From lush rainforests and wildlife sanctuaries to majestic pyramids and thriving fashion capitals, Africa’s diversity of natural and manmade wonders continues to appeal to travellers worldwide.
But this year’s TIME magazine World’s Greatest Places challenges the conventional image of Africa, with six listed destinations showcasing the continent’s innovation, agency, and vibrant creative scene alongside its celebrated natural beauty.
To curate the esteemed list, TIME tapped into its international network of correspondents and contributors, seeking nominations for destinations that offer fresh and exhilarating experiences.
The result is a diverse selection of 50 awe-inspiring locations, including exceptional African gems that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on any traveller.
Musanze, Rwanda: An Unforgettable Gorilla Trek
Nestled in the shadows of the Virunga Mountains, Musanze, Rwanda offers an unparalleled opportunity to trek with the majestic mountain gorillas. As you journey through the misty forests of Volcanoes National Park, you’ll encounter these gentle giants up close, witnessing their fascinating social dynamics and experiencing a profound connection with these remarkable creatures. A trip to Musanze promises a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will leave you with lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for wildlife conservation.
Giza and Saqqara, Egypt: A Journey Back to the Pyramids
As the final resting places of ancient pharaohs, the iconic pyramids of Giza and Saqqara have long captivated the world with their grandeur and mystery. Travellers can explore these awe-inspiring monuments and delve into Egypt’s rich history, marvelling at the Sphinx, the Great Pyramid, and the step pyramids of Saqqara. A visit to these ancient wonders offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and immerse yourself in the magic of the land of the pharaohs.
Dakar, Senegal: Africa’s Fashion Capital
Dakar, Senegal has emerged as the continent’s fashion capital, showcasing a vibrant blend of traditional African textiles and contemporary styles. The city’s creative spirit is on full display during Dakar Fashion Week, where innovative designers like Adama Ndiaye present their latest collections. Beyond fashion, Dakar offers a thriving art scene, bustling markets, and lively nightlife, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience Africa’s flourishing creative industries.
Rabat, Morocco: A Budding Cultural Metropolis
Rabat, Morocco’s capital city, is fast becoming a cultural metropolis. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant arts scene, Rabat offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. Visitors can explore the city’s historic landmarks, such as the Hassan Tower and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, or discover contemporary art at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. As a budding cultural metropolis, Rabat is an exciting destination for those eager to experience Morocco’s diverse and evolving cultural landscape.
Loango National Park, Gabon: Africa’s Eden
For wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers, Loango National Park in Gabon is a true paradise. Often referred to as “Africa’s Eden,” this pristine park is home to an astonishing array of species, from elephants and gorillas to hippos and humpback whales. The park’s diverse ecosystems, including savannas, beaches, and mangroves, provide a unique backdrop for visitors to witness wildlife in their natural habitats. Loango National Park offers an unforgettable adventure that will leave you in awe of the wonders of the natural world.
Chyulu Hills, Kenya: A Wildlife Oasis
Nestled between the sweeping Savannas of Tsavo West National Park and the iconic Amboseli National Park, Chyulu Hills in Kenya is a breathtaking wildlife oasis. The region boasts a diverse range of habitats, from volcanic hills and dense forests to expansive grasslands, providing a sanctuary for elephants, lions, leopards, and countless other species.