Over 71.2 million tourists experienced Africa in 2019 but the continent’s “moment” – and momentum – as a mainstream tourist destination were stifled by COVID-19. Now, industry experts are predicting it will be years before the tourism industry can match its most recent annual high.
One reason those numbers will ascend slowly is that most African countries are still not welcoming tourists. With picturesque vineyards, beautiful coastlines, inviting mountain landscape, and unmatched wildlife, South Africa’s usually busy borders will likely remain silent for the remainder of 2020. And “business as usual” doesn’t appear to be a thing elsewhere. As of mid-summer, only Tanzania and Tunisia are welcoming international travelers in Africa.
Despite the continent’s current struggle, travel will return. And when it does, Africa’s draw will be amplified. With coronavirus settling into a role as a passenger in our lives, fewer vacationers will flock to crowded cities like Paris and New York City. Many will search for opportunities to be out in nature, socially distant.
Africa has plenty going for itself. And with so many jawdropping natural wonders on the continent, people visiting will have ample room to explore. And when they do, a stop at one of these 16 beautiful destinations should be on their itinerary.
16. Danakil Depression, Ethiopia