Africa is a melting pot of culture, diversity, and exquisite landscapes. From the rolling hills of Cape Town’s coast in South Africa to the lush bush and abundant wildlife of Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
The vast continent of Africa is populated with many natural and manmade wonders. The continent comprises 57 countries and 144 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so you can imagine, there’s a lot to explore.
Whether you are celebrating a honeymoon in Africa or just in search of the most fascinating attractions in Africa, you’re in the right place. The below list takes you on a journey through Africa, stopping at all of the most impressive and exquisite landmarks that the continent has to offer.
29 Africa Landmarks
Table of Contents
- 29 Africa Landmarks
- 1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia
- 2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- 3. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
- 4. The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
- 5. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
- 6. Table Mountain, South Africa
- 7. The Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
- 8. Kruger National Park, South Africa
- 9. The Valley of the Kings, Egypt
- 10. Sahara Desert, North Africa
- 11. The Nile River, Egypt
- 12. Okavango Delta, Botswana
- 13. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
- 14. Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
- 15. Canopy Walk, Rwanda
- 16. Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches, Ethiopia
- 17. Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
- 18. Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic Of The Congo
- 19. The Omo National Park and River Valley, Ethiopia
- 20. Timbuktu, Mali
- 21. Pyramids Of Meroe, Sudan
- 22. Sossusvlei, Namibia
- 23. Medina of Marrakech, Morocco
- 24. Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
- 25. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
- 26. Skeleton Coast, Namibia
- 27. Aloba Arch, Chad
- 28. Chefchaouen, Morocco
- 29. Red Sea, Egypt
- Discovering Landmarks in Africa
1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe & Zambia
On the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, you’ll find this exquisite Natural Wonder of the World, Victoria Falls. Locals fondly refer to the falls as Mosi-oa-Tunya which means ‘the smoke that thunders.’ Demonstrating its immensity and power.
The falls can be viewed from vantage points in either country. The waterfalls spray water which creates a mist that nourishes the rainforest-type terrain in the gorgeous surrounding mountains. You’ll be left in awe of this exquisite natural beauty in Africa.
I highly recommend doing both a helicopter ride and a microlight ride to really appreciate the stunning beauty of Victoria Falls. I did both and would do them both again.
2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Africa boasts abundant wildlife in many regions and a trip to the continent wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the many National Parks. The Serengeti in Tanzania is teeming with animals, including The Big 5, and is a great place to go on safari.
One of the most amazing times to visit is during the Wildebeest migration between April and May. Here you’ll see over a million Wildebeest and other antelope traverse the plains in search of pasture. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience so don’t forget your safari camera to capture it all.
3. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Another ideal spot to see the great migration, add the Maasai Mara to your safari itinerary in Africa. The wildebeest that are migrating from the Serengeti head to the Maasai Mara and this is another perfect opportunity to witness the magnificent creatures travelling cross country in large groups.
With endless lush African bush and a vast variety of wildlife, this National Park will not disappoint nature enthusiasts. A luxury safari is a great way to experience the park in style. With your guides, you’ll also be able to discover the terrain from a different perspective – on a bushwalk.
4. The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Next up on the list is the only one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World that is still in existence. It’s also the oldest man-made tourist attraction in Africa and the majestic Pyramids of Giza still remain a mystery to many.
Scientists have failed to explain exactly how these large structures were built. The pyramids do however give us a glimpse into the ancient civilization of the time. Constructed around 4500 years ago as a resting place for the Egyptian Pharaohs the interiors were often decorated with sacred art, inscriptions, and carvings.
5. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
This mighty mountain is a must-see African landmark. Along the border of Kenya and Tanzania lies the often snow-capped Mt Kilimanjaro. Standing at 5895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level, this is the highest mountain peak in Africa.
Many avid hikers attempt to summit the mountain every year, however, this is no easy feat and requires training and endurance. If you’d prefer to marvel at the mountain from the ground, the Kilimanjaro National Park is the best place to do so. Here, you’ll be able to spot wildlife with Mt Kilimanjaro as a backdrop – it doesn’t get much better than that.
I climbed to the top of Kilimanjaro ten years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life (very unlike my trek to Everest Base Camp!).
6. Table Mountain, South Africa
While we’re talking about mountains, South Africa’s Table Mountain deserves a mention. Standing majestically over the city of Cape Town, this iconic flat table-like mountain rises to a height of 1086 meters (3563 feet) above sea level.
This popular attraction can be visited and experienced in a number of ways. Either hike to the top (which is what I did) or opt for a ride in the cable car. Once at the top you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. If you don’t want to head to the top of the peak, find one of the many restaurants in Cape Town to have a drink while you admire the mountain.
Tip: If you have time, be sure to add some wine tours in Stellenbosch to your itinerary.
7. The Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar
An avenue like no other, the Avenue of Baobabs is something to behold. Found on the island of Madagascar you’ll find a collection of visually powerful baobab trees lining a street in Menabe. The trees have been growing for 2800 years and stand at 30 meters (98 feet) tall.
The avenue alone attracts thousands of tourists each year and has helped boost tourism in the area. A great time to visit the avenue is during sunrise or sunset where the orange-pink sky beyond the tall trees makes for a breathtaking scene (and photo).
8. Kruger National Park, South Africa
If you are coming to Africa for a safari expedition, the Kruger National Park should be on your list. It’s one of the largest National Parks in Africa and with an abundance of wildlife, tourists have a high chance of spotting one of the Big Five (or even all five if they are lucky).
Sprawled across Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, this Park’s savanna-type environment also offers giant marula, fever, and baobab trees. You’ll also find an abundance of bird species and unique landscapes. Book a 2-day Bushveld trip to experience the park with an expert guide.
9. The Valley of the Kings, Egypt
If you want to visit Tuttenkhaman’s royal tomb, this is where you’ll find it. The Valley of the Kings is exactly what it sounds like, an area dedicated to Egyptian Pharaohs. And here you’ll find the beautifully and elaborately decorated tombs of 63 famous Pharaohs.
These tombs are such a significant part of the ancient Egyptian Empire that they have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll find this site on the west bank of the Nile River in Luxor. No photos or videos are allowed to be taken of this historic site making it even more special to lay eyes on in real life.
10. Sahara Desert, North Africa
Covering an astonishing 8% of the earth’s land area, the Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. It spans 11 countries in Northern Africa: Morocco, Egypt, Western Sahara, Mauritiana, Chad, Libya, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Sudan, and Tunisia. So plan your trip to the Sahara according to which African countries you’ll be visiting.
There are a host of activities to keep you busy on the dunes of the Sahara. From camel trekking, quad biking, and desert camping to stargazing under a vast and unpolluted sky. The beauty and tranquillity are endless and a visit to the desert is highly recommended.
11. The Nile River, Egypt
Stretching for 6852 km (4258 miles), the Nile River is not only the longest river in Africa but the whole world. Most well known for its presence and impact on Egypt, the Nile actually runs through 11 countries as it flows north towards the Mediterranean Sea.
The best way to experience the river is with a Nile River Cruise, this way you’ll float down the river comfortably while passing other attractions like temples and pyramids. Other fun river activities include white river rafting, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.
12. Okavango Delta, Botswana
As you’ve probably noticed, Africa is not short of exquisite National Parks boasting unique landscapes and abundant wildlife. The Okavango Delta is no exception to these standards and is one of the most incredible parks to visit in Africa.
The Delta is a tranquil marshland that is home to some of Africa’s endangered species including the African wild dog and the white and black rhinoceros. The swampy green land is also an oasis for hippos and elephants as well as any animals trying to escape the surrounding dry and arid areas.
Tip: If you’re staying at a luxury safari lodge, be sure to have an African spa experience.
13. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Located in the Great Rift Valley in northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is an amazing geological feature. The caldera landmark was formed when a large volcano erupted and collapsed on itself over two million years ago. The crater itself is 19km (12 miles) wide and has a depth of 600 meters (1968 feet).
Along with the impressive variety of wildlife, including the endangered black-maned lion and black rhino, the area is also home to indigenous Maasai people. A culture with a rich heritage and one you’ll be able to learn about if you enjoy a safari in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where the Crater can be found.
14. Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
The Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience, gorilla trekking. The dense rainforest in the country makes the environment perfect for the gentle giants. Rwanda is home to 1000 mountain gorillas, accounting for half the world population.
This National Park protects 12 gorilla families in the forest and you’ll be able to see these beauties in their natural habitat during a trek in the forest with an expert gorilla tracker. This is a highly unique and memorable experience and shouldn’t be missed if you’re visiting Rwanda.
15. Canopy Walk, Rwanda
If you’d prefer not to get up close and personal with the gorillas in Rwanda, I get it. The Canopy Walk in the lush rainforest environment of the Nyungwe National Park is a great way to experience what Rwanda has to offer without getting too close to the gentle giants.
You’ll often be able to see the primates in the forest from the comfort of the walkway as well as rare butterflies, colourful birds and orchids. The thick leafy ravine is truly astonishing and the Canopy Walk is a must when in Rwanda.
16. Lalibela Rock-Hewn Churches, Ethiopia
One of the most mystical places in Africa, the tiny town of Lalibela in Ethiopia is famous for its 11 rock-hewn churches. What this means is that the churches are not built with, say, brick, but rather carved directly out of the earth’s rock.
The churches date back to the 13th century and remain a sacred location today. They are still used by a small community of monks and priests. This is an incredible site and is regarded as one of the wonders of the world.
17. Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Situated between the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania should be added to your list while in the area. Holding some of the oldest evidence of the evolution of humankind, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a fascinating paleoanthropological visit.
You’ll find plant and animal fossils at the site as well as ancient stone tools. The museum at Olduvai Gorge will take you on a journey of discovery of the history of the site and Earth’s earliest life forms.
18. Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic Of The Congo
In the DRC you’ll find the active and powerful volcano, Mount Nyiragongo. The volcano stands at 3470 m (11 382 feet) tall and last erupted in 2002, it also holds one of the world’s largest lava lakes.
The lava crate and lakes are usually only visible at night, during the day it’s shrouded by the clouds and mist formed from the smoke erupting from the volcano. Surprisingly, given its volatile and dangerous climb, there are guided tours that allow you to scale the mountain and see the lava lakes. However, it might be best to admire the active volcano from a distance.
19. The Omo National Park and River Valley, Ethiopia
While the Omo National Park and River Valley have an abundance of wildlife, that’s not the only reason people visit the area. The Park is inhabited by different groups of indigenous tribes and a visit to the area gives you an opportunity to meet them.
The secluded area allows you to see a glimpse of African culture as you meet pastoralists, small-scale cattle herders and subsistence farmers. You can visit the Hamar and Mursi tribes to understand how they live and work plays an integral role in their ecosystem. Many also opt to visit the Karo tribe to witness their expert body painting skills.
20. Timbuktu, Mali
You’ve probably used the phrase “from here to Timbuktu” to describe a faraway, isolated place, but Timbuktu is an actual place in Mali that can be visited. The town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is hailed as the intellectual and spiritual centre of Islam in Africa during the 15th and 16th centuries.
You’ll find many fascinating historic and cultural sites to explore in the desert town of Timbuktu, including the Mosque of Sankore and Djinguereber Mosque. It’s only recently started to gain popularity as a tourist destination so you’ll still be able to explore without large crowds.
21. Pyramids Of Meroe, Sudan
Egypt normally takes all the praise for magnificent pyramids in Africa, but deep in the desert of Sudan stand a fascinating collection of almost 200 primordial pyramids. The pyramids are believed to have been built between 2300 and 2700 years ago and are mostly tombs for the Kings and Queens of the Meroitic Kingdom that ruled for over 900 years.
The pyramids are steeper than those found in Egypt and feature engineering designs and decorations from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Sudan’s economic instability and recent civil war make it a difficult place to visit, however, if you do – these pyramids are worth a visit.
22. Sossusvlei, Namibia
One of the most impressive and well-known attractions in Namibia, Sossusvlei is characterized by mesmerizing sand dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The rolling red sand dunes go on for miles and amongst them, you’ll find clay and salt pans, this iconic view makes for a great picture.
This African landmark attracts travellers all year round with unique and exhilarating activities. Climbing the dunes and sliding back down is among the most loved things to do in the dunes. For a birds-eye view to appreciate the vastness of the dunes you can also enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the desert.
23. Medina of Marrakech, Morocco
Just another UNESCO World Heritage Site that Africa boasts is the Medina of Marrakech. A medina is a distinct historical city section found in a number of North African cities and this one in Marrakech won’t disappoint. The Medina is characterized by a marketplace, square riads and traditional houses.
The Medina revolves around the Djemaa El Fna, the largest mosque in the town. The surrounding colourful market is a treat for the senses, here you’ll find anything from dried fruit and spices to clothing and souvenirs. The market can get especially crowded and overwhelming, so it might be best to opt for a guided tour.
24. Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, Botswana
Botswana has a lot to offer and one of these is the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, which makes up one of the largest salt pans in the world. Found in the northeast of Botswana, the pans cover a whopping 30,000 square kilometres (11,583 miles).
Walking along the pans gives the illusion that you are strolling on a long stretch of beach. The area is also home to some interesting wildlife and when it rains the salt pans will fill with water and attract flamingos – making for a wonderfully unique photo opportunity.
25. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Who says you need to travel all the way to the USA to see a magnificent canyon? The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is the second largest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon, and won’t disappoint. The canyon is a popular spot for hikers who can enjoy spotting birdlife and antelope en route.
Some of the routes are considered quite challenging so make sure you are a fit hiker before embarking. You’ll have an opportunity to swim in the river and natural spring pools found at the top. It’s also highly recommended to spend a night as you’ll have an unobstructed view of the vast starry sky. Try a self-drive in Namibia to experience everything on offer to the fullest.
26. Skeleton Coast, Namibia
If you are looking for a mystical adventure along the coast of Namibia, look no further. Here the cold and unpredictable Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean clashes with the dunes and desert-like terrain – creating a unique environment.
Heading to South Africa? Check out my posts on Whale Watching in Hermanus, Wine Tours in Stellenbosch, South African Spas, how to pack for a safari, the best camera for safari, how to have an African honeymoon – and a self drive itinerary for nearby Namibia.
Among activities such as fishing, you can also go on a safari – but one that’s extra special. Here, you’ll be able to see desert elephants, desert lions and Cape fur seals (as well as a few shipwrecks) in the unique terrain.
27. Aloba Arch, Chad
This natural phenomenon in Chad is something to behold. The naturally formed arch can be found in the Sahara Desert and stands 121m (400 feet) tall and 76m (250 feet) wide. It’s formed from sandstone and its exceptional height lands it a place on the world’s longest arch list.
In a remote location, it’s not often visited, so if you do make the trip to the Arch you’ll (usually) have uninterrupted views of the gorgeous landscape. Oh, and you’ll also be able to say you’ve seen one of Africa’s most incredible landmarks, which not many people can.
28. Chefchaouen, Morocco
The charming town of Chefchaouen is one of the oldest and most exquisite towns in Morocco. The city is known for Islamic and Andalusian architecture and is easily recognisable, everything in this Moroccan mountain town is painted bright blue.
The town has become a famous photo spot, especially for those seeking out the perfect insta-pic. History and culture are not all the town have to offer, it’s also a popular shopping destination. Along the steep lanes, you’ll find fantastic handmade leather goods and souvenirs.
29. Red Sea, Egypt
Situated between the continent of Africa and the Arabian peninsula, the Red Sea is one of the world’s most remarkable seas. The body of water has been used for commerce reasons since ancient Egyptian times and still remains an important trade route.
It’s world-renowned for its exceptional scuba diving opportunities. Among the red corals, you’ll see not only colourful fish but ancient shipwrecks as well. Any divers dream!
So, as you can see, Africa is an extremely diverse continent offering lush rainforests in Rwanda to eerie strips of coast in Namibia. There is so much to see and do on the continent that you’ll have to plan a few trips to see all of the incredible landmarks in Africa.
There is truly something special about Africa and many who visit claim that the continent has changed them in some way or another. So, get planning and be prepared for a trip of a lifetime.
I covered all of the costs associated with writing this article. However, this Africa landmarks post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.