Cape Town ranked best city in Africa and Middle East

by FariedaJuly 12, 2019

The results are out and it’s official: Cape Town was voted best African and Middle Eastern City, beating rivals Cairo and Tel Aviv.

Prestigious travel magazine Travel + Leisure (T+L) asked their readers what they look for when choosing the best cities in Africa and the Middle East. The results are in and Cape Town beat all the other shiny cities to the top.

Most travellers want a “strong sense of historical and cultural identity,” as well as vibrant shopping, food and hotel scenes, and beautiful scenery. And which African city checks all these boxes? Why, Cape Town, of course!

It’s no surprise then that this year’s World’s Best Awards survey puts Cape Town in the top-voted spot for the 18th time. Cape Town beat Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Cairo and Dubai among others to the coveted spot.

The scores were calculated based on readers’ opinions on everything from islands to cruise ships, spas, hotels and airlines. In addition, they looked at landmarks, culture, cuisine, shopping and friendliness.

Top 10 African and Middle Eastern cities

Cape Town’s score of 85.86 ensured the Mother City’s spot as a WBA Hall of Fame Honoree as well.

That said, the competition was close. Additionally, Jerusalem in the Middle East had to be happy with the second spot and an 85.46 score.

Moreover, Marrakesh in Morocco landed in third place with 85.11. Dropping below the 85-mark and missing it by a whisker was Beirut, Lebanon with a score of 84.48.

Other contenders included Fez, Morocco with 82.98, Tel Aviv with 82.42, Essaouira, Morocco with 82.10, Muscat, Oman with 81.17, Dubai, United Arab Emirates with 81.16, as well as Luxor, Egypt with a score of 81.03.

Cape Town’s favourite landmarks

According to T+L, Cape Town has gone from strength to strength ever since the Mother City hosted the World Cup in 2010.


The statement adds:

“Classic hotels such as Ellerman House, Cape Grace, and the Belmond Mount Nelson (fresh from a major face-lift) have been complemented by the arrival of contemporary contenders like the Silo and Gorgeous George.”


Foodie lovers voted Luke Dale-Roberts’ 2010 launch of the Test Kitchen as the pivotal point that set off a wave of restaurants opening that still attracts tourists, nearly a decade later.

Arts and Culture

From an arts perspective, the 2017 launch of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa at the V&A Waterfront also secured Cape Town’s position as a major player on the art scene.

“Some things, of course, don’t change: the monumental Table Mountain and the rugged coastline around Hout Bay will always make this one of the continent’s most strikingly beautiful destinations.”

The Top 10 city hotels in Africa

In addition to the Top 10 cities nomination, Cape Town hotels were also strongly represented on the T+L World’s Best Awards. The Top 10 cities in Africa are as follows:

  • Victoria & Alfred Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa, 85.50 score
  • Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town, South Africa, 86.62
  • Four Seasons Hotel, The Westcliff, Johannesburg, South Africa, 89.26
  • Table Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, 89.41
  • Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya, 90.00
  • One&Only Cape Town, South Africa, 90.45
  • Cape Grace, Cape Town, South Africa, 94.35
  • The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town, South Africa, 95.06
  • Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, Johannesburg, South Africa, 96.63
  • Ellerman House, Cape Town, 97.60

The Top 10 Safari Lodges in Africa

An African safari is the type of getaway that stays with you long after you’ve returned home. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Here at the winners for the top Safari lodges in Africa.

  • Matetsi Victoria Falls, Matetsi Private Game Reserve, Zimbabwe, 95.95
  • andBeyond Bateleur Camp, Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, 96.49
  • Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 96.22
  • Lion Sands Game Reserve, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa, 96.90
  • The Highlands, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania, 96.84
  • Londolozi, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa, 97.45
  • The Bushcamp Company’s Mfuwe Lodge, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, 97.87
  • Singita Grumeti, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 98.12
  • Gibb’s Farm, Karatu, Tanzania, 98.56
  • Singita Sabi Sand, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa, 98.59


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