4. Abidjan, Ivory Coast: 4,765,000
This Ivory Coast city is so crowded that it contains 20% of the population of the entire country. Thanks to the construction of a new wharf back in 1931, Abidjan entered into a period of swift expansion. Because it was originally a French colony, it contains an amalgam of cultures and languages. While the political capital of Ivory Coast is Yamoussoukro, Abidjan is officially designated its economic capital.
Abidjan is a popular destination for tourists, sometimes called the “Manhattan of the Tropics.” Here you will find white sand beaches, a lively nightlife, and an incredible national park known as “Parc du Banco.”
3. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo: 10,130,000
Next we have Kinshasa, often grouped together with Brazzaville, which is located across the Congo River. Brazzaville is the capital of the Republic of Congo, with a population of 1.37 million. Kinshasa has over 10 million residents, so combined, that adds up to around 12 million. Despite their geographical proximity, however, these two cities function relatively independently of one another due to differences in infrastructure and politics.
If you are in Kinshasa, the top thing to do is definitely to visit Lola ya Bonobo, a park where you can see bonobo monkeys. Also check out the serene Ma Vallee park and the National Museum of Kinshasa.
2. Cairo, Egypt: 20,230,350
Known as The City of a Thousand Minarets, Cairo is probably Africa’s most famous city, thanks to its proximity to a number of important archaeological sites such as the Giza pyramid complex and the ruins of the city of Memphis. It is not only the second largest city in Africa, but also the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East and the 15th largest globally.
While you are here, you will of course want to visit the Pyramids and the Sphinx. But don’t miss out on everything else that Cairo has to offer. Social networking site Badoo ranked it as the “world’s most 24-hour city.” The thriving nightlife includes not only your typical nightclubs and bars, but late-night cafes as well. This is one of the few cities around the world which offers nighttime activities not just for adults, but also for families with kids.
1. Lagos, Nigeria: 16,060,303
Lagos is the largest city in Africa and Lagos is growing rapidly. It has the highest GDP on the continent, making it a key financial centre. It actually spans a number of districts across several islands as well as the coast itself. Much of its economic activity revolves around its status as a busy port. While the standard of living here is considered one of the best in Africa, there are still large segments of the population without running water.
If you visit, come for one of Lagos’ annual festivals, like the Lagos Black Heritage Carnival. Also be sure to check out the beautiful sandy beaches and stay at one of Lagos’ five star resorts.
You now have a greater feel for the amazing diversity of cultures and languages represented through Africa’s biggest cities.
Wherever you choose to travel when you visit Africa, you will find plenty to see and do in these biggest cities of Africa as you explore the continent’s urban centres!
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