The 30 Best Cities in Africa

Most people probably couldn’t name 30 cities in Africa let alone the 30 best cities in Africa! Some people even think Africa is just one big country but I won’t use any names! All I know is that Africa is my favorite continent to travel within and I have taken 26 separate trips to Africa and visited every country in Africa and literally every major city with the exception of Tripoli, Libya. So I think I have some authority to rank the 30 best cities in Africa.

Cape Town, Table Mountain, South Africa

Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

Africa is tough. If you’ve traveled around Africa to more than the corner countries (Egypt, Morocco, South Africa) or if you been more than the package tour/safari areas like Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia) and East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya) then you should agree. Africa is tough! In fact, only one African city made my 30 best cities in the world list!
Douala, Cameroon, Africa

With my friend Henry and his family in Douala, Cameroon

Africa is my favorite place to travel because of the unknown factor. You never know what’s going to happen each day. I love that! However, you also must distinguish between comfortable like Cape Town and a place like Abidjan, Ivory Coast; which is a good city but you never feel comfortable there.
Tana, Antananarivo, Madagascar, Africa

Antananarivo, Madagascar

While Cape Town is an undeniable #1, it get’s really dicey from there and I could’ve gone a lot of ways with this list. Here is the criteria I used to pick this list:
Asmara, Eritrea, Lee Abbamonte

Visiting a school in Asmara, Eritrea

– I must have visited the city at least once.
– Countries could have more than one entry if applicable.
– It must be a world capital or major city and I distinguish major cities from towns like Timbuktu, Moshi or Agadez for instance.
– I did not include any beach resort towns like Sharm El Sheikh, Diani Beach or Hurghada.
– I did not include any islands with the exception of Madagascar because it is a generally accepted part of Africa and Antananarivo is a nice, big city.
– I based all selections on my experiences in the city and are my experiences alone.

Algiers, Algeria
Here are the 30 best cities in Africa!

30. Douala, Cameroon
29. Libreville, Gabon
28. Monrovia, Liberia
27. Nairobi, Kenya
26. Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
25. Freetown, Sierra Leone
24. Lusaka, Zambia
23. Bujumbura, Burundi
22. Maputo, Mozambique
21. Kampala, Uganda
20. Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
19. Antananarivo, Madagascar
18. Tunis, Tunisia
17. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
16. Bamako, Mali
15. Asmara, Eritrea
14. Dakar, Senegal
13. Durban, South Africa
12. Tangier, Morocco
11. Cairo, Egypt
10. Algiers, Algeria
9. Windhoek, Namibia
8. Marrakech, Morocco
7. Abidjan, Ivory Coast
6. Kigali, Rwanda
5. Accra, Ghana
4. Luxor, Egypt
3. Johannesburg, South Africa
2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
1. Cape Town, South Africa


  1. It would have been nice to see a little blurb about each city as to why you liked it (if that’s possible, maybe there’s too many things). For example, I’m familiar with most of the cities in the top 10, but what was compelling about Accra? Or Kigali?

    • I once asked him to add hyperlinks from his blog to another one of his earlier “Top 30” lists for Top 30 World Capitals or something like that. Not sure how many of these cities have gotten a proper blog write up in the past, but I agree, Scott, that adding hyperlinks to these Top 30 cities do make sense!

      But yes, just ask Lee if can hyperlink some of these places on his Top 30 lists, and I am sure he will be happy to oblige when he gets time.

      • ya I have written about most if not all of the cities…I didn’t add them for whatever reason…mainly bc it takes forever! But feel free to search for any of the cities to get my take

        • Shedrick Williams says:

          I would just like to know, how do you have time to travel soooo much? Do you travel for your occupation? How is this all possible? Nice story tho…

  2. I have only heard of like 5 of these cities, LOL

  3. Nice list Lee. I have travelled much of Africa for my work and I must say that Addis is my favorite city in Africa.

  4. Can’t really argue with this list, I haven’t been to 90% of the cities but Cape Town had to be #1. Fun list, thanks.

  5. Abidjan represent! I have actually been there and loved it!

  6. Fikre Sellasie says:

    Addis Ababa is # 2. Nicee

  7. I’ve been to nine of these. So a lot more to go. Great list.

  8. I love reading these articles and your blog posts. But one thing I just noticed that puzzled me. Your list of places you’ve been is missing Equatorial Guinea which is fact a sovereign nation.

    • Jesse, it is very confusing because the TCC recently split the country of Equatorial Guinea into two parts of Bata and Malabo…I have been to Malabo, the capital but there is a small exclave on the mainland that I didn’t visit…it’s stupid but they changed the list so I changed it to reflect their changes but I have still 100% been there.

  9. Great to see Kampala – my city featured here 🙂

    Much as Kampala is ranked among Africa’s most safe cities to travel, we urge you to take the same precautions you would in any other country, international city or town, particularly if sight-seeing in urban areas.

    Most parts of Uganda can be safely visited by tourists. Take common-sense precautions (not walking alone in deserted areas at night). Valuable should be kept out of sight and vehicles locked. Don’t carry your important and portable items in the backpack.

    I look forward to seeing you all in our beautiful country 🙂

  10. I also LOVED Addis, great African city. Heading back to Nairobi in a few weeks, which is always fun. Have you been to Arusha? A great little, but growing, city – home base to Tanzania’s safari industry. BTW loved hearing from you during the opening session of TBEX last weekend!

  11. addis, Ethiopia on the list, great

  12. glad to see my city on your lists. addis, thank you

  13. I have only been to Johannesburg, Accra, and dipped into Cape Town on your list.
    I reckon from another of your posts that you consider Lagos, Nigeria to be the worst place on the planet. I do disagree because Lagos is a VERY fun city. It is engaging, busy and extremely commercial.
    That said, my main comment on this list is, “Have you been to Abuja or Calabar? Both are in Nigeria.

  14. Such a misleading title! It really should be called “My favorite African cities”. I actually thought for a minute that there was going to be some objective way of ranking them.

  15. Any ranking of cities should be based on something. If its facilities, infrastructure, night life, tourism or even eating experience then Cities like Bujumbura or Kigali will never rank higher than Luanda, Angola or Nairobi, Kenya. If you based your ranking on beauty then Lamu or Mombasa should have been somewhere.

  16. natnael workneh says:

    addis number two its great ive been there for a year and i love it

  17. nwanekezi chikezie says:

    Top 30 best cities in Africa and Lagos,Nigeria ain’t even included? I reckon you got issues with Nigeria. you’re not qualified to write any list of ranks.

  18. I bet u gat a problem with Nigeria, coz everyone knows abuja, Nigeria is one of the most beautiful city in Africa.
    but you didn’t mention it. well I don’t think you should be writing this kind off list coz your not qualified.
    sorry I’m neither upset nor a hater I’m just being truthful.

  19. Peter Pau says:

    Ur article is laughable…No single Nigerian city,,,back off,,Scam

  20. héé this is algiers in the photo isn’t ?? i live right here, you welcome man.

    • mshelia yeti says:

      This rating is very wrong, where is Lagos, Abuja and Calabar. the rater is not a traveller so he lacks the ability to rate correctly.

  21. hey bro rewrite your list cause it’s very wrong. Africans or people that have really travelled around Africa will agree with me that Calabar and Abuja should have been among top five. bro if you have issues with Nigeria just write it there “Nigeria city should have been among top five but i have issues with them ” it will be understandable

  22. Thank you for listing your 30 Best Cities in the World. No mention of oriented or fully accessible to people with disabilities. That’s why no interest in second best cities. I hope I will find a few accommodating. I like your adventures. Be safe.

  23. What criteria did you use to come up with that list ? I think you are a bit biased,I’ve been to some of those cities esp Lusaka,what’s so fascinating about Lusaka? The fact that Zimbabwe is currently going through economic challenges has made people to think it’s a horrible place to be in,ask yourself why a lot of Europeans esp the British loved to visit Zimbabwe? I would personally say Bulawayo is one of the friendliest and most peaceful cities,not only in Africa but the whole world. Harare isn’t bad too,I fail to understand why not even one of them couldn’t make it in YOUR top 30. Anyway it’s YOUR top 30 not everyone’s

  24. even d countries that Dangote of Nigeria one of the world richest declared free food for indegenes sometime ago also have finer cities than Abuja,Calabar & Akwaibom, guy u never talk wet in dey vex u- just confess OK!

  25. Nairobi is No 27? REALLY? like REALLY? comes after brazzaville, kigali, bujumbura? Where’s Abuja? what crap!

  26. I have been to a few of the cities mentioned, though Cape Town is not among them.

    I have no qualms about Adis Ababa because the people are really good to visitors and the place is very safe no matter the time.

    But I take exception to Cairo, the people are rude, manipulative and the streets very noisy.

  27. What!!!!! guy I think you don’t know what you you just did,, you listed Africa’s top 30 and There is no Lagos,Abuja or Calabar….lol…you can’t even list top 5 and Abuja won’t be in it…and every one in Africa will agree that Lagos,Abuja and Calabar has to be there.

  28. Also there is no Luanda, Porto Louis, Agadir,,,….well anybody can wake up and type something for anyone to read..

  29. Adeyemi says:

    Well! can i say this impressive? Where the hell is lagos and Abuja?
    this must be a joke i want to believe even Ibadan(the largest city in west africa ) and one of the ancient in Nigeria is not there….It is obvious you have not been anywhere man.

  30. anivincon says:

    ENUGU, ABUJA and CALABAR remain d most Tourist Attractive in West Africa and d most peaceful west african cities…hmmm u beta reconsider ur rating ka m gwakwa gi oooh!

  31. Mephors Macben says:

    I would like to say that it is incomplete to ignore cities like Abuja and Lagos from 30 best cities in Africa. The poster do not know Africa yet!

  32. This guy is just a fraud, and this list is an unfunny joke. You can’t make a top 5 best cities in Africa without Abuja. You can’t make a top 10 without Luanda and Calabar. You can’t make a top 30 and there’s no Lagos! And Nairobi is 27? Like really? Nairobi should atleast be in top 20. And you place these junk cities (that can mostly be best called slum towns) to deceive people? Hey, people ignore this guy, he’s not been anywhere!

  33. Mashbee says:

    Yeap, i think my fellow Nigerians are talking the truth, because Lagos most have to be involve. And it dos not mean selfishness, That is just the truth.

  34. Shedrack says:

    Abuja and Lagos are dam good places with great infrastructoral buildings,how ever rate this has 10/100 F9

  35. To me Lagos, port, calabar, uyo, Benin and Abuja all in Nigeria are among de list

  36. guy sid he included his experience alone. and thats what it.

  37. Wow. Douala, Libreville, and Ouagadougou are sh*tholes. I’d put Yaounde and Lome ahead of them for sure, even Cotonou. I’d also move Kampala up the list, it’s pretty nice, for an African city that is.

  38. You re a complete novice in the area of voyage and ranking. How can Lagos, Calabar, Abuja and Darkar not make the list?? You re a politician then and please stop making a fool of yourself.

  39. Common……Abuja’s got to be among the first 5….Luanda, Darka, Lagos definitely have to be among the top 20 as well…..

  40. Addis can the most beauty from johannesburg?

  41. @Lee Abbamonte, u really hv 2 visit Abuja nd Lagos…

  42. Alfred Evasam says:

    I think you should travel more to a country like Nigeria where you are going to see beautiful cities like Lagos, Abuja and the rest of them
    Though I understand that you have never been there so you have to travel there, then rewrite your list

  43. adeyemi wale says:

    Where is abuja, lagos and port cot. Pls you still have work to do

  44. this guy is a joker.Maputo?? you are crazy its not even in top50.these are ppl who portray Africa as backward as it was never in 50yrs ago.are you an African? ?

  45. I think the poster don’t know what his doing,Lagos,abuja and many good places in nigeria…abeg try make u reach naija I believe say ur new here

  46. Zirimmenya Joseph says:

    Is the list ranked in order? coz Nairobi would be near the top 10 in Africa.

  47. Honourable lukman yusuf says:

    Nonesense!!, where is Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, nobody should believe this list, the writer is a faker and a novice traveller, list witheld untill properly completed!

  48. let’s be candid pls.though i’m a Nigerian too.u nigerians are indeed right for ur comments towards the absence of only lagos and abuja among the metropolitan cities in africa.but do u kno that a city could be rated for some feautures like,infrastructural facilities,tourism,economic factors.believe me that some cities has been existing bfor abuja and lagos.but i’m proud of my fifth oil producer in d world,most populated and largest economy strenght in africa,producer of the most richest man in africa.producer of one of the metropolitan cities in the world.i love nigeria,my father land.

  49. 9kon_kingz says:

    where is Abuja, Lagos,Calabar,Akwa_ibom, Even Ondo state, u
    r sick Bro _go get help

  50. Harare? Bulawayo? Please lets not let political situations cloud our judgements

  51. Why Kinshasa my capital city is not mentioned on list.

  52. Nairobi should be in top 5. Kampala is not even a city its a town

  53. Accra,Ghana among top5,like dat b’cs I’m frm gh but I think Abuja,nijah should b among the top 5.

  54. Thomas Anthony says:

    Yeah am glad to see my city Dar es Salaam the name it self symbolize how peace is Tanzania!!! Am a Tanzanian welcome home guyz

  55. This is a fake blog…this person has never been to nairobi or lagos…they shld be in top 5 …..u can confirm in all other blogs

  56. I swear kampala aint a city….its jst a steet????????????

  57. Economic challenges doesnt affect the beautifullness of the city.Harare is good

  58. Sayeed Omar says:

    Nigerians you are too emotional for nothing, the list is right, You probably don,t live in your own country and have never visited the rest of African cities to compare yourselves. Yes Lagos and Abuja might be nice on their own accord, but in comparison they could not be in the first 30 cities… get real my fellow kinsmen. My Nigerian friends admitted to me that you really have riches but your cities don’t look that good. Lee did a great Job. KUDOS!!

  59. I am Kenyan, i had your mindset until i visited Nigeria. There is no place like Abuja in Kenya. Besides Nairobi no Kenyan city compares to Lagos or Calabar. Just my opinion based on my first hand experience.

  60. really guys theres no need to use abusive words to respond….he clearly stating his own opinion on matters…he has the right.

  61. sakiru idowu says:

    anyway you try your best by compared african cities to make the list but your research is zero to everybody where is abuja and lagos in the list you have alot to do. you must not write nonsense again. Warning!

  62. personally I think this list is right guys come on Lagos got the most crapy infrastructure I ever seen …
    deal with it

  63. Cape town might be the finest city in the continent,God can have it, you can’t compare Accra to Port-Harcourt, gosh no Calabar,men you are pathetic, Lagos is in Africa’s top ten cities yet can’t see a glimpse, wat a mess? I Don’t think you know anything about Nigeria. Abuja is the second finest, pretiest and coolest city in Africa.where is it in your list, the first day i visit Abuja,i was lost at the sight of Metiama. Accra worth not top ten,while Adis Ababa ought to be fourth…#1 cape twon, #2 Abuja #3 Johannesburg #4 Adis Ababa, sorry men your list have too many mistakes, you list them in the way you saw them in movies, sorry Nigerians doesn’t act in Abuja,and while acting in Lagos they use under developed places, next time make resarch before uploading a shit like this in the Net

  64. waw all Africa cities are ours . Addis is my best

  65. Accra is the best one to visit. Many tourist attractions for fun and having good time. It’s a must visit place.

  66. Pianim Bismark says:

    Kumasi Ghana is my nicest city in Africa

Speak Your Mind