How to plan a trip to multiple destinations in Africa

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If you want to visit several countries in Africa, it will take a little more planning than, for example, planning a trip to America or even Europe. In large part, because transport systems in Africa are not as developed, and getting between destinations in the country can sometimes be a challenge (but it will be worth it). The next big decision you will have to make is which countries you want to reach on your trip. Be aware that Africa is a vast continent and you can spend months traveling through the fantastic cities, countries and national parks that make up this incredible part of the world.

The best approach for visiting various countries in Africa is to plan your trip by region. As it will be difficult (and time consuming) to travel from country to country by train or bus, you will be traveling mainly by plane. When you are in the country, locomotion varies depending on the country. A word for the wise: you will be traveling in "Africa time". Not all modes of transport use a timetable or schedule. Sometimes the bus leaves when it is full. If you adopt this mindset, you save many moments of frustration. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

In this article, you will find suggestions for places to visit in Africa that would be good to add to your itinerary from various destinations. Including places to stay and the best way to get to and from each destination. We also suggest highlights for each destination, but you can modify your plans based on your budget and schedule. So, sit back and enjoy the ride, while we show you how to plan a trip with multiple destinations to see Africa!

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Where to start

Choosing a good starting point is essential because it sets the tone for the rest of your trip. If you visit the destinations below, we will start in the West African country of Senegal and then head north and then east across North Africa Morocco and Ethiopia before we head south along the Swahili coast to Tanzania. We will end our trip in the magnificent country of South Africa.

Senegal is a great starting point, because Dakar is a global business hub, and flights to the capital are quite reasonable from the USA and Europe. If you follow this route, you can get direct flights between each of the countries mentioned.

When to go

When planning your trip to Africa, you will need to schedule your visit with the wet and dry seasons and when animal migration happens. This is fundamental because a African Safari it's something you don't want to miss! You will not get the best weather everywhere you visit, but if you travel between September and January, you are guaranteed to see part of the wildebeest migration in Tanzania.

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Again, Africa is such a huge continent, with so many places to see, it is not practical to identify the best time to visit all the countries listed on our multi-destination / multi-regional trip.

Between Destinations in Africa

It is not really practical to drive, take a bus or train between destinations in Africa. Good news! There are some major global and regional airlines operating on the continent, and you can find and book online using sites like Google flights, KAYAK or Skyscanner. If you come from the USA, it is better to book your flights through Europe instead of flying nonstop. This will save some money and allow more flexibility.

Getting around In the country

When you are in the country, there are several options for getting around. The best way to get recent, first-hand information on how to get to the places on your bucket list is to work with the backpacker hotel / hostel, or go online and sign up for tours. You can do a lot of pre-planning before you arrive. Believe it or not, many countries in Africa have great travel companies and do most of their business online. For example, sites like TourRadar or Intrepid Travel offers high-level tours to most African countries. Intrepid people have a lot of experience and have been on the market since the 1980s. Tours in Kensington it is another excellent company to work for. They are even a National Geographic-awarded tour company.


Ideas for your multiple destination itinerary in Africa

Country 1: Senegal

To start our African journey through several countries, we landed in the capital Senegal, Dakar. You will feel the vibrancy of West Africa as you drive from the airport, as you pass the busy streets and see the colorful markets in Dakar. They offer vibrant African fabrics, traditional wood carvings, masks and fantastic street food. From wild beaches to forest parks rich in wildlife, Senegal offers many places to start your African adventure.

Some highlights of Senegal

  • Visit Goree Island – Learn the history of the slave trade in West Africa at this moving monument to Africa's past
  • See the IFAN Museum of African Arts – See the history of the region through the arts and crafts that make up West African culture.
  • Buy souvenirs at Marché Sandanga – Visit the largest and oldest market in Dakar to buy interesting handicrafts that represent the culture of the people of West Africa
  • Take a trip to Lac Rose – Watch salt collectors working along the shores of “Lago Rosa”.
  • Sail the River Gambia – Take a luxury boat tour of the scenic Gambia River and see some fascinating wildlife.

Tours in Senegal

Here are some tour ideas that you might like:

Length of stay

If you want to see the must-see attractions, plan to stay in Senegal for 5-7 days. You can do almost anything on your itinerary from Dakar, unless you want to book an overnight trip down the Gambia River.

Accommodation

As Dakar is the capital and home to African diplomatic offices, you will find great places to stay, from luxury hotels to incredible backpacker hostels. Here are some suggestions that will certainly not disappoint:

Read More

If you want to read more about travel to West Africa, check out our post: 10 best places to visit in Senegal and Gambia.

The Gambia River


Country 2: Morocco

Morocco is colorful, energetic, aromatic and incredible! You will fall in love with the souks of Marrakech and Casablanca and marvel at the majesty of the Atlas mountains. The fantastic architecture will also leave you with a sense of wonder.

Some highlights of Morocco

  • See Chefchaouen – Enjoy the beautiful blue-colored architecture and the excellent shops in this colorful city called "Blue Pearl".
  • Buy the souks of Marrakech – There is so much to see in the souks that you can spend all day buying Moroccan rugs, cans and lanterns.
  • Drive to the Atlas Mountains – Take a trip up the Atlas mountain on Morocco's well-maintained highways to see incredible views and Aït Benhaddou, a mystical UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the historic buildings of Casablanca – See magnificent architecture like the Grande Mosquée Hassan II and the elegant buildings that line the Corniche de Casablanca.
  • Join a camel caravan for Erg Chebbi – Walk to the Berber nomad camp and then enjoy the Erg Chebbi Luxury Desert Camp.

Morocco Tours

Here are some tour ideas that you might like:

Length of stay

To make the most of your visit to Morocco, you need to dedicate a week to this part of your journey. A few trips through the Atlas Mountains and the picturesque Moroccan coast will be worth the extra time spent in this beautiful North African country.

Accommodation

Many of the best places to stay are on the coast, but you will also find many picturesque and elegant hotels in your destination. Marrakech is an excellent base for your stay in Morocco, you can make the most of travel days of this vibrant city.

Read More

Want to read more about travel to Morocco, read our post: 10 best and inspiring places to visit in Morocco.


Country 3: Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a magical country with ancient and spiritual roots. You have the beauty of the wild mountains and the inspiring religious architecture that attracts visitors to this wonderful country. Addis is a modern capital, with fantastic food and great places to see.

Some highlights of Ethiopia

  • Visit Lucy at the National Museum – You'll see ancient history like no other place you've ever been, including the 2.3 million-year-old fossilized hominid "Lucy".
  • Shop at Merkato – Stop at Africa's largest open-air market and, as you stroll down the winding corridors, the smell of pungent spices and roasted coffee will awaken your senses.
  • Visit the Rock Churches of Lalibela – See eleven medieval churches, all carved in massive slabs of volcanic rock!
  • Visit the medieval city of Gondar – The "Camelot of Africa" ​​is the site of the castle that was the medieval home of Ethiopian emperors and princesses.

Ethiopia Tour

Here are some tours you might like:

Length of stay

Due to the size of Ethiopia, and several sites are a hike, it is best to spend an entire week in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Airlines is the best in Africa, so it is very easy to get a cheap flight to the places on your itinerary.

Accommodation

The accommodations in Ethiopia are spartan compared to the places you may have stayed in Europe or the USA. But the hospitality and cultural enrichment you will get from Ethiopia will more than make up for the lack of amenities in many hotels. However, Addis has some exceptional accommodation options that can impress you!

Read More

Want to read more about places to see in Ethiopia, check out our post: 10 best and most amazing places to visit in Ethiopia.

Lalibela, Ethiopia - Rock-Hewn Church


Country 4: Tanzania

Tanzania is home to some of the best wildlife views on the planet. The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater are global treasures and are home to Africa's wonderful wildlife. Zanzibar and the Swahili coast are also must-see tourist spots, where ancient cultures have survived for centuries. You will have access to some very impressive tropical beaches.

Some highlights of Tanzania

  • See wildlife on a safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro craters – Recognized for its incredible concentration of the most famous dangerous animals in the savannah, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater are exceptional places to see African wildlife at its best and you will be able to interact with the Maasai people of East Africa.
  • Explore the exotic island of Zanzibar – This incredible island has a rich and profound history that reflects Swahili culture that reflects African and Arab ways of life. Visit Stone Town, a UNESCO world heritage site that perfectly illustrates Swahili life.

Herd of wildebeest in Nogorongoro crater

Tanzania tours

Here are some tour ideas that you might like:

Length of stay

When visiting Tanzania, you can get many of the great things in 5-7 days. If you want to add Zanzibar to your itinerary, make it better 10 days.

Accommodation

Read More

Want to read more about places to see in Tanzania, check out our post: Amazing places to visit in Tanzania.

Nature in Tanzania


Country 5: South Africa

If you can, stay in South Africa for as long as you can (and your budget allows). It is impossible to credit Rainbow Nation with just a few days, but this itinerary will offer the "best of the best" places to see in South Africa. You can also add our The best road trip in South Africa to your itinerary.

Johannesburg / Pretoria

Pretoria is one of South Africa's three capitals and Johannesburg is considered the nation's financial capital and unique center of the gold mining industry.

Some highlights of Johannesburg / Pretoria

  • Visit the Apartheid Museum – Full of moving exhibitions that literally take you on the dramatic and emotional journey towards freedom.
  • Try Soweto (SOuth WEstern TOwnships) – AN tour of Soweto it will provide a first-hand perspective on the daily life of a series of municipalities that are home to 1.3 million inhabitants.
  • Lesidi Cultural Village – Discover the fascinating cultures and traditions of the people of South Africa.

Johannesburg Tours

Here are some tour ideas that you might like:

Length of stay

You can see everything Joburg and Pretoria have to offer in 3 to 4 days, but you can also use this stop for several day trips, making your stay more than a week.

Accommodation

Pretoria has the best places to stay, and shopping is fantastic.

Kruger Safari

Kruger is the king of all African safari parks and the best safari destination in the world. Here you have a great chance to catch a glimpse of the "big five" up close and in person.

Lion in the Kruger National Park - South Africa

Length of stay

You need at least 4 days to see the entire Kruger National Park.

Accommodation

One of the main luxury safari camps is andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge. The accommodation is perfect for families, beginners and experienced explorers.

Cape Town

Cape Town has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is full of history and diversity, and the surrounding area is simply breathtaking.

Some highlights of Cape Town

  • Climbing Table Mountain – Many trails lead to the summit, or you can take a ride on the Table Mountain aerial cable car.
  • Visit the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek vineyards – Some of the best wines in the world can be found at Cape Winelands, and you will love small towns with their white colonial Dutch buildings.
  • Visit the colorful Bo-Kaap – See the pastel-colored houses lined up on the picturesque cobbled streets of Bo-Kaap, a long-standing home of the Cape Malay people.
  • Take the ferry to Robben Island – This infamous prison was used by the former apartheid government to hold indigenous prisoners, like former President Nelson Mandela, during his freedom struggle.

Cape Town tours

Here are some tours you might like:

Length of stay

Cape Town deserves 7 – 9 days to do it justice. The city is very easy to get around, and there are so many excursions that you won't want to leave after falling in love with this fantastic city.

Accommodation

Read More

If you want to make the most of your trip to South Africa, read:

▶ ︎ 16 things to know before visiting South Africa
▶ ︎ 10 best places to visit in South Africa
▶ ︎ Cape Town Guide
▶ ︎ The best road trip in South Africa

Cape Town from above

James Stewart

James Stewart

Professional writer

Jim is a travel writer and retired professor of African Studies. He is a lifelong self-described trekker and his career as a U.S. Air Force officer has given him the chance to experience incredible and exotic destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. He's at home with a good Wilbur Smith book or anywhere there is a story to tell … [Read full bio]

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