No continent beats Africa when it comes to natural beauty, exotic flora and fauna, and breathtaking scenery. Africa is by far the world’s wildest and least traveled continent and is still waiting to be discovered. Those who choose to leave their comfort zone and travel across the continent will be rewarded with a plethora of rich cultures, authentic cuisine, and exceptional wildlife. Among the 54 African countries, the Sub-Saharan region boasts diverse archaeological and natural wonders and cultural diversity.
Where is Sub-Saharan Africa?
Sub-Saharan Africa is a region located geographically in the south of the Sahara Desert, comprising 49 of the 54 African countries. The Sahara Desert and the Sahel separate the area. This place is also unique because it has its own climatic zone, ecology, culture, and ethnicity.
While it remains primarily undiscovered, sub-Saharan Africa has massive travel and tourism potential.
Most travelers who visit Africa usually embark on a Safari adventure or trek among the peaks of their mountain summits. However, while Africa certainly offers these prolific experiences, there is more to this continent than what meets the eye.
Here are some of the best places to travel in Sub-Saharan Africa:
White-sand Beaches in Tanzania
Sub-Saharan Africa is filled with untainted, pristine beaches. However, the best way to make the most of your beach experience is to have it on a separate island. Zanzibar, a small island just off the coast of Tanzania, is the perfect destination for this.
Whether you are in it for some post-safari leisure or a Hawaiian-inspired holiday, or maybe a dreamy East Africa honeymoon, the main lure of this African island paradise is its world-class coasts.
- Bwejuu – one of the top beaches in Zanzibar. This sandy beach is lined with palm trees and is one of the quietest parts of Zanzibar. Aside from relaxation, there are many activities you can do around the area, like visiting a mangrove forest, a reef safari, or spending a day trip to Jozani Forest.
- Nungwi – contrary to the Bwejuu beach, the Nungwi beach is one of the liveliest areas on the island. This makes it an attractive place for night owls and party-goers. In addition, this place has numerous bars and restaurants that offer nighttime entertainment.
- Kendwa – If you are into beautiful sunsets, there is no perfect location than this beach. When the sun lowers, the sea magically transforms into a purple-orange hue. The tides on this beach do not change, making the sunsets even more magical.
Cultural and Cosmopolitan Cities
Africa is a multicultural melting pot of ancient and modern cities.
For example, Marrakesh, Morocco’s densely populated medieval city, dates back to the Berber empire. When traveling there, you would notice hundreds of beautifully hand-woven sold in the maze of alleys and bustling markets (giving you a Disney’s Aladdin vibe!)
On the other hand, Cape Town is a modern cosmopolitan metropolis with a stunning coastline and a rich cultural legacy and history. The city is undoubtedly lovely, both for its position against Table Mountain, one of the new seven wonders of nature, and its rehabilitation of industrial districts, European-influenced architecture, and historic structures.
Ethnic Cuisine in Ethiopia
Ethiopian cuisine is distinct and delectable, as it befits a magnificent country with a cultural past that is unlike anything else in Africa. Their food is one of the key components of their national identity.
When you visit Ethiopia, you will surely notice the strong dinnertime camaraderie of the locals. Food preparation is always intimate and hands-on. While you’re there, make sure to try the Injera. The Injera is a bread, utensil, and plate rolled into one. It is considered the foundation of all European food.
They also have the Firfir, which is a breakfast dish made from leftover Injera. The shreds of the bread are re-cooked with berbere, onions, oil, butter, and scrambled eggs.
Ethiopian’s distinct honey wine offers you packs of punches when it comes to drinks. Locally known as “Tej bet,” this mead-like drink made of fermented honey is strong in flavor but with a sweet-malty taste.
What makes “Tej bet” unique is that it is served in special bottles called bereles. The bereles look like a small glass of science beakers.
Wildlife Wonders in Madagascar
Madagascar has been separated from Africa and Asia since the time of the dinosaurs. Without an easy way for migration back then, Madagascar’s animal life has evolved into species unique in the place.
For instance, the Madagascar kingfisher, a species of the bird Malachite Kingfisher, lives in the swamps and marshes of the country. This bird feeds mainly on fish, prawns, aquatic insects, and frogs.
If you visit Madagascar for the wildlife, you can go from June to September. This season is when creatures pass the coasts for their northern migration. Meanwhile, if you would like to see more of the endemic species, November would be the best time to do so. During this time, the first rains bring many animals into courting, mating, and spawning.
Volcanic Islands in Cape Verde
The volcanic islands in Cape Verde are pretty much for adventures looking for a utopian-like scenery. This country is in the Atlantic Ocean on an archipelago about 620 kilometers west of Senegal. This archipelago, which includes 18 islands, is a sparsely populated country with tropics and beaches. As an island nation in tropical regions, Cape Verde is sunny all year round.
The islands in Cape Verde have significant features. The most visited ones are the Sal and Fogo:
- Sal – the flattest island in Cape Verde and the best place to surf and dive. They also have sailing boats with transparent bottoms. Hence, sunken ships and the thriving marine life are visible on them. Another flat island is the Boa Vista. They have a more desert-like landscape and dry beaches.
- Fogo – Fogo island was created by Pico do Fogo’s active volcano. The term fogo means “fire” in Portuguese. It is named that way because of its frequent eruptions – with the most recent one in 2014. Despite these hazards, the hardened lava created a unique landscape, particularly the black-sand beaches.
The eruption made the soil of Fogo Island unique. In fact, the Fogo Coffee Spirit made from locally grown Fogo coffee beans is one world’s best-tasting coffee. It is even a part of Starbuck’s reserved list for unique coffees.