Out of a compilation of The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World by Condé Nast Traveler, here are five of their greatest African hits, courtesy Mother Nature.
We sure live in a big, beautiful world: Massive glaciers, staggering mountains, plains dotted with wild animals .
And while pinpointing all the greatest hits could take a lifetime, we think these out-of-this-world landscapes and awe-inspiring wonders need to move to the very top of your travel list.
Boulders Beach, South Africa
Located on the False Bay Coastline, about 17 miles south of Table Mountain, Boulders Beach shows off Cape Town’s famously beautiful landscapes—bright blue water, granite boulders, and … penguins! Many people swim here just a few feet away from the adorable African penguin community, but feel free to just sit back and admire the beautiful coastline as well.
Namib Desert, Namibia
With its otherworldly landscapes and isolated luxury lodges—not to mention populations of rhinos, giraffes, and elephants—Namibia is like nowhere else on Earth. In fact, its red sand dunes and skeletal trees might make you think you’ve been transported to Mars instead of southwest Africa.
Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Nothing compares to standing in front of the world’s largest waterfall, which stretches in length for a full mile. Visit between February and May (after the region’s rainy season) for the clearest views of the 500 million liters of water that pour over the falls every 60 seconds.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
The lush Okavango Delta—a 49-million acre river delta in northern Botswana—is like a real-world eden, where cheetahs, zebras, buffalo, and rhinos roam freely. Visit during Africa’s winter (our summer), after the rains when the delta floods: The savanna’s grasses are low, while growth along the waterways attracts tons of wildlife.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Tanzania’s portion of the Serengeti is the ideal location for an African adventure. Visit between January and March to witness the wonder that is the Great Migration, an iconic phenomenon that sees 1.5 million wildebeest sweep through East Africa on an annual, 1,200-mile cycle. Even better? Watch the stampeding animals from a luxurious safari lodge, like Singita Mara River Tented Camp or Mwiba Lodge.
Acknowledgement Conde Nast Traveler and Getty Images