Report: The Fastest-Growing African Countries for Airbnb Guests

This week Airbnb is celebrating the first ever Africa Travel Summit, an event bringing together innovators in tourism to discuss how technology can be used to accelerate inclusive and sustainable economic growth through travel across the African continent. Held in Cape Town from September 11-13, the Summit will convene over 200 Pan-African founders, CEOs, influencers and politicians, and will begin with an opening keynote by Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs at Airbnb, who will reveal a new report on how Airbnb is promoting travel that is local, diverse and inclusive in South Africa.

The Summit comes at a time when Airbnb is growing rapidly in Africa–especially in South Africa. The Airbnb community has grown quickly as guests from every corner of the world come to Africa to explore local destinations, participate in unique, one-of-a-kind Experiences, and connect with hosts from diverse communities across the continent. Over the past few years, destinations across Africa have emerged to become some of the fastest-growing Airbnb markets in the world.


guests have arrived at listings on Airbnb across Africa to date


Airbnb listings available across Africa

Over 3.5 million guests have arrived at listings on Airbnb across Africa to date, with roughly half of these arrivals occurring in just the past year. Of the top eight fastest-growing countries in the world for Airbnb guest arrivals, three are located in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, and Mozambique.

There are over 130,000 Airbnb listings across Africa. And across the continent, some of the top destinations are growing fast:

Growth in Guest Arrivals (as of July 1, 2018) Year over Year






South Africa

In fact, seven countries in Africa have seen guest arrivals more than double in the past year.

Growth in Guest Arrivals (as of July 1, 2018) Year over Year


Cote D’Ivoire




Egypt & Zimbabwe

And in South Africa, though Cape Town is the most popular destination, other markets across the country have grown quickly:

Growth in Guest Arrivals (as of July 1, 2018) Year over Year:


Plettenberg Bay





According to an internal Airbnb survey of guests who traveled to South Africa in 2017, an overwhelming 82 percent say they are more likely to return to South Africa due to Airbnb. The survey data also demonstrates that guests are choosing to use Airbnb when they visit South Africa because they’re seeking a different travel experience, one where they can live like a local and explore specific, local neighborhoods. Airbnb guests to South Africa also specifically view Airbnb as a more environmentally friendly, authentic way to travel, with greater benefit to the local economies where they are traveling.

Airbnb guests are coming to Africa to explore unique, amazing homes across the continent, and they’re staying with a thriving array of hosts. In South Africa, 65 percent of Airbnb home hosts are women–one of the highest percentages for any country in the world.


of survey respondents said they are more likely to return to South Africa because of Airbnb


of Airbnb home hosts are women, one of the highest percentages for any country in the world

Here are some of the Most Wish Listed Homes on Airbnb across Africa:

Modern Two Bedroom Penthouse (Lagos, Nigeria)
Modern Chic Penthouse (Cape Town, South Africa)
Green Oasis with Bougainvillea (Casablanca, Morocco)
The Brandy Bus (Nairobi, Kenya)

In addition to staying in Homes on Airbnb, guests to South Africa can also book an Airbnb Experience, participating in magical, handcrafted activities powered by local people. The Experiences platform is now open to hosts all across South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco. Globally, Experience bookings are up over 1100 percent in the past year.

Here are some of the Most Booked Experiences across Africa:

Paddle with the Penguins (Cape Town, South Africa)

Cape Wines with the Wine Guru (Cape Town, South Africa)

African Fabric Jewelry Making (Cape Town, South Africa)

Surf with Purpose (Cape Town, South Africa)

Walking Sightseeing Tour (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Enjoy Gnaoua Music with a Master (Essaouira, Morocco)

Sunset Camel Ride in the Palm Grove (Marrakesh, Morocco)

Explore Urban Gardening with a Farmer (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Coffee Farm Tour (Nairobi, Kenya)

Nairobi National Park Tour (Nairobi, Kenya)

Read more about Airbnb’s economic impact in Africa and Africa Travel Summit. 

The Airbnb Press Room is aimed at journalists. All Homes and Experiences referenced on the Airbnb Press Room are intended purely to inspire and illustrate. Airbnb does not recommend or endorse specific Home listings or any other Homes or Experiences on the Airbnb platform.