Cape Town, March 2019: Launching this month, African City Guide is a brand new, curated platform connecting modern travelers to the best of what Africa’s cities have to offer.
Historically Africa’s vibrant cities have been overlooked by travelers keen to get to the bush for their safari holiday or to the beach to flop in the sun. For many, their experience of the continent’s urban hubs has been limited to a night or two in a soulless airport hotel. However, with the rapid development of African economies in recent years, a new generation of modern business traveler is spending more time in Africa’s cities and is hungry for urban experiences.
Traditionally, traveler information about African cities has been poor, out of date, and unable to keep up with the number of new hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and other attractions opening daily in cities across the continent. African City Guide was created to provide a free, single source of independent travel recommendations for travelers to African cities on a sophisticated, visually stimulating and user-friendly website.
Already covering 25 cities, the independent recommendations come from the travels and research of the founders, as well as from a group of African insiders who share their local knowledge. Insiders such as Entrepreneur Guiyani Monteiro from Maputo who is the founder of Ants, a platform promoting creative disciplines in Johannesburg and Maputo; or Liya Kebede, an Ethiopian supermodel, actress, designer and maternal health advocate who is the Founder and Creative Director of the lemlem brand and the lemlem Foundation; and gallery owner Mehak Viera from Luanda, the Co-founder of the Jahmek Contemporary Art Gallery. It is this inside, on the ground information which differentiates African City Guide from so many other platforms, written by people whose only experience of the destination was a flying visit.
Style was also a key priority for the site’s founders. Imagery has been meticulously chosen to emphasise each city’s uniqueness. Whether it’s the eye-catching, modernist architecture of Maputo or the street art in Dakar, African City Guide aims to surprise as well as inform.
Megan Bowren was inspired to start African City Guide after five years travelling the continent for her job in private equity. “African City Guide allows its users to discover the newest and trendiest places to stay, eat, shop and experience. I was tired of eating in the hotel every evening and knew that there were great places to go, but there was no reliable resource to help me find them’’, says Bowren.
The website is highly curated so that users can choose from a small number of good recommendations, rather than being faced with a mass of unclear options. There are practical sections to help travelers prepare for their trips, and sensible tips for when they arrive, as well as sections on where to stay, eat and drink, shop and what to do in their spare time. Finally, a selection of local charities are recommended, enabling travelers to make a tangible contribution in each of these vibrant and fast growing cities.
About African City Guide:
African City Guide was created by a group of friends and colleagues who travel in Africa for business and pleasure. It was born from the need for a single, reliable, source of curated information, advice and recommendations for African cities.