Best Cities For Expats In Africa part 1 – Living in Africa

Best Cities For Expats In Africa part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

Before introducing this article, if you are interested in our core services which are expat financial, insurance and mortgages, you can contact me here

The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


Africa is one of the largest continents in the World and has a very long history. For thousands of years, cultures have been coming and going, leaving their own unique impacts on the land. The diversity that exists today across Africa results from this long history, making it a hotspot for adventure seekers who want to make a difference in a new land.

Best Cities For Expats In Africa

With the continent’s long history of empires, expanding trade routes, and wars, it’s not surprising that there are many different cultures across Africa today. However, not all countries in Africa are equally welcoming to expats looking for a new home.

To know which African cities will provide you with an opportunity to experience all of the cultures on offer in this big continent, take a look at our expat guide to the best cities for expats in Africa. One of the key criteria used when choosing which countries and cities would be included in this list.

According to many publications, Africa is one of the regions where the number of expats is particularly low. This means that many destinations on this list will be very different from the ones you live in now and may require a bit more research to get used to.

Today, we have compiled this article to meet your needs. If you’ve been surfing the internet to get the right information about the best cities for expats in Africa, look no further. Aside from this fact, we will walk you through the interesting facts about living in Africa as an expat. Read further to get the full details.

Interesting Facts about Living in Africa

Best Cities For Expats In Africa

Living in Africa can be an extraordinary experience. If you’re planning to come out here for travel or work, here are the top 8 most interesting facts about living in Africa that everyone should know.

Transportation Is Cheap and Readily Available

Public transport like bus and train systems are extremely good (in some countries), making it incredibly easy to get around. Anyone interested in seeing the entire country by bus or train will get their wish, as long as they are willing to spend some time on the road!

Conversely, owning a vehicle is incredibly cheap. For example, if you wanted to buy a decent-sized car in South Africa, the chances are that it would only cost about 8 000 USD, which is on par with buying a car in the states. Even if you wanted to repurchase a small hatch, it would still only cost about 3 000 USD.

Transportation costs are also low compared to western values; for example, getting around by taxi will only cost about $1 0 per trip on local trips and maybe $4 on longer trips.

No Real Health Concerns

Africa is a very healthy continent overall, but there are some risks like malaria and bilharzia (found in some parts of the Nile River). However, these risks can be managed by taking precautions like sleeping under mosquito nets, wearing long sleeves, and using mosquito repellent.

People Are Incredibly Friendly

Africans are also very friendly people who will go out of their way to help you if they see that you’re in need. This is especially true if it’s something small like taxi directions or advice. I’ve never once been refused help by a local person.

In addition to this, if you’re out drinking with Africans, they will buy rounds of drinks for everyone in the bar without hesitation.

High Chance of Seeing Wild Life

Africa is also one of the best places to see animals in their natural habitat in all their glory. For example, in South Africa, there are numerous safari opportunities to see lions, elephants, leopards, and even rhinos. These experiences will be a memory to last a lifetime!

Best Cities For Expats In Africa

The Food Is Delicious

I have yet to meet a cuisine I didn’t like in Africa so far! African cooking varies from place to place, but some mainstays are pretty common. One of these is Ugali, which I would describe as the African version of mashed potatoes mixed with flour and salt, which can be eaten plain or rolled up into small balls to pick up sauces.

It’s definitely an interesting taste, but you get used to it very quickly! For me, it tastes quite mild compared to the spices and chilis that are used in cooking. Another staple is ‘fufu,’ which is also made from flour, but instead of being cooked like a dumpling, it’s soaked in water to form a doughy ball.

It doesn’t have much taste on its own, so if you’re looking for something bland, then fufu is perfect. If you ever come to South Africa, I would recommend checking out the famous bunny chow! This is a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry and can be found in most townships across the country.

It might seem like an odd thing, but it’s incredibly delicious! A national dish of South Africa is ‘bobotie,’ a dish made from spiced mince, and it’s delicious too.

The Weather Isn’t Bad

Depending on where you are in Africa, the weather can be quite mild. For example, South Africa has four main seasons, but it’s never too cold or hot. If anything, it’s usually too wet or dry! However, for those who love snow, then there is always skiing nearby (in places like Lesotho and Swaziland), just a few hours away from Cape Town.

Great Place to Make Friends

By living in Africa for a year, I have made some amazing friends worldwide who will be friends for life. This is because many people come here on gap years, internships, or even visits when they are younger, and it’s an amazing way to meet new and interesting people.

There Is Always Something Happening

Africa is an incredibly fast-paced continent where there are always things going on. Whether it’s a festival in the Tanzanian islands, a sports match in Cape Town, or even just watching locals party out in the township; there will always be something to do.

14 Best Cities for Expats in Africa

Many people worldwide dream of living and working abroad, but not everyone dares actually to move. If you’re looking for a new home and want to explore Africa, we’ve rounded up some of the best places for expats in Africa.

1.    Nairobi

Best Cities For Expats In Africa

Population: Over 3 million Locations: Eastern Africa, south of Somalia, north of Tanzania

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It’s a world-class metropolis with all the necessary amenities to make life comfortable for expats. Nairobi has everything you need, from international schools to shopping malls, and being so close to nature makes it an ideal place to live in Africa.

2.    Kigali

Population: Over One million Locations: Central Africa, Rwanda

Kigali is the capital of Rwanda. It’s a fast-growing city known for its safe streets and stable economy. Expats who live in Kigali tend to praise the security it offers as well as the low cost of living—the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $650/month.

3.    Dar es Salaam

Population: Over 4.3 million Locations: Eastern Africa, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania, and it’s known for its high crime rate, so this might not be the best choice if you’re looking to live somewhere safe. However, there are some good reasons to move here. The Tanzanian government is trying to improve the city by building new infrastructure and offering more tourism attractions, so it’s definitely worth considering if you want to live in Africa.

4.    Cairo

Population: Over 16 million Locations: Northern Africa, Egypt

Even though Cairo is pretty hot and crowded, there are still some opportunities for expats here. If you’re a business professional who wants to take their career to the next level and explore new things, this might be an ideal place for you. Plus, there are several universities within the city to continue your education.

5.    Windhoek

Population: Over 300,000 Locations: Southern Africa, Namibia

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia—a place known for its wide-open spaces and desert landscapes. Expats here enjoy living in a city that still feels like a small town. Windhoek has an international airport and a developing tourism industry, so it’s a good place if you want to explore Africa while still being comfortable.

6.    Accra

Population: Over 2 million Locations: West Africa, Ghana

The capital of Ghana is known for its high crime rate and traffic congestion, but it’s also a great city if you’re looking to do some volunteer work. Expats here really like the fact that there are several bars and nightclubs, but be careful because fights can break out frequently (or there could be a kidnapping if you’re walking on your own late at night).

7.    Kampala

Population: Over 2 million Locations: East Africa, Uganda

If you love to travel and want to experience different cultures, Kampala might be your best bet as one of the top cities for expats in Africa. Living here is pretty cheap, but you have to be careful with the crime. There are certain areas where expats tend to avoid going after dark, making life a bit difficult at times.

8.    Lagos

Population: Over 22 million Locations: West Africa, Nigeria

Lagos is known as one of the most densely populated cities in the world, so it might not be the best choice if you’re looking to escape from a big city lifestyle. Expats here praise Lagos for its rich culture and vibrant nightlife, but at the same time, they complain about how many people are trying to scam them.

9.    Cape Town

Population: Over 4 million Locations: Southern Africa, South Africa

Living in Cape Town is not for everyone because it’s known as one of the most expensive cities in Africa, so you might have trouble making friends if you don’t have a big salary. That being said, it’s not hard to find job opportunities here because the economy is doing so well. The city also has a lot of great beaches and hiking trails if you’re looking to get some fresh air.

10. Windhoek

Population: Over 300,000 Locations: Southern Africa, Namibia

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia—a place known for its wide-open spaces and desert landscapes. Expats here enjoy living in a city that still feels like a small town. Windhoek has an international airport and a developing tourism industry, so it’s a good place if you want to explore Africa while still being comfortable.

11. Addis Ababa

Population: Over 3 million Locations: East Africa, Ethiopia

If you’re looking for an exciting place where you can make a difference and help others, Addis Ababa might be the right choice. Expats here value the beauty of the Ethiopian culture and their experiences learning new languages (many locals speak at least three different languages). There aren’t many bars or nightclubs, but there are several malls and things to do if you’re looking for an entertaining night out.

12. Algiers

Population: Over 3 million Locations: Northern Africa, Algeria

If you want to live in North Africa but don’t like Morocco (Algiers is right next door), the city of Algiers might be a good choice. Expats praise how easy it is to travel to other places around the continent from here because there are often cheap flights from Algiers. It’s a pretty safe city too, but the only downside is that it can get boring at times.

13. Asmara

Population: Over 600,000 Locations: East Africa, Eritrea

If you want to live in Africa but are looking for a different experience than other expats, Asmara might be the best choice. It’s known as one of the safest cities on the continent, and there are also many job opportunities for expats who have the right skills.

14. Lusaka

Population: Over 1 million Locations: Southern Africa, Zambia

Living in Lusaka is pretty cheap, and the city has a vibrant culture, so it could be a good choice if you want to experience living in Africa without spending too much money. Expats here complain about how often they get sick because the roads can be poorly maintained and there is a lot of air pollution.

Leave a Comment

Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content