• Africa is a great place that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
  • Some beautiful countries to visit this year include Ghana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles and our very own Nigeria.
  • Your 2019 travel list would be incomplete with these countries.

Africa was once regarded as the 'dark continent' but things have gradually changed with the continent's growing influence on pop culture. 

2018, in particular, was a great year for the continent. Some noteworthy moments include Beyonce paying homage to the legendary Fela Anikulpao-Kuti by playing a rendition of his classic 'Zombie' in May 2018, Rihanna doing the 'gwarra gwarra' dance at the 2018 Grammys and Donald Glover repeating the same move in his 'This Is America' video.

The biggest of them is arguably the release of groundbreaking 'Black Panther' which is still creating great interest in all things African. With Africa having such a major influence on mainstream culture, more tourists are visiting African countries.

Here are the 5 most mentioned countries on international travel lists for 2019 and why they should definitely be on your travel list for this year:

South Africa

This country remains one of the most visited places on the continent. Its capital, Johannesburg, is known for attracting a minimum of 2 million tourists every year.

With top class hospitality services that rank high in Africa, over 40 art galleries, animal parks, and the Nelson Mandela National Museum (Mandela House), it makes sense that it continues to appear on travel sites.

Gold Reef City is a major tourist attraction in Johannesburg

Ghana

In October 2018, Ghanaian president Nana Akufo Addo officially proclaimed 2019 as the Year of Return for all Diasporan descendants of Africans. It is in honour of the first enslaved Africans who arrived in North America 400 years ago.

Following his declaration at a ceremony at the United States National Press Club in Washington DC, the country attracted many black celebrities like Boris Kodjoe, Naomi Campbell, and Michael Jai White who was installed as a chief in the Akwamu Traditional Area in Ghana.

President Addo's proclamation has landed the country on CNN Travel's 19 places to visit in 2019. Ghana came fourth on the list. 

Attractions include wildlife zones with wild elephants, surfing spots like Cape Three Points and Whistling Rocks. To really enjoy this last spot, make sure you visit during November and December so you can the strange whistling sound these granite rocks make.

Tourist sites in Ghana

ALSO READ: Do it for the culture: 5 places to visit in Nigeria for an enriching cultural experience

Zimbabwe

In 2015, this country was considered one of the worst places to travel to, according to The Independent. It ranked 115 out of 141 countries on the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report released by the World Economic Forum. 

It's a different story for the country in 2019 as it is now regarded as a major tourist destination. Lonely Planet currently ranks Zimbabwe as the 3rd top country to visit in 2019 making it the only African country to make the list. 

Loads of animal reserves and beautiful white sand beaches are just a few of the reasons to consider visiting it this year.

Reuters
Elephants graze inside Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, August 1, 2015. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Mauritius

Located in East Africa is one of the most beautiful places in Africa. It is an island country with the best hotel on the continent, according to TripAdvisor's 2019 Travellers' Choice awards.

Visitors can indulge in water sports in its clear waters, go dolphin spotting and lounge in its top-notch hotels.

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor ranks the Constance Prince Maurice in Mauritius as the best hotel in Africa

Seychelles

Like Mauritius, this is another Island country that should definitely be on everyone's bucket list. It is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa and the world. It offers 14 world-class dive sites, an animal sanctuary with rare Aldabra giant tortoises, private villas and great restaurants. 

The best beach in Africa is Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue Island in Seychelles, East Africa

With these lovely tourist attractions, its no wonder it is featured on Travel and Leisure's The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2019.

Worthy Mention - Nigeria

This list would be incomplete with our very own beautiful country which appears on Fodor's Travel Go List 2019.

Unravelling Nigeria
Ziplining in Lekki Leisure Lake [Unravelling Nigeria]

Top tourist attractions include the Nike Art Gallery in Lagos state, Osun Sacred Groove in Osogbo and Abeokuta's Olumo Rock.