Backpacking and Africa are two words that rarely go together, because of the perceived insecurity in most of the continent’s nations. It may come as a surprise to you that several countries in the continent provide impressive travel opportunities for backpackers. Here are some of the most backpacking-friendly countries in Africa that you should consider.
Morocco doesn’t need an introduction, and it’s a popular travel destination for backpackers as well. The North African Mecca attracts surfing enthusiasts from the world over. The town of Taghazout, in particular, is a backpackers paradise filled with swanky beachside hotels. Paradise Valley is a breathtaking palm-lined gorge that’s perfect for hiking day trips and cliff jumping.
Egypt is also not an unfamiliar vacation location, and backpackers also flock to the country choosing to stay along the coast of the Red Sea. Budget accommodation is plentiful with several diving shops and beach restaurants to explore. The Thistlegorm shipwreck serves as the main attraction and perfect diving location. Snorkeling is also another excellent activity to try out in this region.
The Bale Mountains, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is still a relatively unexplored African travel destination, and it’s filled with trees, wildlife to see, and mountains to explore. Given the bizarre 13-month calendar they follow, the country is popularly promoted as the land of “13 months of sunshine.” The Bale Mountains located to the south of the country provide the perfect exploration grounds for backpackers. It’s also the best place to experience sleeping in nature and going on week-long horseback treks.
Ghana’s most popular beaches are found in Kokrobite which is a 20-mile distance from the capital, Accra. The Academy of African Music and Arts (AAMA) is one of the region’s main attractions, and it attracts global dancers and drummers. The Academy also does offer accommodation or head on to the Big Milly’s Backyard located on the beach. Big Milly’s is popular with backpackers and Ghanaian Rastafarians also love to hang out there.
Lake Malawi, Malawi
Covering about one-third of Malawi is the beautiful freshwater Lake Malawi. The beach by the lake draws in backpackers because it rarely disappoints. There are numerous accommodation options including staying at beachside lodges like the Mango Drift Lodge that has a restaurant and bar. Malawi is also the world’s cheapest place to get a diving certification. Besides that, there are the magical sunsets to enjoy as well as delectable grilled fish dishes.
Lamu is amongst the oldest towns in Kenya and it’s also one of the most recently discovered backpackers’ havens. The interesting thing about the town is that there are no public buses for transportation, and the best way to get around is on donkeys. Against the sounds of the ocean, a donkey ride or foot exploration mission proves highly memorable. You can also explore the islands on Dhow rides or stroll through the narrow alleys of old town Lamu. Stay at a beach house around the Shela Beach area or go for budget accommodation options such as Banana House, Kipepeo Guest House or Pole Pole Guest House.