When most people think of “luxury,” they picture high-rise apartments in New York City, sprawling estates in Southern California or beautiful beach houses along Florida’s coasts.
You can find plenty of luxury homes in Africa, too, though these fine properties are often less talked about than homes in other parts of the world. To introduce you to some of the cities and countries where the finest properties can be found, here’s a look at 10 places where you can discover luxury homes in Africa.
Karen is a suburb just southwest of Nairobi. Here you can find modern, spacious homes that deliver easy access to the capital city’s central business district as well as to popular attractions like the Ngong Forest Sanctuary, Nairobi National Park and the Giraffe Center.
Many of these homes cost about 100,000,000 Kenyan Shillings, which is equal to about $975,000. The home below is one of the nicer ones in Karen, including 5 bedrooms, a rooftop patio and an elevator.
Lagos, Nigeria is the largest city in Africa, home to about 21 million people. But, despite the city’s size, few people realize just how many luxury homes are available there. For example, the Banana Island area of Lagos sits on the Lagos Lagoon and includes a range of homes with 5-plus bedrooms and high-end amenities like swimming pools, elevators, penthouse suites, gyms, entertainment rooms and more.
These homes are wildly affordable compared to similar properties in other countries. The luxury home described above would cost just under $1 million. See an informal tour of some of Lagos’ most attractive homes using the video player below.
Gauteng, South Africa
While many dream of visiting the coastal city of Cape Town, South Africa, the inland Gauteng province is home to Johannesburg and Pretoria — as well as some of the nicest, most affordable homes in the country.
Homes like the 5-bedroom property featured below cost well under $1 million. For a reasonable price, you can live in the heart of this historic country near its largest city and its executive capital.
Rwanda is a smaller African nation wedged between Uganda to its north and Burundi to its south. But Rwanda is home to some of the most spacious, affordable and luxurious properties you can find. In Kibagabaga, a suburb of Kigali, homes with 8–10 bedrooms and many amenities are priced at the equivalent of about $500,000.
Kimironko is another suburb just to the north of Kigali. This area offers views of the Masoro Mountains, as well as beautiful homes available at attractive prices. The home featured in the video below is located in Kimironko, and it includes granite floors, multiple balconies and security doors.
Grand Baie, Mauritius
Mauritius is one of Africa’s best-kept secrets. Located just east of Madagascar, this small and beautiful island is home to Grand Baie, where boats dock and people spend long days on the beaches. Nice single-family homes in this area can be purchased for a few hundred thousand dollars.
The video below displays the natural beauty of Grand Baie while also featuring a 4-bedroom villa that is close to everything people love about this island town.
Windhoek is the capital of Namibia, located in the center of this country that sits on the South Atlantic Ocean. Windhoek is home to several neighborhoods where $1 million can deliver a life of luxury. For example, in the aptly named Luxury Hill neighborhood, you can find homes with 4-plus bedrooms, 4-plus bathrooms and 4-plus living areas for just under $1 million.
The property below is located just north of Luxury Hill. It provides easy access to the Windhoek Central Hospital, Namibia’s University of Science and Technology and all that this capital city has to offer.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city, and it served as the nation’s capital until 1974. Today, Dar es Salaam and the areas around it are home to many luxury properties and high-end homes that offer access to the city’s center of commerce.
For about $650,000, buyers can also find homes in the coastal Mbezi Beach area that include 4 bedrooms and swimming pools — not to mention proximity to the area’s eponymous beach.
The video below provides a glimpse at just one of the many fine homes that can be found throughout Tanzania.
Sitting on the Gulf of Guinea, home seekers will find Accra, the capital of Ghana. And throughout Accra you’ll find many areas that offer fine homes at affordable prices. In the Ringway Estates neighborhood, for example, you can find homes with as many as 7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms for $750,000 or less.
The home featured in the video below is located in the East Legon area near Accra. This home includes a number of amenities, and it went on the market for less than $500,000.
Tangier, Morocco sits at the southern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. Morocco as a whole has become a tourist destination in recent years, driven in part by the popularity of the markets at Marrakesh. But the coastal city of Tangier is just as attractive for anyone in the market for a Moroccan home.
Modest 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes in Tangier might cost $500,000 or more. For something more luxurious, like the villa featured below, expect to pay closer to $1 million.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia sits on the eastern edge of Africa, and the capital city of Addis Ababa rests in the heart of the country. In Addis Ababa, home seekers can find spacious, American-style homes that are also affordable.
For example, the home featured below sits on an area golf course, and it was put on the market for under $500,000.
Where Have You Found Luxury Homes in Africa?
The cities and countries listed above represent just a small sample of the many places where you can find luxury homes in Africa. Have you found a fine home in a different part of the continent? If so, let us know about it using the comments section below.
Scientists In Tanzania Discovers ‘Invisible’ Malaria Species
Malaria is one of the greatest threat to health in the tropics. Governments and organizations around the globe are making efforts to curb the spread of malaria. However, it appears there are hidden facts about the parasite. A group of researchers in Tanzania have discovered malaria species that can live for decades in the body without manifesting any clinical signs. However, it still contributes to the transmission of malaria.
According to the study recently published in Malaria Journal, two healthy men still tested positive to Plasmodium malariae. Consequently, it made the scientific community ponder on the possibility that this malaria species can live in the body for a long period of time. The men who hail from Bagamoyo were 20 and 22 years.
The men were part of the research testing the efficacy of a vaccine. To rule out any possibility of disease, the men underwent a battery test. Speaking about the ‘invisible’ malaria species, Dr. Tobias Schindler, the lead investigator from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute’s Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology in Switzerland said,
“It is not sure if asymptomatic cases of Plasmodium malariae infections ever will develop symptoms…there are cases where people lived for decades with this parasite without any reports of malaria-like symptoms.”
Malaria species in Tanzania
There are five malaria species that affect humans and you will find all of them in Tanzania. However, Plasmodium falciparum is the most common and deadliest in Africa. Majority of malaria deaths in Africa are due to Plasmodium falciparum. The second most common malaria species in Tanzania is Plasmodium vivax. It is believed that this malaria species was imported into the country during the First World War by Indian immigrants. The other three species are Plasmodium knowlesi, Plasmodium ovales and falciparum malariae.
The scientists found Plasmodium malariae was able to live alongside other species of malaria. According to the study, it has been observed in an average of 15 percent of all malaria infection cases. Distinguishing the different species will be difficult with just a microscope. Rather, Schindler said,
“It is important to use new and better technologies such as Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR is an attractive addition to microscopy for confirmatory identification of Plasmodium spp. in clinical specimens, which are better at detecting disease, even when there are very few parasites in blood.”
Challenges to the fight of malaria
Tanzania has made great strides in combating malaria. For example, the incidence of malaria dropped from 18 million to 5.5 million annually between 2008 and 2017. Consequently, this has led to the prevention of 60,000 child deaths annually.
However, there are still lots of challenges that impede the fight against malaria. First, public health centers lack the facility to diagnose and differentiate the malaria species. Majority of the current techniques cannot detect malaria when they are in very low levels in the blood. Secondly, highlands are cooler and uninhabitable for malaria species. However, with global warming, these areas can become breeding grounds for the vectors. Dr. Fredros Okumu, the director for health at Ifakara Health Institute explains,
“Increasing temperatures, however, could transform many of these areas into stable malaria zones.”
Nigerian Teenager Sets New Academic Record
A Nigerian-born teenager is making waves with her academic achievement. Tobechukwu Phillips, a high school student of Alvin High School smashed a 125-year old academic history of the school. Phillips graduated with a 6.9 GPA after earning A’s throughout her stay.
Miss Phillips’ accomplishment breathes fresh air to the image of Nigeria, a country tainted by corruption. Consequently, she was the first Black valedictorian in the history of the school. Talking about her achievement Philips said,
“Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task. It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself.”
A brief history of Alvin High School
Alvin High School opened in 1894. However, it was not until 1965 before African-American students could enroll. Alvin High School was the only high school in Alvin Independent School District (ISD) until 2006 when Manvel High School was established. Besides academics, students of Alvin High School also participate in different sports including basketball, baseball, and football.
Alvin High School serves Liverpool and Alvin as well as unincorporated parts of Brazoria County. According to an online source, the school currently has approximately 2,800 out of which 86 are black students. Tobechukwu Phillips for a long time will be the face of Alvin High School.
What next for Tobechukwu Phillips?
There are other interesting aspects of Tobechukwu Philips worth talking about. She is a Rho Kappa Honor Society, a Sunday school teacher, an AP ambassador, and the president of the National Honor Society. Phillips also has tremendous achievements in volleyball and track events. Jennifer McGraw, Phillips’ track coach describes her as “an excellent student from a loving family”.
Tobechukwu Phillips will attend University of Texas’ Nursing School on full scholarship by Full-Ride Forty Acre Scholarship. There were about 4,000 applicants for the scholarship. However, only 16, including Phillips were selected. She hopes to one day own her own clinic as a pediatric practitioner. In a word of advice to other colored students, Tobechukwu Phillips said,
“My biggest advice to other scholars of color is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’ Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long. Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out.”
The Njangi: An African Financial Support System
In tough financial times when banks are failing and the systems we trusted before are no longer reliable; in times when money is scarce and financial responsibility enormous, I reflect on an age-old African system of money management that is used to this day. A community-based system that has supported families through tough times, stretched meager incomes allowing parents to educate their children; giving others great opportunities to develop their lives without the total dependence on any banks or major regulatory system.
The Malians, Algerians, Moroccans and several other French-speaking African countries call it “pari”. Liberians and Ghanaians call it “sousou”. In Nigeria it is known by many names but “ajoh” and “family lottery” seem to be widely used. In Cameroon “tontine” and “njangi” carry the same meaning.
The variety of names conveys the diversity of the beautiful African continent, however, the underlying principles that have been handed down many generations to guide this process are not new.
How it works
In Cameroon as in other parts of Africa, the Njangi helps individuals save money. When done as a group it gives access to large amounts of cash loans with little or no hassle. With major institutions having stringent guidelines for borrowers, especially those who may have recently migrated into the United States, njangi, sousou, pari and tontine have stepped in to provide some much-needed financial relief.
Whether it is a group of friends, an alumni association or just a handful of family members, some Africans have historically pooled their resources together to help each other achieve financial dreams. The detailed requirements may differ across countries, ethnic or cultural groups but overall, the process is built on a high level of trust. Njangis also provide an avenue to meet friends or family members, socially.
Take the example of a group of 10 friends who have formed a social group and njangi with a monthly meeting. Every month they each decide to bring in $500. Members could increase their stakes. Two members decide to bring in $1000 each instead of $500. That means there are 12 ‘hands’ of $500 each. The group, therefore, has $6000 at each sitting. In some groups, members may cast ballots to decide the order in which they take home the funds.
In other cultures, the hosting member takes home the funds and hosting rotates to a different member’s home each month. On the day of the meeting, everyone brings in their contributions and the first member takes home a cash packet of $6000. This process will rotate each month for a year to consume the 12 ‘hands’ of the Njangi. Each time a member takes home money, the member is said to have ‘chopped the njangi’. The two members whose contributions are doubled will have two opportunities to take home money. They could negotiate with other members on the collection times. In some larger groups members “chop” or borrow funds on a bi-weekly or even a weekly basis. The Njangi term is consummated when all hands have been chopped and the group can start over.
How it is used
Some groups use Njangis as a support system or investment club. They require members to leave behind a token whenever they collect funds. For instance, instead of taking home $6000 as in our example, each member leaves behind $50 which will be saved in a group account and could be used to invest in a mutual fund, visit a sick or bereaved member or some other purpose.
In some variations of this process, all funds pooled together can be borrowed. Some situations warrant the borrower to present some form of collateral such as a car or a house especially when the stakes are higher. In other cases, one or two members will have to surety a potential borrower. Trust is the dominant factor in groups practicing the Njangi.
Njangi funds have helped Africans achieve the dream of owning a home. They have also been used to pay tuition bills, buy a car or relief an immediate financial crisis. It has helped many Africans save as it creates a level of discipline since the funds are actually a loan and must be repaid.
Some Njangi groups are actually set up for investment purposes. Every time the group meets, they put money down and when a project comes up, they all go into the project as a group. Njangis have helped some African Entrepreneurs thrive and has been the stepping stone to low or no interest borrowing that has propelled many African businessmen and women into much higher gains.
Njangis could be compared to a secure line of credit. It could also be likened to an investment club. There are many Africans in the Diaspora who will laud this process for their financial success today. Njangis have the added benefit of developing deep and lasting relationships while achieving financial growth and independence.
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