Africa is one of the most fascinating and culturally rich continents you can visit and these are 10 of the best countries to visit in Africa to help you plan a trip there.
Personally, I have spent around one year in Africa travelling to many different countries and having amazing adventures. Some of my best memories come from my time there.
Normally I wouldn’t like to use a ‘best’ country as every country has its own things to offer, but I understand if you are going to Africa for the first time you may want to visit some of the more popular countries to go there.
After all, they’re popular for a reason.
Go to Africa, you won’t regret it!
The best countries to visit in Africa are in no particular order.
South Africa makes one of the best countries to visit in Africa for a first-timer to the continent as it eases you in slowly, especially if you land in Cape Town.
The country has a lot to offer the traveller and plenty of varying landscapes and things to do.
Start in Cape Town and work your way up the gorgeous Garden Route where you can see whales of the coast of Hermanus and cage dive with great white sharks in Gansbaai. Then onwards to the east for one of the best safaris in Africa at Kruger National Park.
If you love wine then head to the Stellenbosch region for some of the best wine in Africa and enjoy it in the scenic surroundings.
Kenya is one of my favourite countries to visit in Africa and I’ve been there three times.
It has everything you could want from an African experience; local culture, wildlife safaris, white-sand beaches, and hiking up mountains, plus more.
A must-do for the ultimate wildlife experience in Africa is to go on safari in the Masai Mara as well as other national parks like Lake Nakuru which has the highest densities of rhinos in Africa.
Some of the best food can be found along the coast, especially in the city of Mombasa where excellent Swahili food is cooked up.
Tanzania has a very similar feel to Kenya and is indeed its neighbour. I also visited there three times and it’s easily one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
The Masai Mara in Kenya extends across the border into Tanzania where it is known as the Serengeti National Park, and also make for an epic safari experience. In fact, the Serengeti is one of the best places to visit in Africa, period.
The continents largest mountain, Mount Kiliminjaro, can be climbed, while the white-sand beaches and excellent multi-cultural food await you on the island of Zanzibar.
Ethiopia is one of the best countries to visit in Africa for history as far as I’m concerned as well as stunning landscapes.
Explore the old rock churches of the Tigray region, go hiking in the Simien Mountains, see traditional culture in the Omo Valley, and escape everything in the remote and barren Danakil Depression.
There are lots of Unesco World Heritage Sites to visit at Lalibela with its famous rock-carved churches and the castles at Fasil Ghebbi, as well as the very historic city of Harar in the east of the country.
Morocco is also a fascinating place for history and the varying landscapes as well. It also has some of the best food in Africa you can try.
This was actually the first African country I ever visited but it was as a child. Later on, as an adult, I spent several weeks travelling the country.
See the ancient city of Fez, hike in the Atlas Mountains, eat some of the best seafood in Africa at Essaouira while exploring the world heritage site of the Medina of Essaouira, and get lost in the markets of Marrakech.
Oh, and there’s the remote Sahara desert safaris to do and some of the best surfing in Africa on the coast near Sidi Ifni.
The food in Morocco is also some of the best food in Africa and the tagine dishes are out of this world tasty.
If you are in Europe then Morocco is very easy to reach by budget airlines as well as a ferry from southern Spain. Morocco truly is one of the best countries to visit in Africa.
Rwanda has made a massive comeback from the site of genocide in the 90s’ to one of the safest countries in Africa and a teeming tourist network of places to visit.
The capital sits surrounded by lush green mountains and there are excellent trekking opportunities in the jungle.
Rwanda is most famous for its gorilla trekking where you hike through the jungle to see gorillas in the wild.
A beautiful country with very friendly people and right next to Tanzania and near Kenya so is easy enough to get to from there.
One of the best country loops in Africa is to go to Tanzania, then Rwanda, into Uganda, and finish up in Kenya.
Ah, Egypt! This was my first country to visit in Africa as an adult. The pyramids at Giza should be on any travellers bucket list to see at least once in your life.
Egpyt is also one of the best countries to visit in Africa for a first-timer as it’s heavily touristed and has a lot of places to see and many experiences to have.
Having said that you won’t get a ‘proper’ African experience such as wildlife safaris etc, that you would get in places like Kenya and Tanzania.
However, with so much history and things to see, it’s definitely worth going to.
Botswana is one of the safest places to visit in Africa and also has an abundance of wildlife and nature opportunities to explore.
From the vast Okavango Delta to the easier to reach Chobe National Park, and then the vast landscape of the salt plains and the Kalahari Desert awaits you for an adventure.
The Okavango Delta is one of the most unique experiences I had in Africa. Going up the delta rivers in a small local canoe and getting up close with wildlife is an unforgettable journey.
Ghana is the best country in West Africa to visit for a first-timer as it is easy to travel, in comparison with other countries in the region.
It has beautiful beaches and a laid-back tropical feel along with excellent seafood. There are wildlife safaris to do in the interior and traditional cultures to explore.
Grab a drink and relax on the beach, maybe try surfing, watch the sunset, and take in the charm of Ghana.
Zambia has it all, except for the beaches. You can go on some of the best safaris in Africa such as at South Luangwa National Park and get an in-depth look at African life.
The main draw for the country without a doubt though is the famous Victoria Falls which is one of the biggest tourist attractions out of any of the African countries. There are so many fun activities to do there and the stunning sight of the falls themselves.
Relax with a beer at sunset by the Zambezi River at the Royal Livingstone Hotel and listen to hippos grunting away in the water and soak up the atmosphere.
Apart from Victoria Falls, it seemed to me when there that there were a lot fewer tourists in other parts, which is a shame as it has a lot more to offer and is one of the best countries to visit in Africa for many reasons.
Bonus: African Island Countries
The 10 countries mentioned above are definitely some of the best countries to visit in Africa, but Africa also has some beautiful island groups to visit as well, if you want more of an island getaway.
Mauritius is actually one of the safest countries in Africa and is one of the premier island destinations on the east coast.
Seychelles is a group of tropical islands of Eastern Africa and is a paradise of white-sand beaches and lush jungle to explore. The perfect island getaway destination.
The Comoro Islands are located off the east coast of Africa between Mozambique and Madagascar and have some of the best white-sand beaches in Africa to relax on.
Cape Verde is, unlike the two above, located oof the western coast of Africa in the Atlantic Ocean near Senegal. They are volcanic islands and are actually one of the most developed countries in Africa to visit.
São Tomé and Príncipe are also a group of volcanic islands on the west coast of Africa near Gabon and have great beaches as well as jungles to explore.
I couldn’t honestly say which are the best countries in Africa to visit as far as islands go as they are all good if what you want is to relax on beaches and enjoy great seafood.
However, if I had to choose right now where to go I would probably pick the Comoro Islands as they are easy to get to and the beaches are out of this world.
The Best Countries To Visit In Africa
And that’s what I recommend for some of the 10 best countries to visit in Africa and as I said before there are lots of other countries to visit in Africa that are worth going to as well. I had a great time in Malawi, for example, but it’s small and doesn’t have as much to offer as other countries listed here.
If I was going to suggest where to exactly go then I would say do Kenya and Tanzania together for the ultimate African experience and then head to nearby Ethiopia for some of the best history and mountain scenery on the continent.
Find out what the safest countries in Africa to visit are.
If you have a big interest in doing a safari in Africa then have a read of:
Share the best countries to visit in Africa: