ocean currents. And, of course, I knew of the inspirational Nelson Mandela. After 90 days and getting banned from the country, we fell utterly in love.

Articles on South Africa


Namibia / One of the Best Countries to Visit in Africa

Namibia is one of those beautiful places in Africa you probably don’t think about and for first timers it’s one of the easiest and best African countries to visit. After buying a car in South Africa, we entered Namibia and were ready to tackle the desert for the next month. Namibia is genuinely an unworldly country. The country is filled with vast landscapes, chilling coastlines, amazing wildlife, and a unique Africa.

The name Namibia even comes from the world’s oldest desert that covers much of the country. No country on earth can compete for the type of natural beauty that awaits travelers in Namibia. You can find towering red sand dunes, dead tree valleys preserved in time, and utterly unique wildlife.

Elsewhere you can find massive canyons and rock formations at Fish River Canyon, Damaraland, and Spitzkoppe as the Naukluft Mountains rise out of the desert sand dunes. Namibia does not end there as the East stretches into the endless plains of the Kalahari and the Caprivi Strip turns into an oasis of floodplains and rivers teaming with wildlife.

Namibia is entrancing; there is no doubt about that. It’s one of my favorite countries I have been to and I dream about returning one day. If you asked me my opinion of five places to see before you die, Namibia would be at the top of that list.

Articles on Namibia


On a mokoro ride in Botswana / Best African Countries to visit

After a month in Namibia, we arrived in Botswana with little expectations but left knowing it was one of the best places to visit in Africa. Of course, we have seen Planet Earth and watched the wildlife from television, so we had some idea. However to witness the spectacle that is Botswana in person is entirely different.

From Botswana’s first national park (Chobe National Park) to the Makgadikgadi Pan, to the remote region on Linyanti, Botswana is full of surprises, beauty, and a ton of safari animals.

Chobe National Park, for example, has some of the best game viewing in Africa and it was here that we got to see elephants bathing, newborn impala, dozens of fish eagles, and even four lion cubs eating a warthog!

Also, a short plane ride away is the Khwai Game Reserve and Linyanti Concession. Khwai borders the Okavango Delta and is a wildlife haven. You can expect to see just about everything here and take a mokoro ride next to a drinking elephant. Linyanti is a quiet and relatively unheard of region in Botswana with only a few lodges. Its exclusivity means you’ll likely never run into another game viewer, and you’ll be spotting things like wild dogs and leopards without any other vehicles around.

The nation of Botswana is also one of the more well-off countries in Africa. Actually, Botswana has previously had one of the highest average economic growth rates in the world. Since its independence, the economy has flourished due to diamond mining. It’s one of the most expensive countries to go on safari in Africa, but it’s well worth it!

Articles on Botswana


The Selous, Tanzania
Photo from The Selous / Tanzania is one of the top places to visit in Africa

For many, Tanzania may be the most well-known country in Africa. It is the country that has become synonymous with the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Zanzibar.

People from all over the world flock to Tanzania to have a safari and live out their “Lion King” moments in some of the best national parks in the world. The country is staggeringly beautiful, populated by a warm Swahili culture, and home to some of the best wildlife on this planet.

There are plenty of things to see and do in the country, and you don’t have to choose between beautiful beaches, unique wildlife, and vast mountain landscapes. Oh no – you can have it all!

Articles on Tanzania


Enjoying the beautiful Zanzibar beaches

It’s not exactly a country, but it certainly operates like a separate entity of Tanzania. Wondering where Zanzibar is? Well, it’s technically part of Tanzania, but it has its own culture. Essentially it is an island in the Indian Ocean, a two-hour (15 miles) ferry ride from Dar Es Salaam, a major city in Tanzania. Whether you are on an African honeymoon, finishing up your Kilimanjaro Trek, or exploring the plains of the Serengeti, one thing is for certain – you should end it with a trip to the beach.

Zanzibar has those drool-worthy beaches you see in the photos, warm water, fantastic food, and friendly people.

We spent three weeks traveling Zanzibar island, taking a beach break from our long overland trip that started in Cape Town.

Articles on Zanzibar


One of the most exciting places to visit in Africa is Kenya!

When we decided to travel around Africa, we knew that a trip to Kenya could not be missed. After selling our beloved Land Cruiser in Uganda we hopped on a flight over to see what Kenya had to offer.

From exploring the buzzing capital of Nairobi to laid-back Swahili beach, this African nation has a lot going for it. It’s one of the best African countries to go on safari and has an amazing amount of wildlife in some of the top African parks. It’s seen as less stable than nearby Tanzania and therefore draws in fewer crowds than the Serengeti, but the Masai Mara ecosystem is the same!

Articles on Kenya


We fell in love with Uganda and consider it one of the best places to visit in Africa!

In 1908 Winston Churchill declared Uganda the “Pearl of Africa” in his 1908 Book My African Journey. More than a century later, visitors still flock to find this pearl. After our self-drive in Uganda, I can’t disagree with Mr. Churchill. The country is filled with birdlife, vast plains, jungle, rolling hills, and some of the friendliest people in Africa.

We entered Southern Uganda from Rwanda with low expectations for the country. Sure, they hold the world’s largest population of mountain gorillas – but what else would we find? Well, without spoiling too much, we found friendly chimps, mesmerizing craters, and one of the largest lakes in the world!

Articles on Uganda


Safari Clothes - What To Wear On Safari In Mana Pools
Us enjoying the sunset in Mana Pools

We debated about traveling to Zimbabwe on our overland trip through Africa. We had heard rumors of fuel shortages, cash restrictions, power cutoffs, and harsh police roadblocks. However, this is Africa, and we decided that crossing into Zimbabwe was right on our route and could not be missed.

What a good choice we made! Zimbabwe is one of the most interesting countries in Africa. Despite having one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, Zimbabwe remains safe and with friendly people. A safari here feels different and unique. Places like Mana Pools, or Hwange truly are amazing, and have I mentioned Victoria Falls?

Articles on Zimbabwe


Enjoying the sunset in Kafue National Park

It was after we were the only campers for days in Kasanka National Park that I knew I loved this country. Zambia feels rural, and exploring here is like navigating “true Africa.” The open spaces here transport you to another time.

A safari here is downright beautiful. In a game drive here, visitors will cross various landscapes from thick mopane forest, dazzling winterthorn trees, and huge acacias. What makes the park shine brighter is the wide range of safari activities on offer. You can paddle, walk, cruise, and drive in search of bountiful game.

Articles on Zambia


We are in Rwanda
Beautiful sunrise in Rwanda / Best African Countries to Visit

Rwanda has come a long way since the 1994 Genocide. Now when you enter Kigali, the capital city, you’ll see nothing but clean, modern streets, little traffic, and no crazy driving. It’s a breath of fresh air for an African nation.

Rwanda is one of the last remaining places you can see the mountain gorillas, and you can also go chimp trekking here. Besides, Rwanda packs a lot of punch for such a small country. Lake Kivu, is a rewarding place to relax and unwind for a few days on a beautiful lake.


Hanging out on Lake Malawi
Hanging out on Lake Malawi

Besides the fact that Malawi is one of the smallest countries in Africa and directly on our overland route through Africa, Malawi was a country I knew little about. I’ve met people that had traveled to Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, and all the other “popular” African nations – but never had I met anyone that had been to Malawi.

I knew that I had to visit Malawi while we were venturing around Africa. We crossed over the Chitipa Border Post from Zambia with minimal expectations, and what we found shouldn’t be missed by anyone traveling around Southern and Eastern Africa.

Malawi is dubbed the “warm heart of Africa,” and you will see why once you arrive. The people here are known for being the friendliest in Africa. No one is pushy, most areas are safe, and locals just walk around with a smile on their faces. There’s also a lake, a big one at that, called Lake Malawi which is where you’ll want to take a drip or go for a kayak.

Articles on Malawi


Best TIme to visit Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the best countries to visit in Africa. With its ancient history, Christian churches dug into the ground, and a host of amazing wildlife in its far-flung national parks, this country should definitely be on your travel list.

For one – the culture – Ethiopia has a rich and unique culture that is unlike any other in the world. The country has a long and storied history, and this is reflected in its art, music, food, and other cultural traditions. Ethiopia is home to some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in Africa. From the Simien Mountains to the Danakil Depression, many breathtaking sights exist in this country.

Then there’s the history. Ethiopia is home to several important historical sites, including the ancient city of Aksum, once the capital of a powerful kingdom, and the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

At some point in your life, you may have tried Ethiopian cuisine. Most dishes include injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread that is used to grab other food items with. Imagine all this coming together for a travel experience explosion! That’s what you get in when you travel Ethiopia.

Articles on Ethiopia


Maletsunyane Falls is one of the most glorious waterfalls in Lesotho

Lesotho is an African country that many seem to give a skip, but we found ourselves wishing for more time here. The country is staggeringly gorgeous and a remote destination. Here you won’t find tour buses of people, large hotels, lodges, or really much of any infrastructure. However, the infrastructure in the capital is improving, and the lack of the other is all the more appealing.

Here it is just the visitor and the unspoiled Basotho culture. The Basotho are the predominant culture of Lesotho and were driven up into their remote mountain hamlet by the Zulu. Here, they brave the harsh winters and mountain conditions. Lesotho is a fierce country but fiercely beautiful and immensely rewarding.

Did you know you can ski in Africa? That’s right! The Afriski resort in Lesotho is one of the few places you can take a lift up and ski down some powder in Africa. It’s very well-run resort with a full bar, restaurant, shop, snow tubing, and ski school that will make you feel like you’re in Switzerland.


Africa Packing List
Hiking in Swaziland

The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country in Southern Africa between Mozambique and South Africa. It is a small country, but it packs a lot of character to make up for its size. Swaziland is, in fact one of the last absolute monarchies in the world. Yes, that means a real African King, and a Kingdom.

Besides being small and having a King, Swaziland is home to many unique artisan products, incredibly friendly people, a plethora of hippos, and even an impressive highway network.


We’ve just returned from a fantastic few weeks in Egypt, and there is so much to share about this overwhelming, ancient, and mesmerizing country. We were initially hesitant to visit Egypt, but after our trip, I truly feel it’s one of the best places to travel in Africa.

Egypt is a place that will frustrate you beyond belief, but at the same time, it will reel you into its history and sites, which feel unworldly at times. If you’ve seen Ancient Egypt in movies it’s time to get here now and see it for yourself.

I couldn’t believe some of the sites we were visiting. We’re talking about places that are THOUSANDS of years old and still look like they were freshly painted. It’s jaw-dropping to say the least.

Articles on Egypt


Camel ride around Tozeur / Best African Countries to Visit

If you have already visited other North African countries like Morocco and Egypt and are itching for more, Tunisia is likely where you will next land!

Tunisia, while, in our opinion, is not as mesmerizing as its neighbors, still offers plenty of visitors. Tunisia is considered a beach destination with plenty of European-style beach resorts in Sousse and Djerba. It’s easy for Europeans to book a cheap flight down here for a few days and soak in the sunshine!

It’s not all beach time in Tunisia, though; you can head to Tozeur and explore the Sahara desert. Around this area, you can visit sites like Mos Espa and Ong Jemel, filming locations for the first Star Wars movies.

Only have a day or two? Tunis, the capital, offers a vibrant medina to walk around and shop for souvenirs. Just 20 minutes drive from the capital is fabulous Sidi Bou Said, which may feel like you’ve been transported to a tiny Greek island upon arrival!


Alleys of Chefchaouen
One of our favorite images from our time in Chefchaouen

Morocco had long been on my “must-see” lists. The bright and colorful photos of the country always seemed to captivate me, and the Sahara desert was something I had only seen in movies. Due to Morocco’s proximity to Europe, more and more travelers are hopping on the next ferry out of Spain to visit Morocco for themselves.

It’s an easy African nation to travel to from Europe. As you cross the Mediterranean, you are instantly transported to a different land. Oh, and the town of Chefchaouen is one of the most beautiful places in Africa.

Articles on Morocco

The Seychelles

Where are the Seychelles and what are they? The stunning 115 islands that make up the Seychelles should need no introduction. The islands lie off the coast of East Africa in the warm Indian Ocean, north of both Madagascar and Mauritius and just about parallel with parts of Kenya. There are 115 islands, but the three main ones frequented by tourists are Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. I feel like the Seychelles don’t need many words to be described, so here are a couple of photos to get started.

We should have been exhausted after landing in Mahe at 8 am after a red-eye flight from Abu Dhabi with multiple screaming babies.

However, as soon as we walked out of the tiny airport, there was no time to be groggy – we were in a complete paradise. A paradise made up of sparkling granite, crystal waters, and lush green jungles, unlike anything we had ever seen.

Articles on The Seychelles

Cape Town

things to do in cape town

Yes, South Africa was already mentioned, but we figured Cape Town needed its own mention. We’re also aware that Cape Town is not a country in Africa still Cape Town feels a world away from the rest of Africa. It’s easily the hippest, coolest, and most western city on the entire continent.

Head to Cape Town if you want a fantastic mixture of sea and mountains. An iced mocha latte in the morning, and sushi at dinner. There’s surf, there’s seals, hiking, and everything in between.

Cape Town is a fantastic place to start or end a “Cape to Cairo” road trip, to enjoy the winelands, and to dig into the Western Cape.

Articles on Cape Town

When is the Best Time to Travel to Africa?

Temple of Karnak
Karnak Temple / Best Places to Visit in Africa

Africa is a vast continent and the best time to visit varies greatly depending on where you are visiting. You’ll have to pay attention to the weather patterns in your specific destination. Look out for the rainy season, and when the hottest temperatures of the year are. This is when you want to avoid – trust us. Here are a few examples:

  • Northern Africa: Countries like Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia are best visited between October and April as it can get scorching during the summer months.
  • Southern Africa: The best time to go on safari in Southern Africa is during the dry season from May to October.
  • Tanzania and Kenya: The best season to visit East Africa is during the long dry season, which falls from July to September.

Where are the Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Africa?

Riding Around the Drakensburg

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Africa; after all, there are 54 countries that make up the continent. A few of our favorites are the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, and Sossusvlei in Namibia.

Where Are the Best African Countries to Visit for Wildlife?

Lower Zambezi
A hungry elephant in the Lower Zambezi

Our personal favorites are South Luangwa and the Lower Zambezi in Zambia, as well as the Masai Mara in Kenya. These places are by far the destinations where we have seen the most wildlife.

What are the Best African Countries for Beaches?

We loved our time on Diani Beach / Best Places to Visit in Africa

Where are the best countries to visit in Africa for beaches? The African coastlines are some of the most beautiful in the world. We have found the best white sand beaches in Zanzibar (Tanzania) and around Diani Beach in Mombasa (Kenya).

The shores of South Africa offer unimaginable surfing and wildlife experiences. However, our absolute favorite beaches have been found in Mozambique.

Where is the Best Place for Elephants in Africa?

Enjoying time with the elephants in Botswana, one of the best places to visit in Africa

Botswana is currently home to more elephants than any other African country, and you can see many of them around the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park in Botswana. Some other destinations where you are almost guaranteed to see elephants are:

  • Addo Elephant Park in South Africa
  • Kruger National Park in South Africa
  • Amboseli National Park in Kenya
  • Tarangire National Park in Tanzania
  • Damaraland in Namibia.Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Where is The Best Place for Gorillas in Africa?

The World Pursuit seeing gorillas!
Gorilla trekking in Uganda

The only places to see the mountain gorillas are DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda. So if you are looking for the best places to visit in Africa for gorillas it’s one of those three. We had a tremendous chance to see them in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, which is easily one of the most popular places to see the mountain gorillas.

Where is the Best Place for Rhinos in Africa?

Nairobi National Park Rhino
Lots of rhinos in Nairobi National Park

Kruger National Park in South Africa has the largest population of rhinos in Africa. You can also see many in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.

Where Are the Best Waterfalls in Africa?

Victoria Falls
At Victoria Falls

It may come as no surprise that there are plenty of mesmerizing waterfalls around Africa. Victoria Falls is the most famous, but there are plenty of other beauties. Murchison Falls in Uganda, Tugela Falls in South Africa, and Kalandula Falls in Angola are among some of the most stunning.

20 Waterfalls in Africa You Have to See to Believe

What is the best African country to visit?

Namibia Travel Tips
Beautiful Namibia

This is entirely subjective to the type of trip you want to have! If you want to road trip through a desert oasis, book a trip to Namibia; if you want a bit of beach and safari, head to South Africa! If your main goal is to see as much wildlife as possible, go on a safari in East Africa!

Where Are the Best African Countries to Visit If You Are concerned about safety?

On a walking safari in Botswana

According to the Global Peace Index, the safest country in Africa is Mauritius, followed by Ghana, The Gambia, and Botswana.

Where should I go in Africa for the first time?

romantic Things to do in Cape Town
Beautiful Cape Town

For first-time visitors to Africa, we recommend heading to Southern Africa or East Africa. This will give you a good taste of traveling in Africa, and both are some of the more accessible places to travel on the continent.

What to Know Before an African Safari?

African Safari Dress
Downtime while on safari in Botswana

Oh boy, where do we start? Dress for safari, stay quiet when you see a lion, bring the proper camera gear, and ask lots of questions – heck, here’s an entire article on the subject.

Best Places to Look for Safari Tours in Africa?

We like to use Safari Bookings and Timbuktu to book tours in Africa!

great Places to Visit in Africa for safari

Plan Your Trip to Africa

  • Travel Insurance: We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen while traveling so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans. 
  • Travel Waterbottle: When we’re uncertain about the water supply we use our Grayl Purifier. It’s come in exceptionally handy around Africa.
  • Camera Gear: Chances are you’ll want a camera for your trip to Africa. We love the Sony RX100V for a pocket-size camera and the Fujifilm XT-4 for a professional camera. Check out our favorite cameras for Africa.
  • Safari Clothes: Lightweight, beige, and moisture-wicking clothing are great for traveling Africa. See our favorite safari clothing here.
  • Safari Hat: A good hat is both stylish and functional.
  • Safari Bag: A durable bag is ideal for traveling around Africa.
  • Safari Pants: We recommend neutral-colored pants as they’re great at hiding dirt and can match most shirt colors.
  • Safari Shirt: Shirts like these are lightweight and keep the bugs away!
  • Boots: While you don’t need to wear sturdy shoes every day, at least one pair of safari boots will make your trip nicer!
  • Travel Adapter: You’ll need a special travel adapter for traveling Africa. Get one before you get there so you don’t pay a premium on the ground.
About Natasha

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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