If you are like most Black Americans and Africans in the diaspora, Africa is one of your ideal travel destinations. The near-perfect weather conditions all year round, accommodating people, and a host of things to do make Africa the ultimate holiday destination. However, despite all that, it can get challenging when creating a travel bucketlist for Africa.
With so many options available, you may end up overwhelmed with choices and stuck. The easiest way to avoid this is by narrowing down your options based on your preferred travel experience. This article will highlight the top holiday destinations in Africa to help you create the ultimate travel bucketlist for 2023.
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How much is the average trip to Africa?
Traveling can get quite costly or affordable, depending on several factors. Firstly, the strength of the local currency of the country you are traveling to will influence the cost of the trip. To clarify, if the local currency is strong, so will the exchange rate. As such, you will be required to exchange more of your own money for local currency. The vice versa applies as well.
Additionally, the time of the year will also influence the cost of travel to Africa. During peak seasons and major holidays, the prices of flight tickets, accommodations, and activities tend to be higher. Therefore, if you have a strict travel budget, you might want to consider the off-peak seasons to get the most value for your money.
The cost of travel will also be impacted by the number of people traveling, duration of stay, type of activities, and miscellaneous expenses.
Dar es Salaam, a city that most people have in their travel buckelists, can be considered an affordable travel destination. For one, the Tanzanian shilling has a low exchange rate compared to currencies like the Dollar or Euro. That means even during peak seasons, you will be able to experience a luxurious holiday without breaking the bank. In this article, ChampionTraveller worked out the numbers and arrived at the average costs it would take you for a trip to Dar es Salaam.
What do I need to do before traveling to Africa?
Traveling somewhere new can be daunting and equally exciting. What determines the outcome is the amount of preparation done before the trip. The following are the necessary things to do that will guarantee a successful trip.
The best place to start is researching the African country you are visiting. Learning about their cultures, systems, travel policies, visa requirements, and security status will prepare you adequately. Most African countries will have official websites documenting this information, or other credible online media where you can gather information.
Planning your travel itinerary should also be a priority. The itinerary helps you save time, spend wisely, and get familiar with your holiday destination in Africa. Going into an unfamiliar place without a plan of what to do sounds scary to most people. Creating an itinerary is especially crucial for a trip to Africa because Africa is huge and there are many exciting things you can do in most parts of the continent. Doing so will help you ensure that you don’t miss out on the must-see experiences.
Most importantly, keep an open mind when traveling to Africa. Some communities may do things differently, but that’s part of their culture. Try to appreciate the differences and enjoy your stay. If possible, use a local guide to help you catch up during your stay.
10 African countries that should make your travel bucketlist
While Africa is still the go-to holiday destination, most of the countries have limiting regulations that can make it hard for international tourists. For this list, we picked out ten that stand out for their fair travel policies, diversity of recreation opportunities, hospitality, and overall experience. These destinations not only offer a chance to see and do amazing things but also prioritize responsible and sustainable tourism practices. Here are the ten in no particular order.
Marrakech City (Morocco)
Photo by Warwick Africa Summit
Morocco was the most visited African country in 2022 with millions of arrivals being recorded by the end of the year. The majority of the people visiting this north African country end up in Marrakech, a vibrant city in western Morocco.
Marrakech, like most parts of Morocco, is known for its colorful architecture and rich history. The city boasts a one-of-a-kind cultural experience since most of the Moroccan heritage is here. Something you should add to your Marrakech travel itinerary is a visit to Medina. The Medina is a heritage site maintained by UNESCO that has breathtaking scenery and a rich narrative.
According to ChampionTraveller, the cost of a trip to Marrakech will start from $1,600 for a solo traveler and increase from there depending on the number of travelers, itinerary items, and time of the year traveled.
Serengeti National Park (Tanzania)
Photo by TripSavvy / Felicia Martinez
The Serengeti National Park is one of the most iconic wildlife reserves in Africa that should go into your travel bucketlist. Located in The Serengeti geographical region—a stretch in northern Tanzania—this beautiful reserve has been a favorite Safari destination for millions of tourists over the years. Particularly, people flock there to experience the magical wildebeest migration. Also, the big 5 animals, hot air balloon rides, and the Maasai culture are people’s favorites in the Serengeti.
Going by estimates, a 7-day trip to Serengeti National Park will cost you about $2,500 for a budget trip, according to TourRadar. Note that, apart from park fees, this cost includes other elements like accommodation, transportation, and tour guide fees.
Okavango Delta (Botswana)
Photo by Go World Travel Magazine
The Okavango Delta is found in Botswana, another wildlife-friendly African county at the heart of the Southern part of Africa. This delta is special because it is home to several endangered wildlife animals such as the white and black rhinoceros, cheetah, and African wild dog. Among other things to do in the Okavango Delta are canoeing, game drive safaris, day trips, nature walks, and sightseeing.
At the Okavango Delta, your expenses will depend on your choice of experiences. Here, TripAdvisor breaks down the costs based on the activity and submissions by past travelers. A visit to this incredible natural wonder is a must if you’re seeking an authentic African adventure.
Cape Town (South Africa)
Photo by Centurion Magazine
Cape Town is one of the most visited cities in Africa. Being a coastal city, it opens up a whole world of experiences to tourists. Also, the city has a vibrant lifestyle, natural beauty, diverse culture, and a rich history that attracts free-spirited individuals. If that’s you, you will particularly find the bustling nightlife quite thrilling.
At Cape Town, you could sample a wide variety of African cuisines and locally-made wines. Atop of that, the suburbs are endowed with natural landscapes such as Kruger National Park and a table mountain. Spending a regular day at Cape Town will cost you about $80 while on vacation, according to Budget Your Trip. As always, these prices will vary depending on many factors.
Victoria Falls (Zambia and Zimbabwe)
Photo by TravelAddicts
Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in Africa. Like most natural occurrences, this waterfall is quite a stunner. It is found at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. From various vantage points like the bridge on the gorge, the falls can be seen depositing water in the Zambezi river.
Apart from the majestic falls, there lies diverse wildlife such as zebras, birds, elephants, and giraffes. A safari tour of the local community will expose you to local performers, unique souvenirs, and other outdoor activities. The best part is that you get to experience all this at affordable deals. For instance, this cost breakdown by HikersBay shows that you can get by with $150 for three days.
Dakar City (Senegal)
Photo by MUAFA/Pinterest
If you are looking for a memorable experience in west Africa, have Dakar on your travel bucketlist. This colorful city has a rich cultural heritage, which includes music, architecture, and local cuisines. The main attraction site in Dakar is Goree Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another popular attraction is the African Renaissance Monument, a 49-meter-tall statue that overlooks the city and commemorates Senegal’s independence and cultural heritage. The Dakar Grand Mosque is also a must-visit, with its impressive architecture and stunning seaside location.
Most services and goods in Dakar are fairly affordable meaning you can have maximum fun in the city on a budget. People who have visited the city before spent on average $49 a day in Dakar, according to Budget Your Trip.
Maasai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
Photo by Discover Africa
Known as the ultimate Safari destination in East Africa, right after The Serengeti, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is quite a destination. It is located in southwestern Kenya, a 5-hour drive from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. The reserve is home to the Big Five animals and a host of various wild creatures. Guided tours, game drives, and hot-air rides are some of the common activities enjoyed by tourists in Mara.
Accounting for activities, service fees, accommodation, length of stay, and such will give you a rough estimate of how much you will spend in the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The reserve has some expense guidelines on its website.
Essaouira Coastal City (Morocco)
Photo by Visit Essaouira
While still in Morocco, you should also visit Essaouira, a beautiful coastal city known for its charming blue-and-white architecture, bustling markets, and stunning beaches. The city has a laid-back atmosphere and is popular among surfers, windsurfers, and kitesurfers. If you are an aquaphile, you will love it here. Apart from the water activities, you can indulge in the local seafood restaurants, and learn about its history in the local museums.
The city has many accommodation choices and also services and goods are relatively inexpensive compared to the average city. A 7-day trip to Essaouira will cost you about $1,550, according to ChampionTraveler.
Kigali City (Rwanda)
Photo by The Scribs & Nibs
Regarded as one of the safest and cleanest cities in Africa, Kigali is an ideal travel bucketlist if you are looking to explore the motherland. It is also the capital city of Rwanda. Kigali has a deep history, especially the Kigali genocide, which you can learn more about in the Memorial. Other options for what to do include shopping for African attire in Kimironko Market, and checking out contemporary arts in the various art museums and centers. These activities will give you a better perspective on Rwandan culture.
Here are some average cost breakdowns for a stay in Kigali. Whether you are a frugal or extravagant traveler, Kigali will have so much to offer and satisfy your travel goals.
Accra City (Ghana)
Photo by Sola Rey
Accra is another coastal city in the western Sahara known for its lush green environment, rich biodiversity, delicious food, cultural events, and so much more. As the capital of Ghana—a country that is top-rated for first-time travelers to Africa—you need to have it on your travel bucketlist. In Accra, you will discover a lot of things worth exploring. These include a stroll at Makola Market, watching French shows at Alliance Française, soaking in the views of Accra city from the Skybar 25’s rooftop, and much more.
On an average day, you will spend about $32 when on a vacation in Accra, according to averages collected from visitors by Budget Your Trip.
Travel decisions are usually personal and you have the sole power to decide where to visit. But still, a little help won’t hurt. We carefully considered most of the aspects that make a trip memorable and worthwhile when creating our list. Go ahead and cross-check them using your preferences, interests, and tastes to pick out where in Africa to travel to next. If you feel that we left out your favorite travel destination, let us know in the comments!