5 ‘favourite’ African destinations and what you need to know about them

Cape Town South Africa which is a favourite African destination. Picture: Unsplash

Cape Town South Africa which is a favourite African destination. Picture: Unsplash

Published Feb 16, 2023


According to the Tourism Sentiment Index (TSI) Seychelles, Mauritius, and South Africa’s Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Hermanus came out tops in rankings for favourite destinations.

Unlike traditional tourism awards or surveys, the TSI sources data from more than 500 000 online, peer-to-peer communication platforms, including all major social networks and review sites, to deliver the clearest picture of what people are talking about and writing about when it comes to travel, tourism, and the hottest destinations around the globe.

Travel industry and destination experts weighed in on these destinations shared what you need to know about them.

Cape Town

Samoosa’s which are part of Cape Malay cuisine. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town, home to cuisine over 350 years old, has restaurants regularly featured in The World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Fyn Restaurant earned the plum spot of 37 in 2022.

Robert More, custodian and CEO of MORE Family Collection, who recently launched Upper Union Restaurant in Cape Town, notes that Malay Cape Cuisine has become synonymous with fine dining in the Mother City.

“Chefs are drawn to the complex combination of strong, spicy and aromatic flavours.

“It’s no surprise that Malay cuisine is used and interpreted in many Cape Town restaurants, including Upper Union, which is a perfect addition to our globally inspired menu,” said More.

More also said during colonial times, many Malaysian, Indonesian and East African slaves who were taken to the Cape in the 17th and 18th centuries had limited access to their traditional ingredients and therefore had to improvise.

“This has resulted in a cuisine which is solely unique to the Cape, and steeped in history and tradition,” said More.


Fun fact: Only 1% of Mauritius is solid land. Picture; Unsplash

With over 115 islands but only 459 square kilometres of land, an astounding 99% of this paradise is made up of water.

Only 1% of the country is solid land and the island nation has taken impressive steps to protect it, designating 30% of its waters as Marine Protected Areas.

Principal Secretary for Environment, Dennis Matatiken said they’re not surprised that Seychelles ranked fourth in the world in the Tourism Sentiment Index ad Seychelles’ water means everything to its people and the economy, and they’re doing everything possible we protect it with our new Marine Spatial Plan.

“Visitors to Seychelles are likely familiar with its gorgeous coral-filled reefs, but few know that these same waters act as a stopping point for whale sharks migrating from east to west each year.

“These majestic creatures make their way to Australia annually, taking advantage of this idyllic oasis before continuing their journey,” said Matatiken.


Stellenbosch is known for its beautiful wine farms and the birthplace of a unique wine variety. Picture: Supplied

Known for its incredible selection of wine farms, Stellenbosch is a mecca for oenophiles worldwide, hence it scooping the 34th spot in the Tourism Sentiment Index 2023.

It took top honours at the 2022 International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2022 with top trophies for both best red and white wine producers of the year.

With more than 200 wine farms to choose from, visitors are spoilt for choice when seeking out their ideal winery experience and in the case of Pinotage, it’s one you can’t replicate anywhere else in the world.

That’s because scientist Abraham Perold created Pinotage in 1925 in Stellenbosch by crossing the Cinsaut and Pinot Noir varietals.

Visit Stellenbosch CEO Jeanneret Momberg said: “Pinotage wine is becoming increasingly popular as wine drinkers worldwide discover its dark fruit and oak flavours.

“We’ve been excited to see that as it has increased in popularity, more visitors come to Stellenbosch on Pinotage Pilgrimages.”

She notes Kanonkop Estate, Beyerskloof and Kaapzicht are prime examples of wine farms in Stellenbosch benefiting by the worldwide “passion for pinotage”.


Southern right whales make their way to Hermanus to breed making the town a favourite destination for whale-watchers. Picture: Supplied

While South Africa’s game lodges and reserves are world-renowned, Hermanus wins bragging rights as a wildlife destination of choice thanks to the majestic southern right whales that are drawn to its shallow, sandy covers to breed.

According to Giltedge Group CEO Murray Gardiner, the unique geography of the shoreline of Hermanus means that these gentle giants can easily be observed from the land – or your hotel room, in the case of The Marine Hotel, which overlooks the whale sanctuary.

It was 1991 when Hermanus first made history as the only town on Earth to have its very own Whale Crier. The tradition began informally, with a local alerting tourists of whale sightings, and soon became officially recognised.

“Thanks to this remarkable innovation, everyone visiting Hermanus is now treated to a unique experience,” said Gardiner.


Rodrigues island just off the coast of Mauritius. Picture: Unsplash

The Republic of Mauritius is renowned for its idyllic tropical beaches on the coastline, approximately 330km long.

But the country of Mauritius includes the island of Mauritius, Rodrigues and the constituent outer islands of Agaléga and St Brandon.

Antoinette Turner, GM of Flight Centre South Africa, said that Rodrigues is a gorgeous destination with just a short boat or plane trip away from Mauritius.

“This is an area of incredible beauty that remains largely undisturbed and unspoilt and is a must-visit for those keen on water sports,” she said.