Africa is the second-largest continent in the world, with 54 countries nestled on its 11.7 million square miles. The terrain ranges from vast deserts to lush, tropical rainforests; when it's summer in the north, the southern countries are experiencing winter's cold. With such a variety of landscapes, countries, and cultures, there's something for everyone in Africa. The continent saw the beginnings of humankind, so history lovers can find fascinating sites of great importance. Africa's unique animals and landscapes inspire awe and are sure to create amazing photos for you to share with the folks back home.

01Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Highest mountain in Africa 1001slide / Getty Images

Mount Kilimanjaro stands at 19,340 feet, making it Africa's highest mountain and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Located in northern Tanzania, Kilimanjaro doesn't require any specialized climbing skills to reach the top, so if you have a reasonable level of fitness you can watch the sunrise from the peak. It takes 5-9 days to climb, although slower treks allow more time to acclimatize to the altitude. Climbers must travel with a registered guide, and good trekking agencies also supply a cook, porters, water, and camping equipment.