The world's second-largest continent, Africa is home to a remarkable range of cultures, landscapes and wildlife.

In the north, sprawling from coast to coast and covering almost a third of the continent's surface, is the Sahara. And while parts of it stretch across territories travellers aren't advised to visit, in other areas you'll find rippling sand dunes and palm-studded oases, as well as must-see historical sites such as the pyramids of Egypt and Sudan.

For some of the world's most standout wildlife encounters, you need to go south to the peaks, savannahs and wetlands of sub-Saharan Africa: countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana for the Big Five, or Rwanda and Uganda for close-up encounters with gorillas.

The 54 countries that make up the African continent have more to offer than natural attractions, though, whether it's Tunisia and Morocco, with their French- and Islamic-influenced cultures and architecture, or South Africa, which is fast gaining a reputation for world-class gastronomy.

Drumbeats and heartstrings: tuning in to the rhythms of Senegal

Where to go wildlife-watching in Morocco

Journeying along an ancient trading route in the Moroccan Sahara

Sand, songs and solitude on a trek through Morocco's Atlas Mountains

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