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Best African cities to visitby Dalene Ingham-Brown

As a traveller, you may want to know what the best African cities to visit are. Well, many other curious minds from around the world have experienced these places and agree that the African cities below need to make it onto every tourist's itinerary at some point on their travels.


Above: Cape Town - one of the best African cities to visit

List of the best African cities to visit:

1. Cape Town, South Africa

On a scale from one to awesome, Cape Town walks away with the biggest fluffy elephant at the fair as the mother off all African cities to visit. Cape Town things to do and see include historic monuments like Robben Island, the Castle of Good Hope and Rhodes Memorial. Historic and beautiful, balanced by stunning natural attractions to the likes of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Point Nature Reserve and of course, one of the newly appointed 7  Wonders of the World, Table Mountain.

Cape Town’s spectrum of cultures and the attractions that go with each one add to the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Everything about Cape Town gleams with pride, like a kid who just managed to tie his shoe laces for the first time. After Cape Town swept up the 2008 'Best World City' award, Cape Town Tourism Chief Executive Officer Mariëtte du-Toit Helmbold said, "Cape Town is well placed to receive visitors looking for value for money and an authentic experience. Cape Town has so much to offer that visitors generally end up coming back to see and do more”.

3. Zanzibar City, Tanzania

Yes, Zanzibar City is one of the best African cities to visit. No, it’s not because of its azure waters and palm tree lined beaches. It’s all about Stone Town. In Stone Town lies the heart of Zanzibar culture. This UNESCO World Heritage Site town still tells the tale of sultans and slavery, explorers and colonial administrators. Grab a moped and go sightseeing - the Old Dispensary, the market, Livingstone's House, the Peace Memorial Museum, the Palace Museum, the House of Wonders and the Arab Fort are all on the menu. After a long day of tracking the historic footsteps of architecture and culture, sundowners on the beach wouldn’t hurt.

2. Cairo, Egypt

Pyramids, temples and the River Nile. Cairo is the sphinx that got the cream. Not only is Cairo impressively brimming with technology as an uber central business district, but it still manages to foster mind-boggling historic gems belonging to an ancient civilization. The list of Cairo attractions is as long as my sari. Definitely deserving a spot the list of best African cities to visit list, whether you hire a car, or a camel, get your sandals to Cairo to get the best of both worlds – Egypt’s old and new. William Browning says, "Cairo is one of the friendliest cities in Africa not just for the atmosphere, but because it is an ideal place to start a journey into ancient Egypt".

4. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls is one of those African cities to visit before you kick the bucket. A truly magical place. Looking past the city’s lack of significant architecture and the fact that the ATMs seldom work for tourists, you’re forced to remember that the point of the city of Victoria Falls isn’t to impress travellers with man-made items of ‘convenience’, it’s all about the natural beauty of the world’s largest sheet of falling water - Mosi-oa-Tunya – The Victoria Falls. The city of Victoria Falls may not be pretty, but it makes it easy for people to this World Heritage Site. *Note to traveller: with a width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and height of 108 metres (354 ft), the force the falls hits the Zambezi River at ensures that while viewing the Falls, you won’t get wet… you’ll get soaked.

5. Mombasa, Kenya

Mombasa, perched on Mombasa Island (go figure), is Kenya’s second largest city. Named after an Arab sultan, this city’s success was written in the stars. Not only is Mombasa a tropical haven, but it also boasts exceptional infrastructure with its very own major port and international airport. A stroll along the cultural side of Mombasa reveals the old town, harbour, Fort Jesus, Moi Avenue and shops, market, temple and mosques, while the beachfront is just a playground for those who want to do all the touristy things people do on beaches. If you’re looking to do a nature trail or feed a couple giraffe, Haller Park is a tropical forest where you can see and interact with wildlife. Such a diverse and impressive place, without a doubt one of the best African cities to visit.

Be sure to include nothing but the best African cities to visit in your itinerary when you travel to Africa.

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