Africa is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and diverse continents in the world. Each country holds a different wonder, and tells a different story. For many, a visit to Africa is at the top of their bucket list.
But because it is such a culturally rich continent, many travellers cram too much into their trip. Sure, when you travel half way across the world you want to get your money’s worth. But surely it’s best to really make the most of the experience?
Top Cultural Experiences in Africa
Africa has so much to offer. When you visit, you really ought to make the most of every experience – no matter how small. You’ll be looking for places to make your jaw drop, locations that make you really feel something, and experiences that you could never get back home.
So if you have a trip planned, you’re probably already planning your itinerary.
But before you finalise the details, we’ve compiled a list of 7 must-see things to fully experience the culture when you travel to Africa:
1. Table Mountain, Cape Town
One of the most famous sights on the continent, Table Mountain is a must-see on any trip to Africa. The dominating feature of the Cape Town skyline is certainly a breathtaking view to behold. It is even more magical to climb.
Aptly named due to its 3km flat plateau, the mountain is over 3,500ft above sea level. Those with an adventurous streak may choose to take one of the hiking routes to the mountain top. This 2.5 hour walk is simply spectacular and a true one-in-a-lifetime experience.
Perfect a method of transport where you can admire the view? You can also take the Aerial Cableway straight to the summit.
2. Victoria Falls, Zambia-Zimbabwe Border
Another sensational site to behold in Africa is Victoria Falls. Situated on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border, this beautiful waterfall is known as the “Mosi-oa-Tynya” by the locals. Translated literally, this means “smoke that thunders”; referring to the spiralling columns of spray that can be seen for miles.
As well as the breathtaking view, the Falls are also home to some amazing and diverse wildlife. From the Zambian side, visitors can even swim in the Falls’ natural pools. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience during your trip, this is definitely one for the list.
3. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Spanning 6,000 square miles, the Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta and certainly worth a visit. This oasis of wildlife and unspoilt natural beauty is a must-see attraction to get a real ‘feel’ for what makes Africa so magical.
And with so many things to do and see in this one location, you certainly won’t be bored.
Take a trip on a mokoro boat to explore the labyrinth of inland lagoons, water features, and islands. While on this amazing experience, keep your eyes peeled for some amazing African animals.
There are elephants, buffalo, and a whole host of beautiful birds to look out for. When in Africa, you really ought to go on safari. And the Okavango is by far one of the most wondrous locations to really soak up the atmosphere.
4. Robben Island, Cape Town
Robben Island, often referred to as the Alcatraz of Africa, was a prison for political activists. The most famous inmate, Nelson Mandela, was incarcerated here for 18 years for his anti-apartheid activities.
Today, the island’s colourful – and sometimes horrifying – history is laid bare in a museum and nature reserve. You can take guided tours around the World Heritage Site, and explore the unique plants and wildlife.
If you are in Cape Town, a visit to Robben Island is a must. It is a symbol of the county’s immense transformation, and the perfect way to remember what went before.
5. Greenmarket Square, Cape Town
When you visit somewhere like Africa, you will want to take home more than memories. To get a real taste of African culture, you should head to the local markets – like the one in Cape Town’s Greenmarket Square.
The true shopping experience here involves bartering with vendors and sampling authentic products. While some of the vendors may be a little pushy, it is all part of the cultural experience, and can help you pick up some real bargains.
6. Swazi Picnics, Lupisi
The African people are often known as some of the most friendly in the world. And to get a real taste for the culture here, you should take every opportunity to interact with them.
In Lupisi’s White River, you can attend an authentic Swazi picnic. A Swazi chief, will lead you to a river bank where you can find tables laden with traditional foods. While you eat, you will be entertained with traditional songs, music and dance.
Africa is famed for its amazing instruments and music. What better way to experience it than in this kind of magical setting?
7. Soweto, South Africa
A final must-see for experiencing the culture of Africa is a trip to Soweto. This township will reveal a completely different side to South Africa, and offer up a journey like no other. You can see traditional shakes built from whatever the locals could find, road stalls, and a completely vibrant city.
Visiting somewhere like Africa requires more than just relaxing on a golden beach. With so much to do, see, and experience, you really need to get out there and enjoy the cultural sights and sounds this wonderful country has to offer.
You can bring the traditional sounds of Africa to your home, with Djembe Drum Shop. The online retailer stocks one of the most comprehensive ranges of authentic African instruments on the web. Check out their site to find out more.
This post was submitted by Clare Evans.