With 54 countries in Africa to visit, how do you decide which ones deserve your attention for your best African holiday? Here is our exclusive edit that incorporates the natural beauty of Africa and restorative luxury to give you a vacation of a lifetime.
Loud, proud and bold – need you say any more about the country that will take you back through time and bring you right up to the present day with its exhilarating nightlife? From the history of Benin City to the glittering skyscrapers in Lagos, Nigeria offers a bustling metropolitan adventure. Want to party? Look out for Owambe, when residents shut down the streets for a party, Lagos-style.
Of course, Nigeria has beautiful countryside too, ideal if you want to escape the hustle and bustle on the last few days of your trip to unwind.
Visit: November to March for sunshine and the dry season.
Stay: Ikogose Warm Spring Resort – Where a hot and cold spring meet to provide gorgeously warm and healing waters. Set in rich, dense forests, the resort gives you enchanting views, complete with elegant spa-style luxury.
Wear: Nigeria is the home of Nollywood, so make sure you dress like every day is your premiere by wearing a bold showstopper such as the Mabote Midi Skirt. Team with loud heels and a gorgeous crop for street to screen style, just like the fierce African women of Nigeria. Don’t forget your oversized sunnies too.
Eat: At Terra Kulture an ambassador and promoter of Nigerian culture, here you can enjoy the finest Nigerian cuisine. Here, they have thought of every aspect from décor to uniforms and even locally grown produce.
Drink: The Nigerian Chapman – is the signature cocktail of Nigeria, visitors dub the unfathomable taste as ‘West African Sangria’. The alcoholic version features Angostura Bitters and Campari, while the non-alcoholic is a sweet and fruity delight – just don’t tell your dentist what’s in it.
Looking for the adventure and relaxation that make up the best African holiday? Kenya is the place to go thanks to the incredible safari options and beautiful beaches. As Kenya has long been known as the place for safari, many people want to break tradition and go somewhere new. However, because Kenya has been offering safaris for so long, they’ve made safari into an art form of sustainable luxury travel. A sustainable safari to Kenya means you know both visitors and animals are thoroughly looked after.
After spotting the Big Five, head to the south coast with its white sandy beaches at turquoise waters.
Visit: Anytime (March to May have higher rainfall, but are usually quieter)
Stay: Be a responsible traveller and stay at a conservancy which gives back to the environment and the local community. We love Mara Bushtops which offers incredible views across the valley. You can even spot game from the infinity pool after indulging at the spa. Furthermore, they offer trips to local schools and a Maasai village too.
Wear: Be in keeping with the environment and support sustainable and ethical fashion for your African safari. We love the Iya African print pencil wrap skirt made from ethically-sourced fabrics. This easy to wear skirt takes you from the infinity pool to dinner with understated African style.
Eat: At Tamarind in Nairobi for its superb local seafood that provides Instagram-worthy dishes.
Drink: Chai Ya Tangawizi, the perfect drink before a midnight safari drive made from black tea, milk, ginger and sugar.
While Marrakech makes a great city break, there is so much more of Morocco to explore. Starting at Tangier which is the door to Africa and provides a welcoming medley of cultures with a wealth of history. Then stay for a few days in the charming town of Essaouira which does Boho style in abundance. Essaouira is the epitome of a laidback, chilled-out vibe, perfect for getting away from it all. If you can tear yourself away from the beach, there are plenty of charming boutiques and quaint galleries to enjoy too.
Finally, there is nothing more magical than sleeping under the stars in the expanse of the Sahara desert.
Visit: Between March to May
Stay: Experience glamping in its best form in the Moroccan Sahara with Desert Luxury Camp. While the camps are set in traditional Berber style, the luxury and style show it is no ordinary campsite.
Wear: Boho style is essential for Essaouira, so make sure to pack a maxi dress and skirt or two. The crisp cotton Makenene poppy print is perfect to keep you cool, covered and stylish.
Eat: At La Licorne in Essaouira. The restaurant has a wonderful ambience, and the menu is full of delicious and authentic Moroccan food.
Drink: At Il Mare which is one of the coolest hangout spots in the city with the best champagne. On a Saturday night, you can enjoy the Afram band who play out from the rooftop deck. Holiday bliss.
While Tanzania is perhaps best known for the Great Migration, when the wildebeest and zebras storm through the Serengeti, this beautiful African country has so much more to offer than ticking off the Big Five. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stone Town to the palm-frilled beaches of Zanzibar, make your trip to Tanzania a city to beach break. Start by exploring the labyrinth of alleys, the old fort and Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town, then spend a few days on the blissful beach to unwind.
Visit: Between June and October.
Stay: Enjoy five-star luxury in Stone Town while making sure the must-see attractions are in walking distance. The Park Hyatt Zanzibar is ideal.
Wear: Respectful dress is essential in Tanzania, and the gorgeous Nia African Print Dress is perfect. The long-sleeved maxi dress is made from cooling silk, making it ideal for wandering around the Stone Town in African style while giving you the glamour that takes you from exploring to dinner. Make sure to have a model-inspired photoshoot with this gorgeous dress and the backdrop of the famous Zanzibari doors.
Eat: Enjoy exclusivity at The Rock, a beautiful restaurant in the middle of the ocean with only 12 tables. Arrive by fishing boat to enjoy the freshest seafood in this mesmerising setting.
Drink: At Gerry’s Bar on the beach in Nungwi. With a relaxed atmosphere, ice-cold drinks and live music, it is the perfect place to wash any worries away.
Described by Nelson Mandela as; “a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.” There really is a rainbow of colour and life to discover in South Africa. The Cape Town International Jazz Festival offers style and music like nowhere else in the world while there are plenty of incredible places to explore, from Mandela’s old house to the third largest canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon.
Visit: In late March and April to check out the jazz in Cape Town and bump into the musicians in the local bars.
Stay: In an award-winning boutique lodge, the Tintswalo Atlantic. This little-known hideaway takes you away from the bustle of the city (although it is only 20 minutes away from the action) and provides gorgeous ocean views.
Wear: The Josie Gingham shorts are the ideal garment for city adventures. Team with a bold African wax print blouse for stunning laidback African style. Switch from day-time brogues to heels for dinner.
Eat: At Kyoto Garden for sophisticated sushi at its finest, in a setting that is an oasis in the big city.
Drink:Wine from Aslina Wines, the home of Ntsiki Biyela, the first black woman winemaker in South Africa.
Dubbed the Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is the best African holiday if you want to spot wildlife on a once in a lifetime trip. It is worth every penny of the permit to Volcanoes National Park for a chance to spot the rare and wonderful mountain gorilla, golden monkeys and silverbacks. The lush forest, the incredible trekking and unforgettable views of primates up close makes Rwanda a must-visit.
Visit: From Mid-December to February for the best chance to see mountain gorilla.
Stay: On a working tea plantation complete with an open-air spa and delectable gastronomic picnics at the fabulous, responsible, eco-friendly Nyungwe House.
Wear: The Essianh African Print long-sleeved midi dress for easy style and glamour on a day trip to Kigali.
Eat: Brochettes, the Rwandan dish of grilled meat and fish on a stick. If you prefer veggies, opt for Matoke, a spicy and flavoursome plantain dish cooking in banana leaves.
Drink: Urwagwa, a beer made from fermented banana juice and sorghum flour and intense flavour that is well worth a sip from an ice-cold glass.
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