What's Africa's greenest getaway city? Sorry Cape Town, it's not you

Nairobi rates higher by far according to a new ranking of the world's most eco-friendly tourism destinations, though the Mother City still made the list

07 June 2020 - 15:41 By Nomvelo Masango
Nairobi, Kenya, has been named the most eco-friendly getaway option in Africa, according to a new world ranking.
Nairobi, Kenya, has been named the most eco-friendly getaway option in Africa, according to a new world ranking.
Image: Getty Images

To celebrate World Environment Day this month (June 6), international travel-booking company Tourlane has compiled a top-50 list of the world's most environmentally-friendly cities for a getaway, putting Cape Town in first place in SA and 41st of the cities they looked at.

Overall, Berlin ranked as the best city for an eco-friendly getaway. Second and third places went to Vienna and Munich respectively.

In Africa, the top scorer was Nairobi, Kenya, which came in at number 14 on the list.

Tourlane's researchers used eight categories to reach its conclusions, with each city being given a score out of 10 in each one for a total score out of 80. These were:

  • Train accessibility;
  • Public transport;
  • Levels of car ownership;
  • The percentage of the city that is made up of green space;
  • The ratio of locals to tourists; 
  • Clean air, according to the World Air Quality Index;
  • Renewable energy (the percentage of total energy consumption that comes from renewable energy); and
  • Recycling (the percentage of waste that is recycled).

Nairobi's high scores came in the categories of low car ownership, the use of renewable energy, and its low ratio of tourists to locals.

Cape Town's better scores were for the categories of low car ownership, green space and clean air.

Cape Town's green credentials include low levels of car ownership and clean air.
Cape Town's green credentials include low levels of car ownership and clean air.
Image: Cape Town Tourism

London was rated the highest-ranking English-speaking city on the list, at number four, while Shenzhen, China’s green capital, was the top-rated city outside Europe.

Sitting comfortably on the halfway mark was Finland’s southern capital Helsinki, with its highest score being in the clean air category.

The only other African city on the list is Marrakesh, Morocco, at number 50.

You can find the full list of top 50 destinations here.


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