• With global tourism accounting for almost 10% of the world’s GDP, this is an industry which holds a lot of promise for Africa’s future. Here’s a look at the top ten most competitive tourist destinations in Africa basing on the The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 (World Economic Forum).

    1. South Africa

    Having hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup and several other sporting events, it comes as little surprise that South Africa is the continent’s most popular destination for international travelers. Rich with culture and heritage, the Rainbow nation boasts of beach fronts that stretch for thousands of miles, an abundance of wild life parks, and a nice warm temperate climate to boot.

    Tourism and Travel index: 4.08

    Main Attractions: Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands

    Table Mountain National Park | Image Credit: Travel Nation
    Burchell's zebra in a Kruger landscape | Image Credit: Wikipedia

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    2. Seychelles

    Located off East Africa, the Seychelles are perhaps the quintessential example of paradise on earth. The country is famous for its tropical islands, nature reserves, and its breathtaking beauty. Blessed with sunshine and warm weather all year round, the Seychelles are the perfect destination for a spontaneous adventure. And between its mountain trails, beaches, museums and botanical gardens, there’s always something to keep busy with in this little slice of nirvana.

    Tourism and Travel index: 4.00

    Main Attractions: Anse Intendance, Morne Seychelles National Park, Marine National Park

    Anse Intendance | Image Credit: World Beaches

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    3. Mauritius

    For those that dream of tropical island adventures, Mauritius is a must see. Revelers can bathe in the sun, pursue hiking trails, and explore the island’s diverse landmarks. Whether you’re looking for a pulsating experience or a more relaxed vacation, Mauritius has just the right attractions. What’s more, the island is famous for its rich culture and traditions, visitors can enjoy and partake in famous local dances like the Sega.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.90

    Main Attractions: Black River Gorges National Park, Gabriel Island, Casela Nature Park

    Black River Gorges National Park | Image Credit: Moustache Magazine

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    4. Morocco

    Revered for its beautiful coasts, amazing architecture and bustling markets, the Kingdom of Morocco has plenty to offer tourists. With Berber, Arab and European cultural influences, Morocco has created its own distinct elegance. Now home to a wealth of restaurants and high end hotels, tourists can visit ancient cities and temples while enjoying lavish facilities and lush beaches.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.81

    Main Attractions: Djemaa el Fna, Essaouira, Chefchaouen

    Marrakesh | Image Credit: wikipedia

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    5. Namibia

    Namibia is renowned for its spectacular national parks. Three of the continent’s largest game parks are located on its lands. With safari tours, horseback riding and beautiful sand dunes, tourists have an abundance of choice. To top it all off, the country’s magnificent landscapes also make for remarkable viewing just about anywhere you can visit.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.69

    Main Attractions: Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon, Skeleton Coast

    Fish River Canyon | Image credit: Nomad Africa Adventure Tours

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    6. Kenya

    With stunning lakes, beautiful beaches, tropical islands, and a wealth of national parks, Kenya pretty much runs the gamut in terms of tourist attractions. The country generally has a pleasant tropical climate that is compatible with all sorts of thrills and adventures. If you’re looking for an all-round experience, then Kenya should definitely top your destination list.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.58

    Main Attractions: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Malindi, Lake Naivasha

    Young cheetahs in Masai Mara | Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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    7. Tunisia

    Tunisia is steeped with enough ancient architecture and structures to make a history lover out of just about anyone. Its museums are world renowned and make it an appealing destination to a much broader tourist demographic. For those seeking a much more leisurely time, Tunisia has more than enough beach fronts to cater for your needs.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.54

    Main Attractions: El Djem Amphitheatre, Sidi Bou Said, Bulla Regia

    El Jem Amphitheatre | Image Credit: Tunisia Tourism

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    8. Egypt

    The land of the Pharaohs needs little introduction. Egypt is famous for its many monuments,some dating as far back as 2560 BC. Its rich history and culture always make for a compelling and transformative visit. The country has an abundance of beautiful hotels and resorts to compliment the many ancient sites-all definitely worth experiencing.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.49

    Main Attractions: Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptian Museum, Valley of the Kings

    Great Pyramid of Giza | Image Credit: Wikipedia

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    9. Cape Verde

    With a plethora of beaches, Cape Verde is the perfect place to unwind while bathing in the sun and enjoying the island nation’s gorgeous scenery. The nation is blessed with sunshine almost all year round, practically making it a paradise. Tourists can enjoy kite surfing, hiking and scuba diving among many other activities, enough to keep even the most avid thrill seekers busy.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.46

    Main Attractions: Cabo Verde Safari, Mindelo, Museu Municipal

    Windsurfing at Cabo Verde Safari | Image Credit: windsurftrips.eu

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    10. Botswana

    Peaceful, serene and harmonious, Botswana makes for a perfect holiday destination. The country is rich with wildlife and is home to many safari camps. It also boasts of rich traditions and culture, tourists can revel in San rock art while also enjoying the country’s beautiful landscapes.

    Tourism and Travel Index: 3.42

    Main Attractions: Okavango Delta, Tswapong Hills, Mokolodi Nature Reserve

    Okavango Delta | Image Credit: Ora Travel

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    Summary of Top Ten Tourist Destinations in Africa

    RankCountryTourism and Travel Index
    Main Destinations
    1South Africa
    4.08Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands
    2Seychelles
    4.00Anse Intendance, Morne Seychelles National Park, Marine National Park
    3Mauritius3.90Black River Gorges National Park, Gabriel Island, Casela Nature Park
    4Morocco3.81Djemaa el Fna, Essaouira, Chefchaouen
    5Namibia
    3.69Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon, Skeleton Coast
    6Kenya
    3.58Maasai Mara National Reserve, Malindi, Lake Naivasha
    7Tunisia3.54El Djem Amphitheatre, Sidi Bou Said, Bulla Regia
    8Egypt
    3.49Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptian Museum, Valley of the Kings
    9Cape Verde3.46Cabo Verde Safari, Mindelo, Museu Municipal
    10Botswana3.42Okavango Delta, Tswapong Hills, Mokolodi Nature Reserve