Still thinking about where to go in Africa and can’t make up your mind? Why not derive inspiration from some of these famous landmarks in Africa.
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 manmade, 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 would blow your mind.
From bungee jumping over the bridge, going for a bridge swing or bridge slide, to swimming in the devil’s pool, visiting the 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 Capetown 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.
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
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
If you were looking for where to go in Africa, I hope that this post has given you a number of places to add your bucket list.
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- African safari packing list
- Best tips for backpacking Africa
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