Generally, people love to unwind and relax after several months, weeks or day of hard work. Meansof relaxation should not be too expensive or hard to come by. There are many beautiful and inexpensive locations to be explored in Africa, whether North, South, East or West. We highlight ten exciting yet affordable tourist locations below:
#1 Kachikally Crocodile Pool, The Gambia
The most popular tourist attraction in Gambia’s tourist town of Bakau is an ancient freshwater pool situated on a 9 acre site in the southern section of the town. The pool is believed by the natives to have supernatural healing powers, and is considered a last resort for women who wish to conceive. It is open from 7 am till 7pm daily. Visitors are charged as low as £1 to enter both the pool and the museum in its premises.
The Kachikally pool was discovered hundreds of years ago by the natives of Bakau some 14km from the capital Banjul, and is home to more than 100 crocodiles which are so used to people they allow themselves to be touched on the back or tail.
Legends abound as to the origin of the pool, and the curious tourist may find it interesting to research these.
#2 Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves on the continent, and offers a fantastic wildlife experience to the nature-loving tourist. Established in the 19th Century to protect the wildlife of the South Africa’s Lowveld, this national park spans nearly 2 million hectares, and is home to an impressive number of species, including 336 trees, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.
It costs around $18 (R260) as a conservation fee to gain entrance into the park, with locals paying a quarter of that.
The park is a self-drive destination with excellent infrastructures and many places to stay inside the park, from bush lodges and overnight camps to luxury lodges.
The park also offers mountain biking and guided walks, amongst other attractions.
#3 The Elephant Orphanage, Kenya
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, also known as the Elephant Orphanage, was set up to save baby elephants that are orphaned due to poachers’ attacks. The orphanage is located in Nairobi, Kenya.
To access the premises, you pay a donation fee of $5 (KSh 500). Tourists can see the elephants around 11am and 12 noon, when the keepers bring them out to feed and play with them. It is possible to adopt one baby elephant for $50 (KSh 5,000) a year. Since they are too big to take home with you, the annual fee is used for the upkeep of your adopted elephant.
#4 Badagry Town, Nigeria
Badagry is an ancient coastal town in Lagos, Nigeria. The town shares its border with the Republic of Benin. Because of its closeness to the sea, it was a major route for slaves transportation to the Americas during the slave trade era. Today it houses several relics of that dark period.
The town houses the first storey building in Nigeria, which only requires a voluntary donation to explore. It also houses the Palace of the Akran of Badagry and its mini ethnographic museum, the early missionaries’ cemetery, the first Primary School in Nigeria, relics of slave chains in the mini museum of slave trade, cannons of war, the Vlekte slave Market, and the Slave Port established for the shipment of slaves before the l6th century.
#5 Elmina Castle, Ghana
Elmina Castle is a white-washed Medieval Castle on the western coast of Ghana. Built in 1482 by Portuguese traders, the Castle was the first European slave-trading post in all of sub-saharan Africa. It was originally built to facilitate the gold trade, but following its capture by the Dutch in 1637, it came to serve the Dutch slave trade with Brazil and the Caribbean.
Elmina Castle was the last place that thousands of African slaves would ever see of their homeland. The castle came under British ownership in the 1800s. The castle is preserved as a Ghanaian national museum and monument, and is designated as a World Heritage Monument under UNESCO. It offers daily historical tours, and the entrance fee is around $8 (GH¢ 31) for foreign visitors.
#6 Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
An inactive volcano in north-eastern Tanzania, near the border with Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 5,892 meters (19,331 feet) above sea level. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. The highest point is Uhuru Peak on Kibo, which is one of the Seven Summits of the world.
This is certainly not a casual tourist outing, but you’re in for a treat if you’ve trained for this adventure. The slopes of the rainforest are home to buffaloes, leopards, monkeys, and elephants. The mountain has become a major tourist attraction for mountaineers and trekkers from around the world. Daily entrance fee to the premises is £60, camping costs and additional £50, with a rescue fee of £20 per climb.
#7 The Pyramids of Egypt, Egypt
The Pyramids of Egypt, especially the Great Pyramids of Giza, are some of the most magnificent man-made structures in history. The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids as tombs for their Pharaohs, and included gifts and all sorts of supplies that they believed the king would need in the afterlife.
The Great Pyramids of Giza are located on a plateau on the west bank of the Nile River, on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo. The oldest and largest of the three pyramids at Giza, known as the Great Pyramid, is the only surviving structure out of the famed seven wonders of the ancient world. It was built over a period of twenty years, and took the labour of about 20,000 men. Though the pyramid building era is over, millions of tourists visit the pyramids each year, to admire the marvels of Egypt’s glorious past.
Tickets to the pyramids range from free entry to up to $50, depending on which one you choose to visit.
#8 Nairobi National Park, Kenya
Nairobi National Park is also known as “The world’s wildlife capital”. t is a short drive out of Nairobi central business district, and is the only national park on earth that borders a capital city. The wide open grass plains houses a plethora of wildlife which includes the endangered black rhino, the zebra, wildebeest, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and over 400 migratory bird species.
Picnic sites and facilities are provided. Visitors can call ahead to book a guided tour of the Park, which lasts about 2 hours. The entrance fee is $50 (KSh 5,000) for foreign visitors, and $5 (KSh 500) for locals.
#9 Sossusvlei Dunes, Namibia
Possibly the most spectacular feature of Namibia, the Sossuvlei conservation area is characterized by the large red dunes that surround it. At almost 400 meters, the dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world and are believed to be 60 to 80 million years old.
Sossusvlei is a great tourist destination all year round. The best time to view Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset, as the colours are strong and constantly changing, therefore presenting great opportunities for the photographic enthusiast.
The Dune 45 is the most popular dune to climb. It is easily accessible from the entrance road, and presents a breathtaking view of the sunrise from its crest. The drive from Namibia’s capital, Windhoek, to this location takes 4.5 hours. The entry permit through the Namib Naukluft Park goes up to $6 for foreign tourists.
#10 Djmaa El Fna, Morocco
During the day, the square is occupied by snake charmers, juice sellers and other vendors that give the tourist a taste of the Morrocan culture. However, the scene changes gradually as dusk approaches, to include storytellers, acrobats, musicians and entertainers.
A UNESCO recognized city square, Djemaa el Fna, plunges the tourist into a world of mysterious bazaars set amidst the ancient city walls of Marrakech’s medina.