Africa is one of the world’s most diverse continents — with 54 countries and beautiful national parks — our Africa Bucket List 2023 offers adventure, relaxation, and culture.
We’re providing our insider knowledge on the top 10 things to do in Africa this year to satisfy your wanderlust. This is the motivation you need to start making travel arrangements, whether it’s your first time in Africa or you want to venture farther off the beaten path. One thing is certain as we look forward to the new year: it is going to be the year that all of our travel dreams come true.
01. Witness the Great Migration
The Great Migration of wildebeest from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara is an unforgettable experience and sits at the top of our Africa Bucket List 2023. More than a million wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes cross the Tanzania-Kenya border each year. These beasts travel a perilous road in search of greener pastures, dodging sly big cats and crocodiles lurking in quiet streams. The Great Migration is a moving spectacle that perfectly illustrates the natural cycle of life.
02. Explore the Spice Islands: Zanzibar
The Zanzibar archipelago, also known as the “Spice Islands,” is made up of a necklace of islands that bead their way down Tanzania’s Eastern Seaboard. Zanzibar consists of the main island, which has a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its capital, a sister island called Pemba, which has extensive clove plantations, and the neighbouring Mafia Archipelago, which is known for its magnificent coral reefs and whale sharks.
Sample authentic Swahili cuisine, take a walk around Stone Town to see historic buildings and get lost in ancient pathways, or spend some time on the amazing beaches, home to many resorts and restaurants, as well as a wealth of activities and tours.
03. Visit Cape Town
Another Africa Bucket List 2023 is Cape Town. It is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. A blend of cultures, cuisines and landscapes, there’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, and it is by far the most cosmopolitan city in South Africa. Crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain National Park. it hosts a melting pot of cultures that contributes to the city’s eclectic music, food, and festival scenes. From Robben Island and the District Six Museum to wine tasting in the Cape Winelands and exploring the stunning coastlines, there is something for everyone in the Mother City.
Pro Tip: When in South Africa, don’t miss a wine-tasting tour in Stellenbosch or a hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town. Other popular Cape Town attractions include the Cape of Good Hope and Robben Island.
04. Explore the Ancient Deserts
Exploring the ancient deserts is another top hit on our Africa Bucket List 2023. Head to Sossusvlei in Namibia, which is famous for its haunting, barren landscapes. Here, set out early in the morning to admire the impressive play of colours as the sun rises in a clay sink surrounded by dunes that can reach up to 300 meters in height. Alternatively, The Pyramids of Giza, just outside Cairo, are one of the world’s seven wonders. Tourists from all over the world travel to Egypt to see them. They can even be reached by Uber from Cairo.
05. Go on a Big Five Safari at Kruger National Park
Our Africa Bucket List 2023 would be incomplete without a visit to this jewel in the crown of South Africa’s wildlife destinations. With amazing opportunities to see the Big Five in a single day, it’s no surprise that Kruger National Park is one of the world’s most famous safari destinations. Check off a bucket list item by seeing lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards, and Cape Buffaloes in this world-renowned National Park!
06. Marvel at Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River, forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is a spectacular sight of breathtaking beauty and grandeur. Gain a bird’s-eye view of these thundering falls with an exciting helicopter ride, or book a cruise on the mighty Zambezi River — a fantastic way to unwind after a fun-filled day of activities in Victoria Falls.
07. Embark on a Mountain Trek
Africa has fantastic hiking and trekking opportunities. Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and Morocco’s Atlas Mountains are obvious choices for mountaineers. However, the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa are an absolute delight for a half-day hike or a multi-day trek. The Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda and the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia are less well-known, but they contain several of Africa’s highest peaks. If you don’t want to climb a mountain but enjoy walking, the famous walking safaris in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park are a great option.
08. See Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas in the wild are a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Mountain gorillas and humans are closely related, sharing 98% of our DNA. They, like us, have strong family bonds, enjoy playing and exploring, and make new friends. The best places to see mountain gorillas are Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Because these creatures live in dense montane forests, walking with a trained guide is the only sure way to find them — a must-do on our Africa Bucket List 2023.
09. Opt for Luxury in Paradise
Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and discover your slice of paradise. Mauritius and Seychelles offer postcard-perfect scenery and powdery sand beaches, and you can choose from a superb list of the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’s most beautiful and luxurious resorts.
10. Enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride
View Africa’s natural wonders from a birds-eye perspective. Many safari destinations offer balloon safaris, including Kenya’s Maasai Mara, Tanzania’s Serengeti, Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Balloon safaris provide an unparalleled opportunity to see wildlife in an entirely new light. For the best weather and views, hot-air balloon safaris typically begin at dawn. Your pilot controls the altitude of your balloon, which can be as low as treetops for close-up views of animals or as high as 1,000 feet to take in the enormity of the skyline.