10 Reasons To Go To Africa Instead Of Europe For Your 2016 Vacation

You might be planning a trip to Europe this year, following the path trod by millions before you. Sure you can see Paris, Prague and the leaning tower of Pisa, but you won’t be seeing or doing anything different than those who have been before you.

So instead of Europe in 2016, why not broaden your horizons and explore a continent that fewer people have visited? You’ll likely save money, be more challenged, and have more interesting experiences to share than your Uncle Bob, who just got back from Paris for the fifth time.

Here’s why you should go to Africa instead of Europe for your 2016 vacation.

south africa rand


It’s much cheaper

Let’s get this one out of the way. If you haven’t checked the prices lately, European cities are expensive. Especially if you plan to go to popular tourist hot spots like London and Paris. Not only will you pay top dollar (or Euros) for your hotels and meals, the exchange rate isn’t in your favor either. In contrast, exchange rates on multiple African currencies are teetering on historic lows with the US dollar, making it a great vacation bargain — your money goes WAY further than it would in Europe. This is particularly true if you are heading to countries like South Africa or Morocco. Of course, flights to Africa are a bit expensive if you’re coming from another continent, but the other savings you’ll incur will make the overall trip cost cheaper.

kilimanjaro climber


The mountains are higher

Forget climbing Mont Blanc — Africa has several mountains that are higher and more challenging, including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. The mountains also offer more variety of terrain, including desert and tropical environments.

travelers to east africa

Grigvovan / Shutterstock

You can be different from your friends

As mentioned, you probably know many people who have already been to Europe, but how many do you know that have been to Africa? Probably not near as many. Instead of following the crowd, why not tread your own path and visit a country that few have seen like Ethiopia or Namibia? You’ll get mad bragging rights.

shark cage

Great white shark, South Africa (Shutterstock)

The adventures are crazier

While you can have some thrilling adventures in Europe, most of them involve staying up until 6 a.m. in Ibiza and the like — not so thrilling, unless you LOVE to party. In Africa, crazy adventures include the highest bridge bungee jump in the world, diving with great white sharks, white water rafting near Victoria Falls, and skydiving over the Namibian desert.

stellenbosch view


There’s fantastic wine country

Sure, Europe has Burgundy, Tuscany, and many more fantastic places to sip wine. However, there’s a place called South Africa which has winelands that are just as (if not more) scenic, with bold wines that have won many international awards.

safari at botlierskop south africa

(Photo courtesy of Botlierskop Private Game Reserve)

You can see wildlife outside a zoo

The last time we checked, there weren’t any rhinos, elephants, lions, or cheetahs roaming around Europe. While you might have seen some of these animals at your local zoo, it’s just not the same as seeing them out in the wild on safari, or even just hanging out on the side of a street.

pyramid stones


The history is more ancient

Were you planning on heading to Europe to soak up history you can’t get elsewhere? Well guess what, the architecture and monuments in Africa are even older — much older in fact. Instead of going to Europe, why not head to Egypt to see the remains of the civilization that started it all.

South African Airways

Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com

There are frequent and direct flights

You may have nixed an African vacation in the past because the continent didn’t seem convenient to get to, but that’s no longer the case. Several airlines now offer direct flights from North America to African cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Cairo, Casablanca, Addis Ababa, and Accra.

More Africans speak English than Europeans

It might come as a surprise, but there are more African countries with English as an official language than European ones. Unless you planned on just sticking to the UK and Ireland, you’ll have an easier time communicating in most African countries than you will in Europe.

egyptian liver sandwich


You can discover new cuisines

Yes, you can discover new cuisines in Europe as well, but we’re willing to bet you probably have a few Greek, Italian, French and Spanish restaurants in your city already. However, you probably don’t have a South African, Egyptian or Ghanaian restaurant. Why not give your taste buds a treat with flavors they’ve never tried before in Africa?

Related content on AFKTravel: 

10 Reasons To Go To Dar Es Salaam
10 Reasons To Visit Senegal
Why South Africa Just Became An Even Bigger Bargain Vacation Destination

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