Leading travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet has released its top 10 countries to visit in 2019 with two African countries deservedly making the coveted and enviable list.
According to Lonely Planet, the shortlisted countries are “primed to capture travellers’ imaginations” in the coming year.
Placing third and ninth respectively, these two African destinations were ranked among the following countries respectively: 1. Sri Lanka 2. Germany 4. Panama 5. Kyrgyzstan 6. Jordan 7. Indonesia 8. Belarus 10. Belize.
Scroll through to read about the African countries that made the list:
São Tomé & Príncipe – 9th Position
The islands of São Tomé & Príncipe were discovered off the coast of West Africa in the Gulf of Guinea in the 15th century by Portuguese explorers Pêro Escobar and João de Santarém.
In describing the two beautiful islands, Lonely Planet wrote:
“Intrepid explorers have always searched out places to boldly go where no one has gone before. This is a rare chance for you to visit a place few other travellers have even heard of. The two-island nation of São Tomé & Príncipe – found floating in the Gulf of Guinea – is now calling. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it.”
“Surreal landscapes climb dramatically to the heavens, tropical waters kiss its empty beaches and jungles consume everything from colonial sugar, cocoa, and coffee plantations to sobering relics of the island’s past role in the slave trade. And whether trekking through the forests, climbing the mountains or snorkelling in the waters offshore, you’ll discover many untold treasures here.” They added.
Zimbabwe – 3rd Position
Despite economic and political setbacks, Zimbabwe is still tourist hotspot thanks to its beautiful national parks and other iconic landmarks including Victoria Falls.
In describing the South African nation, Lonely Island wrote:
“While it may be known for making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, Zimbabwe has always been a country that travellers on the ground have raved about. Not only is it one of Africa’s safest destinations, it’s one blessed with ultra-friendly locals, Big Five-filled national parks, World Heritage-listed archaeological ruins, forested mountains and, of course, the mighty Victoria Falls.”
“Although the controversial 2018 election may have dampened the unbridled optimism following the end of Robert Mugabe’s time in power, the sense of hope for what the country can become remains strong in Zimbabweans. And as always, a visit here is viewed by locals as a sign of support of them on their journey to a new dawn.” They added.