Your Unforgettable Africa Itinerary : Dream Trips from 1 Week to 3 Months

By on November 11th, 2019 in Africa, Travel Itineraries with 8 Comments

Choose Your Unforgettable Africa Itinerary

Africa!

Doesn’t that name just get you excited for adventure!

Well it certainly does me and having just finished my 4th trip to this continent I’m a sold-up massive fan.

I know planning a trip here can be somewhat of a mind-bending experience… to say the least!

Where to go? What to do? How much time to allow?

There’s just so many questions to answer when trying to map your journey.

But don’t worry, help is at hand!

From Cape Town to Cairo, Marrakesh to Maputo, I’ve travelled a fair few countries in this diverse and dazzling land and now am bringing you my ideal itineraries that will have you enjoying an awesome Africa trip no matter whether you have 1 week or 3 months here.

Read on to discover the perfect Africa itinerary for your time frame…


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1 Week Africa Itinerary – 1 Diverse Country

MOROCCO

Best Place to Stay Morocco: Les Matins Bleus, Essaouira

Morocco, Chefchouen, Blue Steps

With just one week up your sleeve for Africa, it’s best to concentrate on 1 country that offers a lot.

Close to Europe, with short flights times, I really think Morocco makes the perfect choice for your 1 week Africa itinerary.

From the great cities of Marrakesh and Fez, full of their photographic streets and pumping souks, to day trips in the Atlas Mountains, people watching in the medina of Chefchouen or exploring the coastline at Essaouira, you can do a lot with just 7 days here!

Morocco also gives travellers a good insight into the diversity of Africa – with Arabic, Bedouin, French and English spoken here and its people bringing a wide range of cultural backgrounds to the fore – this country provides a good introduction to the complex and layered diversity of this fascinating continent.

Plus you can’t go wrong with the food, or the mint tea of course!

 

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2 Week Africa Itinerary – Safari and Sea

Both Kenya and Tanzania are perfect countries to explore with a 2 week Africa itinerary – although if you’re on a budget I’d suggest just picking one country and sticking with it to avoid double visa fees and pricey flight connections.

TANZANIA

Best Place to Stay in Tanzania: New Teddy’s Place, Zanzibar

Tanzania, Dar Es Salaam, Mikardi Beach

Starting with Tanzania, 2 weeks in this country is ideal for experiencing some of Africa’s most scenic and spectacular safaris.

My favourites, and pick of the bunch, were the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, which I’d suggest allowing at least 3 days for to really soak in their enormity.

READ MORE: Why Tanzania’s Serengeti Will Blow Your Mind!

Picking up a tour last minute to these great game reserves can be done cheaply from the town of Arusha and you may want to hang a few days in this place to experience a bit of everyday Tanzanian life at the same time you try and score a bargain.

After you’ve had your wildlife fix, head to the coast and the country’s biggest city, Dar Es Salaam for a night, before hopping on the ferry to Zanzibar.

I’d allow at least 5 days for this stunning island – 2 nights in the capital Stone Town and 3 nights at the beach town of Paje on the east coast to dive, kitesurf or just relax!

READ MORE: The Ideal Tanzania Itinerary – Places You Can’t Miss

 

KENYA

Best Place to Stay in Kenya: Distant Relative Eco-Lodge, Kilifi

Kenya, Masai Mara, Cheetah Trio

When it comes to a 2 week Africa itinerary, Kenya is really hard to beat.

Like its neighbour Tanzania, Kenya has some incredible safari opportunities and some drop-dead gorgeous coastline too.

If you’re on a budget, consider limiting yourself to just one safari in Kenya (none of them come super cheap!) and with this in mind, it really is hard to overlook the mind-blowing magnificence of the Masai Mara.

Winner of the Best Africa Safari award (as voted by me!), the Mara is a paradise for its big 5 spots, stunning landscape shots and rich cultural heritage.

This place really does have it all and Milimani Backpackers in Nairobi provide some great value tours there for backpackers and solo budget nomads.

If you do feel like treating yourself to more than 1 safari, other great options in Kenya include:

READ MORE: 14 Spellbinding Things to Do in Kenya That Will Make You Book a Trip There Today!

Once you’ve got your wildlife fix in Kenya, it’s time to head to the coast!

Kilifi and Diani Beach and my 2 favourite spots.

Kenya, Diani Beach, Driftwood

The first offers creekside relaxation in the amazing Distant Relatives Backpackers, with day trips to Watamu and Malindi all possible from this local town.

Diani is all about the white sand, turquoise sea and dreamy views.

Diani Backpackers offers a great budget place to stay here among the expensive resorts and you can still access the beach, boat trips and some great diving opps along with everyone else!

READ MORE: The Ideal Kenya Itinerary for a Tight Budget … and a Tight Schedule!

Sometimes, with a 2 week Africa itinerary, people like to combine Tanzania and Kenya by visiting the Masai Mara for their safari fix and then heading to Zanzibar for their beach time.

Cheap and short flights between Nairobi / Mombasa and Zanzibar make this more than possible.

 

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South Africa, Kruger NP, Zebra

 

3 Week Africa Itinerary – Southern Explorer

With 3 weeks up your sleeve for Africa, you can really start exploring more than one country.

I’d advise combining South Africa, Botswana & Vic Falls in Zimbabwe as a great option for this timeframe.

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa, Cape Town, Constantia

Best Place to Stay in South Africa: The B.I.G, Cape Town

Begin in Cape Town, one of the continent’s most alluring cities, and after 3 days of exploring its dizzy heights, begin making your way along the South African coast.

Allow plenty of time for the Wild Coast, as well as the wine country and the Drakensberg Mountains if you can – 10 days should do it!

Reach Joburg and hop up to Kruger National Park for an amazing full day game drive before heading onto Botswana

*maybe via a short flight if you’re pushed for time*

NEED SOMEWHERE TO STAY? The 4 Best Johannesburg Hostels

 

BOTSWANA

Botswana, Chobe National Park, Local Man

In Botswana, the Okavango Delta and Chobe River National Park offer more sublime safari experiences.

Choose between them or hit up both (allow at least 4 days for both) if you have time.

SEE MORE: Chobe River National Park : A Photo Essay

 

VICTORIA FALLS

Zimbabwe, Vic Falls, Lookout Pointjpg

Best Place to Stay in Victoria Falls: Shoestrings Backpackers, Zimbabwe

From Chobe River, it’s then a “short” drive (in Africa terms) across the border into Zimbabwe where you can see the stunning Victoria Falls.

With all manner of crazy activities on offer here, adrenaline junkies should allow at least 2 nights to get their fix!

LEARN MORE: 8 Things to Do in Victoria Falls Guaranteed to Get Your Heart Racing

 

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Ethiopia, Danakil Depression, Erta Ale 5

 

1 Month Africa Itinerary – Northern Highlights

From one end of the continent to another, with 1 month for your African adventure, you can definitely explore the best that the northern end of this continent has to offer.

EGYPT

Best Place to Stay in Egypt: Ekadolli Nubian Guesthouse, Aswan

Egypt, Giza, Pyramid

Egypt really is every bit as spectacular as you imagine and with so much to see and do here, I’d suggest allowing 10 days-2 weeks to explore the length and breadth of this fab country.

Begin in Cairo and give yourself 3 nights here to tick the Pyramids and the Sphinx off your bucket list, as well as see the Islamic and Coptic quarters of the city and one of the world’s best museums.

LEARN MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Cairo

From Cairo head to the Red Sea to get your beach fix.

The mega-chilled town of Dahab gets my vote for its awesome cafes, cheap prices and super diving opps. Allow yourself 3-4 nights, although if you’re anything like me, you’ll be hardpressed to leave!

After the Red Sea, it’s time to crack on with the sightseeing.

First up Luxor for the Valley of Kings, Karnak and Luxor Temple.

The Luxor Musuem and other sites of the West Bank are also highly worthwhile.

Allow 2-3 nights in Luxor and consider taking a well-priced tour to get the best from your experience.

I highly recommend Emad, a very experienced tour guide with fantastic English and a cracking sense of humour! He can be contacted via Whatsapp on +20 100 151 3578.

From Luxor bag yourself a cheap cruise and sail down the Nile to Aswan, passing Efnu Temple and Kom Ombu Temple on the way.

Once in Aswan, Philae Temple and Abu Simbel cannot be missed!

 

SUDAN

Best Place to Stay in Sudan: The Nubian Rest House, Karima

Sudan, Meroe, Camel Ride

Sudan might seem an unlikely choice on an Africa itinerary, but trust me you’ll be blown away when you get there just like everyone else.

Full of amazing historical sights, fascinating culture and some of the friendliest people on earth, a week here will give you an experience few travellers are lucky enough to get… yet.

Get to Sudan either by crossing overland from Aswan or flying direct to Khartoum from Cairo.

Allow 3 days for the capital and then split the rest of your time between the Nubian town of Karima and the splendid Meroe Pyramids.

LEARN MORE: 15 Amazing Things to Do in Khartoum, Sudan

 

ETHIOPIA

Best Place to Stay in Ethiopia: Mr Martin’s Cozy Place, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia, Abune Yemata, Priest

After Sudan, you can either fly or cross overland into Ethiopia, my favourite country of ALL time!

Yes don’t get me started on how amazing this place is!

With 1-2 weeks you’ll have a good amount of time to see all the major attractions including the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the mind-blowing landscape of the Danakil Depression, the Camelot of Africa – Gondar – and hike in the UNESCO Simien Mountains.

As well as sample the amazing food, coffee, music and dancing of this utterly unique place!

LEARN MORE: The Ideal Ethiopia Itinerary

 

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2 Months Africa Itinerary – The Best of South & East

2 months in Africa will give you a great opportunity to see the best of the Southern and Eastern parts of this continent and tick quite a few experiences off your bucket list while you’re at it!

SOUTH AFRICA

Best Place to Stay in South Africa: The B.I.G, Cape Town

South Africa, Cape Town, Clifton Beach

Fly into Cape Town and enjoy a week exploring the attractions of this dazzling city as well as its many day trips.

READ MORE: The Top 15 Things to Do in South Africa

 

NAMIBIA

Namibia, Dune 45, Sunrise

From Cape Town head north into Namibia and spend a week checking out the Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Fish River Canyon and Skeleton Coast.

Namibia is a large and sparsely populated country, which means distances between destinations can be significant, but it’s worth the journey because this country is like nowhere else on earth!

DISCOVER MORE: 9 Amazing Places to Visit in Namibia

 

BOTSWANA

Botswana, Okavango Delta, Sunset Mokoro Ride

After Namibia, hop across the border into Botswana to check out Okavango and Chobe River National Parks, allowing yourself 5 days to take in their natural splendour.

SEE MORE: Chobe River National Park : A Photo Essay

 

VICTORIA FALLS

Best Place to Stay in Victoria Falls: Shoestrings Backpackers, Zimbabwe

It’s then just a “short” drive from Northern Botswana across the Zimbabwe border and onto Victoria Falls, one of the 7 natural wonders of the world and an absolute must-see while you are here.

From rafting to canyoning, zip lining to bungee jumping, this is the adventure capital of Southern Africa so it’s time to get your adrenaline fix at this iconic spot!

LEARN MORE: 8 Things to Do in Victoria Falls Guaranteed to Get Your Heart Racing

 

ZAMBIA

Absolute Africa, Zambia, Leopard

Cross the border at Victoria Falls and head onto Zambia’s most national park – South Luangwa, for some seriously close encounters with hippos, elephants and more!

Give yourself 2 nights here, unless the animals freak you out so bad on the first night you can’t stay longer!

DISCOVER MORE: South Luangwa National Park: A Photo Essay

 

MALAWI

Best Place to Stay in Malawi: Thumbi View Lodge, Cape Maclear

Malawi

Now it’s time to chill a bit, and there’s few better places to do it in this part of the world than Lake Malawi.

Pick one spot along its banks, pitch your tent and unwind!

 

TANZANIA

Best Place to Stay in Tanzania: New Teddy’s Place, Zanzibar

Zanzibar, Stone Town, Jaws Corner Flags

I’d really suggest 7-10 days in Tanzania to take in as much as you can of this amazing country.

From world-class safaris in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to the stunning beaches and fascinating Swahili culture of Zanzibar, this is a country of contrasts that shouldn’t be overlooked.

I suggest a 3-day safari tour as a good option, followed by plenty of downtime both in Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town and its east coast resort of Paje.

LEARN MORE: The 21 Best Things to Do in Stone Town, Zanzibar

 

RWANDA

Best Place to Stay in Rwanda: Discover Rwanda Youth Hostel, Kigali

Africa, Rwanda, Landscape

And finally, dive into the heartland of East Africa with a trip through Rwanda and then into Uganda.

Compared to the mostly dry and arid Tanzania, the lush, green countryside of these 2 countries can be a welcome surprise, although often the humidity is not!

Best stop in Rwanda is the capital Kigali where the important Genocide Memorial Centre is.

READ MORE: Top 7 Things to Do in Rwanda

 

UGANDA

Best Place to Stay in Uganda: Fat Cat Backpackers, Kampala

Uganda, Bwindi, Gorilla Time

In Uganda it’s all about the wildlife, so don’t miss out on any of the amazing national parks here including Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

The town of Jinja, the East Africa adventure capital and start of the Blue Nile falls is another must, as is gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of course.

LEARN MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

With all this on your plate, you’ll need at least a week to explore the best of this beautiful country.

 

3 Months+ – Cape Town to Cairo

And with a 3 month+ Africa Itinerary open to you, you’ll have to time to do the most legendary of all legendary journeys – Cape Town to Cairo!

If you’re a fast mover then, I’d suggest following the 2 month itinerary above and then tagging on Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt onto the end (view my 1 month Africa Itinerary for best details on this northern section).

Otherwise, if you’re a slower mover like me, then a South Africa – Swaziland – Mozambique – Tanzania – Kenya – Ethiopia – Somaliland – Sudan – Egypt route takes in less countries, giving you more time in each!

This whole route can be done overland, although you’ll have to make provisions and plans for border crossings in advance.

I’d start in Cape Town and then work up the coast to Swaziland before continuing north, but depending on the time of year, you could just as well make this journey in reverse.

Check out the other itineraries in this post for more detailed information about each country in this epic voyage.

 

PIN IT TO PINTEREST!

 

So there you have it, my full round up of the best Africa Itinerary for your time frame!

Of course, these are all open to mixing and matching too, but I thought splitting them up may give you the best idea of the possibilities that lie before you in this most wild and wonderful of continents.

So, when and where are you headed first?

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 8 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Kemigisha Immaculate says:

    Hello Stephie,
    While in Uganda you can tour various parks in 2 to 3 weeks.You can allocate Murchison 3 Days,Transfer to Kibale for Chimpanzee tracking 2 days,go via Fort Portal and connect to Queen Elizabeth National Park where you can spend another 3 days,head to Bwindi National Park via Ishasha for Gorilla Tracking also 3 days,then proceed to Lake Bunyonyi in Southern Uganda for may be 2 days.Then you can return to the capital or proceed to Kigali which is 2 h-3 hours away and take a flight from there.Thank you for loving Africa.

    • Steph says:

      Thanks Immaculate, this sounds like a jam-packed, action-packed itinerary that takes in the best of Uganda. I do worry it might be a bit rushed though. Probably leaving out Fort Portal would make it more manageable, plus relaxing at the lake at the end is a great idea. If you had to choose between Chimpanzee or Gorilla trekking, which would you go for?

  2. You are more than welcome to track the chimpanzees as well in Kibale National Park or Budongo Forest in Murchison Falls National Park.It’s a good experience too.

  3. Larena says:

    Hi, can all this be done by public transport?

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