The 15 Best Cities in Africa to Travel and Live in 2024

Find out which are the 15 best cities in Africa to visit and, of course, to live in. Plus, find out what each has to offer.
seguro de viaje a Marruecos

Before visiting Africa, it’s important to have comprehensive travel insurance. Here’s a quick summary of the best policies by traveller profile:

So, are you thinking about travelling to Africa to live and work? Don’t think twice!

The continent is home to plenty of charming cities with strong infrastructure, and there are numerous alternatives for those interested in becoming a digital nomad in Africa.

In today’s article, I’ll be covering you the 15 best cities in Africa and the reasons why you should consider them for your next trip. I’ll also give you some tips on how to save money on your travels, whatever the destination!

Before we start, here’s a summary of the best destinations in Africa:

  • The 3 best cities in Africa for short stays are: Alexandria, Tunis and Algiers.
  • The 3 best cities in Africa for long stays are: Windhoek, Antananarivo and Addis Ababa.
  • The 3 best cities in Africa for families are: Fez, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.
  • Top 3 most beautiful cities in Africa are: Marrakech, Nairobi and Sidi Bou Said.
  • Top 3 most developed cities in Africa: Johannesburg, Cairo and Cape Town.

The best cities in Africa

To help you choose between the best cities in Africa, and to make this article as digestible as possible, I have categorised them according to the most common needs of travellers.

The categories you’ll find in this post include the best cities in Africa for short-term trips, long stays, and families, as well as the most beautiful, and the most developed cities on the African continent. Let’s get started!

Best cities in Africa for short-term trips

A trip to Africa is something that has crossed the minds of all travellers at some point. It is essential to pick a city that has charm, a rich culture, while also being an appropriate destination for a shorter holiday.

Undoubtedly, the city of Alexandria occupies the top spot. Located in North Africa, it has always been known for the famous lighthouse, but this is only one detail of this incredible city!

Many travellers who have already visited the city recommend it for its monuments, historical sites, and beautiful coastline. The Egyptian city has even been called the “Bride of the Mediterranean”.

Other cities in Africa for short trips

Besides Alexandria, I recommend Tunis and Algiers, two more of the best holiday destinations in Africa.

Tunis offers a unique blend of history, culture and stunning natural landscapes. You can’t leave without seeing the ancient Medina of Tunis and the ruins of Carthage, as well as the oases and deserts of Tozeur and Douz!

Algiers, on the other hand, is a city of surprises. Explore the Casbah, a labyrinth of narrow streets and historic buildings, as well as the impressive Church of Notre Dame of Africa and its beaches.

Best cities in Africa for long stays

If you’re looking for a longer stay in Africa and have the opportunity to work remotely, the best city is Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. It’s certainly not one of the continent’s most talked-about destinations — but that’s its main advantage!

It offers a unique mix of cultures, welcoming locals, modern infrastructure, and quality health services and education. It also has a low crime rate, ensuring a safe and peaceful environment for travellers.

The city of Windhoek has a growing economy, which makes it a city with ample opportunity to become a digital nomad in Africa. It also has a rich culture and history that you can explore when you’re not working!

More of the best destinations in Africa to live and work

In addition to Windhoek, there are many other fantastic African cities to live in with all the services you need, and above all, pleasant climates.

In this section, I’ll cover the top 2 best cities in Africa to live and work in so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

First, Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. This lesser known destination captivates every traveller that goes there with its diverse culture and unique architecture.

It offers quality services for remote workers, a pleasant subtropical climate, and an abundance of green areas that balance the hustle and bustle of the more urban areas. Plus, its citizens are very hospitable!

Secondly, Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. This city offers modern infrastructure, quality health and education services, and a temperate climate. It also offers visitors a rich cultural life, with fascinating historical monuments, local markets, and delicious Ethiopian cuisine.

Best cities in Africa for families

If you are travelling with your family, you should know that going with children should not be an impediment to travelling to Africa — to the contrary!

The African continent offers plenty of benefits for the little ones, although the most rewarding benefit is that they will experience a completely different history and culture.

This will undoubtedly be an experience that they take with them for life, and it will encourage the kids to value and respect other cultures, while appreciating what they have at home.

If I had to choose between the best destinations in Africa to travel with children, I would recommend Fez. Located in the heart of Morocco, it is a safe city with plenty of exciting attractions for the little ones.

More of the best African cities to visit with children

In addition to Fez, there are several other cities in Africa that are perfectly adapted to the needs of children. Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, is a tropical paradise where the little ones can enjoy water activities and boat trips.

Nor should we forget Nairobi. Kenya is one of the very best places in Africa for a safari, and the kids will be absolutely mesmerised as they see their favourite animals first-hand.

Another unforgettable experience for children!

The 3 most beautiful cities in Africa

Choosing the 3 most beautiful cities in Africa was not an easy task, but we did it! I’ve selected 3 very different cities, and they’re located all over Africa — ideal for a round-trip!

Marrakech

Marrakech, known as the “Red City”, is a historic town that attracts visitors from all over the world for its unrivalled charm and unique combination of tradition and modernity.

And that’s not all! Here are my 5 reasons why Marrakech is considered the most beautiful city in Africa.

  • Culture and history. The old town of Marrakech, the Medina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of narrow streets, bustling souks, and historical monuments. It has also been a meeting point for different peoples and cultures, which is reflected in its architecture and cuisine.
  • Palaces and gardens. The city’s palaces and gardens inspire the imagination. The Bahia Palace, with its courtyards and gardens, is a stunning blend of Islamic and Andalusian architecture. Also, don’t miss the El Badi Palace and the Menara Gardens.
  • Architecture. Marrakesh’s architecture is a wonderful fusion of styles, ranging from Arab and Berber, to Spanish and French influences. In fact, the famous minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque is said to have inspired the construction of the Giralda in Seville.
  • Souks. In the souks of Marrakech, you’ll find a wide variety of goods, from hand-woven carpets to aromatic spices and dazzling jewellery. Famous scenes from “Gladiator” and “Game of Thrones” were filmed here.
  • Traditions. Marrakesh’s religious festivals and celebrations, such as Ramadan and the Harvest Festival, offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the traditions and customs of the Moroccan people — another great reason to visit the city!

If you choose Marrakech for your net trip and need a travel insurance policy, don’t miss my guide to travel insurance to Morocco.

Travel insurance to Morocco
Marrakech is the main departure point for travel to the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The two most important areas of the Moroccan Sahara Desert are Zagora and Merzouga.

Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and is located in the heart of Africa. From its rich history and culture to its incredible wildlife, the city has plenty to offer the intrepid traveller.

That’s why it couldn’t be missing from this list! Here are the 5 reasons why I believe Nairobi to be one of the best cities in Africa:

  • Safari. Nairobi is the only place in the world where you can enjoy a safari without leaving the city. In fact, Nairobi National Park is the only national park in the world that is located within the boundaries of a capital city, and is home to the kings of African wildlife, including lions, rhinos, giraffes, and zebras.
  • Origin of humanity. Nairobi plays a crucial role in the history of human evolution. So much so that the city is home to the famous National Museum of Kenya, which houses some of the oldest and most valuable fossils of our ancestors, including findings of Homo habilis and Homo erectus.
  • Cultural diversity. In the Kibera neighbourhood, one of the largest in Africa, you’ll find an innovative community of artists expressing their creativity through street art, colourful murals and inventive sculptures. The Maasai Market, a traditional craft market, is also the perfect place to buy a souvenir.
  • Culinary experiences. Nairobi’s cuisine is a delicious fusion of African, Asian and European flavours. I definitely recommend trying “nyama choma”, a traditional meat barbecue, or “mandazis”, delicious fried bread rolls popular all over Kenya.
  • Nature and adventure. If you love hiking, Nairobi is the city for you! Take a trip to Hell’s Gate National Park, famous for its impressive geological formations and for being the inspiration for the Serengeti Plains in the film “The Lion King”.

Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said is a picturesque coastal town located on the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Tunisia. Known for its striking white and blue architecture, Sidi Bou Said attracts travellers from all over the world thanks to its captivating beauty and Bohemian atmosphere.

Here the top 5 reasons that make this Tunisian pearl one of the best cities in Africa:

  • Colours. The city of Sidi Bou Said is a maze of cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, and bright blue doors. But did you know that the choice of blue and white is not just for aesthetic reasons? It is said that the former residents chose these colours to repel mosquitoes and keep their homes cooler during the summer months.
  • Views and scenery. From the top of the hills of Sidi Bou Said, you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. These viewpoints are strategically placed, such as the Café des Nattes, providing an ideal place to relax with a cup of mint tea.
  • Traditional architecture. The architectural style of Sidi Bou Said is based on Tunisian tradition. Buildings are adorned with delicate wrought-iron details, handmade tiles, and intricate window frames.
  • Inspiration. Sidi Bou Said has been a haven for artists and writers for decades. In fact, it was home to the famous Tunisian painter Yahia Turki, whose works depict the essence and beauty of Sidi Bou Said.
  • Relaxation. Throughout the city, and at the famous Café des Delights, travellers can enjoy relaxing moments while taking in the breathtaking sea views and the city’s beautiful architecture, undoubtedly making it one of the best holiday destinations in Africa!

Top 3 most developed cities in Africa

If you’re curious about the best cities in Africa to live and work, you want to look for the cities with the best infrastructure. This is because these cities offer the most job opportunities and the best services for remote workers and digital nomads in Africa.

In my investigations of the 3 most developed cities in Africa, I turned to the Africa Wealth Report prepared by Henley & Partners in collaboration with New World Wealth. The 2023 ranking reveals that the 3 best cities in Africa with the highest development indexes are:

Johannesburg

Johannesburg, known as the “Golden City” because of its past in the gold mining industry, is the first city in the ranking as the most developed city in Africa. And no surprise!

The city has become an important economic and financial centre in Africa. Here are five reasons why Johannesburg is one of the best cities in Africa:

  • South Africa’s economic engine. Johannesburg is the economic engine of South Africa and accounts for a significant percentage of the country’s GDP. It is also the centre of many industries and is home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which oversees market capital in excess of US$1.2 trillion.
  • Financial and business centre. The city is home to numerous national and international business headquarters, from mining to telecommunications, all attracting investment and contributing to the city’s economic growth.
  • Mineral resources and diamonds. Johannesburg was founded in 1886 after the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand — fun fact! South Africa is the world’s fifth largest producer of gold, and much of the extraction of this precious metal comes from the mines around Johannesburg.
  • Tourism and culture. Johannesburg is a major tourist destination in South Africa for both business travellers and tourists, offering a unique blend of culture, history, and entertainment.
  • Innovation and technology. With the growth of technology start-ups and increased investment in the sector, Johannesburg has become a hub for the development of technology solutions in areas such as finance, agriculture, and renewable energy.
Travel to Egypt
Located on the outskirts of Cairo, on the esplanade known as the Giza Plateau, the Great Pyramids of Giza are a must-see on any trip to Egypt.

Cairo

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Cairo is the capital of Egypt, and is steeped in history and culture.

With a rich Pharaonic heritage, impressive architecture, and a historically strategic location on the banks of the Nile River, Cairo has established itself as a powerful economic and cultural centre in North Africa.

Cairo is ranked as one of the best cities in Africa for economic development. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should visit:

  • Pharaonic heritage and historical monuments. Cairo has some of the most iconic monuments of antiquity, such as the majestic Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. In fact, historical tourism is a large part of its economy, generating significant income and employment for thousands of people.
  • Financial centre. Cairo is Egypt’s main financial and commercial centre. The city plays a crucial role in the country’s financial market and is the centre of operations for many local and international companies that conduct business in the region.
  • Transport. Cairo’s strategic geographical location makes it an important transport and logistics hub. Cairo International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Africa, facilitating connections between the continents and boosting trade and tourism in the region.
  • Education. Cairo is home to some of Africa’s most prestigious universities, making it a renowned centre for education and research.
  • Culture and art. The city is the true cultural and artistic centre of North Africa. Its bustling streets are filled with art galleries, theatres, festivals and cultural events that celebrate Egypt’s rich heritage and future aspirations.

Cape Town

Cape Town is considered one of the most vibrant cities in South Africa and is full of wonders that you simply cannot miss. It offers a unique combination of natural beauty, culture, and adventure.

Here are five reasons why Cape Town is one of the best destinations in Africa, and a hub for digital nomads in Africa:

  • Stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Cape Town has breathtaking natural beauty. From the top of the iconic Table Mountain, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the city and coast, as well as pristine white sandy beaches such as Camps Bay and Clifton. Also, Table Mountain has been declared one of the seven natural wonders of the world!
  • Cultural and culinary experiences. Cape Town’s culture is as diverse as its landscape. I recommend exploring the charming neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap, known for its brightly coloured houses and Malay heritage. It is also famous for its annual Ramadan celebration, during which the streets are filled with colour, music, and traditional dancing.
  • Marine wildlife. Cape Town is one of the few places in the world where you can witness the breathtaking spectacle of migrating whales. If you visit between June and November, you can see Southern Right whales from Hermanus. Without a doubt, one of the best places to see them from land! And that’s not just me, it’s even in the Guinness Book of Records.
  • History. Robben Island is the site where Nelson Mandela and many other political leaders were imprisoned during apartheid, and a tour of this island will take you deep into the history of freedom. It is a true symbol of national reconciliation in South Africa!
  • Outdoor adventures. Interestingly, Cape Town has over 300 days of sunshine a year, part of the reason why Cape Town is one of the best cities in Africa for outdoor activities. From hiking Table Mountain, surfing in the Atlantic waters, to trekking in Table Mountain National Park, it’s no wonder the city is often referred to as the best place in Africa to live!

Tips on how to save money on your travels to Africa

Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the best destinations in Africa, all you need to know now is how to save money on your adventure! It’s true that Africa is not an expensive continent, but these tips will still be a big help!

Here are some tips on how you can save on the most expensive aspects of your trip, such as flights, activities, and even accommodation. Take note!

  • 1. Choose good travel insurance

To save you time, here are the best insurances for your trip:

🏝 Short Stay (- 3 months)
🇬🇧 You live in UK
post office logo

GET A FREE QUOTE

👩🏾‍🎓 Studies Abroad
🇬🇧 You live in UK

outbacker logo

– 10% OFF
ACTIVATE DISCOUNT
Valid until 29/02/2024

🏝 Short Stay (- 3 months)
🇪🇺 You live in EU
chapka travel insurance

– 5% OFF
ACTIVATE DISCOUNT
Valid until 29/02/2024

🧑🏻‍🌾 Working Abroad
🇪🇺 You live in EU
chapka travel insurance

– 5% OFF
ACTIVATE DISCOUNT
Valid until 29/02/2024

🌍 Long Stay (+ 3 months)
🇪🇺 You live in EU

chapka travel insurance

– 15% OFF
ACTIVATE DISCOUNT
Valid for families

🏝 All type of stays
🇺🇸 You live in US
Travelex Logo

GET A FREE QUOTE

✈️ Multi Trip (1 year)
🇪🇺 You live in EU
heymondo logo

– 5% OFF
ACTIVATE DISCOUNT
Valid until 29/02/2024

Promo code applies an automatic and immediate discount.

  1. After clicking on the offer, you will be redirected to the insurer website
  2. Fill in the details of your next trip
  3. Then click on “Get a quote”.
  4. The promo code will be applied automatically.

For any trip, it is essential to have travel insurance to ensure peace of mind during your holiday — it is also compulsory if you plan to live as a digital nomad in Africa.

You can also save money by taking advantage of discounts on the best travel insurance policies, which I’ve compiled for you in this article.

  • 2. Check out Visas for digital nomads in Africa

If you are interested in settling and working in one of these African countries, then I recommend you consider the digital nomad visas offered by some of these destinations.

These visas provide several benefits to remote workers, especially legal protection and tax advantages, which exempt you from paying taxes in the destination of your choice.

This is mainly due to the fact that the work activity you will carry out will be directed to companies or clients located outside the destination country, so if you work remotely, I definitely recommend you read into this topic!

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Trend in
Duration
Tax
Travel insurance
Proof
COUNTRIES
February 2024
in month
to pay
See recommanded
of income
Anguila
12
$2000
Yes
Yes
Antigua Barbuda
24
$1500
Yes
Yes
Aruba
3
$75
Yes
No
Barbados
12
$2000
Yes
Yes
Bermuda
12
$260
Yes
Yes
Brazil
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Cape Verde
6
$60
Yes
Yes
Colombia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Costa Rica
24
$550
Yes
Yes
Croatia
12
$155
Yes
Yes
Curaçao
6
$300
Yes
No
Cyprus
12
$65
Yes
Yes
Dominica
18
$900
Yes
Yes
Ecuador
24
$450
Yes
Yes
United Arab Emirates
12
$610
Yes
Yes
Estonia
12
$100
Yes
Yes
Georgia
12
$35
Yes
Yes
Germany
36
$100
Yes
Yes
Grenada
12
$1500
Yes
Yes
Greece
12
$90
Yes
Yes
Hungria
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Iceland
6
$60
Yes
Yes
Indonesia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Italy
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Latvia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Cayman Islands
24
$1470
Yes
Yes
Seychelles Islands
12
$50
Yes
Yes
Malta
6
$315
Yes
Yes
Malaysia
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
Mauritius
12
$0
Yes
Yes
Mexico
12
$45
Yes
Yes
Montserrat
12
$500
Yes
Yes
Norway
48
$630
Yes
Yes
Panama
9
$300
Yes
Yes
Portugal
12
$165
Yes
Yes
Czech Republic
12
$165
Yes
Yes
Romania
12
$125
Yes
Yes
Saint Lucia
12
$70
Yes
Yes
Spain
12
$85
Travel insurance
Yes
Health insurance
Sri Lanka
12
$500
Yes
Yes
Thailand
🆕
🆕
Yes
Yes
  • Book your group activities

You should always try to book your group activities in advance. You’ll find that prices go way down and, best of all, you’ll meet tons of interesting people along the way!

There are many platforms and tools that make it easy — check out GetYourGuide! You’ll be amazed by the amount of activities they have in Africa.

GetYourGuide is an indispensable tool for organising any trip to any destination. It’s a platform that helps you book tourism and leisure activities for your trip.

With GetYourGuide, you can book your activities online to avoid queues, and take advantage of a discount for online bookings. This way, you save time and money, so you can enjoy more activities during your trip!

  • Find cheap flights to Africa

Depending on your destination and travel dates, flight prices vary a lot — and it’s a bit of a pain! That’s why I’ve spent years looking for the best tool to save money in this area, and I’ve found it!

When booking flights, I use a VPN, a virtual private network that allows you to relocate your device to different parts of the world to find the best flights and prices.

In February 2024, get an immediate 70% discount on AtlasVPN
Click here to Activate Promo Code

Once you’ve got your VPN, head over to Skyscanner to find flights at reduced prices!

  • Find discounted accommodation in Africa

When it comes to accommodation, I always use Booking, as it offers great discounts with its Genius option, allowing you to save during your trip.

Access Booking.com now and get discounts of up to 15% in February 2024 by becoming a Genius user.

There are also ways to save money when booking your accommodation with Booking. The first of which is becoming a Genius user, something you get from making 2 bookings (Genius level 1), and 5 bookings (Genius level 2).

As a Genius user in Booking.com, you can enjoy:

  • Discounts on room rates.
  • Free breakfast.
  • Upgrades to superior room categories.
  • Free parking.
  • Late check-out.
  • Welcome gifts.

In addition, there are hotels in Booking.com that directly offer you a 10 to 15% discount on your rate for being a Genius user.

Access to get discounts of up to 15% by becoming a Genius user.

Finally, Booking.com has a Minimum Price Guarantee program, so if you find a cheaper price for your hotel on any other website, they’ll match it!

  • The best card for visiting Africa

The best bank card for visiting Africa is undoubtedly the one that charges you the least transaction fees, and also allows you to withdraw cash anywhere without spending a fortune on withdrawal fees.

Wise has positioned itself as the digital bank with the best conditions, and that’s why I can’t live without it!

wise logo

In February$ 2024$, you can order the Wise card for free.

  1. Click here: Activate Free Card
  2. Then, deposit 20$ minimum in your new Wise account (you will be able to withdraw this amount later).
  3. You’re done! Your Wise account is activated.
  4. You will receive your Wise card at your home address.

Safety while travelling abroad

Whether you’re travelling to Africa, or any other destination outside your home country, it’s always important to check your government’s latest travel recommendations.

On the following official government home-pages, you’ll find travel advice for specific countries, as well as general travel advice which is updated regularly.

And with that, you’ll be full equipped to realise your African dream! Best of luck!

Michaël Louis
Michaël Louis
I am a digital nomad with a passion for new technologies and travel. We created Planet Nomad to help you on your way to geographical freedom: digital nomadism and online entrepreneurship.

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