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What to Do in Africa Besides Safari?

Safari is the first thing most people would consider when planning a visit to Africa. However, with a diverse culture and rich natural wonders, the world's second-largest continent has much more to offer than safaris. I'm sharing a bucket list of what to do in Africa besides safari.


What to Do in Africa Besides Safari?

Aside from safaris in Africa, you can try numerous water and mountain-related adventures. Dine at restaurants, visit villages, go on a museum hopping, and join heritage walks to discover more of Africa's culture and history. You can also attend festivals and book a romantic getaway in various countries across Africa.


Africa offers many opportunities to explore and go on a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So whether you're a history buff, adventure-seeker, or foodie, there's something for everyone to do in Africa besides a safari trip.


Convoy of jeeps on a safari dirt road

Go On Thrill-Seeking Adventures

Africa boasts a plethora of exhilarating outdoor activities that will capture the interest of adrenaline junkies.


White Water Rafting

If you're looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush, look no further because white water rafting on the Nile will leave you pumped up. As one of the most powerful rivers in Africa, your raft will flip, and you'll feel the gush of rapids and falls.


Bungee Jumping

If you visit Africa around August to January, this is the perfect time for bungee jumping in South Africa or Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.


Hiking

Aside from going on a safari, hiking is one of the first things you can do in Africa. So if you'll be visiting Africa in the dry season, this is the perfect time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the continent's highest mountain.

If Kili seems too daunting, try the beginner-friendly trails in Lesotho. There's also Ethiopia, which has 80% of Africa's tallest mountains. Its highlands are famous for incredible hiking adventures.


Diving and Snorkeling

Aside from safari wildlife, Africa provides opportunities to get close to marine life. Mafia Island in Tanzania, Aliwal Shoal in South Africa, Quilalea Island in Mozambique, and Djerba Island in Tunisia will give you some of the most unforgettable underwater experiences.


Shark diving is a must-try if you want to do other things aside from safari between May and August in South Africa. This is the perfect thrilling activity to see the magnificent Great White Shark up close.


Man lounging on a wooden chair on a moving cruise ship

Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

There are calls for innovative approaches to managing various types of African tourism, which categorizes into safari, culture, and nature. A report shows that nature tourism, especially gorilla trekking, is one of the activities that attract the most tourists.


When in Uganda, you can stand face-to-face with gorillas while trekking. Meanwhile, Rwanda has excellent chimpanzee trekking where you can watch the animals from afar.


Surfing and Swimming

The African coastline has several exceptional surfing spots. Perhaps you have enough time before or after your safari trip. Here are some of Africa's best tanning hotspots and scenic boardwalks.

  • Boulders Beach, South Africa: This is one of the most family-friendly beaches in South Africa for surfing. This is also why our luxury safari tour includes enough time to visit this beach because your kids can also meet African penguins.

  • N'Gor Island, Senegal: If you prefer uncrowded beaches, this iconic beach is perfect for newbie surfers.

  • Taghazout Beach, Morocco: From laid-back beach breaks to challenging point breaks, this fishing village offers various levels of difficulty for surfing.

  • Grand Anse, Seychelles: If you want to take a break from sand dunes and wildlife, visit Grand Anse to relax along a stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters.

  • Libanona Beach, Madagascar: This is one of the most accessible beaches in Madagascar, making it the perfect stop before or after a safari. Its waters and weather are favorable for surfing and kitesurfing.

  • Tamarin Beach, Mauritius: This bay of fine white sand is famous for its laidback and sleepy surfer vibe.

Experience the Essence of African Cuisine and Local Life

Our guests often ask us about the right time when to go on an African safari. This usually happens when they're planning a side trip to various tourist spots across the continent.


Weather changes and the continuous movement of wildlife can make your safari planning challenging. However, one thing you can do year-round is to try on African cuisine and culture. While social and ethnic groups mainly inspire Africa's dishes, there's also a touch of Asian, Arab, and European influences.

  • North Africa: Northern African cuisine features meat, beef, lamb, goat, and seafood as staples. This predominantly-Muslim region also offers halal meats and various fruits and vegetables. Make sure to try a traditional Berber dish, which is steamed semolina.

  • East Africa: East African food highlights grains, dairy, curries, and slow-cooked stews. Misir Wat (Ethiopian lentil stew), Nyama Choma (roasted meat from Kenya), and Mandazi (fried bread in Tanzania) are some of the must-try foods in this region.

  • Central Africa: Central African cooking focus is on starches, vegetables, and protein from peanuts and insects. Don't leave Africa without trying Nyembwe chicken, Egusi soup, and Muamba.

  • West Africa: Meats, fats, and salts are staple foods in West Africa. Some crowd favorites are a traditional Senegalese dish called thieboudienne, Fish Yassa, groundnut stew, and Jollof rice.

  • Southern Africa: South Africa puts beef, goat, chicken, and mutton as the centerpiece of their meals. Explore the streets of Southern Africa, and you'll find some of their best dishes, like bobotie, boerewors, potjiekos, and biltong.

Aerial shot of Cape Town South Africa

Wine Tasting Tours


The wine tourism industry is an integral part of South Africa's economy. The country has a network of at least 20 wine routes, bragging about well-established wine-tasting destinations for tourists to visit after their safari trips.


The Cape Wine Region is home to luscious vineyards and rolling hills, making a stunning background for pictures. Here, you can have an unparalleled culinary and wine-tasting experience.


The Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl wine estates are among the most recommendable spots for wine tours. Our luxury safari group tour also includes an immersive experience in Cape Winelands.


Cheese Tasting

When in Kenya, drop by the award-winning Brown's Cheese Factory and Farm in Nairobi. You can taste cheese platters and a three-course lunch with homemade bread and homegrown salad here.


The factory also offers cheese-making classes for adults and cow-milking sessions for kids.


Peculiar Restaurants

Africa also offers unusual yet interesting restaurants. So if you want to experience a different ambiance than safaris while eating, these are the top dining choices across Africa to fulfill your gastronomic cravings.

  • Al Barbour Cave: This open-air coral cave in Kenya specializes in international cuisine and seafood. You can see stars while dining at a table 10 meters below ground.

  • Cargo Hold: With superb views of the ocean, Cargo Hold in South Africa takes you on a global culinary adventure.

  • Moonlight Dinner Run: The Victoria Falls Steam Train travels from Victoria Falls to Zambezi National Park. It stops halfway across the bridge, so you can admire the mesmerizing views while enjoying gourmet delights.

Market Runs

Besides the safari experience, zooming your way through crowds at African markets is another one for the books. From designer brands to traditional souks, you can either window-shop or bring home loads of souvenirs with you.

  • Bakaara Market, Somalia: As the largest public market in the country, here you can score cheap finds like spices, traditional clothing, and dried fruits.

  • Khan el-Khalili, Egypt: Found at the heart of Cairo, this bazaar is a must-go place to hunt antiques, jewelry, and perfumes.

  • Jemaa el-Fnaa, Morocco: This charming open-air market is a melting pot for shopping and entertainment.

  • African Craft Market, South Africa: For traveling artists, you'll love this craft market, where you can buy lots of beading, paintings, and sculptures.

Cultural Immersions

Africa has some of the world's earliest civilizations, causing an incredibly diverse population, including at least 3,000 African tribes. These tribes speak different languages and follow distinct traditions.


Cultural tours can bring you to traditional villages to discover local customs, lifestyles, and cuisine. The Maasai people in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania are among the most welcoming people you'll meet in Africa.


There's also the Hadzabe Tribe in Tanzania, where you can learn about their lives as hunters and gatherers.


Fishing

Africa is also home to some of the best fishing destinations in the world.

  • Lake Nasser, Egypt: If you're an experienced angler, reel in the challenge of catching the Nile Perch on the lake.

  • The Aberdare Mountains, Kenya: This angling paradise holds large numbers of Trout species that you can catch at any time of the year.

  • Cape Verde Islands, Senegal: For some deep-sea fishing, head to Cape Verde Islands to try your luck snatching the Blue Marlin, some of the fastest fish in the world.

Participate in Heritage Tours

The African continent has seen the most thriving civilizations. If you have more time aside from safaris, you can go on cultural tours and visit heritage sites to learn more about Africa.

  • Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania: If you're a fan of human evolution, don't miss the chance to visit the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. It's a paleoanthropological site that features the earliest evidence of the existence of humans. Here you will find hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools.

  • Thebes, Egypt: This ancient city gives a glimpse of the early life in Egypt. Historically rich places such as Luxor, Karnak, Valley of the Kings, and the Valley of the Queens let you witness beautifully preserved tombs, temples, and burial sites.

  • Leptis Magna, Libya: It was one of the most famous cities of the Roman Empire before it was buried in the sand. Nowadays, it's home to the most spectacular and unspoiled ruins in the Mediterranean.

  • Timbuktu, Mali: What was once a key trade center of the Mali Empire is now packed with mosques and palaces.

Do Museum Hopping

When people ask us what to do in Africa besides safari, we also recommend doing museum hopping to further understand Africa's culture, art, science, or history. These are some of the best museums in Africa that are worth the visit.


Man paddling a green kayak on a South African river

  • Museum of Modern Art, Algeria: This modern art museum features paintings and sculptures made by Algerian and international artists.

  • Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Egypt: It's one of the best places to see statues, artifacts, and an impressive display of Pharaonic antiquities. Here you can see funerary objects from the tombs of King Tutankhamun and King Akhenaten.

  • Musée des Civilisations Noires (Museum of Black Civilizations), Senegal: This museum educates travelers about the diversity of African civilizations, especially in terms of technology and heritage. Art pieces and objects of significance also discuss dark parts of African history, especially colonialism.

  • Marrakech Museum, Morocco: As one of the oldest museums in Marrakech, it highlights the culture and history of North Africa's indigenous nomadic groups. Cultural items and artworks show the city's Jewish, Islamic, and Berber influences.

  • Cape Coast Castle Museum, Ghana: This ethnography and archaeological museum houses a growing collection of art and cultural objects. It also shows the effect of the slave trade in the country.

  • Iziko South African Museum, South Africa: It hosts collections of fossils and zoology specimens that explain the country's history, culture, and science.

Attend Festivals and Other Live Events

Aside from safaris, another thing you can do in Africa is to experience festivals and celebrations going on throughout the year. More than discovering new music and food, this is the perfect opportunity to interact with locals.

  • Sporting events: Held across various African countries, the Africa Cup of Nations lets you witness homegrown athletes showcase their football skills. There's also the African Rally Championship and African Games.

  • Music festivals: African music boasts different genres and forms. There's Tanzania's Sauti za Busara every February, South Africa's Cape Town Jazz Festival every March, Uganda's Nyege Nyege Festival every August, and Nigeria's Felabration every October.

  • Rasta parties: The laid back atmosphere, welcoming community, and good music attract tourists to attend Rasta parties across Africa.

  • Nightlife: From clubs to late-night bars, there are plenty of options to experience riveting nightlife in Africa. There are rooftop bars and lounges in Marrakech, Morocco, partying hubs in Nairobi, Kenya, and nightclubs in Cape Town, South Africa.

Set a Romantic Getaway

About 60% of American couples travel to a foreign country for their honeymoon. Africa is an underrated country when it comes to traveling for a honeymoon. The continent's combination of stunning wildlife, adrenaline-pumping adventures, and exotic cuisine will make your honeymoon even more romantic.


While you can spend time relaxing in a luxury lodge on safaris, you can also discover idyllic beaches with boutique hotels and top-rated accommodations in the cities.


Aside from that, these are some of the things you can do with your partner for a romantic getaway.

  • Sleep under the stars: This picturesque open-air bed at the Kruger National Park provides the ultimate stargazing experience.

  • Hot air balloon ride: Get a bird's eye view of Africa's landscape with a hot air balloon ride in Serengeti.

  • Dine at The Rock Restaurant: Deemed as one of the most romantic restaurants in Tanzania, this restaurant on a rock formation mainly serves seafood and local dishes.

Related Questions


What Is Africa Best Known For?

Africa is best known for safaris, game reserves, diverse ethnic groups, and flavorful food. In addition, the continent features vast landscapes and the migration of various types of animals, making it the go-to place for safaris.


Is Safari in Africa Worth It?

Going on a safari trip in Africa is worth it because of the exciting and life-changing encounters with wildlife and nature. An African safari can cost a lot, and it's one of the most expensive vacations you'll likely take, but each day you spend on the safari makes every cent worth it.


How Many Countries Should I Visit in Africa for Safaris?

Ideally, consider visiting at least two African countries for a safari trip. However, this may also depend on your budget, the types of activities you want to try, and the season. Our 10-day luxury safari and sights tour lets you visit two countries, South Africa and Zimbabwe, to maximize time in each destination.


Conclusion

You can do a lot of things in Africa other than safaris. You can hike, explore local markets, meet ethnic groups, attend live events, go on heritage walking tours, or set a romantic getaway. Our luxury safari tour in Find Your Africa combines safari tours and other immersive activities for you to enjoy.

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