With an ancient history dating back to 3300 BC, Africa has an indefinable mystery and allure surrounding it, and each country within this large continent differs dramatically. From the North African countries – Morocco, Egypt or Tunisia through Nigeria, Sudan and Mali to South Africa the countries and their languages are varied and mix their African heritage with multicultural influences.
It’s important to plan your African trip right since it is such a vast continent with an abundance of attractions to see and must-try activities. If you’re interested in seeing wild animals then visit Kenya for the most impressive wildlife and the best organised tours. Or if history is your forte, where better to revel in the past than the ancient land of the pyramids and pharaohs? Visit Egypt for an experience of a lifetime. But if your idea of the perfect holiday is to spend lazy days on unspoilt beaches, then visit Africa's popular island - Zanzibar in Tanzania.
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The weather throughout the African continent is generally the same: warm year-round. But the North African countries including Egypt and Tunisia tend to be extremely hot between the months of June and September. High season is from September to April when the weather’s milder.
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The best time for game watching is in mid-summer, specifically July when the rainy season is over.
South Africa enjoys its high season in December and January when hoards of tourists visit its cities but flights and accommodation are pricier during this period. Try to avoid visiting in from September to January when the gale winds blow wildly.
Countries closer to the Indian Ocean, Tanzania and Mauritius for example, have a heavy tropical rainy season that runs anywhere from January to March or even until June in some countries. For the best weather visit Africa anytime between June and October but try to avoid the scorching heat from December to March.
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- Many travellers would pick the Caribbean when searching for a beach destination, but Africa has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, for example, has some of the best diving and fishing in the area. While the island of Zanzibar in Tanzania has been dubbed “paradise” by many visitors because of its turquoise waters.
- History buffs should head to Tunisia where they’ll find ancient Roman ruins in Carthage and Roman mosaics in the Unesco World-Heritage protected Medina. Libya is another fascinating North African country that boasts remnants of Greek and Roman civilizations. And Egypt, of course, is undeniably the mecca of archaeologists and historians.
- Zebras running in the wild, elephants brushing up against your jeep; these are the images of safari, and Kenya offers visitors an authentic experience in game lodges and tented camps. Less popular, but virtually untouched, is Botswana – home to the spectacular Okavango Delta. Here, you’ll find a 5,850 sq. mile (15, 151 sq km) inland flood plain filled with waterways, forests, islands and stunning wildlife.
- If Lawrence of Arabia ever inspired you to ride on a horse through the endless desert, then you’ll get your wish in Mali. This West African country sits on the edge of the Sahara, the world’s largest desert, where nomads and camels ride in from the legendary city of Timbuktu.
- Safaris, beaches, nightlife and history: South Africa combines them all seamlessly. Head to Cape Town and visit the infamous Robben Island prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned under Apartheid. Then take the cable car up to Table Mountain and enjoy the sensational views of the city.
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