Sunset in Africa: 15 Countries with Spectacular African Sunsets
You can watch a sunset in Africa and believe you have witnessed the hand of God. With horizons that seem to stretch out forever and a breathtaking kaleidoscope of colours emerging to kiss the sky, the African continent has some of the most magical skies. The dramatic wilderness, the changing landscape, and amazing wildlife only add to its magic and charm.
Whether the natural light show is the background to an uncharted mountain, the limitless ocean, the never-ending desert, the African sky never disappoints at sundown.
Where was your most favourite or memorable sunset to date? This list of 15 countries offers a glimpse into special places where the African sunsets are particularly magical.
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Countries in Africa with beautiful sunsets
Africa and her sunsets will whisper for you to return, and you most certainly will.
Let’s get straight into this list. First up….
1 | EGYPT
When the sun goes down, the sky comes alive all across Egypt, bringing with it a kaleidoscope of colours and one of the best places to catch a beautiful sunset in Africa. The country, dating back to the time of the pharaohs, with millennia-old landmarks and landscapes that provide wide open panoramas to enjoy the sunset on show each evening. Elements of nature combine orange, red and yellow hues to merge sky with sand at this other-worldly region.
Egyptians believed that the most powerful Sun God Ra emerged from the East at sunrise, moved across the sky during the day, and died at the end of the day, returning to the underworld at sunset, a continuing life-death-rebirth cycle. Depending on your perspective, the Nile River, and the surrounding palm trees, mountains, and dunes provide a perfect background and a participant to the beautiful sunset spectacle.
While Giza’s colossal Pyramids, the fertile Nile River valley, and the Sahara Desert remain the most famous spots for those searching for the ideal African sunset, various locations throughout are just as good, if not better, at times.
For the intrepid explorer, cities the likes of Luxor and Aswan have sunsets in the company of glorious hieroglyph-lined temples – Luxor, Karnak, Philae, Abu Simbel- adding an added element to this already ethereal beauty.
>> Related reading: 40+ insider tips to know before your first trip to Egypt
Inside the huge, historic city that is Cairo, history is infused with radiant sunsets that are bound to make you feel as if you have gone back in time. The best places to be a witness a beautiful sunset include the Mokattam hills, Al Azhar Park, and of course the Giza plateau.
It is as if the city awakens from a slumber once the sunset disappears. The vibrant feel is contagious as you enjoy local delicacies, sip on sugar cane juice, listen to Egyptian music, and people watch, graciously welcoming the night.
2 | KENYA
With horizons that seem to stretch out forever across the savannahs and plains of East Africa, Kenya is an African country where beautiful sunsets are almost a given. Shades of yellow turn orange and red as the sun makes its way behind the silhouettes of acacia trees and wildlife.
Home to the Masai Mara, Kenya comprises the dramatic Great Rift Valley, savannah, lakes, mountain highlands, and a coastline on the Indian Ocean. The land’s diversity contributes to the show, making each sunset moment unique.
It is as if the sunset does not requires an audience for the spectacular colours drawn over the savannah. Whether you find yourself enjoying the twilight display on safari in the Maasai Mara Reserve, the Amboseli National Park, or from high up from a hot air balloon, the unique combination is bound to leave you wishing it all lasts a little bit longer.
3 | NAMIBIA
A wild, unique landscape where desert meets mountains, Namibia is next on this list of best African sunsets. With powerful shades of colour coming out of the canyons to kiss the sky, it’s easy to understand why. A country located in southwest Africa, renowned for its confluence of the Namib Desert along the Atlantic Ocean coast with a diverse wildlife and incredible landscape.
Whether you find yourself in the capital, Windhoek, the coastal town Swakopmund, or the salt pan’s of Etosha National Park, there is a good chance for a captivating show each evening. Even better is the dramatic view of the Sossusvlei and neighbouring Deadvlei sand dunes, making up some of the highest in the world against the last light of the day. Dune 45, rising over 500 ft tall, is the most popular spot to catch the African sunset in the Namib Desert. Wait for the sunset to gently paint the apricot-coloured dunes in the company of sun-scorched acacia trees, creating a show that resembles a real-life painting.
4 | SOUTH AFRICA
The country found on the southernmost tip of the African continent immersed in raw beauty, calls out for you to witness all of its artistic glory at sunset. Marked by several distinct ecosystems and unmatched diversity, the show is bound to leave you feeling something poignant each evening.
South Africa’s mild weather allows for sunsets to be thoroughly maximised. Be amazed in Cape town as the sun dives into the Atlantic where open space and views of both ocean and mountain makes for a dramatic location. The iconic stretch of coastline in the country along the Garden Route all the way to the Wild coast provides plenty of opportunity to chase the perfect African sunset at dusk.
To the east of the country, find Mpumalanga (literal translation “the place where the sun rises,”) home to the Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, and equally beautiful sun moments during the golden hour. Find a vantage point and watch the sun embrace the diverse land to form a moment that is almost as difficult to forget.
>> Read next: 20 top reasons why you should visit South Africa
5 | SEYCHELLES
A unique kind of paradise and home to an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of East Africa, Seychelles allows for maximum sunset in Africa pleasure. With a unique mix of Creole, French, and English influences and laidback atmosphere, it is blessed with a tropical climate, and comprises a number of nature parks, world-class beaches, and some of the best diving spots in the world.
If this island wasn’t magical enough during the day, stay around to see what happens as the sun goes down. The African sunsets look like postcards sent home, as the water provides beautiful reflections and palm trees add dimensional flare to the deep colours of the sky.
Being so close to the equator, evenings in the Seychelles are pleasant, making the sunset spectacle a year-round experience. Take a stroll for different perspective on the unique hues of the light that comes to life just before dark. If being on land is not enough, take a boat out on the water for a sunset cruise and be moved by exciting and romantic contrasts between ocean and sky. You may just decide to stay, leaving all the hurried life behind.
6 | TANZANIA
Tanzania is a life changing experience and is a true visual of what Africa has to offer in a sunset. Located in East Africa, it is known as the home of the incredible Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti National Park, and its vast wilderness that are second to none.
The bright orange horizon, casts silhouettes of wildlife as the waves of heat melt the colours of the sky right before your eyes. It creates a deep resonance of heart with dusty, magical sunsets. Here you will be provided with a chance to take part in the sunset ritual, as you get to feel as one with the nature that surrounds you.
Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar. With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and Arabic influences, the archipelago is associated with wild, unmatched beauty along the Indian Ocean. Head to the wide open spaces of these beaches at sunset when the tide is low to view a golden-amber sky or on board a dhow.
>> Read next: Kilimanjaro routes climbing guide
A true African sunset: What more could you ask for, really. I make the bold statement that you have not witnessed a sunset until you’ve seen one in Tanzania.
7 | MADAGASCAR
The fourth largest island in the world, found off the south east coast of Africa, Madagascar offers so much more than just a tropical island getaway. Yes, you will find azure waterfalls, remote beaches, untouched diving sites, and beautiful African sunsets. However, it is also home to vibrant cultures and friendly people, an incredible high biodiversity found across its different ecosystems, and wildlife only found here.
90% of flora and fauna in Madagascar cannot be seen anywhere else in the world and its impressive array of exotic finds make it well worth visiting.
You will come across walks with impressive views and sunsets that should be known for their incredible beauty. Picture fiery hues of orange, deep purples and vibrant pinks bathing the ocean in beautiful colours, producing some of the most dramatic sunsets in Africa and around the world.
Plan it well and you can also get to witness this spectacle at the famous avenue of baobabs as the sun does its evening ritual.
8 | BOTSWANA
A landlocked country in Southern Africa, Botswana has a landscape that world renowned for its Okavango Delta, Kalahari Desert and the countless number of wildlife that call the undulating grasslands and valleys home. The country is not just a great wildlife and bird-watching destination, but also for its spectacular setting sun over the African delta.
The Okavango Delta, is an oasis of waterways, lagoons, and abundant wildlife. Watch the sun turn into a bright red fireball as its makes it descent into the horizon from a canoe safari. The traditional wooden dug-out canoes that glide down the river at dusk will take you down the narrow canals, passing by an abundance of life as you chase down a memorable African sunset.
9 | MOZAMBIQUE
If you don’t know much about Mozambique, you should know that the warmth and wonder of the land is made for the intrepid explorer. The country gained independence in 1975 after four centuries of colonial rule by the Portuguese. With over 2,500km of undiscovered beaches alongside the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and two archipelagos of islands, it provides an unlimited opportunity to chase the perfect African sunset or sunrise.
Points of interest in Mozambique include the Bazaruto and Quirimbas archipelagos comprising 5 and 30 tropical islands respectively. The best way to explore the islands is by dhow adding a local touch to the golden panoramas. Other beaches worth exploring include Praia do Tofo, Pemba, and Barra, among other secluded gems.
Choose from a variety of things to do whether it be chilling on the beach, snorkelling and diving among the coral reefs, or taking a safari: beautiful sunsets come standard. Visit before this vibrant African country is discovered for mass-tourism and witness breathtaking sunsets that will not easily forgotten.
10 | MOROCCO
This colourful and diverse country situated in the Maghreb region of North Africa, is a photographer’s dream. From the bustling cities and its people to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and the indescribable Sahara desert, it is sure to capture the heart of a traveller. The sunsets here are some of the best in Africa and beyond.
With a border along the Atlantic ocean and Mediterranean Sea and a distinct mix of African, Arab, Berber and European influences, it is an eclectic region and offers a unique experience. Whether you’re exploring the Djemma el Fna of Marrakech, the tanneries of Fez, the Hassan II Mosque of Casablanca. the port of Essaouira, or the dunes of Erg Chebbi desert, a beautiful sunset is never too far away.
11 | MAURITIUS
Beautiful landscapes, a tropical climate, multicultural environment, and amazing sunsets come standard on the island of Mauritius. Each day the sky will delight with changing hues of yellow, orange, and purple, providing a wonderful experience and memories to cherish forever.
The island offers plenty of opportunity to witness an African sunset and different perspectives no matter where you find yourself. Two of the most popular spots include Pointe aux Biches, and Flic-en-Flac. The former is a cozy area found between Pointe aux Piments and Trou aux Biches while Flic-en-Flac is a major tourist hub that has developed from a small fishing village to a vibrant area with good vibes, good food, and a whole lot of Sega Tipik. The stretch of sand overlooks a beautiful lagoon with plenty of spots to enjoy the mood as the sun goes down.
12 | RWANDA
Rwanda pulses with African charm where lush rolling green hills give way to tranquil waters. Located a few degrees south of the Equator in Central Africa, it is one of the smallest countries on the African mainland.
Referred to as the land of a thousand hills, it comes with spectacular mountaintop views and sunsets to match. Majestic and serene at the same time, lending way to African sunsets for your soul. As the evening progresses, the sunset creates a cozy ambiance. Be sure to take advantage of these views from all corners of the region as you witness the sunset’s endless colours merge effortlessly with the horizon and the night sky slowly comes alive.
14 | ALGERIA
A diverse country in the North African region on the Mediterranean coast, Algeria comprises a significant portion of the Sahara desert, vast mountain ranges of Aures and Nememcha surrounding vast plains and highlands. Enormous daily ranges in temperature are recorded with the midday heat contrasting with the chilly nights as the clear, dry air allows for rapid loss in heat.
Africa’s largest country comprises several UNESCO World Heritage Sites that include Tipasa, Al Qal’a of Beni Hammad, M’Zab Valley, among others and you don’t have to be at the country’s highest point, Mount Tahat at 3,003 m to witness a beautiful sunset. Big skies envelope a canopy of colours as fas as the eye can see. Many evening witness a unique type of African sunset that may just be enough to get you to stop whatever you are doing and stand in awe. The diversity of the landscape only heighten the sacred sunsets.
15 | ETHIOPIA
Right in the Horn of Africa you will find the rugged, landlocked country of Ethiopia that is split by the Great Rift Valley. A majestic land with wildly varying landscapes that will leave you breathless and a place of ancient history and culture, dating back over 3 million years. Home to more than 100 million people of varying ethnic and religious groups, the second most-populous nation in Africa includes important sites, the likes of Lalibela and Aksum.
The African sunsets here are a sight to behold. Each evening it illuminates the land, and bring an aliveness that is best observed in person. Head to a high point, watch as the sun burns red, and enjoy the magnificence, peace, and tranquillity that this unique part of Africa offers.
How beautiful is Africa, right… and these African sunsets! Which one is YOUR favourite?
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