Africa is a wonderful tourist destination, with rich and varied things to do. The continent boasts spectacular scenery, incredible wildlife and warm hospitality. The number of international tourist arrivals in Africa doubled from 1995 to 2014 and with good reason: improved infrastructure, better safety and overall improvement to the tourist industry thanks to a lot of hard work means that holidays in Africa are better than ever before. But some countries are more accessible than others.
The legal stuff: visas
A US passport allows you to travel to many countries in the world with ease. In 2017, it ranks at number 5 in the Global Passport Index, a list of passports of the world ranked by their visa free score. However, many African countries do require visas for US tourists. Visa application processes can often be expensive and require travel to the nearest consulate, which may be far from where you live. If you want to avoid the hassle then here are three top African countries you can enter visa free.
Botswana is blessed with amazing wildlife and so is one of the best Safari destinations in Africa. Home to a wide range of national parks and game reserves, Botswana’s uncommon combination of desert and delta is what makes it a unique travel destination. As long as American citizens have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months you can get a visa on arrival that will allow you a stay for a maximum of 3 months.
A diverse country with everything from dramatic mountain ranges to beautiful ancient cities, Morocco is known for its hospitality. Just a short ferry ride from Spain, Morocco is the gateway to Africa, with elements of European culture. You could even combine a trip to Morocco with a European tour. US passport holders with at least one blank page can get a 90 day visa on arrival.
Egypt is one of the most iconic tourism destinations in the world. With the Nile, the Sphinx, the beguiling desert and the lush Nile delta, an Egyptian holiday is the trip of a lifetime. While a visa for US citizens on arrival is $25, it might be a better idea to buy a multiple entry permit for $35 in advance of your trip. This is because Egyptian officials have occasionally been known to deny visas with no explanation. For more information, see the Egypt section on the US Department of State’s website.
Africa is an up and coming tourism destination and you should take advantage of the current tourist boom for the trip of a lifetime. Traveling visa free saves you money, time and worry so if you are flexible on your exact situation it could be a good idea to head to one of these visa free countries. Have a wonderful trip.
Written By: Jackie Edwards, freelance contributing writer