Top Ten African Attractions

Top Ten African Attractions

       The birthplace of mankind and home to some of the most amazing works of human ingenuity and creativity.

  1. Giza Plateau, Egypt

    The Giza Plateau is a plateau that is located in Giza, Egypt. The famous Giza Necropolis is located in this geographical area, which is characterized by a sandy, desert climate and terrain with little vegetation.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Pyramids, Top 100 Monuments, Sculptures, Top 100 African Sculptures, Top Ten Plateaus, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giza_Plateau,
  2. Cairo, Egypt

    Cairo, literally “The Vanquisher” or “The Conqueror,” is the capital of Egypt, the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed “The City of a Thousand Minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a center of the region’s political and cultural life. Cairo was founded by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD; but the land composing the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo is also associated with Ancient Egypt due to its proximity to the ancient cities of Memphis, Giza and Fustat which are nearby to the Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza. Egyptians today often refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Arabic pronunciation of the name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city’s continued role in Egyptian influence. Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab World, as well as the world’s 2nd oldest institution of higher learning, al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses and organizations have regional headquarters in the city, and the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence. With a population of 6.76 million spread over 453 square km (175 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. With an additional ten million inhabitants just outside the city, Cairo resides at the center of the largest metropolitan area in Africa and the 11th largest urban area in the world. Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic, but its metro, currently the only one on the African continent, also ranks among the 15 busiest in the world, with over 700 million passenger rides annually. The economy of Cairo was ranked 1st in the Middle East and 43rd globally by Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Cities, Top Ten African Cities, Artifacts, Top 100 Egyptian Artifacts, Museums and Galleries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cairo,
  3. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

           
    The Serengeti National Park is a large national park in Serengeti area, Tanzania. It is most famous for its annual migration of over one and a half million white bearded (or brindled) wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey.
    Links: Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serengeti_National_Park,
  4. Marojejy National Park, Madagascar

    Marojejy National Park is a national park in the SAVA Region of northeastern Madagascar. It covers 55,500 ha (214 sq mi) and is centered around the Marojejy Massif, a mountain chain which rises to an elevation of 2,132 m (6,995 ft). The wide range of elevations and rugged topology of the massif create diverse habitats that transition quickly with changes in altitude. Warm, dense rainforest can be found at lower elevations, followed by shorter forests at higher elevations, followed still by cloud forest, and topped near the peaks with the only remaining undisturbed mountain scrub in Madagascar. This habitat diversity lends itself to high levels of biodiversity. At least 118 species of bird, 148 species of reptile and amphibian and 11 species of lemur are known to live within Marojejy National Park. One of the lemurs, the silky sifaka (Propithecus candidus) is listed among “The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates.” The Helmet Vanga (Euryceros prevostii) is considered the iconic bird species of the park. One path leads from the entrance of the park to the summit. There are three camps along the route: Camp Mantella at 450 m (1,480 ft) in elevation in lowland rainforest, Camp Marojejia at 775 m (2,543 ft) at the transition between lowland and montane rain forest, and Camp Simpona at 1,250 m (4,100 ft) in the middle of the montane rainforest. Camp Simpona acts as a base camp for the trek to the summit, a route that stretches 2 km (1.2 mi) and can take up to four or five hours.
    Links: Top Ten Madagascan Attractions, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, Top Ten Birds, Top Ten Lizards, Top Ten Best Dressed Animals, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marojejy_National_Park,
  5. Maasai Mara, Kenya

    The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve in south-western Kenya, which is effectively the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named after the Maasai people (the traditional inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara,” which is Maa (Maasai language) for “spotted,” an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna and cloud shadows that mark the area. It is famous for its exceptional population of Big Cats, and the annual migration, known as the “Great Migration,” of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest from the Serengeti every year from July to October. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes the following Group Ranches: Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien and Kimintet.
    Links: Top Ten Kenyan Attractions, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maasai_Mara,
  6. Luxor, Egypt

    Luxor is a city in Upper (southern) Egypt and the capital of Luxor Governorate. The population numbers 487,896 (2010), with an area of approximately 416 square km (161 sq mi). As the site of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, Luxor has frequently been characterized as the “world’s greatest open air museum,” as the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. Immediately opposite, across the River Nile, lie the monuments, temples and tombs on the West Bank Necropolis, which include the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Thousands of international tourists arrive annually to visit these monuments, contributing a large part towards the economy for the modern city.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, Temples, Top Ten African Temples, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Obelisks, Relieves and Petroglyphs, Top Ten African Relieves, Top Ten Columns/Pillars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luxor,
  7. Abu Simbel, Egypt



    Abu Simbel temples refers to two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel in Nubia, southern Egypt on the western bank of Lake Nasser about 230 km southwest of Aswan. The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments,” which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh, and to intimidate his Nubian neighbors. The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River. Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt’s top tourist attractions.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_Monuments_from_Abu_Simbel_to_Philae,
  8. Cape Town and Table Mountain, South Africa

    Cape Town is the 2nd most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality. The city is famous for its harbor as well as its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom, including such well-known landmarks as Table Mountain and Cape Point. Cape Town is also Africa’s most popular tourist destination. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival on April 6, 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. Today it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, reflecting its role as a major destination for immigrants and expatriates to South Africa. As of 2007 the city had an estimated population of 3.5 million. Cape Town’s land area of 2,455 square km (948 square mi) is larger than other South African cities, resulting in a comparatively lower population density of 1,425 inhabitants per square kilometer (3,690 /sq mi). Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa, and is featured in the flag of Cape Town and other local government insignia. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, Cities, Top Ten African Cities, Top Ten Mountains, Top Ten African Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Townhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_Mountain,
  9. Johannesburg, South Africa

    Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa. The city is one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world, and is also the world’s largest city not situated on a river, lake or coastline. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, which has the final word on interpretation of South Africa’s new post-Apartheid constitution. The city is the source of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills. Johannesburg is served by O.R. Tambo International Airport, the largest and busiest airport in Africa and a gateway for international air travel to and from the rest of Southern Africa. According to the 2007 Community Survey, the population of the municipal city was 3,888,180 and the population of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area was 7,151,447. Johannesburg includes Soweto, which was a separate city from the late 1970’s until the 1990’s. Originally an acronym for “South-Western Townships,” Soweto originated as a collection of settlements on the outskirts of Johannesburg populated mostly by native African workers in the gold mining industry. Eventually incorporated into Johannesburg, the apartheid regime (in power 1948–1994) separated Soweto from the rest of Johannesburg to make it a completely Black area. The area called Lenasia is now also part of Johannesburg, and is predominantly populated by those of Indian ethnicity since the apartheid era. The Gauteng province as a whole is growing rapidly due to mass urbanization, which is a feature of many developing countries.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, Cities, Top Ten African Cities, Top Ten Fireworks Shows,
  10. Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands


    Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital (jointly with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), 2nd most populous city of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands and the 21st largest city in Spain, with a population of 222,417 (2009). Located in northeast quadrant of Tenerife, about 210 kilometers (130 mi) off the northwestern coast of Africa within the Atlantic Ocean. Between the 1833 territorial division of Spain and 1927 Santa Cruz de Tenerife was the sole capital of the Canary Islands, until 1927 when a decree ordered that the capital of the Canary Islands be shared, as it remains at present. The port is of great importance and is the communications hub between Europe, Africa and Americas, with cruise ships arriving from many nations. The city is the nerve center on domestic and inter-island communications in the Canary Islands. The city is home to the Parliament of the Canary Islands, the Canarian Ministry of Presidency (shared in a four-year term with Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), one half of the ministries and boards of the Canarian Government, (the other half being located in Gran Canaria), the Tenerife Provincial Courts and two courts of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands. Its harbor is one of Spain’s busiest being important for commercial and passenger traffic, as well as for being a major stopover for cruisers en route from Europe to the Caribbean. It also has one of the world’s largest carnivals. The main landmarks of the city include the Auditorio de Tenerife (Auditorium of Tenerife), the Santa Cruz Towers (Torres de Santa Cruz) and the Iglesia de la Concepción. The city is a melting pot of diverse cultures that give it a cosmopolitan character. The largest distinct communities have immigrants from: Latin America, Africa and Western Europe. In recent years the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has had a significant aug bizarre constructions, the horizon (Skyline) is the sixth in height across the country, only behind Madrid, Benidorm, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao.
    Links: Top Ten Canary Island Attractions, Top Ten Concert Halls, Top Ten Architectural Works by Santiago Calatrava, Top Ten Sculptures by Igor Mitoraj, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Cruz_de_Tenerife,
  11. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda


    Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in East Africa. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the western Great Rift Valley. It comprises 331 square km (128 square mi) of jungle forests and contains both montane and lowland forest and is accessible only on foot. The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa and has a vast diversity of species. The park provides habitat for some 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. Floristically Bwindi is among the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern (low altitude) sector is rich in species of the Guineo-Congolian flora. These include two species internationally recognized as endangered, Brown mahogany (Lovoa swynnertonii) and Brazzeia longipedicellata. In particular the area shares in the high levels of endemisms of the Albertine Rift. The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds (such as hornbills and turacos). It is perhaps most notable for the 340 Bwindi gorillas, half the world’s population. There are four habituated Mountain Gorilla groups open to tourism: Mubare; Habinyanja; Rushegura near Buhoma; and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo.
    Links: Top Ten Ugandan Attractions, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, Top 100 Birds, Top Ten Butterflies, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bwindi_Impenetrable_National_Park,
  12. Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari Areas, Zimbabwe


    Mana Pools is a wildlife conservation area in northern Zimbabwe constituting a National Park. It is a region of the lower Zambezi River in Zimbabwe where the flood plain turns into a broad expanse of lakes after each rainy season. As the lakes gradually dry up and recede, the region attracts many large animals in search of water, making it one of Africa’s most renowned game-viewing regions. Mana means ‘four’ in Shona, in reference to the four large permanent pools formed by the meanderings of the middle Zambezi. These 2,500 square kilometers of river frontage, islands, sandbanks and pools, flanked by forests of mahogany, wild figs, ebonies and baobabs, is one of the least developed National Parks in Southern Africa. It was saved from a hydro-electric scheme in the early 1980’s which would have seen the flooding of this subsequent World Heritage site. It has the country’s biggest concentration of hippopotamuses and crocodiles and large dry season mammal populations of elephant and buffalo.
    Links: Top Ten Zimbabwean Attractions, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana_Pools_National_Park, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/302,
  13. Bonus: Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania


    Kilimanjaro National Park is a national park, located 200 miles south of the equator near Moshi, Tanzania. It is centered on Mount Kilimanjaro, and covers an area of 753 km² (291 square miles). In the 1910’s, Mount Kilimanjaro and its forests were declared a game reserve by the German colonial government, but by 1921 it was made a forest reserve. In 1973, the mountain above the tree line (about 2,700 m / 9,000 ft.) was reclassified as a National Park and was opened to public access in 1977.
    Links: Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks, Top Ten Mountains, Top Ten African Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilimanjaro_National_Park,
  14. Bonus: Marrakech, Morrocco

    Marrakech or Marrakesh, known as the “Red City,” is the most important former imperial city in Morocco’s history. The city of Marrakesh is the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, being also the 2nd largest city in Morocco. Like many North African cities, the city of Marrakech comprises both an old fortified city (the médina) and an adjacent modern city (called Gueliz) for a total population of 1,070,000. It is served by Ménara International Airport and a rail link to Casablanca and the north. Marrakech has the largest traditional market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna. The square bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers and musicians. By night food stalls open in the square turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant.
    Links: Top Ten Moroccan Attractions, Cities, Top Ten African Cities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medina_of_Marrakesh,
  15. Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabawe

    Victoria Falls or Mosi-oa-Tunya (“the Smoke that Thunders”) is a waterfall located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The falls are the largest in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Zambian Attractions, Top Ten Zimbabwean Attractions, Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World, Top Ten Waterfalls, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Falls, http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/509,
  16. Bonus: Adam’s Calendar and Makomati, South Africa

    Adam’s Calendar, is an ancient circular monolithic stone calendar site in Mpumalanga, which is believed to be at least 75,000 years old, pre-dating any other structure found to date. It is estimated that there are over 100,000 ancient stone ruins scattered throughout the mountains of southern Africa. Artifacts that have been recovered from these ruins show a long and extended period of settlement that spans to over 200,000 years. Until recently, historians have speculated that these ruins were ‘cattle kraal of little historic importance,’ however after further investigation, these ruins have proven to be much older and much more interesting than previously believed. Adam’s Calendar is the flagship among these ruins because this monolithic calendar can be dated with relative certainty to at least 75,000. Adam’s Calendar also presents the first tangible evidence of consciousness among the earliest humans in the ‘Cradle of humankind.’ Interestingly enough, the site is built along the same longitudinal line as Great Zimbabwe and the Great Pyramid. It was also aligned with the rise of Orion’s belt some 75,000 years ago.
    Links: Top Ten South African Attractions, Top Ten Spiritual Destinations, Top Ten Stone Calendars, http://adamscalendar.com/,
  17. El Djem, Tunisia


    El Djem is a town in Mahdia Governorate, Tunisia, population 18,302 (2004). It is home to some of the most impressive Roman remains in Africa.
    Links: Top Ten Tunisian Attractions, Top Ten Stadiums, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphitheatre_of_El_Jem,
  18. Links: Attractions, African Attractions, Top Ten African Resorts, Top Ten African Hotels, Top Top Ten African National Parks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_World_Heritage_Sites_in_Africa,

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