The Pyramids of Giza, just outside Cairo in Egypt, represent one of the greatest architectural feats by man. The last surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the world’s oldest tourist attractions, built more than 5000 years ago.
There are in fact three main pyramids in Giza; the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), The Pyramid of Kafhre and the smaller Pyramid of Menkaura. Each Pyramid is a tomb to a different King of Egypt.
In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx, or Abu al-Hol in Arabic, “Father of Terror”.
Cape Town is a highlight of any trip to Southern Africa. The natural beauty of Cape Town makes it one of the most attractive cities in the world. Cape Town boasts beautiful beaches as well as the impressive Table Mountain right in the heart of the city. The restaurants are world class, and so are the wines. Cape Town is also one of the most culturally diverse cities in Africa and has reputation for social tolerance.
Situated at the foot of the Atlas mountains in Morocco, the imperial city of Marrakech is large, noisy, polluted and fascinating. If you enjoy a daily assault on all your senses then you’ll have a lot of fun.
There are so many things to see, you should spend at least 3 days in Marrakech. Stay in a Riad in the medina (old walled part of town), because this is where all the action is. The Majorelle Gardensoffer a lovely respite from the bustle of the souqs and shouldn’t be missed. The heart of the medina, the Djemma el Fnaa, should also be a priority for anyone who visits
Africa is known as one of the best destinations for adventure travel and what can be more adventurous than hiking up the world’s tallest free standing mountain. Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania stands at 19,340 feet (5896m) and will take you 6 days to conquer. The exciting thing about this mountain is that anyone who is fit and determined can make it up. No special climbing equipment or expertise is needed. That said, almost 75 of attempts fail because people figure it’s doable in shorts, t-shirt and a couple of beers for hydration. Check out these pictures to see what the hike is like.
There is nothing quite like getting a thorough soaking from the roaring, powerful Victoria Falls. The spray is so impressive from the look-out points, it feels like you are in the middle of a torrential rainstorm.
The Victoria Falls are just over 1 mile wide (1.7 km) and 355 feet (108 m) high. During the wet season over 500 million liters (19 million cubic feet) of water plummets over the edge into the Zambezi River. This incredible amount of water generates a huge amount of spray which shoots 1000 feet into the sky and can be seen 30 miles away, hence the nameMosi-oa-Tunya (Smoke that thunders).
If you want to see the ‘big five‘ in one morning, Masai Mara in Kenya is the place to be. During the dry season from July to October the wildlife spectacle is unparalleled. Nowhere else can you watch the annual migration of over a million wildebeest from a hot-air balloon. The ‘Mara’ is as close to “Out of Africa” as you can get.
Zanzibar is one of Africa’s top destinations because of its fascinating history and its incredible beaches. Zanzibar’s location in the Indian Ocean (off the coast of Tanzania) has made it a natural trading center throughout its history. Famous for its spices, Zanzibar also became an important slave trading post under its Arab rulers.
The Arab influences are obvious throughout Zanzibar but especially in Stone Town one of the island’s biggest attractions. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Stone Town boasts beautiful traditional houses, narrow alleyways, a Sultan’s palace and many mosques.
The Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve on the continent and one the main tourist attractions in South Africa. The park boasts more species of mammals than any other African game reserve which includes the Big Five, cheetahs, giraffes and more. Unlike most other safari parks, Kruger is a self-drive destination with an excellent infrastructure and many places to stay inside the park, from tented camps to luxury lodges.
The direct contribution of the tourism sector to GDP was estimated at 50 percent, and it provides about 70 percent of total foreign exchange earnings. Although difficult to measure, the import content of tourism expenditures is high, so net tourism earnings are significantly lower. 130,046 tourist arrivals were recorded in 2000, including over 104,000 from Europe. In the same year, Seychelles had 2,479 hotel rooms with 5,010 beds filled to 52% capacity. Tourist income was US$112 million in 1999. In 2002, the US Department of State estimated the average daily cost of staying in Seychelles at $246 per day
10. Djenne, Mali
Djenne (Mali), founded in 800 AD, is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest cities. Situated on an island in the Niger River delta, Djenne was a natural hub for traders who shuttled their goods between the Sahara desert and the forests of Guinea. Through the years Djenne also became a center of Islamic learning and its market square is still dominated by the beautiful Grand Mosque. Djenne is located a few hundred miles downstream from Timbuktu.
The market in Djenne, held every Monday, is one of the most interesting and lively markets in Africa, and well worth planning your trip around.
The best time to go is at the end of the rainy season (August/September) when Djenne turns into an island.