It has to be Jo’burg as they call it or ‘rich’ Lagos if not Cape Town. There’s so much for Paris ‘romance’ and the flying bridge in London that goes without thinking of the high end New York. Yes we can’t compete with these western countries but our African cities are exceptionally outstanding.
I get confused all the time when someone asks which is my favorite African city, do I say Dar es Salaam cause that might sound so far-fetched or Durban, but I still end up saying Cape Town. I Love my wine on rocks on a table over an orange horizon skyline with beautifully coloured and glittery rays. Too much imagination, right.
Home to Diversity
While these cities come with populations, modernization, tall infrastructure and capitalism there’s so much to explore and carry home in your mind. Africa would boast of being surrounded by the perfectly blue Indian ocean and Mediterranean sea, white sandy beaches but not as much as we would boast of the diversity of wildlife, history and culture and the most diverse climate from arid to tropical making it one of the best tourism destinations in Africa.
Africa is geographically a vast and physically a beautiful continent with diverse landscapes, wildlife, and cultures with something about capitalism and urbanization. Something that makes the skyscrapers stand out in every city. I mean it’s just normal buildings with some amazing architecture yes, but still built with normal stones and glass but what really makes these structures stand out. I’ve seen quite a number of photos online with the hash tag #MyCity taken at dawn or dusk; I guess this is when the city’s beauty really manifests itself so I got around giving you a sneak peek into some of the cities defining Africa.
Everyone knows South Africa is the iceberg of Africa and I’d say Johannesburg is the icing on the cake. With the highest tourist population per year you are sure there’s so much to indulge from this city. The cultural and art pieces displayed in these town sure makes it the best stop over for any African explorer to get in touch with what Africa is really about.
Definitely the home of ancient culture and rich history with a twist of Arabic architectural designs. Monumental mosques in Cairo are a major attraction though the pyramid ruins are everything. The sphinx and pyramids of Giza are the major tourist attraction in Egypt hence making Cairo a must stop over.
While infrastructure in Cape Town speaks volumes, the oranges, yellow and pink complement each other so well from one wall to another on the Bookaap buildings. This city has always topped my list. With a table and wine set on it, all you have to do is hike up to get it. It’s like a fairy tale city with white sandy beaches offering coastal dishes, down with swimming with whales and dolphins, all the way up to the best sunset views at the top of the mountain. Cape Town stands s out as one of the greatest cities to visit in the world and in Africa, best city with a beach, one of the most colorful cities in the world. The rankings and titles are just endless.
We, “I mean Kenyans/Africans” are all familiar with those Nigerian movies with authentic Nigerian heavy accents and good music but what else does Nigeria has to offer. Digging into its capital Lagos we definitely would love to see some real action at the National Arts Theatre first. Through to the longest bridge in Africa “Third mainland bridge” ,Western world ship off for slaves the Badagry then off to Lekki conservation Centre then Lekki market for some souvenirs while admiring Nigeria’s famous culture at the renowned art galleries and museums.
Accra spearheads with such a great ancient story for independence and your first stop has to be the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, followed by the Independence Square, Monumental Dubois Memorial Centre, the slave store Osu castle all the way to the Jamestown fishing harbor, bustling Makola market for some color and spice, Labadi beach to cool the afternoon heat then a chilled out evening at the National theatre for some theatrics and talent.
As exotic as Indian cuisine in this Indian city in Africa sounds, better still swim with the sharks or dive with zero experience into one of the world’s largest aquarium in uShaka Sea world. While the Sharks rugby match is a must watch for all of us rugby fans, Durban hosts the biggest port in Africa, a warm climate to compliment the Golden mile beachfront for the rest of you into surfing and kites. From ice skating at Durban ice arena, to sunrise boat rides at KwaZulu Natal Sharks board to a walk with fossils at the Durban botanical gardens, Durban offers everything fancy you can find in any other African city. Yet still of course any African tourist magnet is not complete without some bush adventure thus Tala game reserve brings the safari home.
A lion could roam and roar from your backyard Nairobi National park (the only national park in a capital city) or you could go bush drive and get all muddy trying to catch it first. Trying to manifest your way around this city would lead you to Feeding Giraffes at Giraffe Centre or better still sharing breakfast with one at the Giraffe manor or feeding your milk to David Sheldrick’s Baby Elephant, dancing with a Red headed Maasai at Bomas of Kenya, Cycling at the ambience of Karura forest or even randomly shopping at the Maasai market and eating you way out of the Serena hotels. Then soak it all in quietly at Nairobi safari walk and take in some fresh air.
While it lies on the far west coast of Africa this Capital city of Senegal is a major stop for anyone who wants an African twist into France. While it bursts with everything from busy noisy streets to heat, the Kermel market offers some wild experience with the Dakarois but still there’s Marche for some fancy shopping experience. Ile’ de N’gor offers some quiet island escapade away from all the street hustle and of course you wouldn’t leave out a Senegalese football match or some adrenaline racing.
This has to be all about the monumental Hassan II Mosque unwavering to the ocean waves but instead giving the most magnificent view over the ocean on a glass floor yet still opening up to the stars to give you a sign of Gods greatness. While still trying to figure out how a desert country would be so magnificent, Casa brings the UK into Africa on the Casa Tramway
and still gives you an option of stepping back in time to camel rides in the heated deserts but still Marche Central has what it all takes to bring you back into reality with all those fragrances in the air making you yearn for your next meal, but all you got to take in is the colors popping out from every corner.
Which is your favorite African city, and why?
Which city defines Africa for you and why?
(All Source images are from the web.)