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5 Underrated African Countries To Add To Your Bucket List

Lake Malawi. Photo Timbuktu Travel

Not that you should write off going on an African safari to Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia or visit the pyramids of Egypt off your bucket list. There are many great countries on the African continent that may not get the notoriety they deserve and may not rank high on your search engine when searching for African destinations to travel to, but these gems should be on any savvy traveller’s radar.


Here’s a list of the top 5 countries you need to add to your bucket list.

Malawi is nicknamed the warm heart of Africa because of the friendliness of the people. This sub-Saharan landlocked country is nestled between Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

Malawi is well endowed with wildlife and, unlike other African wildlife parks, you can even take a walking safari. Renowned for having the second largest lake in Africa at 2 meters deep, Lake Malawi, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, is one of the deepest lakes in the world. Surrounded by golden tan tropical beaches, the exceptionally crystal clear, freshwater lake is filled with over 600 rare species of fish, perfect for snorkelling, boating, and scuba diving.

Cape Verde | Image: Shutterstock

Cape Verde
Made up of 10 islands and 5 islets, the charming islands of Cape Verde, is a beach lover’s paradise.

Cape Verde islands have no shortage of activities to take advantage of. With so much to explore from excursions such as a driving tour of the sand dunes in Mao Island, water sports, including kite surfing, and diving, to the lovely secluded white sand and black sand beaches, as well as hiking. Cape Verde islands are rich in culture and festivals, experience the culture at the Sao Vicente carnival, the list goes on.

Anse Source D’Argent beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles. Composite photo

Known for having some of the most beautiful islands on earth, 115 islands make up this magical African archipelago. These coral islands are located northeast of Madagascar in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The best part is that only a handful of these islands are inhabited, making for a perfect secluded getaway destination.

Although all the islands are different and unique in their own right, the top islands to visit are Mahe Island (Main Island) Praslin island, La Digue Island. On these islands, you will find pristine white sand beaches, luxury hotels and apartments overlooking the Indian Ocean, restaurants where you can taste authentic Creole food, and the local rum, the hiking trails, you can experience the culture of Seychelles at the worldwide famous carnival.

Kinta Kunte island, Gambia

The Gambia
Known as the smiling coast of Africa, the Republic of Gambia is the smallest country within mainland Africa.

However, this West African Country boasts of diverse ecosystems, rich culture, history, and of course unspoiled white sandy beaches. Most tourists gravitate to Banjul, the capital city of the Gambia.

Whether you’re a budget traveller or a luxury traveller, you will find great accommodation ideal for every budget. This former British colony is home to a wide range of tourist attractions such as nature reserves, wildlife reserves, kachikally crocodile pool.

In addition to sacred sites of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on Kunta Kinta island, James Island (aka slave island) named a UNESCO World Heritage site, just to name a few. But let’s face it, the beaches where you can enjoy a variety of watersports attract adventure-seeking travellers to this charming country. From jet ski safaris, banana boat rides, to water skiing and wake boarding, the Gambia has so much to experience.

Lesotho. Photo State Department

The amazing mountain kingdom, officially known as The Republic of Lesotho, is one of the three remaining sovereign kingdoms in Africa, landlocked by South Africa. This mystical country has many attractions to enjoy for nature lovers such as, the Maletsunyane Falls, which is a top league waterfall of the world, hiking at Thabana Ntlengana, experiencing the Maluti Mountains, the amazing rock pools, and the Mohale Dam.

Lesotho is also home to a rich cultural heritage, a well-known cultural site is the Kome caves that hold thousands of years of history, and is a vital part of history in Lesotho.

Tsehlanyane National park in the crown of Lesotho’s National Park System is home to the unexpected Afriski resort where you can ski and snowboard.

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