The world’s largest travel advisory and booking website TripAdvisor has released the result of its survey of travellers’ choice of destinations in Africa for 2017. Winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions in destinations, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as travellers’ booking interest on TripAdvisor.
The winners of TripAdvisor’s 2017 Travellers’ Choice awards for destinations in Africa are:
1. Marrakech, Morocco
The “Red City” of Marrakesh is a magical place, brimming with markets, gardens, palaces, and mosques. Exploring the intimate courtyards and snaking alleyways of the historic Medina can easily take up a day.
2. Merzouga, Morocco
Merzouga is a small village in southeastern Morocco, about 50 kilometers from the Algerian border. The village is known for its proximity to Erg Chebbi, a Saharan erg, and it is for this reason a part of the itineraries of many tourists visiting Morocco. Merzouga has the largest natural underground body of water in Morocco.
3. Cape Town Central, South Africa
Cape Town glistens at the southern toe of the African continent. The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve provides sweeping sea vistas, hiking trails and wildlife encounters. On a more somber note, travellers can visit Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 27 years.
4. Fes, Morocco
The oldest university in the world isn’t Oxford or the Sorbonne, it’s the University of Al-Karaouine, and you’ll find it in Fes el Bali. This walled city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, will transport you back to medieval times. Visit the ancient maze-like quarters of the Medina to Fes el-Bali and the four imposing Gates of Fes, with their distinctive Moroccan tile work.
5. Arusha, Tanzania
Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania. Located below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha has a temperate climate. The city is close to the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (pictured above), Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Arusha National Park on Mount Meru.
6. Diani Beach, Kenya
About an hour south of Mombasa, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani invite you to relax under a beach umbrella with a refreshing drink. Try a camel ride for the tourist experience or book a bike tour inland for a glimpse of life in local villages. Diani is also a base for several safari companies.
7. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo people living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.
8. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania
The Zanzibar Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean 24 Kilometers off the coast of Tanzania, is a breathtaking spot to escape from the world. You’ll enjoy clear, turquoise-blue water; shallow sandbars perfect for wading; and many small, nearly deserted islands virtually unvisited by tourists. Explore the World Heritage Site of Stone Town, Zanzibar City’s old quarter. Or just go beach to beach between tiny fishing villages—each one’s better than the next.
9. Livingstone, Zambia
Named after the famous Victorian missionary explorer, Dr David Livingstone, who explored this area extensively, Livingstone Town was established in 1905. As a major European settlement, being close to the Zambezi River crossing over to Southern Rhodesia, the town was made the capital of Northern Rhodesia in 1911. A major event in 2011 was the installation of the town’s first set of traffic lights! The proximity to the Zambezi River and the spectacular Victoria Falls has led Livingstone to become a base for travelers from all over the world wanting to explore this Wonder of the World.
10. Nosy Be, Madagascar
“Nosy Be” means “big island” and it is just that; a large island off the northwest coast of Madagascar. Here you’ll find volcanic lakes, lazy lemurs, rum distilleries, Ylang Ylang plantations and intricate coral reefs that are practically begging to be explored. Flora and fauna lovers will be in seventh heaven at the beautiful Lokobe Nature Special Reserve. Audiophiles should visit in May, to experience the four-day Donia Music Festival.