Africa’s famous for many things and it’s fair to say that it’s nightlife is not one of them.
We can tell you underestimate Africa’s club scene at your own peril. We’ve covered the continent in and out of bars and here are the top five Nightclubs we came across.
1. Coconuts – Maputo, Mozambique
Coconuts has to be one of the greatest nightclubs in Africa. It has to be one of the greatest nightclubs on the planet. That’s right it’s a big call. But we made it. This is where the rich and famous hang and you’ll see why. It is a massive complex which holds easily over 1,000 party goers, has 3 seperate dancefloors, a pool complete with swim up bars and blasts beats all night right on the beach. It’s open Friday and Saturday nights and it’s where you need to be. If you’re lucky they’ll even have a dancefloor pontoon over the water. Yeah, it’s expensive for this part of the world but if you want to get down – there’s no other place like it.
You’ll find it right on the beach in Maputo here.
2. Black Diamond – Nairobi, Kenya
This place is well, pretty great to be honest. Nairobi boasts perhaps the most developed and enjoyable nightlife scene we came across outside of South Africa and when if you head to the Westlands you’ll be impressed. There are a load of niche like themed lounge bars such as Havana where locals rub shoulder to shoulder with expats. After warming up there the only option you need to consider is right around the corner. It’s name – Black Diamond. It’s one of the best nightclubs we have come across in Africa which combines a nice mix of culture, events and an international crowd.
This is also a favourite place for prostitutes, (no – it’s not our cup of tea but it’s something we thought we should tell you), but from our experience, they’ll be all drinking Heineken so it doesn’t take much to work out who they are. We’re 96% sure they are supplied free by the bar if that helps. Either way they and everyone else there are nice enough and naturally are up for a chat and a booty shake. This place is a must when in Nairobi as you can dance and down quality Kenyan beers until your hearts content.
You’ll find it downtown in Westlands in the city and to help you find it even easier click here.
3. Le Villa – Lome, Togo
Let me guess you’ve never even heard of Togo? You might be surprised to see Lome on the list but this coastal gem has much to offer in terms of nightlife. There are dozens of vibrant street bars, there’s the African cultural centre for live music almost every night and there are a host of swanky bars littered in between. For a big night out that is certain to surprise you – don’t miss Le Villa. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a exclusive location in any western city with it’s ritzy cocktail bar vibe but it’s one of the best places we’ve found in West Africa. It has genuine electronic beats and modern music. You can barely find anything written about it anywhere either which adds to its exclusivity.
We’ll also admit, there’s something a little bit special about sinking shots with UN officials and dancing with members of an EU delegation to the best electro we were able to find but that’s a story for another day…
You’ll find it a few blocks down from ‘Al Donalds’ and we’ll give you the heads up – you’ll need to wear shoes to get it. Yep, that’s right, this was the first place in Africa after 3 months that wouldn’t allow us entry in our thongs (flip flops).
4. House on Fire – Swaziland.
Superior for Southern Africa. You’ll need to ask around but there is a pretty special tiered nightclub somewhere between Lombamba Valley and Mbanbane. Yes – it was so good we rejoiced in mass celebrations and can’t remember where it is or how to get there. Luckily for you, Swaziland is a small place and this club has a big reputation. If you’re even luckier, there’ll be some live entertainment to precede an evening of hectic dance and your hostel will provide a shuttle service. That’s how we rolled as far as we can remember.
5. Lombadi Beach, Accra – Ghana.
It’s not every day that you can join a beach rave let alone join a reggae beach rave. That’s exactly what you’ll find every Wednesday night down on Lombadi Beach. It’s at the eastern end of town but it’s here where you kick back and feel the reggae rhythm from the comfort of a deck chair while up-an-coming rap star wannabes battle it out live on stage.
Accra is loaded with bars and nightlife and we spent most of our time in the district of Osu, where you can find plenty of ‘ spots’ (the local term for bar), including Ryan’s and Duplex, both well known amongst international students.
We can’t not mention Ghana’s Holy Grail though – the street side bars in Accra offer value like nowhere else. We’re talking about Lissie’s to be precise on Oxford Street. Here you can grab local gin in a 50ml satchel for 30 pesewas which is about 15 Euro cents along with whatever mixers take your fancy. It may just be the cheapest alcohol we’ve ever come across. Jackpot.
What just missed the cut?
The capital of Mali, Bamako is unlucky to miss out as it is jam packed with great places to get your groove on such as Bla Bla Bar, Le Byblos and if you want to get hands on with the Malian music scene check out Djemba Djemba for karaoke jam sessions that you can join in on. We’ll give you a tip though – don’t upstage the old guitar hero, he may just unplug you.
We’ll also give The Gambia’s Senegambia Strip a mention. Just because it’s like a different World. Bars, Clubs, Prostitutes and European ladies with young local guys to go with the local reggae scene and trading beer for drugs if you’re that way inclinded. It’s always happy hour on the Senegambia strip, it’s full of touts and you’ll soon become a pro at working out how best to fend them off. Wednesday night is ladies night at Wow nightclub (Afrika Queen) and it brings in a pretty diverse crowd which makes for a fun night out. If you’re pale guys who can’t dance like us – don’t embarass yourself on the dancefloor. These guys here can and will dance you right back to your seat.