Looking for places to visit in Africa? Here are the most famous landmarks in Africa that you should add to your bucket list.
Africa is indubitably the most diversified continent in the world!
From the amazing wildlife that everyone wants to experience, diverse people with a variety of customs and beliefs to incredible landscapes that are still virgin, Africa is a true gem that everyone should experience at least once.
However, it’s not just the incredible wildlife and scenery that it boasts, there are so many famous landmarks in Africa that leave travelers in awe.
Whether gifted by mother nature or human-made, these African landmarks will bring great travel memories that you’ll hold dearly throughout your life.
From the incredible wonders of the Giza pyramids in Egypt, the mighty smoke that thunders of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe to the longest river in the world – River Nile, here are the most incredible landmarks in Africa that you need to add to your bucket list.
Famous Landmarks in Africa
1. The Giza Pyramids, Egpyt
It’s not surprising that the Giza pyramids are the first on the list of the famous landmarks of Africa.
With over 4,500 years in existence, these incredible Egyptian landmarks were initially constructed to be a resting place for the Pharaohs as they prepare for their afterlife since they believed that they would be gods in the next life.
Standing tall just outside Cairo, the Giza pyramids are the only remaining wonder of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
The pyramids are not just popular in Africa but also one of the most visited historical sites in the world receiving over 14 million people per year.
On top of the 3 pyramids (The great pyramid of Giza, Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure) that stand in sheer eminence, you’ll be able to see the Great Spynthix of Giza that sits just right in front of the pyramids with the head of a human and the body of a lion.
A visit to the Giza Pyramids will take you back in the ancient times of Egypt and make you wonder how those big stones were carried and piled together to create the Pyramids that have excited everyone who hears or studies above them.
Even with contradicting or unclear studies on how the Giza Pyramids were constructed, they’re still Egypt’s main icon and an African landmark that tops almost all travelers’ bucket lists.
2. Victoria Falls, Border of Zambia and Zimbabwe
Oh, Victoria Falls!! The smoke that thunders or Mosi-oa-Tunya as locally known!!
This magnificent natural landmark of Africa boasts itself as the largest waterfall in the world with a height of 108 meters (354 ft) and a width of 1,708 meters (5,604 ft).
The roaring sound made by Victoria Falls can be heard as far as 40 km away and the misty spray of the falling water rises 400 meters high creating a never-ending shower over the rain forest in Victoria Falls National park.
With all those amazing features, it’s not hard to see why Victoria Falls was named one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the must-have adventure experiences in Africa.
Standing above the Victoria Falls and admiring the thunderous yet calm natural wonder will show you exactly what David Livingstone, the first European to see the Falls saw and got blown away.
Though the Victoria falls can be gazed at from both the Zambian and Zimbabwean side, I recommend opting for the Zimbabwean side as that’s where you’ll be able to see almost 75% of the Falls.
You can read this post to find out other reasons why it’s better to experience the Victoria Falls from the Zimbabwean side.
On top of admiring one of the most impressive landmarks of Africa, there are also other things to do at Victoria Falls that will blow your mind.
From bungee jumping over the bridge, going for a bridge swing or a bridge slide, to swimming in the devil’s pool, visiting Victoria Falls will bring out your most adventurous side.
Related post: How to get to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe
3. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Ever wanted to stand on top of Africa, then climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro will give you that opportunity.
Standing at 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and also the tallest freestanding mountain in the world – no wonder it is referred to as the roof of Africa.
The most impressive feature on Mt. Kilimanjaro is the snow-capped peak where you’ll be able to literally see the entire Africa.
Even with its difficulty level, this African landmark receives over 300,000 hikers a year making it one of the most climbed mountains in Africa.
With the hike taking 5-9 days depending on the hiking route you take, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is the ultimate adventure for outdoor enthusiasts who want to see one of the seven summits of the world while enjoying an African safari.
Related post: 10 Best National parks you need to visit in Africa
4. Table Mountain, South Africa
Sitting at just 1,084.6 m (3,558 ft), Table Mountain in South Africa might not be as high as Mt. Kilimanjaro, but this flat-topped mountain that overlooks the beautiful city of Cape Town is a popular African destination receiving over millions of visitors per year.
With the incredible views that the Table mountain gives, it is the most photographed landmark in South Africa which makes it worth to be included on the list of the famous landmarks in Africa.
The summit of the table mountain can be accessed by either taking a cable car or hiking your way up to feed your eyes with the glory of cape town.
But since many people opt for the experience of cable cars, make sure that you book your online ticket early not to miss out on the day’s trip.
Other than taking amazing photos of Table mountain, Table mountain national park which harbors this landmark also houses one of the other South Africa’s major attractions, the Cape of Good Hope which is the most southern point on the entire African continent.
5. River Nile, Uganda, and Egypt
If you’re looking for other natural landmarks in Africa to add to your bucket list, then River Nile is one of them.
River Nile is the longest river in Africa and indubitably the longest in the entire world with a length of 6,650 km (4,130 mi).
Related post: 13 Safest countries to visit in Africa
6. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Located in the South of Namibia, the Fish River Canyon is the largest Canyon in Africa and also the second in the world just behind The Grand Canyon of northern Arizona in the United States.
The Fish river canyon is also the second most visited tourist attraction in the country making it one of the must-visit Africa landmarks.
Measuring 27 kilometers wide, 550 meters deep and 160 kilometers long, hiking the Fish River Canyon is considered to be the hardest hike in Africa by many hikers but also the most rewarding with amazing canyon scenery.
But do not let the toughness of the hike scare you from exploring this beautiful African landmark.
Atop the magnificent and breathtaking views, you’ll be able to soak yourself in the natural hot springs, swim in the long river, and gaze at the stars when night falls.
7. Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
To locals, this is just a dirt road with Boabs lined side by side, but to travelers, it’s a picture-perfect destination.
Madagascar may not have been a popular destination before, but the Avenue of Baobabs has sold it to international travelers hence earning itself a spot on the Africa famous landmarks list.
What even makes these Boabs that are lined up on both sides of the road more interesting is that they have been in existence for over 2,800 years and approximate a height of 30 m (98 ft) – something you can’t easily find somewhere else.
With sunsets and sunrises being the prime time to see this incredible feature in the small town of Menabe in western Madagascar, the Avenue of the Baobabs has become an unofficial national symbol but also an official natural monument driving thousands of visitors every year.
Related post: 28 Things to know before backpacking Africa
8. Sahara Desert, Morocco
Being the largest hot desert in the World, the Sahara desert in Morroco is one of the best places to visit in Africa.
It’s the red soft sand, the thought of climbing the high dunes and watching the sunset over the desert that make the Sahara desert a popular destination in Africa.
Though there are a number of incredible sand dunes within the desert, the most popular amongst travelers is the giant Erg Chebbi sand dune.
Even though walking through the golden sand dunes is pretty amazing, the highlight of the Sahara desert visit is to ride on a camel during the sunset or sunrise as you climb up the dune.
The experience is out of this world making the Sahara desert one of the major landmarks in Africa that every traveler should visit at one point in life.
9. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
On top of having a huge concentration of wildlife in Africa, Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is the largest caldera in the world occupying over a hundred square miles, 12 miles wide and 2,000 feet deep.
The crater later was a result of an eruption of a volcano which is believed to have been taller than the current Mt. Kilimanjaro or even the highest in the world.
A visit to the Ngorongoro crater won’t only treat you to incredible views of the caldera but also a chance to see the big 5 animals.
10. Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
Located in North Eastern Botswana, Makgadikgadi Pans is the largest salt pan in the world covering an area of 30,000 square kilometers.
This salt pan that was as a result of Lake Makgadikgadi drying up hundreds of years ago is not just a single pan but rather a combination of many small pans.
Walking on the Makgadikgadi pans will give you an illusion of walking on a serene long endless beach as you appreciate the beauty that lives in Botswana.
Related post: A 3 weeks road trip itinerary through Botswana
11. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti National Park is one of Africa’s famous landmarks and home to the great wildebeest migration – so if you are looking for a dream safari in Africa, Serengeti is the place to be!
Derived from the Masai name “Siringit,” which means endless plains, the 14763 square km park is one of the best national parks in Africa for wildlife game viewing.
This UNESCO world heritage site is located in northern Tanzania and stretches to Southwestern Kenya. It hosts the largest mammal migration globally, making it an iconic national park and one of the seven natural wonders of Africa.
With over 1.8 million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles that move from the northern hills to the plains in the south, seeing and hearing the movement will boggle your mind. It’s truly a breathtaking experience that you shouldn’t miss while on a safari in Tanzania.
It is also home to many wildlife species, including the big five, 500 bird species, and it’s the world’s largest lion sanctuary.
12. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
Located in Mpumalanga province in South Africa, the Blyde River Canyon is the most beautiful African landmark in my opinion.
It is the 3rd largest canyon in the world and the world’s largest green canyon. Its lush green subtropical covering which dominates the canyon makes it stand out from the other canyons.
Measuring 26km long and 750meters, the spectacular geological formations of the canyon makes it incredibly beautiful and worth a visit.
Following the Panorama route will reward you with picturesque viewpoints with breathtaking backdrops with God’s window being the most famous viewpoint, followed by the highest peak known as Mariepskop and the three Rondavels, circular grass-toped peaks resembling a traditional house of native people.
With all that beauty, it’s not hard to see why the Blyde River Canyon is a famous landmark in Africa that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.
13. Okavango Delta, Botswana
Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of the famous landmarks of Africa that attracts tourists from all over the world.
It is also the 1000th UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven natural wonders of Africa making it a must-visit destination that will give you an experience of a lifetime
Located in the North West of Botswana, Okavango is one of the largest inland deltas in the world.
The unique thing about this swampy inland delta is that it floods during Botswana’s winter dry months between March and August and does not flow into the ocean or sea but when the floodwaters come, it swells to nearly 3x its permanent size.
The stunning delta has over 150,000 islands both large and small in size. It is also home to thousands of wildlife and over 450 bird species which makes it a perfect destination for wildlife lovers.
You can see the Okavango delta like you would visit any of the tourist attractions in Botswana but the best way to explore this magnificent delta is by taking a water-based-safari using a traditional canoe known as the Mokoro.
14. Masai Mara National Park, Kenya
Kenya is home to one of the famous African landmarks, Masai Mara National Park. This wildlife hub borders the Serengeti National Park in the southwest region of Kenya.
Just like Serengeti National Park, Masai Mara is a popular tourist destination because of its famous great wildebeest migration.
With the endless plains stretching up to 1510 square kilometers, the abundant wildlife, birds, breathtaking vista, and the rich Masai culture, Masai Mara gives an unmatched experience with an all-year-round game safari making it one of the best places to visit in Africa.
15. Sossusvlei, Namibia
Sossusvlei is one of the top Africa landmarks located at the heart of one of Africa’s largest National Parks, Namib Naukluft.
Best-known as Namibia’s most remarkable destination, it is surrounded by giant red dunes that offer a canvas of beauty that reconnects you with magical nature.
And on top of that, its dunes are some of the highest in the world with most of them above 200m.
Sossusvlei’s quintessential landscape with orange and apricot-colored dunes offers some of the best beautiful images reflecting morning and evening light.
Any trip to Namibia is incomplete without climbing the dunes as you’ll experience the serene beauty of a desert.
Namibia might be usually skipped by tourists but I hope that this famous landmark in Africa inspires you to visit the country.
16. Chefchaouen, Morocco
Also known as the blue city, Chefchaouen is located in northern Morocco and nestled in the Rif mountains. It is a unique small-town ideal for history buffs.
Imagine walking in a city surrounded by strikingly varying shades of blue at every angle and side? Mindblowing, right?
Photography lovers will be fascinated by the impressive backdrop of powdery blue and white that results in phenomenal images.
The big question however is, what inspired the city to be painted blue? Interestingly, there are many theories to explain this.
Some believe that the blue color symbolizes the skies and heaven which serves as a reminder to lead a spiritual life.
Some say the nearby water bodies inspired the blue while others say that it repels mosquitoes and keeps their houses cool in the winter months.
But regardless of whichever theory is true, the fact remains that the blue color brings a magical experience which makes Chefchaouen one of the famous monuments in Africa.
17. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is the most biologically diverse forest in Africa, with more than 160 species of trees and 100 ferns. It is also home to various bird species, butterflies, monkeys, forest elephants, and so many others.
Located in southwestern Uganda and covering 32, 000ha, the forest is known for its exceptional biodiversity.
Its natural beauty, ecological uniqueness, and the fact that it is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population earned it a UNESCO world heritage site position and a feature on this list of Africa’s famous landmarks.
Bwindi forest is also mostly known for gorilla tracking with 19 habituated gorilla groups available for the fun and mind-blowing experience.
Imagine walking through the forest to track the gorillas with footprints, fresh feaces, broken branches arousing your excitement of finally seeing these incredible features!
18. Tsingy De Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar
Among all the Africa landmarks, Tsingy De Bemaraha has to be the most mind-blowing!
Located on the western coast of Madagascar, Tsingy is not your usual national park. Instead, it features unique geological formations making it a must-see site on your next visit to Madagascar.
If you’re wowed by nature, the breathtaking limestone formations with jagged peaks will give you goosebumps.
This UNESCO heritage site has a sheer diversity of landscapes with beautiful gorges, sweeping canyons, lakes, mangrove swamps, and grand waterfalls, giving it an unmatched beauty.
Hiking and boat riding are some of the ways to explore this spectacular vista.
19. Lake Nakuru, Kenya
Seated on the Great Rift Valley floor is the most famous lake in Kenya, Lake Nakuru. This beautiful lake is located in the southwestern part of the country and it covers 188 square kilometers.
It is renowned for its flocks of pink flamingoes that make the lake look like a thick pink border surrounds it from a distance.
If you’re a birder, lake Nakuru should be on your African bucket list. But apart from the flamingoes, there are other 400 species of birds to watch.
Lake Nakuru is also a wildlife haven with mammals like the Rothschild giraffe, black rhino, hyena, lions, and buffaloes.
Surrounded by bush and grasslands, the area has picturesque ridges, and it’s ideal for hiking, birding, picnicking, and game driving making it one of the top landmarks in Africa
20. Valley of the Kings, Egypt
Since no one can travel back in time to live a past era, visiting famous African monuments like the valley of the kings in Egypt provides a window to the past.
Located on the west bank of the Nile River near Luxor, this cultural site attracts many history buffs – both locals and tourists alike.
It is one of the manmade landmarks in Africa built by the ancient Egyptians as a burial place for the royal families.
Its unique collection of tombs makes it one of the world’s most magnificent burial grounds with over 63 tombs of ancient pharaohs.
So if you’re into history or you just want to learn more about Egypt, visiting the Valley of the Kings will be very rewarding for you.
Final Thoughts on The Famous Monuments of Africa
For many people, Africa is just a place full of bushes with no civilization but there is more to this 2nd-largest continent and that’s why I wrote this post to show you that Africa is so much more than that!
From captivating wildlife to historical sites, there is so much that makes Africa worth a visit.
Have you been to any of these famous African landmarks? Let me know in the comments below which one you loved the most.
And if you’ve not been to the continent yet, I hope that this list of the most famous African monuments and landmarks inspires you to finally make the journey and explore what Africa has to offer.
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- Best tips for backpacking Africa
- Things to know before traveling to Africa
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