FIVE AFRICAN CITIES TO VISIT IN 2022
Updated: Sep 20
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Anyone who knows me, knows that Africa is my favorite place on the planet. It is perfect for wildlife photographers, history buffs, and those who relish observing new cultures. Regrettably, many view it as a hotspot of poverty and corruption, but there are many cities which have experienced phenomenal growth over the last five years. Africa is abundant with national parks that rival any park anywhere else in the world. Here I present you five amazing cities in Africa to visit in 2021 (these are not ranked in any particular order). I will be doing a top ten for hostels of Africa in the next blog, as I’m sure some people will want to know after reading about these phenomenal locations. If you have any questions about Africa, feel free to message me through the site.
Cape Town is one of the majestic and beautiful cities in the world, not just Africa, and offers a multitude of attractions. First and foremost, one can take the ferry from the fantastic waterfront to Robben Island prison. There you can the famous cell of Nelson Mandela, along with the graveyard, the limestone quarry, and the Army and Navy bunkers. The tour lasts about 3.5 hours. Secondly, the city is well known for it’s offering of shark diving tours. I recommend Sharkwatch SA, otherwise known as Marine Dynamics. They are recognized for their conservation efforts. Make sure you take one of the many vineyard tours. Check out Wine Flies, which has great reviews and visits the Stellenbosch region, famous for it’s Dutch architecture. While you’re in Cape Town, set one morning aside to hike Table Mountain.
When someone brings up Rwanda, it is common to think about the movie Hotel Rwanda or genocide, but Kigali is completely reborn. Kigali has been inhabited since the 11th century and contains three groups, Twas, Hutus, and Tutsis, but is now known for it’s modern and vibrant nightlife. Rwanda has two marvelous parks, Volcanoes National Park and Nyungwe National Park ( you can do gorilla trekking in Volcanoes and track chimpanzees in Nyungwe). While you are in Kigali, definitely visit the Rwanda Genocide Memorial, it is admittedly disturbing, but it’s so vital to remember these events for the future. If it’s in your budget, fly RwandAir business class from Kigali International Airport; absolutely fantastic for a short or medium haul flight.
Addis Ababa sits right in the center of Ethiopia, with a population of about 3.5 million people. The name of the city translates to “New Flower”, which seems fitting as Addis Ababa is one of the fastest growing cities in all of Africa. The first thing you should tour if you like history, is the Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum. The museum was built to commemorate the thousands killed during the Derg (a military government in power of socialist Ethiopia, who overthrew Haile Selassie, and ruled from 1974-1987). You should then make your way to the National Ethiopian Museum for a remarkable exhibit (I’ll keep it a surprise for those who go, or you can look it up). It would be wise to also have a full day for a tour of the Debre Libanos Monastery, which is a few hours’ drive but worth it for the scenery. Get a taxi driver to take you to Entoto Mountain for an Instagram worthy photo. If you like markets, take a stroll through the Addis Merkato, just be sure to leave all valuables in the safe of your hotel room, as it is full of pick pockets.
I’ve traversed Kenya 5 times in 6 visits to Africa, and its hands down one of the best cities in Africa to explore. I recommend one of the two Radisson Blu hotels, the Clarion, the Hilton, or the Intercontinental if you want to be comfortable otherwise there are several hostels. I quite like Intercontinental as a brand but this one is pretty dated, so that would be my last choice. While in Nairobi, ensure you see the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Park. They are both terrific attractions and if you have kids, they will love being up close and feeding the giraffes. Go downtown to the Brew Bistro Rooftop at Fortis Towers, Westlands for a few beers and a nice view of Nairobi. Kenya is chock full of national parks and Nairobi is a good location to head to Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Tsavo, or Amboseli.
Gaborone is a lesser known city in Africa but Botswana is a wonderful country to visit, and a burgeoning city. The city has a good collection of buildings to visit, from the Botswana National Museum to the Three Dikgosi Monument (a statue of three famous chiefs). Gaborone has two wildlife parks which you will want to check out. Gaborone Game Reserve has ostrich, impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebras, and warthogs, while Mokolodi National Park contains zebras, giraffes, hippos, and rhinos. Both parks are a short drive from the city. If you have more time, Chobe National Park and Okovanga Delta are two of the best parks in Africa; both have sizeable lion prides and the lions in Okovanga are known as the elephant killers.