African dreams

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As a South African by birth I have a great attachment to my home country. I don’t think I am being biased to say it has stunning scenery, wonderful weather, interesting cities and great food and wine. South Africa, and in fact, Africa in general, is, in my opinion, only just really beginning to fulfil its potential in tourism. So I am always really interested to read about people’s experiences there. This week I have been doing a little wish list compilation on places to go and things to see and do on the continent on some of my favourite travel blogs. If you need inspiration to visit, then one of my top five posts will definitely get you booking your ticket to explore.

Have you got any top tips for African destinations? I’d love to hear your thoughts – tweet me on @normanpeires…. 


Coffee trails in Ethiopia

You might never have thought of Ethiopia as a potential holiday spot – but this East African country has just won the World Best Tourism Destination accolade for 2015 from the European Council for Tourism and Trade. Go before everyone else discovers it to experience some of the most stunning landscapes in the world and a total of nine UNESCO world heritage sites. David Farley’s blog looks at another angle to this fascinating country – coffee. No coffee-producing country on earth can match the variety that grows here. Farley’s journey takes him through local coffee rituals, Ethopian coffee growing culture and the people who grow and sell it as he travels from capital Addis Ababa to the Sidama Zone in the south and Jimma in the west…Read more on


A drop of South Africa

South Africa’s winelands on the Western Cape offer some fantastic bottles to sample – visiting the estates for tastings is definitely one thing you should do when visiting this part of the world. But it’s not just the wine that scores top marks here – Lezaan Roos’ blog post offers up the best kept secret in travel. And that is that the food served at these estates is exceptional too – if you want a really good meal, head out of Cape Town and hit the vineyards. Wine producers know that the joy of wine is in the pairing and use culinary experiences to showcase and enrich their products. Follow Roos’s lead as she looks at some of the best spots for lunch in the Franschoek and Stellenbosch areas. Read more on Trav Monkey.



Surprising Swaziland

This general round up of the best bits of Southern Africa by travel bloggers Randy and Bethany is enough to give you a convincing set of reasons to visit. But it’s the inclusion of Swaziland, a country sitting between South Africa and Mozambique and often overlooked by tourists, that really sparks the imagination. The focus here is on the country’s superb game reserves – a quintessential African experience in itself. In Swaziland, they recommend staying in in a Swazi-style yurt. Plus they let you in on the best thing to eat while there – apparently either an ostrich burger or a wildebeest steak! An interesting addition to every safari wish list…Read more on G Adventures.


Zanzibar delights

The title of this post on Original Travel says it all – the “Fairytale of Zanzibar”, for this rich outpost on the coast of Tanzania in East Africa is full of everything a holiday destination should be – white sand, crystal seas, fantastic food and a feeling you’re very very far away from everything else. Light on practicalities, this blog post is more of an enticement to visit, weaving a spell on the reader that ranges from the carved wooden doorways and Swahili and Islamic influences of capital Stone Town to the spice trading, pirates, smugglers and giant tortoises which make up the fascinating history of this Indian Ocean island. I defy you not to want to hop on a plane immediately….Read more on Original Travel.



Mozambique Beach Life

Mozambique has been the “Next Big Thing” in African travel for a while now, and with 2,500 kilometres of coastline and countless offshore islands (best reached by a traditional dhow sailing boat), it’s a beach lovers’ paradise. Plus it has great surf breaks and long coral reefs that draw watersport fans from around the world. Continuing investment means there is an experience for everyone, from backpacking shacks to high-end hotels. Javier Luque‘s blog post tempts you to hit the sand on some of the country’s best stretches – from the popular Tofo beach (nicknamed “the next Goa”) on the south-eastern coast to the pristine and peaceful dunes of Benguerra island in the Bazaruto Archipelago…Read more on A Luxury Travel Blog.

These blog posts have inspired me to think about visiting my home continent again… let me know @NormanPeires if there’s any questions that you have about visiting Africa that I could answer for you.

Happy travels,