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The 10 Largest Cities in Africa You Should Visit

Ten Largest Cities in Africa

Africa has beautiful cities that you would want to go to for a vacation, business, field trips, honeymoon, relaxation, adventure, and other purposes.

These cities have their historical importance, technological advancements, and opportunities. In recent times, African cities have continued to increase population, inspired by prospects and social significance.

You will find below facts and general information about the largest cities in Africa.

1. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital and the largest city in Africa, ranked the world’s 7th fastest growing city.

Nigeria is the giant of Africa, as the saying goes, and it is pertinent to note that Lagos city, which was the country’s first capital, partly inspired this fact.

With a population of 21 million, which has a yearly growth rate of 3%, this city makes its annual most significant revenue worth over $80 billion US Dollars from trading goods and services.

Lagos city presents profitable opportunities in manufacturing to retail, wholesale, services, construction, and transportation.

Also, the city is a very busy one with its largest population in Lagos Island and also has one of the most active seaports in Africa.

Over the years, the city’s primary challenge has been kidnapping, rape, physical attack, robbery, carjack, and assault, basically coming from most slum residents.

2. Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is the second-largest city in Africa with over 20 million people, which grows by 3% annually. The city of Cairo is located at the River Nile’s bank and is the largest city in Egypt.

Positioned in the southeastern part of Egypt, the city of Cairo has been in existence for over 1000 years. It serves as an entrance to Nile Delta, where there is a separation between the Rosetta and Delta branches.

Furthermore, the city has many job-creating companies ranging from food processing companies to textile companies, fast-moving consumer goods production companies, and iron production companies.

Over the years, Cairo has been the heart of tourism; administrate services, investment, and trade across Africa and beyond.

The city of Cairo has been experiencing lapses since the revolution of 2011 but has dramatically improved a lot if you visit recently. There are a lot of projects and construction going on presently in creating a new Egypt.

3. Kinshasa, DR Congo

Kinshasa is the country’s capital city and one of Africa’s most significant cities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the third-largest city in Africa, with a population of over 13 million people.

The city of Kinshasa is famous for its location at the side of River Congo and prominent for its fishing and trade prowess.

Travelers and tourists troop into the city to enjoy nature, relax, and explore the beautiful environment of the destination. While many people come in for business of all kinds, other people come in for pleasure.

Most noteworthy, the city and country have abundant minerals, including oil, timber, agriculture, and gas.

Over 60% of the population experience poverty resulting in criminal activities, including stealing, kidnap and other crimes.

4. Alexandria, Egypt

Alexandria is the 4th largest city in Africa and the second largest in Egypt after Cairo, with over 4.5 million people with a growth rate of 2%.

The city of Alexandria is Egypt’s summer holiday gateway with its fabulous beaches of the Mediterranean sea, stretching almost the town. It is also Egypt’s economic and industrial center, having from Suez natural gas, pipelines, and oil.

Many individuals and groups visit Alexandria because of its tourism sites suitable for adventures, holidays, field trips, and archeological purposes.

Alexandria’s beach and the port city of Egypt got their name after Alexander the Great in 331BC, the founder.

Alexandria city has been experiencing some challenges since the 2011 revolution, but many construction projects and economic rehabilitation has happened since then.

5. Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Abidjan is the most prominent African French-speaking country and the fifth-largest city in Africa. It is also the trade and industry capital of the Ivory Coast.

Abidjan has an estimated population of over 4.43 persons, making up 20 percent of the country’s population.

This city is known for its growing technological advancement and industrial nature, making it one of the top destinations for business.

Among the economic contributors to the development of Abidjan is natural gas, cocoa, and oil, as well as crude oil processing refinery.

The city has numerous tourist attractions where visitors come in to relax and enjoy the beautiful culture and nature of the town.

Like every other developing city, Abidjan experiences challenges ranging from crimes to poverty and infrastructural developments.

6. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city located in the Gauteng province, which is also the richest. The city of Johannesburg ranks the 6th largest city in Africa and the 50th major city globally.

Most importantly, Johannesburg, mostly called Jo’burg, is one of the major tourist destinations in the world and a top skyscrapers spot.

Additionally, the city has a massive gold deposit in the Witwatersrand and has more than 4.36 people.

Visitors to Johannesburg are mainly interested in hospitality, fashion, industrialization, technology, and retail.

Again, the Sandton area of Johannesburg hosts the premier stock and World Bank in the whole of Africa.

However, the city has been experiencing increased poverty, murder, and crime rates, with many persons living in negligence.

7. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

On the Swahili coast of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam is the country’s economic center with the largest population and the largest in East Africa. 

According to global rating, Dar es Salaam Region is the fastest growing city in Africa and an essential economic center rating the 7th largest worldwide.

More so, the city is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities and the 7th largest city in Africa with 4.15 million people. Its system of government is central government bureaucracy.

Presently, Dar es Salaam is the country’s financial hub and bustling with fashion, education, arts, media, film, music, and television.

Despite the many resources in the country, more than half of the city’s occupants live with inadequate sanitation, bad roads, and a shortage of good water, bad houses, and other basic amenities.

8. Casablanca, Morocco

Casablanca is the 8th largest city in Africa and the largest city in Morocco, with an estimated population of 3.74 million people.

The city is African’s financial focal point, with many businesses and companies having headquarters in the town even though the country’s capital is Rabat.

Casablanca avails many opportunities to the people as it has industries and business centers owned by individuals and groups across Africa and the world at large.

A large population of citizens of the city lacks essential daily resources such as water, food, shelter, and clothing. The result of this is crimes ranging from stealing, prostitution, drug abuse, and more.  

9. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a port city on the southeastern coast of South Africa and the second-largest city in the country after Johannesburg and the 6th largest city in Africa.

The mother city of South Africa, Cape Town, is located in the Western Cape’s provincial capital and the oldest city with an estimated population of 3.44 million.

Cape Town attracts tourists and businesses that enjoy the view and activities at the excellent harbor at Table Bay.

10. Durban, South Africa

South African’s third most populous city Durban ranks 10th as the largest city in Africa with an estimated population of 3.44 million and a yearly growth rate of 1%.

Apart from the other largest port cities, Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban has the most visited port in the country.

Located in the Kwazulu Natal province, this city ranks second in South Africa after Johannesburg as the most manufacturing companies.

More so, Durban is a top tourist attraction, all thanks to its numerous beaches and warm subtropical atmosphere.

Other ways by which the country generates funds are technology, production, hospitality, agriculture, and other businesses that attract foreign shareholders.

Which city is the most populated in Africa?

As of 2021, African cities are rising in population due to their economic and social opportunities, among other reasons.

The lists below are estimations considering the migration and increasing urban population. These cities rank high in the world’s populated towns too.


Lagos city, which is in Nigeria, has an estimated population of over 14 million people. Because of the fact too that it is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities, the population tends to be increasing daily.


Kinshasa is a city in DR Congo and has more than 14 thousand people.


The capital of Egypt, Cairo, is another city with one of the largest populations in Africa with over 9 million residents in population.

Final Words

We have presented the list of the ten most prominent cities in Africa as a guide to persons planning a trip to Africa as it will enable them to have firsthand information of what to expect.

These cities are beautiful with their different significances and comprise great people from different backgrounds across the world.

So, don’t feel you will be alone when you visit because indeed, you will find something that will interest you.

The list is presented according to their population from the city with the largest population down to the lowest.

Just like many other large cities in the world, these cities have their challenges presented here to help visitors know what to expect upon their visits.

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