With a landmass of 30.37 million square kilometres, a plethora of cultures, and home to some of the world’s most up and coming cities, a trip to Africa should conjure up more than just the image of safaris, wildlife and desert planes. Centres of commerce and culture, the cities of Africa are where almost half of the African population reside. Yet with tourists often exploring Africa via the more traditional path of safaris, the vibrancy of many African cities is yet to be uncovered by mainstream globetrotters.

With cheap flights to Africa making the sound of exploring the continent even more tempting, we’ve put together a list of our ten favourite cities to check out:

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a city that is a must to tick off the bucket list. Home to the oldest wine industry outside of Europe, you’d be forgiven for spending your time in Cape Town touring vineyards and sampling the local Shiraz. But if you get a chance, we recommend a hike up Table Mountain. Be sure to pick a sunny day, where those embarking on the two-hour hike are rewarded with clear views of the stunning South African landscape.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Dubbed the city of gold due to a rich underground supply which propelled the city’s economy for quite some time, Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest city. We recommend an outing to the suburb of Maboneng for a bustling urban hub filled with galleries, bars and live music venues.

Marrakesh, Morocco

Filled with luxury resorts, Marrakesh is an exotic metropolis full of colour, art and culture. Be sure to venture inside the Medina Walls of the old city to experience the souks. Filled with jewellery, fabrics and spices, you’ll come away with more than just a sense of adventure.

Fez, Morocco

North of Marrakesh you’ll find Fez, a small city hailing from the 8th century. If you’re keen to treat yourself, head to Restaurant Numéro 7 for traditional Moroccan flavours. With locally sourced ingredients prepared by world-renowned chefs, this culinary gem is a must-do for foodies in Fez.

Cairo, Egypt

Home to 22 million residents, the bustling Arab city of Cairo is famous for its hospitality, food and local arts scene. But of course, no trip to Egypt would be complete without an excursion to one of the pyramids and tombs dotted about the desert. The Sphinx of Giza is a particularly iconic ancient masterpiece, leaving visitors in awe for over 4000 years. Cheap flights to Cairo from various parts of Europe have opened up this city for exploration.

Alexandria, Egypt

Another Egyptian city steeped in history, the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria was famously a hub of ancient knowledge founded by Alexander the Great. Built in homage to the great ancient library torched by the Romans, the Bibliotheca Alexandria opened in 2002. Venture over to check out its host of museums and breath-taking architecture.

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi is one of the only places in the world where you can truly experience city and safari in the same day. Boasting a national park filled with a host of African wildlife less than an hour’s drive from the city, you truly get the best of both worlds. Take a game drive to see leopards, giraffes, zebras, baboons and more.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

A charming capital city, Addis Ababa is home to some of the best coffee in the world. Take a break from sightseeing and stop in a local spot for a coffee ceremony. Brewed in ornamental urns over a traditional charcoal brazier, this strong coffee is served as it would be in a local Ethiopian home.

Lusaka, Zambia

Lusaka offers a quintessentially African experience, with bustling markets at the heart of the city’s commercial culture. When in Zambia, however, the main event really is Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River. The falls can be heard from over 40 kilometres away, but the breathtaking natural beauty of the falls really is best witnessed close-up.

Dakar, Senegal

A cosmopolitan centre where the beach meets the city, Dakar is a bustling metropolis at the heart of West Africa. Head over to Senegal in the dry season to make the most of the stunning beaches and hectic markets. It might take you by surprise to learn that Dakar is home is known for its vibrant nightlife and live music scene!

Looking for cheap flights to Africa? Aunt Betty finds cheap fares across the globe so you can focus on planning your next adventure.