I would put all of these at top five places you should see in the world without just limiting to Africa. I wish that everyone would get a chance to see all these places, but unfortunately, we have to make the hard choices due to budget restriction. These are my top picks, but I’m interested in what you readers think too. Tell us about where in Africa you want to see in the comment box below.
The Great Pyramids
Everyone has seen pictures, video and movies based around these magnificent structures. Scholar still passionately argue about what sort labor force it would take to construct such large structures with answers ranging from 1,000 to 100,000 workers. The sheer size of the pyramids is hard to comprehend until you actually see one in person though, and that is why so many people come to see The Great Pyramids every year.
Up until the 19th century, Khufu’s pyramid was the tallest manmade structure in the world. This pyramid was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, and is just a few kilometers south of Cairo. At this site you’ll see two other large pyramids and the famous Sphinx. These are the pyramids that you definitely want to see, but Egypt has over 100 ancient pyramids to check out. Tours vary on how many pyramids you get to see, so the longer the tour the more you get to see.
Locals call Victoria Falls “mosi-oa-Tunya” which translates to “smoke that thunders”. When you approach Victoria Falls, you can see the spray off the falls from miles away. It is the largest curtain of falling water in the world, and the experience does not disappoint. On top of the falls there is diverse wildlife that flocks to the Zambezi River.
You can view the falls from many angles. You can view them from natural swimming holes above the falls on the Zambia side. You can view them from trail on top of the cliffs. You can also view them from the bottom. A trip to Victoria Falls is enough to occupy a whole week in Africa.
Kilimanjaro sores up to an astounding 19.340 feet over safari-country, yet somehow it still easy to summit the highest peak of the mountain, Uhuru peak, if you are in good shape with relative safety. It is the highest mountain in all of Africa, and hiking up it is an adventure of a lifetime for many travelers. The journey itself is enough of a reward, but the final view over Africa is unbelievable.
The snow covered peaks give you the unique experience of trudging through snow and ice in Africa. Below the mountain is rainforests filled with a diverse animal population and locals. Even if you don’t want to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, there is plenty to do from the ground.
This is the world largest volcanic caldera that forms a bowl of healthy land that is filled with the Big Five and many other creatures. A caldera is formed when a volcano explodes then collapse on itself, and the Ngorongoro crater is a result of a collapse over three million years ago. The crater works as a natural enclosure for some of the most interesting animals in the world. If you want to knock out a safari and a World Heritage site all in on trip, this is a good destination for you.
Although it is tempting to see a lot of different sites when you make a trip to Ngorongoro Crater, I recommend dedicating your trip to one safari area. I have met many people who try to do too much in a trip to Africa miss out, because they spend a lot of time in transit instead of exploring. There are lots of nice places to stay in and around the Ngorongoro Crater, in Tanzania, so stick around a while to get full enjoyment out of the park.
This is where the largest sand dunes in the world are located, and it is in the old desert in the world, The Samib Desert. I like things that are really big and really old, so Sossusvlei was on the top of my list when I first started visiting Africa. As a bonus there are some cool and resilient critters wondering about including ostriches, gemsboks and springboks.
The best way to experience the landmark is by going before dawn to catch the sun rise. It is fun to hike in the desert, but extremely important to not to get lost. You could easily die. Remember to drink what seems to be way too much water, because tourists commonly suffer from dehydration when they visit this dry part of the world.
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Holly Williford fell in love with Africa the first time she learned about the pyramids. Ever since then all of her resources have been dedicated to visiting there as often as possible. She recommends using Continent Tours for your first visits to Africa.