5 most visited cities in Africa and why you should visit

From Johannesburg to Accra, here are the 5 current cities with the most visitors and why you should visit.

  • The five most visited cities in Africa is led by Johannesburg in South Africa and ended with Accra in Ghana
  • These city have hundreds of thousands of tourists spending huge funds, with the least city.

The Mastercard 2017 Global Destination Cities Index released in September 2017, provides a ranking of the 132 most visited cities around the world.

Measured by the number of international overnight visitors and their spendings, the study, revealed the most visited countries in Africa.

From Johannesburg to Accra, here are the 5 current cities with the most visitors and why you should visit:



Johannesburg is the biggest city in South Africa and currently the most visited city in Africa. The city attracts millions of tourists every year and according to MasterCard 2017 Global Destination Cities Index, it is the most visited in Africa.


Johannesburg has a lot to offer tourist visiting the country. For the cultural lovers, the city has more than 40 art galleries and also hosts cultural studios and institutes throughout the year. Johannesburg Art Gallery features several landscapes and painting while Market Theater stages several Anti-Apartheid plays. The city also has a UNESCO-listed archeological area that displays the cradle of humankind. Johannesburg Zoo and Lion Park are some of the major attraction for wildlife lovers. The restaurants in the city offer a wide variety of cuisine including the local dishes, Ethiopian cuisine, Italian food, fish, and seafood. The high-end hotels offer world class accommodation to the visiting tourists.

Country: South Africa


International visitors: 4,880,760

Cash spent by visitors: $2,897,920,000

Cape Town

Cape Town closely follows Johannesburg on the index and it is considered the second most popular tourist destination in Africa. The city, which is famous for well-developed infrastructure and favorable climate enjoys patronage from international tourists.



The natural setting of Cape Town, which includes the Table Mountain National Park that offers hiking excitement for tourists while enjoying the nature view, is one of the many factors promoting international tours in the country. From the several Cape Town Beaches that are perfect for sunbathers to a variety of seafood and coastal dishes for tourist, the city is a tourist delight. Cultural attractions such as Victoria and Alfred Waterfront are popular tourism sites that also provide shopping opportunities for visitors. Cape Town is also famous for the Dutch architectural heritage in particular among the old government buildings which continue to attract tourists to date. Just like Johannesburg offers, the hotels in Cape Town offer perfect accommodation and variety of meals for different nationalities in the city.

Country: South Africa

International visitors: 1,623,360

Cash spent by visitors: $1,426,320,000



Lagos comes third in the index but top as the most visited cities in the Western part of Africa. Known and appreciated for its commercial viability, Lagos has been adjudged Nigeria’s commercial capital.


Lagos receives millions of international visitors, especially from Europe and Asia every year. The city is a preferred destination for most of the visitors because of the several cultural heritage, nature, cuisine and the people. Sprawls inland from the Gulf of Guinea across Lagos Lagoon. Victoria Island, the financial center of the metropolis, is known for its beach resorts, boutiques and nightlife. To the north, Lagos Island is home to the National Museum Lagos, displaying cultural artifacts and craftworks. Nearby is Freedom Park, once a colonial-era prison and now a major venue for concerts and public events. The bubbling nightlife of Lagos can not be left out as its cultural events as well as sporting events act as major attraction for visitors all year round.

Country: Nigeria

International visitors: 1,134,640


Cash spent by visitors: $504,000,000


Casablanca comes fourth according to the Mastercard 2017 Global Destination Cities Index. Casablanca is the most-populous city in Morocco with a population of 3,359,818 people.


Casablanca is a port city and commercial hub in western Morocco, fronting the Atlantic Ocean. The city's French colonial legacy is seen in its downtown Mauresque architecture, a blend of Moorish style and European art deco. Tourists toop to enjoy the city’s French colonial legacy, which is entwined with the traditional Arab culture, that ensures there’s lots of diverse things in the city. Also to see in Casablanca is the art deco buildings, and old stone medina alleys, museums, palaces, and the second largest mosque in the world, the Hassan II Mosque standing partly over the water and completed in 1993. The mosque has a 210m minaret topped with lasers directed toward Mecca.


Country: Morocco

International visitors: 1,000,000

Cash spent by visitors: $615,600,000


The gold coast city of Accra ranks fifth according to the Mastercard 2017 Global Destination Cities Index. With a land mass of 139.7 km², Accra houses 1,594,000 people.



Accra, the capital of Ghana,holds sway as the second most visited cities in West Africa and fifth in the entirety of Africa. Situated on the Atlantic coast of West Africa, the beaches provides tourists with memorable vacation. The city’s Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, which honors Ghana’s first president, who helped lead the country to independence is one of the city’s monuments that draws tourists and attention to itself in Accra. The Makola Market is the city’s vast, colorful bazaar, which can’t be missed by tourist and has been referred to as one of the major places to visit once in Accra. Also in Accra is the popular seafront spots Labadi Beach and Kokrobite Beach that offer golden sand and high-energy nightlife.

Country: Ghana

International visitors: 800,000

Cash spent by visitors: $546,000,000



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