Africa is amongst the leading tourist destinations around the world.
Tourism is one of the top economic activities in Africa, not only through foreign exchange but also through job creation.
The most visited countries in Africa are those that have invested in improving and managing their tourist destinations.
Not only is Africa endowed with many touristic sites, but is also rich in cultural diversity, exclusive cuisine, wildlife and mineral resources and is blessed with favorable climate, that enjoys sunshine for most of the year.
As the years go by, Africa’s tourism industry has continued to increase steadily.
Here are the most visited countries in Africa;
1. Morocco(10-12.3 million visitors per year):
Morocco is a country located in the Maghreb region of North Africa, with a population of over 36 million people.
In 2018, travel and tourism contributed 19% to Morocco’s GDP.
In Morocco, tourism employs more than 2.5 million people, accounting for almost 25% of the total Moroccan workforce.
Morocco receives between 10 million to 12.3 million visitors per year.
2. South Africa(9-12 million visitors per year):
South Africa is currently the second most visited country in Africa, receiving 9 million to 12 million visitors annually.
South Africa is a country located in the southernmost part of Africa, with a population of over 58 million people.
In 2018, tourism sector directly accounted for 2.8% of South Africa’s Real GDP and indirectly accounted for 9.2% of the GDP.
Tourism accounts for 4.2% of employment in South Africa.
3. Egypt(8-12 million visitors per year):
Egypt is a transcontinental Mediterranean country, spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia.
In 2018, tourism contributed 11.9% to the Egyptian economy, as the sector brought in a whooping sum of $29.6billion.
In 2018, the travel and tourism sector of Egypt grew by 16.5%.
The sector provided 2.48 million jobs, which accounted for 9.5% of total employment.
Presently, the tourism sector of employs 3 million workers and accounts for up to 20% of Egypt’s GDP.
Egypt receives between 8 million to 12 million visitors per year.
4. Tunisia(7-10 million visitors per year):
Tunisia is situated in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Its name was derived from its capital city, “Tunis.”
Tourism is the second largest employer in Tunisia, after agriculture.
Tourism accounts for about 8% of Tunisia’s total employment and is one of the most important sectors of the economy.
The tourism sector contributes about 14.2% to Tunisia’s GDP and guarantees job opportunities for a minimum of 2 million Tunisians.
Tunisia receives 7-10 million tourists, on a yearly basis.
5. Algeria(1.5-3 million visitors per year):
Algeria is the largest country in Africa, as well as the 10th largest in the world, by surface area.
Algeria is also home to the famous Sahara desert.
Algeria has an estimated population of 42.23 million people.
Algeria receives 1.5-3 million international tourists per year.
The Algerian travel and tourism sector directly contributed $5billion to its GDP in 2016, which is equivalent to 3.6% of total GDP but when indirect contributions were added, it rose to $10billion, which is equivalent to 7.4% of the GDP.
The Algerian tourism sector employed 731,500 people indirectly, which is equivalent to 6.5% of total employment.
6. Zimbabwe(1.5-2.8 million visitors per year):
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa, attracting a total of 1.5-2.8 million visitors per year.
Tourism is a major source of foreign exchange for Zimbabwe.
In 2018, tourism and travel contributed 6.3% to Zimbabwe’s GDP.
The tourism sector contributes over $500million to the national economy of Zimbabwe, on a yearly basis.
With a population of about 50 million people, Zimbabwe’s tourism sector employs 200,000 people directly and many others indirectly.
7. Ivory Coast(1.5-2.7 million visitors per year):
With a population of about 23.7 million people, Ivory Coast is the most biodiverse country in Africa.
Ivory Coast receives 1.5-2.7 million visitors annually.
The tourism sector of Ivory Coast has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years.
The contribution of tourism sector to the GDP of Ivory Coast stood at just 0.6% in 2011 but by 2015, it rose to 4.8% and further rose to 7.5% in April, 2017, contributing a whooping sum of $2.3billion.
8. Kenya(1.4-2.5 million visitors per year):
Kenya is the 48th largest country in the world, by surface area.
The capital and largest city of Kenya is Nairobi while the oldest city and former capital, is the coastal city of Mombasa.
Kenya receives millions of visitors yearly. Mombasa is the common destination, with its sandy beaches and cultural events.
The total contribution of the tourism industry to Kenya’s GDP stood at $5.9billion in 2015.
Tourism is a major source of direct and indirect employment, as well as foreign exchange earnings in Kenya.
9. Namibia(1.4-2 million visitors per year):
Namibia is situated in the southern part of Africa, with a population of about 2.2 million people.
In Namibia, the tourism sector is the highest earning industry.
In Namibia, tourism employs a significant number of individuals, both directly and indirectly.
Every year, approximately 1.4-2 million tourists visit Namibia.
10. Uganda(1-1.8 million visitors):
Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa, with a population of about 42.7 million people.
In Uganda, tourism is focused on landscapes and wildlife.
Tourism is a major driver of investment, employment and foreign exchange, which contributed about $1.88billion to the Ugandan economy, as of 2013.
Every year, Uganda attracts an estimated 1-1.8 million tourists in the country.
In 2018, Uganda reached its peak, with 1.8 million visitors.