By: Priscilla Wiredu
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, and recognized for being the most culturally enriched and diverse.
The continent houses over 50 countries, a collection of distinctive heritages, and a world filled with beauty.
Africa is a beautiful place with different landscapes, ranging from vast deserts, to tropical rainforests, and their diverse flora and fauna.
The scenic beauty Africa has to offer would leave anyone stunned.
It is important to acknowledge the beauty of Africa and not the negative stereotypes that have been placed upon the continent. Africa is not a war-torn barren, disease ridden wasteland, but an entire new world filled with interesting and exciting historical monuments, places, and traditions.
Outlined are eight of the most beautiful places in Africa.
Lake Naivasha, Kenya
Located in Nakuru County, Lake Naivasha is a large, beautiful freshwater lake that sits just outside of Naivasha.
The name derives from the Maasai word for “rough water” because of the stormy weather in the area.
The 1,844 m elevation makes the lake the highest one in the Great Rift Valley.
Beyond its swampland, forests surround the lake making a refreshing day trip, as it is easily accessible from Nairobi.
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls of Zimbabwe is a breathtaking beautiful waterfall that overlooks the Zambezi River.
The waterfall has a natural border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was once named the ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ translated as “The Smoke that Thunders” by the Kololo tribe.
The name is derived from the intense spray and thundering noise of the rushing water streaming over the falls.
The basalt cliff that curtains the falls turns from a placid river into a tremendous torrent that slashes through a collection of gorges.
Another alluring facet of Victoria Falls is the Devil’s Pool. This is known as a place within the falls where people swim and do not have to worry about getting swept over at the edge.
A daring, adventurous, and beautiful landmark Victoria Falls encompasses.
Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
The Avenue of the Baobabs is an ecological historical landmark that links the road between Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina.
The rare and ancient baobab trees present an alluring and unique site, marking it as the country’s first official national monument.
These trees are giant, dry season deciduous trees aging over 800 years with trunks as wide as 150 feet. But due to modern civilization and massive deforestation, only a handful of baobabs still remain in isolation.
Fortunately, the Avenue of the Baobabs receive protection by private organizations to recognize its national natural monument in hopes the trees survive.
Baobabs are useful plants. Their trunks are tapped for water during dry season and their leaves are used in salads.
Their hard shelled fruits have a tamarind-tasting brown pulp that can turn into a delicious refreshing summer beverage all over Africa and a couscous dessert, called Ngalakh.
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
The Volcanoes National Park is a conservation center for Rwandan mountain gorillas, sheltering the highest number of gorillas in the Virunga Conservation area.
The park also houses a variety of golden monkeys, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects, creating a genuinely safe safari.
It originally started as a small area, protecting gorillas from poachers and extinction.
However in 1967, Dian Fossey, an American primatologist who did research on gorillas in the Congo, launched the conservation campaign and helped mobilize resources to fight against poaching up until her murder in 1985.
The park suffered during the Rwandan Civil War in the 90s.
Luckily, in 2005, Rwanda saved the park once again by introducing an annual baby naming ceremony for baby gorillas, the tradition known as “Kwita Iziina’ which not only helped attract tourism but positively influenced an increase in the gorilla population.
Fontainhas, Cape Verde
Located North of Santo Antao, Fontainhas is what one would call a fairytale village.
It is said to have one of the most beautiful views in the world.
The village consists of brightly colored houses sprinkled on the edge of a hundred meters-deep cliff.
The foot trail gives visitors the opportunity to see luscious green mountains and a beautiful sea view. Further below, there is a small beach for travelers to enjoy, but there is a small trek to get to the beach below.
Visitors can also walk across the mountain and see the village of Corvo.
Fontainhas is a beautiful landscape with mesmerizing views.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is a world famous safari destination where tourists can view a multitude of mammals and environments such as wetlands, forests and grasslands.
Located in a protected region in Tanzania, it includes a range of ancient volcanoes on the west side of the Great Rift Valley.
With its unique picturesque scenery, it has earned the reputation of one of Africa’s natural wonders.
The Crater is estimated to be over three million years old, when an active volcano’s cone collapses inward post-eruption.
The giant Crater is the sole remnant of said implosion.
It is the largest intact volcanic caldera on Earth, and a natural sanctuary for densely populated animals such as spotted hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, jackals and bat-eared foxes.
Due to its concentrated nature, it has its own distinct ecosystem.
The word Ngorongoro is an onomatopoeic term by the Maasai people of the region.
It resembles the sound of a cow bell, making a ngor ngor sound.
A small, unassuming village in the Inhambane Province of Mozambique, Tofo is a traveler’s paradise in East Africa.
The origin of Tofo dates back to the pre-colonial era, where the original inhabitants were the Bitenga tribe, where the people were skilled fisherman and traders.
When the Portuguese explorers came to Tofo in the 16th century, they established a trading post in the nearby Inhambane province.
With its beautiful beach responsive vibe and exciting nightlife, Tofo has many fun activities to offer.
People can explore their beautiful waters, from scuba diving, to swimming or surfing, seeing exotic animals such as manta rays and whale sharks. They can check into local restaurants and try delicious cuisines at affordable prices.
Tofo is sincerely a wonderful village for a small tropical getaway.
Atwea Mountain, Ghana
To end this list, we have a landmark that is personal to me. Atwea Mountain is a prayer retreat located in Atwea in the Sekyere Central District of the Ashanti region. It has been coined the most famous religious mountain in all of Ghana.
My maternal grandfather, Reverend Abraham Osei-Asibey, discovered the mountain while climbing it and praying to the Lord. He named it then as Abasoa Atwea. He gathered his family to visit for three days as a retreat. These prayer mountains are steep and tall, making it an exhausting yet exciting trip. The landscape is beautiful and sacred, with luscious green trees and rich fertile soil. It is perfect for those who wish to visit, pray, and experience its beauty.
Famed South African comedian Kevin Fraser once said, “Africa is not just a place, it’s a feeling.”
The beauty of Africa does not only apply to one specific place; there are too many people, places, and attractions that are unique and captivating, which gives off a once-in-a-lifetime experience for travelers. These beautiful places not only ground you but connect you to nature, its people, its tradition, and its history.
These places allow visitors to appreciate nature, because they give off a lively, exciting, and exotic feeling.
Priscilla Wiredu is a writer for this year’s Black Voice project. An alumni of York University, she graduated with Honors where she studied Social Sciences. She then went on to get an Ontario Graduate certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers, and a college certificate in Legal Office Administration at Seneca College. She is currently studying for the LSAT in hopes of going to law school. Her main goal as a Black Voices writer is to ensure Black issues and Black Pride are enunciated through her works.