Africa has long lured travellers with it’s call of the wild, exotic locations and diverse culture.
From coast to coast, here are some of the most instagram worthy destinations to lure you to African shores.
Mozambique is home to some of Africa’s best dive locations, Tofo’s hippy, laid-back ambience appealing to the backpacker crowd and Instagrammers. Kristin Addis, CEO, of Be My Travel Muse, said in a recent CNN Travel article (20 Holiday Destinations The Experts Say Not To Miss), “There was very little online about this coastal country in Southern Africa,” which proves Mozambique is still one of the regions best-kept secrets.
“Secrets In The Mist” (a three-part documentary charting Dian Fossey’s life, work and mysterious murder over 30 years ago) aired globally in 171 countries on the National Geographic Channel earlier this year, so gorilla permits could well be in short supply. Places for this activity are limited for reasons of conservation, and if you’re considering travel to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – permits for Uganda are currently half the price of those in neighbouring Rwanda.
In Acacia’s Instagram poll, the falls (or more specifically “The Smoke That Thunders”) were pipped at the post by South Luangwa, the Zambian national park said to be the birthplace of the original walking safari. With more remote places expected to be on our radar in 2018, the park will be one to watch, its 9,050 square kilometres renowned for amazing wildlife sightings, from the hippos that crowd the river to its rare Thornicroft giraffes and leopards.
Zimbabwe secured seventh place, but in the post-Mugabe era, it could well climb even further up the popularity polls. Hwange National Park is home to an estimated 50,000 elephants, many of which are in breeding herds as large as 300. Add in 100 different kinds of mammals (including the endangered wild dog) and around 500 bird species, plus little competition for vantage points, and it’s a no-brainer for Africa fans. Obviously, no trip here would be complete without seeing the Victoria Falls, the largest falling curtain of water in the world.
Iconic Africa, the Serengeti is home to the Greatest Wildlife Show On Earth – Tanzania’s premier national park playing host to the migratory herds in the early part of the year. Ideal if your Africa bucket list is on a budget, skip Africa’s dry season and catch the wildebeests in the Serengeti from January through March. In calving season the chance of witnessing a wildebeest birth is high and you can be assured of plenty of predator action. Mount Kilimanjaro was hugely popular on the photo-sharing site, and with talk of extreme travel trending in 2018, Acacia is expecting plenty more activity from the Roof of Africa on Instagram.
Malawi is a country where overland overcomes the solo challenges of getting around. The ninth largest lake in the world, Lake Malawi is a diver’s paradise, but the time to go is now. If you’re looking for crowd-free beaches its golden sands won’t stay that way for long – the popular Lake of Stars festival celebrating its 15th birthday in 2018. Rachel of The Taylor Made Travels, says “It might not boast any bucket list-worthy attractions, but that doesn’t mean Malawi isn’t magical,”- and according to Acacia, being relatively undiscovered is all part of its allure.
Want to visit places where time stands still? Then you’re one of the world’s new timeless travellers. Yes, going to places where you can feel the absence of progress is now a thing. Namibia does vast expanses of stunning, untouched landscapes like no other African country, which also makes it one of the most popular overland destinations for solo travellers. Sossusvlei is an Insta-hit – climbing dunes, which are amongst the highest in the world, a bucket list photo op. Etosha National Park came a close second, the park boasting eight months of wildlife viewing.
Botswana’s got green travel going on, and with 2018 being tipped as the year sustainable travel goes big, the Gem of Africa will be a stellar safari choice. The Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park the most coveted travel hotspots.
The UK currently tops the list of international arrivals to Kenya, the world-renowned Masai Mara and the chance to book front row seats to the Annual Migration, a major drawcard for first-time safari-goers. The game reserve is clearly still a top contender in the insta-stakes, and combined with Diani Beach, Kenya secured the number two spot on Acacia’s “best of” list.
South Africa has been busting the bucket lists, the Rainbow Nation landing a spot on Lonely Planet’s top 10 Best Countries To Visit In 2018. South Africa’s many attractions likely to be bolstered by Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be the Legacy, a programme of events aimed at honouring the legendary leader. Cape Town and the Kruger National Park were the most popular places to visit, the Mother City the jumping off point for Robben Island (where Mandela served 18 years of his 27-year sentence) and the perfect place to feel the Madiba buzz post your Big 5 safari.