Skip to Content

These Are The Top 5 Destinations In Africa For Digital Nomads

Share The Article

Last Updated


Africa may not be the first continent that comes to mind when we're talking digital nomad hotspots.

It has a reputation for being underdeveloped, at least among a majority of Americans, and also has more restrictive visa requirements adopted by several African nations — it is currently the least-open continent to U.S. passport holders. These factors continue to discourage tourism.

Although short-term tourism is yet to kick off, perhaps surprisingly, a growing number of nomads and long-term travelers have been journeying to Africa in search of remote work opportunities.

woman in morocco

Unlike their counterparts who travel domestically within the States or only go as far as country-hopping in Europe, digital nomads basing themselves in Africa are looking not only for places with a lower cost of living but, more broadly, life-changing experiences — and they seem to have their favorites.

These are the top 5 destinations for digital nomads in North Africa, as verified in a recent study:

The Top 5 Most Popular African Cities For Digital Nomads

A study carried out by Resume.io has tracked the use of the #digitalnomad hashtag in social media, and their engagement across African nations, compiling a total of 25,976 Instagram publications.

In their ranking of destinations, data analysts ‘extrapolated' the estimated number of ‘geotags' in each post, quantifying how often a particular place was tagged or mentioned by the community.

Panoramic View Of The Nairobi Cityscape, Capital Of Kenya, Sub Saharan Africa

It's important to note that this seems to be a limited study, as it focuses exclusively on social media, or more specifically, Instagram posts, and it may not reflect the preferences and travel trends of the wider nomad community outside of Instagram, but it does give us an insight into where remote workers are likely to travel in Africa.

The most popular cities are the following:

5. Hurghada, Egypt

One of Egypt's trendiest resort zones, Hurghada is a medium-sized city on the shores of the Red Sea and a popular off-season getaway for both Europeans and Americans alike.

With its vibrant nightlife, which sets it apart from other more traditional, conservative Egyptian cities, and year-round warm weather, it presents nomads with the lively social scene they normally crave, and the endless hours of sunshine needed to chase the winter blues away.

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

A Landmark Mosque In Hurghada, A City On The Coast Of The Red Sea In Egypt, North Africa

Hurghada is incredibly multicultural, hosting a large expat community, and is particularly favored by beach bums, who flock to its spotless beaches and crystal-clear swimming spots.

Although luxurious beachfront resorts are Hurghada's primary tourist offer, budget nomads will find plenty of three-star listings with nightly rates starting at just US$18, youth hostels, and other affordable Bed & Breakfast rentals for long-term stays to choose from on Booking.com.

Downsides: Winters may be mild to warm, but Hurghada can be unbearably hot and dry in summer, when temperatures can easily reach 100 degrees and over, which may feel unpleasant to some. Additionally, the quality of roads and infrastructure beyond the well-developed tourist zone is said to be poor.

A Young Woman Wearing A Yellow Dress As She Steps Down An Old Stone Stairway In Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, North Africa

4. Luxor, Egypt

The only country to feature twice on this list, Egypt charts the legendary river port of Luxor at number four.

On the banks of the historic River Nile, it is one of the oldest cities in the world, boasting a boundless cultural wealth, as well as an up-and-coming wellness destination.

It attracts mainly two sub-categories of nomads: History buffs, who are drawn to its impossibly ancient monuments, some of which date to the 16th-century B.C., and wellness seekers, known to cocoon up in luxurious enclaves in search of utter relaxation and some peace of mind.

A Sailing Boat In The Nile, Close To Luxor, Egypt, North Africa

Staying in the area, nomads can book overnight stays in five-star resorts for as cheap as US$51 when in need of some seclusion and simply to treat themselves during their Luxor stint or explore the province's numerous archaeological complexes.

The most famous, the Valley of the Kings, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising a series of pharaoh and noblemen tombs carved out of limestone and other sedimentary material. It is where the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in 1922.

Downsides: Nomads residing in Luxor have complained about the slow internet speed, an issue across Egypt in general, unfriendly attitudes towards openly LGBTQ+ individuals, and the locals' lack of proficiency in English, which may lead to communication difficulties.

Ramses II Sculpture In An Unspecified Location In Egypt, North Africa

3. Nairobi, Kenya

Ranking third on the list, Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, an increasingly trendy country famous for its Sub-Saharan nature, wildlife, safari parks, and stunning coastline.

Previously ignored by a majority of international resort brands and the traveler community, Kenya is cementing its status as an off-path luxury, long-term travel hub, with new exciting openings taking place this year, including a JW Marriott safari property, and major investments in critical infrastructure.

Nairobi is winning the hearts of remote workers due to its unique cityscape.

A Giraffe Photographed In Kenya, Africa

A rapidly-growing metropolis, it rises out of an unspoiled African nature reserve: a journey of majestic giraffes grazing with skyscrapers for a backdrop isn't at all a strange sight here.

As reported in the study, the number of co-working spaces and nomad-friendly cafes is ‘also on the rise', though Nairobi is yet to be overtaken by the internationalization trend noted in other nomad spots. Basing yourself here, you will be among the first to discover its many hidden gems.

Downsides: Long-term residents have pointed out that Nairobi can feel ‘crowded' – it is after all home to over 4 million people – and it is not as safe for female travelers.

Aerial View Of Nairobi At Dusk, Capital City Of Kenya, Sub Saharan Africa

2. Marrakech, Morocco

The fourth largest urban concentration in Morocco, Marrakech is dubbed the ‘red' gem of North Africa due to the warm, earthy tones of its walled medina – an old Arab word for fortified city.

Serving as the gateway to the Western Sahara desert and the landmark Atlas mountain range, one of the tallest peaks in the entire continent, it is easily Morocco's most popular city break and perhaps the best-equipped and most culturally-diverse destination on this list.

Panoramic sunset view of Marrakech and old medina, Morocco

Marrakech is made up not only of native Moroccans but a significant foreign community, living either inside the medina walls, where all of the charming cafes and traditional restaurants are centered or the surprisingly modern ‘new city'.

Some of the top-rated attractions in Marrakech include Bahia Palace, an imperial residence adorned with colorful tiles, the Mediterranean-style Jardin Majorelle, a beautifully-kept garden where you can escape the hot winds and jam-packed narrow alleys, medieval madrasas, and the historic Koutoubia Mosque.

Downsides: Scamming and petty crimes are very common in Morocco, and as Western tourists stand out the most, they are advised to maintain a high level of situational awareness and avoid unnecessary interactions with strangers, particularly inside the medina.

Colorful Spices Photographed At A Marrakech Souk, Morocco, North Africa

1. Cape Town

South Africa's oldest city and its legislative capital, Cape Town leads the list with the most impressions on social media.

Straddling the Southern Atlantic Sea, it is famous for being an exciting modern city with unparalleled natural attributes, from golden sand stretches bounded by the azure ocean, interspersed with rugged patches of the coast, to a mountainous hinterland.

Two of South Africa's main sights can be found here, including Table Mountain, a high plateau commanding a breathtaking panorama of Cape Town's urban sprawl.

Aerial View Of Cape Town, South Africa, On A Sunny Afternoon, Taken During A Helicopter Tour

From this viewpoint, Cape Town is easily recognized for landmarks such as the Cape Town Stadium and the picturesque V&A waterfront, and the deep blue waters of the Atlantic beyond.

It is described as being a digital nomad-friendly city, with an abundance of co-working spaces and internet cafes, as well as wide availability of affordable accommodations.

Luckily for Americans, with increased flight connectivity between the U.S. and South Africa and the axing of the pandemic-era border regulations, relocating temporarily as a nomad to Cape Town has never been easier.

Brightly-Painted Houses In Cape Town, The Legislative Capital Of South Africa, Sub Saharan Africa

Downsides: Although Cape Town is perceived as being more developed than other cities in South Africa, the country as a whole is undergoing civil unrest in recent months, as racial tensions begin anew, and power shortages are reported across major urban settlements. Americans residing in South Africa are not encouraged to leave, but they must keep up to date with any recent developments.

↓ Join Our Community ↓

The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations, and Q&A's happening daily! 

Travel-off-Path-group-1-1
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS

Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Marrakech

downsides – scamming


Jacques

Saturday 8th of July 2023

Useful info.