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25
Mon, Sep

Africa’s top 10 attractions

Africa is still a great travel gem to be discovered

Africa is touted as the oldest inhabited continent on Earth and it still holds sway as a vast nature paradise harbouring great lakes, crystal blue beaches with pearly white sands, jaw-dropping flora and majestic wildlife and mountains within its borders.

According to a recent UN World Tourism Organisation report, Africa achieved a 2 per cent increase in tourism reaching an estimated $36 billion in revenue from $1 billion.

International tourist arrivals in the African region were highest in sub-Saharan Africa with an average 3per cent increase from the previous year. 

This was higher than the North African region, which only increased by 1per cent due to geo-political conflict and the Ebola virus as the main curbs to growth.

The World Travel and Tourism Council reports that tourism and travel contributed 8.5per cent to the continent’s GDP, which is an average amount of $177.8bn, and it also contributed to 2.9per cent of employment in hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services, restaurants and leisure industries. 

Leisure is the main reason that tourists visit Africa.

Intra Africa travel is relatively popular on the continent; however, the majority of visitors travelling to the continent are visitors mainly from North America, Asia and Europe. 

Intra Africa travel occurs regionally mainly due to the close proximity of countries, and also, visa requirements among regional countries are not as stringent as requirements for nationals outside the specific regional bloc. It is also cheaper to visit neighbouring countries or countries within a regional bloc in terms of travelling transportation.

In South Africa, Africa continues to account for the largest share of arrivals, particularly from Southern African regions. 

In Tanzania, China, Poland, and Canada accounted for the highest number of visiting tourists, with Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Angola, Ethiopia, Benin and Mauritius accounting for African nationals that visited the country for tourism purposes. Uganda accounted for the majority of African visitors to Kenya.

In Rwanda, majority of visits were from regional nationals from DRC, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya which accounted for 81per cent of all tourist activity while non-African nationals accounted for 16per cent of all travel.

In Botswana, the US and UK account for the majority of international tourists while SA, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia account for the majority of African travelers.

Morocco also attracts regional visitors from Spain due to its close proximity to the country and other European countries in that region, as well as visitors from Algeria.

Intra African flights are generally expensive, ranging from $461 to well over $972 on average, which is mostly unaffordable to the majority of people living on the continent. 

A flight to Madrid from Johannesburg starts at an average price of $519, whereas a flight to Marrakech in Morocco can start at an average cost of $1,038 with two stops in between from the main airline suppliers which are Qatar Airways, British Airways and Air France.

Strides have been made in visa regulation to make African travel easier and more accessible to Africans wanting to tour the continent; however, this mainly occurs regionally.

Passports are the main requirement for touring most African countries, the Republic of Seychelles being a prime example as only a passport and other documentation are required upon entry into the country, and for regions that do require a visa, and the application fee can be hefty as it starts at an average price of over $50.

Africa is still a great travel gem to be discovered, filled with abundant wildlife, diverse aquatic life and some of the world’s best beaches and friendliest people.

Botswana 

Botswana is one of the best destinations to go to for an awesome safari holiday. The country, which is bordered by South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe, has one of the most sought after wilderness destinations in the world, the Okavango Delta, which is situated deep within the Kalahari Basin, where you can experience big game, lush vegetation and natural beauty at its best.