The world pays good money to fill its zoos with animals from the world’s second-largest continent, but there’s nothing like being there. Africa is home to incredible natural sites. We’ve chosen 10 of the most breathtaking nature sites in Africa.
Table Mountain is the reason Cape Town is on so many postcards, calendars and nature books. Cable cars will take visitors to the top of the mesa, and from there you can take in panoramic views, incredible sunrises and sunsets and of course a great photo.
The name means “the gathering place of water” but don’t be fooled — you’ll want to pack plenty of H2O to visit one of Namibia’s most popular attractions. The dunes have built up over millions of years, comprised of material deposited by the Orange River into the Atlantic. That material then travels north and returns to land via the surf. A climb to the top of the dunes will earn you views of Deadvlei, an eerie expanse of dried white clay scattered with ancient skeletons of camelthorn trees.
Known by locals as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “The Cloud That Thunders,” Victoria Falls is one of the most impressive waterscapes on the planet. Thousands travel to get a spritz from the 108-meter falls. Water there has reached volumes of 12,800 cubic meters per second.
The Spitzkoppe is home to numerous granite peaks in the Namib Desert, with the tallest one reaching almost 1,800 meters. It’s a popular destination for bouldering, rustic cave camping and multi-day safaris.
This is the part of the Sahara most welcoming to visitors, accessible from the northern part of Morocco. Let Berbers guide you on a hike from the town of Zagoura, or camp in Tazzarine — a destination famous amongst runners for the yearly Marathon des Sables.
The Pyramid of King Cheops is the best known structure at Giza, and was built around 2650 BC with more than 2.5 million limestone blocks. Each side of the structure is oriented to exactly face the north, south, east and west. The second-most famous pyramid is the Chephren, which includes entrances to the burial chamber containing King Chephren’s sarcophagus. Finally there is Mycerinus, the smallest of the three main pyramids,. All three are surrounded by smaller structures.
Nyika is one of the most strangely beautiful parks in Africa, with a plateau interrupted by several rivers all eventually reaching Lake Malawi via waterfalls off the eastern cliffs of the mountains. The eastern border of the plateau becomes the wall of the Great Rift Valley. Mountain bikers and hikers love the large domes and mild slopes, also great for Jeep trips. The park is home to antelope, zebra and the highest densities of leopard in Central Africa.
This massive arena of dried-up saltpans is supposed to be so quiet, you can hear your blood rushing through your veins. Sitting in the Kalahari Desert, the landscape is not very welcoming, formed by a giant lake that dried up a million years ago. However, if the winter gets a heavy rain, the area sprouts bright green grass and welcomes wildlife like zebra, wildebeest and flamingos.
Stretched out between the Atlas Mountains and the dunes of the Sahara is one of Morocco’s lushest landscapes. The Draa is a giant accumulation of date plantations, occasionally broken up by kasbahs (the quarter of a city where the citadel is located) made of bright red earth.
Astrologists around the world are mystified by this stellar formation, and the best place to view it is from the Southern Hemisphere — in particular on open-air safaris in Luangwa. The constellation has been a symbol in various cultures, perhaps best known for its reference in the Australian national anthem.