12 Great Places You Must Visit in Africa Before You Die - Pictures - Africa Point Blog
As old as Time itself, and acknowledged as the very Cradle of Humankind, the great continent of Africa has untold treasures to reveal to those who take the time to come on a journey of discovery. From the ancient temples, pyramids and tombs of Egypt,
Talk to a Safari Expert on the Ground
+44 208 114 9693
+1 234 203 0006
+254 775 610593
+254 726 610593
Join   |   Login   |   Wishlist 0
African Safaris by local experts since 1998!
Home  >  Blog  >  12 Great Places You Must Visit in Africa Before You Die - Pictures

12 Great Places You Must Visit in Africa Before You Die - Pictures


Published 12th September 2008
Modified 13th July 2015
50%  50%      5
 
Travel Planning & Tips, Egypt, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Game Watching, Maasai Mara, Great Migration, Gorillas, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro

As old as Time itself, and acknowledged as the very Cradle of Humankind, the great continent of Africa has untold treasures to reveal to those who take the time to come on a journey of discovery. From the ancient temples, pyramids and tombs of Egypt, to adventurous safaris in Kenya, and the stunning natural wonders and wildlife of Uganda, Botswana and Namibia - we have some great suggestions for 12 astonishing must-see places to include in your itinerary.

 

Get inspired - explore our comprehensive travel calendar for more information about the most incredible places to visit in Africa.

 

 

1. Abu Simbel - Egypt

 

Rameses II Temple at Abu Simbel in Egypt

 

The two temples at Abu Simbel are best known for their dazzling magnificence and their historic relocation from their original setting on a sandstone cliff near the Nile River. The temples were originally carved out of sandstone over 3,000 ago, during the reign of the great Pharaoh Ramesses II and were dedicated to him and the Egyptian gods.

 

When the Egyptian government were constructing the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s, the temples faced submergence under the waters of the resulting Lake Nassar, and the government sought the assistance of UNESCO and the international community to help them avoid this potential disaster. It was decided to relocate the temples to a new site, where they would be safe – a monumental undertaking, given the scale of these temples! The relocation included dismantling the two temples, moving them to their new location and then reassembling them in exactly the same form and relationship to each other and to the sun.  In their new home they are surrounded by an artificial mountain to try and recreate their original setting. A photo exhibition of this historic relocation can be seen at the dome at Abu Simbel.

 

 

2. Mount Kilimanjaro

 

View of Mount Kilimanjaro Tanzania

 

Rising to 19,340 ft above the plains of Africa, Kili (as Mount Kilimanjaro is popularly known) is the highest mountain in Africa. Unusually for such a lofty peak, the highest point, Uhuru, is accessible to anyone who is moderately fit, and many make the pilgrimage to climb Kili every year. It is definitely one of the highlights of any trip to Tanzania.

 

The scenery at the peak is breathtaking, with the huge glaciers forming a heavenly white landscape. To make this an even more desirable destination, the region around the base of Mount Kilimanjaro is home to some of Africa’s premier wildlife parks and reserves, so it is easy to see why a visit to Kili is indeed an African “must-do”.

 

Are you keen to find out more about Mount Kilimanjaro? Check out these resources:

 

 

 

3. Victoria Falls on the Zambia - Zimbabwe Border

 

Victorial Falls on the boarder of Zambia and Zimbabwe

 

The grandiose Victoria Falls are located on the mighty Zambezi River, at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. These waterfalls are the largest moving body of water on Earth, and photos cannot do them justice – you have to be there to see them for yourself! The locals call them “Mosi-oa-Tunya”, which means the “smoke that thunders” – an apt description for the columns of spray that can be seen and heard from miles away.

 

The Victoria Falls are an unmissable place to visit in Africa because of their unusual form and their sheer size alone - but as a bonus, there is also a wide variety of wildlife and many adventure activities to be enjoyed near-by. On the Zambian side of the Falls, it is perfectly possible to swim in relative safety in the natural pools at the top of the falls - but you will need nerves of steel!

 

  

4. The Great Pyramids at Giza - Egypt

 

Sphinx and Pyramid Giza in Egypt

 

The Great Pyramids at Giza need no introduction! They are the most recognizable icon of Egypt, together with the Sphinx. Most of the pyramids (there are over 100 pyramids in Egypt) were built as tombs to preserve the mummified bodies of the dead pharaohs, and keep them safe and undisturbed in their afterlife. In these massive resting places their mortal remains would continue to receive food offerings long after they had been interred. Their most treasured possessions were buried with them for comfort in the afterlife, and in some cases animals and slaves accompanied them for company on their journey.

 

The greatest of these pyramids is the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Pharaoh Cheops), found at Giza, a few kilometres south of Cairo, at the same location as the great Sphinx - a half-human, half-lion statue considered to be one of the world’s largest and oldest statues. 

 

 

5. Valley of the Kings - Egypt

 

The entrance to the Valley of the Kings, Egypt

 

This is where the mighty Kings of Egypt and their attending elite were laid to rest for over 500 years, between the 11th and 16th centuries BC. Situated near Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile River, this part of the desert valley is known to be home to at least 63 tombs - many of which once contained priceless Egyptian antiquities. Unfortunately, the tombs were repeatedly plundered over a period of time and most of these gems have been stolen. The Valley of the Kings rose to fame in 1922 after the discovery of the intact tomb of Tutankhamun. Today, it is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. It is quite possible that many more tombs may be unearthed in the future. 

 

 

 6. Fish River Canyon - Namibia

 

The magnificent Fish River Valley, Namibia

 

The second largest river canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon, the spectacular Fish River Canyon is a stunning natural wonder, carved out of the Namibian Desert. The Canyon is over 160km long from north to south, 27km wide and over 550m deep in places. In the floor of the Canyon flows the Fish River, alternating between a trickle in the dry season and a raging torrent that continues the erosion process, after good rains. The wildlife that are sustained by the river include wild horses, mountain zebra, kudu and klipspringer, as well as abundant birdlife. Hiking the Canyon is a highlight of any visit to Namibia.

 

 

7. Sossusvlei Namib Desert National Park - Namibia

 

Sossusvlei Dunes in the Namib Desert National Park in Namibia

 

Situated in the Namib Naukluft Park, the Sossusvlei is a huge clay pan, guarded by a crescent of giant red sand dunes, an enduring symbol of Namibia. The highest of these dunes is called Big Daddy (sometimes Big Moma!) and is over 300m high. Climbing to the top is one of Africa’s most exhilarating experiences - and by far one of the most naturally stunning places on the continent. On the rare occasions that it rains in the area, the Sossusvlei fills with water and the resultant turquoise lake is an amazing sight to behold in the middle of the desert!

 

The Naukluft Park is one of the largest conservation areas in Africa and the fourth largest in the world. It is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna that have adapted to the arid conditions. 

 

You can find more information on the amazing Namib Desert in our destination profile!

  

 

8. Wildebeest Migration, Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Parks - Kenya & Tanzania

 

Great Migration of Wildebeest in the Maasai Mara National Game Reserve Kenya

 

Could this mass migration be the most spectacular natural event in the world? The annual migration of over 2 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope takes place within the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya and the Serengeti in Tanzania. The animals start their migration from the south of the Serengeti, following the rain and fresh pastures to the northern border with Kenya, the Mara River, which represents the greatest hurdle of the migration. They are followed by many predators, and also have to face the threat of the crocodiles that lie in wait in the Mara River.

 

The Wildebeest migration is a spontaneous and rather unpredictable event, governed by climate and rainfall, and the exact date varies from year to year. The best time to catch the migration in the Masai Mara is from July to September - when the animals congregate to cross the river into Kenya.

 

Want to find out more about the Great Migration and the delights of a Kenya safari? Get inspired with our quick introduction to what you can expect. To discover more about what awaits you in Kenya and Tanzania, check out our guides to each reserve: 

 

 

 

9. Karnak Temple Complex - Egypt

 

Karnak Temple in Luxor Egypt

 

The Karnak Temple Complex, the largest and most impressive temple site in Egypt, is probably the largest religious complex anywhere in the world. It is located near Luxor, a region which is also home to many other impressive sites including the Sphinx and the Pyramid of Giza. The complex is a conglomeration of three main temples and several smaller ruined temples, and to give you an idea of the scale, the main temple alone covers an area of 65 acres! This main temple, the Temple of Amun, is the largest and most impressive - it’s the only temple that is currently accessible to tourists as this is still an active archaeological site. 

 

  

10. Okavango Delta - Botswana

 

Okavango Delta in Botswana

 

The magnificent Okavango Delta (sometimes incorrectly called the “Okavango Swamp”) is the world’s largest inland delta, covering an area of over 17,000km, and one of the top places to visit in Africa.

 

This unique natural wonder was formed after an ancient inland sea, Lake Makgadikgadi, dried up thousands of years ago. The Okavango Delta is fed by the highland waters of Uganda, which flow for over a 1,000km to reach the plains of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. Here, they fan out to create an incredible labyrinth of inland lagoons, islands, channels and lakes - the lifeblood of the animals in the region. The absence of industry or agriculture is responsible for remarkable water purity, which supports a spectacular range of wildlife. As a result, safaris in the Okavango Delta are an exceptional experience.

 

There is a lot more to explore in Okavango Delta, have a look at these resources: 

 

  

11. The Virunga Mountains - DRC/Rwanda/Uganda Borders

 

Silverback Gorilla in Africa

 

The Virunga Mountains are a chain of volcanic mountains found along the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo). Apart from their spectacular beauty, the forests of these mountains form the last remaining home of the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla. Discovering these incredible creatures is a big draw for visitors to the Virunga National Park. There are also many other interesting species of wildlife here including chimpanzees, the okapi and forest elephant.

 

The mountain range includes eight major peaks; the highest is Mt. Karisimbii, while two of them, Mt. Nyirangongo and Mt. Nyiragira, are still active volcanoes.

 

 

 12. Ngorongoro Crater - Tanzania

 

View into Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area in Tanzania

 

The stunning Ngorongoro Crater is a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the world’s largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera - formed when a giant volcano exploded here and collapsed on itself, about three million years ago. The resulting depression is huge; about 19 km across, it has a total floor area of 260 square kilometres and a depth of 600m from floor to rim. The crater is considered a “natural” enclosure for wildlife and forms the Ngorongoro Conservation Area - home to many animal species including the Big Five, including an especially high concentration of lions.

 

Want to find out more about the Ngorongoro Crater? Get inspired by our detailed information on the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

 

 

There are our 12 - which one jumps out at you? Of course, creating the perfect African adventure - a trip that combines the places that you want to see - requires meticulous planning. It’s very valuable to work out your priorities when planning your trip. Kenya safari? Tanzania safari? Something else? 

 

What inspires you? The Big Five, the Pyramids or the Great Migration? History or nature? The natural world moves at its own pace, and there are no guarantees - so it’s important to learn everything you can when crafting your dream escape. That’s where we come in.

 

We want to help you discover something really special. All of our safaris are designed with local expertise - so we know where and when the most beautiful places to visit in Africa are at their best. Start planning your adventure today.


Did you enjoy this post?

 

 
 
Like & Share this blog post:

 

 

 

Get Africa Travel Updates

 

Join our 5255 safari enthusiasts and receive regular updates on all things Africa travel related.
First Name *
e.g. John
Last Name *
e.g. Smith
Email Address *
e.g. john.smith@johnsmith.com
Submit Now
P.S. It costs you nothing but a few seconds of your time, and you can unsubscribe in a single click if it's not for you.

 

Like & Share this blog:

 

 

Stay Connected:

 

 

Popular Posts:


Top 10 Blog Tags:


Browse by Category:


Comments

 
3rd February 2015
Gramma and Ember

Reply

0%     0%

My 3 yo grand daughter want to come to Africa.so very badly.. She has me look up Africa to see the sights and animals.. I tell her someday we will try to visit..So she plays that we are there already. Thanks so much for you sites..

4th February 2015
Stefan Bollier

Reply

0%     0%

What an awesome story Gramma and Ember! Glad you're enjoying our content. We very much look forward to welcoming you to Africa soon. Happy virtual safari in the meantime. 

8th May 2014
Michel

Reply

0%     100%

Amazing how Beautiful Africa is. Would love to Travel to Africa. You can see wonderful Places @ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGlaiTIRdmrrkrl6-vrT7A

20th March 2009
Arthone

Reply

0%     0%

This is the way things should be, get off what we are on now

18th October 2008
Sas

Reply

0%     0%

It is obvious you missed some countries.
Some very ancient, amazing places you can find also in Ethiopia.
A country where you can find people that have never seen a foreigner. Where you have the 4th sacred Muslim city (Harar) and the first settlement of moslims out of SA, where you have the remainings of the Axumite empire and the legend of the Queen of Sheba. I'm not even talking about one of the world heritage sites as Lalibela or Gondar. Also there are strong indications that the Arc of Convenants is remaining in Ethiopia.
The views in Omo Valley (South) are incredible (blue sky's, green and the soil is red, wow!!!).
Ethiopia is not expensive if you do local transport also local food is good and cheap. Hope you will visit as I really, really loved your pics and hope you can make some in Ethiopia.


Stay Connected
Travel
• Safaris
• Flights
• Extras
• FAQ
• Blog
• Sitemap
Payment Options
 
Member Of:
 
Secured By:
 
Registered Address
Africa Point
NSSF Complex, Ground Floor
Bishops Road, Milimani
Nairobi, Kenya
Send us a message
Kenya
+254 775 610593
+254 726 610593
+254 711 160513
(Emergency Only)
+254 736 160513
(Emergency Only)
International
+1 234 203 0006 (U.S.)
+44 208 114 9693 (U.K.)
 
travel.africapoint