Top five African airports

By Polycarp Kazaresam

In late 2016, website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports ran its annual Best Airports in Africa survey. In this survey, travellers were asked to rate airports on overall airport experience. Respondents ranked their experiences on the following factors:

  • Comfort (Rest Zones & Gate Seating)
  • Services, Facilities & Things to do
  • Food Options
  • Immigration/Security
  • Customer Service
  • Cleanliness


“The Best Airports in Africa are those that appear to have figured out how to offer travellers an efficient, clean and friendly travel experience. Though you won’t find a plethora of extravagant amenities here, you can expect these five terminals will offer reasonably comfortable chairs, clean floors and easy navigation,” the site states.

“Coupled with basic services like internet, restaurants, lounges and a few shopping spots, it becomes easy enough to spend your time at these airports.”

Here are the top five best airports in Africa based on overall airport experience, and justifications from TGTSIA.


1. Cape Town International Airport, South Africa (CPT)

“When reviewing the best airports in Africa, Cape Town International Airport is a long-standing fan favourite. Travellers are consistently happy with the terminals’ cleanliness and simplicity - and they’re pleased with the helpful and friendly staff. Amenities like 4 hours of free Wi-Fi, a few pay-to-use lounges, a small budget-friendly grocery store and a library are other welcome additions, not often seen in terminals across the continent.”

Airport Services/FacilitiesPay-per-use lounges • Free Wi-Fi (4 hours) • Showers • Flybrary • Baggage Storage • Prayer Room.


2. Kigali International Airport, Rwanda (KGL)

“Kigali International Airport’s 2014 facelift continues to serve travellers well, boosting its continental ranking for Best Airports in Africa from last year. Passengers are pleased with how clean and modern the terminals are, and by how helpful staff can be. The airport itself is decently easy to navigate, and services like e-clearing can limit the time you spend in line-ups. That said, the overall capacity of the airport for more passengers is limited, and a new national Rwandan airport is scheduled to start in June 2017. Hopefully, this new airport will include a few more entertainment options!”

Airport Services/FacilitiesPay-per-use lounges • Free Wi-Fi


3. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (Port Louis) International Airport, Mauritius (MRU)

“This “amazingly beautiful” airport pleases travellers with its solid customer service, good food, and a generally clean atmosphere. Though amenities and entertainment are a bit sparse, the indoor gardens make this a pleasant place to arrive and depart from - and apparently, the new custom officers’ uniforms make the whole place feel a bit more professional. As an airport with limited transit traffic, the easy-to-navigate terminals and variety of chairs makes Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport one of the best on the continent.” 

Airport Services/FacilitiesPay-per-use Lounges • Free Wi-Fi • Internet Workstations • Showers


4. Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport, South Africa (JNB)

“O.R. Tambo Airport appears to have lost a few points in the hearts of travellers this year. People still praise it for being clean, easy to navigate and full of good shopping and dining options. However, as one of Africa’s largest travel hubs, the long immigration queues and maintenance issues seem to be wearing on those who travel through. That said, Jo’burgs airport does go above and beyond in the amenity department. Here, you can find luggage storage, a supermarket, a dry cleaner, a barber, several pay-per-use lounges, and a ton of restaurants!”

  Airport Services/FacilitiesPay-per-use lounges • Transit Hotel • Free Wi-Fi (4 hours) • Showers • Prayer Room


5. Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport, Algeria (ALG)

“This year, Algiers International Airport kept survey respondents satisfied by being reliably clean, spacious, comfortable and easy to navigate. Though some feel the facilities available could use “freshening”, there are enough shops, restaurants and lounges to keep the transit traveller entertained. Plus, there’s a great number of sleeper-friendly benches located throughout!”

Airport Services/FacilitiesWi-Fi ($)


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Source: The Guide to Sleeping in Airports


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