Imagine a fun tourism destination where you can go on safari one day and relax on a pristine volcanic beach the next. A place so rich with geographic wonders, rich history, palaces, and sacred temples that it will take your breath away. What if we said you could stay anywhere from a five-star resort to a rondavel hut? Now toss in fantastic shopping, world-class cuisine, festivals, vineyards, and fascinating art and architecture.
Well, that place is called Africa. The world’s second-largest continent boasts 54 amazing countries, each with a unique flair. Home to the world’s longest river and a desert more immense than the United States, Africa is not only a fun destination; it’s a place of beauty, filled with endless opportunities to educate yourself and become immersed in the welcoming, warm culture. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime getaway filled with adventure, check out these ten fun destinations in Africa.
1. Nairobi, Kenya
The first stop along our fun tourism spots in Africa is Nairobi. The capital of Kenya, located in North Africa, serves as the core of business and commerce for Kenya. Yet it’s also home to a vast nature reserve and several game reserves. This makes it perfect if you plan a safari while in Africa. Safari excursions in Nairobi can be taken for a half day, a full day, or a week. It’s a must-do activity if you enjoy wildlife.
Another site to check out in the city is The National Museum, which highlights the culture, history, and nature of the region. Next, you shouldn’t miss the vast markets that sell everything from exotic fresh fruits and souvenirs to designer clothes and jewelry. If you’re more of an outdoor enthusiast, take a day to explore the Karura forest, where you can mountain bike, hike, or horseback ride while taking in the majestic mountains and beautiful plant life.
If you’re a history buff, Nairobi is steeped in it, and several historical walking tours are offered. You might also want to check out one of the many coffee estates around the city and relax with a fresh cup while learning about the history. Nairobi also offers fabulous nightlife, including clubs and bars with live music, festivals, and dancing.
If you’re looking for a place to stay, the capital city has a variety of accommodations, from 5-star hotels to a place called Giraffe Manor. It’s a manor house with live giraffes roaming free on the property. Talk about a unique experience. Surprisingly, Nairobi doesn’t get that hot. The temperature rarely goes over 80 degrees, so there’s not much need for ac service.
2. Ibadan, Nigeria
Ibadan is known for its zoo and botanical gardens at the University of Ibadan. Located on the west coast of Africa, it’s a short drive to waterfront activities like boating and jet skiing. Ibadan is a fun destination in Africa because it offers a variety of attractions.
You can visit the Ado Awaye Mountains and the surrounding lakes or tour the city. Among them are the causal city day tour or the tasty spicy cuisine tour. When you’re done eating, please make your way over to Mapo Hall, a historic building once used as a courthouse; today, it is more of a hangout for local lawyers and legislators.
Be sure to stop at the Irefin Palace, one of the oldest in Africa. Between those excursions, be sure to stop at the West Tower, where, once at the top, you’ll have a beautiful 360-degree view of the city and the iconic Brown rooftops that are hundreds of years old. Wear light clothes because the weather is hot and humid.
3. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Located on the southern coast of West Africa, Abidjan is nicknamed the Paris of Africa for its rich culture and arts scene. It’s also the economic and political center of the country, with a sea of skyscrapers overlooking the Enrie lagoon. Travelers to the city will find many fun tourist spots to enjoy while visiting.
Start with a trip to the pier, where you can watch the boats come and go. The city is a major port along the Ivory Coast. Stroll through the Treichville section, where major outdoor markets are located. You can purchase everything from handmade trinkets to hand-ground spices to fill your kitchen cabinets.
Visitors can stay in the city center and visit the iconic Our Lady of Peace Basilica, the Municipal Museum, or the Paradise amusement park. A short ride from town will bring you to the city’s zoo and botanical gardens to enjoy a day of nature. The national park offers a chance to hike, horseback ride, and see African wildlife up close. Historical tours of the Ivory Coast are available for more adventurous tourists.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is often at the top of the list of fun destinations in Africa. The economic and cultural hub of South Africa is filled with adventure, culture, luxury, and world-class cuisine. Cape Town has several beachfront resorts where you can relax in the white sand and swim in the crystal-clear ocean waves. The resorts also offer spas, casinos, and guided tours.
You can also take off on your own and visit Robben Island and The District 6 Museum to learn about Cape Town’s history of apartheid and the struggle to overcome it. The city also offers several vineyards on the outskirts of town where you can tour the countryside while sampling local wines. Go paragliding or hiking up to the Table Towers for spectacular city views.
Then, wind down to the iconic waterfront, where you can peruse the many vendors and buy anything from fresh fish to hand tools. No trip to Cape Town is complete without a trip to the botanical gardens and oceanfront boulders. There’s truly something for everyone in this city.
5. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
This East African city is a prime example of a cosmopolitan city. With a blend of Islamic, South Asian, and native Tanzanian cultures, this port city is brimming with diversity and fun destinations. The town centers around a variety of water activities. Enjoy basking on the beaches, scuba diving, or going deep-sea fishing.
Then, walk to the pier, where the boardwalk offers many markets, delicious food, and entertainment. The temperature averages around 80 degrees year-round, so light clothing is more than comfortable for excursions. There are many hotels, but if you prefer something different, there are other accommodations like renting private homes. Visit a condo website for more information on where to stay in Dar es Salaam.
6. Casablanca, Morroco
It’s worth the trip to Casablanca for the Moroccan cuisine alone. The largest city in Morocco has a fabulous coastline and is known for its beaches. While relaxing, consider hiring one of the many fishing guides to help you catch the freshest seafood.
Stroll around the city and take in the sights made famous by the 1942 Humphrey Bogart film. Remember that though it’s a progressive city, women must cover their shoulders and knees. Non-Muslims are not allowed into the mosques, but they can sightsee outside of them.
No trip to Casablanca would be complete without shopping at the world-famous Medinas. Here, you can shop for everything from handbags and hand-carved statues to pottery and spices. End your day at one of the many nightclubs or cafes and walk along the oceanfront.
7. Nouakchott, Mauritania
Once a small coastal village, the capital of Mauritania is now the center of the economy and bustling with activity. Nouakchott is one of many fun destinations in the country, and with two international airports, it’s easy to get there. Take a trip to the pier and boardwalk, where you can peruse the vendors and even visit a beach used solely for fishing and selling fresh catch.
Visitors are always welcome at the University of Nouakchott, which houses the National Museum and several art galleries. Take in a football game at Olympic Stadium, home to 6 of the 14 teams in the country’s premier soccer league. Travelers are also allowed to visit the many mosques in the city, but be sure to follow all customs and rules. You don’t want to need a criminal attorney while on vacation. If you wish to return to nature, the area has a beautiful national park with a wildlife refuge and beach.
8. Harare, Zimbabwe
If you’re looking for a fun tourism destination in Southern Africa, look no further than Harare. The capital of Zimbabwe has everything for adrenaline seekers. Take off on a Big Five safari and spend the day with elephants, zebras, and lions. You can choose from a guided group safari or go on your own in a rented 4-wheel vehicle. Don’t worry if you break down. The Auto Association of Zimbabwe offers local roadside assistance.
If you love animals, but a full-on Safari is not your cup of tea, Harare has several wildlife reserves and animal sanctuaries. To cool off after the safari, visit the famous Victoria Falls or go whitewater rafting. Visitors to Harare can also sign up for bridge jumping and bungee jumping.
If you prefer staying seated during your adventure, take a helicopter ride and view the city’s beauty above the treetops. You might also consider camping in the national park, where activities like hiking, swimming, and fishing will keep you busy. When your adventures are over, try one of the sunset river cruises and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime dinner.
9. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
If you want your fun destinations to include the arts and music, then all signs point to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The city is known for its many street festivals and cultural events. You cannot go anywhere without smelling or hearing the city’s signature coffee and jazz, so stop and enjoy both.
As you travel around and take in the sights and sounds, stop by the Sholla market, one of the biggest in Africa. Here, you’ll find tons of clothing, artwork, spices, and much more. If you’re looking to get away from the modern world and travel back in time, take a trip to the Omo Valley and visit the tribal villages.
You can also trek to the island in the middle of Lake Tana. Here, you’ll find the Castles of Gondor, which are carved from pink volcanic bedrock. Be sure to take one of the historical city tours that include cathedrals and the African Union Headquarters. Foodies will love Ethiopian cuisine, which includes tasty stews and pan-fried meats.
10. Cairo, Egypt
Cairo has that desert heat that automatically comes to mind when you think of Africa. The streets are noisy, vendors line the pathways, and you’re sure to get a whiff of livestock, as donkeys are just as prevalent as cabs in the Egyptian capital. Hustle and bustle are the words to describe this ancient city that rests on the Nile River.
It’s a mix of old and new. Where you’ll hear the call to Islamic prayer one moment and lively music the next. With that being said, it’s one of the most fun tourism destinations to have in Africa. Visit the pyramids by day and then dance the night away at one of the many clubs.
In between those activities, you can stop for coffee at one of Cairo’s premier shops. Stop by the Egyptian museum to gaze at the wonders of the old world. Don’t forget to visit one of the many local restaurants that serve an array of food, including delicious vegetarian cuisine. But don’t worry if you’re a meat lover; shawarma is always on the menu. Hotels for every budget are available, as well as guided tours of the city. Though the Cairos water treatment system is fair, it’s advisable to bring bottled water on your travels.
Africa has fun destinations, educational experiences, and emotionally fulfilling pilgrimages. Not to mention the great food and fantastic accommodations for everyone. Whether you like to have fun in the sun on gorgeous beaches or travel through the wilderness in a four-wheel drive, these African countries offer it all. We hope you find this list helpful when planning your African holiday.