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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Summary of Top Ten Tourist Destinations in Africa
|Rank||Country||Tourism and Travel Index||Main Destinations|
|1||South Africa||4.08||Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, Cape Winelands|
|2||Seychelles||4.00||Anse Intendance, Morne Seychelles National Park, Marine National Park|
|3||Mauritius||3.90||Black River Gorges National Park, Gabriel Island, Casela Nature Park|
|4||Morocco||3.81||Djemaa el Fna, Essaouira, Chefchaouen|
|5||Namibia||3.69||Etosha National Park, Fish River Canyon, Skeleton Coast|
|6||Kenya||3.58||Maasai Mara National Reserve, Malindi, Lake Naivasha|
|7||Tunisia||3.54||El Djem Amphitheatre, Sidi Bou Said, Bulla Regia|
|8||Egypt||3.49||Great Pyramid of Giza, Egyptian Museum, Valley of the Kings|
|9||Cape Verde||3.46||Cabo Verde Safari, Mindelo, Museu Municipal|
|10||Botswana||3.42||Okavango Delta, Tswapong Hills, Mokolodi Nature Reserve|