Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement. Its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Mandela House museum. Other Soweto museums that recount the struggle to end segregation include the somber Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison complex.
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. Slowly rotating cable cars climb to the mountain’s flat top, from which there are sweeping views of the city, the busy harbor and boats heading for Robben Island, the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, which is now a living museum.
Mombasa is a coastal city of Kenya along the Indian Ocean. It is the country’s oldest and second-largest city, with an estimated population of about 1.5 million people in 2017. Its metropolitan region is the second largest in the country and has a population of approximately 3 million people.
Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, roughly in the center of the country. It sprawls across numerous hills, ridges and valleys, and has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. The Kigali Genocide Memorial documents the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda, associated with the country’s civil war. The city’s Caplaki Crafts Village has stalls selling traditional handicrafts, including woodcarvings and woven baskets.
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, in the country’s central highlands. South of the city, the sprawling Heroes’ Acre war memorial commemorates Namibia’s 1990 independence. On a hilltop in the city center are the 1890s Alte Feste, a former military headquarters with historical exhibits, and Independence Memorial Museum. Colonial influences are visible in nearby buildings like the sandstone Lutheran Christus Church.
Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng province in South Africa. It straddles the Apies River and has spread eastwards into the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains.
Victoria Falls is a town in western Zimbabwe and a gateway to the massive waterfall of the same name. Here, the Zambezi River plummets over a cliff and into the Boiling Pot before flowing through a series of gorges. The Devil’s Pool, a natural infinity pool, is on the edge of a sheer drop. Spanning the river is 1905 Victoria Falls Bridge. The surrounding Zambezi National Park is home to white rhinos and elephants.