Entertainment in West Africa

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Accra

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    This 'Jazz Bar & Grill', as the strapline goes, is probably the best live-music venue in Accra. Bands come from all over the continent and there is a great atmosphere. If you're hungry, on-site restaurant Le Chic Shack has fantastic burgers.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Lagos

    New Afrika Shrine

    Just by showing up you'll get a political education, a lesson in shakin' it and a contact high. Though Fela's original Shrine was burnt down, this replacement run by his children is the best show in town. Femi Kuti plays on Thursdays (free) and Sundays. Fela's most approximate reincarnation Seun Kuti plays the last Saturday of the month. Snacks, ice cream, palm wine and more are on offer. Smoking encouraged.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Dakar

    Institut Français Léopold Sédar Senghor

    This spacious arts centre occupying a whole city block is one of the main hubs of cultural activity in Dakar. It features an open-air stage (a fantastic place to catch a live-music gig), a good cafe, and exhibition and cinema rooms, and also houses a couple of artists' workshops and shops in its vast garden.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Conakry

    Faga Faga Fougou Espace Culturel

    This is one of the most exciting live-music venues in Conakry. The ocean-side stage hosts a diverse array of local and West African groups performing anything from rap to world music to Afro-funk. The atmosphere is very chilled and welcoming and there are performances most nights, except Sundays. Entry fees vary depending on who is playing.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Conakry

    Centre Culturel Franco-Guinéen

    French cultural centres in Africa usually put on diverse and exciting events, art-house films, world music concerts and exhibitions, and this one is no exception. As well as a busy cultural calender there's also a library. Closing times vary depending on what events are taking place that evening.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Yaoundé

    Institut Français

    With a hip, graffitied exterior and a culturally buzzing interior, this is a relaxed spot to catch a film or music event, see an exhibition or have a drink or food at the in-house Café de France. There’s a good library of French titles to browse.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Ouagadougou

    Petit Bazar

    A pleasant watering hole by day and live music venue by night, with bands every night from 8pm. Especially popular are traditional music nights; go in, ask what's on, and join in the dancing.

  • Entertainment in Malabo

    L'Institut Culturel d'Expression Française

    All sorts of artistic endeavours are represented here, from debates to musical evenings, fashion shows, dance and art exhibitions. Both locals and visitors from France are represented. Find the program on the website and on the placemats in the restaurant, La Vie est Belle.

  • Entertainment in Accra

    Alliance Française

    With several concerts a week (rock, jazz, reggae, hip-hop), exhibitions and various cultural events, the cultural arm of the French embassy is a good bet whenever you're in town. If you're hungry, on-site restaurant Le Chic Shack has fantastic burgers.

  • Entertainment in Cabo Verde

    Casa Ramiro

    If you're staying overnight, don't miss the nightly performance (around 6pm) at Casa Ramiro, a grocery store where you can try local goat cheese and homemade manecon wine. Ramiro and his children, neighbours and friends all perform live music. It's in the main village of Chã das Caldeiras. After entering the village, continue 200m and look for it about 50m off to the left.

  • Entertainment in Senegal

    Meyazz Club

    The best new venue for live music is in Sor – well worth the taxi trip over if a concert is happening. Music is wide-ranging, from African rhythms and mbalax to reggae and global beats, and it draws a well-dressed, dance-loving crowd. In late 2016 the open-air club even hosted its first annual world-music festival, featuring flamenco, Cuban jazz and Afrobeat.

  • Entertainment in Dakar

    Just 4 U

    If you only have time for one live-music venue, don't miss Just 4 U. The small stage of this outdoor restaurant has been graced by the greatest Senegalese and international stars, from jazz to rap to folk and reggae. There's a concert on most nights (best on Thursdays through Saturdays), and you often get to catch the big names. Closed during Ramadan.

  • Entertainment in Malabo

    Centro Cultural de España en Malabo

    This large cultural centre offers Spanish courses as well as a wide array of free events such as concerts, film, theatre and dance, exhibitions, a library and children's activities. The pleasant restaurant (mains from CFA7000) serves Spanish food and is open Monday to Saturday.

  • Entertainment in Rio Muni

    Centro Cultural de España en Bata

    Housed in an interesting, modern building on the seafront, this cultural centre offers free music, dance, theatre, exhibitions and a library in addition to its Spanish lessons. Its popular restaurant next door was closed at the time of research, undergoing refurbishment.

  • Entertainment in Cabo Verde

    Quintal da Música

    For the best local music, head to this Platô restaurant, which showcases live acts every night except Sunday. Traditional sounds abound, from morna and coladeira to batuko and funaná. Reserve ahead.

  • Entertainment in Malabo

    Complejo Deportivo de Malabo

    Built to co-host (with Gabon) the African Cup of Nations soccer competition in 2012, this stadium holds 15,250 fans. Regular matches are played here; tickets are available on-site.

  • Entertainment in Accra

    Accra Sports Stadium

    Ghanaians love football, and this 40,000-seat stadium close to Independence Square, opened in 1960 and modernised for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, is where local passion for the game can be experienced first-hand. Iconic club Accra Hearts of Oak (http://accraheartsofoaksc.com) and Great Olympics (http://accragreatolympicsfc.com) play their home matches in the Ghana Premier League here, supported by loud, colourful masses of fans.

  • Entertainment in Ghana

    National Cultural Centre

    This is really just a collection of art and craft stalls, rather than a place to watch cultural performances (although these do happen from time to time). It's a very pleasant place to browse, however. There's plenty of quality craft on show, but little hassle to buy, and the stallholders are generally very friendly and accommodating. There are also several cheap chop bars in which to grab a snack or a drink. There are plans to renovate the centre to provide performance space as well as a restaurant.

  • Entertainment in Senegal

    Théatre de L'Engouement

    Set amid a lush forest-like setting a few kilometres from Toubab Dialaw, this open-air theatre hosts concerts and stages plays periodically from October through June. There's also a guesthouse, with rooms in hobbit-like burrows scattered around the property (dorms/doubles from CFA5000/15,000). Contact Sobo Badè for upcoming shows and to book accommodation.

  • Entertainment in Conakry

    l'Echangeur

    This humble bar looks completely unspectacular, yet it's where many of Guinea's biggest stars jam at the weekend, in a space overflowing with good vibes and cold beer. Bring a few Guinea francs to 'spray' the musicians in thanks for the praises they'll sing. On weekdays it's just a chilled-out bar.