5 amazing lesser-known tourist attractions in Africa

Posted by Anita Froneman on 26 May 2021

Africa is a wealth of natural, historical, and cultural wonders. Most travellers know a lot about the popular tourist destinations on the continent, like the Kruger National Park in South Africa, the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, or the Fish River Canyon in Namibia (all of which are incredible and unique in their own way).

But how much do you know about a village built on stilts over a lake in Ghana, or the 12th Century monolithic stone-cut churches in Ethiopia? Of course, to choose only five sights in the whole of Africa is an impossible task. But we love a challenge, and we’ll be back with more soon.

Here’s our top five for now.

1. Draa Valley, Morocco

 

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The Draa is Morocco’s longest river at 1,100 kilometres and lends its name to the region of the Draa Valley. The Valley spans the city of Ouarzazate until it reaches the Sahara Desert in the south of Morocco, where these age-old villages house farming communities along the river. The area is known for its date farming, and also produces cereals, vegetables, and henna. It is also especially famous for the kasbahs, which are fortresses that were used for defense when a city was under attack. They also doubled as housing for the local leaders and were built with high walls for protection.

2. Nzulezo, Ghana

 

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A village built entirely on stilts? Yes, you read that right. Nzulezo is situated on Tandane Lake in Ghana and is part of the Amasuri Wetland. It is only accessible to the public by canoe from the town of Beyin on the coast. It is nestled in a mangrove forest, and the estimated 600 inhabitants are farmers, fishermen, or brewers of a local alcoholic gin-like drink called ‘akpeteshi’.

3. Mount Mulanje, Malawi

 

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Mount Mulanje is an impressive sight to behold. Its summit, Sapitwa Peak sits at 3,002 m and is the highest point in Malawi. The mountain is also known locally as the ‘island in the sky’ because it stands in stark contrast to the flat surrounding plains. The area boasts a variety of wildlife like klipspringer, small mammals, and several bird species including the buzzard, the black eagle, and countless white-necked ravens.

4. Lalibela, Ethiopia 

This Ethiopian town is known for the very unique rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. Lalibela is home to ancient pilgrimage sites historically visited by Coptic Christians and is today a World Heritage Site. There are a total of eleven medieval churches carved out of rock and these monoliths include the Bete Medhane Alem and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. Many of these sites are linked by underground tunnels and trenches.

5. Valley of Desolation, South Africa

Situated in the Camdeboo National Park, the Valley of Desolation features dolerite pillars as high as 120m. It’s a haven for campers and hikers and showcases a variety of plant and animal life. This magnificent natural wonder is located outside of Graaff-Reinet in the Eastern Cape and is home to 220 species of birds, 336 plants, and 43 types of a mammals according to SA Venues.

 

Picture: Draa Valley, Twitter/@Matchettfb

 

 






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