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2019 is going to be a massive year in the world of travel and with Ethiopian Airlines’ brand-new route to Addis Ababa via Brussels from Manchester Airport opening on the 8th of December 2018, it’s easier than ever to explore the African continent. Simply fly to Addis Ababa then grab a quick connection to any corner of Africa. So, forget about your normal summer destinations and create some new memories with our handy list of top vacation spots.
Considered by many to be the most multicultural city in the world, Cape Town blends the best of almost every culture into a rich tapestry of art, cuisine and tourist attractions. As a large port, it has a reputation as one of the main African thoroughfares that has attracted many to live in its sprawling neighbourhoods. The city also serves a waypoint for many tours and safari, as a lot of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife can be found within a couple of hours drive. If you’re planning on staying in Cape Town be sure to look at the full range of accommodation on offer as you’ll be surprised how far your money can go - prepare to indulge in luxury for a fraction of the price that you’d pay in many European and American cities.
The second largest city in Kenya and one of Africa’s gateways to the east. Mombasa is a large island city in the style of New York with many Indian and Arabian influences. If you’re looking for an experience far removed from typical European lifestyle this is probably the best choice for you. Expect the unexpected as a day in Mombasa will be filled with new tastes, sights and smells unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. The island is also steeped in history as many nations and empires left their marks over the centuries, so make sure to be on the lookout for everything from the symbols of Roman legions to the last traces of the British Empire.
It’s hard to talk about Africa without mentioning Kilimanjaro. The 4,900 metre colossus is the tallest peak in Africa and while it has been the site of some of humanities greatest triumphs, the spectacular mountain is as dangerous as it is magnificent. Many are captivated by this dormant volcano and the incredible wildlife that calls it home. If you’re considering an active holiday scaling the titan of Tanzania, be sure to plan thoroughly, get the proper guidance and prepare yourself for one of the most superb views on the planet once you’ve reached the summit.
Both the Zanzibar archipelago and its largest island of the same name make for fantastic African holiday destinations. While the other islands in the Zanzibar archipelago are best used as day trips, the main island is a tourist’s dream with plenty of resorts, unique wildlife (including some particularly cheeky monkeys) and white beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. If you truly want to get away from it all and take a break from life there are few better places to visit. Also, the island is the birthplace of Freddie Mercury, a fact which many of the locals are still incredibly proud of to this day.
The capital of Malawi, Lilongwe is one of the lesser known African capitals for Europeans and Americans. However, tourists from Asia would be more familiar with Lilongwe than many other states as the city has close ties to China. The Chinese influence can be felt throughout the city in the architecture, cuisine and art produced by Lilongwe’s inhabitants creating a culture that is unlike anything else on earth. Accommodation is a little sparser here with fewer resorts and more traditional hotels, however, you should also expect much lower prices than in some of the more well-known destinations. Lilongwe also has several other attractions within a short drive including the Chongoni Rock Art Area which boasts some of mankind’s earliest artwork.
Situated on the shore of the biggest lake in Africa, Entebbe's location is reminiscent of Chicago and its position on Lake Michigan. The lake has created a lush green landscape around the city, making it the favourite home of the Ugandan elite, including both the President and much of the Ugandan government. Accommodation is cheaper here than in many other African nations, and don’t be surprised if your hotel looks like something from the 1920’s instead of 2000’s as Entebbe is famed for its Art Deco architecture.
Marking the border between Zambia & Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls is the largest natural waterfall in the world and possibly one of the most awe-inspiring sights in Africa. It easily dwarfs Niagara Falls with a width almost double its North American cousin. If you want to experience the true majesty of mother nature there are few better destinations and the resulting prosperity of the tourism industry has turned Victoria Falls into a common resort spot. Families can expect to find all the usual amenities, including spas and pools within walking distance of the falls.
The volcanic island of Nosy Be in Madagascar offers the perfect combination of unspoilt white sand beaches and sprawling jungles. As with many of the islands of Madagascar, you can expect to find completely unique wildlife, including black lemurs, panthers and chameleons. Nosy Be is also uniquely attractive thanks to the combination of vanilla, pepper and ylang-ylang grown there, which gives the air a sweet, perfumed scent. And, because the island is still relatively unknown compared to the Madagascan mainland, you can be sure to find many beaches almost deserted – offering some rare quiet relaxation.
With so many exciting destinations, now is the best time to plan a trip to Africa! Make 2019 the year that you broaden your horizons and book the holiday of a lifetime!