Every destination pulls its own unique spell on tourists – whether it is the mesmerizing expeditions at the Table Mountain in South Africa, the mystery of the Seven-Colored Earth of Chamarel in Mauritius or the magical pull of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Virtually all of us have had that moment when we wondered whether a destination was truly worth the candle – after all, we all want good value for our travel spend, right?
Sometimes, we go through a lot of trouble to get into certain destinations only to discover that they are not exactly what we had in mind. To make sure this does not happen to you, our in-house travel connoisseurs have taken the time to outline our top 5 African destinations that always leave a positive impression on every tourist who dares to take the plunge. Are you one of them?
#1. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt
For anyone who is familiar with the spectacular Egyptian history, this ancient museum offers a peep into what history books have been unable to fully capture. And this is no joke. You could literally spend a lifetime digging into the deeper and mystical narratives that color these artifacts. In case you are pressed for time, make your way to the Tutankhamun Galleries where you will find the awe-inspiring treasures exhumed from the tomb of Tutankhamun, son-in-law of Amenophis IV who ascended to the throne at the age of 9, and later died at the prime age of 18. This young king, at death, was buried with the world’s most expensive coffin, and till date, Egyptologists are struggling to unravel the possibility of a secret chamber tucked behind the plastered wall of his grave. Also head over to the Egyptian Jewelry Collection section which houses more bling than you may ever see in your lifetime.
#2. The Garden Route, South Africa
One grubby thing about travelling is that some attractions begin to look very much alike – same beaches, same nightlife, same wildlife reserve, and same everything. And not everybody appreciates that monotony when making decisions for their choice of a destination
But the Garden Route is one spot that wields that killer element of the unusual. And if you are keen on appreciating tourist attractions from new lenses this year, this spot is one of such places to see the world anew.
Situated along South Africa’s southeast coast, this 200km-long course takes you on a thrilling journey through some of the country’s most breath-taking seaside sceneries, stretching from the Indian Ocean all through the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. It offers a spectacular ride through rolling green hills, lakes, coastal reefs, impressive precipices, sparkling lagoons and great beach towns. Here, whale watching trips and elephant back rides are common. Or you could decide to opt for tree canopy tours and bungee jumping.
#3. Alexandria, Egypt
This treasure-trove of antiquity is one of the most fascinating historical marvels of the black civilization. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, this destination is the go-to place for history buffs, and home of the legendary Cleopatra. This beachfront town introduces tourists to that ancient ambience that is altogether alluring. After a day of browsing its rich historical relics, you could stroll aimlessly along its scenic waterfronts.
#4. Old Town of Lamu, Kenya
This Old Town is part of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya, regarded as one of the well-preserved vestiges of the Swahili settlements in the East Africa region. With a population of about 22,000 people, and donkeys acting as the only means of transportation, the Lamu Old Town is a one-of-its-kind destination where the true Swahili culture speaks clearly through the food, music, dressing and general lifestyle of the dwellers.
Just like most tourists, you may decide to go for a dhow cruise and enjoy your yummy seafood while you watch the moon rise over the 230 feet old Lamu fortress. A DestinationsAfrica package to Kenya by Wakanow allows you share in the rustic charm of this historic island.
#5. Essaouira, Morocco
When the conversation shifts to size, this resort on Morocco’s Atlantic coast may not come across as a big city. But the sheer magnitude of relaxation experiences it offers to tourists is bewildering. So, when the pressure of work seems to choke you and you require that quiet getaway, this city should top the chart of your tour options.
This port city is a walled metropolis marked by remarkable ramparts on the overhangs. At sunset, strolling along the ramparts is a thrill most tourists and locals don’t want to miss. Situated along the Atlantic Coast, the water is quite cold and not ideal for swimming. You might just sit and relish the sight of daring folks kite surfing, in case you are not brave enough to plunge into the surfboards.
From an old-style Moroccan sunbath at the Hammans to a scrub down with a traditional soap on offer at Essaouira, the idea of this destination as your calm getaway can only be delightful. If you want a bit of adventure, visit Essaouira around June when the annual Gnaoua World Music festival would invoke memories of slave trade in Africa – with performances by clairvoyants, master musicians, metal castanet players and sorcerers and their followers alike.