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Africa Capitals

Egypt: Cairo

A large part of the Egyptian population lives in the capital Cairo, which is one of the largest cities in the world. Cairo is also the largest city in Africa. We don't know exactly how many people live in this city, because nobody has to officially register here. The city's population is estimated to be more than 18 million. If you include the region around the city, there are even around 20 million inhabitants.

Modernity and tradition meet in Cairo. There is an older part of the city and a modern part of the city, which is often in great chaos. The traffic is loud and hectic and many people do not dare to cross the street on foot.

But Cairo is also an old Islamic city ​​with a lot of mosques. In 969 Cairo was founded as "Al-Kahira", which means "the Victorious". In the Egyptian Museum you can see many testimonies of ancient Egyptian culture. The famous pyramids of Giza are very close to the outskirts.

Algeria: Algiers

Algiers is the capital of Algeria. Algiers lies on the Mediterranean Sea and is also the largest city in the country with 3.5 million inhabitants. Six million people live in the entire region. The old town (Kasbah) forms the old core of the city. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle from the 16th century, mosques, palaces and narrow streets characterize the picture here. Algiers is also called "the white one" because the white houses shine brightly in the sun.

Angola: Luanda

6.7 million inhabitants were counted in Luanda. But the city is growing and growing and it is assumed that more than ten million people live in the city and the areas around it. Luanda is also one of the largest cities on the African continent. By the way, many people speak Portuguese here.

The region around the capital is very flat, the mountain landscapes only begin a little further south. The city is divided into an older part, in which buildings from the colonial era can also be discovered and which is located near the harbor, and a newer part, which continues to grow. The capital is also the economic center of the country, as there is also an important port here.

Equatorial Guinea: Malabo

The capital of Equatorial Guinea is Malabo. It is not on the mainland, but on the island of Bioko. There it is on the north coast. 250,000 people live here. The largest city in the country, however, is Bata on the mainland with around 970,000 inhabitants.

Ethiopia: Addis Ababa

The capital of Ethiopia is located exactly in the middle of the country. It lies at a tremendous height of 2200 to 3000 meters and is the third highest capital in the world. By the way, the highest capital is Quito in Ecuador at an altitude of 2850 meters. Addis Ababa is not only politically the capital, but also the economic center of the country. More than three million people live here.

Here modernity and poverty live side by side. The city is home to luxury hotels, shopping malls, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, schools, museums and much more. On the one hand, Addis Ababa is one of the most modern cities in Africa and a cosmopolitan city. On the other hand, there are many poor people living here.

Benin: Porto Novo

The capital of Benin is called Porto Novo. This is Portuguese and means "New Port". Porto Novo is in the south of the country. Besides her, Cotonou also plays an important role. That's where the government sits. As a port city, Cotonou is also of great economic importance. With around 800,000 inhabitants, Cotonou is also larger than Porto Novo (270,000 inhabitants) and the largest city in the country.

Botswana: Gaborone

The capital of Botswana is called Gaborone. It was named after an important chief of the country. It is located in the southeast of Botswana. 232,000 people live in Gaborone. This makes it the largest city in the country. In 1966, the year of independence, Gaborone was a village with just 1000 inhabitants. But then a little later diamonds were found in northern Botswana and the city developed quickly.

Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou

Ouagadougou is the capital of Burkina Faso. It is said: Wa-ga-du-gu. It is often abbreviated to Ouaga. The city is pretty much in the middle of the country. It is also the largest city in the country. In 2006 there were 1.5 million inhabitants, today there are probably a few more.

Burundi: Gitega

The current capital is called Gitega, it is also the second largest city in the country. It was also the capital of the former kingdom of the same name. It has only been the capital since 2018.

The capital of Burundi used to be called Bujumbura. This city is located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the southwest of the country. This is also the administrative center as well as the economic center of the country. The new capital is about 60 kilometers from the old one. It is still the largest city in the country, but just no longer the capital.

Djibouti: Djibouti City

The capital is called Djibouti City or just Djibouti, just like the country. The city of Djibouti is right at the entrance to the Gulf of Tadjoura. There is also a port here that is particularly important for Ethiopia and its economy. There is also an international airport in Djibouti.

Many people live in the city of Djibouti, as more and more people are moving from the countryside to the cities. But many end up in the slums. The population is estimated to be around half a million. If you want to read more about Djibouti City, you can find more information under "Everyday Life".

Ivory Coast: Yamoussoukro

Yamoussoukro is the capital but not the largest city in the country. It's called Abidjan and was once the capital. In 1983 Yamoussoukro became the new capital, the hometown of the then President Felix Houphouët-Boigny. It is spoken: Jamussukro. While Abidjan is on the coast, Yamoussoukro is further north, almost in the middle of the country. The city is surrounded by the savannah.

Yamoussou was a ruler of the Baule, one of the largest tribes in Ivory Coast. 1901, during the colonial periodtime, it ruled in the village of N'Gokro, which was at this point. Yamoussou ensured that a quarrel between the Baule and the French was peacefully ended. The place was then renamed in her honor. "Kro" means "city" in the Baule language. So Yamoussoukro means city of Yamoussou.

Eritrea: Asmara

The capital of Eritrea is called Asmara. It is located in the highlands at an altitude of 2350 meters. About 650,000 people live here. In the capital you can still find beautiful buildings, some of which date from the Italian colonial era. There are cinemas and mosques, Catholic churches and churches of the Eritrean Orthodox Church.

Asmara is very different from other major African cities. The city is clean, there is little air pollution and traffic is orderly. But at the same time there is very great poverty in the city, no matter how beautiful the outer facade looks.

Eswatini: Mbabane

The capital of Eswatini is called Mbabane. You can find them in the Mdimba Mountains in the Highveld. About 90,000 people live in Mbabane. In addition to the city of Manzini, it is also the center of the country's administration and economy. The city is named after a ruler named Mdabane Kunene, who lived around 1902, during the time of the British Protectorate.

Gabon: Libreville

The capital of Gabon is Libreville. This is French and means "free city". It was founded in 1949 for freed slaves, modeled on Freetown in Sierra Leone. Libreville is located on the Atlantic Ocean on Corisco Bay. Around 800,000 people live here. This makes Libreville the largest city in Gabon.

Gambia: Banjul

The capital of Gambia is Banjul. Banjul is located on an island in the Atlantic. It is close to the mainland and connected to it by roads, but Banjul cannot grow as a result. It is one of the smaller cities with only 32,000 inhabitants. The largest city, however, is Serekunda with about 415,000 inhabitants. Serekunda is also on the Atlantic Ocean and is not far from Banjul, but is on the mainland.

Ghana: Accra

Ghana's capital is called Accra. It is located on the coast in the very south of the country. Accra is the largest city of Ghana. 2.3 million people live here.

Accra was founded by the Ga in the 15th century These African people wanted to trade with the Portuguese sailors who were exploring the coasts of West Africa at the time.

Guinea: Conakry

Conakry is the capital of Guinea. It is located on the Atlantic Ocean and is the largest city in the country with around 2.5 million inhabitants. It is also the economic center of the country and has an important port.

Guinea-Bissau: Bissau

Bissau is the capital of the country and also serves to distinguish it from neighboring Guinea. Bissau is located on the northern bank of the broad mouth of the Geba River. Around 410,000 people live in Bissau, around a quarter of the country's total population.

Cameroon: Yaoundé

Cameroon's capital is Yaoundé. In German it is also written Yaoundé. Around 2.5 million people live here. Yaoundé is in the south inland. The city was built on several hills. Around them there are some higher mountains such as Mont Mbankolo and Mont Fébé. It is also surrounded by tropical rainforest. Yaoundé is not the largest city in the country, it is Douala on the coast with around three million inhabitants.

Cape Verde: Praia

The capital of Cape Verde is called Praia. Praia is located on the largest island of Cape Verde, on Santiago, in the very south. 132,000 people live in Praia. "Praia" means beach. The neighboring town of Ribeira Grande used to be the capital of Cape Verde. In order to save the port fees there, many ships docked in the nearby village of Santa Maria. From this then Praia developed. It has been the capital of Cape Verde since 1770.

Kenya: Nairobi

Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and is often referred to as the "City in the Sun" or "City of Flowers". More than four million people live here. Nairobi's city center is not that different from a European city center. There are numerous high-rise buildings here, and people go shopping in large and small shops. But Nairobi has one special feature to offer: almost nowhere is the wilderness as close as here. Because the Nairobi National Park is practically at the gates of the city.

Nairobi is a modern and a rapidly growing city. It is one of the highest cities in Africa and also an important trading centerin East Africa. It is not particularly old, it was only built in 1899 as part of the expansion of a railway line.

Comoros: Nyazidja 

The capital of the Comoros, which is called Moroni, is on Nyazidja.

Democratic Republic Congo: Kinshasa

The capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Kinshasa. Kinshasa is located in the west of the country on the Congo River. At this point it expands to a lake, the Malebo pool. On the opposite bank is the capital of the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville.

Kinshasa has a population of around eleven million. It is the third largest city in Africa after Cairo (Egypt) and Lagos (Nigeria). Economically, politically and culturally, Kinshasa is the center of the country. It was founded in 1881 as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley. He named the place Léopoldville after the Belgian King Leopold, on whose behalf he was traveling. From 1923 Léopoldville was the capital of the Belgian Congo. In 1966 the city was named Kinshasa after a village that once existed here.

Republic Congo: Brazzaville

The capital of the Republic of the Congo is called Brazzaville. It is located in the southeast of the country on the banks of the Congo River, which here widens like a lake to the Malebo pool (formerly: Stanleypool). On the opposite bank is the capital of the DR Congo, Kinshasa.

The landmark of Brazzaville is the Tour Nabemba. With a height of 106 meters, it is the tallest building in Central Africa. In 1883 the city was founded by Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza as a trading center. Today around 1.7 million people live here. This makes Brazzaville the largest city in the country, followed by Pointe-Noire with around 720,000 inhabitants.

Lesotho: Maseru

Maseru is the name of the capital of Lesotho. Most of the people live near the capital and this is where the country's most important agricultural area is located. Maseru is on the Caledon River. Maseru is also the only major city in Lesotho. After all, the city is 1550 meters above sea level.

The airport is also in Maseru and this is where the country's main roads meet. You will also find banks, hotels and restaurants here. There is a lot of traffic, companies have settled here and children go to different schools. The city even has a stadium, the Setsoto Stadium. People like to play football here. The country's university is very close to the capital, about 35 kilometers away in the small town of Roma.

Liberia: Monrovia

Monrovia is the capital of Liberia. It is located on the coast, roughly in the middle of the country. Here the Saint Paul River flows into the sea. About one million people live in Monrovia. Monrovia got its name because it was used to honor the American President James Monroe in 1824.

Libya: Tripoli

Libya's capital is Tripoli. The word is derived from the Greek and means "three cities". This is what the Greeks called this region in which the three ancient cities of Oea, Sabratha and Leptis Magna were located. Today's Tripoli was originally Oea, but the name Tripoli was then transferred to the largest of the three cities.

Tripoli is located on the Mediterranean Sea, in the northwest of Libya. About 1.8 million people live here. Tripoli is the country's political, economic and cultural center.

Madagascar: Antananarivo

The capital of Madagascar is called Antananarivo and you can find it in the center of the island at an altitude of up to 1435 meters. The government and administration of the country can also be found here. Translated, Antananarivo means "city of a thousand".

Lac Anosy lies in the middle of the city. It was built around this lake in 1625 and the lake is still in the center today. The city is best known for its Friday market, which has now been divided from a single square to several because there was always a lot of traffic chaos in the city on market day.

Malawi: Lilongwe

The capital of the country is called Lilongwe and is located in the southwest of Malawi on the Lilongwe River. Around 730,000 people live there. There are large lots and wide streets here. The city was not founded until 1947. It came about as a result of careful planning. There are many Indian shops here.

Mali: Bamako

The largest city in Mali and also the capital of the country is Bamako. Bamako has 1.8 million inhabitants. It has been growing for years. Bamako is located in the southwest of Mali on the Niger.

Morocco: Rabat

Rabat is the capital of Morocco. It is located on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Bou-Regreg River. Around 600,000 people live in Rabat. Together with the sister city Salé on the opposite bank, even 1.2 million people live here.

However, Rabat is not the largest city in the country because that is Casablanca with 3.6 million inhabitants. But Rabat is one of the four royal cities of Morocco. Here and in Fez, Meknes and Marrakech lived the kings and their families who had ruled the country since the 9th century.

Mauritania: Nouakchott

The capital of Mauritania is Nouakchott. It is located on the coast and is the largest city in the country with around 900,000 inhabitants. Nouakchott has the second largest port in the country (the largest is in Nouadhibou, in the far north on the coast).

Mauritius: Port Louis

The capital of Mauritius is called Port Louis. Once founded by the British, it is now a modern city. 170,000 people live here. There is a citadel, the UNESCO heritage site Aapravasi Ghat and a museum where an unstamped copy of the famous postage stamp, the Blue Mauritius, can be admired. The city's port is also important, as it is a transshipment point for many goods imported from or into the country.

Mozambique: Maputo

The capital of the country is called Maputo. The second largest city in the country is Beira. Mozambique is divided into eleven provinces and borders with six states. From north to south these are: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland.

Namibia: Windhoek

Windhoek is the capital of Namibia. Around 450,000 people live in Windhoek. Windhoek is 1,600 meters above sea level and is surrounded by high mountains. Windhoek has a pleasant climate and the sun shines 300 days a year.

The city's population is growing rapidly. Many people immigrate, especially from neighboring Angola, but then mostly end up in the city's slums. Here people live in simple huts they built themselves. In addition to the slums, in which mostly the black population lives, there are also many districts for the wealthy citizens. There are magnificent villas here, often from the colonial era.

Niger: Niamey

The capital of Niger is Niamey. It lies on the banks of the Niger River and has a population of one million. It is also the largest city in Niger. Niamey is the center of the country not only politically, but also economically and culturally.

Nigeria: Abuja

The capital of Nigeria is Abuja. It's pretty much in the middle of the country. Abuja only became the capital in 1991, replacing Lagos, which is on the coast. With the choice of the new capital one wanted to choose a place that lies exactly in the middle between the north of the country, where mainly Muslims live, and the south, where mainly Christians live.

There is always a lot of argument between the two religious followers. With Abuja as the capital, both groups should have equal access to political power in the country. Abuja has 1.6 million inhabitants. The largest city is still Lagos with more than 13 million inhabitants. Lagos is actually the second largest city in Africa (after Cairo )!

Rwanda: Kigali

The capital of the country is called Kigali. By the way, "Ki" is pronounced like "Tschi", so it sounds like Tschigali. Kigali lies at an altitude of 1540 meters between Mount Kigali and Mount Jali. The city is spread over many small hills within a green landscape. Kigali is also known as the "garden city".

1.16 million people live in Kigali. There is a market here and also an old Muslim quarter that is well worth seeing. Kigali was founded by a German named Richart Kandt. Other large cities in Rwanda are Ruhengeri, Gisenyi and Butare.

Zambia: Lusaka

The capital of Zambia is Lusaka. Like many cities in Africa, Lusaka proves that Africa is not only made of wilderness and beautiful landscapes, but also has a modern side. With all the consequences that such developments bring with them. There is a lot of construction going on and some things seem chaotic at first glance. Cars, people, traffic noise and construction noise shape the cityscape at first glance.

But there are also many markets where the Zambians sell their goods, whether fruit, fish or meat, whether car parts or toys or clothes. The capital is growing. New shops are emerging, old buildings are being restored and modern office buildings are reaching the sky. Lusaka is one of the fastest growing cities in central Africa.

Sao Tome and Principe: São Tomé

The capital of São Tomé and Príncipe is called São Tomé and is located on São Tomé! There it is located on the northeast coast. The city has about 57,000 inhabitants. There is an airport and a ring road.

In 1493 the city was founded by the Portuguese Alvaro Caminha. The name of the city translates as "Saint Thomas". The island was "discovered" on the day of St. Thomas the Apostle, December 21st. That was in 1471.

Senegal: Dakar

The capital of Senegal is Dakar. Dakar is located on the Cape Vert Peninsula and thus on the Atlantic. 2.5 million people live in Dakar. The city continues to grow due to high birth rates and rural exodus and now occupies the entire peninsula.

Due to its location, Dakar is the westernmost city in Africa. It is also known for the Dakar Rally, a long-distance desert rally, the goal of which it was annually until 2007.

Seychelles: Victoria

The capital of the Republic of the Seychelles is called Victoria and is located on the island of Mahé. It is also the only major city on the islands.

Sierra Leone: Freetown

Freetown is the capital of Sierra Leone. It is located on the Freetown Peninsula and is also the largest city in the country with a population of more than 800,000. With a port and industry, Freetown is also the country's economic center. In 1787, freed slaves settled in what was now called the "Free City".

Zimbabwe: Harare

The capital of Zimbabwe is called Harare. It used to be called Salisbury, after a British politician named Salisbury, until the country became independent. The Zimbabweans renamed the city and named it Harare, after an important chief of the country.

It is located in the northeast of Zimbabwe. About 1.5 million people live there. Since there are also many townships here, in which mainly the poorest population congregates, the exact dates are not known and so the actual number of inhabitants is probably much higher.

Somalia: Mogadishu

The capital of Somalia is called Mogadishu. Mogadishu is located relatively far south on the Indian Ocean. It was a few years ago that this city was called the "Pearl of East Africa". Mogadishu was a rich trading city. Mogadishu is also home to one of the oldest Islamic buildings in Africa: the Fakr-ad-Din mosque.

The civil war hit this city very hard and many people had to flee Mogadishu. While some fled the city, others also came from regions of civil war and sought refuge in the city again. It is estimated that around a million people live here. Mogadishu is also the country's economic center.

South Africa: Pretoria

The capital of South Africa is called Pretoria. In 2005 the city council decided to change the name to Tshwane. The renaming was finally decided in 2016. However, the city is known worldwide by the old name. 2.9 million people live in it.

The Parliament of South Africa sits way, not in Pretoria, but in Cape Town. The largest city in the country is Johannesburg. The country is divided into nine provinces.

Sudan: Khartoum

The capital of Sudan is called Khartoum. Translated it means "elephant trunk". The two tributaries of the Nile, the White and the Blue Nile, meet here. The city is located at the intersection of the two tributaries of the Nile. Since this looks like the end of a trunk, it was given this name.

If you look at a map of Sudan, Khartoum is roughly in the middle of Sudan. The city is also the center of the country. This is where the government and administration of the country and the university are located. Today Khartoum is a modern city with several million inhabitants, as the city is composed of several parts.

South Sudan: Juba

The capital of South Sudan is called Juba and is located in the south of the country. It spreads on the western bank of the Nile. There is a bridge here - the Juba Bridge - which connects South Sudan with Uganda.

Tanzania: Dodoma

The official capital of the country is called Dodoma. Only 200,000 people live here. The German colonial rulers founded this city. It is in the middle of the country.

The seat of government, however, is in Dar es Salaam, which you can also read as Dar-es-Salam. The seat of government and the economic center of the country are also located here. Dar es Salaama is located by the sea and is a typical African city with a hectic pace and traffic, but also the liveliness and joy typical of Africa that characterize many people.

Togo: Lomé

The capital of Togo is Lomé. The city has 760,000 inhabitants. Lomé was founded in the 18th century by the Ewe people, who mainly live in Togo and Ghana. At first Lomé was just a village, but from 1882 it developed into a trading center. In 1897 the German colonial administration moved its headquarters from Togoville to Lomé. In 1904 a jetty was opened, which brought shipping traffic to bloom. In the 1960s, a deep-water port was built at this point. Togo's first railway line was also built from Lomé. This is how Lomé became the trading center of Togo and it is still today.

Chad: N'Djamena

The capital of Chad is called N'Djamena. It is also the largest city in the country with a million inhabitants. N'Djamena is located at the confluence of the Shari and Logone rivers. The shari also forms the border with Cameroon here. N'Djamena was founded as Fort Lamy in 1900 by a French colonial administrator. In 1973 it was renamed N'Djamena. That is the name of a small place nearby in Arabic.

Tunisia: Tunis

Tunis is the capital of Tunisia. The country was even named after its capital. It is believed that Tunis is the oldest city in northern Africa. For a long time it stood in the shadow of the more famous Carthage. But after the Romans Carthage in 146 BC. The economic and cultural importance of Tunis grew.

In this colorful city you will find evidence of Arab culture such as mosques next to modern office buildings that could just as easily be in Frankfurt or Paris. You will discover colorful and lively trading districts that almost look like they were in the Middle Ages, right next to glass shopping centers and luxury shops. Huge bazaars with traditional goods and African art make the city come alive. By the way, many goods are produced on site. In Tunisia you can buy leather goods, copper and silver goods, fabrics and clothing, carpets and blankets in the souks. Action is common.

Uganda: Kampala

The capital of Uganda is Kampala. It is located at an altitude of 1000 meters, the "hill of the antelopes". When the city was founded, many antelopes are said to have lived there. Many people are now drawn to the capital, which is therefore always full. 1.7 million people live here. Entebbe was the capital of Uganda until 1962. The city is located about 40 kilometers south of Kampala on a peninsula in Lake Victoria.

Central African Republic: Bangui

The capital of the Central African Republic is Bangui. It is located in the southwest of the country on the Ubangi River. On the other bank is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bangui was founded as a French base in 1889. Today it is the largest city in the country with around 740,000 inhabitants.

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