Things to Do in Africa that Need to Be on Your Bucket List

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

Africa is one of those places that I could easily spend a year or so traveling across yet still feel like there much to see and do. Given the variety of landscapes, cultural experiences, and adventure activities, it is no wonder why this continent is on everyone’s bucket list.

Covering destinations in South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, and more, here are a few highlights that you can’t miss out on.

Go Gorilla Trekking

One of my lifelong dreams is to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat and the areas near Lake Bunyonyi, home to the beast-like giant silverback gorillas, is an ideal place to do so.

Depending on the tour group that you decide to go with and what permits are available during that time, you will either get the chance to see these creatures from either Uganda, Rwanda, or Congo. I spent five days trekking in the jungles of Sumatra Indonesia until we saw large Orangutans and honestly speaking, there is nothing more magical than seeing animals in their natural element.

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Experience a True African Safari

Naturally, one cannot go to Africa without experiencing an African safari and trust me, there is no shortage of awesome ones!

From luxury safari experiences to budget tours, you are sure to experience the best of Africa’s wildlife through these animal encounters. While most activities and experiences can be done on your own, for big adventures like safaris, we prefer to go with companies that have years of experience in organizing it.

To check budget safari options across multiple destinations in Africa, you can check out companies like Ashanti Travel Centre for a hassle-free experience. While our personal travel style is more DIY, we prefer to connect with larger companies who can direct you towards vetted tour providers, especially for once-in-a-lifetime experiences. africa-safari

Experience Skydiving

If you have been a loyal reader, you would know that skydiving is one of our favorite activities. The thrill, the rush, the free fall, and the unbeatable I-can’t-believe-I-just-did-that feeling that you get after each jump.

While we’ve done it in pretty epic places, another one to add to the list is skydiving in South Africa, giving you awesome views of the incredible Table Mountain as you free fall.

If mountain views don’t work for you, you can also attempt to jump by the Namibia Desert giving you a very different type of landscape. One of the best places is by South Swakopmund which is an oasis in the middle of the desert.

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Go Hiking

The reason why Africa is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream holiday is due to the variety of things to do — hikes and treks included.

In this continent, three mountains reign supreme, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, as well as the Atlas Mountains, all of which are noteworthy hikes to accomplish. So if you are Africa-bound, consider attempting to climb one (or all of these mountains) for an unforgettable trekking experience.

Naturally, Mt. Kilimanjaro tops the list as the highest point in Africa. Standing tall at 5,895-meters, climbing this is no easy feat. But you don’t have to reach the summit to enjoy this mountain; a day hike up Kilimanjaro is an easier option you can take!

Other mountains worth considering are:

  • Atlas Mountains (Central Morocco | 4,165 meters)
  • Mount Kenya ( Kenya | 5,199 meters)
  • Simien Mountains (Ethiopia | 4,533 meters)
  • Mount Meru ( Tanzania | 4,565 meters)
  • Mount Elgon (Uganda | 4,321 meters)
  • The Drakensberg (South Africa | 3,475 meters)

Related: Best Hiking Shoes for Men | Best Hiking Shoes for Women africa-kilimanjaro

Abseil Table Mountain

Again, Table Mountain in South Africa takes center stage in a heart-thumping, adventure-filled abseiling trip where you can take in unparalleled views of the city. If you have what it takes, step of a vertical cliff which is 1,000 meters above sea level. From this point, you abseil down as you gaze at the Twelve Apostles mountains, as well as the city of Cape Town.

The best part about abseiling Table Mountain is no daredevil experience is necessary. The guides will be guiding you throughout the whole experience.

When you’re finished with your adventure trip, head into the city to discover all the things to do in Cape Town!

Explore Victoria Falls

The iconic Victoria Falls is located in southern Africa, located by the borders of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

While visiting it from either side is pretty awesome, if you have the budget for it, a helicopter tour giving you an incredible bird’s eye view of this massive waterfall as well as the gorge is definitely a must!

If flying isn’t for you, you can also test your luck as you swim by the edge of Devils Pool which is an experience in itself. Other adventure activities in the area includes whitewater rafting, river boarding, bungee jumping, and gorge hikes along the Zambezi.

Victoria Falls is a must-add to your Africa bucket list! victoria-falls

Take a Mokoro Ride in the Okavango Delta

Originally crafted from trees, mokoros are canoe-like vessels which transport people across the Okavango Delta.

If you’re looking for a serene way to spend a a day, hop on a traditional mokoro boat and glide through the peaceful waters with a variety of animals floating nearby. Fish, birds, elephants playing by the river banks, and other rare creatures makes the whole experience special.

While the thought of being on a narrow boat while floating in the middle of a river seems terrifying, the entire experience is pretty tranquil and serene. Definitely something we recommend trying!

Hit the Beach

While no one really associates Africa with beaches, to my surprise, Africa is home to some pretty awesome places with clear turquoise blue waters.

From the sandy shores of Zanzibar, where you can enjoy a few days of extreme kiteboarding, to the luxurious islands in Seychelles, Africa has some great beaches.

South Africa also has a few awesome beaches to visit where you can see rare animals like whales and penguins. So, go ahead and plan to spend a few days frolicking under the sun as it is one of the best things to do in Africa.

Here are a few of the best beaches in Africa:

  • Zanzibar
  • Lamu (Kenya)
  • Mauritius
  • Cape Verdean islands
  • Seychelles

Related: Things to Do in Mauritius mauritius beach

Get Lost in the Labyrinth of Exotic Markets

One of my favorite things to do while in foreign countries is to roam around markets. Apart from seeing the local produce, I feel that this also gives you a glimpse into the local life.

Africa is no exception as most markets and bazaars sell everything from clothes, local produce, souvenirs, and textile! From the Maasai Market in Nairobi, Kenya to Medina of Fez in Morocco all the way to the Souks of Marrakech, spending time getting lost and wandering around the many stalls is an unforgettable experience while in Africa.

Get Your Adventure On

While I could go on and on about the many other bucket list experiences in Africa, what kind of adventure blog author would I be if I don’t highlight the incredible amount of adrenaline-filled things there are to do on this continent.

From motorcycle tours across the Sahara Desert, cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa, free falling down the swing in the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, or sand boarding down Swakopmund’s large sand dunes, Africa is a one-stop shop for anything adventurous.

View Adventure Activities in Africa


Which of the activities are you going to add in your bucket list? Well, why not give them all a try? Afterall, a trip to Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, make the most out of it by seeing, doing, and experiencing everything that you can.

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12 thoughts on “Things to Do in Africa that Need to Be on Your Bucket List”

  1. Visiting Africa has long been on my bucket list and I hope to get there in 2018. Thank you for a wonderful list. I did not know that it was possible to go Mokoro Riding or Gorilla Trekking and now these specific activities are added to my must do while there – Victoria Falls and a Safari are already on it. I am pinning this to save for later. Thanks again!

  2. We were only in Africa once, and we only visited Morocco. But I am dying to visit the south and central Africa, especially for a safari. It looks incredible. My daughter recently found a place that will take you out to swim right at the edge of Victoria Falls, but I think that is too terrifying for me.

  3. Interesting list, especially the Mokoro Ride in the Okavango Delta, which I didn’t know about before. I’d also add to do something that connects with local people, such as volunteering at a school, if it can be done in a way that is beneficial for the educational institution.

  4. Gorillas, zebras, sharks, fabulous scenery and mind-blowing waterfalls…South Africa is wild and wonderful. Its on my list and hopefully I will experience all its magic soon.

  5. Truly “top” things to do in Africa! I have never been to Africa mainland and these are a few things I would definitely want to do except the Shark-cage stuff.

  6. I’m obsessed with hiking so those treks would be right at the top of my list! I want to give the Atlas and Simien Mountains a good go for sure!

  7. I never thought about visiting Africa for the beaches! But I DID think about it for the Okavango Delta – that’s been on my list for ages. As has visiting Table Mountain – but you can keep the abseiling all to yourself because I’m WAY too cowardly for that 😀

  8. We lived in Africa for many years. However, we haven’t had nearly as many adventures as you list here. The Okavango Delta was a go-to destination, and safaris too. I don’t think I’d ever go cave shark diving though.

  9. Africa is such an incredible contintent! We have taken many safaris and loved each one, each experience is written into our memories. We have also loved the cities of Cape Town and Nairobi and the markets we’ve visited in a few different countries. To see gorillas in the wild is still on our wishlist!


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