Despite SA grappling with unintended consequences of it visa rule, key cities are gearing up for a bumper festive season. For instance Durban is preparing to host 1.4-million visitors this festive season.
Therefore it should come as no surprise that three of SA’s major cities, namely Cape Town, Durban and Joburg (Top of the list in fact) have made the most visited destinations in Africa, according to Computicket travel data.
The online booking agent said in a blog posted, “The international tourist footprint in Africa is increasing every year – it is, after all, one of the most beautiful continents on the globe.”
Take a look at the top 10 cities across the African continent for travel and then tell us where you plan to go
1. Johannesburg, South Africa
“The most popular city in Africa, and the one with the biggest global footprint, is Johannesburg with about 4.3 million international overnight visitors each year. This proves that JHB has become a world-class African destination.
Visitors must-do activities: The Hillbrow Tower (the city’s tallest structure), Johannesburg Zoo in Parktown (which is over 100 years old), Gold Reef City and Montecasino.
2. Cape Town, South Africa
The second most popular city is Cape Town with a flock of over 1.6 million tourists frequenting the Mother City each year. And it makes sense: Table Mountain, the ocean, the natural beauty. In fact, Cape Town was named the best place to visit in the world by the New York Times, and the numbers show it.
Visitors must-do activities: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, V&A Waterfront, the Castle of Good Hope, the city’s eight blue-flag beaches, and surrounding vineyards and wine farms.
3. Cairo, Egypt
Third on the list of Africa’s most visited cities is Egypt’s capital, Cairo, which is located on the banks of the Nile River in the north of the country. Cairo is Africa’s largest city and home to many international media and business organisations.
Visitors must-do activities: It’s a no-brainer that tourists flock to Cairo to visit the Great Sphinx, the Pyramids of Giza (considered to be one of the highest man-made structures in the world) and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum.
Despite its traffic jams and crazy streets, Lagos comes in as the fourth most popular destination, and it makes sense as it is the second fastest growing city in Africa with an estimated 1 200 people entering the country daily. Lagos boasts great beaches, parks and an exciting nightlife – it’s Africa’s city that never sleeps.
Visitors must-do activities: Ponta da Piedade, Camilo Beach and Parque Zoologico de Lagos.
5. Casablanca, Morocco
Casablanca with its big port thrives with just under a million tourists coming into the city every year. It is also home to Morocco’s primary airport, which means Casablanca is the first taste of Morocco tourists have when stepping into the country.
Visitors must-do activities: Hassan II Mosque situated on the shoreline was finished in 1993 and is the second largest mosque in the world. Other attractions include Medina (for shopping), Place Mohamed V (the city’s central plaza) and Casablanca’s bustling central market situated in the city centre.
6. Durban, South Africa
Durban is South Africa’s third city to make it onto the list as the sixth most frequented city in Africa. It’s also said to have the biggest port in Africa. The city’s laidback vibe, warm weather and great surfing spots make it a popular place. It bursts at the seams during the holiday season.
Visitors must-do activities: uShaka Marine World, Sea World Aquarium, Durban Botanical Gardens and Wet ’n Wild.
7. Accra, Ghana
Accra, a port city along the Atlantic Coast, has a population of over two million people and boasts a huge variety of natural attractions. Interestingly, the capital city of Ghana is said to be one of the most peaceful and humble cities in West Africa. It is also one of the hottest cities on the continent.
Visitors must-do activities: Paragliding, beaches, markets and wildlife and cultural tours.
8. Dakar, Senegal
“Dakar, the capital city of Senegal, is located between the mouths of the Gambia and Senegal rivers, close to Africa’s most westerly point. The city is a jumble of villages and former French colonial towns and you’ll have to keep your wits about you as the streets can be a nightmare to negotiate.”
Visitors must-do activities: Village des Arts (arts tour), Goree Island, Musee Theodore Monod (one of the best museums in West Africa) and Medina (for shopping).
9. Entebbe, Uganda
“It’s surprising that Entebbe makes it onto the list seeing as it is not the capital of Uganda, but located 37 kilometres from Kampala (the capital city). Entebbe is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria and is home to the country’s international airport, so the visitor numbers actually do make sense.”
Visitors must-do activities: Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, the Botanical Gardens and boat trips on Lake Victoria.
10. Tunis, Tunisia
“Tenth on the list is Tunis, the capital of Tunisia in North Africa. This easy-going and exotic city has many ancient buildings and bustling markets. The city can be divided into two parts: Medina (a tourist hotspot where it’s easy to get lost) and Ville Nouvelle (boasting a French cafe culture).”
Visitors must-do activities: The surviving ruins of Carthage, the most incredible mosaic collection at the Bardo, and the seaside town of Sidi Bou Said, which is a popular hangout for locals over weekends.