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.

A guide to Accra: the heart of Africa's art scene

What to do in Queenstown, New Zealand's culinary hotspot

The pioneer: chef Dieuveil Malonga on the diversity of African cuisine

The flavours of Nigerian cuisine with author Lerato Umah-Shaylor

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