Africa Travel Guide

Explore Africa with this helpful Africa Travel Guide and fall in love with its free-roaming wildlife, impressive landscapes, magical African sunsets, and warm-hearted people









Experience Africa's natural beauty

Africa is the world's second-largest continent. It will touch your heart and after your first visit, you will never be the same. It’s one of the most beautiful continents in the world and I can think of a million reasons to visit Africa. It has the most varied wildlife and bird species in the world with the Great Migration as an annual highlight in East Africa, magical African sunsets, magnificent diverse landscapes, rich culture, and strong traditions with many different languages and tons of tribes to learn from. Going on a safari in Africa will make you feel more grounded, connected to nature, the people, and yourself.

Africa is not just a place, it's a feeling! ~ Kevin Fraser

With 54 countries and 145 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it can be hard to choose your (next) African travel destination.

Table of contents in this Africa Travel Guide:

Things to do in Africa to cross off your Africa bucket list

Unforgettable Maasai Mara safari trip in Kenya

Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular travel destinations for spotting wildlife on a game drive, bordered adjacent to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The reserve is located in primarily open grassland in the Great Rift Valley. The Maasai Mara is characterized by different kinds of landscapes. I really love the open (savannah) plains, but the Mara also offers sandy soil, small bushes, lush grasslands, and woodlands around the Mara River. The Maasai Mara holds a special place in my heart and offers an abundance of wildlife all year round. The Maasai Mara conservancies are also worth a visit and are perfect for specialized photo safaris because ethical off-road driving is allowed in search of wildlife!

Balloon Safari in Serengeti National Park Tanzania

Safari of a lifetime in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park is one of the most famous and popular Safari destinations in Africa. This Unesco World Heritage is located in Tanzania and it's the oldest park in the country. The Serengeti offers a high amount of wildlife viewing all over the year, including a balloon safari to view wildlife from the sky, in a hot air balloon. The Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem is best known for the world's greatest annual migration of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles. It’s home to the entire Big 5, however, rhinos are more difficult to spot due to poaching in all of Africa.

tracking Gorillas in Bwindi Forest Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas. These ancient rain forests are declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Trekking into their natural environment is the only way to see the Mountain gorillas. There are several starting points and different gorilla families to track and you have to do it with guidance. In a group of max. eight people, you are allowed to observe the gorillas for one hour, by strict rules.

The most important difference for Gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is the price for a gorilla permit. In Rwanda, you pay 1500 USD and in Uganda 700 USD.

A Mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda or Rwanda is an adventure that should be on every traveller's bucket list.

The Mighty Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia

Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world on the Zambezi River and borders Zimbabwe and Zambia. Victoria Falls is the largest curtain of falling water in the world and the only one with a length of more than a kilometer and 100+ meters high. The falls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the Zambezi National Park and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe as well as the Mosi-oa-tunya National Park in Zambia. The spray from the falls can be seen from miles away. Victoria Falls showcases beautiful rainbows on sunny days, you can have a peek over the edge of the falls at 'Devil's Pool' and you can jump off the 111 meters high Victoria Falls Bridge. Learn more about these activities by clicking on the yellow button below.

Experience Namibia's Sossusvlei & Deadvlei

Sossusvlei is part of the Namib Desert and is located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia. the Namib desert is famous for its high red sand dunes, which are some of the tallest sand dunes in the world and popular landmarks like Dune 45, Big Daddy, and Deadvlei. Deadvlei or Dode Vlei is a neighboring clay-pan with dead acacia trees on a dry white salty floor surrounded by orange-red dunes. Because of these contrasts, it's a popular photography spot among both amateur and professional photographers. A must-visit when traveling to Namibia.
Magical sunset at Avenue of the Baobabs in Morondava, Madagascar

Visit Baobab Avenue in Madagascar

Witness these majestic 'upside-down trees' on the famous Baobab Avenue in Morondava, Madagascar. One of the best places to visit when you travel to Madagascar, especially at sunset.

Safari Tours Africa

Related Africa Travel Guides

Uganda Travel Guide

Eswatini Travel Guide with the best things to do in eSwatini

Eswatini Travel Guide

Kenya Photo Safari Masai Mara

Kenya Travel Guide

Best time to visit Africa

With 54 countries, Africa is an enormous continent that offers variations of climates and weather in different areas and/or countries. You can visit all African countries all year round and the best time to visit Africa depends on which factors you find most important: wildlife opportunities, forecast of temperatures and rainfalls, level of tourism, and/or the costs of a safari trip.

In general, Africa has two seasons, the wet and the dry season. During Africa's wet season, tourism is very low and there's a chance that lodges are closed. Some regions have two wet seasons: one in spring with long rains and one in autumn with often short rains.

  1. Con's: roads are muddy and sometimes unreachable, and viewing wildlife can be harder.
  • Pros: green landscapes and no massive tourism.

The dry season is the high season in Africa (and the most popular season). The dry season is generally the best time to go on safari: the water is scarce and animals are forced to gather around the (few) water pools. When it’s too dry, animals can migrate to other places looking for water. Temperatures are high and the landscapes are dry too. 

I've experienced Africa in both seasons and in different months. Every period of the year has its own beauty. It just depends on what's important for you. To help you on your way, I shared the best time to visit Africa by region in an article. 

Featured African Safari Tips

Game Drive in Africa with private guide and landcruser

Safari Game Drive Africa

Guide to game drives in Africa featuring 15 things you need to know to make the most out of your safari in Africa to see wildlife and birdlife in their natural habitat.
Akagera National is a must visit Park for Big Five Game Drives

Places to visit in Rwanda

Discover the land of a thousand hills! Find the best places to see and stay in Rwanda featuring Kigali, Volcanoes National Park, Lake Kivu, Akagera NP & Nyungwe Forest

What to pack for safari in Africa?

What to pack for Safari?

Your ultimate safari packing guide, including what to wear on safari, what to bring on a game drive, must-have safari essentials, and detailed safari packing list.

More about Africa

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including the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees

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Despite being the smallest landlocked country in Africa by area and population, there are lots of amazing places to visit in eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland.
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Experience the magical Serengeti from the sky on a hot air balloon safari! 
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Ideal for people who prefer taking the road less traveled to seek authentic and unique nature and wildlife experiences, especially in the far North of Limpopo.
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More about Safari and Wildlife in Africa

  • 13 unmissable places to visit in Uganda
  • 18 best things to do in eSwatini
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari in Serengeti
  • 13 reasons to visit Limpopo, South Africa
  • Best Places to stay in Malawi
  • Walking Safaris in Zambia

Things to know before you travel to Africa

Most African tourism destinations are safe to visit

Always use your common sense; don’t go to remote areas alone, don’t walk around at night and respect the African culture. Be careful for pickpockets and cautious with cash money. Nowadays, many African countries are well developed and safe for tourism. Some have travel restrictions and warnings against travel to places like border areas or places with a high level of terrorism. Check this travel advice before you plan your trip.

Currency in Africa varies per country

Check the local currency of the African country you're planning to visit. To most accepted foreign currencies are the US Dollar and the Euro. I would always recommend taking a credit card and cash money. You will meet people who will try to exchange your money. Don't exchange money through locals on the street. It’s illegal and risky. I would recommend withdrawing cash money at an ATM machine upon arrival or exchange your own currency at an exchange office.

Tipping in Africa is common, but not required

For most safari guides, drivers, porters, and trackers, a tip is an important ratio of their salary. Also, cleaners, waiters, waitresses, and guards don’t receive a high salary and they are grateful for every tip. Apart from the heights of their salary, they are often far from home, working hard and long days. In some African countries, it’s more appreciated to tip in the local currency. I love the smiles on their faces when they receive a tip!

Contribute to (Wildlife) Conservation in Africa

Conservation is a very important aspect to protect Africa's wildlife and ecosystem. Africa is home to an enormous number of wildlife, including critically endangered species like the mountain gorillas and rhinos. Due to conservation, ecosystems will be preserved and future wildlife generations can have a healthy life and enjoy their beautiful intact natural habitat. Examples of conservation efforts are anti-poaching initiatives to stop the slaughter of wildlife, programs to preserve wetlands, plant trees, and many more. Please consider participating in conservation programs to increase awareness and to maintain a healthy and functional ecosystem of our beloved Africa.

Vaccinations for your Africa travels

Required vaccinations depend on the African country you travel to. Most travelers to Africa require Hepatitis A and Yellow Fever. If you’re traveling in malaria risk areas it’s good to consider anti-malarial tablets. My best advice is to plan a consult with a medical travel clinic to know exactly what’s needed for your trip. Plan your consult as early as possible, but at least 4-6 weeks before departure. Some vaccinations are given multiple doses over a couple of days/weeks and others may need some time to build up immunity.

Check Visa requirements before traveling to Africa

Check the visa requirements of your African travel destination(s) and make sure if you need a visa, what kind of visa, and how to apply for a visa of the African country (or countries) of your choice. Sometimes you need to apply online, in advance, while other African countries ask you to pay cash at arrival.

Popular countries to visit in Africa by region

In front of the mighty Victoria Falls in Zambia with a perfect rainbow

Southern Africa

Southern Africa has many popular travel destinations, like South Africa, Lesotho, EswatiniBotswanaNamibia, Malawi, MozambiqueZambia, and Zimbabwe. Some of the best places to visit in Southern Africa are Victoria Falls, Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Okavango Delta, the Kalahari, Cape Town, Kruger Park, South Luangwa National Park, and many more. From bustling cities to wildlife and from nature to adventure and spectacular coastlines. Southern Africa has it all!

Eastern Africa

East Africa offers the most varied wildlife opportunities in all of Africa. Kenya and Tanzania are the two most visited countries with the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti as popular 'Big Five' safari destinations, including the annual Great Migration. Together with the surrounding countries, East Africa has a lot of exclusive safari and cultural experiences to offer. You can go on a mountain gorilla trekking in UgandaRwanda (also considered to be Central Africa) and DRC. If you want to see lemurs, chameleons and Baobabs, visit the famous ‘lemur country' Madagascar (also considered part of Southern Africa). And what about the paradise islands of Seychelles and Mauritius? Other countries part of Eastern Africa are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, together known as the Horn of Africa.

this silverback is a great ape species living in Bwindi Forest Uganda

Central Africa

Tourism in Central Africa is low compared to for example East Africa. The main reason is political instability. The security situation, especially in border areas, can be dangerous. However, this part of Africa also offers beautiful pristine nature, cultural experiences and lots of primates, including the endangered mountain gorillas. Central Africa consists of countries like Rwanda, Cameroon, Angola, Central African Republic, Gabon, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Most of them have little or no tourism infrastructure. The only country I've visited in Central Africa is Rwanda but I would love to explore more of this area and share my experiences with you.

Western Africa

Most tourists travel to Western Africa when they book a package holiday, to for example an all-inclusive resort in The Gambia or Ghana. Other popular tourist destinations are Senegal and Cape Verde. But West Africa has more to offer than all-inclusive resorts! It has stunning off-the-beaten path pieces of nature and it offers amazing cultural experiences. If you want to learn more about the African culture, you can't miss out on Western Africa. Other countries worth visiting are Benin, Mali, and Nigeria. Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo are also countries part of Western Africa.

Northern Africa

The most popular travel destinations in Northern Africa are EgyptMorocco, and Tunisia. The most popular places to visit in North Africa are national wonders like the Sahara Desert, Nile River, Piramides, Atlas Mountains, and the Red Sea. Other reasons to visit this region are historical and cultural aspects, from beautiful mosques and ruins to colorful markets and good food.

Featured Africa Safari Knowledge

The Big 5 Africa

What are the Big 5 safari animals of Africa and where to find them?

Definition and expectations of an African sundowner on safari

African sundowner

What is a typical sundowner on safari in Africa?

photography safari adventure Africa

Game Drive

What is a game drive on Safari and what is a photo safari?
Find more knowledge and definitions about safari in Africa in our safari encyclopedia

All Africa Travel Guides

Travel to South Africa

Travel to Namibia

Travel to Botswana

Travel to Zimbabwe

Travel to Zambia

Travel to Kenya

Travel to Tanzania

Travel to Uganda

Malawi country flag

Travel to Malawi

Travel to Madagascar

Travel to eSwatini

rwanda country flag

Travel to Rwanda

View Africa in photos

a visual journey around Africa