Ultimate Africa Bucket List: Top 50 Things to Do

Ultimate Africa Bucket List_ Top 50 Things to Do

Africa, a continent of diverse cultures, delectable cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes, offers a myriad of unique experiences. Our top 50 Africa bucket list includes safaris in the Serengeti, trekking to see mountain gorillas in Uganda, exploring historic sites like the Pyramids of Egypt, and relaxing on pristine beaches in Zanzibar and Seychelles.

Immerse yourself in the music scene of Cape Town, sample Ethiopian injera and South African wine, and discover the remote islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. Prepare for an unforgettable adventure as we guide you through the ultimate Africa bucket list.

Africa Bucket List Wildlife and Nature

Africa Bucket List Wildlife and Nature
Ultimate Africa Bucket List: Top 50 Things to Do 7

Africa, known for its distinctive wildlife and natural scenery, offers several experiences for those with an affinity for nature. Here are the top 10 recommendations:

Going on Safari in the Serengeti or Masai Mara, East Africa

For an unforgettable wildlife experience, consider a safari in East Africa‘s Serengeti or Masai Mara. These iconic reserves in Tanzania and Kenya, respectively, provide a chance to observe lions, elephants, giraffes, and more in their natural environments.

Seeing the Great Migration in Maasai Mara, Tanzania, and Masai Mara, Kenya

To experience a remarkable wildlife spectacle, visit East Africa from July to October. This period coincides with the Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles travel from Tanzania‘s Serengeti to Kenya‘s Maasai Mara, seeking fresh grazing grounds.

Visiting the Okavango Delta in Botswana

The Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest inland deltas, is a wildlife haven in Botswana‘s Kalahari Desert. Elephants, lions, and hippos are among the species found here. Explore the delta via a mokoro (traditional canoe) or a game drive.

Hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, offers a thrilling challenge for hikers. As Africa’s highest peak, this dormant volcano’s summit exceeds 19,000 feet, providing breathtaking panoramic views. It’s an unforgettable experience.

Trekking to See Mountain Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, or Congo

Observing mountain gorillas, among the world’s most endangered species, in their natural habitat is an extraordinary experience. Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo offer treks through forests for close encounters with these remarkable creatures.

Exploring the Rainforest of the Congo Basin

The Congo Basin, the world’s second-largest rainforest, hosts a diverse range of wildlife such as forest elephants, gorillas, and chimpanzees. Exploring it provides a rare, unique experience.

Spotting Lemurs in Madagascar

Madagascar, known for its biodiversity, is particularly famous for its lemurs, with over 100 species. It’s an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

Visiting the Namib Desert in Namibia

The Namib Desert, one of the world’s oldest and driest, hosts a unique range of wildlife, such as oryx, springbok, and desert-adapted elephants. It also boasts some of the globe’s tallest sand dunes, making it a fascinating destination for nature lovers.

Watching the Annual Sardine Run Along the South African Coast

The annual sardine run in South Africa is a unique natural event. Millions of sardines form a bait ball, attracting predators like sharks, dolphins, and whales. It’s a remarkable sight for nature enthusiasts.

Exploring the Fish River Canyon in Namibia

Fish River Canyon in Namibia ranks among the world’s largest. Its striking terrain and immense size make it a memorable experience. Explore the canyon on foot or via a scenic flight for an aerial perspective.

Visiting the Omo Valley Tribes in Ethiopia

The Omo Valley in Ethiopia hosts a range of distinct tribal communities, each with unique practices and traditions. Engaging with these communities and discovering their lifestyles is a profoundly enriching experience.

Africa Bucket List Culture and History

Africa Bucket List Culture and History
Ultimate Africa Bucket List: Top 50 Things to Do 8

Explore Africa’s cultural and historical heritage with these top 10 recommendations, ranging from ancient civilizations to vibrant tribal communities.

Visiting the Ancient Pyramids in Egypt

The pyramids of Egypt, among the world’s most iconic structures, were built over 4,500 years ago as pharaohs’ tombs. They showcase the ancient Egyptians’ sophisticated civilization and architectural prowess.

Exploring the Medinas of Morocco

Morocco‘s medinas, intricate and lively urban centers, feature souks, exquisite architecture, and delectable cuisine. The Medina of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts the Koutoubia Mosque, Bahia Palace, and the animated Jemaa el-Fna square.

Learning About the History of Timbuktu in Mali

Timbuktu, Mali, was a significant center for Islamic education, culture, and trade, with merchants exchanging gold, salt, ivory, and slaves. The city, home to ancient universities and libraries, housed the renowned Timbuktu manuscripts, playing a crucial role in Islam’s spread across sub-Saharan Africa. Today, its historic libraries, mosques, and mausoleums can be explored.

Seeing the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcase remarkable engineering and artistry. Carved from solid rock over 800 years ago, these 11 churches remain in use for religious ceremonies. A visit to Lalibela highlights the ancient Ethiopian civilization’s skill and dedication.

Experiencing the Himba Culture in Namibia

The Himba, a semi-nomadic tribe in Namibia, maintain their traditional lifestyle. Known for their red ochre body paint and elaborate hairstyles, visitors can immerse themselves in the Himba way of life by touring their villages, discovering their customs, and joining in traditional dances and ceremonies.

Visiting the Old City of Zanzibar in Tanzania

The Old City of Zanzibar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a cultural fusion of African, Arab, and Indian influences, evident in its architecture and cuisine. Renowned for seafood and spices, visitors can explore its narrow streets, the Palace Museum, and savor local street food.

Learning About the Slave Trade in Ghana

Ghana, a significant center for the transatlantic slave trade, houses multiple sites and museums that provide a poignant insight into this bleak historical era. Notably, the Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle serve as stark reminders of the atrocities committed.

Taking a Hot Air Balloon over Luxor, Egypt

Experience the grandeur of Luxor, Egypt, by hot air balloon. Soar over the Karnak Temple, Valley of the Kings, and Colossi of Memnon for a distinctive, awe-inspiring view of the ancient temples and tombs along the Nile. The sight of vibrant balloons against the sandy landscape creates a lasting memory.

Visiting the Dogon Villages in Mali

The Dogon people of Mali are recognized for their elaborate carvings, distinct architecture, and customary dances. Exploring their villages offers a chance to immerse oneself in their unique lifestyle, learn about their traditions, and appreciate their vibrant art and architecture. The experience may include joining in their traditional dances, accompanied by the balafon, a wooden xylophone.

Experiencing the Tuareg Culture in the Sahara Desert

The Tuareg, nomadic tribes of the Sahara Desert, have maintained their distinct culture and traditions. Recognized by their blue robes and silver jewelry, which symbolize their identity and history, visiting their villages allows one to observe their traditional lifestyle and learn about their customs and beliefs.

Africa Bucket List Adventure and Thrills

Africa Bucket List Adventure and Thrills
Ultimate Africa Bucket List: Top 50 Things to Do 9

Africa, a continent of adventure and thrills, presents numerous adrenaline-pumping activities. Here are the top 10 recommendations for adventure and thrill-seekers.

Sandboarding in Namibia

Namibia’s towering sand dunes provide an exceptional opportunity for sandboarding, an exhilarating activity akin to snowboarding that offers a distinctive way to explore the desert terrain.

Bungee Jumping off the Victoria Falls Bridge, Zambia/Zimbabwe

Bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge, a renowned African adventure activity, involves a 111-meter plunge above the Zambezi River, with breathtaking views of the falls. This thrilling experience is best suited for the daring.

Going White-Water Rafting on the Zambezi River, Zambia/Zimbabwe

The Zambezi River, known for its wild and thrilling rapids, offers exceptional white-water rafting experiences. Catering to both beginners and seasoned rafters with Class III to Class V rapids, it’s an exciting way to immerse oneself in the river’s natural splendor.

Skydiving over the Namib Desert, Namibia

Skydiving above Namib Desert provides a remarkable aerial perspective of Africa’s distinctive terrain. Participants will glide over expansive desert vistas, towering sand dunes, and the shimmering Atlantic Ocean.

Surfing in Taghazout, Morocco

Morocco, renowned for its exceptional surfing conditions, attracts enthusiasts to Taghazout. This Atlantic coast fishing village provides diverse waves, accommodating both beginners and experienced surfers.

Hiking the Atlas Mountains, Morocco

The Atlas Mountains, boasting breathtaking mountainscapes and traditional Berber villages, provide exceptional hiking opportunities in Africa. Toubkal National Park, a favored hiking location, is home to Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak.

Visiting the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia

The Simien Mountains of Ethiopia showcase Africa’s awe-inspiring mountain vistas, complete with soaring peaks and dramatic valleys. This region is also habitat to distinctive wildlife, such as the Gelada baboon and Ethiopian wolf.

Diving with Whale Sharks in Mozambique

Mozambique, known for its substantial whale shark populations, provides a distinctive chance to dive alongside these majestic creatures. Its pristine waters and thriving coral reefs also contribute to exceptional diving experiences in Africa.

Taking a Hot Air Balloon over the Masai Mara, Kenya

A hot air balloon excursion over the Masai Mara presents a distinctive and memorable approach to exploring Africa’s savannah wildlife and landscapes. Participants will glide above the expansive plains, observing creatures such as lions, elephants, and giraffes.

Climbing the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda

The Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda present a distinctive and demanding mountaineering adventure. Hosting Mount Stanley, Africa’s third-highest peak, the range showcases breathtaking mountain vistas and diverse wildlife.

Africa Bucket List Food and Drink

Africa Bucket List Food and Drink
Ultimate Africa Bucket List: Top 50 Things to Do 10

African cuisine is a delightful and diverse fusion of flavors, spices, and textures. Here are the top 10 food and drink experiences to have in Africa.

Trying Ethiopian Injera

Injera is a staple food in Ethiopia and is made from teff flour, a grain unique to Ethiopia. The spongy, pancake-like bread is used to scoop up stews, curries, and vegetables. It’s a unique and delicious way to experience the rich and complex flavors of Ethiopian cuisine.

Sampling South African Wine in the Cape Winelands

The Cape Winelands in South Africa is known for producing some of the best wines in the world. The region is home to a range of vineyards and wineries that offer tastings and tours. The stunning scenery and delicious wines make for an unforgettable experience.

Eating Senegalese Thieboudienne

Thieboudienne is a popular Senegalese dish made from fish, vegetables, and rice. The dish is cooked in a tomato-based sauce and is typically served with a side of chili sauce. It’s a flavorful and spicy dish that’s a must-try for any foodie visiting Senegal.

Drinking Mint Tea in Morocco

Mint tea is a staple drink in Morocco and is a symbol of hospitality and friendship. The tea is made from green tea, fresh mint leaves, and sugar, and is traditionally served in small glasses. It’s a refreshing and sweet drink that’s perfect for hot Moroccan afternoons.

Trying Tanzanian Street Food

Tanzanian street food is a vibrant and delicious experience that offers a range of flavors and textures. Popular street foods include samosas, grilled meat skewers, and chipsi mayai (a fried egg and french fries sandwich). It’s a cheap and tasty way to experience the local cuisine.

Enjoying a Braai in South Africa

A braai is a traditional South African barbecue that involves grilling meat, usually over an open flame. It’s a social and festive occasion that’s typically accompanied by salads, bread, and a range of side dishes. It’s a great way to experience the warm and hospitable culture of South Africa.

Sampling Nigerian Jollof Rice

Jollof rice is a popular West African dish made from rice, tomatoes, and spices. Nigerian jollof rice is known for its rich and smoky flavor, thanks to the addition of smoked fish or meat. It’s a satisfying and flavorful dish that’s a must-try for any foodie visiting Nigeria.

Tasting Malagasy Cuisine

Malagasy cuisine is a unique and flavorful fusion of African, Asian, and European influences. Popular dishes include romazava (a beef and vegetable stew) and ravitoto (a dish made from cassava leaves and meat). It’s a unique and delicious way to experience the flavors of Madagascar.

Drinking Arabica Coffee in Uganda

Uganda is known for producing some of the best coffee in Africa, and Arabica coffee is a particular specialty. The coffee is grown in the lush hills of the country and is known for its smooth and fruity flavor. It’s a must-try for any coffee lover visiting Uganda.

Trying the Traditional Cameroonian Dish Ndolé

Ndolé is a popular Cameroonian dish made from bitter leaves, peanuts, and meat or fish. It’s a flavorful and unique dish that’s a staple of Cameroonian cuisine. It’s a must-try for any foodie visiting Cameroon.

Africa Bucket List Beaches and Islands

Africa Bucket List Beaches and Islands
Ultimate Africa Bucket List: Top 50 Things to Do 11

Africa boasts some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches and islands. Here are the top 10 recommendations for beach and island experiences in Africa.

Exploring the Cape Verde Islands

The Cape Verde Islands, an Atlantic Ocean treasure, boast captivating beaches, lively culture, and diverse landscapes. Activities range from whale-watching and deep-sea fishing to exploring mountain ranges and colonial towns. Swimming, snorkeling, hiking, and mountain biking are also available for adventure-seekers..

Relaxing on the Beaches of Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar, a picturesque island near Tanzania, features pristine white beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a rich cultural tapestry. Unwind on the shore, discover local markets, and embark on a spice tour to delve into the island’s history.

The island’s tropical climate and mild waves make it an ideal vacation destination, with numerous resorts and beachfront eateries to choose from.

Swimming with Dolphins in Mozambique

Mozambique’s coastline boasts warm, crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Between June and November, dolphins frequent the Indian Ocean, offering the chance to embark on dolphin-watching excursions and even swim alongside these magnificent creatures.

Island Hopping in Seychelles

Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands, boasts breathtaking beaches and landscapes. It offers snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, and more. With a tropical climate and azure waters, Seychelles is ideal for island hopping. The destination also features stunning coral reefs and crystal-clear lagoons, making it a paradise for visitors.

Surfing in Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa

Jeffrey’s Bay, a renowned South African surfing location, boasts exceptional waves. The town’s lively surf culture appeals to both surfers and non-surfers. Featuring left and right-handed breaks, the bay’s beaches are among South Africa’s finest, with swells reaching up to 8 meters.

Exploring the Beaches of Ghana

Ghana, boasting a picturesque coastline, is home to some of West Africa’s most captivating beaches with crystal-clear waters and white sand. Each beach has its distinct features, with popular ones like Kokrobite and Ada Foah offering activities such as swimming, kayaking, and beachside dining.

Taking a Dhow Cruise off the Coast of Lamu, Kenya

Lamu, a quaint Kenyan island, provides a distinctive and serene experience. Sailing on traditional dhow vessels with large lateen sails, one can marvel at the Indian Ocean’s crystal-clear blue waters and vibrant coral reefs.

Snorkeling in the Red Sea in Egypt

The Red Sea in Egypt, famous for its clear waters and thriving marine ecosystem, is a sought-after destination for snorkeling and diving. Spots like Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, and Ras Mohamed offer diverse underwater experiences. The region is inhabited by a vast array of vibrant tropical fish, dolphins, sea turtles, and more.

Exploring the Remote Islands of São Tomé and Príncipe

São Tomé and Príncipe, a secluded island nation near Central Africa, boasts beautiful beaches and landscapes. This two-island archipelago in the Gulf of Guinea features tropical rainforests, towering mountains, and diverse wildlife, providing a unique and memorable experience.

Kitesurfing in Dakhla, Western Sahara

Dakhla, renowned for kitesurfing, offers consistent winds from October to April and picturesque landscapes. The steady waves, rolling swell, and freestyle spots make it ideal for skill improvement and enjoyment. The desert backdrop and lively town with ample shops and restaurants also make it a great kitesurfing vacation destination.

Takeaways

Africa, a vast and diverse continent, offers a multitude of experiences for travelers. Its stunning wildlife, landscapes, vibrant cultures, and delectable cuisine cater to various preferences. Africa is an ideal destination for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, and should be a priority on any travel bucket list.

Now is the perfect time to plan an African trip, with destinations such as Morocco, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Namibia offering a wealth of cultural and natural attractions.

Scroll to Top

Share this article