Recently, the best thing to do in Africa was no doubt to attend the 2010 World Cup. But that was only temporary and now that it's over, here are some other, more permanent, suggestions...
Sightseeing in Marrakech
When someone mentions Africa, Marrakech probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Due to its Arab and French influences, it's not usually associated with the typical African stereotype. That said, it has a lot to offer in terms of travel experience and is definitely a city worth visiting.
Some of the best things to do in Marrakech include:
- Experiencing the Djemaa el Fna square come alive at dusk, with its snake charmers, henna artists, and, of course, hagglers.
- Shopping at the souks (markets) in the Medina (Old City).
- Visiting the Jardins Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent's oasis in the middle of the city.
- Going on an excursion to the nearby Atlas Mountains.
Unlike the mystical notion of Marrakech, the word 'safari' is likely one of the first things that pops into your head at the thought of Africa. This is a once in a lifetime adventure that everyone should be lucky enough to experience. A common misconception is that African safaris are rugged and not for the faint-of-heart. Actually, they can be quite luxurious and range from budget basic safaris to private deluxe safaris that can be tailor-made to suit your travel needs. Whichever way you choose to safari - simply or extravagantly - you will have an authentic African experience. Keep an eye out for the big 5: elephant, rhinoceros, leopard, buffalo, and lion!
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
If you are a true adventurer, set out to conquer Africa's highest mountain, located at the northern border of Tanzania. Standing at 5895m above sea level, Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and climbing it is no walk in the park. Altitude, weather, and exhaustion, are all challenges that must be overcome by any trekker brave enough to take on Kili, but the spectacular scenery that accompanies you on the way up 'lightens the load', so to speak. As always, the best is saved for last. The trek culminates in a testing night walk to the summit. But reaching the top and looking over the surrounding landscape, from the 'roof of Africa', makes it all worthwhile.
Hot Air Ballooning Over the Serengeti
If you're more of a relaxed traveler who relishes a beautiful view, but doesn't necessarily want to climb a mountain to get it, hop in a hot air balloon and you'll be admiring the Serengeti from the sky without any effort at all. Hopefully you're a morning person, though, because the hot air balloons usually rise with the sun, at around 6am. While floating in the African sky, you'll be able to spot some amazing wildlife, so if you missed any of the big 5 on your safari, this is your chance to tick them off.
Snorkeling around Zanzibar Island
Beach lovers get ready to eavesdrop on what has been called the best kept secret in the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar Island is home to a historic Stone Town, beautiful beaches, and some of the best snorkeling in the world. There are over 350 fish species living in the waters surrounding Zanzibar, including clown fish, lion fish, angel fish, stingrays, trumpet fish, moray eels, puffer fish, and surgeon fish. If you're lucky, you might even spot a lobster, turtle, or dolphin!