5 most visited cities in Africa

The kinetic vibe of these 5 most visited African cities is everywhere, from the ancient architecture, restaurants, street art, music clubs, open-air markets, and festivals.  

Beneath the grit and pandemonium of African cities is vibrant electric energy that sweeps you off your feet. In Africa, everything revolves around the lifestyle and culture. If you are here on safari, spend some time in the urban cities and experience the everyday life of the African experience. The history of the cities is just the icing on the cake, virtually everywhere you go there is a story to be told. Here are some of the most visited cities in Africa, going by the number of visitors that stop by.


Johannesburg stands out as the most economically endowed city in South Africa. In recent years, the rate of crime has plummeted significantly pulling in more visitor numbers. More people are even spending time outdoors promoting a vibrant urban culture. The streets and sidewalks are beaming with youthful energy and creativity, a vivid testament of the safe aura engulfing the area. Several neighborhoods like Braamfontein and Maboneng precinct have garnered international repute and are drawing in international tourists and visitors. Going by the Mastercard Global Cities Index, the city hosted over 4.5 million visitors in 2016 alone who accounted for $2.56 billion in visitor spending.

Cape Town

Cape Town gets most of the glory when it comes to tourism. The Cape is at the lead when vying for the top spot. No place in Africa boasts of rich and cultured diversity such as South Africa. Cape Town is the place to grab those world-class shots or create a family photo album. The weather is temperate enough to accommodate anyone from the cooler regions without experiencing an instant climate shock. The stunning backdrop of the Table mountains accompanied by the crashing waves of the Atlantic oceans is a must-see. The MasterCard Global Cities Index ranked it as the second most visited city in Africa, attracting over 1.6 million people.


Cairo is Egypt’s largest city and the capital of the populous nation. Beaming with the energy of 18 million people, the megalopolis is regarded by residents as “the mother of the world.” Egypt ranked 2nd on CNN’s 2019 travel list. The ranking is no surprise as the country receives millions of visitors from all across the world every year. Known for the ancient pyramids, royal tombs, and ancient architecture, the city drew over 9 million tourists in 2018 according to Egypt tourism numbers.


Lagos holds the title as the most visited city in Sub-Saharan Africa according to the MasterCard report. As Nigeria’s most populous city In 2017 alone, the city attracted over 1.7 million visits. Part of the attraction can be attributed to the vibrant local culture themes embraced by the various countries. Ripe in the arts, Lagos boasts a vibrant music and film industry of international repute.


Riding on a wave of popularity and exposure after the 1942 movie starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, the romanticized city is a jewel in the desert. What began as a seaside citadel is now something else. Casablanca has witnessed phases of transformation ever since the French colonists built a deep water port to export phosphates a century ago. The architectural brilliance and magnificence of this place are astounding. As a first time traveler, zig-zagging through the logjam of downtown traffic while stealing occasional glimpses of the old colony remnants is powerful. As Morroco’s largest city Casablanca has a very diverse ethnic population, a good number of whom are immigrants seeking better opportunities on its streets or on hiatus to Europe. Mastercard Index 2016 gave visitor numbers at 989,219. A number that could be higher. According to CGTN, over 13 million tourists visited Morocco in 2019 alone.