There are lots of countries to visit in Africa.
Last week, I shared a list of 10 of the least visited and/or lesser known countries in Africa. The list includes places like Comoros, Eritrea, The Gambia, Mali and Sao Tome and Principe that travelers to or in Africa visit less often than Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania for instance.
Recognizing my mistake in writing that the countries in my list “are not any more dangerous than the places social media users know best and love most,” and acknowledging that it is difficult to travel to some of those countries, I propose five others in this post.
5 African countries to visit next
Unlike the other countries on this list, I have not been to Botswana. It is on my bucket list now because it has lots to offer. Besides house boats to cruise on the Chobe River, visitors can enjoy mokoro rides in the Okavango Delta, stunning views and waterfalls in the Tswapong Hills, a night in the Kalahari desert, or a visit to the Game Reserve in Gaborone, the country’s capital city.
Congo (“Congo Brazzaville”)
When people do not confuse it with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo welcomes lovers of nature and those curious about the Congo Rapids. In Brazzaville, one can buy ankara fabric (“African print” “Dutch wax”) in Marche Poto Poto and everything from fruits, electronics to clothes in Marche Total. One can also literally see DRC’s capital city, Kinshasa, from La Corniche and try the national dish, saka saka. Another popular site in Congo is the Valley of Butterflies.
I could be biased (I grew up in Abidjan), but Cote d’Ivoire is worth a visit. First, Ivorian food is great. One should try alloco, attiéké, poulet braisé, pain brochette, kédjénou, foutou and sauce graine at least once. Second, Cote d’Ivoire offers lots of picturesque hotels and resorts in Assinie-Mafia, Grand Béreby, and Ile Boulay to name a few. Further, visitors can enjoy historical gems in Grand-Bassam, stunning views in “the pearl of lagoons” (Abidjan), as well as hiking trails and waterfalls in Man. Architecture enthusiasts will appreciate Saint Paul cathedral in Plateau and the Roman Catholic basilica in Yamoussoukro. Music lovers will like the country that gave us coupé-décalé and artists like Meiway, Alpha Blondy, and Magic System. Lastly, you know why I love patronizing tailors from or trained in Cote d’Ivoire if you follow me on Instagram.
Liberia is filled with history to see and hear from locals. Visits to Firestone Rubber Plantation, the largest in the world (and perhaps the only one with a golf course), Providence Island where slaves arrived from the Americas, the site of the former Ducor Hotel or that of the oldest Masonic Lodge in Africa will provide some information about said past. People who like to swim or surf will enjoy beachfront hotels in Monrovia, Ce Ce’s Beach and Robertsport. From experience I will add that nightlife in Monrovia is also pretty good. Lastly, Zwedru and Sapo National Park look like nice breaks from city and beach life.
Although small, Togo is impressive. Perhaps most famous for the waterfalls in Kpalime, Togo also boasts national parks in Fazao and Keran for ecotourists. The most adventurous visitors can check out Togoville to learn about voodoo or go climb Mount Agou. In Lome, beach lovers can relax under impressive palm trees while others take a picture at the Monument de l’Independence. A visit to the Grand Marche, one of the biggest in the region, and its nana benz is also a must on a trip to Lome.
As I shared previously, I developed sub-goals for my #54before54 goal. One is to plan vacations to five countries in East or Southern Africa in the next five years. I did not mention some countries in those regions because they are well known. But I would travel to Ethiopia (again), Malawi, Namibia (again), Rwanda (again), Uganda or Zambia. And, full disclosure, I would go to Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa again. I also want to visit Madagascar (to see baobabs of course) and Seychelles (to live my best life and share it all live on the ‘gram, obviously) at some point. Lastly, if you know me you know that I would not mind using all my vacation days/ paid time off to go to Mauritius again.
In sum, there is an abundance of appealing travel destinations in Africa. I wish I had the time and financial resources to visit them all… What about you?
Have you been to any of the countries I’ve mentioned so far? What do you recommend doing there? Are there other countries you can’t wait to visit or recommend visiting in Africa?
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