Top 50 Most Expensive Cities In Africa (2024)

Whether visiting for business or pleasure it is important to have some idea about the most expensive cities in Africa; this will help one make adequate preparations so as not to be caught off guard, and then run short of cash; possibly ruining the experience for the traveler.

Every city has two sides; that of the locals, and the other for the tourists. Tourists generally spend more for the comforts they enjoy; and expatriate workers general do not find it any cheaper. Regardless of how expensive an African city may be tagged, it will probably compare less to whatever city the visitor from Europe or America is coming from.

Top 50 Most Expensive Cities In Africa

1. Dakar, Senegal

Recent data indicates that Dakar is the most expensive city in Africa at the moment. Dakar is the capital of Senegal; a French speaking country in West Africa. The metropolitan area has a population of around 2.45 million people.

Presently, Dakar is a very attractive city for expatriates, many who come in to seek business opportunities in trade and investments; and they often bring along other expatriates as capable hands to help them guide the affairs of their establishments.

Dakar has exquisite hotels and resorts; and it also has nightclubs and other recreational centers that make it a worthwhile stopover for the tourists who want to take in as much as they can off the continent.

2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa is one of the oldest cities in Africa; it is the headquarters of the old Ethiopian Empire. This is quite an opulent city; after reading the history and seeing pictures of the landmarks, making the decision to visit this city is very easy.

Addis Ababa is one of the most popular cities in Africa; and as such it gets plenty of visitors from all over the world. There are so many prestigious hotels in the city; in fact all the big names in the hotel business have some presence here.

As is consistent with most cities where tourism is very important; there is a high demand for quality goods, which is why things can get quite expensive in this city. The good thing is that the extra costs support jobs in the services sector; which is why the city is quite a thriving commercial hub with a good economy.

3. Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Abidjan is often called the capital of French West Africa; it has very close ties with France, and plays host to countless French businesses and businessmen. Furthermore, Abidjan’s port is the chief port of French West Africa from which raw materials leave, and finished goods arrive. Even finished goods that are meant for other West African countries often arrive at Abidjan for onward movement.

This is also a hub for enjoyment; Abidjan has pristine beaches, great hotels and exotic restaurants. All the best brands of wine and other luxuries are available in the city, and then there are the nightclubs.

Abidjan is quite secure; and the road network also makes transportation efficient. This is one city that any French speaker must endeavor to visit, at least once.

4. Harare, Zimbabwe

Harare is one of the most outrageously expensive cities to live in Africa; and it’s is not a case of luxury but of survival. Harare is the capital and largest city of Zimbabwe in southern Africa. Zimbabwe has been hit over the last decade by economic sanctions, and as a result it currency has depreciated alarmingly.

As a result most of the population cannot get their everyday needs such as sugar, bread, or noodles. Reports indicates that even the costs of table water have gone up beyond what many can afford.

Visitors intending to spend some time in Harare will therefore need to spend extra money; especially when staying at a hotel because aside from the costs of accommodation, the hotels have to factor in their expensive to provide you with water, food, drinks, and any other thing that can make your stay more pleasant.

5. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg is the richest city in Africa; and it is quite surprising that it is comparatively cheap despite the enormous wealth held in the city. Johannesburg was founded on gold; and although that industry has dwindled in importance to the city; other industries have since taken its place.

Today, Johannesburg is powered by mining, finance, hospitality, entertainment, and services. The city has a population of about 5.6 million people, and it is quite trendy. All the luxuries a person could ever want are found in Johannesburg, and although the city is quite expensive; it is less so than many cities on the continent.

Most Johannesburg residents are quite comfortable; and as a result they are not averse to spending money on the things the need.

6. Pretoria, South Africa

Pretoria is one of the best places to live on the continent; as the capital city of South Africa, it is so well planned and managed that it rivals any city of its kind in Europe and America. Pretoria is full of government establishments; all working to keep the country running smoothly.

This abundance of government offices creates great demand for office space, for services, for residential places, as well as everything the workers and residents need to go about their daily lives stress free.

Whenever there is great demand, prices generally go up; which is why it is no surprise therefore that Pretoria is so expensive. Nevertheless; it is quite a great place to live and work; the sheer efficiency of everything about the city makes it a lovely place to be.

7. Gaborone, Botswana

Gaborone, Botswana is famously expensive, and with good reason. This small country has managed to become quite developed in terms of economy. Gaborone has a land area of about 169km2. But within that small land area there are shopping malls, game reserves, a museum and art gallery, several hotels and restaurants, and many other attractions.

These attractions receive plenty of patronage; Botswana’s, with one of the highest GDP per capita figures on the continent, have money to spare. This fine city is certainly worth visiting; anyone who wants to know what a rapidly developing city in Africa looks like should spend some time in Gaborone.

8. Cape Town

Cape Town is another beautiful, attractive, but also somewhat expensive city in South Africa. This is a city of about 4.7 million people, most of whom are young.

Cape Town is South Africa’s oldest country, and it is also the seat of the country’s parliament. However, this does not stop the city from being quite young and centered on youth.

Cape Town has many beaches and water front resorts, it also has an impressive collection of beautiful hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs. This is one of the major cities in South Africa, and the whole region, and as a result, a visit to the country without experiencing Cape Town would be a wasted one.

Interesting sights to see in the city include the Cape Town Stadium, Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain, as well as the V&A Waterfront.

9. Durban

Durban is yet another South African city- and it is perhaps the finest of them all. Durban is unique in the landscape but most of all for its culture. It has been described as the cultural melting pot of Africa; where the cultures of the east, west, and south meet up and are fused into one.

Durban’s population is made up of Asians, Europeans, Africans, and so much more. Aside from those who are South African by birth, the city is also popular with visitors who come in to get a little taste of what this great city is all about.

Durban is the most leisurely of South Africa’s major cities; it has several beaches, restaurants, hotels and nightclubs. In fact the nightlife is a major feature of this city.

10. Marrakech

Marrakech in Morocco is often described as an ancient and the most well preserved city in Africa. As a result of this popularity, people come in to see what all the talk is about. Marrakech has several attractions such as the palaces, the Medina, the city walls, and then the Kutubiya Mosque.

Nevertheless, the biggest attraction to this great city is the people; one cannot help but admire the way they move about the city dressed in traditional attire. The famous tea houses in the city also offer much to reflect upon; one can drink traditional teas while listening to music played by traditional musicians, using traditional instruments.

This city and all within it gives one a hint of what life was like in the region hundreds of years ago. Of course, such an experienced should come at some cost. What you pay goes towards preserving the way of this great city, there are many cheap options to most things one can spend money on- one only has to ask around.

The following is a more complete list of the most expensive cities in Africa

Rank Country Region
1 Dakar, Senegal West Africa
2 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia East Africa
3 Abidjan, Ivory Coast West Africa
4 Harare, Zimbabwe Southern Africa
5 Johannesburg, South Africa Southern Africa
6 Pretoria, South Africa Southern Africa
7 Gaborone, Botswana Southern Africa
8 Cape Town Southern Africa
9 Durban, South Africa Southern Africa
10 Marrakesh, Morocco North Africa
11 Accra, Ghana West Africa
12 Lagos, Nigeria West Africa
13 Tangier, Morocco North Africa
14 Casablanca, Morocco North Africa
15 Kampala, Uganda East Africa
16 Windhoek, Namibia Southern Africa
17 Lome, Togo West Africa
18 Maseru, Lesotho Southern Africa
19 Kampala, Uganda East Africa
20 Eswatini Southern Africa
21 Kinshasa Congo Central Africa
22 Bamako, Mali West Africa
23 Tunis North Africa
24 Alexandra, Egypt North Africa
25 Port Harcourt West Africa
26 Rundu, Namibia Southern Africa
27 Sokode, Togo West Africa
28 Kumasi, Ghana West Africa
29 Delta, Nigeria West Africa
30 Nairobi, Kenya East Africa
31 Kisumu, Kenya East Africa
32 Algiers, Algeria North Africa
33 Dar es salaam, Tanzania East Africa
34 Sissako, Mali West Africa
35 Teyeteyaneng, Lesotho Southern Africa
36 Kigali, Rwanda
37 Agadir, morocco North Africa
38 Tripoli, Libya North Africa
39 Cairo, Egypt North Africa
40 Giza Egypt North Africa
41 Rabat, morocco North Africa
42 Brazzaville, Congo DR Central Africa
43 Malabo, Equatorial guinea  Central Africa
44 Sao tome and Principe Central Africa
45 Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Southern Africa
46 Mutare, Zimbabwe Southern Africa
47 Djibouti city, Djibouti East Africa
48 Bangui, CAR Central Africa
49 Niamey, Niger Republic West Africa
50 Moroni, Comoros East Africa



The most expensive cities in Africa often do not chose their designation; it is sometimes forced upon them by circumstances beyond their control. Sometimes an influx of visitors can drive prices high through unusual demand for luxury goods; and this can have a ripple effect on the larger economy over time. Sometimes it is the political forces that can have an impact in a country’s standard of living, by driving up prices of certain important commodities.

One thing is clear, however; in the interest of the residents; no city wants to be expensive- even those who have become so are actively looking for solutions to the problem of high cost of living. Whatever city you decide to visit; the experience will certainly be worth the costs you pay.

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