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7 Best Cities to Visit in Africa

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Cape Town aerial view, South Africa

Cape Town aerial view, South Africa

Africa is truly intriguing, with cities and towns waiting to be discovered and a certain uniformity regarding the vibrancy, unique character, and charm in each of the top 7 cities and towns you should visit during your trip to the continent.

While some African metropolises have grown skywards, many have expanded outwards, creating a collection of villages and suburbs set in urban gems. Main streets buzz with a sense of organized chaos, while local traditions take precedence in rural areas.

From towns seemingly off the beaten path to cities nestled below mountains or on a coastal curve, Africa’s cities delight visitors with bustling market places, monuments, and museums that pay homage to their past, with authenticity a key component of any African itinerary.

1. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, Harbor and Table Mountain, South Africa

Cape Town, Harbor and Table Mountain, South Africa

Table Mountain is your compass in Cape Town, a city surrounded by dramatic nature and a rich, diverse culture splashed with colorful neighborhoods and a vibrant heartbeat. Nestled on the southwestern tip of Africa, Cape Town is one of Africa’s most visited cities, with a cosmopolitan vibe that blends well with traditional characters and cuisine. Inviting white-sand beaches give way to tranquil gardens and breathtaking vineyards, with a classic safari experience a short flight away. Discover breathtaking Table Mountain and relish in the diverse culture that makes Cape Town one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa.

2. Nairobi, Kenya

Central Financial District, Nairobi, Kenya, Africa

Central Financial District, Nairobi, Kenya, Africa

Nairobi is a city perfectly positioned for visitors to use as a base before embarking on a safari or to unwind and discover local attractions and experiences when visiting east Africa. Noted as one of the largest cities in Africa, the Nairobi skyline is a somewhat attractive one, the Nairobi River running through the city and marking the way to the Nairobi National Park on the outskirts of town. Bustling markets, tranquil hotels, and the opportunity to visit an elephant orphanage and dynamic women’s bead factory in one afternoon make Nairobi a truly diverse metropolis.

3. Stonetown, Tanzania

Zanzibar Historic District - Stone City, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar Historic District - Stone City, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar's Stone Town is the finest historic urban scene in Sub-Saharan Africa. A masala of smells and smiles mix on its labyrinthine streets, enticing you past unique coral buildings that mix Arabesque and Swahili styles. From rooftops you admire the Indian Ocean, in alleyways you marvel at boutique stores, and in heritage buildings you piece together a 1000-year history. Stone Town has taken fragments from many cultures to concoct something unique and just happens to be the gateway to some of the finest beaches on the Indian Ocean coastline. Mix urban and paradise in this intriguing east African treasure.

4. Swakopmund, Namibia

Old historic German pier, Swakopmund, Namibia, Africa

Old historic German pier, Swakopmund, Namibia, Africa

Founded by German settlers, this coastal town highlights its European roots through its architecture and traditional cuisine, and is a popular destination for holidaymakers. Situated on the west coast of southern Africa, the region experiences mild temperatures year-round and is home to a variety of bird and plant species. Take a tour to nearby cultural settlements, stroll past the lighthouse, or enjoy an adventure on a quad bike on the nearby dunes. You can also stop where sand meets sea at Sandwich Harbor, as you keep a lookout for animals that thrive in this environment, such as springbok, ostriches and oryx.

5. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Helicopter view of the waterfall and the city of Victoria Falls, Zanzibar

Helicopter view of the waterfall and the city of Victoria Falls, Zanzibar

Combine a strong sense of community, incredible natural beauty, and an eclectic group of talented artists and you get the vibrant and charming town of Victoria Falls. The key feature in this southern African gem is the Victoria Falls themselves. Known as The Smoke That Thunders, it is one of the world’s largest waterfalls, with magnificent liquid sheets plummeting into the mighty Zambezi River and bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia. A ton of activities exist among authentic African accommodations, with safari options close by or the chance to watch the day come to a close from the comfort of a sunset cruise.

6. Kigali, Rwanda

Panoramic view of the business district of Kigali city, Rwanda, Africa

Panoramic view of the business district of Kigali city, Rwanda, Africa

With its wide boulevards and blanket of serenity, Kigali feels a league apart from other African cities. Built on seven adjacent hills, the Rwandan capital has a village-like ambiance, with a sprinkling of luxurious hotels and restaurants. Some avenues feel like Parisian suburbs, while others are more reminiscent of the languid enchantment of yesteryear. Many visitors find insight into the contemporary history at the Genocide Museum or venture into the wonders of the jungle on a gorilla trekking safari.

7. Entebbe, Uganda

A village on the slope of Lake Victoria. Entebbe, Uganda, Africa

A village on the slope of Lake Victoria. Entebbe, Uganda, Africa

Entebbe is a city that serves as an introduction to an incredible country and is a destination that offers visitors activities from sitting on a beach at Lake Victoria to fishing for Nile perch or visiting the chimpanzees on Ngamba Island. Take some time at the Wildlife Education Center and learn about the rehabilitation of local wildlife, walk around one of east Africa’s most beautiful botanical gardens, or explore Entebbe’s markets. Take a day trip to neighboring Kampala or simply relax at your home away from home, where you can enjoy excellent hospitality, while savoring local Uganda fare, before or after your gorilla trekking adventure.

Learn the Best City to Explore for You

Traditional murals on houses in Cape Town, Africa

Traditional murals on houses in Cape Town, Africa

No matter where your travel experience may end, you are likely to start off in a city or town where you can immerse yourself in local culture, get the lie of the land, and acclimate to your exciting new adventure. Each city or town visited will open your eyes to something different and offer new perspectives and opportunities. Your African vacation is brimming with many fascinating metropolises, so come and explore. We invite you to fill out a Trip Request or call our team at 1-888-265-9707 to speak with a Zicasso travel specialist.

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