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5 Off The Beaten Path Destinations In Africa Open For Tourism

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Still relatively unexplored by Westerners, Africa is perhaps the most underrated continent in the world. From its Atlantic to Indian Coasts, the cradle of humanity is brimming with culture and ready to be re-discovered following two years Covid.

Unlike several well-known destinations in Asia or the Caribbean, which still impose stricter travel rules, others in Africa, which are just as paradisiac, are welcoming U.S. travelers with open arms and very simple entry requirements.

Here you will find 5 off the beaten path destinations in the African continent which are currently open for American, Canadian, and British visitors, whether testing or vaccination is needed for entry, and most importantly: what these unheard-of countries have to offer.

Cape Verde

Santa Maria Beach In Sal, Cape Verde

Looking for spotless beaches with the clearest of waters, luxury resorts that are much more affordable than similar beach retreats in the Maldives or Cancun, and a warm tropical climate all year-round? Cape Verde might be that dream destination you never knew you needed.

An archipelago off the Western coast of Africa, this country is steeped in History, owing its dual European-African identity to its strong links to Portugal, and featuring several island getaways vacationers can pick from, including the tourist hotspots of Sal and Boa Vista.

Cabo San Lucas Marina In Cape Verde

Covid Entry Requirements For Cape Verde

When it comes to Covid entry requirements, Cape Verde is noticeably one of the easiest countries to visit in the African continent right now. In order to enter, Americans need to fill out a Travel Form in advance and present only one of the following documents:

  • A vaccination certificate certifying full immunization with all required doses of an approved vaccination scheme;
  • A recovery letter dated no earlier than 90 days prior to departure;
  • A negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours of flying;
  • A negative Rapid Antigen test result obtained 48 hours before flying.

Once in Cape Verde, other than regular temperature checks at the airport, visitors are not required to undergo further testing or observe quarantine, being able to enjoy their time in the sun worries-free. On the other hand, presenting Covid documents may be necessary for inter-island travel.

Mozambique

African Huts In The Hills Of Mozambique

Like Cape Verde, Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony and a nation boasting incredible wildlife, beaches, and marine parks. Straddling the Indian Ocean coast, this hidden gem is just as intriguing as its neighbor South Africa, but without the usual crowds of tourists.

Here you can visit the Quirimbas Archipelago, comprising 250km of coral islands, explore the impressive ruins of Ibo, an island owing much of its History to the Portuguese colonial period, or then just relax at quieter beaches such as Tofo.

Old Colonial Era Christian Church In Mozambique

Covid Entry Requirements For Mozambique

While Mozambique does not require proof of vaccination to enter, it also does not differentiate between existing categories of travelers, expecting all incoming passengers to present proof of a negative PCR test, issued up to 72 hours prior to travel.

U.S. citizens also require a visa to visit Mozambique, which is issued upon arrival. Travelers are advised to contact Mozambican authorities in order to obtain more information on visa fees, which may vary depending on the duration of their stay. In summary, they must carry:

View Of The Indian Ocean And A Small Fishing Village In Mozambique
  • A negative PCR test result issued up to 72 hours prior to traveling;
  • A return ticket;
  • An accommodation booking.

Despite the availability of visas on arrival, the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique advises Americans to obtain their visas in advance from the Mozambican Embassy in Washington, noting that some ‘U.S. citizens have been denied entry for not having obtained the proper type of visa in advance’.

Seychelles

Baie Beau Vallon Beach On Mahe Island In Seychelles

Seychelles is an archipelago country in the Indian ocean, off the Eastern coast of Africa, and one of the most developed nations in the whole continent. Its small capital, Victoria, offers a more relaxed city break, while the Morne Seychellois National Park allows visitors to get back in touch with nature.

Boat trips are also a common activity across the Seychellois islands, which are famous for water activities and some of the most beautiful secret beaches in Africa. When visiting, travelers are likely to land in Mahé, the main island, and the country’s most important hub.

Overlook Of Eden Island, Seychelles

Covid Entry Requirements For Seychelles

As of March 15, 2022, fully vaccinated visitors no longer need to take Covid tests before traveling to Seychelles. If more than six months have passed since completion of a primary vaccination scheme, they must have received a booster in order to continue being eligible to bypass testing.`

Other travelers are also welcome, though they may have to undergo testing prior to flying, especially those who are unvaccinated and have not had Covid in the year preceding travel. Generally, travelers must select one of the Covid proofs of entry below:

  • A vaccination certificate dated less than 6 months;
  • A booster dose;
  • A recovery certificate dated less than a year prior to travel;
  • A negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel;
  • A negative Rapid Antigen test in under 24 hours.

Tanzania

Safari 4x4 Car Driving Through The African Saharan Landscape, Tanzania

Tanzania is yet another surprising destination in Southeastern Africa, cornered between snowy peaks to the North, the nations of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi to the West, Mozambique to the South, and the Indian Ocean to the East.

It is home to the impressive Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in all of Africa, and the autonomous island of Zanzibar, which features the UNESCO-listed Stone City. Classical African safaris and wildlife observation are also popular activities among visitors.

Arab Fort In Stone City, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Covid Entry Requirements For Tanzania

Tanzania is open for tourism.

Those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid are exempt from all kinds of testing before and after arrival to Tanzania, but they must be able to present a valid certificate with a readable QR code upon landing. This means U.S. citizens who only hold a physical CDC card may face further challenges.

Three Giraffe In The Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania, Africa

Alternatively, those who do not hold a valid vaccination certificate can enter by presenting either a negative RT-PCR or NAAT test result. The test must be performed within 72 hours of departure and presented at the border upon landing. Thus, Americans are advised to hold either a:

  • Digital vaccination certificate with a QR code; or a
  • Negative PCR or NAAT test result performed 72 hours prior to flying.

São Tomé and Principe 

Sunset In Santo Antonio, Capital Of Sao Tome And Principe, Africa

An island-country located in the Gulf of Guinea, São Tomé and Principe has been made famous for its striking nature, which includes unique rock formations and an abundance of rainforests. As another former colony of Portugal, its cities also feature traditional Portuguese architecture.

Beach lovers will also inevitably fall in love with the country, which boasts miles of pristine coastline. Some of its most famous attractions are the Rolas Island, a small island with turquoise water beaches, the Cão Grande peak, which is a major national landmark, and the Blue Lagoon.

Cao Grande Peak In Sao Tome And Principe, Africa

Covid Entry Requirements For São Tomé and Principe 

São Tomé and Principe has some of the easiest Covid entry requirements on this list. All are welcome irrespective of vaccination status, though all travelers must undergo testing prior to departure. Once through the border, Americans are free to explore the islands unrestricted.

In sum, they must present a single document:

  • A negative PCR test result obtained within 72 hours of traveling.

Masai Villager In Kenya, Africa

Whether it’s unexpected beach breaks, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the Saharan drylands, or city-hopping across different nations, there is surely no shortage of landmarks to be visited in Africa.

As more countries in this continent reopen for tourism, Americans are advised to follow official CDC guidance ahead of making travel plans, and ensure they are covered for any Covid-related eventualities while abroad.

Read More:

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 For 2022

5 Alternatives to the Classic African Safari Trip

10 Non Stop International Flight Routes You Can Take From The U.S. This Year

U.S. State Department Issues 28 New Travel Advisories

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Yash

Monday 11th of April 2022

Dear Sir/Madame,

How can you skip the Island of Mauritius, in that category?

Regards Yash

Elisa

Saturday 9th of April 2022

Off the beaten track? Dutch people go to Cape verde for years to enjoy the beach and temperature. (That's why I'm definitely not going.) Also the other countries are not 'unexplored' at all. What about the Comoros for example? These islands are extremely beautiful and when I was there in 2016 I was seriously the only tourist traveling around. (Only Mayotte is touristy, it's very popular by the French)

P.S. I think there are very few 'off the beaten track' destinations in the world because flying has become ridiculously cheap.

Ashley

Friday 8th of April 2022

No, thank you. I prefer vacations that are relaxing. I don’t want to have to jump through hoops, to visit poverty.

Kathy

Wednesday 13th of April 2022

@Ashley, you are obviously ignorant and uniformed. No one is asking you to visit poverty. I’ve live in the USA and there is extreme poverty here worse than some places in Africa. If you doubt me visit Navajo reservation

Rose

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

@Ashley, Did George Orwell not say that ‘ignorance is strength’ ? You are a prime example of the saying. I am gladly African and I am glad we survived your slavery, colonialism and neo colonialism. Fortunately for us, we have been endowed by God Almighty with the best spaces on this earth. Secondly, that’s why we support and welcome Russians anytime….. So we don’t care for your ignorance.

Hiyaam

Sunday 10th of April 2022

@Ashley, Sorry for an ignorant person. Someone who listens to something without a far-sightedness. That's what you wrote. When you ate Africans their livestock, they sent them to poverty. Whatever you are insulting, that is what you have in ignorance. Teach yourself before you insult people

A Proud African

Saturday 9th of April 2022

@Ashley, Thank you for the INSULT anyway. I hope it made you PROUD wherever you are commenting from. But just be mindful that some of those uncalculated comments open up closed wounds in our HEARTS!!

A Proud African

Saturday 9th of April 2022

@Ashley, As Africans, we tried & still trying the best we can to fix destructions of wars on our beautiful continent, with very little left over resources by the THIEVES..It was never our option to choose POVERTY over RELAXATION!! Everyone knows AFRICAN HISTORY, except YOU probably..