The Best & Cheapest Cities in Africa You Should See Before You Die

Published: 17 October 2023

The Best Cheapest Cities and Towns: Discover Africa's Hidden Gems


Introduction: Discovering Affordable African Adventures

Are you prepared for a once-in-a-lifetime experience without going broke? With its varied landscapes and deep culture, Africa provides a wealth of free travel destinations just waiting to be discovered. We’ll show you the continent’s greatest and most cheap cities and villages in our travel guide . You just need to be prepared to be amazed by Africa’s grandeur while staying within your budget. But be careful—you could end up falling in love with this extraordinary continent.

1: Vibrant Cape Town, South Africa

 Vibrant Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town: The African Gem

Cape Town is a city that effortlessly blends stunning natural beauty with a vibrant urban scene. With iconic landmarks like Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope, it’s a paradise for nature lovers. Best of all, it’s one of the most budget-friendly cities in Africa. You can explore Table Mountain National Park, hike the Lion’s Head, or visit the colorful Bo-Kaap district for free. Inexpensive dining options, such as local street food like the city of Marrakech, will delight your taste buds without draining your wallet. Explorers flock to Cape Town for its breathtaking landscapes, delicious cuisine, and affordable prices.

Things to do:

Explore the awe-inspiring Table Mountain that beckons you to climb its slopes for panoramic views. Stroll through the charming Bo-Kaap district, where you can admire the vibrantly painted houses and immerse yourself in the local culture. Remember to venture to the iconic Cape of Good Hope, a place that will make you feel like you’re at the edge of the world. If you’re up for an adventure, take a hike to the summit of Lion’s Head, a challenging but rewarding trek that offers breathtaking vistas of the city. And while in Cape Town, be sure to savor the flavors of local street food, a budget-friendly way to enjoy the region’s delicious cuisine.

2: Historic Fez, Morocco

Fez: A Step Back in Time

Nestled in the heart of Morocco, Fez is a city that feels like a living museum. With its well-preserved medieval architecture, bustling souks, and maze-like streets, it’s a time machine that transports you back to the past. You can wander through the historic medina, visit the Bou Inania Madrasa, and explore the tanneries for a modest fee. Plus, street food vendors offer delicious Moroccan delicacies that won’t break the bank. History buffs and culture enthusiasts flock to Fez to explore its ancient streets and relish Moroccan flavors.

Things to do:

You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time as soon as you enter Fez. The medina, or ancient center of the city, is a maze of winding lanes that hides treasures like the beautiful Islamic structure known as the Bou Inania Madrasa. A distinctive sensory experience may be had in the tanneries, where leather has been produced for centuries. The UNESCO-listed Stone Town, where you may meander through alleys rich in history and culture, is the genuine gem of this location.

3: Serene Zanzibar, Tanzania

Zanzibar: The Spice of Africa

Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania, is a paradise for beach lovers and history enthusiasts. With pristine, powdery white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and an intriguing blend of cultures, it’s a slice of heaven on a budget. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Stone Town, known for its winding alleys and vibrant marketplaces. You’ll find affordable guesthouses and street food stalls that serve local delicacies like spiced fish and pilau rice. Zanzibar beckons travelers with its captivating history and tranquil beaches, all without emptying your wallet.

Things to do:

Zanzibar is synonymous with idyllic white-sand beaches, and you’ll have the chance to relax on these powdery shores. But there’s more to this paradise than just beaches; you can dive into crystal-clear waters for an underwater adventure, exploring the vibrant marine life. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, head to Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with narrow alleys and historical sites. Here, you can savor local street food, from spiced fish to aromatic pilau rice, all while keeping your budget intact.

4: Enigmatic Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech: A Tapestry of Color

Marrakech, another Moroccan gem, offers a kaleidoscope of colors, sounds, and aromas. The city’s main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa, transforms into a bustling hub of entertainment come evening, with snake charmers, street food vendors, and musicians. Don’t miss the stunning Majorelle Garden or the historic Saadian Tombs. Accommodations in traditional riads are both charming and affordable. Travelers flock to Marrakech to immerse themselves in its vibrant culture, vibrant markets, and affordable accommodations.

Things to do:

Marrakech offers a sensory overload in the best way possible. The vibrant Jemaa el-Fnaa square is the heart of the city, where you can immerse yourself in its lively atmosphere. The Majorelle Garden, a peaceful oasis, provides a welcome respite from the bustling streets. For history enthusiasts, the Saadian Tombs offer a glimpse into the past. And when it comes to accommodation, think about reserving a traditional riad, which is a lovely and affordable option in this gorgeous city.

5: Magical Kigali, Rwanda

Kigali: The City of a Thousand Hills

Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, has emerged as a modern African city that showcases a blend of natural beauty and urban development. Despite its tragic history, Kigali has risen from the ashes to become a symbol of resilience and hope. Visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial for a sobering yet essential experience. The city’s hills provide stunning viewpoints, and its affordability makes it an excellent choice for backpackers. Travelers are drawn to Kigali for its inspiring transformation, picturesque landscapes, and budget-friendly options.

Things to do:

Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, is a city that has undergone a remarkable transformation. A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial offers a sobering yet essential experience, providing insight into the country’s history and resilience. The city’s hills provide stunning viewpoints, making it an ideal destination for those who love a great view. With a range of affordable accommodations, Kigali caters to all types of travelers.

6: Thriving Accra, Ghana

Accra: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

Accra, the capital of Ghana, is a bustling city with a rich cultural heritage and a dynamic contemporary vibe. Explore the historic Jamestown district with its colorful colonial-era buildings and lively street art. For history buffs, the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum offers insight into Ghana’s independence. Street food like jollof rice and waakye is delicious and budget-friendly. Accra welcomes travelers with its blend of history and modernity, vibrant neighborhoods, and wallet-friendly cuisine.

Things to do:

Accra, the bustling capital of Ghana, is where tradition and modernity intersect. Wander through the historic Jamestown district, with its colorful colonial-era buildings and vibrant street art. Accommodation options are varied, with something to suit every budget, making Accra an attractive destination for all kinds of travelers.

7: Exotic Chefchaouen, Morocco

Chefchaouen: The Blue Pearl

Tucked away in Morocco’s Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a dreamy, blue-hued town that seems plucked from a fairytale. It’s a place of serenity and charm, known for its mesmerizing blue-washed buildings. Wander through its narrow streets, visit the Kasbah Museum, and take in the breathtaking views from the Spanish Mosque. Affordable boutique hotels and cozy cafes make it an attractive budget destination. Explorers seek out Chefchaouen for its enchanting blue streets, cultural richness, and budget-friendly accommodations.

Things to do:

Chefchaouen, also known as the “Blue Pearl,” is a town like no other. As you get lost in its enchanting blue streets, you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled into a living work of art. Beyond the captivating aesthetics, immerse yourself in the local culture, where traditions run deep. For budget-conscious travelers, Chefchaouen offers a range of affordable stays in boutique hotels, and its cozy cafes are perfect for savoring authentic Moroccan flavors.

8: Cultural Dakar, Senegal

Dakar: The Soul of Senegal

Dakar, Senegal’s vibrant capital, is a city that pulses with life, culture, and music. The iconic African Renaissance Monument stands tall, symbolizing the nation’s progress. Don’t miss the Gorée Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the vibrant street markets. Senegalese cuisine, including thieboudienne and yassa poulet, is both delicious and affordable.Travelers are drawn to Dakar for its lively culture, historical significance, and affordable culinary delights.

Things to do:

Dakar, the lively capital of Senegal, pulses with life, culture, and music. Exploring the city’s bustling street markets is an adventure in itself, where you can find unique treasures and delicious local snacks. The iconic African Renaissance Monument stands tall, symbolizing the nation’s progress and the vibrancy of Dakar. To delve deeper into Senegal’s history, a visit to the UNESCO-listed Gorée Island is a must. And don’t forget to indulge in the mouthwatering cuisine, from the national dish thieboudienne to the flavorful yassa poulet.

9: Hidden Gem: Livingstone, Zambia

Livingstone: The Adventure Hub

Nestled near the iconic Victoria Falls, Livingstone is a hidden gem in Zambia. Known as the “Adventure Capital of Africa,” this city offers a range of thrilling activities, from white-water rafting to bungee jumping. While adventures come at a price, accommodations and local food stalls cater to budget-conscious travelers. Livingstone beckons adrenaline junkies with its heart-pounding activities and budget-friendly accommodations.

Things to do:

Livingstone, hidden near the iconic Victoria Falls, is an adventurer’s paradise. Experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the Zambezi River. While adventures come at a cost, affordable accommodations near the falls make Livingstone an attractive choice for travelers seeking both adrenaline-pumping activities and budget-friendly stays.

10: Undiscovered Luang Prabang, Mozambique

Luang Prabang: The Mozambican Marvel

Luang Prabang, not to be confused with the Laotian city of the same name, is a serene coastal town in Mozambique. It’s a paradise for beach bums, with pristine shores and warm waters. Visit the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, take a dhow cruise, or snorkel with whale sharks, all without breaking the bank. Local guesthouses and beachside shacks provide affordable accommodation options. Luang Prabang beckons beach lovers with its tranquil shores, water adventures, and budget-friendly stays.

Things to do:

Luang Prabang, a hidden coastal gem in Mozambique, is a paradise for beach enthusiasts. With pristine shores and warm waters, it’s perfect for relaxation. Explore the Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, set sail on a dhow cruise, or snorkel with the majestic whale sharks. Accommodations are readily available, from charming beachside shacks to affordable guesthouses, providing a range of budget-friendly options.

11: Historic Stone Town, Zanzibar

Stone Town: A Glimpse of the Past

Stone Town, the historic heart of Zanzibar, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that oozes charm and history. Stroll through its narrow, winding streets, visit the House of Wonders, and indulge in local street food. Accommodations, including atmospheric boutique hotels, are reasonably priced, making it an affordable slice of paradise. History enthusiasts flock to Stone Town for its well-preserved heritage, vibrant markets, and budget-friendly lodgings.

Things to do:

Stone Town, the historic heart of Zanzibar, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that immerses you in history, culture, and charm. Stroll through narrow, winding alleys, visit the House of Wonders, and indulge in local street food delights. Atmospheric boutique hotels offer affordable accommodations, creating a truly immersive experience in this enchanting destination.

12: Lively Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi: The City in the Sun

Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, is a thriving metropolis surrounded by natural beauty. The Nairobi National Park is a unique wildlife reserve located just outside the city, where you can see giraffes, lions, and zebras. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust offers an opportunity to meet orphaned elephants up close. With a range of accommodations, from budget hostels to mid-range hotels, Nairobi caters to all types of travelers. Nairobi welcomes travelers with its urban vibrancy, wildlife encounters, and diverse lodging options.

Things to do:

Nairobi, Kenya’s vibrant capital, offers a unique blend of urban life and wildlife experiences. Nairobi National Park is a small park located close to the city. Provides the opportunity to witness lions, giraffes, and other wildlife against the backdrop of the city skyline for an up-close encounter with orphaned elephants. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust must be visited. Nairobi has a selection of lodging choices to meet the needs of any traveler, whether you’re seeking inexpensive hostels or midrange hotels. Whether you’re looking for budget hostels or mid-range hotels, Nairobi offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs.

13: Budget Bliss in Bamako, Mali

Bamako: The Malian Melody

Bamako, the capital of Mali, may not be a typical tourist destination, but it has its unique charm. The National Museum of Mali provides insights into the country’s history and culture. Don’t forget to explore the bustling markets, like the Grand Marché, where you can sample local delicacies. Accommodations in Bamako range from budget-friendly guesthouses to mid-range hotels.Travelers seeking a taste of Mali’s culture, history, and affordability head to Bamako.

Things to do:

Bamako, the capital of Mali, may not be a typical tourist destination, but it has its unique charm. The National Museum of Mali showcases the country’s culture and history. Explore bustling markets like the Grand Marché, where you can sample local delicacies and discover handmade crafts. In terms of accommodations, you’ll find a range of budget-friendly guesthouses and mid-range hotels, making Bamako an excellent choice for those looking to experience Mali’s culture and history without overspending.

14: Enthralling Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira: The Windy City

Essaouira, a coastal gem in Morocco, is a windswept paradise for beach lovers and history enthusiasts. Stroll along its picturesque medina, explore the Skala de la Ville, and relax on the sandy beaches. With a plethora of affordable seafood restaurants and budget-friendly accommodations, Essaouira is a Moroccan delight that won’t break the bank. Essaouira beckons history buffs and beach bums with its coastal charm, historical significance, and affordable dining.

Things to do:

Essaouira, a coastal gem in Morocco, is known for its strong ocean winds and breathtaking beaches. Stroll through the medina’s picturesque streets, visit the Skala de la Ville, and relax on the sandy shores. Seafood lovers will be delighted by the city’s budget-friendly seafood restaurants. Whether you’re seeking cultural enrichment, coastal charm, or affordable dining options, Essaouira has it all.

15: Top Travel Tips and Warnings

Travel Tips: Navigating Africa on a Budget

Before you embark on your budget-friendly African adventure, here are some travel tips to ensure a smooth journey:

  1. Research: Thoroughly research each destination to understand its attractions, costs, and cultural nuances.
  2. Local Cuisine: Embrace street food and local eateries for delicious, affordable meals.
  3. Accommodation: Look for budget-friendly guesthouses, hostels, and boutique hotels in advance.
  4. Transportation: Opt for public transportation, shared taxis, or car rentals for cost-effective travel.

Warnings: Staying Safe on Your African Odyssey

While Africa offers incredible experiences, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges:

  1. Health Precautions: Check if any vaccinations or health precautions are required for your chosen destination.
  2. Safety: Stay informed about the safety situation in each location and take precautions as needed.
  3. Cultural Sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions, and dress appropriately when visiting religious or conservative areas.

Conclusion: Africa Awaits!

Africa is a continent of endless beauty and diverse cultures waiting to be explored on a budget. From the vibrant streets of Marrakech to the tranquil beaches of Zanzibar, these budget-friendly cities and towns offer experiences that will leave you in awe. So pack your bags, follow our travel guide and tips, but always be mindful of the warnings, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime in Africa.

Written by TravelPartnerVa


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