Chad, Botswana and Egypt are the only African destinations on the list.
National Geographic has unveiled its 2020 list of best travel destinations across the world, with Botswana, Chad and Egypt the only countries representing the African continent. The list seeks to give travellers insights into where they should consider taking a ‘trip of a lifetime’.
Kalahari Desert, Botswana
This semi-arid sandy savanna covering much of Botswana and parts of Namibia and South Africa is famous for its beautiful sand-dunes and abundant wildlife along the Okavango River which flows through it.
‘‘Year-round stable temperatures, extremely low humidity, virtually zero light- or sound-pollution, and lack of cloud cover make the park—which scored an almost perfect 21.9 on the SQM (sky quality meter) scale of darkness—one of the planet’s best stargazing destinations.’’
Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has a landscape defined by the Kalahari Desert and the Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush animal habitat during the seasonal floods. The massive Central Kalahari Game Reserve, with its fossilised river valleys and undulating grasslands, is home to numerous animals including giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs.
Zakouma National Park, Chad
The Zakouma National Park is a haven for wildlife for Central and West African wildlife; the park is situated just south of the Shara desert and above the fertile rainforest regions. It boasts abundant wildlife including elephants, roan antelopes, Lelwel’s hartebeest, buffalos and the Kordofan giraffes. There are also nearly 400 species of birds, cheetahs, leopards, and servals. National Geographic lists it in the Adventure category.
‘‘The park’s location, in southeastern Chad, one of the world’s least-visited countries, makes Zakouma a best-kept secret—one worth sharing to help ensure its continued success.’‘
Chad, officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in north-central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west.
Abu Simbel, Egypt
The Egyptian village hosts the Abu Simbel temples carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II. They are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Nubian Monuments and listed in the Culture category by the National Geographic.
‘‘Wander from one dimly lit chamber to another through the 98-foot-tall Great Temple, guarded by four gigantic figures of Ramses II. Stand awestruck in front of images of the pharaoh and Nefertari, his beloved queen, engraved on the walls more than 3,000 years ago.’‘
Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including Giza’s colossal Pyramids and Great Sphinx as well as Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks like Muhammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities.