THE SECOND BIGGEST continent is more than just vast desserts, animal fur, and precious minerals like diamond. A giant land mass surrounded with a few water attractions, this 30,220,000 square-kilometer continent is home to many must-visit attractions sites, and offer must-try activities for every wanderer. The world is indeed full of wonders and more than what the Americas, Europe and Asia could offer, here are a few exciting things to do and sites to visit in Africa.
1. Visit the pyramids of Egypt and other historical sites.
In case you forgot about it, man’s evolution started in Africa. The Egyptians who built the impressive pyramids were already enjoying civilization more than 5,000 years ago. Aside from monuments and tombs, you can also visit the magnificent paintings in southern African caves and know about our bi-pedal ancestors in Tanzania’s Oldupai Gorge.
2. Attend Gerewol and other festivals.
Many countries in Africa don’t accept and tolerate homosexuality. However, it’s interesting that there is a festival about male beauty contest in Niger. The Gerewol Festival is when male Africans are adorned with costumes and colorful make ups to compete with each other. With several thousands of ethnic groups, the continent is also home to thousands of unique tribal festivals. Each fest presents combinations of vibrant colors distinct to Africa and upbeat music that makes every celebration a lot more festive.
3. Take Moroccan and other culinary tours.
The World Food Travel commissioned a recent survey, which revealed that more than 30 percent of the 170 million leisure travelers in the United States are choosing trips that can offer them culinary tours and related activities. Morocco offers Gourmet on Tour that allows you to participate in culinary activities from the trip to the market to buy ingredients to the preparation and cooking of food in the kitchen.
4. Shop in local bazaars and markets.
There are many market squares in Africa where you can buy local products such as sandals and colorful fabrics. In the main square of Djemaa el-Fna in Morocco, you can find very interesting and hard-to-resist products like leather tribal bags and knitted jackets.
5. Try adventures in Victoria Falls and other attraction sites.
It seems that Africa is underrated in terms of the thrilling activities it can offer when, in reality, everything about the continent spells adventure. From the swim to the edge of world’s largest waterfalls, you can try other wild and adventurous activities such as bungee jumping off a bridge, sand-boarding, and white-water rafting.
6. Explore Africa on two wheels.
Another exciting activity that will test your physical strength, stamina and endurance is fatbiking. Exploring the continent on two wheels is a great way to naturally enjoy the sceneries, become eco-friendly, and be more intimate with the locals.
7. Hike Mt. Kilimanjaro and other mountains.
Mountain climbing is such an exhilarating activity because it challenges you physically and offers you a breathtaking view at the end. Aside from Mt. Kilimanjaro, you can also conquer Atlas Mountains, Mount Kenya, Drakensberg Mountains, Simien Mountains, and Rwenzori Mountains.
8. Pamper yourself in Seychelles and other gorgeous beaches.
Clearly, Africa is not just about dry lands and desserts. It also boasts of several gorgeous beaches such as the one in Praslin, Seychelles. It is a hot spot that offers private islands that are ultra-luxurious. You can also include in your list the idyllic beaches in Zanzibar and South Africa.
9. Go on a wildlife safari.
“Safari” is a Swahili word that means “to journey”. The idea is exciting but the thought of getting face to face with lions, tigers and other wild animals is scary. But with the hot air balloon, the journey becomes safe and must be included in the activities you have to try before you die.
10. Volunteer in a community work.
Learning about the culture and traditions in Africa can become more meaningful and significant when you participate in volunteer works. You can allot time living and working in communities, teaching little kids, and building livelihood projects. Volunteering and communing with the locals help us understand ourselves better, and our value as humans.
Have you tried any of these in Africa? Feel free to share with us your experience in the comments.
Photos courtesy of kibera.org.uk, askideas.com, cloudmind.info, fodors.com, safarijunkie.com, travel.nationalgeographic.com, fatbiketours.co.za, gadventures.com, aardvarksafaris.com, and gvi.co.uk.