African destinations do not jump directly in mind when we think of a vacation. This is such a shame because throughout all my travels, the places that took my breath the most were mostly the places I never thought of visiting before. I mean walking the streets of Paris is cute and seeing Broadway is fantastic. But those do not even compare to dancing in the streets of India during the Ganesha festival or having tea at strangers’ houses in Kashmir. So in an attempt to give you more ideas than the basic “maybe somewhere in Europe” for your honeymoon or Eid vacation. Please check those:
Nairobi may seem a bit intimidating for a first time. However, for us, Cairenes, it’s a piece of cake really. It’s crowded, hectic and loud, just like our little old Cairo. But it is also vibrant, exciting and full of adventure. The city can be a bit unsafe, but it has lovely parks and restaurants. Getting to know the Kenyan culture, and how similar our histories and contemporary struggles are, is definitely worth it.
And because Kenya is not the only place to see, you can wander around in other areas whenever you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of Nairobi. Since it’s Kenya, the most iconic thing to do in the country would probably be a Safari. Masai Mara, for instance, has pretty much every animal you could wish to see on an African safari. You can even take a balloon ride and see it all from above. Amboseli, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, is beautiful and offers stunning safaris with amazing views.
Well, Zanzibar is more of a honeymooners destination. But if that means beach and relaxation, then I don’t see why the rest of us can’t enjoy it as well. Zanzibar appears in person just as it does in the photos; white sand, clear waters, and greenery surrounding this scenic views. You can spend days just lying in the sun or exploring the cool underwater life. And nights dancing at reggae bars and mingling with local Masaai people. It’s not exactly cheap but it comes at a fraction of the price of the same trip taken in the Maldives or the Bahamas.
Namibia has reliable transport, plentiful accommodation (including hostels and a backpacker trail), a solid tourism infrastructure and is relatively safe. Moreover, because the locals speak English it’s easy to communicate your needs and get assistance. This makes it an amazing destination if your friend are couch potatoes like mine and you, more often than not, need to travel on your own.
One of the most spectacular sights in the country are the Sossusvlei sand dunes in the Namib desert. The bright red sand dunes, developed over millions of years are impressive. Since the Namib desert is pretty much most of the country, most of the activities you will be finding there is basically mountain climbing, hiking, camping, or others of that sort. Having said that, if you are looking for an adventure, this is were you should be going next.
And last but not least, we have our beloved South Africa, which we are all familiar with anyway, so no need for a proper introduction here. However, a tip for the road, skip Johannesburg, don’t miss Cape Town.