As a travel destination, most people consider Africa a land of desert adventures, safaris, and secluded beaches. Yes, this continent is a great place for nature tourism, wildlife viewing, outdoor adventures or finding the next best beach destination before everyone else does. But its cities, often overlooked by tourists, offer a great alternative to the nightlife destinations in Europe and the Americas. Africa’s best nightlife cities are filled with live music, thumping dance clubs, sleek lounges and a unique atmosphere that is you just wont find in other parts of the world.

This is a huge continent, but these cities all have fun entertainment options that are quite accessible to tourists.

As a travel destination, most people consider Africa a land of desert adventures, safaris, and secluded beaches. Yes, this continent is a great place for nature tourism, wildlife viewing, outdoor adventures or finding the next best beach destination before everyone else does. But its cities, often overlooked by tourists, offer a great alternative to the nightlife destinations in Europe and the Americas. Africa’s best nightlife cities are filled with live music, thumping dance clubs, sleek lounges and a unique atmosphere that is you just wont find in other parts of the world.

This is a huge continent, but these cities all have fun entertainment options that are quite accessible to tourists.

Maputo

Maputo
Photo: quiquemendizabal / Flickr

Mozambique’s capital city is a vibrant place with a fun-loving vibe and some really interesting nightspots. The great thing about this Mozambican metropolis is that you can hang out in casual bars and local cafes, but also have the option of partying in glitzy nightclubs and unique lounges. Maputo’s most famous high-end party spot is Coconuts, a huge club with multiple dance floors and even a pool with swim-up bars. Whether you spend a lot or not, Maputo offers a good time, with a kind of fun-loving atmosphere that is similar to what you’ll find in other lusophone nations.

Lome

Lome
Photo: Panoramas / Flickr

Lome does not find its way onto many tourists’ maps, but the capitol of the West African nation of Togo has some great nightlife. Like the other top African nightlife destinations on this list, it boasts a lot of diversity. Laid-back local bars are on the menu, as are sleek lounges and upscale clubs. Ultra-cool bars like La Villa wouldn’t be out-of-place on a “best of” list in any European city. There are also lots of cultural and folk music performances, attended by locals and travelers alike, that can add another dimension to your after-dark adventures. There are plenty of places to party with locals in the Rue de la Gare, Lome’s central nightlife area.

Cape Town

Cape Town
Photo: Blyzz / Flickr

OK, so Cape Town does have its share of clubs, but if you really want to see this city at its best, head to the cool lounges, laid-back pubs, and high quality wine bars. Cape Town is a stylish city, and what it does, it does better than anywhere else in Africa. Long Street is the epicenter of the nightlife scene, and people who come here will be able to try all different types of venues. If you don’t want to dance the night away, Cape Town is a great choice because it has a high concentration of jazz bars, with even some places that have DJs and dancing on the weekend hosting jazz artists during the week.

Mindelo

Mindelo
Photo: veritatem / Flickr

This town in Cape Verde on the island of Sao Vicente is the perfect place to come if you want to enjoy an island vibe and great music. Live music is heard everywhere here, and many local bars play a mix of traditional tunes and pop. Local bars on Santo Antonio Street offer a happy-go-lucky atmosphere and some really great prices on drinks. Many are simple bars, but they have informal dance floors that can actually get pretty crowded later in the evening.

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa
Photo: David Bailey MBE / Flickr

Addis is a safe city that has a great nightlife scene. There is plenty of live music to be found here, from pop and dance-music DJs to reggae bands and rappers. Local bars and pub get packed on the weekends, so if you are seeking a fun party atmosphere, this is a good place to come. Ethiopia’s capitol also has a lot of sleek lounges and clubs, both the kind that cater to people who just want to party and to people who don’t mind having to dress up to fit the dress code.

Have you spent time enjoying Africa’s best cities? Let us know which nightlife scenes we should add to our list.

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Africa’s Best Cities for Nightlife

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