Africa is one of the most diverse and beautiful continents in the world. Its largest cities offer hundreds of years of culture, bustling nightlife scenes and breathtaking ocean views. Best of all, these cities are extremely affordable, and many African countries are known for their friendliness toward foreigners.
Whether you’d like to visit an ancient temple, hike up a mountain range, learn about African-American leaders, relax at the beach or even see an old slave port, these dream destinations have something for you.
1. Tangier, Morocco
Tangier has always been the gateway from Europe to Africa. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was home to eccentric foreigners, writers, artists and even spies. Novelists Truman Capote and Jack Kerouac often wrote while sipping tea at local cafés.
Contemporary Tangier is far more refined than its predecessor. Walk through a Sultan’s palace at the Kasbah Museum. Drink mint tea and feel the ocean breeze at the historic Café Hafa. Bargain at one of many souks. If you’re adventurous, venture into the Cave of Hercules, where the mythological hero is said to have rested after completing his twelve labors.
2. Accra, Ghana, A Big African City
Ghanaians are said to be the friendliest people in all of Africa, and thousands of African-Americans have made it their permanent home.
This tropical city is home to 2 million people and is perfect for outdoor exploration. Relax at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, visit the home where W.E.B. DuBois lived, and explore the Danish Osu Castle. Take a drum lesson, ride a pony or watch acrobats at Labadi Beach.
You can also take a two-hour tour of Nima, one of the city’s poorer regions, which is considered a multiethnic, multireligious cultural hub nearly untouched by time and globalization.
3. Stone Town, Zanzibar
Zanzibar is one of the most vibrant islands in the world. Despite its popularity as a tourist attraction, Zanzibar’s largest city, Stone Town, has retained all of its old-world charms. As a hub for Moorish, Arabic, Indian, Persian, African and European cultures, this city is one of Africa’s most culturally rich destinations.
Most of the city hasn’t changed in two hundred years. Visit the Sultan’s palace, haggle at a bazaar and pick up a little Swahili from the fishermen. The town’s main attraction is the House of Wonders, a refurbished Sultan’s palace that is now a museum of Zanzibar culture.
4. Nairobi, Kenya, A Top City Worth Visiting
Nairobi has been called the Silicon Valley of Africa. The city is known for its numerous tech start-ups, which attract developers from all over Africa, Europe and the US. It’s one of the few places in Africa where you can user Uber.
Despite its technological advancement, Nairobi is also a rich nature reserve. You can go on a safari through Nairobi National Park, which is only five miles from the city, or purchase traditional items of clothing from the Maasai Market.
Nightlife never ends here. Most nightclubs are open until sunrise, so it’s not unusual for clubs to offer breakfast.