By David Adewusi
The bells are jingling again, but maybe not as loud as the previous years due to the lingering effect of the coronavirus. This virus, which ravaged the world in 2020, crippled economies across several African countries, and prevented its nationals from migrating, all thanks to the travel bans and regulations. It’s been a tougher run for Nigerians under President Buhari, as scarcity and inflation are on a constant high.
Anyway, this season is here, and it’s just fair that we treat ourselves to a perfect holiday. If your Christmas plans are better than Netflix & Chilling, then these spots in Africa would definitely interest you:
THE GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa possesses some of the most beautiful spots in Africa, and its capital city, Cape Town, is a testament to this fact. Perfect for families, The Garden Route is a long stretch of coastline which runs from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay. By staying in different hotels and inns, you can explore and enjoy the beaches, the beautiful, small towns, and the woods. If you enjoy nature, this spot will definitely thrill you. To have the best experience, rent a car and drive yourself and your family. This way, you can enjoy the spot at your own pace.
It’s no surprise that more than half of us have been dreaming of a holiday trip to Kenya! Mombasa is the largest port city in the whole of Kenya, and it has become a common tourist spot, receiving travellers from all around the world. This city defines Kenya, a country that has successfully amalgamated modern and traditional culture. The city contains old buildings which could pass as classics in the past; monuments, diverse street markets, beautiful beaches and corals. If you eventually choose Mombasa, do visit Old Town and Fort Jesus Museum on my behalf.
LAMU ISLAND, KENYA
Still in Kenya? Then Lamu Island should be your next stop. Located on the Eastern edge of the country, Lamu Island gives you a Kenya antique-experience. The Island houses villages, mosques, and ports from years gone by. This space is relaxing. With its waters running down from the Indian Ocean, you are bound to feel right at home.
Kakum National Park, Ghana
Ghana is one of Africa’s most promising countries, and this promise is particularly evident in the magic that is Kakum National Park. Home to some of the continent’s most beautiful species, the Park features a bridge suspended in the air, and is definitely not for someone like me! If you don’t mind heights, good luck walking that bridge.
Do you want an African city that still feels like home? Arusha is perfect for those with a knack for tall buildings, insane views, and stellar architecture. Arusha is also a fine destination for the Christmas holidays, offering a fine view of nature, which includes the renowned Mountain Kilimanjaro.
Mountain Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Remember when you learned that Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa? Well, that knowledge might come in handy while you are still in Tanzania. Climbing the mountain in December is perfect, as this marks the end of the short rainy season. Also, the mountain is not usually crowded this time of the year — apparently, not so many people enjoy climbing a rock during the holidays. But even if it gets crowded, you can always book a private climb.
Blue Bay, Mauritius
The Monalisa of tourist countries in Africa, Mauritius is a perfect holiday spot. The Blue Bay is a world-renowned tourist spot, receiving visitors from every nook of this world. The biggest feature of this village and its beach is not its beach and the addictive landscape, but the peace, fun, and tranquillity that this village offers.
One word: magical. Chamarel is a village that has a mesmerising waterfall, and a spot known as The Seven Coloured Earth. Just like the name suggests, this spot consists of sand dunes of shocking colours. Red sand. Purple. Yellow. Even though this can be explained scientifically, it still feels like magic.
Tinapa Resort, Nigeria
Suitable for families, the Tinapa Resort is complete with a casino, an arcade for children, an amphitheatre, and a market for all your shopping troubles. The Resort offers visitors a first-hand experience of Nigeria, and its rich history. It is strategically located in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, a space which has been championed as an innovative catalyst that has aided economic growth in the city. While you are here, make sure you attend the world-known Calabar Carnival!
If you have an old soul like mine, and you are still in search of answers to the universe’s biggest questions, we should probably plan a trip together to Timbuktu. Even though it is a sharp contrast from the exoticism its name commanded in centuries gone by, one can still feel and see old traces of this renowned city. Just a walk in its sand-caked streets will have your mind sifting through the history books!
Whether you choose a cave in these countries, or a reserve home to some of the wildest animals, the most important thing is to have a beautiful Christmas with your loved ones. Also, the COVID-19 vaccination is required by several African countries for visitors, and you should get it as soon as you can.
David Adewusi has appeared on Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, African Writer, and Naked Convos. Currently living in Ibadan and being forced to study in a Nigerian institution, his biggest dream is to be left alone