Bucket List Ideas: 21 Things to Do in Africa Before You Die

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Bucket List Ideas for everything you want to do in Africa. Guaranteed for an adrenaline pumping, picture perfect, unforgettable experience. You only have one life to live… so make it good!

1. Safari

Alright, it’s obvious. But seeing these beautiful animals in their natural environment is something truly special. Depending on when and where you go, you can even catch the Great Wildebeest Migration.

2. Gorilla Trekking

These gentle giants are only native to Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic. Experts believe only around 800 are left, so see them now before it’s too late.

3. Touch a Whale Shark

These enormous ocean creatures can weigh up to 47,000 pounds and be 40 feet long. Yet, they’re gentle and slow enough that you can snorkel or dive near them. Visit them in Mozambique, Tanzania, Djibouti, or Madagascar.

See Also:  Ethiopia Travel Warning: 4 things to know NOW (but helpful for any African country!)

4. Visit the Hottest Place on Earth

The Danakil Depression in Eastern Ethiopia is the new home for many sci-fi movies. It’s surrounded by salt plains, an active lava lake you can climb, & nomadic tribes.

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Real life, don’t touch the lava game.

5. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The tallest mountain in Africa & the highest free standing mountain in the world is an absolute must. Newbies luck out because the climb is much more gradual than other big hikes with the last day being the only truly steep trek. Get a FREE Kilimanjaro Guide here.

6. Fall fearlessly from the highest bungee jump bridge in the world

Located in South Africa at the Bloukrans Bridge, you’ll freefall for almost 8 seconds before bouncing back up. Definitely bucket list worthy.

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7. Visit the Pyramids.

You’ve wanted to see them your whole life. Now is your chance. While most travelers view the ones in Egypt, the Pyramids of Meroe in Sudan offer a less touristy experience.

8. Wine Tasting in South Africa

The best wine on the continent, if not the world, can be found just outside of Cape Town. It’s definitely worth a visit.

9. Feed a Hyena Out of your Mouth

For the adrenaline junkie not too afraid of wild beasts, visit Harar, Ethiopia. Wander outside the city walls at night to find the “Hyena Whisper.” He’ll put a piece of raw meat in your mouth that a nearby wild hyena will snatch out of your lips.

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Only in Ethiopia…. PhotoCredit: Backpackingman.com

10. Visit the Omo Tribe

While in Ethiopia, travel to the southern tribes. This is where the National Geographic-esque people still live and follow century old centuries. Watch a traditional bull ceremony, when a young naked man jumps over bulls to claim the right to marry the woman he chooses. The topless women are adorned with mouth plates, jewelry to elongate their necks, and bright and bold makeup that covers their body.

11. Ride an Ostrich.

Warning… you may fall off. Being on top of a giant, mean, pecking bird doesn’t come without risks. But if you’re up for it, South Africa and Kenya both offer opportunities.

12. Sand Surfing.

Why stick to the waves when you can venture to the desert? Try sand surfing in Namibia or Egypt. You can ride down on your feet or take it head first.

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Beats a snow day, any day. Photo Credit: VA Namibia Tourism

13. Visit Timbuktu

Sometimes thought of as a legend, this remote and ancient town is an amazing place to visit. It’s located in Mali, just outside the Sahara Desert.

14. White Water Rafting on the Nile River

Venture to Jinja, Uganda and enjoy the level 5 rapids. Afterwards, relax by drinking a Nile Special Beer.

15. Victoria Falls

The largest waterfall in the world is not to be missed! Located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, the falls offer an all day hiking experience. And if you visit at the right time, you can even climb into Devil’s Pool which is located right on the edge.

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Devil’s pool…. unfortunately, when I went a tourist had fallen over the day before so I wasn’t allowed in. But looks like this happy traveler is enjoying life on the edge 🙂

16. Ski

While Africa may not boast the most impressive resorts, it’s still cool to say you skied on all 7 continents. Which means you’ll need to head to Morocco, Algeria, Lesotho, or South Africa.

17. Traditional Coffee Ceremony in Ethiopia

If you want a good cup of joe, head to the country that invented coffee. Locals still perform traditional coffee ceremonies in their homes.  It starts with the slow roasting of the raw green beans. Next, they are ground with a wooden stick, brewed in a traditional pot, and served in three small cups. Often popcorn and incense are apart of the hour long ceremony too.

18. Zanzibar

This tropical paradise is a must. Beautiful beaches, endless diving, the exotic Stone Town, and Masai Warriors make this Tanzanian island a traveler’s favorite.

19. Shark Diving

This somewhat safe activity involves climbing into a metal cage and enticing a dangerous predator to ram into you. If you’re even riskier, you can do a dive without a cage in Aliwal Shoal where you’ll be surrounded by 20-30 sharks at one time. Shark Week just got real.

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Holy Sh*t….. Things just got real.

20. Master the Dug Out Canoe

It’s not as easy as it looks. But it’s a load of fun. Especially if you’re doing it in Lake Malawi which is considered of the prettiest and most enjoyable backpacker destinations.

21. Sleep in a hut

African countries are developing at a fast rate. But it’s still possible to go into rural areas and sleep in a traditional hut. Getting off the grid allows you to see a part of Africa that most miss, and gives you the best opportunity of all… to get to know the people living there.

What’s the first one on your list? Leave it in a comment below! Or check out the backpacking book that tells you everything you need to know to travel Africa!