Image: Supplied

SOUTH - Mozambique 

Ranked number one among African and Indian Ocean islands in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2021, Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique is a protected marine conservation area. The country also boasts a string of tropical islands. Visitors who are fully vaccinated can enter the country after producing a PCR test taken within a 72-hour window.

STAY / Set to open in July 2023, Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira (@banyantreeilhacaldeira) will offer 40 pool villas and the ultimate in luxury spa treatments. Each of the 22 bungalows at Kisawa Sanctuary (@kisawasanctuary) on Benguerra Island has its own beachfront. Sussurro (@sussurro.co) on the remote Nhamabue Peninsula has vernacular architecture, waterfront verandas, and mindful activities such as dhow safaris.

VISIT / The little-known Chimanimani National Park (@chimanimani_national_park) has spectacular ancient rock paintings and secluded mountain scenery. 

Lerato Mogoatlhe in São Tomé and Príncipe.
Lerato Mogoatlhe in São Tomé and Príncipe.
Image: Supplied

CENTRAL - São Tomé & Príncipe 

Gearing up to become the destination du jour for eco-conscious travellers with its deserted beaches and biodiverse rainforests, the dual-island country of São Tomé and Príncipe is Africa’s second-smallest state, and one of the least-visited in the world, having logged only 33 000 visitors in 2018. South African tech entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth bought Príncipe’s Bom Bom Island Resort in 2011 and was granted six land concessions amounting to about 1 700ha. He has reportedly invested more than US$100-million into turning the project — named HBD Príncipe (@hbd_principe), a reference to the phrase “here be dragons” — into a for-profit ecotourism business. It has a working cacao plantation and factory, and the premium Sundy Praia and Roça Sundy lodges. The original Bom Bom bungalows will reopen in October 2022.

All air passengers must have proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. 

Read Lerato Mogoatlhe’s (@madamafrika) São Tomé travel recommendations. The author of travel memoir Vagabond ditched her job as an entertainment writer to journey solo through Africa.

NORTH - Morocco

The Hassan II Mosque.
The Hassan II Mosque.
Image: Supplied

The Kingdom of Morocco is often called the gateway to Africa. In the medina in Marrakech, labyrinthine streets are alive with traders, donkeys, and tuk-tuks. The old city is crammed with markets, riads, souks, hammams, and mosques, with the Hassan II Mosque one of the largest in the world. A bit further off, in the Ville Nouvelle, is the famous Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (museeyslmarrakech.com/en/). Morocco reopened its borders in February 2022, and passengers travelling to the country must present a vaccination pass and a negative PCR test result taken less than 48 hours old before boarding.

STAY / With five swimming pools and a clay-surface tennis court, Jnane Tamsna (@ jnanetamsna) is a contemporary oasis, with most of the food served at the hotel grown in the gardens. Actor Robert de Niro, celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and film producer Meir Teper, the founders of Nobu Hospitality, are expected to open Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marrakech (@nobuhotels) in the cool Hivernage district in October 2022. The luxurious hotel will offer indoor and outdoor swimming pools a spa and fitness centre, dining venues, and rooftop lounges. Riad Mena & Beyond (@riadmena_ pinkdoor), a two-location hotel concept, features Riad Mena, where the bedroom suites are just a few minutes away from the Jemaa el Fna (the city’s main square); and Berber Lodge (@berberlodge_), a quiet countryside haven with views of the Atlas Mountains.

EAT / Run exclusively by female chefs, Al Fassia (@alfassiaofficial) offers an extensive fine-dining Moroccan-style menu of soups, tagines, and more. Dar Simons (@darsimonsboutique-hotel), a fine-dining restaurant that also offers accommodation, was established by Michelin-starred chef Carlo Simons and serves French/Belgian cuisine. At L’mida (@lmidamarrakech), perched on a rooftop in the heart of the medina, you can enjoy traditional, homemade meals reimagined by chef Nargisse Benkabbou.

VISIT / Indulge in a full traditional Moroccan spa with a heated hammam at one of Marrakech’s best-kept secrets, The Levantine (@the_levantine_marrakech), a luxurious manor house. 

WEST - Ghana 

Dubbed Africa’s capital of cool, Accra offers travellers immersive experiences in nature, white sand beaches, a vibrant arts and culture circuit, and a robust nightlife. All non-resident adults must be fully vaccinated to enter the country.

STAY / Opening at the end of this year, Pullman Accra Airport City Hotel & Serviced Apartments will be the largest development of its kind in the country. It will feature an open garden terrace with façades that integrate artworks. Kwarleyz Residence (@kwarleyz residence) is reputed to be the preferred accommodation choice of celebrities and visiting dignitaries.

EAT / Chef Fatmata Binta’s Fulani Kitchen (@thefulanitestkitchen) is an experimental dining experience using all-indigenous, sustainable ingredients. According to content creator Stephanie Yeboah (@stephanieyeboah), Bloom Bar (@bloombargh) is the best spot to eat and drink in Ghana.

ADA\ contemporary art gallery.
ADA\ contemporary art gallery.
Image: Supplied

VISIT / ADA\ contemporary art gallery (@ada_ accra) aims to nurture Ghana and the continent’s art community. Catch Araba Opoku’s exhibition “Come Hell or HighWater” (on until 22 May), which examines water scarcity in Accra. Learn to surf with Ahanta Waves (@ahantawaves). 

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