People tend to think of Africa as a country, not a continent. But with 54 countries calling it home, Africa’s topography, landscape, and activities vary drastically by region. I’ve been to the continent 26 times, yet each time I go I’m surprised at just how many new things there are to see and do.
Where to Go in Africa
To make it easier for you to plan a trip, I’ve highlighted some of the most popular countries and best places to go in Africa, as well as what to see and do there, when to go, and where to stay. Hopefully this primer will get you motivated to hop on a plane—it’s worth the long flight to get there.
Why go: One of only three countries in the world where you can trek to see mountain gorillas in the wild (there are only 900 mountain gorillas left in the world), the experience in Ugansa is truly amazing.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda is home to the Nyakagezi gorilla family with its five silverbacks (adult males). It holds a certain allure, since it boasts one of the highest concentrations of silverbacks within a family. Tours are small, no more than eight people, and once the gorillas are spotted, you have 60 minutes with them—and believe me, it goes really fast.
When to go: Since it’s a rain forest, there’s a chance you’ll get wet anytime, so there’s no really bad time to go. Just be sure to pack appropriately.
Where to stay: Mount Gahinga Lodge is just a short distance away from the gorilla trek, and its backdrop against the Virunga Volcanoes is stunning. Be sure to take part in the cultural tour of the Batwa pygmies, the oldest inhabitants of the Central African rain forest.