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Cities

Recommendations from well-known locals and frequent travellers to African cities. Select your city and start exploring the categories of Prepare, Stay, Eat & Drink, Shop, See & Do, Give Back and Tips.

DISCOVER

Our African Cities

The Côte d’Ivoire’s economic capital, Abidjan straddles the Ébrié lagoon. Connected by canals and waterways, this former French colonial city merges mid-century high-rises with tropical rainforests.

Abidjan

Nigeria’s capital and administrative hub, Abuja boasts large green spaces and a landscape dominated by two granite monoliths. The infrastructure allows for a swift commute and exit on weekends.

Image credit: ©tomsaater, Nordic Villa
Abuja

Accra will certainly tickle your senses. From the enticing aromas of street food to the vibrant kaleidoscopic markets, it sprawls from the famous Makola Market to the pristine Bojo Beach.

Image credit: ©accraphoto
Accra

With probably the shortest airport to city commute in all Africa, the sprawling and flourishing Addis is much more than just a gateway to the Rift Valley.

Image credit: @gonzaloguajardo
Addis Ababa

The war-torn history of Algiers in no way diminishes its beauty and rich cultural heritage. French colonial villas, Ottoman palaces and the labyrinthine streets of the Casbah rise above the blue waters of the Bay of Algiers.

Image credit: @mahdiaridj
Algiers

The quieter of the two capitals on the Congo River, Brazzaville is home to the famous sartorial subculture ‘Les Sapeurs’. Established as early as the 1920’s, its aspirational roots continue to embody its acronym, a ‘Society of Ambiance Makers and Elegant People’.

Image credit: @azaourob
Brazzaville

With over 22 million inhabitants, it’s hard not to focus on Cairo’s traffic problems. But you will forget them when you see any of its famous landmarks, examine magnificent artefacts or sip coffee at one of the ahwah’s.

Image credit: @HassanMohamd
Cairo

Affectionately known by South Africans as The Mother City, Cape Town offers the best of seaside living and city life. You’ll be charmed by its distinctive mix of European, African and Asian sensibilities and flavours.

Image credit: @Wianelle Briers
Cape Town

The colourful history of this former fishing port is reflected throughout Casablanca, from its Spanish name to its French architecture. Currently undergoing major redevelopments, the city is set on a modern course beginning with a new LGV train passing through.

Casablanca

On the edge of West Africa, Dakar is a city of startling paradoxes. You will feel the sense of pride and honour permeating the former French colony with its visual arts and vibrant nightlife.

Image credit: Olivia ND @codsolivia
Dakar

Dar is a thriving metropolis of over four million people. Noisy and unsettling, but extremely decorative, with Arabic, African and European architecture lining its streets, visitors lose themselves in abundant craft markets and then enjoy sundowners from gracious dhows.

Image credit: @dhlaxman
Dar es Salaam

A tiny strategic country which few have heard of, Djibouti sits aside one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and is the the port to its large neighbour, Ethiopia.

Image credit: ©javiercallejas.com
Djibouti

Known for its friendly people, Botswana’s capital and largest city, Gaborone offers a particularly relaxed, easy experience of African urban life, where tradition and modern advancements sit happily side by side.

Image credit: @bwfamilygems
Gaborone

After years of political turmoil, Harare is enjoying a new sense of optimism. Its wide avenues, good transport and friendly people make it a comparatively easy and relaxed destination.

Image credit: Pearce McComish Tarabuku
Harare

The City of Gold, this former mining town continues to attract hustlers from all over the continent. While the focus is on Sandton in the north, the city centre is being revitalized with a vibrant arts and culture circuit.

Image credit: nigeriarealestatehub.com
Johannesburg

Uganda’s capital is in the heartland of the Buganda Kingdom. Home to the King’s Palace and Royal Tombs, Kampala is full of fascinating surprises. Beyond the bustling city, with its abysmal traffic, lie lush and hilly landscapes.

Image credit: kampalacitytours.com
Kampala

Stained by a horrific past, Kigali is rebranding itself. Clean, safe and wonderfully lush, it is also known for excellent coffee and as being the gateway to a gorilla trip.

Image credit: light-earth.com
Kigali

Kinshasa packs a punch. Expensive for those in search of home comforts, but fantastic value for those who want to “go local”. Great food and entertainment can be found in the humblest of places, but make sure you are ready to bargain.

Image credit: ©skyscrapercity.com
Kinshasa

Lagos is an entrepreneurial mecca where its residents hustle, eat and sleep and start all over with the same determination the next day.

Image credit: moeaa.com
Lagos

One of the world’s most expensive cities, Luanda flashes its oil cash. Shimmy from beach clubs to nightclubs. Bring your dollars and be prepared to spend them.

Image credit: @dani_brandani
Luanda

A modest regional commercial hub where markets and street vendors lining the jacaranda-shaded streets are increasingly having to compete with modern shopping malls.

Image credit: @mapio.net
Lusaka

You can’t miss the Portuguese colonial footprints, from the language, to the cuisine and the old (neglected) buildings. Whilst in need of attention, Maputo is one of the continent’s prettiest capitals.

Image credit: © pancho guedes archives
Maputo

While its beaches make it a popular tourist destination, Mombasa is more than fine white sand and turquoise sea. The chaotic, vibrant mixture of African and Arabic influences combine to make a unique city.

Image credit: @_javiercallejas
Mombasa

Kenya’s capital epitomises the new Africa, with locals, returnees and expatriates jostling in a fast-changing urban landscape which offers new business opportunities and endless diversions.

Image credit: worldalldetails.com
Nairobi

A young capital on the west coast of Africa where the Sahara desert meets the Atlantic Ocean. Its geographical juxtaposition is as contradictory as its DNA: a mix of French, Arabic and African sensibilities permeate the food, architecture and language.

Nouakchott

The pretty capital of a country fast becoming the offshore centre for foreign investment into Africa. Old colonial buildings are dotted between government blocks, while the mix of Indian, French and Asian cultures is palpable in its exotic food markets.

Image credit: roshancrasta.com
Port Louis

Apart from being the country’s cultural, social and economic epicentre, Namibia’s capital, Windhoek is an appealing, well-run oasis in the middle of the desert. While shaped by diverse cultural influences, the city’s Germanic colonial past is especially evident in its architecture and cuisine.

Windhoek