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Where to Stay in Africa in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Africa in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Given the vastness of the continent, there’s no easy answer to the question of where to stay in Africa.

From the Sahara desert and the pyramids of Egypt to the mega-cities in South Africa; from the colorful festivals in Ghana to the mountaintops of Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti in Tanzania — the riches, landmarks, and natural parks just pile up.

Come with us on a long and interesting trip through the mysteries of the continent, and we’ll get to more than a few interesting suggestions for your trip.

The 5 Best Parts of Africa

The four sides of Africa are significantly different from each other: they have their own culture, history, and peculiarities. There aren’t many similarities between Egypt and Tanzania, Ghana and South Africa.

The only constant is the beautiful nature and the countryside that surrounds them. That’s why we decided to represent all parts of Africa and try to paint you a realistic picture in this guide.

Our favorite areas include:

  1. Egypt: It has the coast, the desert, and, of course, the pyramids — it’s the obvious choice for first-time visitors to Africa.
  2. Kenya: Located in the eastern parts of Africa, it offers an unforgettable family-oriented safari experience at a relatively cheap price.
  3. Tanzania: The home of the world-famous Serengeti National Reserve and Mount Kilimanjaro, it offers the best safari experience in the world.
  4. Ghana: The second largest country in East Africa (after Nigeria), it is a colorful, friendly, and lively place with a rich and turbulent history; it’s the most suitable country in our guide for budget travelers.
  5. South Africa: The richest and most developed country on the continent, with a couple of mega-cities, it offers unforgettable experiences in nature, but it’s mostly suitable for city dwellers and those who prefer the urban aspects of Africa.

The Best Areas & Hotels in Africa

Here’s the good news: broadly speaking — and we mean very broadly — Africa is not expensive, and a decent vacation on this continent can be affordable for almost everybody.

Both the accommodation and the restaurants are mostly cheap in most of the countries. But considering that we’re speaking in generalities, that’s truer in certain places than others.

Since we’re talking about whole countries in a relatively condensed manner, we’ll largely focus on the differentiating factors among them, but that’s not to say that you can’t find a five-star hotel in Ghana or a budget accommodation in South Africa.

Basically, regardless if you’re budget- or luxury-oriented, you’ll find a hotel that fits your bill in any of the countries, but if we had to choose, we’d say that Ghana and Kenya are the cheapest on our list.

If you have deeper pockets and are partial to the experiences offered by South Africa, Egypt, and Tanzania, your choice just got narrower. For concrete suggestions, bear with us until the end of the guide — it’s a doozy.

1. Egypt

The ever famous pyramid and sphinx in the Egyptian desert, and a man with his camel can be seen walking towards them.


There’s no better way to start your story of Africa than the Mediterranean coast and slowly make your way to the interior of the continent.

Given its very developed infrastructure, rich history, and culture, as well as fantastic resorts and beaches, Egypt is the perfect choice for every first-time visitor to the continent.

Egypt is huge and versatile, and you can spend ages roaming around its cities, villages, historical landmarks, beaches, and hotels. However, there are three (or four) places you simply have to visit: the capital Cairo, Luxor, and the Valley of Kings, and Hurghada or Sharm el Sheik for a classical summer vacation.

The largest city in Egypt, Cairo, is close to both some of the most important landmarks (the Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx) and the most famous museum (The Egyptian Museum).

It also boasts the best and most luxurious restaurants and hotels in Egypt. Luxor is a city located on the banks of the Nile River, near the unforgettable Valley of Kings.

If you want to experience the authenticity of inland Egypt, far from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, but also visit some magnificent landmarks, like the Luxor and Karnak temples or the Colossi of Memnon, this is the right place for you.

Finally, Egypt is also great for a rather typical summer vacation by the sea, with a lot of relaxing on the beach and carefree sunbathing.

Both Hurghada and Sharm el Sheik offer equal opportunities: the only difference is that the first one has better beaches, and the second is more suitable for scuba diving. That said, you can’t go wrong with either, as both places are premier tourist destinations.

Read Next: Where to Stay in Egypt & What a Trip to Egypt Costs in 2023

Things to Do

  • There’s no place in the world like Egypt when it comes to ancient landmarks. The areas around Cairo and Luxor are especially packed with remains of the ancient and mysterious Egyptian civilization. We recommend visiting the pyramids near Cairo (Pyramid of Giza, Khafre, Menkaure, and Djoser), The Valley of Kings and of Queens near Luxor, but also the Alexandrian Library on the banks of the Nile.
  • One other thing you should definitely do is visit as many museums as you can. The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo is the first and obvious choice; the Luxor Museum is a close second. But don’t forget the other less obvious albeit still famous museums, like the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Nubian Museum in Aswan, the Karnak Open Air Museum in Luxor, and The Coptic Museum in Cairo.
  • Some of the best beaches in the world are located in Egypt. Most of them are located either close to Hurghada, Sharm el Sheik, or Marsa Alam. We recommend the following ones: Shark’s Bay Beach, Na’ama Bay, Ras Um Sid, Marsa Mubarak, and Abu Dabbab Beach.
  • Egypt is a huge country with numerous landmarks and entertainment options. You’ll always feel that you’re missing something, but there’s a solution: you can join one of the many tours available. Cairo Tours & Packages / Memphis Tours Egypt is a great all-around tour; Egypt Tours Portal covers the coast of the Nile; lastly, Let’s Explore Egypt is a perfect choice if you want to explore Cairo in depth.

Where to Eat

  • Sofra — a table made for lunch or dinner, in translation — is an excellent Middle Eastern and Egyptian restaurant located in Hurghada. It has a rich variety of grilled meats and plenty of “meze” (sides) options. The place is perfect for romantic dinners and anniversaries.
  • Aisha Restaurant Luxor is an international and Mediterranean restaurant in Luxor that offers a wide variety of options and foods from all parts of the Mediterranean coast. It boasts a great moussaka, a nice greek salad, and plenty of meat, as well as vegetarian-friendly options.
  • Noble House is a Chinese and Japanese restaurant specializing in sushi, located in the heart of Cairo. It was selected as the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best because of the nice interior, masterfully prepared food, and professional service.

Egypt Budget Hotels

  • Holy sheet Hostel is a very cheap but quite decent hostel in Cairo located around 600 meters from Tahrir Square and 800 meters from the Egyptian Museum. The hostel offers a 24-hour front desk, room service, free Wi-Fi, and an airport shuttle.
  • New Memnon Hotel is a three-star hotel located in the Theban Necropolis (Luxor), and it’s one of the best and cheapest accommodations on the west bank of Egypt. It offers bright and freshly decorated rooms with TVs, free Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms.

Egypt Mid-Range Hotels

  • Camel Dive Club & Hotel – Boutique Hotel is a beautiful but not terribly expensive four-star hotel in Sharm El Sheik. Located 15 minutes from the Sharm el Sheik airport, it has a swimming pool, numerous available activities on the premises, and a private beach area.
  • Malkata House is a three-star accommodation located in Luxor, boasting an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. There’s a restaurant on the premises and no-smoking rooms, as well as a fine breakfast in the morning.

Egypt Luxury Hotels

  • Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza is a super luxurious five-star hotel in Cairo and definitely one of the best accommodation options in Egypt. Boasting an excellent view of the Nile, it offers practically everything: fancy rooms, three swimming pools, a bar, a restaurant, and a spa and wellness center.
  • Rixos Premium Magawish Suites and Villas- Ultra All-Inclusive is a five-star resort in Hurghada located right on the Red Sea. It offers a beach that stretches a little under a mile, no less than 30 swimming pools, six restaurants, and ten bars. The resort offers numerous activities, both for the old and the young.

See All Hotels in Africa

2. Kenya

A herd of elephants waking on a savannah where a tall snowy mountain can be seen in background.

Paul Hampton/Shutterstock

Located in Eastern Africa, right on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Kenya is the seventh largest country on the continent. It boasts a population of over 47 million people (roughly the same as Spain) and offers numerous attractions for potential visitors.

As everybody knows, Kenya is one of the richest places in the world in terms of natural beauty, and the name of the game is diversity.

From snow-capped mountains like Mount Kenya to dense forests full of wildlife, sandy beaches, and absolute barren deserts, Kenya has it all.

Like its neighbor Tanzania, however, Kenya is also famous for its safaris, but you should know that the latter is considerably cheaper and better equipped in terms of infrastructure and airports.

That’s why most tourists go straight up to the Masai Mara national reserve, where they can see plenty of lions, elephants, cheetahs, buffalos, and antelopes. Simply put, it’s probably the most famous and most accessible safari location in the world.

The area around the reserve is also packed with accommodation options and restaurants.

Apart from Masai Mara, you should also turn your attention to Amboseli National Park near Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya National Park, stretching around the second tallest peak in Africa, and Nairobi National Park, located near the capital.

Moreover, despite what you might’ve been led to believe, Kenya is actually a relatively modern and developed country. You’ll definitely find a lot of old and interesting cities full of accommodation options, history, museums, restaurants, and nightclubs if you know where to look.

While Nairobi is the first and obvious choice, we also recommend coastal Mombasa and the third largest city in the country, Kisumu, located on the shores of the mighty Lake Victoria — which is a must-see landmark.

Finally, there are the beaches. Much like Egypt, Kenya has it all, including first-class resorts and beaches along the ocean. Diani Beach, along coastal Mombasa, should be your first choice.

Read Next: Best & Worst Times to Visit Kenya & What a Trip to Kenya Costs in 2023

Things to Do

  • We already mentioned four top-notch national parks and reserves, but that barely scratches the surface regarding the natural beauties of Kenya. Here’s a list of some additional places you can’t miss: Tsavo East National Park near Mombasa; the Mara River inside the Masai Mara reserve; Lake Nakuru National Park near the city of Nakuru; Karura Forest on the outskirts of Nairobi; Hell’s Gate National Park, located three hours from the capital of Kenya.
  • Interestingly enough, and much like Egypt’s Cairo, Nairobi is one of the premier tourist destinations in Kenya. The capital boasts a population of almost four and a half million people and offers everything that a modern world metropolis has to offer. Aside from the numerous national parks and reserves, it has great shopping options, numerous restaurants, and plenty of educational museums.
  • Kenya also offers some of the best museums in Africa, most of them in Nairobi. We recommend the Nairobi National Museum (a great all-around museum), Karen Blixen Museum (dedicated to the famous writer), Fort Jesus Museum, Gede Ruins in Gede, and the Nairobi Railway Museum.
  • Diani Beach near Mombasa is not the only beach that’s worth visiting in Kenya. Near Mombasa, you can also visit Nyali Beach and Bamburi Beach. Then, there’s Watamu Beach in Malindi, Che Shale Beach in Mambrui, and Spiaggia delle Tartarughe in Watamu — all simply sublime.

Where to Eat

  • CJ’s – Village Market is an African and international cafe and restaurant located in Nairobi. It was selected as the 2022 Travelers’ Choice and offers big portions, professional service, and loads of variety (including vegetarian), be it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Isokon Restaurant is an Asian and African restaurant in the middle of the Masai Mara reserve, inside the special game lodge. The restaurant is decorated in a rustic way, and it offers an assorted menu with plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
  • Jiko is one of Nairobi’s premier restaurants. It offers a nice, relaxed ambiance, professional service, and a great burger and ribs. The prices are quite reasonable, too, especially considering the quality of service and food you get.

Kenya Budget Hotels

  • Greenwood safari camp is definitely the cheapest accommodation you’ll find in Masai Mara. Every unit on the premises of the camp has a perfect view of nature, some of the units have a dining area, and there’s also an infinity pool.
  • Hays Suites Hotel is a very cheap two-star hotel in Nairobi, offering — among other things — a 24-hour front desk and free Wi-Fi. There’s a tasty continental breakfast served in the morning, professional room service, and a free airport shuttle.

Kenya Mid-Range Hotels

  • Narasha Homestay – Maasai Mara is a relatively cheap three-star accommodation in the Masai Mara reserve. Every apartment has a private bathroom, and there’s breakfast available in the morning. The cozy fireplace in the middle of the property is the cherry on top.
  • Progressive Park Hotel is a decent but not very expensive three-star hotel located relatively close to the Nairobi National Museum. The hotel offers free parking and free Wi-Fi, as well as a fitness center and a bar on the premises.

Kenya Luxury Hotels

  • Olare Mara Kempinski is a five-star resort located inside the Masai Mara reserve and one of the best accommodations you’ll find in Kenya. It’s very expensive, but it has a great swimming pool, excellent views of the surrounding nature, and a restaurant and bar on the premises.
  • Villa Rosa Kempinski is a gorgeous five-star hotel located in the heart of Nairobi. It has beautifully decorated and spacious rooms, an indoor swimming pool, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises, as well as a relaxing spa and wellness center.

See All Hotels in Africa

3. Tanzania

A group of people can be seen trekking towards a very tall snowy mountain where its peak can be seen with a snow cap.


Welcome to Kenya’s larger neighbor, the western African country of Tanzania. Much like Kenya — and maybe a little more — it is a rather popular tourist destination in Africa, especially because of the scenery.

That said, its crowning jewel is the safari. When you imagine a savanna in your mind’s eye, it’s very likely influenced by images of Tanzania’s sparse canopy or, more precisely, the glorious Serengeti.

Simply put, the Serengeti is the most popular, most beautiful, and most visited national park in the world — its magnificent landscapes and the “Big Five” it’s home to need no introduction.

Then, in (somewhat) stark contrast to the plains, there’s the imposing Mount Kilimanjaro. As you probably already know, it’s the tallest mountain in Africa and the only (yes, you’ve read it correctly) only free-standing mountain on the continent.

It’s part of the Kilimanjaro National Park, also one of the most visited places in both Tanzania and Africa in general.

When you’re making plans about where to stay in the country, however, you’ll probably come down to two options: either the capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, or the archipelago of Zanzibar, the premier summer destination in the country.

The small city called Arusha is a close third alternative, mostly because of its close proximity to the Serengeti.

If you’re more interested in having a relaxing time at the beach, swimming, and enjoying traditional Tanzanian food, maybe Zanzibar is the right place for you, especially Stone Town.

Read Next: Best & Worst Times to Visit Tanzania & What a Trip to Tanzania Costs in 2023

Things to Do

  • The Serengeti is truly a unique place, unlike any other on this planet, and that’s why it deserves a few more words. If it’s on your bucket list, make sure to try to catch the great wildebeest migration at Serengeti National Park, which is once in a lifetime experience. But, also don’t forget to visit Seronera in Serengeti, also known as the “cat capital of the world,” where you’ll surely see a cheetah, a leopard, or a lion.
  • Serengeti is rightly considered the most famous place in Tanzania, but it’s not the only national park worth visiting. We also recommend putting a couple of other places on your list: Tarangire National Park, famous for the baobab trees and the birds; Mikumi Park, for the elephants, zebras, and especially giraffes; lastly, Ruaha National Park, which has practically every savannah life form in existence.
  • Zanzibar, as we mentioned earlier, is a story in itself. A beautiful semi-autonomous island, in some way, it continues the story of Tanzania, but in many ways, it offers completely different things. We recommend visiting Cheetah’s Rock or taking a long stroll through Zanzibar City. If you’re there for the beaches, we recommend the following: Nungwi Beach, Paje Beach, Kendwa Beach, Jambiani Beach, and Matemwe Beach.

Where to Eat

  • Moyo Kitchen & Bar, located in Dar es Salaam, is an African and international restaurant that boasts a 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection. The restaurant is suitable for every meal of the day, has very professional and friendly staff, and relatively mild prices.
  • Taarab Restaurant in Stone Town, Zanzibar City, is an international seafood restaurant and grill that serves the best fish on the island. Integrating a variety of influences in a specific fusion cuisine, it offers fresh and interesting seafood options while providing an excellent view of the ocean.
  • Tea House Restaurant is a great African and Middle-Eastern restaurant located in Zanzibar City, right on the coast of the Indian Ocean. A rooftop restaurant decorated in an interesting Swahili style, it offers fresh seafood prepared in an interesting and creative way while providing a beautiful ambiance and view of the ocean.

Tanzania Budget Hotels

  • Mikadi Beach Camp & Backpackers is a very cheap accommodation located incredibly close to the coast. Interestingly enough, it has an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar, and a spa and wellness center on the premises. That said, don’t expect much luxury in the rooms — hence the price.
  • Hiliki House is a very cheap but charming and elegant three-star accommodation located in a beautiful colonial-architecture house in Zanzibar. All of the rooms are decorated in a Swahili style and have air-conditioning and mosquito nets. There’s also a bar on the premises and an okay breakfast in the morning.

Tanzania Mid-Range Hotels

  • Triniti Airport Hotel is a reliable mid-range option in the capital of Tanzania. The three-star hotel offers a shared lounge, a restaurant and bar on the premises, as well as a free airport shuttle, a 24-hour front desk, and tasty breakfast in the morning.
  • Golden Palm Boutique Zanzibar is a gorgeous three-star hotel with an outdoor swimming pool located in Zanzibar City. Aside from the airport shuttle, the 24-hour reception, and the room service, it also offers a beachfront location and a restaurant on the premises.

Tanzania Luxury Hotels

  • Johari Rotana is a five-star hotel and one of the best and most luxurious accommodation options in Dar es Salaam. Located 200 meters from the Zanzibar ferry, it offers quick access to the famous islands. It has a nice indoor pool, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises, as well as all the amenities you can think of.
  • Park Hyatt Zanzibar is the epitome of luxury — there’s quite nothing like it in Zanzibar in terms of amenities, aesthetics, and overall opulence, and it’s worth every penny. Located on the beachfront and boasting a private beach, it has fabulously decorated and equipped rooms, a restaurant, a bar, and a spa and wellness center on the premises.

See All Hotels in Africa

4. Ghana

A unique architecture with arching corners located in the middle of a park.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum. It is dedicated to the first president of Ghana for his outstanding campaign to liberate Ghana from colonial rule. Ghana, Accra – January 11, 2017/Nataly Reinch/Shutterstock

Now, before we slide down to the utmost south of the continent, let’s mingle a little bit in the west of Africa, where we will meet charming Ghana.

It’s definitely an understated gem in this trouble-ridden region, offering a relatively safe haven for you to experience the colorful architecture and the no less vibrant authenticity of the local culture.

Although it has its own natural reserves and parks, it presents an alternative story of Africa, significantly different from the countries in the north or in the east. Ghana is mostly famous for its intricate crafting traditions, lush forests, beautiful beaches, and friendly people.

Their most important cultural expression — aside from the crafts — is music and, by extension, the lively festivals. We recommend that you visit two cities in Ghana: the capital Accra and the coastal historical city called Cape Coast.

Both of them offer a distinct picture of Ghanaian culture and sensibilities. Accra is the largest and most developed city in the country.

Located on the Atlantic Ocean, it boasts the most accommodation options and restaurants, as well as an interesting combination of 19th-century colonial architecture, traditional Ghanaian buildings, and ultra-modern skyscrapers.

Accra is simply the most exciting city in Ghana. It’s packed with nightclubs where you can dance, sing, and have fun deep into the night.

If you happen to be visiting during the festival season, which is generally in May, you’ll see an even more lively and colorful version of the city. Simply put, that’s when you can most learn about the authentic culture of the people of Ghana.

Cape Coast, on the other hand, boasts one of the most important and saddest historical landmarks in Africa: Cape Coast Castle, a place of captivity and torture for countless African slaves throughout history.

On a lighter note, Cape Coast is also a coastal city with plenty of great beaches both inside and near the city.

Read Next: Best & Worst Times to Visit Ghana & What a Trip to Ghana Costs in 2023

Things to Do

  • There are many reasons why you should visit Cape Coast. First, educate yourself about West Africa’s dark times by visiting the 16th-century Cape Coast Castle. The city itself, however, is also lined with colonial buildings and traces of history. That said, Cape Coast is also a great starting point for visiting other nearby sights, such as Kakum National Park.
  • Speaking of, like most countries in Africa, Ghana is famous for its beautiful national parks and reserves. Apart from Kakum National Park, with its suspension bridges, located near Cape Coast, we also recommend Mole National Park, located in the north of the country. Lastly, the Wli Waterfalls near Accra are just as awe-inspiring.
  • Ghana, as we mentioned earlier, is famous for its arts and crafts, making it one of the most interesting and unique places for shopping in Africa. There are plenty of local shops and markets in every city, but Accra is the best in that aspect. We recommend the crowded Makola Market in Accra, which is usually considered one of the largest markets in the whole of Africa. For a “Western” shopping experience, visit the Accra Mall.
  • Ghana has some of the most unique, lively, and colorful festivals in the world. The ones you just have to see should you visit at the right time are the Ashanti Yam Festival, the Damba Festival, and the Akwasidae Festival. They offer a great chance to learn about the culture of Ghana first-hand: they captivate the senses with bright colors, rhythmic music, and intricate dancing and provide a place like no other for tasty Ghanaian cuisine.

Where to Eat

  • Baobab House is a great International and African restaurant located in Cape Coast that also has a lot of healthy options and a myriad of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. Simply put, it’s a great place to try some traditional Ghanaian recipes.
  • The Venue is a versatile European restaurant with a great bar located in Accra. The mission of the restaurant is quite artistic: food is a privilege — and not only a need. Their highly educated chefs and professional staff will give you the meal of your life, especially if you like seafood.
  • Heritage Indian Restaurant located in the capital of Ghana, Accra, is an Indian restaurant and a 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection. It’s probably one of the best Indian restaurants in the country, serving all the street food options in an elaborate atmosphere while offering a fine cocktail list.

Ghana Budget Hotels

  • Rans Hill Lodge is a decent but very cheap two-star hotel located in the historic Cape Coast. The lodge offers free parking on the premises and family rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms. There’s also a nice continental breakfast in the morning.
  • Eastoment Hotel is a two-star accommodation located in the capital of Ghana, Accra. It has a lot to offer, especially considering its low price. Namely, Eastoment has a restaurant, a bar, and a small outdoor pool on the premises, as well as a free airport shuttle available.

Ghana Mid-Range Hotels

  • Brynx Haven – Cape Coast is a beautiful three-star hotel located in the historically important Cape Coast, around a mile from the famous Cape Coast Castle. There’s a restaurant, a bar, and a shared lounge on the premises and rooms equipped with all the amenities.
  • Marrets International Hotel – “Express” is a great three-star hotel located in Cape Coast, near the Fosu Lagoon, one of the most important places in the city. The hotel offers private parking and free Wi-Fi, but also a 24-hour front desk and a very tasty breakfast in the morning.

Ghana Luxury Hotels

  • Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City is probably the most expensive and luxurious hotel in Ghana. Located in Accra, it has five stars, a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bar on the premises. The breakfast in the hotel is especially famous.
  • Accra Marriott Hotel is a gorgeous five-star hotel located in the capital of Ghana, part of the famous Marriott chain of hotels. Close to the airport and boasting all the services, amenities, and luxuries you can think of, it’s also great for business travelers.

See All Hotels in Africa

5. South Africa

Aerial view on a city that is populated with many tall skyscrapers and tall mountains is in the middle of the city.

Deyan Denchev/Shutterstock

We wrap up our story in Africa with the most southern country on the continent, conveniently named South Africa. It’s the only country in our guide — probably with the exception of Egypt — that has it all.

It’s the 24th most populous country in the world, with more than 60 million people from different races and ethnic backgrounds, most of them speaking their own languages.

We recommend South Africa to visitors who prefer a more urban city-centered experience, although its game reserves are not to be shunned at all, either. As we said at the start, the devil is in the details, and in South Africa’s case, the “trademarks” are Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Cape Town is a coastal city sprawling on the piedmont of the idiosyncratic Table Mountain. As expected, there are numerous hiking options but also beaches and entertaining, family-friendly waterfronts, such as Victoria & Alfred.

That said, the Mother City simply doesn’t run out of tricks up its sleeve — it’s arguably the nightlife capital of the continent as well, so it’s truly never a dull moment.

If, on the other hand, you want to find out more about the cruel but very important history of South Africa, set out for Johannesburg. This gigantic city, South Africa’s chief financial center, also boasts the largest man-made forest in the world and the tallest building in Africa.

Moreover, it’s definitely the richest and most luxurious city on the continent.

Johannesburg was also Nelson Mandela’s home for much of his life, and the city now houses the thoughtful Apartheid Museum. One final thing — at around 400 kilometers from Johannesburg, you’ll find Kruger National Park, the first (since 1926) and most famous national park in the country.

It’s as special as the parks and reserves in Kenya and Tanzania, with rich biodiversity, including elephants, rhinos, lions, cheetahs, and leopards.

Read Next: Best & Worst Times to Visit South Africa & Is South Africa Safe to Visit in 2023?

Things to Do

  • Hermanus is a small coastal town on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, around 75 miles from Cape Town. It’s considered the most famous whale-watching spot in the vicinity. The best time to plan your trip there is from June to December, when the gigantic blue whales populate the area.
  • Both Cape Town and Johannesburg are historically important and culturally developed cities and have many museums. While in Cape Town, we recommend that you visit Cape Town Diamond Museum, Heart of Cape Town Museum, and District Six Museum. In Johannesburg — aside from the Apartheid Museum — there’s also the Hector Pieterson Museum and Memorial, the Mandela House and the South African National Museum of Military History.
  • Some of the most beautiful natural beauties on the continent are located in South Africa. Kruger National Park is definitely your first option, but it’s not the only one. We also recommend Mapungubwe National Park inside the Limpopo area, the hike up Lion’s Head in Cape Town, and the Cape Point Nature Reserve. All of them offer different aspects of South Africa’s unforgettable nature.
  • Finally, there are two other things connected to nature that you have to visit: Johannesburg Zoo and Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. They’re mostly suitable for tourists who aren’t comfortable visiting the raw nature of the reserves and prefer a more sheltered experience.

Where to Eat

  • Reverie Social Table is one of those rare places that deserved to be called the 2022 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best. An international restaurant with hyper-seasonal cuisine and using only local ingredients, it offers a perfect South African experience at a really reasonable price.
  • Mozambik Linksfield is a Portuguese seafood restaurant located in Johannesburg. Another 2022 Travelers’ Choice selection, it offers a large space, beautiful views, fresh seafood, and plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
  • Whole Earth Cafe is a great and relatively cheap cafe and breakfast place in Cape Town. It’s the perfect stop before you start your long day of strolling and landmark visiting, a place where you can drink the coffee of your choice, grab a muffin, or eat a salad or a breakfast falafel.

South Africa Budget Hotels

  • Wex 1 Apartments is a very cheap two-star hotel in Cape Town and a great budget option for staying in the capital of South Africa. There’s an outdoor swimming pool on the premises of the hotel, a fitness center, a bar, and a restaurant on the premises of the accommodation.
  • Kingfisher Lodge is a decent two-star accommodation located in Johannesburg. It offers free parking and free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, a fancy outdoor swimming pool, a bar, and a free airport shuttle available. The breakfast in the morning is pretty decent too.

South Africa Mid-Range Hotels

  • Premiere Classe Apartment Hotel is a three-star elegant accommodation in Johannesburg that offers considerably more than what its very low price may suggest. There’s a nice breakfast in the morning, barbeque facilities on the premises, free Wi-Fi, and free parking in front of the hotel.
  • Savoy Lodge is a decent and quite cheap three-star hotel located around 10 minutes from Cape Town International Airport. There’s a free airport shuttle available to take you from there, an outdoor swimming pool, and barbeque facilities on the premises.

South Africa Luxury Hotels

  • The Houghton Hotel, Spa, Wellness & Golf is a luxurious and expensive five-star hotel in Johannesburg that, aside from the elegant premises and fancy rooms, offers a spa and wellness center, as well as a fully equipped golf course. In addition, there are no less than three swimming pools.
  • The Marly Boutique Hotel is a gorgeous five-star hotel in Cape Town, located right on the coast of the South Atlantic Ocean. The hotel offers excellent views of both the ocean and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, and in terms of facilities, you’ll be able to enjoy the great outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant, and bar on the premises.

See All Hotels in Africa

So, Where Should You Stay in Africa?

🏆 Best for First TimersEgypt
👪 Best for FamiliesKenya
🌳 Best to Experience NatureTanzania
💲 Most Budget-Friendly AreaGhana
🏢 Best for Urban ExperienceSouth Africa

It’s no easy task to tell the story of a whole continent only through five countries, but we hope we did a decent job. Now, before we wrap things up, let’s do a quick recap of the five best places to stay in Africa.

  • Egypt is the great mediator between Africa, Europe, and Asia, a place full of history and developed tourism and the best choice for first-time visitors to the continent.
  • Kenya is a large East African country with a beautiful capital, plenty of cheaper and family-friendly Safari options (in comparison to Tanzania), and a developed infrastructure.
  • Tanzania offers the quintessential African experience with the Serengeti National Reserve and Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as the most luxurious safaris in the world.
  • Ghana is the best option in the colorful eastern part of Africa, and it’s a lively and friendly country with a fascinating craft-oriented culture and a lot of cheap accommodation options.
  • South Africa is a very developed and rich country, with a couple of great, huge metropolises in Cape Town and Johannesburg. It’s the best option for those who prefer the urban aspect of Africa.

So, with so much to see and do, what are you waiting for — book your trip to Africa today and experience for yourself all that this picturesque continent has to offer. Happy travels!