On June 23, 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union in the Brexit referendum, an event which is truly historic.
Less than a month later, on July 17, 2016, at the opening ceremony of the 27th AU summit in Kigali, Rwanda, the African Union launched a common passport for all 54 member countries of the AU.
A lot of details about the passport are still unclear and sketchy at the moment, but what we do know for sure is that the passport will allow carriers travel throughout the continent without visas.
It is expected to function like the ECOWAS passport that allows members of the ECOWAS countries travel within the region with no visa requirements.
So, now that we don't need visas anymore, here are six African countries you can visit without hassle. Just grab your AU Passport, pack your bags and you're set for an adventure.
1. Sao Tome and Principe:
Sao Tome and Principe, an island nation situated in the gulf of Guinea, is Africa's smallest state.
For a beach holiday, this is the perfect destination. The island is has beautiful beautiful beaches where tourists can enjoy several beach activities ranging from fishing to diving and whale watching.
For those who like to hike, they will enjoy hiking through exotic jungle to get to the top of Pico de Sao Tome, the island’s highest point above sea level.
A visa and a medical certificate proving that you're yellow fever and malaria free are required before entering the country, but with the new AU passport, the visa is no longer an issue.
Kenya is one of the top safari destinations in Africa. The word 'safari' actually originates from Kenya, as it means journey in Swahili.
Kenya is home to a wild range of wildlife, especially ‘The Big Five’; the lion, the elephant, the buffalo, white and black rhinoceros (both endangered species), and the leopard. Apart from the big five, many other exotic animals such as cheetahs, zebras, jackals, giraffes, cheetahs, jackals, hyenas, kudus, gazelles can be found in Kenya.
With a burgeoning pop culture scene, Kenya is fun to visit, there are a variety of interesting activities to partake in, as well as beautiful, breathtaking landscapes.
3. South Africa:
South Africa offers a great summer adventure and beach holidays during the summer months. KwaZulu Natal province alone has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and over 500 bird species in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Lesotho is an enclave, completely surrounded by South Africa. The main attractions of Lesotho are beautiful reserves and parks. A World Heritage site, Sani Pass, is located high on the Drakensberg escarpment on the South Africa-Lesotho border, almost 3000 metres above sea level.
The country is made up of highlands and majestic mountains, making it suitable for tourists who want to hike as well as those who seek to immerse themselves in nature.
The Kingdom of Morocco is a Maghreb North African country that has a distinct medieval feel to it. Morocco has both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines and is filled with desert and rugged mountains.
A multitude of languages are commonly spoken in the predominantly Muslim country; Arabic and Berber are the official languages while French and Moroccan Arabic are widely spoken.
Tourists can expect to be wowed by snake charmers, henna tattoo artists and its ancient Islamic and Roman sites.
Morocco, a member of the Arab League, has recently asked to rejoin the African Union, over 30 years after quitting.
With the new AU Passport, here are five more countries to add to your bucket list now that you can travel around Africa visa free.