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Sharm El Sheikh
Places to explore in Africa
Cairo’s an ancient city that also happens to be a modern metropolis—it’s one of the biggest cities in the Middle East and has the traffic and noise issues to prove it. But as long as you’re not looking for solitude, Cairo—the City of the Thousand Minarets—is a splendid place to explore Egyptian history and culture. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
Nestled between the Mediterranean and the steep, forested hills that form its backdrop, Algiers is a city whose rich history can be seen in its architecture, from its Moorish mosques, Ottoman-style palaces and the Kasbah, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site, to its Berber fortifications, French colonial houses and modern boulevards. The city is home to numerous attractions, including the Great Mosque, the National Library, Martyrs Square, the Bardo Museum and multiple monuments and forts.
Sharm El Sheikh
Looking for a great beach destination? The Red Sea’s warm water is great for swimming, and there are miles of great beaches in Sharm El Sheikh for working on your tan, but if you’re a diver, look no further. We’re talking enormous schools of fish and tons of excellent dive sites. Sure, it’s easier to get here if you live in Europe, but even if you’re farther afield, it’s worth the trek. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
Sitting on the Gulf of Guinea, the port city of Lome serves as the capital of Togo, a sliver of a country in West Africa. Famous for the friendliness of its people and the beauty of its countryside, Lome is the perfect place to relax after exploring Togo's hills and forests. White beaches are lined with hotels, while the interior of the city offers a series of markets for avid shoppers.
Known as the safari capital of Africa, Nairobi is an energetic, modern city that serves as a fascinating introduction to both wildlife and nightlife. Music clubs pulse with life, shops and markets bustle, and a mélange of restaurants will tempt your palate in this former Maasai watering hole. Top sights include the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre and the black rhinos of Nairobi National Park. The compact city centre is safe to walk in and taxis make other areas accessible.