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7 Natural Wonders of Africa

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Sossusvlei in Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia

Sossusvlei in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Africa is full of incredible natural wonders, from breathtaking canyons to copper sand dunes, thundering waterfalls, and mighty mountains, all of which you can discover on a trip to see the natural wonders of the continent.

It is easy to feel as if you have been transported to a fantasy land, as Africa compels visitors with dynamic landscapes that beg to be explored, blending picturesque scenery with ultimate experiences, such as safaris and city escapes.

These unique natural wonders of the world are regular parts of an African itinerary, with famous lakes providing serene days, while tumultuous rivers offer adventure. Here are the seven not-to-be-missed natural African wonders.

  1. 1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  2. 2. Sossusvlei, Namibia
  3. 3. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
  4. 4. Okavango Delta, Botswana
  5. 5. Lake Malawi, Malawi
  6. 6. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
  7. 7. Fish River Canyon, Namibia
  8. Explore the Wonders of Africa on Vacation

1. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Spectacular Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia, the spectacular Victoria Falls are truly magnificent and on top of many post-safari itineraries.

Massive sheets of water crash from around 350 feet high into the mighty Zambezi River. The thundering noise can be heard from over 20 miles away and the mist can be seen climbing above the Earth, almost like a sign directing visitors to their location.

Discovered by David Livingstone, Victoria Falls can be experienced on walking trails or helicopter rides. For those looking for that little extra adventure, you can sit at the edge of the world in Devil’s Pool, an activity that depends on the water level.

Learn more: Zimbabwe Safaris

2. Sossusvlei, Namibia

Dune 45 in Sossusvlei, Namibia

Sossusvlei in Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Namibia’s largest conservation area is home to the Namib-Naukluft Park and one of the country’s biggest attractions, the Sossusvlei Sand Dunes.

A stark contrast exists between the rusty-colored dunes and the white salt pans below them, with some of the dunes standing 1300 feet tall and noted as among the highest in the world. Big Daddy, Dune 45, and Dead Vlei are among the most popular.

The best time to see the Sossusvlei dunes is as the sun rises, when shadows are cast onto the tall mountains of red to create a dramatic visual of light and dark, a perfect line separating the two.

Learn more: Namibia Safaris

3. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa

Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa

Located in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, part of the Drakensberg mountain escarpment and two and a half hours from the famous Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon is spectacular.

Widely considered to be the largest green canyon in the world, with red sandstone slopes coated in a blanket of forests and a panoramic sightseeing route running along its precipitous cliffs and escarpments, its beauty is not to be missed.

The Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve also protects the geological formations known as Bourke’s Luck Potholes and nearby God’s Window, which offers views as far as the eye can see.

Learn more: South African Safaris

4. Okavango Delta, Botswana

World Heritage Site - Okavango Delta, Botswana

Okavango Delta, Botswana

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fascinating Okavango Delta is a unique wetland network with intriguing twists and turns. It’s home to several species of wildlife and some of the best bird-spotting in the world.

The Okavango River flows into the Kalahari Desert, with seasonal flooding creating lush landscapes and pumping channels, the dry land mostly coming in the form of islands. The water eventually evaporates, never reaching the ocean.

Activities in the area include overland 4x4 game drives, boat rides at sunset, or a spectacular mokoro ride down one of the channels, a highlight on the Southern Africa safari circuit.

Learn more: Botswana Safaris

5. Lake Malawi, Malawi

Kayak on Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Said to be the ninth-largest lake in the world, Lake Malawi is part of the East African Rift system and has a presence in Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania.

Named the Calendar Lake due to it being 365 miles long and 52 miles wide, it is home to a variety of sea life, including over 700 species of cichlids. Crystal-clear water offers myriad water activities, such as snorkeling, paragliding, kayaking, and diving, with golden beaches that create a haven-like border around the massive body of water.

Fishing villages along the shores allow local residents to show off their rich fishing traditions, affording visitors a cultural experience as well.

Learn more: East Africa Safaris

6. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Wildlife of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Forming part of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit, the Ngorongoro Crater is a caldera formed when a volcano collapsed in on itself, creating the dramatic wildlife haven that exists today.

Taking a long, rocky, winding road, the beauty and abundance of animal sightings waiting to be discovered is well worth it. The Ngorongoro Crater borders the famous Serengeti National Park and the Olduvai Gorge, an important site linked to early mankind.

Other than stopping at Olduvai Gorge, visitors to the area can enjoy a 4x4 game drive on the crater floor, embark on a hike at Empakaai Crater, or enjoy a Maasai cultural experience.

Learn more: Tanzania Safaris

7. Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Sunset over Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Fish River Canyon in Southern Namibia

Stretching nearly 100 miles long, more than 16 miles wide, and plunging 550 meters deep, the Fish River Canyon in southern Namibia is the largest canyon in Africa and one of the most spectacular sights on the continent.

Carved out over millions of years by the Fish River, the canyon's sheer rock faces display a kaleidoscope of colors, from ochre red to burnt orange. A hike through the Fish River Canyon offers breathtaking views of its massive scale and geological formations.

With its incredible natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor activities, the canyon is an unforgettable natural wonder to experience on any vacation in Africa.

Explore the Wonders of Africa on Vacation

Hot air balloon over the Namib desert, Africa

Namib Desert, Africa

Natural wonders are present throughout the continent of Africa, with numerous lakes, rivers, canyons, and waterfalls worth highlighting. Must-see breathtaking and fascinating sites, as well as experiences set within already popular and intriguing destinations, make visiting Africa an adventure at every turn.

To find out more or to start planning your adventure, explore our African safari travel guide or browse our African safaris.

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