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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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5 African destinations that made Time’s 2022 Top 50 list of World’s Greatest Places

A picture perfect image of the African plains, its no wonder that Africa came out tops on the list of the World’s Greatest Places. Picture: Unsplash

A picture perfect image of the African plains, its no wonder that Africa came out tops on the list of the World’s Greatest Places. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jul 24, 2022

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Gone are the days when Africa was seen as “the dark continent” or “the third world”. Despite our rich culture and history, the continent hardly receives the recognition it deserves.

Africa is a great tourist destination with beautiful lakes, majestic mountains, scenic safaris and beautiful beaches.

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Africa is the second largest continent in the world and boasts a young resilient population that perseveres despite the increasing challenges it faces.

In the recently released Time’s 2022 Top 50 list of World’s Greatest Places, five were in Africa. They are listed below.

Franschhoek, South Africa

The Valley of Dreams, also an oenophile’s heaven. Picture: Unsplash

The Valley of Dreams and one of the oldest towns in South Africa is just an hour away from Cape Town. Franschhoek, which means French Corner in Dutch, is a little town known for its vineyards, rich history, culinary experiences and Cape Dutch architecture.

The town has also made a reputation for itself as a wine lover’s dream. Franschhoek truly is the valley of dreams and testimony to this can be seen in Paul Siguqa’s Klein Goederust, the town’s first black-owned wine farm.

Siguqa’s mother was a farmworker and he acquired the farm. Siguqa grew up in the region and his family-run farm is more than 100 years old.

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Klein Goederust produces Chenin Blanc, a peppery Shiraz 2020, a vibrantly fruity Noble Late Harvest 2020, and a 2018 cab-merlot blend.

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Africa’s efforts in protecting the white rhino are gaining momentum with communities adding their support in making sure that future generations get to see this creature. Picture: Unsplash

With World Nature Conservation Day just around the corner, July 28, it’s beautiful to see Zimbabwe being recognised for its landmark conservation project this year.

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The ­Community Rhino Conservation Initiative and Imvelo Safari Lodges transferred two white rhinos to community lands bordering Hwange National Park in May.

Hwange National Park is the largest park in Zimbabwe and offers excellent wildlife viewing, including the Big Five.

The conservation project empowered the local community to protect a species that was eradicated from the park through poaching in the early 2000s.

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It is the first time in the history of Zimbabwe that rhinos were moved to community land, which was donated by the local population.

The community is part of the conservation efforts and visitors to the park will be able to see the endangered white rhino up close.

Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali is making strides in making sure that it is a sustainable city in the future. Picture: Unsplash

The Rwandan capital of Kigali has been recognised as a city building a better future. The city, often described as Africa’s friendliest, is pushing toward a green future, especially for its growing tourism trade.

GuraRide, a Rwandan bike-sharing app, provides affordable transportation which aims to reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and ease congestion. The app was developed as an alternative means of green transport (Micro-Mobility) using advanced innovative technology.

Kigali has also embarked on a mission to upgrade its roads as part of the Kigali Infrastructure Project. On it’s path to becoming Africa’s first green city, it has created car-free zones, the most recent launched in Gisimenti, where residents and visitors take back city streets on weekends.

The tourism sector has seen more development as a result of greater investment last year. The new Kigali Golf Resort and Villas, which is the first 18-hole golf course in the city, hosted its first golf tournament last December.

The opening of Nyandungu Wetland Ecotourism Park early in January also protects 121 hectares of endangered wetlands, over 70 bird species and a fig forest to be enjoyed on walking routes and cycling paths.

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya is known for its rich culture which can be seen in its pictures and art exhibitions. Picture: Unsplash

Kenya is known as the safari capital of the world and one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.

Nairobi, which comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyorobi, which translates to "place of cool waters" in reference to the Nairobi River which flows through the city, is rich in culture and offers visitors plenty of reasons to spend time in the capital.

The Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute (NCAI) recently celebrated its launch with an exhibit showcasing Nairobian artist Sane Wadu. Renowned fashion designer Anna Trzebinski last year converted her home into Eden Nairobi, a hub for creatives that doubles as a luxury hotel.

Hilton will open an all-new property toward the end of the year, Kwetu Nairobi Curio Collection by Hilton, which truly cements Nairobi as a cultural metropolis.

Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia

Luxury on the banks of the Zambezi River or the Great River at Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia. Picture: Instagram

Lower Zambezi National Park is located in southern Zambia, on the Zimbabwean border.

The Zambezi, which means Great River in the language of the Tonga people, is a river valley known for its bountiful wildlife such as buffalo, fish eagles and herds of elephant.

The area was a private sanctuary of Zambia’s then President before it was declared a national park in 1983. The Lower Zambezi is a protected haven for the wild acacia forest, and now boasts the Lolebezi Safari Lodge, which is the latest addition to African Bush Camps’ Zambia portfolio.

Solar power and a water ­treatment system sustainably manage the power and water supplies and prevent river pollution in the enviable location which also serves as a de facto wildlife sanctuary.

Lolebazi Safari Lodge offers game drives but does not run the service during the rainy season which is from December to March.

It is an ideal location for groups and families that also offers canoe trips and walking safaris where you’ll get to see the teeming wildlife of Zambezi.

Here are 20 other places that made it on Time’s 2022 Top 50 list of the World’s Greatest Places:

The Galapagos Islands, Seoul-South Korea, Dolni Morava-Czech Republic, Doha-Qatar, Kerala-India, The Great Barrier Reef-Australia, The Arctic, Sao Paulo-Brazil, Valencia-Spain, Trans Bhutan Trail-Bhutan, Bali-Indonesia, International Space Station, Kyushu Island-Japan, Boracay-Philippines, Madeira-Portugal, El Chaltén-Argentina, Kaunas-Lithuania, Calabria-Italy, San Francisco-US and Thessaloniki-Greece.

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