Most Underrated City in Africa to Visit in 2024 - InvestingChannel

Most Underrated City in Africa to Visit in 2024

In this article, we will reveal the most underrated city in Africa to visit in 2024. If you wish to look at our detailed rankings and analysis, please switch over to the 20 Most Underrated Cities in Africa to Visit in 2024.

Africa Unveiled: Exploring the Untapped Potential of a Continent’s Tourism

In the vast tapestry of global tourism, the beauty of Africa remains an underutilized speck. UNWTO reports that as of 2023, international tourist arrivals in Africa accounted for just 5.1% of the worldwide volume. This comes even though tourism in Africa swiftly recovered to 96% of pre-pandemic volumes in 2023, with only the Middle East having a better recovery. Yet, much like a pearl that remains concealed behind an uncomely shell, the vast savannahs and bustling cities of Africa remain overlooked due to factors such as a lack of digital infrastructure, safety concerns, and other socio-political reasons.

According to Euromonitor International, online sales account for nearly 50% of global travel sales, however, in Middle East & Africa, this figure is closer to 30%. Similarly, data from Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) shows that the percentage of individuals who make or receive digital payments in Sub-Saharan Africa remains 15% lower than the global average. Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) reveals that this is despite the fact that more individuals in the region are making digital payments than ever before.

A lack of digital infrastructure massively undermines tourism in Africa and based on trends shared by Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT), it may prove even more detrimental in the coming summer. According to Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT), 80% of modern-day travelers feel it’s important to be able to book their trip entirely online.

Moreover, in a survey of travel providers in South Africa, Flywire Corporation (NASDAQ: FLYW) reported that travel providers now believe that having better AI and digital tools is essential for sustaining tourism. According to Flywire Corporation (NASDAQ: FLYW), 82% of providers revealed that their customers have been asking for more digital amenities or tools. In addition, Flywire Corporation (NASDAQ: FLYW) reports that digital payment tools are the ones that providers consider most crucial to improving customer satisfaction.

However, on a positive note, the 2024 travel trends report by Mastercard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) shows that between 2019 and 2024, the percentage of tourism cash volumes (cash carried as a percentage of total travel spending) reduced by 10% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, a rise in demand for authentic and immersive vacations may also prove beneficial for growth in African tourism. More and more tourists are now ditching conventional hotspots in search of meaningful travel experiences, as part of a trend called experiential travel.

“Even with ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty, travel demand has remained strong as consumers continue to prioritize the value of experiences and connections over things.”

– Kevin Jacobs, CFO & President, Global Development, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT)

As tourists scour the remote reaches of the world in search of destination dupes, the rugged and untapped beauty of Africa has incredible potential to steal the show. Recently, several African nations have made major strides to uplift tourism in their respective countries. South Africa has offered visa waivers on 90-day stays to almost 132 countries, including 32 in Africa. Similarly, Angola expanded its visa exemptions list to 98 countries in December. Other nations such as Rwanda, Gambia, Benin, and Seychelles have all waived visa restrictions for African tourists.

While some destinations such as Cape Town and Cairo already host a fair share of international tourists each year, some of the most beautiful places in Africa continue to be ignored. If you’re unfamiliar with the Mother Continent’s best tourist spots, you might be wondering about the best place to visit in Africa for first timers, or perhaps the safest place to visit in Africa. If so, join us as we look at the most underrated cities in Africa to visit in 2024. Alternatively, you may be interested in similarly visit-worthy destinations in Asia or Europe.

Most Underrated City in Africa to Visit in 2024 20 Most Underrated Cities in Africa to Visit in 2024

Our Methodology

To develop our list of the most underrated cities in Africa to visit in 2024, we used existing articles from sources such as our list of Cheapest Cities to Visit in Africa, CN Traveler, and The Travel. The most recommended items were shortlisted and scored on 2 metrics. The first metric was the frequency with which each article was recommended. The second metric was a ranking factor scored on the basis of safety, online reviews for popular attractions, as well as other useful feedback on forums such as Reddit. Each city’s score was then accumulated across both metrics to obtain our Insider Monkey score. The list was sorted in descending order, with the top 20 items being selected as the most underrated cities in Africa to visit in 2024.

The most underrated city in Africa to visit in 2024 is Zanzibar City.

1. Zanzibar City, Tanzania

Insider Monkey Score: 10.8

US Travel Advisory for Country: Level 2

If you’re looking for a destination that has it all, the Zanzibar City in Tanzania is the best place to vacation. At Zanzibar City, you will find Stone Town, a world heritage site that operated as a trading post along the spice, silk, and slave trade routes. Many of the colonial era landmarks are preserved, including the Old Fort, the House of Wonder, as well as various cathedrals & mosques. Moreover, the Zanzibar Archipelago is home to pristine white sand beaches where you can spend your days sipping coconut water, diving among corals, or swimming alongside dolphins.


Eager to uncover more African travel gems? Check out our entire list of 20 Most Underrated Cities in Africa to Visit in 2024.


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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.

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