10 Places to Visit in Southern African
Mosi-oa-Tunya, Zambia & Zimbabwe
Forming part of the Zambezi river in Southern Africa, Mosi-oa-Tunya is a spectacular and iconic waterfall - the largest in the world based on its width - separates these two countries and forms a border between them. It’s a natural splendor that I still need to lay eyes on. The national park that surrounds it, and shares the same name, is an UNESCO World Heritage site and the area is home to historical evidence of the presence of Homo habilis that may have lived there as far back as two million years ago.
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, Mauritius
Although officially named the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden - a leader in the Mauritian independence movement, known also as the country’s ‘Father of the Nation’, the name most commonly used to refer to one of the most-visited sites in the country comes from the Port-Louis the district of Pamplemousse which it is located in. The garden is home to more than 650 varieties of plants - from Baobabs and Palmier Bouteilles, to Giant Water Lilies as seen above.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Sometimes referred to as the Okavango swamp, Botswana’s Okavango Delta, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, is a large inland delta - a landform that lies at the mouth of a river - that is formed where the “Okavango River reaches a tectonic trough in the central part of the endorheic basin of the Kalahari desert. All the water reaching the Delta is ultimately evaporated and transpired, and does not flow into any sea or ocean.”
Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
Mozambique’s Bazaruto Archipelago consists of six islands that lie
near the mainland city of Vilankulo - another great area to visit. The archipelago is a protected as a conservation area and national park - one of the largest in the Indian Ocean, and is the only official marine reserve in the country. One can participate in activities such as scuba diving, Dhow and horse safari’s, diving and game fishing.
Forming part of the country’s Namib Desert - the oldest desert in the world, Sossusvlei is an incredible salt and clay pan that is visually stunning and notable for its reddish-orange sand dunes.
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Although baobab trees are common in other parts of the African continent, this particular area that lies between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar is a breathtaking stretch of road that is lined by these unique and astounding trees that can reach up to 80 feet (24m) in height and ten feet (3m) in diameter.
AfriSki Resort, Lesotho
Located in the Maluti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Park in the tiny southern African mainland country of Lesotho, entirely surrounded by South Africa, is one of only a handful ski resorts on the African continent mostly located in north and southern Africa.
Chongoni Rock Art area, Malawi
A Unesco World Heritage site, this historic part of the country located in the central region of Malawi is home to some of the nation’s most sacred histories that date as far back as the Stone Age and Iron Age periods. Much of the rock art carry symbols that are said to be strongly associated with women. The Chonhoni Rock Art area consists of over 100 sites located in the hills of the Malawi plateau.
Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
South Africa is one of the most-visited countries on the African continent and offers numerous holiday selections from coast to coast. One of the largest canyons on earth, and possibly the largest ‘green’ canyon, and the second largest in Africa. The canyon is located in Mpumalango and forms part of the Drakensberg escarpment.
National Museum of Slavery, Angola
Often when people talk of slavery in Africa, the focus tends to lie on the Western and Eastern parts of the country, in the same vein that the United States is often seen as the destination where most enslaved Africans were kidnapped to. During the Transatlantic Slave trade, many enslaved Africans were taken from this part of southern Africa and mostly inhumanely shipped off to Brasil and North America. The museum, founded in 1997, is located Angola’s capital city of Luanda and houses the terrible reminders of this dark period in world history.
December: Highlighting Travel and Exploration in Africa
P.S.: Before you travel anywhere, it is important to do your research on the place(s) you plan on visiting and make an informed decision on whether visiting there would be in your best interests, as well as that of the local community.