Top 10 Eco-Friendly Holiday Destinations in Africa for Sustainable Travel

Are you a nature enthusiast with a passion for sustainable travel?

Africa is a continent of breathtaking beauty and diversity, with a rich culture, history, and commitment to eco-conscious tourism. The continent is home to some of the most fascinating and eco-friendly holiday destinations in the world.

If you’re looking for a sustainable vacation that will allow you to experience the best of Africa, here are 10 eco-friendly holiday destinations to consider.

Let’s explore!

1. Seychelles: Paradise in the Indian Ocean

Seychelles is an archipelago situated in the Indian Ocean, northeast of Madagascar.

Waiting for you in Seychelles are pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush jungles. Seychelles is a tropical paradise that beckons eco-conscious travelers. The archipelago is also home to some of the rarest species on Earth, making it a biodiversity hotspot.

Eco-Friendly Credentials: Seychelles, although one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, has a sustainable tourism model in place to protect its delicate ecosystem.

Seychelles has stringent regulations to preserve its environment, including marine protected areas and sustainable tourism practices. Stay in eco-friendly resorts and explore nature reserves.

What to do in Seychelles?

  • Snorkel among vibrant coral reefs.
  • Hike through Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve and support local conservation efforts.
  • Embrace responsible tourism by choosing eco-certified accommodations and supporting local businesses.
  • Learn about Seychellois culture and contribute to conservation efforts during your stay.

Fly to Seychelles International Airport, and then take short domestic flights or ferries to the islands.

Tanzania: The Serengeti’s Splendor and Beyond

Tanzania, located in East Africa, is home to some of Africa’s most iconic natural wonders, making it an irresistible destination for sustainable travel.

The Serengeti National Park, with its annual Great Migration of wildebeest and zebras, is a must-visit attraction. Tanzania is a popular destination, but it offers numerous eco-friendly options for travelers.

Tanzania’s allure lies in its world-famous national parks, including the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where you can witness the drama of the animal kingdom unfold.

Beyond the safari experience, Tanzania offers unforgettable scuba diving experiences on the idyllic Zanzibar Archipelago and Pemba Island – with pristine beaches and the historic Stone Town.

Eco-Friendly Credentials: Tanzania is committed to preserving its natural treasures. Many lodges and tour operators support conservation efforts and engage local communities.

Top things to do in Tanzania:

  • Go on a classic wildlife safari in the Serengeti.
  • Witness the stunning Ngorongoro Crater.
  • Climb Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Explore the cultural heritage of Zanzibar.
  • Go scuba diving on Zanzibar and Pemba Island.
  • Support local artisans and respect wildlife during your safari adventures.
  • Engage with local communities and learn about Tanzania’s diverse cultures.
  • Try East African food and delicacies.

Getting There: Most international travelers arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport or Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.

Choose eco-friendly accommodations and responsible tour operators.

3. Madagascar: A Biodiversity Hotspot

Madagascar is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The Island’s unique flora and fauna, including lemurs, chameleons, and baobab trees, make it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.

Madagascar is gaining popularity, but it’s still not as crowded as many other tourist destinations.

Eco-Friendly Credentials: Serious efforts are being made to protect Madagascar’s biodiversity through national parks and community-based conservation initiatives.

Things you can’t miss in Madagascar

  • Explore the Avenue of the Baobabs
  • Go wildlife spotting in Andasibe-Mantadia National Park.
  • Immerse yourself in the rich Malagasy culture.
  • Participate in guided tours that educate visitors about the importance of protecting Madagascar’s unique ecosystems.

Getting There: Fly into Antananarivo’s Ivato International Airport and use domestic flights or road transportation to explore the island.

Choose eco-friendly accommodations that support local communities and wildlife conservation.

4. Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Rwanda is known for its huge conservation efforts. The Volcanoes National Park is a dream tourist destination in northwestern Rwanda. It is home to the Virunga Volcanoes, a mountain range that is home to the world’s largest population of mountain gorillas.

Volcanoes National Park is a popular tourist destination, however, it maintains a strong commitment to sustainable tourism. Efforts are focused on protecting mountain gorillas and their habitat.

Things to do in Rwanda:

  • Go on a gorilla trek
  • Visit the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International Karisoke Research Center
  • Hike one of the Virunga Volcanoes
  • Go birding
  • Visit a local village

How to get there:

The best way to get there is to fly into Kigali International Airport (KGL) and then take a taxi or bus to the park.

5. Okavango Delta, Botswana

Botswana, located in Southern Africa, is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. While Botswana is a popular choice for safari-goers, it has strict eco-tourism regulations in place to protect its natural treasures.

Eco-friendly Tourism: The country follows a low-impact, high-value tourism model that ensures the preservation of its pristine wilderness.

The Okavango Delta is a vast inland delta in northwestern Botswana. It is one of the most unique and biodiverse ecosystems in the world, and it is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, hippos, and crocodiles.

The Okavango Delta is a highly protected area, despite it’s fame.

Things to do in Botswana

  • Go on a game drive to see the wildlife
  • Take a boat trip through the delta
  • Go on a mokoro (dugout canoe) safari
  • Visit a local village
  • Go stargazing

How to get there:

The Okavango Delta is located in northwestern Botswana. The best way to get there is to fly into Maun International Airport (MUB) and then take a light aircraft transfer to your lodge or camp.

6. Kenya: Where Wildlife Meets Culture

Kenya is located in East Africa, with a coastline along the Indian Ocean. Kenya’s diverse landscapes, from savannahs to mountains and coastlines, provide a rich array of experiences, including wildlife safaris and cultural interactions.

Lake Nakuru and Lamu Island are two locations with a reputation for eco-tourism in Kenya.

Lake Nakuru National Park is located in central Kenya and is known for its large population of flamingos, which can be seen congregating on the shores of the lake in large numbers. It is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including rhinos, giraffes, and lions.

Lamu Island is a small island off the coast of Kenya. It is known for its beautiful beaches, coral reefs, and Swahili culture. Lamu Island is a relatively undeveloped island, and it is a great place to relax and escape the crowds.

Things to do in Kenya

Practice responsible wildlife viewing during safaris.

  • Witness the Great Migration in the Maasai Mara
  • Take a boat trip on Lake Nakuru
  • Visit the flamingo viewing point
  • Hike Mount Kenya.
  • Visit a local village Immerse yourself in Maasai culture, and try out East African food and spices.
  • Support community-based tourism initiatives and engage with local cultures respectfully.

Getting There: Most international travelers arrive in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

7. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia: The Hidden Gem of Southern Africa

Zambia is located in Southern Africa, bordered by eight countries, including Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The country offers untamed wilderness, including the mesmerizing Victoria Falls, and is known for its walking safaris and pristine national parks.

The South Luangwa and Livingstone National Parks are some of the largest and most popular national parks in Africa, home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, and hippos.

Livingstone, located on the Zambezi River is known for its proximity to Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It is also a highly eco-friendly town

South Luangwa National Park is a highly protected area. There are a number of eco-friendly lodges and camps in the park, which offer visitors the chance to experience the

Things to do in Zambia

  • Witness the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls,
  • Take walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park or go on a game drive to see the wildlife.
  • Go canoeing on the Zambezi River.
  • Take a boat trip on the Luangwa River
  • Go on a walking safari
  • Visit a local village

Opt for eco-conscious lodges and support local communities by purchasing handmade crafts. Participate in guided walking safaris to experience Zambia’s wilderness up close.

How to get there:

South Luangwa National Park is located in eastern Zambia. The best way to get there is to fly into Mfuwe Airport (MFU) and then take a transfer to your lodge or camp.

Here’s a curated of the 10 most luxurious airlines in the world for you to choose from.

8. South Africa: A World in One Country

South Africa is located at the southern tip of the African continent, with coastlines along the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It is one of Africa’s leading nations in terms of social development and quality of life.

The country offers a beautiful diversity of experiences, from wildlife safaris in Kruger National Park to exploring vibrant cities like Cape Town. South Africa has a growing eco-tourism sector with numerous game reserves and lodges committed to conservation.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a private game reserve in South Africa, located adjacent to Kruger National Park. It is home to the Big Five, including lions, elephants, leopards, and rhinos.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a highly protected area. There are a number of eco-friendly lodges and camps in the reserve, which offer visitors the chance to experience the wilderness while minimizing their impact on the environment.

Things to do in South Africa

Support conservation efforts through eco-friendly accommodations and ethical wildlife viewing practices. Explore South Africa’s diverse landscapes while minimizing your environmental impact.

  • Go on a game drive to see the wildlife or go on a Big Five safari in Kruger
  • Take a bush walk and connect with nature, deal with stress and depression.
  • Explore the scenic Garden Route
  • Visit a local village
  • visit Table Mountain in Cape Town

Getting there

South Africa has several international airports, with Johannesburg and Cape Town being the major gateways.

9. Malawi: The Warm Heart of Africa

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, bordered by Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia. Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa,” Malawi boasts stunning freshwater lakes, lush landscapes, and a welcoming culture.

Malawi is an emerging destination, perfect for travelers seeking a quieter, eco-friendly experience. The country is dedicated to sustainable tourism, with community-based initiatives and eco-lodges.

Must-do activities in Malawi 

  • Explore Lake Malawi,
  • go hiking in Nyika Plateau National Park,
  • Visit local villages to learn about their history, culture, and food.

Most international travelers arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, via Lilongwe International Airport.

Making the Most of Your Trip: Stay in eco-lodges, support local artisans, and engage with local communities to understand their way of life. Respect the fragile ecosystems of Lake Malawi.

10. Ghana: West Africa’s Hidden Gem

Ghana is located in West Africa, bordered by Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Togo. The country of Idris Elba is a cultural and historical treasure, with vibrant cities, lush rainforests, and a rich heritage.

Ghana is becoming increasingly popular, a home for many Hollywood stars, making it a great time to visit while still embracing sustainable travel.

Eco-Friendly Credentials: Ghana has initiatives to protect its national parks and promote responsible tourism.

What to do in Ghana?

  • Explore Accra’s bustling markets.
  • Visit the Kakum National Park’s canopy walkway, and experience the history of the slave trade in Elmina.
  • Support local artisans, learn about Ghana’s history and culture

Most international travelers arrive in Accra, Ghana’s capital, via Kotoka International Airport. Choose accommodations that follow eco-friendly practices. Practice responsible tourism when visiting national parks.

Discover more eco-friendly destinations for sustainable travel around the world.

Tips for making the most of your trip

  • Book your accommodation in advance, especially if you are traveling during peak season.
  • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat.
  • Pack light so that you can take advantage of the small aircraft transfers.
  • Be respectful of the wildlife and the environment.