What you need to know:
- The Sautiza Busara music festival, which is hosted by Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town every February and showcases all styles of African music, was also mentioned as one of the reasons to visit Zanzibar this year.
Uganda and Zanzibar have been named among the UK’s Bradt Guides’ 15 best places to visit in the world in 2024.
Founded in 1974, Bradt Guides is one of the world’s leading publishers of travel guides.
The archipelago of Zanzibar was ranked as one of the best destinations for winter sun in 2024.
“With its enticing mix of powdery white beaches, marine adventures, wildlife, and culture, it has also earned a place on this list of the best destinations to visit in 2024,” Bradt Guides said.
One of the most popular destinations for leisure travellers in East Africa, Zanzibar has a lot of activities on offer, including snorkelling and scuba diving in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean where one can easily spot coral reefs, pods of dolphins and tropical fish.
That aside, travellers can also visit Jozani Forest, Zanzibar’s only national park that is home to animals such red Colobus monkeys, the shy tree hyrax and chameleons.
Travellers can also visit Zanzibar’s spice farms and learn about the plants that provide the spices that make the unique flavours of traditional Swahili dishes.
The Sauti za Busara music festival, which is hosted by Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town every February and showcases all styles of African music, was also mentioned as one of the reasons to visit Zanzibar this year.
Bradt Guides added: “For a beach to bush experience, Zanzibar is the gateway to the mainland of Tanzania. A visit here pairs well with a trip to the safari parks of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, and the chance to climb the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro.”
Uganda made it to the list because, this year, the country is playing host to a couple of international events, such as the recently concluded Non-Aligned Movement (Nam) Summit and the third South Summit, which focuses on South-South cooperation in the areas of trade, sustainable development, investment and climate change, poverty elimination and digital economy.
“The nation is gearing up with state-of-the-art conference facilities and the emergence of new four-star and above hotels in Kampala and its surroundings. This burgeoning infrastructure promises a new blend of luxury and convenience for business and leisure travellers alike,” Bradt Guides said.
The London-based travel guides publisher pointed out that Uganda, being home to the mountain gorillas, offers a strong incentive for travellers to the country.
Mountain gorillas are found in the Virunga Massif, a chain of eight volcanic mountains that span Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo. Slightly over 50 percent of these giant apes reside in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which makes the country the best destination for gorilla trekking.
Bradt Guides also cited Uganda because of the Murchison Falls, where the Nile — the world’s longest river — squeezes through a narrow gorge to create a surging cascade and a thunderous spectacle.
The snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains – Africa’s highest mountain range – and Queen Elizabeth National Park, which offers travellers a chance to see lions, elephants, and a host of wildlife, were also mentioned as reasons to visit Uganda in 2024.
The only other African destination that features on Bradt Guides’ list is Madagascar, courtesy of its pristine beaches, biodiversity and endemic flora and fauna – with an estimated 70 per cent of the 250,000 species endemic to the island.
The world’s fourth-largest island, Madagascar boasts three Unesco World Heritage Sites and a 4,800km coastline with the world’s third-largest reef.
To sum up Madagascar’s uniqueness, Bradt Guides offered a quote by legendary British conservationist Sir David Attenborough about the country: “Madagascar is a curious wonderland. It’s an unrepeatable experiment, a set of animals and plants evolving in isolation for over 60 million years. We’re still trying to unravel its mysteries.”
The other destinations on Bradt Guides list include Switzerland, the Falkland Islands, Antarctica, Greenland, Scandinavia and Iceland, Lithuania, Devon, Miami, Grenada, Hokkaido and France.
Written by Gilbert Mwijuke