In 2014, Lee Litumbe, the Cameroonian born travel writer decided to quit her career in corporate finance to found Spirited Pursuit, a blog dedicated to chronicling her travels throughout Africa. "Africa is in dire need of [a] rebranding and being captured through inspired eyes," she told MyDomaine. "I wanted to be part of that rebrand by sharing my personal stories and genuine experiences as a solo female traveler."
To date, Litumbe has visited 15 African countries and counting. From the red dunes of Sossusvlei to the narrow streets of Lamu Town, Litumbe's gorgeous photography and poignant storytelling showcase all the history, beauty, and heart the continent has to offer to adventurous travelers. "Africa needs more Africans to tell the world her story," says Litumbe. "To experience her endless offerings firsthand and capture her diverse beauty accurately. And most importantly, to create content that inspires and informs on how you, too, can come to experience it all for yourself."
For travel inspiration beyond the cities of Europe and the beaches of South America, we asked Litumbe to share some of the most incredible places she's visited in Africa. Spanning the stunning white-sand beaches of Mozambique to the colorful colonial buildings of Senegal, these are the destinations that lure her back again and again.
Southern Mozambique, known for its pristine beaches and incredible marine life, is a must-visit destination on the continent, according to Litumbe. Don't miss visiting Vilanculos, a laid-back, relaxed beach town along the southern coast, for a slice of heaven on earth, she advises. With Mozambique's sparkling turquoise waters and stunning white-sand beaches (pictured above), it also makes for an ideal jumping-off point for island hopping and exploring the stunning islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. "Hiring a driver or renting a car will allow you to see the country in a much better way than flying (if you have time on your side)," recommends Litumbe.
"Senegal has so much to offer, it's hard to know where to start," says Litumbe. Between the volcanic rock formations on the island-turned-national-park Îlot Sarpant and the colorful colonial buildings of Saint Louis, it's easy to see why narrowing the nation's best destinations down to a shortlist is a challenging task for the well-traveled Litumbe. Be sure to visit Îlot Sarpant, which is just a 20-minute boat ride from the city of Dakar; spend some time in Saint Louis, and stay at least one night at Collines de Niassam resort, an eco-lodge perched among the baobabs on the Siné-Saloum delta, about a three-hour drive from Dakar.
Boasting one of the few places in the world where the desert meets the sea, Namibia's otherworldly landscapes are, in a word, stunning. "Namibia has landscapes unlike any I'd ever seen before," says Litumbe. "Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are definitely not to be missed, but if you're curious to see what it's like when the vastness of the desert meets the crashing waves of the ocean, be sure to see Swakopmund as well," the travel writer advises.
Situated in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar beckons travelers with its gorgeous beaches, but you'd be remiss if you didn't spend some time exploring the historic cities of the Tanzanian archipelago as well, says Litumbe. "Don't skip Stone Town!" advises Litumbe. African, Arab, Indian, and European cultures collide within the enchanting UNESCO World Heritage site. "Be sure to spend a few days there, then head to Paje and dine at The Rock restaurant for a very unique experience," she adds. Perched on a rock just off the shore of Michanwi Pingwe beach, the charming restaurant is accessible by boat when tides are high.
"My favorite place in Kenya is, hands down, Lamu, which is a small, cozy island just a 30-minute plane ride away from Nairobi," says Litumbe. "It's like being transported to a different time you never want to leave." Wander the narrow streets of Lamu Town, a 700-year-old historic port town and designated UNESCO World Heritage site, to take in the culture of one of the oldest continually inhabited places on Africa's Indian Ocean coast.
Mauritius, a remote island nation off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, is hailed for its picturesque beaches and richly biodiverse marine life. While it might not be the most convenient country to travel to, it's more than worth the trip, according to Litumbe. "I've never been to a botanical garden quite as lush and beautiful as the Jardin Pamplemousse and highly recommend it," she says. "Tamarin Beach and Le Morne are other areas I definitely wouldn't miss. There's dolphin swimming, mountain-hiking, and incredible diving just at your fingertips."
"To be honest I have a love/hate relationship with Morocco, but I still consider it a very special place," confesses Litumbe. "Chefchaouen will always be solidly rooted as a highlight for me, thanks to both the nearby nature and, of course, its blue-washed walls." Just a short 45-minute drive from Chefchaouen, Akchour makes for a great day trip for nature lovers, recommends Litumbe. The scenic escape attracts Moroccans (aka it isn't overrun by tourists) with its turquoise waterfalls, refreshing swimming holes, and plentiful hiking trails.