Five Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations In Africa To Visit This Year

Africa, a vast continent pulsating with a kaleidoscope of cultures, landscapes, and untold stories, extends an invitation to intrepid explorers eager to uncover its myriad hidden gems. These destinations are more than spots on a map; they are portals to an Africa less traveled, where the intersection of nature, history, and culture creates an experience that transcends the ordinary.

Venture beyond the familiar trails and discover a tapestry woven with history, culture, and unparalleled natural beauty in five destinations that have managed to escape the well-trodden routes.

This is not just a journey; it’s an odyssey into the soul of a continent, where the heartbeat of ancient civilizations mingles with the rustle of wind-swept dunes, and the rhythm of tribal dances echoes through lush valleys.

1. Kidepo Valley National Park, Uganda

This park is one of the most remote parks in Africa, which makes it a perfect destination for those who want to get off the beaten path. It is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, and giraffes. Visitors can take a game drive through the park, go on a guided walk, or visit the local Karamojong tribe. The park is also known for its stunning scenery, which includes the Narus Valley and the Kidepo Valley.

Serena, 28, from the United States, expresses her amazement at the remote beauty of Kidepo Valley National Park, “Being amidst the untamed wildlife and vast landscapes of Kidepo felt very real. Every moment is an adventure.”

2. Lamu Island, Kenya 

This island is located off the coast of Kenya and is known for its beautiful beaches, rich history, and unique culture. Visitors can explore the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a dhow ride along the coast. The island is also known for its delicious seafood and Swahili cuisine.

Sarah, 32, from Japan, shares her awe at Lamu Island: “The blend of ancient charm in the old town and the tranquility of the beaches made Lamu a magical escape. The hotel I stayed in wasn’t fancy but quaint and the people were very helpful and friendly.”

3. Mogadishu, Somalia

Yes we’ve added Mogadishu to this list. Yes it’s dangerous, yes it’s hard to get to, yes it’s unpredictable and yes there is very little tourism infrastructure. And if all these negatives weren’t enough to dissuade you from trying to visit, you also need to know that if you get into trouble there are very few resources to help you. No one is coming to save you. However, with all that said, Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, is slowly emerging as a tourist destination. Visitors can explore the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a stroll along the beach. Mogadishu is also known for its delicious food and coffee, which is some of the best in Africa.

Giacomo, 46, from Italy visited and had these thoughts. “It was hard, unready for tourists and I never felt safe. But I believe there is a lot to offer seasoned and prepared travels. But it’s definitely only a destination to undertake with planning and good local help.” He thinks if the political situation calms and the threat of violence subsides Somalia could be an excellent destination for foreign travelers. “There’s lots to offer and they really could use the money.”

4. Sossusvlei, Namibia

This desert is located in the southern part of Namibia and is known for its stunning red sand dunes. Visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over the dunes, go on a guided walk, or visit the local Himba tribe. The desert is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including oryx, springbok, and ostriches.

Sarah, 48, from Canada described it this way, “Magical, surreal, breathtaking, life changing. This is a destination which truly amazed me, and I’ve traveled a lot as a journalist and photographer.”

5. Toubkal National Park, Morocco 

This park is located in the High Atlas Mountains and is known for its stunning scenery and unique culture. Visitors can go on a guided hike up Mount Toubkal, which is the highest peak in North Africa, or visit the local Berber villages. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including Barbary macaques, eagles, and vultures.

Gaz, 32, from the U.K. had this reaction, “Toubkal really touched me in ways I didn’t expect. It is legitimately remote, it’s not been touched by tourism and it’s a joyous experience to live among the Berbers for a few days. go and experience it before others do and it changes.”

These destinations are more than spots on a map; they are portals to an Africa less traveled, where the intersection of nature, history, and culture creates an experience that transcends the ordinary. Embrace the unfamiliar, and let the heartbeat of these off-the-beaten-path wonders become the rhythm of your own adventure. Your journey into the heart of Africa is poised to be more than just a trip; it’s an immersion into the extraordinary.

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