Interesting towns/cities in Southern Africa?

Jan 11th, 2009, 09:50 PM
Original Poster
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Interesting towns/cities in Southern Africa?

I know how everyone loves Cape Town, and some people enjoy Johannesburg, but are there other towns in the southern parts of Africa that are worth a day or more just to explore? Maun? Windhoek? Livingstone?

-- Ethan
FoggyEthan is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 01:38 AM
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Hi Ethan

Maputo is well worth a couple of days, and I've heard many great things about Dakar, Senegal (on my agenda for later this year) - see the recent NYT top 44 destinations for 2009.

Nairobi is still very dangerous in many parts, Lagos is fascinating but manageable with a trustworthy guide, a friend just returned from Kinshasa - to be avoided at present without a private security entourage. Kampala is interesting with some good restaurants and the nearby city of Entebbe on Lake Victoria. Personally, I enjoyed Antananarivo...a lot. Maun - unremarkable staging post. Windhoek is worth a day, maybe two, but little more than that.

What are you looking for in particular? Nightlife? Restaurants? Museums? Adventure? Music?
kurt_a is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 03:29 AM
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Maputo is interesting for a couple of days. I was surprised by the relative lack of tourists there, too. From an outsider's point of view, half the fun is trying to figure out the significance of the dates and names that the streets are named after.
Gritty is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Mbabane in Swaziland has an interesting market.
Celia is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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how about Gaborone? I understand there are a few museums, and it is the capital so would have a life of its own, so to speak. There is also the University of Botswana there.
Momliz is offline  
Jan 12th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Simons Town might be so close to Cape Town as to be lumped in with it. It's my new favorite city with the penguins at Boulders Bay, baboon walks through Baboon Matters, Just Nuisance statue, Great White Shark viewing and Seal Island at False Bay, lovely views, good restaurants, and a train to visit other places.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 04:38 AM
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I love Graaf Reinet with its many galleries and museums. It also has the beautiful Valley of Desolation. And of course the Own House in New Bethesda close by. Off the beaten track!!!
Poppins is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 08:00 AM
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I agree on Maputo (one of my favorite southern African cities), and I also spent an enjoyable day or two in Windhoek, Harare (I wouldn't visit now), Livingstone (I only spent half-day, and its more a town than a city). I only passed through Maun.

To me, the more interesting cities are in the north, like Cairo, Tunis, Alexandria or West (like Accra, Cotonou, Lome) -- I have visited those places, and of the places I have not yet visited, I'd like to visit Dakar, Marrakesh and Fez, Khartoum and Addis.

If you are interested in urban destinations, I'd focus on the West or North.
thit_cho is offline  
Jan 15th, 2009, 01:53 PM
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I spent an enjoyable day in Windhoek doing a half day city tour that included a visit to a township (my first) and then some 'light' shopping. There are a couple of galleries on Independence Avenue that had some great gifts for people at home, and I also bought a CD of safari sounds.

Swakopmund also provides a 'town' break from safari with some good restaurants such as the Tug and Brauhaus, at least 2 good bookshops and a range of other gift shops. Its a pleasant walk along the coastal footpath north of town and there are a number of adventure activities on offer that also add variety to a safari.

I enjoyed St Lucia, which was a very small town, but we had a pleasant break there doing a night drive, birding from a boat and whale watching. Again, a couple of casual restaurants, good range of B&Bs and at least one very good gift shop. Its possible to walk on the beach and also do day trips to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi NP.

Goodness, I sound like a shopoholic - I can assure you that I'm not, however, as I have had 2 x 8 week trips to Africa that are predominantly safari based, I have good memories of the few town breaks I have enjoyed.

Happy travels,

Treepol is offline  
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