BY VINCENT ZIMBIZI
According to the World Tourism Organization, there were 55.7 million international tourists’ arrivals to Africa in the past year. Needless to say, Africa has really enjoyed a massive boost in the tourism industry. Let’s take a quick look at the countries that pulled in the most numbers.
Morocco, which saw about 10million tourist arrivals in 2013, is a beautiful country in North Africa that’s mountainous, has a lot of desert, and has both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Obviously, this country is already pretty diverse when it comes to nature so those who are into that sort of thing will definitely have a range of activities to engage in. Through the years, Morocco has seen several civilizations pass through, and each one has left its mark on the country, thus resulting in a very diverse culture. A visit to Morocco will expose you to amazing architecture, interesting music, and awesome food, among other things.
Everybody knows South Africa, right? But do you know how cultural diverse the country is? Or that it had 9.5 million tourist arrivals last year? That’s right! I don’t think I need to tell you how beautiful South Africa is. If you’ve never been you really should make plans to visit. Spend time taking in all the nature and culture the country has to offer, and enjoy several activities along the coastline which stretches along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
This is one country you hardly ever hear about, but somehow managed to land 6.2 million international tourist arrivals. Tunisia is Africa’s northernmost country and the smallest in the Maghreb region of Northern Africa. Why are tourists piling in to this seemingly unpopular country? It could be to enjoy the beaches, seeing as the country is bordered by the Mediterranean on two sides. But there are also Sahara dunes, mammoth ancient ruins and exotic cities that are home to a sprawling tangle of souks that a tourist would certainly delight in. Tunisia is also pretty rich in Roman and Arab culture, thanks to their history, which is definitely another plus.
Yet another Northern country on the list is Africa’s largest, Algeria, which saw 2.7 million international tourist arrivals in the past year. The tourism industry in Algeria may still be growing, but the country still has a lot of amazing experiences to offer. You can enjoy museums in the capital, learn about the Spanish rule in Oran, take gorgeous pictures at Kabylia, or visit roman ruins in the northern part of the country. I’d say it’s somewhere one should visit at least once.
Unfortunately, UNWTO did not state figures for 2013, but in 2012 our number five pulled in 2.1 million international tourists and we can assume they did much more last year. This South-Eastern country is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, and separated from Madagascar by the Mozambique Channel. A visit to Mozambique is sure to leave you with stunning memories of the gorgeous surroundings, a host of exciting activities, mouth-watering cuisine, heart-warming hospitality, and lush white sand beaches that give an air of paradise.