Italian tourism in Africa: popular destinations and trends

Art in Tanzania internship by Dilyara Shantayeva

While the COVID situation across the world begins to ease, travel agencies are starting to promote the most popular destinations around the world, including Africa. In this article the most popular destinations for Italian tourists in Africa, as well as the main observed trends.

Concerning specifically Italy, the country still maintains its state of emergency, and entry from abroad remains heavily restricted. Complete information is available on the Italian Foreign Ministry website. Entry from most of Europe is allowed in principle but persons arriving from these countries must provide a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours upon entry, undergo a five-day quarantine, and present another negative test after five days. This regulation runs until mid-May. Then a national “green vaccination passport” is to be introduced to be able to travel freely within the country. Italy is gradually easing the restrictions within the country where a traffic light system is in place.

The traffic light system mentioned above is a set of maps published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in order to provide travelers in Europe with a better overview of the COVID infection situation and possible restrictions. Before going anywhere out of your home country, it is necessary to remember to submit a negative PCR Covid test, ensuring that you are not a carrier of the aforementioned disease. Fortunately, some of the tour operators offer packages with pre-planned PCR testing, so travellers can get back safely to their countries.

The most visited country in Africa is Morocco. This Northern African nation saw a whopping 12.3 million visitors in 2019, making it the most visited country on the entire continent. Some of the highlights of Morocco include Marrakesh, one of the most chaotic and charismatic cities in the world. Then, of course, there is Fes, a historic city with so much culture you could spend a week here and not scratch the surface. If you’re taking a tour of the country, consider stopping by Essaouira as well. This beautiful beach town has a European feel to it, with all the rugged charm of Northern Africa.

In 2019 there were an impressive 11.3 million visitors to Egypt, making this the second most visited country in Africa. The main draw cards in Egypt are of course the Egyptian pyramids, the pharaoh’s tombs and the Luxor temple dating back thousands of years. Egypt is popular not only for the European tourists, but also for tourists from the CIS countries due to comparatively low prices and good transport connectivity.

One of the destinations in Africa that has a potential of growing as a huge honeymoon market not only for the Italian couples, but for the newlyweds around the world is South Africa. Even though there is not much research in this area, the paper by Andrea Giampiccoli from the Durban University of Technology “The Italian tourism market and South Africa: an initial investigation on the potential honeymoon market” starts a discussion about the opportunity arising. According to the researcher, the demand of the Italian young couples is met by the supply offered by the destinations of South Africa, therefore establishing a popular route for the honeymoons. The abundance of beach resorts, spa hotels and the availability of the so – called “honeymoon packages” are what makes South Africa so popular. It is not only the leisure and relaxing that the couples could do in South African destinations, but also many captivating activities in the fascinating African nature. Adventurous couples can choose from a traditional safari within a private game reserve, white-water rafting through the bush or turtle spotting at a beachfront lodge. Places like Franschoek in Cape Town, Queenstown in Eastern Cape, The Garden route in Western Cape and Elephant coast in Kwazulu Natal seem to be the most visited destinations by Italians.

The next prominent destination is Northern Sudan. It is an independent country since July 2011, it has a stable political situation and it is safe to travel, particularly between Khartoum and the Egyptian border. After the separation from the South, Northern Sudan is still a very large and diverse country. The astonishing landscape of the three deserts, associated to the beauty of the Nile Cataracts, the hidden Nubian villages and the welcoming people make of this place an innovative, unexpected destination. There are companies that provide tours for the Italian people, tailor made safaris, escorted tours etc. Travellers can choose preferred locations as well as the duration of the holiday, the organizers claim that every individual’s demands will be met.

Tunisia is also a quite popular place, because the flow of tourists is going not only from the international airport travel, but also from the cruise ships that dock in the nearby port. Particularly, the Holland America Line cruise company has several cruise ships that visit Tunis in an ordely manner. The tourists are able to get acquanted with the hospitality of the region as well as to visit the ancient Carthage ruins.

Tanzania is also a very popular destinations among the Italian tourists. Such famous attractions as Serengeti National Park, mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro crater attract the adventurous travellers, while wild and fascinating beaches attract the connosieurs of leisure and relaxation.

Serengeti great migration safari in Tanzania, Africa. Suuri massavaellus Serengetissä, unohtumattomat seikkailu safarit.

The next promising tourist attraction for the Italians is Zimbabwe.There are many reasons to visit Zimbabwe, but most of them start with safari and end with the Victoria Falls. This landlocked country in Southern Africa is still one of the most popular choices for safari goers in search of the big five. The game viewing in Zimbabwe is second to none, but the Victoria Falls are unlike any other. As one of the world’s largest waterfalls, they extend some 1,708 metres in length.

This article has outlined several most popular destinations for Italian tourism in the African continent, as well as the latest changes that happened due to the current pandemic situations. Each country has its own regulation regarding the COVID, but most of them should soon be available for the vaccinate tourists or for a person with a PCR test.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s