Tourism in Africa

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Roman Ruins In The east Region Of Algeria

Tourism is an important economic sector for many countries in Africa. There are many countries that benefit heavily from tourism like Uganda, Algeria, Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana and Tanzania.[1] The touristic particularity of Africa lies in the wide variety of points of interest, diversity and multitudes of landscapes as well as the rich cultural heritage. Also, an ecotourist industry is present in some African countries (i.e. South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Mozambique, ...).[2]


The continent of Africa can be divided into three groups relative to tourism:

  1. those countries with a developed tourism industry;
  2. those with a developing industry;
  3. those that would like to develop a tourism industry.

Countries like Morocco, Egypt, South Africa and Tunisia have a successful tourism industry. Countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Mauritius can be considered as countries that have steady and consistent income from tourism. Countries like Algeria and Burundi are countries that have little to no economic benefit from tourism, but would like to see it expand.[3]

The successful countries in tourism are thriving due to a variety of factors. Countries like Morocco and Tunisia benefit from their beautiful beaches and their relative proximity to Europe. Tourism in Egypt is based on the rich history of Ancient Egypt, pyramids, artifacts and breathtaking Red Sea beaches. South Africa and Kenya benefit from wild safari expeditions, attracting tourists to see the wildlife of Africa.


Map latitudinal gradient of biodiversity (Mannion 2014), indicating the biodiversity richness of the African continent

Ecotourism is the concept of responsible trips and travel to areas that might be protected and especially fragile. The intent is to create as little detrimental impact on the environment as possible. In some locations (such as Gorongosa National Park) where the wildlife has previously been decimated, rewilding has been done and much of the wildlife has been brought back (along with vegetation, thus allowing the environment to sequester more carbon then what was previously the case). This return of wildlife has created tourism opportunities (wildlife viewing, safari trips) allowing to bring in financial revenue. It also requires personnel such as park rangers, ... to be present, thus creating local employment opportunities.

Tourism by Arrivals[edit]

All of the data presented here is from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and from "Reviewing Africa in the Global Tourism Economy."[4] The following table shows the number of arrivals in each country:

Country[a] Arrivals (2015)
Egypt 17,443,000
Angola 210,000
Botswana 1,559,000
Burundi 148,000
Cameroon 210,000
Cape Verde 198,000
Democratic Republic of the Congo 61,000
Djibouti 30,000
Algeria 4,244,000
Eritrea 83,000
Gambia 111,000
Guinea 45,000
Lesotho 304,000
Mali 143,000
Mauritius 934,827 (2020)[5]
Morocco 9,409,000
São Tomé and Príncipe 11,000
Senegal 769,000
Seychelles 129,000
Sierra Leone 40,000
South Africa 7,518,000
Eswatini 839,000
Togo 81,000
Tunisia 6,378,000
Uganda 1,468,000 (2017)
Zimbabwe 1,559,000

Tourism by Receipts[edit]

The following map and data depict the income from tourism in US dollar equivalent:

Country[b] Receipts (2020) in US$
Botswana 562,000,000
Burundi 2,000,000
Cape Verde 123,000,000
Egypt 16,851,000,000
Eritrea 66,000,000
Kenya 879,000,000
Lesotho 30,000,000
Malawi 26,000,000
Morocco 4,617,000,000
Mozambique 130,000,000
Namibia 348,000,000
Reunion 384,000,000
Seychelles 192,000,000
Sierra Leone 83,000,000
South Africa 7,327,000,000
Sudan 89,000,000
Uganda 1,400,000,000
Tunisia 2,063,000,000
Tanzania 4,468,000,000
Zimbabwe 1,559,000


See also[edit]


  1. ^ WhiteOrange. "Homepage". Ghana Tourism Authourity. Retrieved 2020-09-03.
  2. ^ Africa can Benefit from Nature-based Tourism in a Sustainable Manner
  3. ^ Otieno, Veronica (2018-07-03). "Tourism in Africa information: Facts, Statistics, Tourism in Africa by Country 2018". TINA Magazine. Retrieved 2020-02-17.
  4. ^ Rogerson, Christian (2017). "Reviewing Africa in the global tourism economy", Vol. 24 No. 3 United Nations World Tourism Organization. September 2017.
  5. ^ "Tourist arrival 2020 (mauritius)" (PDF). Retrieved 7 January 2012.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tourism in Africa at Wikimedia Commons

  • South Africa Tours - Official travel operator in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.