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Most beautiful African destinations

In commemoration of Earth Day 2019, CNN Travel compiled a list of the 25 most beautiful places in the world, which included Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve and Morocco’s Mount Toubkal. This is Africa explores other African places that make our list.

After a 2019 survey done by CNN Travel, a list of ‘breathtakingly beautiful’ places was compiled to commemorate Earth Day and tip off travellers about places they should add to their to-see lists this year.

‘‘In celebration of Earth Day…from lush African forests to vast Latin American deserts, watery Balkan paradises to ancient Middle Eastern cities, here are our picks for the world’s top breathtaking, beautiful destinations,’‘ CNN Travel said.

The list included three major African destinations:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda  One of the last redoubts of the mountain gorilla, with a population of over 400 of this threatened species. Also found within the forest’s 331-square-kilometer expanse are 348 bird species and 220 butterfly species. People visit the forest to trek and meet habituated groups of the mountain gorilla.

Samburu, Kenya  Samburu National Reserve, which is in the grassland and acacia landscape of Kenya, is a haven for some of Africa’s most beguiling wildlife, such as the endangered reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra. It is also the location of the pioneering Elephant Watch Camp, run by conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton.

Read: World Tourism Day: 7 African destinations to visit

Mount Toubkal, Morocco  is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, North Africa and the Arab World. It is a popular destination for climbers as an ultra-prominent peak of over 2 000km (1 200mi).

This is Africa would like to add more beautiful African destinations that have emerged in recent years as sought-after landscapes:

Lake Assal, Djibouti  is nestled in a volcanic crater and is the lowest land depression in all of Africa, at 150m (492 feet) below sea level. It is the most saline lake outside of Antarctica and home to the biggest salt reserve in the world. Tourists can see the changing colours of the lake, walk on the crystal, snow-like surfaces on the edges of the water or venture into the warm waters to experience an optimal state of buoyancy. The latter has consequences to the skin, however, and may be only for the well prepared and more adventurous.

Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar  Also known as Alley of the Baobabs, this prominent group of Grandidier’s baobabs line the dirt road between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region of western Madagascar. The baobab trees, known locally as “renala” (Malagasy for “mother of the forest”), are up to 2 800 years old. The locals have preserved these age-old treasures despite the felling of the forest surrounding them.

Honorable mention

Essaouira, Morocco  is a charming and vibrant port and resort town on the Atlantic Ocean with maze-like streets that provided the backdrop for the pop culture favourite Game of Thrones (Season 3, Episode 4, where Daenerys meets The Unsullied Arm). Overlooking the windswept Atlantic coast, Essaouira has some of the country’s best boutique hotels (Villa Maroc, Riad Dar Adul), a generous sandy beach and a wonderful old medina alongside its 18th century fortifications.

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