Most Expensive African Cities

Most Expensive African Cities

The cost of living in a big city is often too high. The world’s most sought locations are desirable; therefore, living in one will cost you more. However, some cities worldwide are so costly that daily commodities are luxuries. In this article, we look at the most expensive African cities.

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1. Marrakesh, Morocco

The city of Marrakesh, known as the “Red City” is located 327 kilometres southwest of Rabat, Morocco’s capital. It lies north of the snow-capped Atlas Mountain. Established by the Moroccan Berber Empire, luxury, richness, and exotic scenes are synonymous with this Moroccan paradise. Therefore, it’s understandable that living here isn’t cheap. The cost of living here is almost identical to that of Paris, London, New York, and other major cities. Basic utilities like water, electricity and garbage disposal total from $60 to $100 a month. Food is expensive here and can cost around $50 a meal. A three-course dinner for two starts from $60.

2. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia and home to 2 million residents. According to the 2007 national census, 98.64 percent of Addis Ababa’s dwelling units had access to quality drinking water. The infant mortality rate is 45 infant deaths per 1,000 live births, which is lower than the national average of 77.

The Internet connection costs $538,75 per month, which seems unreasonable. A one-bedroom apartment costs $498.73 in the city centre and $288.16 outside the city. The average cost of a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre is $2090. Only 5.6 percent of residents’ money is spent on eating out. Utilities can consume up to 18.2 percent of a person’s salary. Sports and recreation account for around 5% of the total pay.

3. Accra, Ghana

 Accra, a Ghanaian city, is one of the most expensive cities to live in Africa. This is because of the high inflation rates in Ghana. Other reasons include accommodation deficit and few government regulations.

According to a report by numbeo, the monthly expenses of a nuclear family are 1,868$ or 14,056₵ (excluding rent). Accra has the second highest property income ratio in the world, says a  survey done by  Numbeo.

4. Durban, South Africa

This South African city is the third biggest metropolitan of the country and has the busiest port so a lot of people flock to the city. Accordingly, demand is more than supply for living amenities so the cost of living in recent years has skyrocketed.

5. Gaborone, Botswana

Gaborone was once one of the fastest growing cities in the world. This attracted a lot of people both within the country and immigrants as well. The beauty of Gaborone is one of a kind. The supermarkets and other facilities also add up to the expenses. Since about 10% of Botswana’s population lives in Gaborone, there is an excessive and ever-increasing demand for housing. All this has made housing prices very costly.

6. Dakar, Senegal

It is Senegal’s largest city, with a population of 1.15 million people. Dakar is ranked as Senegal’s best city to live in due to the high quality of life. Exclusive rent, a family of four in Dakar would spend $2333.16 a month. A single person’s projected monthly costs exclusive accommodation is $653.17. The median after-tax earnings is $486, which is enough to pay 0.4 months’ worth of living expenditures

Why is it so expensive to live in Dakar? Because maintaining a good quality of living in developing countries is difficult and expensive. As a result, the cost of living in Dakar differs dramatically between residents and ex-pats.

7. Harare, Zimbabwe

It was formerly a metropolis of modern buildings but was substantially destroyed by Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown. Since the country decided to adopt the US currency, which encouraged many investments, there have been a few signals of development.
Despite the economic downturn, Harare is still a lovely place to visit if you stick to the outskirts and enjoy the gorgeous countryside and natural surroundings. Though there are always some posh, pricey places, eating out in Harare is not extremely expensive, especially for a visitor from the West. A excellent restaurant lunch costs around $10-15.

8. Johannesburg, South Africa

Also known as “City of gold”, this megacity counts under most expensive cities in the world. The average monthly rent in Johannesburg’s Northern Suburbs runs from USD$1,377 for a one-bedroom apartment to USD$2,142 for a two-bedroom apartment, while renting a house costs around USD$2,100 for 2BHK, USD$2,800 for 3 BHK, and USD$3,800 for 4BHK.

Utilities such as water, electricity, and gas can cost as much as USD$130 per month.
Johannesburg is home to the majority of South Africa’s internet service providers, so residents may take advantage of anything from wireless Internet to broadband to ADSL and ISDN. Monthly broadband packages range from USD$19 for a 384kbps connection to USD$53 for a 4096 kbps connection.

9. Pretoria, South Africa

Pretoria is one of the capital cities and the legislative centre of South Africa. It also houses a vibrant community of students and professionals. The cost of living is significantly high. However, there are many job opportunities in the city and the salaries are at par with the global average salary around the world.

10. Yaounde, Cameroon

Yaounde is the capital city of Cameroon and the second-largest city in the country, after the port city of Douala. It has a population of more than 2.8 million people. The economy centres on the administrative structure of the civil service and the diplomatic service. Due to these high-profile central structures, the city has a higher standard of living than the rest of Cameroon, making Yaounde one of the most expensive cities in Africa.

11. Bangui, Central African Republic

It is the capital city of the Central African Republic. As of 2012, Bangui had an estimated population of 734,350 people. As the capital of the Central African Republic, it serves as the administrative, trade, and commercial centre. Bangui is a major commercial city in Central Africa, thanks to its river port and connecting routes to other countries. While housing costs are standard, additional costs such as internet, cell phones, furniture, and kitchen appliances are higher, raising the cost of living.

12. Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

Brazzaville is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Congo, constituting the financial and administrative centre of the country. It is estimated to have about 1.8 million people, comprising more than a third of the national population. A preschool in Brazzaville can cost up to five hundred dollars, and international private schools cost an average of six thousand dollars. A two-bedroom apartment in decent neighbourhood costs between five hundred and one thousand dollars, and a single bedroom costs up to two hundred and fifty dollars a month.

13. Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Abidjan is the economic capital of the Ivory Coast and one of the most populated French-speaking cities in Africa. With a population of 4.7 million, it accounts for 20% of the country’s total population as of 2014. Abidjan has many industries and is the largest city in the country.

14. Luanda, Angola

A few years ago, Luanda was the most expensive city in Africa before it was replaced by N’Djamena in 2019. It is Angola’s main port, located on the Atlantic Ocean’s northern coast. Luanda is the administrative centre. In financial terms, on average, you pay five thousand eight hundred dollars per month for a two-bedroom apartment in Luanda. Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world for international residents. Moreover, Luanda became much more expensive after new import duties in 2014. Hundreds of commodities, ranging from garlic to automobiles, faced additional import duties. The goal was to diversify the mainly oil-dependent economy by nurturing agriculture and manufacturing.

15. Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos remains attractive for foreign investment despite being one of the most expensive cities in Africa. It has a population of about 25 million people. Lagos is where over 80% of Nigeria’s imports take place. However, the housing market in the city isn’t bustling. The costs of homes are frequently high due to the city’s enormous population and limited land supply.

Lagos is a cosmopolitan city. To live a middle-class life, you need to have more than just a job.

16. Libreville, Gabon

Libreville is located in west-central Africa, on the city’s support on the Kama River near the Gulf of Guinea, and is a trade centre for timber in the region. As of the 2013 census, the population was seven hundred and three thousand, nine hundred and four people. Given a well-known university and research institutes in Libreville, it is regarded as an important educational centre in Gabon. However, prices are high due to a scarcity of commodities and housing. The city is home to its shipbuilding industry and a booming manufacturing industry. It has spots for raw materials such as wood, rubber, and cocoa from the city’s principal and deepwater ports.

17. Kinshasa, Congo

Kinshasa is the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The city’s population is around 11.8 million. Generally, it’s expensive to import and transport goods because most of them are not available locally and demand is high. Moreover, the infrastructure is poor. In 2005, the average household spent $2,150, which is $1 per person each day. The average household spent $1,555, or 66 cents per person. Food, mainly bread and cereal, accounts for more than half of overall spending among financially weaker families.

18. Victoria, Seychelles

Victoria is the capital city and the largest city of Seychelles. The small island nation, particularly its capital, Victoria, is famous for its pristine beaches, lush nature, and breathtaking views, which have captured the hearts of many visitors. Victoria’s average cost of living is $1721, placing it in the top 21% of the world’s most expensive cities. Exclusive rent, a family of four spends $2,925  per month while a single person needs $807.

19. N’Djamena, Chad

The city has a population of around 1 million people. N’Djamena is the capital and largest city in Chad and the most expensive city in Africa. Experts complain that various items, including safe apartments, are hard to find. For instance, an international daily newspaper costs $7, while a club sandwich and soda can cost as much as $26 due to the expensive nature of food and other necessities. Agriculture is vital to the economy of N’Djamena. It exports livestock, salt, wheat, fish, and cotton. The city also boasts oil and gas industries that draw experts from around the globe. Its high prices are due to high transportation costs.

Also, read: Top 10 most powerful passports in 2022


  • Samayala

    I am a freelance writer and a lifelong learner, currently juggling words for businesses to tell their stories. I am a reader by the day and a writer by the night. Most of the days you can find me working on blog posts for different clients, helping as a ghost writer. I write a variety of blog posts including architecture, current affairs, entertainment, sports, technology, finance, culture and more.

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  • Annabel Onyando

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