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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

Africa has been dubbed the “Mother Continent” because it is the oldest inhabited continent in the world. It is home to some of the most beautiful, lush and culturally rich countries in the world. Africa is the second largest continent  and the second most populous country. There are a total of 54 countries within Africa, and there are 2 disputed countries. There’s widespread ignorance in Western countries when it comes to Africa. Some fail to acknowledge the diversity of the continent by referring to any country they travel to as “Africa”. Whilst, it’s true that you’re in Africa when you are in Nigeria, there’s an erasure of the uniqueness and national identity of a country when it is made to be one in the same as 53 others. At the same time, I wish that citizens of African countries could be more welcoming towards each other, specifically here in South Africa. Too many individuals coming from other African countries are discriminated against when there is no justification for such xenophobic tendencies. The boundaries that exist in this continent are reminiscent of slavery and colonialism and it is disheartening to see the detrimental effects of the separation of Africans.

This article looks at some of the best countries to explore in Africa as a means of celebrating its natural beauty, the history of the Africans and the exciting geographical monuments that we have to offer.







Botswana is situated in Southern Africa and is said to be home to some of the friendliest people on the continent. Botswana is known for its beautiful safaris and wonderful wilderness. It also has the largest elephant population in Africa. The Okavango Delta is one of the top tourist sites in Botswana, located in the Kalahari Basin blessed with beautiful, lush vegetation. You can get to know the history of the San and the Hambukushu clans at the Tsodilo Hills that have rock paintings made by these inhabitants. It’s up to you if you want to stay in a luxury hotel or be one with nature by camping. These are the following activities that you can enjoy whilst in Botswana, depending on where you are in the country:

  • Quad biking at the Makgadigadi pans

  • Going on bush walks

  • Fishing

  • Bird watching

  • Enjoying spa treatments

  • Explore the Kalahari game Reserve

  • Visit art and cultural display








Kenya is situated in East Africa at the coastline of the Indian Ocean. Kenya boasts a beautiful landscape and an exciting wildlife. It’s been recommended for family holidays as you can go to Lamu Island and experience the serene beaches and dunes. There are yoga retreats in these peaceful spots. Kenya is famous for having mangos and coconuts everywhere, especially on Lamu Island. Kenya is also home to the world’s largest flamingo population. There are approximately one million flamingos in Kenya. If you love meat, you can go to one of the most popular restaurants, Carnivore, this restaurant has been around for 25 years. You also visit the  Mzima Springs and see the oasis of green that produces around 250 litres of fresh water a day. On the cultural side of things, there’s Fort Jesus, a heritage site that’s been around since the 16th century. Or you can visit the National Museum that has cultural and natural historical artefacts. Visiting the Nairobi National Park is also a must!








Lesotho is known for having majestic mountains, natural landscapes and prolific birdlife. You can go to Africa’s highest restaurant, the Sky bar and enjoy the glorious views that Lesotho has to offer. You can enjoy hiking at the Le Poqoa waterfall and valley, visiting snakes and bees at Qacha’s Nek Snake Park whilst getting your car washed or exploring the country by going on a Sani Pass tour. There are historical sites at Ha Baroana whereby you can see rock art. Another cultural and historical site is Maeder House Gallery that has interesting historical information dating back to 1843. The Gallery also showcases local art. You can get to know the early architecture of Lesotho at the Basotho Cultural Village.






Morocco exudes medieval vibes with its architecture. It is also home to one of the most exciting town squares; Djemaa el Fna. It is mandatory for everyone that travels to Morocco to go to Djemaa el Fna. It’s at the heart of Marrakech and has snake-charmers, henna-painters, storytellers, mobile restaurants, dancers and so much more. At night, there are drummers that come to entertain locals and tourists as they bargain with merchants and hawkers. Another fun activity is stargazing at the Sahara dunes. African countries have incredible landscapes and Morocco is no exception. Draa valley can surely confirm this. There’s a cultural experience called Plan-Lit Morocco in Fex where you get to experience street-side tanja cooking, winery tours and architectural tours. There’s Ait Benhaddou, a heritage site that’s informative on pre-Saharan life. Last but not least, Morocco adds onto its exciting profile by being the host of the Fes Festival of World Music.






Rwanda is known as “Le Pays des Mille Collins’ which translates to “Land of a Thousand Hills” because it’s a mountainous paradise. The Rwandan rainforest is home to mountain gorillas and is one of the nations most precious sites. You can go to the Volcanoes National Park that has 3 extinct volcanoes and 6 active ones. The activities one can immerse themselves in here are:

  • Kayaking

  • Fishing

  • Going on boat tours

  • Beach sports

  • Tea and coffee tours (Rwanda’s largest exports)

  • Film festival in September (also known as Hillywood)

You can also go to Hotel des Milles, which is a luxury hotel that was the inspiration for the famous movie, Hotel Rwanda, a historical drama based on the Rwandan genocide of 1994. This hotel is still functioning in Rwanda.

There are so many more countries that have a lot to offer in Africa, Tanzania has Mount Kilimanjaro, Zambia and Zimbabwe have Victoria Falls, Egypt has the pyramids and the dessert, Malawi has Lake Malawi and that’s still not giving justice to how incredible African countries are. People need to acknowledge the beauty of Africa and I think there needs to be more intercontinental travelling for citizens of African countries.

Sesetu is a humanities graduate from South Africa. She is interested in writing, reading and learning new languages.