Do you know these 7 least visited countries in Africa?
The African continent is no more a dark continent. It is the most visited continent by the
- zoo admins
We all know animal safari means only African Safari. The wildlife in the African continent cannot match the wild animals of most of the countries remaining in other continents.
In spite of all the natural attractions in Africa, not all the countries are highly visited by tourists and other categories of people due to various reasons.
I wonder why such a biased preference! As far as I am concerned, every African country has something to offer for the outside world with very exceptions.
Even those least visited African countries have:
- game parks
- deciduous forests
- exotic avifauna
- mind boggling African people’s custom and rituals
- unheard of food
- terrific attire, especially the African’s neck-rings and head-gears
- hidden waterfalls
- cliffs and rugged mountains
There are 54 countries as of now in Africa. Sadly, several of them fall under the ‘least visited countries’. I sincerely hope the scenario changes for the better.
Let us see which countries of Africa are the least visited.
As you can see from the African map above, the dark blue coloured area denotes Mauritania, one of the least visited countries of Africa,
Though it is located on the western coast of Africa facing the Atlantic Ocean, and thus quite far away from the Arabian countries, the official language of Mauritania is Arabic and the main religion is Islam.
Its neighbour is Mali, another African country.
The reason for almost no tourists to this African country must be the geographical fact that 90% of Mauritania is within the Sahara Desert.
No wonder it is one of the least visited countries of Africa.
Consequently, more than 33% of the country’s population lives in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott where there is some rain once in a way.
You would be surprised to know that in spite of being the 11th largest country in Africa, it attracts very few tourists.
Another good reason for the lack of tourists is the unpeaceful atmosphere in the country.
Are there any attractions that can still attract people from other parts of the world to Mauritania?
Of course, yes. Here are some of the worldly tourist attractions of Mauritania:
This is a very small island, more of an islet off the coast Mauritania. It is located only a short distance away from the Bay of Arguin. Island lovers would certainly like to go there to claim one more island in their bucket list.
Banc d’Arguin National Park
This is a World Heritage Site and the above mentioned Arguin Island is also part of this African national park. This is a paradise for bird watchers who scream with pleasure when they spot the graceful flamingoes that migrate here. The flamingoes like good company. They bring with other migratory birds that include terns, pelicans, and Broad-billed Sandpipers.
Have you seen these broad-billed sandpipers walking or running on the ground? It is a delight to watch their quick movements.
Terjit is an oasis in the Sahara. Oases are rare and thus are compulsive attractors. Sahara desert can be really harsh even if you spend just 20 minutes. What if you come to know that there is an oasis just 10 minutes away after you have walked for 20 minutes? You would quicken your steps expectantly-right? There is a small pond lined with a few palm trees, a real oasis.
The image says it all. A monolith it is and a huge one located at a place where the scary Sahara deserts begin.
Train ride through the Sahara Desert
If you are brave and can be like a camel, take an hour ride in Mauritania Railway through the sizzling Sahara Desert up to Choum.
Is that a station platform where passengers are waiting for the train?
Even after watching for less than 100 seconds, I feel like entering in an air-conditioned room. What about you?
The French-sounding archipelago of Comoros is another least visited country of Africa. In spite of a refreshing and cool island, the tourists and other Africans neglect this beautiful country. I would say this means less crowd and thus less unspoiled.
Nonetheless, Comoros cannot attract a single westerner because the hospitality industry is unheard of in this part of Africa. No hotels, no infrastructure means no tourists-eh?
While other islands in the Indian Ocean such as Mauritius attract millions of visitors, this not-so-small island in the Indian Ocean attracts only marine creatures from neighbouring islands that belong to the same archipelago namely:
- Grande Comore (Ngazidja)
- Mohéli (Mwali)
- Anjouan (Nzwani)
The names in brackets are Arabian names while the original ones are clearly French that occupied these islands but liberated them in 1975. In spite of such recent independence, this least visited African country speaks Arabic mostly.
Comoros has now staked a claim to another French sounding island called Mayotte.
Apart from fishing, the Islanders are avid cultivators of cash crops such as vanilla and cocoa. Smart farmers-eh?
Location wise, the Comoros archipelago is located on the eastern coast of Africa, near Mozambique, a beautiful and well visited African country. Apart from the three major islands that are volcanic in nature, several smaller islands and islets are found scattered but I guess they are all uninhabited.
The island’s water is swim-friendly and that also means snorkelers too can enjoy a session of interaction with the colorful marine life of the Indian Ocean.
In spite of having a population of over 1 million people, this least visited African country has recorded about 2000 tourists only. That too, I believe most people from neighbouring African countries that are Cameroon and Gabon.
This Central African country is rather large, comprising over 28,000 sq.km. Refreshingly, the main language of this African nation is Spanish having got independence from Spain in 1968.
However, Equatorial Guinea’s Bioko Island’s main language is Portuguese. Even though Equatorial Guinea has such a wonderful island with a range of flora and fauna, tourists continue to ignore this African country. In fact, the capital Malabo is located on Bioko Island.
Loaded with lush tropical rainforest, tourists can have a wonderful time here spotting the rare Guinea baboon, Red River Hog, blue-headed dove, and Emerald Starling.
In Bioko Island that is also volcanic, you can spot the real African mammals that include the chimpanzees and gorillas, the true identities of Africa. In addition, there are hippos, elephants, and buffaloes.
The Wikipedia says only 2000 tourists are recorded annually to visit Eritrea, making it among the least visited countries of Africa.
Though bordered by other well-visited African countries that include Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Sudan, this northeast African country Eritrea gets ignored by the tourists.
Do you know this country’s people speak several languages such as:
Even Italian is spoken by a minority of people. I think people living near the famous St. Joseph’s Cathedral and St. Mariam Cathedral speak Italian.
This least visited African nation occupies a lengthy Red Sea coastline. As a peninsula, it should attract tourists who love beaches that are less crowded but alas, no such activities are reported.
In addition to its mainland, Eritrea’s area comprises several islands too such as Hanish Islands and Dahlak Islands.
The unfriendly political atmosphere seems to be the sole reason for its low tourist numbers.
One more least visited African country that is sandwiched between several East Central African nations that include:
- Central African Republic
Wow! Its neighbors are wonderful places to visit, especially Congo and Kenya. I think it is the main reason for South Sudan’s meager tourists. I too would surely not bother to turn away once I am in Kenya or Congo, the great African countries for unprecedented wildlife.
The tiny red-marked area denotes the least visited African country, Guinea-Bissau. It comprises several African ethnic groups and sounds a true African nation that seems to be living worlds apart from the modernity.
Agreed, the current political situation keeps the tourists at bay but I think one can still peep into Bissagos archipelago that is part of the Guinea-Bissau.
As late as 1973 was the year this wildlife-rich African nation got liberated from Portuguese. The name Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau is a Portuguese word.
I think most of the West African countries are less visited by the tourists.
The central African Republic
The name is sounding high, giving an impression it is an important country on the African map but it has recorded abysmal 1k tourists only every year. I wonder who those 1000 are and what attract them to the Central African Republic!
The reason cited for low visitor turnout is again the current political scenario and the civil war.
Ah, I found out why those 1000 odd tourists visited the Central African Republic. They must have heard about the high number of gorilla population in Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve. I read you can find some pygmy huts in the adjoining forests.
Ironically, this least visited African country is said to be a very poor country in spite of possessing diamond mines!
Some more African countries that receive almost no visitors from other parts of the world:
- São Tomé and Príncipe
The last mentioned three least visited African countries require no big explanation. As to why they don’t attract tourists. Somalia spells it all.
Nevertheless, out of the seven African countries that are not in the radar of tourist-friendly countries. At least some of them deserve more attention from those who love Africa always.