The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index is now the official global index of the number of international visitors to 132 different countries around the world. Using this international official document, it is easy to identify the most visited countries in Africa and that of the whole world for any particular year.
The MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index started indexing the most visited cities around the world four years ago – and the one for 2015 does not appear to be out yet. That of 2014 was released early November last year, and using that as the most recent official document, here are the top 10 most visited cities in Africa:
1. Johannesburg, South Africa
According to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index 2014,over 4 million people visited Johannesburg from all over the world in 2014 – making the South African city the most visited city in Africa. Johannesburg is noted to be the largest city in the world without any river or water coast supplying its water system. It is a popular tourist destination and a great place for holiday-makers to visit.
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town happens to be the second most visited city in South Africa, and incidentally the second most populated city in South Africa as well. It was given an award by the New York Times as the best place to visit in the world, and it also got an high-profile award for the World Design Capital 2014.
3. Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, the capital city of Egypt is the third most visited city in Africa. One of the main factors attracting international tourists to Cairo is its closeness to the famous Great Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza. Civilization they say, started in Egypt, and Cairo is central to developments in the North African country.
4. Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos is the commercial hub of Nigeria with the busiest international airport, so it should not be surprising that over one million international visitors came to the busiest Nigerian city in 2014. Lagos claims to have over 20 million people for its population, and it is as popular with the international community as it is with Nigerians. It is the fourth most visited African city in 2014.
5. Casablanca, Morocco
Located in the northern African country of Morocco, Casablanca is the fifth most visited African city with a little less than one million international visitors in 2014. It has a very big port, and a centre of attraction to international visitors. And by the way, there is an infamous movie also titled Casablanca, and its relationship to this Moroccan city is not quite known.
6. Durban, South Africa
Durban in South Africa is said to have the largest port in Africa, and the sixth most visited city in Africa. International visitors visit for business and pleasure, and its warm climate and tourist attractions make it a hotspot for international trade and vocational leisure.
7. Accra, Ghana
Accra in Ghana has clinched the seventh position as the most visited African city. Accra has over two million population, and very rich in natural attractions for all international visitors. It is one of the most peaceful nations in West Africa with very hospitable people, making it a place to note for future visits.
8. Nairobi, Kenya
The capital city of Kenya, Nairobi is the eighth most visited city in Africa for 2014 and home to international citizens. Many international businesses relocate to Nairobi, Kenya, and several people retire there to enjoy the rest of their lives in peace amidst untampered nature. Its wildlife and games reserve and natural scenery make it a place to live and die. Meanwhile, it is the 14th largest city in Africa in terms of population.
9. Dakar, Senegal
The capital city of Senegal, Dakar, is the ninth most visited city in Africa for 2014. With over 600,000 international visitors finding their ways to Dakar in 2014, it sure takes its place as one of the most visited places in Africa. It is located on the West African coast and has a very busy port that is favourable to international trade and attractive to international visitors as well.
10. Entebbe, Uganda
Entebbe in Uganda is not even the nation’s capital, yet it had enough international visitors in 2014 to qualify it as one of the most visited places in Africa – even the 10th. That’s surprising, but figures don’t life. Its inclusion as the 10th most visited places in Africa for 2014 indicates that it is one of the tourist cities to look out for in Africa over the coming decades.
PS: And just for comparison, the following is the MasterCard Global Index of Destination Cities for African cities in 2013.