Second only to Asia in size and population, Africa is one of the most diverse and impressive places in the world. Despite decades of bad press, tourism is booming and showing no signs of slowing down. Like anywhere else, always be cautious. But African countries are clean, welcoming, peaceful and safe. Also, according to the Global Peace Index, most the countries on this list are safe than the US. Considering a trip? We’ve curated a list of the 16 safest, most visited countries and tourist attractions in Africa. Read more below.
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1. South Africa
With nearly 10 million foreigners visiting annually, South Africa is a tourism gem. First of all, this coastal country is home to cities like Cape Town, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. It features stunning shorelines and is recognized as one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth.
Top Tourist Attractions in South Africa
- Kruger National Park
- Table Mountain
- Robben Island
Tourism is a big part of Kenya’s recent economic growth. More than 400,000 Kenyans work in the travel and tourism sector. Known for its warm and welcoming spirit, it’s one of Africa’s safest and most visited countries. Another reason to visit is the versatile landscape, including deserts, mountains, forest wilderness and more. Its diverse environment makes it the perfect place for the wide range of wildlife there.
Top Tourist Attractions in Kenya
- Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Amboseli National Reserve
Surrounded by land, Zambia is one of the least visited African countries on this list. That’s changing thanks to a new focus on tourism. And natural attractions are leading the charge. Meet some of the world’s most majestic animals face to face, in unaffected habitats. Considering a trip to Zambia? Book it fast. The country is modernizing quickly. Furthermore, it’s legitimately stunning.
Top Tourist Attractions in Zambia
- Victoria Falls
- South Luangwa National Park
- The Zambezi River
Terrorist attacks caused the Tunisian travel and tourism industry to grind to a near stop. Since then, the industry has rebounded. And it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Nearly 7 million people visit this North African haven annually. Because of history and proximity, it’s a popular destination for French and German travelers alike.
Top Tourist Attractions in Tunisia
- El Djem Amphitheater
Morocco is one of the most popular North African countries. It’s also one of the wealthiest. In past years, more and more international travelers have touched down in this tropical and arid destination. So with beautiful weather, mouth-watering food, and storied cities, it’s not difficult to understand why Morocco is a must-visit country.
Top Tourist Attractions in Morocco
- Djemma el-Fna
- Hassan II Mosque
Mauritius is pure paradise. Relax on white sand beaches. Swim in blue water lagoons. Gaze at waterfalls. Hike through rain forests. See an abundance of wildlife. Where else in the world can you experience nuggets of French, Dutch, British, African and Indian culture all in one?
Top Tourist Attractions in Mauritius
- Le Morne
- Black River Gorges National Park
Spoiler alert: Remember that scene in the Lion King where Mufasa dies saving Simba? It’s a sped up, animated version of a spectacular natural occurrence: The Great Migration. Due to natural instinct, each year, over 2 million (literally) animals pass through the Serengeti. They go to the Masai Mara in pursuit of the best vegetation in Tanzania and Kenya. We challenge you to find something cooler. Did we mention there are dreamlike beaches and modern cities too?
Top Tourist Attractions in Tanzania
- Mount Kilimanjaro
- Serengeti National Park
- Zanzibar Beaches
Namibia is proof that deserts can be beautiful too. Pictures do not do it justice. It’s extremely safe and has preserved large parts of its traditional culture. Leave the desert to experience stunning wildlife up close and personal. Finally, rates of local an international tourism are on the rise in past years. The time to visit Namibia is now.
Top Tourist Attractions in Namibia
- Etosha National Park
- Skeleton Coast
For reasons that were largely political, safety was once a serious concern for travelers to Egypt. However, the climate is now peaceful, and Egypt is once again thought to be safe by international tourism standards. And that’s great news. This predominantly Arab North African jewel has a lot to offer. It’s also one of the oldest tourist destinations in the world for travel and religious purposes.
Top Tourist Attractions in Egypt
- Pyramids of Giza
- Islamic Cairo
Botswana has come a long way from its British colonial past. It’s easy to travel and is a great starting point for newcomers to Africa. Most locals speak English. Transportation is easy and cheap. Similarly to other African countries on this list, it’s natural beauty and wildlife is breathtaking.
Top Tourist Attractions in Botswana
- Chobe National Park
- Okavango Delta
- Tsodilo Hills
Ethiopia is historically and culturally diverse. In contrast to coastal countries and islands, it’s landlocked in East Africa. It boasts archaeological artifacts more than 3 million years old. The Danakil Depression (lowest point of all African countries) is also there. When in the Horn of Africa, a visit to Ethiopia is a must.
Top Tourist Attractions in Ethiopia
- Babile Elephant Sanctuary
- The Blue Nile Falls
- The Omo Valley
Madagascar is a special country. It is the fourth largest island on Earth. Physically, it was separated from Africa millions of years ago. As a result, 75 percent of its wildlife cannot be found off the island. While it’s filled with natural wonder, its people are just as magical. And it is a bucket list destination for anyone who loves travel.
Top Tourist Attractions in Madagascar
- Ranomafana National Park
- Royal Hill of Ambohimanga
- Avenue of the Baobas
13. The Gambia
It’s narrow, but has big tourism appeal. A coastal location means it offers gorgeous views of the North Atlantic Ocean. The Gambian government has prioritized the safety of residents and visitors alike. Gambians are known to be charming and warm. It’s also filled with a rich ecosystem and number of beautiful animal species.
Top Tourist Attractions in the Gambia
- Abuko Nature Reserve
- Bijilo Forest Park
- Kotu Beach
Seychelles is plainly picturesque. It is adorned with coral reefs, beaches, unique animal species and more. Regular tourists and first timers enjoy it equally. Some of its national parks cover entire islands. And a low population mean a visit to Seychelles will be safe, unique and memorable.
Top Tourist Attractions in Seychelles
- Anse Intendance Beach
- La Digue Island
- Curieuse Island
Versatile landscapes, ancient sites, and friendly towns are what describe Zimbabwe. This landlocked country is known for its troubled government history. Despite this, it remains safe for travel. The people are hospitable. And tourists of the country insist it’s one of the most impressive African countries. But don’t take our word for it. Go and see for yourself.
Top Tourist Attractions in Zimbabwe
- Victoria Falls National Park (again)
- Great Zimbabwe
- Natural History Museum
The pride of West Africa, Ghana does not disappoint. It serves as an example of what the continent of Africa has the potential to be. Thanks to a strong and consistent democratic government, it’s developing rapidly, and bringing tourism along for the ride. With buzzing cities and a wealth of culture and history, there are very few reasons not to visit Ghana.
Top Tourist Attractions in Ghana
- Cape Coast Castle
- Kakum National Park
While the media does no favors for African tourism, a little research will show that Africa is an exceptional place. With tourism in African countries on the rise, a trip to Africa should be on your bucket list. You won’t regret it.
Last but not least, explore different countries via our destinations page.