Why Africa should be on your bucket list

Why Africa should be on your bucket list
Photo credit Marvel Black Panther.

There’s an epic scene early on in Marvel’s Black Panther film, where Prince T’Challa is travelling back to Wakanda (a mythical African nation hidden from the world) on a royal talon fighter spacecraft.

T’Challa, Nakia (his love interest) and Okoye (a general of the royal guard) stand at the bridge looking out at the vast scenic plains as they navigate through mountainous valleys teaming with herds of antelopes running free and lush green plains. They are waved on by a group of horse riders from the border tribe recognised by their brightly coloured Lesotho blankets. As they take on the beauty of the landscape ahead of them, T’Challa exclaims ‘this never gets old’.

He’s right, even though Wakanda is a fictitious country, there is nothing fictitious about the landscape witnessed in this scene.

The landscape scene captured in this film is representative of a number of countries in Africa. Each region has something for everyone, ranging from the Sahara desert in the North to South Africa's iconic urban skylines. Africa’s most beautiful cities include, landscapes, mountains, beaches and wildlife. If you haven’t been to or considered Africa as a destination, you might want to put it on your list, you will not be disappointed. There’s nothing quite like it.

If you have read the previous spotlight on Africa series of articles you will be familiar with the beauty and abundance that this continent has to offer. If you haven’t then I recommend reading those articles to get an insight.

In this first of many posts we look at a number of countries and locations that you may not have heard about that should be on your travel wish list to visit as part of your African travel experience. Pour yourself some African speciality coffee, we are about to take a tour of Africa.


Cameroon

Voclanic beach, Limbe Cameroon.

You may be familiar with the Cameroonian national team, the ‘indomitable lions’, the first African team to advance to the semifinals of the World Cup in 1990 and Roger Milla’s celebration dance (shimmy performed near the corner flag) which inspired imitations by goal scorers throughout the football world.

Football isn’t the only reason this country is famous, the country boasts of the most alluring terrain and wildlife. The city stretches over seven hills with sweeps of green terrains separating the modern buildings. Cameroon has more has a whopping 250 languages spoken and includes Francophone and Anglophone regions.

Places to visit in Yaounde the capital range from, the Notre Dome Des Victoires cathedral a popular tourist destination, with the former presidential palace (now a national museum) and Quarter Lake within the vicinity.

Other popular destinations are the Chutes de la Lobé waterfalls, which plunge directly into the sea near the resort town of Kribi (Paradise in Cameroon) which boasts of white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, and the fresh fish delicacies served in the many restaurants lining the seafront. A popular tourist destination if the Kribi lighthouse a functional historic site that was built by the Germans back in 1906 and still in use today.

Cameroon produces coffee both robusta and arabica. Due to its high altitude, rich volcanic soils and ample rainfall Cameroonian Arabica coffee is best known for its rich, full bodied and mellow taste, with a pleasant aroma and chocolate characteristics. It rank amongst some of the best premium African coffees.

 

Windhoek, Namibia



Windhoek is located at an altitude of 1,646 metres in the country's Central Highlands.

It is almost fully surrounded by mountains, the Auas Mountains to the Southeast, Eros Mountains to the Northeast and the hills of the Khomas Hochland to the West.

It is one of Africa’s cleanest cities and also an entry and exit point to Namibia.

There are a number of attractions that one can visit such as the Christuskirche (Christ Church), Alte Feste (Old Fort, an old German fortress that now serves as a museum), Daan Viljoen game reserve, Gibeon meteorites (the largest-known shower of extraterrestrial bodies ever to have exploded over the earth, and there are 33 pieces on display at the Post Street Mall) and many more attractions.

Madagascar



With lush mountains, golden shores, and plunging, arid canyons, Madagascar is one of the most unique places on the planet.

Of course we cannot mention Madagascar without talking about the Lemurs! There are nearly 100 different species and sub-species of Lemur on the island, thats right 100! These can be spotted in various national parks.


Whilst there, you can visit the iconic Avenue of the Baobabs, many of the trees are over 100 feet/30 meters tall! You could choose to scuba dive, swim with whale sharks, whale spotting or enjoy the pristine beaches, deserted sandy coves and crystalline seas.

Madagascar’s climate is perfect for growing coffee. The Arabica coffee in Madagascar amounts to only around 10% of production. There is a small percentage of that which is speciality graded Arabica coffee and fetches a high price due to its rarity.

 

Chefchaouen, Morocco



Morocco is a gateway to Africa where you will find epic mountain ranges, ancient cities, sweeping deserts and warm hospitality. It has an abundance of important natural and historical assets, a rich and diverse cultural heritage. There are a host of places to visit from Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, Fez to the dunes of Erg Chebbi in the Sahara Desert.


For those wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the more densely populated tourist destinations like Marrakesh and Fez then the place to find solitude is Chefchaouen (Chaouen). It is a city in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco.


This gem is known for the striking, blue-washed buildings of its old town and also as one of the most ‘instagrammable’ cities in Africa. There’s much debate as to why the locals have painted their city blue and this has earned Chefchaouen the nickname the ‘Blue Pearl’.


You can be forgiven for mistaking this town with Santorini!


Spanish, not French or Arabic is spoken widely in this town. While visiting make time for lots of coffee, mint tea’s and tangines, you won’t be disappointed.


I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of these special parts of Africa. Look out for the next blog in this series. We also have a special African mystery guest coffee arriving this month for you to experience.


Asante.

 


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