The Top Ten Travel Sights of Africa

It is difficult to list a top ten African travel wonders list without leaving out a number of other superb sights. Here is my list. How many have you seen?

1. Mountain Gorillas of Central Africa

It is an indescribable experience to spend an hour visiting an habituated gorilla family in the rain forests of Central Africa. With over 98% commonality of DNA with human beings, you can sense and feel their emotions and familial ties. A family group which varies from 8 to 20 is led by an alpha male – the silverback – with a silvery blanket of hair down his back. Seriously endangered, tourism is their only chance of survival.

2. Wildlife Safari in East Africa

The African rift valley offers the most remarkable variety of wildlife to view anywhere on Earth. Across the protected game parks in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia, seeing the great African wildlife is a special experience to savor. Way beyond reading National Geographic, seeing in real life a pride of lions stalking and hunting down its prey gets your heart racing. Vultures and jackals hover nearby for their share of the feast. Many plan to see the so-called Big Five, the buffalo, elephant, lion, rhinoceros and leopard, along with the familiar antelope, giraffes, zebras and wildebeest, along with a wide variety of colorful birds.

3. Pyramids and Sphinx of Egypt

The Great Pyramids of Giza, just outside Cairo, have stood and overseen over 5000 years of Egyptian history. These giants structures stand in a stark sandy desert expanse while local touts sell camel rides or their various crafts, souvenirs and knick-knacks. The nightly light and sound show describes the rich history with colorful lights and lasers.

4. Victoria Falls

The locals describe it as the “The Smoke that Thunders” in their native language, where plumes of spray from the thunderous water can be seen for miles around as the calm waters of the mile-wide Zambezi River plunges well over 100 yards into the deep gorge below. These famous waterfalls change mood across the year from the dry to the wet seasons and often appear with dazzling rainbows in the misty spray.

5. Nile River and Egyptian Temples

Small armies of river boats travel the famed Nile River between Luxor and Aswan in central Egypt. From the cool of the boat, you can enjoy the narrow fertile strip of land being intensively farmed in much the same manner as it has sustained the population for centuries. This thin strip of greenery is the only break from the desolate Saharan sands which seem to extend forever. Luxor’s Temple of Karnak is an ancient construction on an unequaled scale with pillars, carvings, ceremonial lakes and temples extending over an area beyond a mile by half a mile. The pharaohs’ final resting places sit on the opposite bank of the Nile in the Valley of the Kings – a stark, empty ravine.

6. Sahara Desert

Incredibly hot by day and surprisingly cool by night, the dry vastness of the Sahara Desert is striking in its beauty. Eroded over the centuries by wind, jagged mountains, rocky escarpments and sweeping sand dunes detail a harsh terrain. The small oasis towns reveal a battle for survival over the many centuries, the refreshing patches of green highlighting the invaluable resource of water.

7. Moroccan Cities of Marrakesh and Fes

With their souks woven like ancient mazes, Marrakesh and Fes both boast remarkable medinas (walled-in areas of the town) which ignite every human sense. Rich in craft shops (tanners, textile makers, dressmakers, jewelers and carpet weavers), food stalls and teashops (with their enchanting sweet mint tea), the alluring aroma of spices clash with the nasty odors of the dye pits. Every night, Marrakesh’s immense Djemaa el Fna square becomes a virtual circus of snake charmers, fortune tellers, jugglers, comedians, spruikers and magicians as you enjoy the tasty delights from the variety of fresh food stalls and juice bars.

8. Dogon Villages of Mali

The Dogon people live in simple villages along the imposing 120 mile Bandiagara Cliff. Their strange adobe (mud-brick) houses are built along the cliff edge providing areas to sleep and relax, common areas for village meetings and for storage of grain. The houses are remarkably cool in this hot arid area.

9. Leptis Magna

Africa’s most significant Roman ruin overlooks the dazzling Mediterranean Sea. Being a major Roman city in its time, Leptis Magna includes the ruins of athletic arenas, theaters, markets and temples, along with the traditional central Roman Forum.

10. Zanzibar

The Spice Islands are a haven, providing a chance for a relaxing break from African travel and game parks. It has a number of sights with its Arabic heritage, the old Stone Town and tropical palm-fringed sandy beaches. The maze of ancient alleyways and narrow lanes are lined with whitewashed houses with superbly carved wooden doors. Culturally separate from the African mainland, small bazaars and gleaming tiled mosques provide mouthwatering cultural walks, between relaxing sun-baking sessions on the beach.

Africa has a wide variety of attractions and travel wonders to experience from the Arabic north through the jungles of central Africa to the rich jungles of southern Africa. Travel with a spirit of discovery and enjoyment to experience this wonderful and diverse continent.