Africa

Travel Guide
Nairobi featuring land animals

As the second-largest continent on the planet, harboring more than 50 different countries as well as an amazing variety of cultures, landscapes and wildlife, Africa is full of surprises.

Africa is huge. The continent stretches from the Mediterranean in the north, narrows at the equator and tapers down in the temperate zone of the Southern Hemisphere. The often spectacular scenery includes the Sahara Desert, soaring sand dunes in Namibia, mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, and the rainforests of the Congo river basin.

Don’t forget Madagascar, the Seychelles and Mauritius either, three jewels in the crown of the Indian Ocean.

Mixed in among these landscapes are animal species and peoples as varied as the terrain.

In Northern Africa, the idyllic Mediterranean beaches of Tunisia and Algeria, along with the Red Sea in Egypt, entice sunbathers and scuba divers. The Atlas Mountains in Morocco attract avid hikers, while history lovers flock to the Egyptian pyramids and museums.

Although Africa is the birthplace of civilization, it’s still a wild continent at heart. Visitors from all over the globe flock here for wildlife safaris to see “the Big 5” in their natural habitat.

Good places to start are South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. For cultural experiences with local tribes, opt for the Masai Mara and Serengeti regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Here, massive nature reserves allow for the free movement and protection of an incredible array of wild animals. As lions hunt zebra and wildebeest and leopards chase gazelles, elephants and giraffes can be seen grazing nearby. Cape buffalos roam and hippos wallow as crocodiles lie in wait for an unsuspecting meal.

If it’s your dream to spot a gorilla in the jungle, then Uganda is the place to be. Or, get off the beaten path to visit the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali and the rock-carved churches in Ethiopia.

Looking for some creature comforts? In South Africa the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town with its surfing beaches and its nearby verdant wine region serves up a modern and easy-going slice of African life.

It’s true that the rest of Africa doesn’t share its charms as easily. Touring this continent can be slow, challenging and a shock to your senses. But what you see and experience, what you will feel and remember, is something that can be found nowhere else on Earth, but in Africa.

Popular cities in Africa

Victoria and Alfred Waterfront which includes a lake or waterhole
Cape Town
From the heights of Table Mountain to the unique “Cape Dutch” architecture and sparkling blue waterfront, Cape Town is known for its natural and cultural attractions.

Reasons to visit

  • Castle of Good Hope
  • Good Hope Centre
  • Pan African Market
Cairo which includes heritage architecture
Cairo
Discover one of the world’s greatest ancient civilisations in the museums and nearby pyramids of Egypt’s dynamic and surprisingly modern capital. 

Reasons to visit

  • Tahrir Square
  • Giza Pyramid Complex
  • Great Sphinx of Giza
Johannesburg - Gauteng showing a city, skyline and a high rise building
Johannesburg
Urban renewal is underway in the nation's capital; this is a city that is growing to embody the spirit of modern South Africa.

Reasons to visit

  • SAB World of Beer
  • Johannesburg Zoo
Marrakech which includes performance art as well as a small group of people
Marrakech
The cultural center of Morocco is known for its distinctive red buildings and crowded, atmospheric marketplaces.

Reasons to visit

  • Koutoubia Minaret
Tunis featuring markets as well as a small group of people
Tunis
Explore the jumble of ancient ruins, palaces, souks and colonial architecture that make the capital of Tunisia, in North Africa, an enthralling and exciting city.
Nairobi which includes a skyscraper, central business district and skyline
Nairobi
In the “Green City in the Sun”, you can enjoy a safari with giraffes, elephants, lions and other wildlife, all within the city limits.