Travel broadens the mind, that much is obvious. However, with so many different locations to choose from, it can be a headache deciding where to travel to in the first place, as you look to get the most enriching experience you can find from the thousands of options available. Yet one continent where you are certain to come back from feeling as though your mind has been sufficiently broadened is Africa.
Tourism to Africa has become an increasingly important part of the economy, and with good reason. Here are just five reasons why it should be top of your travel plans.
1. Diverse culture
Africa is a melting pot of cultures, with South Africa, in particular, one of the most diverse in the world, giving rise to the label of â€˜Rainbow Nationâ€™. There are estimated to be more than 1,500 languages spoken on the continent, spread across nearly 3,000 different tribes, while each country boasts its own set of unique traditions and practices that go back centuries. Africa is also home to a number of international events, covering sport, art, music, fashion, and gastronomy.
2. Tropical beaches
Stunning tropical beaches will be incredibly easy to come by on a visit to Africa, with some of its islands providing the ideal location for a relaxing coastal retreat. Mozambique, Zanzibar, the Seychelles, and Mauritius all offer miles upon miles of glistening, white sand beaches, while also being fantastic spots for water activities, including snorkeling or diving to catch a glimpse of some of the worldâ€™s best coral reefs.
3. Unparalleled wildlife
The word â€˜safariâ€™ comes from the Arabic word safara, which means â€˜travelâ€™ or â€˜journeyâ€™, and an African safari truly is a journey into the heart of the natural world. On a safari you will have the opportunity to surround yourself with an unparalleled array of mammals and birds, some found nowhere else on the planet. African safari holidays have become an increasingly popular choice for travelers and holidaymakers alike, particularly for those with an interest in photography, who jump at the chance to snap one of the â€˜big fiveâ€™ mammals on their camera.
4. Delicious cuisine
From soups to stews to spicy chicken dishes, African food is not only known for being rich in flavor, it is also incredibly healthy, and has become a respected part of the continentâ€™s culture. While each country has variants on the same dish, as well as completely different styles of their own, you can locate good quality food wherever you go. Look out for Egusi soup from Nigeria and Waakye from Ghana, which has been described as the â€˜breakfast of championsâ€™.
5. Charity work
Volunteering and giving back to the local community can be an excellent way of making a trip more fulfilling than simply kicking back on the beach. There are lots of charities that allow visitors to take part in altruistic activities, such as planting a tree to combat their carbon footprint or supplying schools with essential materials brought from home.