Updated January 2021
Over the last few years, Africa has become my favorite continent. I fell hard for the incredible landscapes, world-class safari experiences, and diverse cultures while living in Cape Town, South Africa for three years.
With 54 countries on the continent, I still have a long list of things I want to see and do. So I put together a bucket list with some of my favorite Africa travel experiences as well as the ones I’m hoping to cross off soon.
From road tripping through Namibia to gorilla trekking in Uganda, gazing upon the Pyramids of Eygpt, glamping in the Sahara desert to cruising along the Okavango Delta in Botswana—Africa is full of incredible adventures!
Here’s my ultimate Africa travel bucket list!
Botswana is one of the top safari destinations in Southern Africa. The Okavango Delta region and Chobe National Park offer some of the best wildlife viewings on the planet, especially during May and September.
Another highlight for Botswana is the country’s rich history. Discover the San Bushman culture in the Tsodilo Hills. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a spiritual outdoor art gallery that features more than 4,000 ancient rock paintings.
Top Experiences in Botswana
More Bucket List Experiences in Botswana:
- Chobe National Park
- Khama Rhino Sanctuary
- The Central Kalahari Game Reserve
- The Great Makgadikgadi Pans
Read More: 10-Day Botswana Itinerary
Egypt has captured the imaginations of travelers for centuries. Home to incredible temples and tombs, it’s full of historical treasures, excellent scuba diving, and the famous Nile River.
It’s a destination mixed with unique adventure and cultural activities!
City slickers can explore the sprawling megalopolis of Cairo. Archaeology nerds can soak up the ancient history of Luxor and the Pyramids of Giza while beach bums can relax on the coast of Sinai and dive in the Red Sea.
Top Experiences in Egypt
More Bucket List Experiences in Egypt:
- Abu Simbel
- South Sinai
- The White Desert
Read More: 10 Tips for Your First Trip to Egypt
Kenya is much more than a world-class safari destination. Its coastline is a trove of treasures with sandy white beaches and some of the best snorkeling and diving conditions in East Africa!
Home to the Great Migration in the Masai Mara, Kenya’s other national parks won’t disappoint animal lovers. Visit Amboseli to see Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance or go on a road trip to Lake Nakuru, covered with thousands of flamingos.
Besides its sun-soaked lands, Kenya is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. Learn about Swahili history and visit ancient tribes to learn about their centuries-old traditional customs.
Top Experiences in Kenya
More Bucket List Experiences in Kenya:
- Diani Beach
- Hell’s Gate National Park
- Lake Nakuru National Park
- Lamu Island
- Nairobi Elephant Sanctuary
- Tsavo National Park
- Watamu Marine Park
Read More: Bucket List Experiences in Kenya
Madagascar is a dream destination for outdoor lovers. The fourth largest island in the world, it boasts lush rainforests with winding hiking trails, curious lemurs, towering baobab trees and a mish-mash of cultures from various corners of the Indian Ocean.
But with a lack of infrastructure, Madagascar is a destination for travelers who love getting off the beaten track in search of adventure.
The island’s national parks only see a few hundred visitors a year, and off-road driving is a requirement. Spend your vacation rock climbing, mountain biking, diving, or venturing off to nearby deserted islands.
Top Experiences in Madagascar
Avenue of Baobabs
More Bucket List Experiences in Madagascar:
- Andasibe Mantadia National Park
- Ile Sainte Marie
- Isalo National Park
- Queen’s Palace at Antananarivo
- Ranomafana National Park
- Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
- Tsingy de Bemaraha Reserve
There’s nothing I love more than disconnecting from the online world and unwinding on a tropical island. Mauritius is the perfect destination for a digital detox or an epic five-star honeymoon experience!
Bask in the sun on the lush deserted beaches, dip your toes in the warm turquoise blue seas and explore the island’s untouched natural wonders.
Top Experiences in Mauritius
Ile aux Cerfs
Seven Coloured Earths
More Bucket List Experiences in Mauritius:
- Black River Gorges National Park
- Chamarel Waterfall
- Grand Bassin
- Hike Le Morne Brabant
- Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire
- Port Louis
- Trou aux Cerfs
Read More: 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Mauritius
Morocco is a destination that has enchanted writers, artists, and filmmakers. With its colorful markets full of intoxicating scents to the breathtaking Saharah desert – it’s unlike any other country in North Africa!
While you can see the top sights in a few days, I highly recommend taking two weeks to explore the country. It will give you enough time to go glamping in the desert, wander around the beautiful blue houses of Chefchaouen and visit some of the lesser-visited cities like Essaouira!
Top Experiences in Morocco
More Bucket List Experiences in Morocco:
Read More: The Ultimate Morocco Travel Guide
One of my top destinations for diving in Africa is Mozambique! The country’s coastline is framed by sparkling blue waters that are home to rare marine life like dugongs, endangered sea turtles, and whale sharks.
Fly into the capital city, Maputo, or head further up the coast to the town of Inhambane. While the road conditions have improved over the years, I’d highly recommend renting a 4×4 especially if you love tackling sand dunes!
Top Experiences in Mozambique
More Bucket List Experiences in Mozambique:
- Benguerra Island
- Gorongosa National Park
- Inhaca Island
- Island of Mozambique
- Quirimbas National Park
Read More: Scuba Diving in Mozambique
If there is one destination in Africa blowing up at the moment—it’s Namibia! The stunning Southern African country is a photographer’s dream come true.
It’s one of the best places in the world to go on a road trip with spectacular attractions spread out over its vast landscape. Hire a car and take your time driving up the famous Skeleton Coast (keep an eye out for shipwrecks!), past Sossusvlei, and further north to the beautiful Etosha National Park.
Top Experiences in Namibia
More Bucket List Experiences in Namibia:
- Big Daddy Dune
- Spitzkoppen Lodge
- Brandberg Mountain
- Fish River Canyon
- Wolwedans Camp
Read More: The Ultimate Namibia Travel Guide
There’s something magical about the Seychelles Islands. Located east of Kenya, it’s a tropical paradise that is full of UNESCO world heritage nature reserves, lush jungles, and thriving coral reefs. Mahé Island and Praslin Island are the most-traveled islands of the bunch!
With 115 coral and granite islands to explore and almost half of the land protected, it’s an untouched part of the world with an endless list of things to see and do!
Top Experiences in Seychelles
More Bucket List Experiences in Seychelles:
- Aldabra Atoll
- Aride Island Nature Reserve
- Cousin Island
- Curieuse Island
- Morne Seychellois National Park
- Sainte Anne National Marine Park
- Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
Read More: The Ultimate Seychelles Islands Travel Guide
It’s no secret that South Africa has my heart! I lived in Cape Town for three years, and there was ALWAYS something to see or do. One of my favorite adventures was road tripping the Garden Route, and all the beautiful stops along the way.
Top Experiences in South Africa
More Bucket List Experiences in South Africa:
- Addo National Park
- Boulders Beach
- Cape Point Nature Reserve
- Kruger National Park
- Pilanesberg National Park
- Sani Pass
- Sun City – The Palace of the Lost City
- Table Mountain
- The Drakensberg
- The Garden Route
Read More: The Ultimate South Africa Travel Guide
Tanzania is one of the top safari destinations in Africa. Home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, it’s natural heritage attracts thousands of visitors each year.
But if you’re feeling burnt out from all the game drives, make your way to Tanzania’s coast. Located off the mainland are the Zanzibar, Pemba, and the Mafia islands.
It’s one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world with pristine coral gardens to explore!
Top Experiences in Tanzania
More Bucket List Experiences in Tanzania:
- Lake Manyara National Park
- Lake Victoria
- Mafia Island
- Mount Meru
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Pemba Island
- Selous Game Reserve
- Stone Town
From crater lakes to endangered mountain gorillas and everything in between, Uganda is jam-packed with incredible scenery and fascinating local culture. It’s no wonder the small East African country is called the “Pearl of Africa”!
Uganda’s top attraction is the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It’s home to over 400 mountain gorillas, and trekking to the different troops is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Top Experiences in Uganda
More Bucket List Experiences in Uganda:
- Golden Monkey Trekking
- Kasubi Tombs
- Murchison Falls
- Queen Elizabeth National Park
- See the Start of the Nile
- Ssesi Islands
- Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Zambia is the birthplace of the legendary African walking safari and is blessed with incredible natural wonders. From the spectacular Victoria Falls to the mighty Zambezi River and abundant wildlife—it’s the perfect destination for thrill-seekers and nature lovers.
Zambia is also one of the safest countries in Africa, making it a great place to go if it’s your first time exploring the continent!
Top Experiences in Zambia
More Bucket List Experiences in Zambia:
- Blue Lagoon National Park
- Kafue National Park
- Lower Zambezi National Park
- South Luangwa National Park
- Zambezi White River Rafting
While Zimbabwe has had a bad rep over the last couple of decades, it’s making a comeback as one of Africa’s top safari destinations!
For adventurous travelers that venture down to the capital city of Harare, you’ll find boulevards lined with trees and eateries waiting to be discovered. With fewer people visiting the country’s national parks, you’ll have an unmatched safari experience and Zimbabwe’s natural beauty all to yourself.
Top Experiences in Zimbabwe
Hwange National Park
More Bucket List Experiences in Zimbabwe:
- Chimanimani Mountains
- The Great Zimbabwe Ruins
- The Mutarazi Falls
- Victoria Falls National Park
Which African country is at the top of your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below!