Needless to say, Africa has really enjoyed a massive increase in the tourism industry and is still booming. The sector which represents 9 percent of global GDP and one in 11 jobs worldwide has become an important revenue source for several economies in Africa.
As we celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) on Saturday, with the theme Tourism and Community Development, Jovago.com, Africa’s leading hotel booking platform, has put together the top ten travel destinations in Africa: these countries pulled in the most number of tourists in 2013.
The most visited country is Morocco, which saw about 10 million tourist arrivals in 2013. The beautiful country, located in North Africa has beautiful mountains, deserts, holds both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines inviting its holidaymakers to all kinds of activities ranging from watersports to safari tours. The very diverse culture makes will expose you to amazing architecture, interesting music, and awesome food, among other things
Hosting 9.5 million tourists last year, South Africa ranked number two in the most visited countries in Africa. I don’t think I need to tell you how beautiful South Africa is. If you’ve never been you really should make plans to visit. Spend time taking in all the nature and culture the country has to offer, and enjoy several activities along the coastline which stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Coming at number 3, Egypt played host to 9.1 Million tourists in the last year. Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world’s most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramids, the Great Sphinx and the ancient temples of Luxor dating back thousands of years. The adventure that is Egypt never ends!
This hidden treasure landed 6.2 million international tourist arrivals. Tunisia is Africa’s northernmost country and the smallest in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa. Tunisia’s main attractions are the beaches, as the country is bordered by the Mediterranean on two sides. But there are also Sahara dunes, mammoth ancient ruins and exotic cities that are home to a sprawling tangle of souks that a tourist would certainly delight in. Tunisia is also pretty rich in Roman and Arab culture, thanks to their history, which is definitely another plus.
Yet another Northern country on the list is Algeria, which welcomed 2.7 million international tourist arrivals in the past year. The tourism industry in Algeria is currently expanding, offers a lot of amazing experiences. You can visit one of its UNESCO inscribed world heritage sites, enjoy museums in the capital, learn about the Spanish rule in Oran, take gorgeous pictures at Kabylia, or visit roman ruins in the northern part of the country.
Unfortunately, UNWTO did not state figures for 2013, but in 2012 our number five pulled in 2.1 million international tourists and we can assume they did much more last year. This South-Eastern country is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, and separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel. A visit to Mozambique is sure to leave you with stunning memories of the gorgeous surroundings, a host of exciting activities, mouth-watering cuisine, heart-warming hospitality, and lush white and beaches that give an air of paradise.
The beautiful southern African country received 1.8 Million travelers in 2013. Zimbabwe holds several tourist attractions and one of the greatest natural wonders of the worlds – the Victoria Falls, which Zimbabwe’s most popular tourist destination
There were no figures for Kenya in 2013, but the 2012 figures according to the UNWTO show Kenya coming in at number 8 with 1.6 Million paying homage to the beautiful country that year. Famous for its classic savanna safaris, Kenya is a country of dramatic extremes and classic contrasts. Deserts and alpine snows; forests and open plains; the metropolis of Nairobi and colorful tribal cultures; freshwater lakes and coral reefs. Perhaps no other place on the planet conjures such a spirit of adventure and romance. For first-time visitors, the sheer diversity of things to do is dazzling. Wildlife, of course, is top on the list. Witness throngs of wildebeest thundering across the savanna during the Great Migration in Maasai Mara, come eye-to-eye with an elephant in Amboseli, or marvel at Lake Nakuru flecked with thousands of flamingoes.
Uganda is another African tourist haven. Wondering why it is called ‘The Pearl of Africa’? Where else can you see lions prowling across the open savanna as day breaks before white water rafting down the Nile, then the next day set off into the misty mountains in search of the majestic mountain gorillas before settling in to watch a local cultural evening around the camp fire? The distinctive attraction of Uganda as a tourist destination arises out of the variety of its game stock and its unspoilt scenic beauty. The country hosted 1.2 Million tourists in 2013.
It is Swaziland’s variety of attractions in its small area that is its greatest asset. It is the mixture of beautiful landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and rich culture that combine to make this small country such a wonderful place to visit. Swaziland is an exciting country which teems with a huge variety of places to see, from Bushmen (San) paintings, to arts and crafts, from agnificent waterfalls to the famous Swazi Candles. Not to be missed are the Game Parks and the cultural experiences to be found in Swaziland. 1 Million tourists visited this beautiful country in 2012.