When people think of traveling to Africa a typical number of popular destinations come to mind. This includes the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Elmina Castle in Ghana, and the pyramids of Egypt, to name a few. However, there are a large number of other interesting places that are sure to enchant an intending traveller, ten of which are listed below.
Pico de Fogo, Cape Verde
Rising up to 2,829 metres above sea level, Pico de Fogo is a volcanic mountain and the highest point of elevation in Cape Verde, a gorgeous island country off the coast of Senegal. In addition to the scenic view of the Atlantic Ocean at the top, the tough trek will attract fitness buffs from around the world.
Moucha Island, Djibouti
Moucha Island is a small coral island off the coast of Djibouti. With a length of 3 km, Moucha has a low population which allows visitors to enjoy the sun and sand in peace all year round. Lovers of diving will find the island quite suitable for their favourite pastime.
La Dune Rose, Mali
Named for its appearance at dawn and nightfall, La Dune Rose is an attraction in the city of Gao, Mali. Known locally as Koima, the sand dune turns pink with the setting sun and was once believed to be the home of magicians. Water levels allow visits to this wonderful sight only between September and February.
Île aux Cerfs Island, Mauritius
In English, Ile aux Cerfs means “Deer Island.” It is a privately-owned island near the east coast of Mauritius which offers 87 hectares of luxuriant vegetation and preserved white, sandy beaches. Beach restaurants and water sports activities such as water skiing are available to visitors. Coral reefs full of marine life and large black rocks protruding into the water makes it a perfect location for snorkelling. The island also has an eighteen-hole golf course which may prove irresistible to avid golf lovers. Contrary to its name, however, there are no deer to be seen on the island.
Kongou Falls, Gabon
Kongou Falls is one of the strongest flowing waterfalls in the world with an average flow of 900 cubic metres per second. It is reputed to be the most beautiful waterfall in Central Africa. This breath-taking sight rivals the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe in sheer magnificence.
Piton des Neiges, Réunion
Piton des Neiges (snow peak), with a height of 3,069 metres (10,069 feet), is reputed to be the highest point on Réunion and the highest point in the Indian Ocean. Despite its name, however, snow never falls on the summit. Hiking is a favourite activity when visiting the mountain.
Djerba is the largest North African island. Legend has it that it was the island of the Lotus-Eaters where Odysseus was stranded on his voyage through the Mediterranean. It has also been featured in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. A number of sightseeing attractions make up this city. One of such is Houmt Souk Old Town. With a maze of alleyways and shops selling colourful ceramics, Houmt Souk Old Town was made for strolling. Traditional handicrafts such as jewellery, textiles, brass, and silverware are typical delights found here. Another noteworthy sight is the La Ghriba Synagogue.
Local history claims that a holy stone fell to earth on the site where the Synagogue is located, denoting its religious importance. The Synagogue houses valuable old Torah scrolls and is the scene of the Maghreb’s most important Jewish pilgrimage which happens thirty-three days after Easter each year. Guellala is also a must-see place in Djerba. Renowned for its pottery, the main street of Guellala is lined with ceramic workshops displaying their wares to visitors, and is the place to go if one has the intent of shopping while in Djerba.
Kasubi Tombs, Uganda
The Kasubi Tombs is an active religious place in the Buganda kingdom. The tombs serve as the burial ground for four Buganda kings (Kabakas) and other royal family members. Here, Kabakas and others in Buganda’s complex cultural hierarchy carry out important centuries-old Ganda rituals.
Reputed to be one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, second only to Axum, Lalibela is a town in northern Ethiopia. Known originally as Roha, the city was re-named after Saint Gebre Mesqel Lalibela, a king who ruled Ethiopia in the late 12th and early 13th century. Lalibela is famous for the eleven rock-hewn churches built 900 years ago by King Lalibela, whose goal was to create a “New Jerusalem.” What makes this site more spectacular is the fact that the eleven churches were carved out of a single block of granite. The largest church is 40 feet high. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. The churches attract close to a 100,000 visitors every year and pilgrims believe that the blessings received from visiting Lalibela are similar to those received from visiting Jerusalem.
Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia
Located 20 km from Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, Sidi Bou Said rests on top of a steep cliff which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Named after a 13th-century religious figure, Abou Said ibn Khalef ibn Yahia Ettamini el Beji, the town has a reputation of being a town of artists. With flowers draped from almost every wall and doorway, and beautiful vines hanging throughout the entire area, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the blue and white town of Sidi Bou Said. From exploring the Roman ruins of Carthage, to visiting the souk (local market), the city offers lots of enchanting activities to intending visitors.