Language: French and English
Known as ‘Africa in miniature’ for its geological and cultural diversity, the west African nation has plenty to offer the intrepid traveller. If you want to see all the different parts of the beautiful African continent in one go, then Cameroon is the place for you. Explore rainforests and mountains before hitting the beach to chill out and watch the sun go down while listening to some renowned makossa and bikutsi music.
Previously known as Cote D’Ivorie, this former French colony is a melting pot of different cultures, each region offering something different. For those looking to experience something quintessentially African, check out the Fête du Dipri in Gomon near Abidjan where villagers dance around the village cleansing it of evil spells before the chief sends everyone into a trance with his drumming. The action starts at midnight and goes until the following afternoon.
Language: English and Twi
Like the Ivory Coast, Ghana is a great place to check out truly unique African festivals. The Panafest is a biennel cultural event that celebrates all things African from theatre and drama, to music and poetry. A former British colony, the area used to be known as the Slave coast and Osu Castle in Accra offers the opportunity to check out a former slave fort and a sense of what it must have been like. The capital also offers a number of sights, including the independence arch and Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum.
Probably not massively high on any traveller’s list of places to go, Nigeria is undoubtedly a unique experience. For those braving the sights and sounds of Lagos, the aromatic flavours of roadside snacks cooked on barbecues, such as a Suya which is a type of shish kebab, will definitely get the mouth salivating as you make your way to one of the popular beaches, Bar or Lekki. Lagos is also famous for it’s music scene, the city is the birthplace of Naija, which is Nigerian hip hop.
While Algeria is technically in Africa, the country has a more Arabia feel to it. Explore the dunes of the Sahara on the back of a camel, camp under the stars as you visit the Roman ruins of Timgad or check out Constantine, a city framed by a deep ravine and its hanging bridges, a holiday photographer’s dream with its dramatic appearances. And let’s face it, no trip to an Arabic country would be complete without taking in a belly dancing show while sprawled out on a mountain of cushions.