When it comes to winter sun holidays we can’t help but notice its the deals to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt that grab our reader’s attention week after week. Whilst Sharm el Sheikh has a lot going for it – warm weather, stunning coral reefs and endless sandy beaches to name but a few, Africa is a pretty massive continent, and there are plenty of other hot spots out there:
Image via antifluor
We’re all aware of the Canary Islands, but keep heading even further south and you’ll reach the archipelago of the nine Cape Verde islands. This ex-Portuguese colony has slowly been emerging as a an exciting new tourist destination, only four hours flight away from the UK. The nine islands each offer something different: Boa Vista and Sal are the islands where tourism is developing fastest, and where you’re most likely to find a cheap package deal. Check out the capital Praia on the island of Santiago for culture and if you’re after adventure then trek the volcanic slopes of Fogo island or the fertile hills of Sao Nicolau.
Image via xavi talleda
The small nation of The Gambia on Africa’s west coast may only have a small coastline, but it is a spectacular one. Most of the hotels are concentrated close by the coast, but if you tire of the beach there are also river trips into the interior to spot monkeys and exotic birds or you can day trip across the border into Senegal.
Image via JohanPretorius2026
OK, so South Africa is hardly unknown, but it is expected to be a major winter sun hot spot for 2010-2011 following the huge amount of publicity generated by the football world cup. Cosmopolitan Cape Town is surely one of the worlds most picturesque cities, nestling beneath Table Mountain. Lush winelands line the Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, the amount of beaches seems endless, and of course this is the place to come to spot the big five (lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards and buffaloes) on safari.
Image via DIVA007
South Africa’s neighbour, Namibia is emerging as an exciting off the beaten track destination for 2011. Safaris are a popular excursion here, but you can also visit the Skeleton Coast, named for the shipwrecks that dot the beaches, and see the old German colonial influence on the capital Windhoek.
Image via Bellyglad
The temperature on the Tunisian coast drops to 16°C in the winter, but the cooler temperatures make winter the best time of year to visit the interior and the Sahara desert. With transport from 4x4s and camels you’ll see exotic oases, holy cities and you can even visit the unique desert dwelling tribes whose underground villages and towns were featured in the Star Wars films.