5 bespoke African destinations to add to your 2024 travel bucket list

A lone Oryx at the Namib-Naukluft Reserve entrance to Deadvlei in Namibia. Picture: Unsplash

A lone Oryx at the Namib-Naukluft Reserve entrance to Deadvlei in Namibia. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jan 10, 2024


It’s a new year and with that comes plenty of new destinations to explore on the African continent, especially to those looking for adventure.

The beauty of the continent lies in the wide variety of choices travellers have, which vary from a safari to the mountains and beach.

No matter where you go, whether it is to Nambia on the west coast or the hinterlands of Zambia or Kenya on the east coast, you are bound to marvel at the continent’s dichotomy of beauty and nature.

If you’re looking for bespoke off-the-beaten-path destinations to explore, here are some to add to your 2024 travel bucket list:

Mahe Island, Seychelles

One of the Seychelles many pristine islands in the Indian Ocean. Picture: Unsplash

The Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off East Africa. It’s home to numerous beaches, coral reefs and nature reserves, as well as rare animals such as giant Aldabra tortoises.

It’s also a year-round holiday destination, with its warm tropical climate and stunning natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and water lovers.

The islands are just south of the equator, ensuring warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine throughout the year. The destination is perfect for love-birds looking for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon escape and it has plenty of bespoke private villas if you’re looking for seclusion.

Consider a stay at Kempinski Seychelles Resort on the island of Mahe from R9 696 a night for two.

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A group of elephants heading towards a mountain at Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Picture: Unsplash

Amboseli National Parks is one of Kenya’s most popular parks crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.

Amboseli, is a Maasai word meaning salty dust, and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close.

You can also go on safari and see leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, lion and crocodiles, to name just a few.

Nature lovers can explore five habitats, ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli to wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands.

They can also visit the Maasai community who live around the park and experience their culture.

Consider a stay at Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. Rates start from R4 375 a night for two.

Namib Desert, Namibia

Namibia is one of the few places in the world where the desert meets the sea. Picture: Unsplash

Namibia offers traveller’s sublime landscapes that will make you feel like you’re on another planet.

The country is also where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, making it one of a handful of sights where you can marvel at this wonder.

Namibia is an adventure-seeker’s paradise as you can tackle a challenging 4×4 route in a remote area, hurtle down a dune on a sandboard or go skydiving above the desert.

You can also experience some of the best wildlife viewing on the continent, in the hub of fascinating desert-adapted plants and animals and jaw-dropping natural wonders.

If you’re exploring the remarkable Namib Desert, consider a stay at the five-star Zannier Hotels Sonop, a luxurious tented camp in the Karas region.

The tents are constructed on top of boulders and the views are awe-inspiring. A stay at the tented camp starts from R14 708 a night for two.

Victoria Falls, Zambia

The sun setting over Mosi-oa-Tunya which forms a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Picture: Unsplash

Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area as “Mosi-oa-Tunya” – “The Smoke that Thunders” – because of the immense spray and incredible noise of the rushing water.

When its width and height are combined, Victoria Falls is the greatest curtain of falling water in the world.

Travellers can go on a safari to enjoy Zambia’s abundant wildlife and glorious birdlife. For thrill-seekers, there’s abseiling, white river rafting and bungee jumping, among other things.

Consider a stay at Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara. Rates start from R14 056 a night for two.

Limpopo, South Africa

A leopard enjoys shade at a game reserve in Limpopo. Picture: Unsplash

Limpopo is named after the Limpopo River that flows through the province and borders Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

It’s home to the Unesco World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe, South Africa’s first kingdom and is the only region in South Africa that was a Queendom with a 400-year-old matrilineal.

Limpopo offers stunning landscapes, among them the majestic Waterberg mountain range, lush forests and breathtaking views.

The province is also a safari destination where the Big Five can be seen. It has plenty to offer travellers looking for new experiences and eager to learn about the culture.

For the foodie, Limpopo is known for its avocados, mangoes and citrus, among many other delicious fruits, and there are also plenty of dairy farms where you can purchase only the best organic products.

Consider a stay at Fifty Seven Waterberg set in the heart of the magnificent Welgevonden Game Reserve that forms part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve.

A stay at the lodge starts from R12 802 a night for two.