At SW Africa, we never once doubted the fact that Africa is a pretty ‘cool’ destination. We’re happy to say that now: it’s official.
National Geographic has selected no less than four African countries in their list of the 19 coolest destinations in the world for 2019.
We’ve lined up the destinations for you:
The first African destination to make the list – on the 9th position – is Zimbabwe. National Geographic explains that with Mugabe gone, Zimbabwe’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, seems keen to invest in tourism. And while there’s been economic and political turbulence, the safety of tourists hasn’t come into question.
We agree that Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination to visit. Victoria Falls immediately comes to mind as this is the ultimate playground of both nature lovers and adrenaline junkies. A package combining Victoria Falls with Chobe for example ticks all the boxes.
But, there’s more to Zimbabwe than only ‘the smoke that thunders’.
In fact, this country still offers many ‘unexplored’ attractions. Mana Pools, for example, is one area in Zimbabwe that is quite difficult to access, but when travellers get there, they feel a sense of achievement and wonder.
Having struck new peace agreements with neighbouring Ethiopia and Djibouti, National Geographic claims this little-visited African country is opening up to adventurous travellers as well as those with an eye for architecture.
Travellers can visit the capital Asmara, which is a treasure trove of mid-century modernist architecture. In 2017, UNESCO declared the entire city centre a World Heritage Site. Beyond Asmara, Eritrea has intriguing towns and wilderness regions to discover.
South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal
With its warmer waters and moderate winters, Durban is an ideal beach city destination. Travellers can soak up the sun and explore some of the city’s best attractions, such as uShaka Marine World, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Suncoast Casino, and the Botanical Gardens on a 9-day Kwazulu-Natal Coast, Culture, Wildlife & Mountains package. They’ll also enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the Drakensberg Mountain range and will be wowed by the incredible wildlife in the region. Magical encounters with elephant herds and rescued rhinos in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park can be combined with nature cruises from St Lucia — the coastal town where wild hippos roam the streets.
Also for golfers, KwaZulu Natal is a fantastic destination with attractive golf packages. As you head up the Wild Coast to Ballito, you will find your happy place at the Tom Weiskopf-designed Zimbali GC, and the Prince’s Grant GC . Or, at the Durban Country Club, which made it into the top 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
Both for MICE and for leisure travel, Uganda is a hot destination for 2019.
Compared to its competitor and neighbor Rwanda, Uganda offers gorilla permits that are much more affordable. The country also provides a more extensive range of accommodation, ranging from mid-budget to luxury. Uganda also has a fantastic chimp-trekking programme in Kibale, as well as a few authentic visitor experiences with the indigenous Batwa people.