What Are the Best Cities in Africa for Vacationing?

Did you know there are 54 countries in Africa?

We tend to group Africa into “one place,” but every single country in Africa is unique in its own way. Some are home to some of the wildest animals that you can see on safari, while others are home to some of the tallest mountains in the world that you can climb.

Some countries are mostly desert while others are full of cities and mountains.

If you’re ready to visit Africa and feel the splendor of it, here are the best cities in Africa!

Moshi and Arusha, Tanzania

If climbing Kilimanjaro is high up on your bucket list and list of things to do, you’ll want to travel to the African cities of Moshi and Arusha first. These are the base towns that most tour operators operate out of it to take you up the mountain.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa sitting at 19,341 feet. It’s also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, which means that it is not part of a mountain range.

To hike up the mountain to the summit, it usually takes about a week to go up and back down to make sure you are acclimated to the elevation of it.

Cape Town, South Africa

If you haven’t yet been to South Africa, you’ll want to make this city a priority on your list.

Not only will you be surrounded by the ocean, but you will also have mountains at your fingertips. While nature is a part of the things to do here and should be on your list, there are so many things to do in the city itself.

If you’re going to visit Cape Town, here are a few things you cannot miss:

  • Visit Boulders Beach to see the penguins
  • Go to the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula
  • Take a day trip or weekend trip to Stellenbosch, Cape Town’s gorgeous wine country 
  • Climb up or take the gondola to the top of Table mountain 
  • Explore the V&A waterfront and head to some shops while you are at it!
  • Take a day tour to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent many years in prison 
  • Climb to the top of Lion’s Head

If you plan to visit Cape Town, a week is a good amount of time to do the things you want in the area. If you want to explore further like going to wine country, add a few more days to your trip.

Marrakesh, Morocco 

A completely different vibe from Cape Town, Marrakesh is at the opposite end of Africa – the North.

It is one of the most up-and-coming cities in Africa, and one that is becoming more and more of a popular tourist destination.

While in Marrakesh, you’ll want to tour the ancient bazaars, souks, and markets. Don’t forget to get some Morrocan spices while you visit some of the markets to bring back home with you! At the end of the day, you can visit one of the many contemporary restaurants 

When you are not touring around, you can relax at some of the nicest 5-star resorts in the country.

Cairo, Egypt

Located right on the banks of the Nile River, Cairo is one of the most ancient cities that you can visit. However, the pyramids sit out on their own, away from the newer sprawling metropolis that has its own skyscrapers and lively nightlife.

While in Cairo, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Travel to Giza to see the pyramids and the Great Sphinx
  • Visit Tahir Square in the heart of Cairo
  • Go to the Egyptian museum to learn more about the history and culture of the area
  • Visit the Cairo Tower 

While here, you could even plan to spend a few days in the Sahara Desert.

Johannesburg, South Africa

While we already have another city from South Africa on the list, another one that you’ll want to go to is Johannesburg.

It is the epitome of a more modern city, but it is full of history and culture that you do not want to miss. Part of this history is learning about the Apartheid. You can visit the Apartheid Museum and some of the suburbs, like Soweto, where you’ll see the class and racial divisions still happening. Visiting this part of Johannesburg will bring you back in time to moments in history.

Nairobi, Kenya

If an African safari is high on your list, then you’ll want to start making your way to Nairobi, Kenya. It is the capital city of Kenya, full of skyscrapers and new industrial beginnings.

However, it is extremely close to Nairobi National Park, where you can spend time at a lodge in the game reserve to spend a few days doing some African sightseeing and spotting the Big 5, and plenty of other animals as well!

Best Cities in Africa

Africa is full of diverse countries and cities. 

If you are interested in African sightseeing safaris, you can head to several countries that will bring you into the heart of the animal world. If you want to be thrown into the culture of Africa, you’ll want to head to Cairo and Marrakesh. Want a good mix of the two? Cape Town is a great spot in Africa.

With so many options for the best cities in Africa, it can take you months to see them all! 

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