The COVID-19 era influenced the acceptance of remote work as many workplaces were closed then and people adjusted to working from home. The pandemic called people’s attention to new and exciting ways of working rather than the old days of going to the office every day.
People can now decide to take on short-term jobs rather than the traditional 9-5 ways while choosing where and when to work.
Hence, the Digital Nomads’ life has accelerated greatly. The world is now the new office and different places of the world can be explored as a workspace.
So, this begs the question, where are the new digital workers exploring in Africa? Which African countries or cities are suitable for freelancers?
In this guide, we’ll answer the above questions and many others within the scope. However, before then let’s delve into who a Digital Nomads is properly.
Who Is A Digital Nomad?
Digital nomads are quite similar to remote workers or freelancers. They are people who do not depend on location to work. They can work in any space or place including public libraries, coffee shops, or restaurants, and perform their job with the help of technological devices.
A digital nomad can work part-time or full-time while travelling to new places, connecting their gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, or tablets to the wireless network in these locations. You can become a digital nomad with stable internet access and enjoy travelling amongst other remote workers.
Digital nomads have the luxury to create their work schedule that’s free of the regular 9-5 timetable. The lifestyle of a digital nomad is appealing to many people but figuring out what city or country to travel to is a worrisome experience for most digital nomads.
There are certain conditions to be considered before choosing the best place to work. What makes a good digital nomad destination?
Let’s answer this question swiftly…
What Factors Make A City A Good Destination For Digital Nomads?
Every digital nomad has their unique priority or criteria in choosing their destination. Certain factors make a city or country suitable for digital nomads. Importantly, it should provide a healthy work-life balance.
The following criteria encompass what a good nomad destination should be or have.
Internet Access And Infrastructure
This is arguably the most essential thing that makes a travel destination suitable for digital nomads. The city should have extensive and modern wireless connectivity. Nobody wants to travel to a city and then discover there’s no internet accessibility or it’s poor. Good and relatively cheap internet services are a major priority for every digital nomad.
Every top city should have basic amenities. It’s one of those things that make a city worth a visit. Medical centers, restaurants, pubs, beaches, and many more such amenities are vital to a city’s claim as a digital nomad city.
Cost Of Living & Accommodation
Varied accommodation options with a low standard of living are a combination digital nomads seek in a city. Working online and running a personal business requires someone to be at the top of their game. So, it is essential to have a comfortable apartment where you can live and work productively.
There should be great availability of fully furnished short-term apartments. Hostels or overpopulated shared houses are not the types to stay in as they are noisy and distracting.
The city’s community is important as it determines how convenient making friends will be. Digital nomads are humans and also desire interactions now and then. The place should have coworking spaces and meetups where people can meet and interact. Beyond socializing, a great community also means you become more focused and can meet people to share ideas.
Cafes are not just for coffee, they are great places to work from. However, not every city has great cafes where someone can work. The availability of enough cafes in a city is a big advantage to the work and lifestyle of a digital nomad.
Supermarkets And Markets
Sometimes, Digital nomads can stay in a city for months before changing location or not. So, the availability of good food is important as a city with great supermarkets and local markets where there are various choices of food and vegetables will make the stay comfortable
There’s no point in planning to go somewhere if the visa can’t be obtained. The ease of obtaining a visa should be considered before choosing a city. Getting a visa depends on your passport and your desired destination. The ease or difficulty of getting that visa should be understood before setting out to move.
Now that we’ve got the major criteria to consider before choosing a city, let’s reveal the top places in Africa for a digital nomad based on these criteria.
Best Places For Digital Nomads In Africa
Africa is one of the most attractive destinations to visit because of its amazing people and culture. It’s also a fast-rising tech hub and home for digital and technological advancement as we’ve seen in the last few decades.
You will find an exciting number of startups being developed in top African cities like Lagos, Johannesburg, Accra, and Nairobi. Simply, Africa is a good destination to visit for digital nomads because of;
- The fast-rising startup community
- Low cost of living
- Rich culture and food to experience
- Untapped business potentials
- Beautiful scenery and weather.
Below are cities to visit in Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is the second-largest city in South Africa and a top location for digital nomads because of the lifestyle, culture, and scenery it has to offer. Cape Town has good 5G network coverage for easy internet connectivity. Most coffee shops and accommodations have free wifi, especially in metro areas. The country offers a 3-month visa to tourists which can be extended to 6 months.
There’s no boredom in Cape Town. You will find great leisure activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, paragliding, sailing, cage diving, safaris, and swimming to explore.
You’ll get almost anything you need. The cost of living is expensive compared to most places in Africa but still relatively affordable. The city features plenty of coworking spaces entrepreneurs can enjoy. Popular ones include Cape Town Office, Workshop 17 Kloof street, and Roam.Work. The work-life balance is great for the digital nomad lifestyle
Marrakech is an ancient Berber city located in the northwest region of the continent and It is a digital nomad-friendly environment. The city has many co-working spaces that serve thousands of entrepreneurs and startups. Marrakesh is following the path of the global startup ecosystem to create an entrepreneurial environment for digital nomads across the globe.
The city has excellent internet infrastructure which digital workers can use to get their work done. You’ll find attractive Airbnb accommodations listed for rent. Tourists adore Marrakech and the reasons are not far-fetched. The city is beautiful, accommodating with great work-life balance for foreigners and digital nomads.
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya, an eastern African country. It is a tech center in Kenya and also one of Africa’s largest tech hubs with over 200 grassroots social enterprise startups. The city has fast internet connectivity and more than 30 coworking spaces for digital nomads to choose from.
Nairobi has warm and calm weather with lovely scenery. It’s a modern city so there’s availability of almost everything. Outdoor activities are plentiful including Safaris and hiking trails to keep nomads busy during leisure time. It has a national park that houses the endangered black rhinos, lions, zebras, and giraffes and a big game reserve.
The city has an affordable cost of living and you’ll find plenty of restaurants and markets to visit. Nairobi also has some of the top coworking spaces to work from and about 60 are listed at coworker.com. The most popular choice is AXlr8.
Kampala, the capital city of Uganda located near the banks of Lake Victoria. The city is one of the underrated destinations for digital nomads with the features it offers. It has perfect weather and lots of interesting things or places to visit.
There are plenty of coworking places in the city. Tribe Kampala & Design Hub are the popular ones to visit. Internet connectivity is great but can be poor in some remote parts of the city. The cost of living is low making it a top destination for people with limited funds. Security is not a major concern for foreigners and most people there speak English.
There are plenty of outdoor activities as the city is filled with many valleys, hills, ridges, and top-rated restaurants with exciting nightlife scenes. Because it’s situated near Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake, there are opportunities for swimming, fishing, and boating. The city also has Bwindi National Park, a home to about half of the mountain gorillas in the world.
Africa has numerous top destinations for digital nomads to stay, work and explore. There are also other cities including Lagos-Nigeria, Tunis-Tunisia, Port Louis – Mauritius and Taghazout-Morocco