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Teach English in Africa: Best Places & Jobs

Teach English in Africa

Teaching English in Africa offers a diverse and profoundly impactful experience across a continent with over 50 countries, each with its unique culture, language, and historical background. From the bustling markets of Nigeria and the historic sites of Egypt to the wildlife reserves of Kenya and the stunning landscapes of South Africa, Africa provides a vast array of environments in which educators can work.

The demand for English teachers varies significantly across the continent but is generally high, especially in countries where English is a lingua franca or where it plays a crucial role in commerce, education, and industry. Opportunities are available in public schools, private schools, language institutes, and through NGOs and volunteer organizations, especially in countries aiming to enhance their global economic ties.

Living and working in Africa can be challenging due to varying levels of economic development, infrastructure, and political stability across different countries. However, the cost of living is generally low in many African nations, which can make it easier for teachers to manage on their salaries. Additionally, the opportunity to make a meaningful impact in the lives of students and communities can be immensely rewarding.

Why Teach English in Africa?

Teaching English in Africa can be an enriching and life-changing experience for several reasons, from the cultural diversity to the unique professional challenges and rewards. Here are some compelling reasons why Africa could be an excellent place for your teaching career:

  • Cultural and Geographic Diversity: Africa is incredibly diverse, with hundreds of ethnic groups and languages. This diversity offers teachers a chance to immerse themselves in various cultures and to experience life in vastly different communities, from coastal cities to rural villages.

  • Significant Impact: In many African countries, access to quality education can be limited, and English teachers can play a crucial role in improving educational outcomes. Teachers often find that their work is not just a job but a contribution to the community's future.

  • Professional Growth: Teaching in environments that may lack resources and infrastructure can challenge educators to develop innovative teaching methods and to truly hone their skills. This professional growth is highly valued in educational careers worldwide.

  • Adventurous Lifestyle: Africa offers adventures like nowhere else, from safari tours in the Serengeti to hiking Mount Kilimanjaro or exploring the Sahara Desert. For those who love nature and adventure, Africa is a dream destination.

  • Cost of Living: While this varies by country, many parts of Africa have a lower cost of living, allowing teachers to manage comfortably on their salaries, especially when benefits like housing allowances are provided.

  • Expanding Opportunities: As more African countries focus on integrating into the global economy, the demand for English education is increasing, providing numerous teaching opportunities and the potential for long-term career options.

Teaching English in Africa allows educators to experience one of the world's most diverse continents and to make a meaningful impact in developing educational landscapes. It offers a unique blend of professional challenges, personal growth, and adventure, making it a compelling choice for teachers looking to make a difference.

Reasons why English is Taught in Africa

There are several reasons why English is taught in Africa:

  • Economic and business opportunities: English is the dominant language of international business and trade, so learning English can give individuals in Africa a competitive advantage in the job market and help them access economic and business opportunities.

  • Education: Many universities and educational institutions in Africa require English proficiency for admission or for certain programs.

  • Tourism: Africa is a popular tourist destination, and many tourists speak English, so being able to speak English can be beneficial for those working in the tourism industry.

  • Cultural exchange: Learning English can also facilitate cultural exchange and communication with people from other countries.

  • Personal and professional development: Learning a second language can also have personal and professional development benefits, such as improving communication skills and cognitive abilities.

In many countries in Africa, English is also used as a lingua franca, or common language, for communication among people who speak different languages. In some cases, it is also used as an official language of government and education.

The best places to Teach English in Africa

There are many great places to teach English in Africa, and the best place for you will depend on your personal preferences and goals. Some popular options include:


Morocco, a North African country known for its vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes, offers an exciting opportunity for ESL teachers. With a growing tourism industry and a desire to improve international communication, English teaching positions are available in public schools, private language centres, and international schools. Life in Morocco provides a unique blend of ancient and modern, with bustling souks, historic cities, and stunning coastal regions to explore. The cost of living is relatively low, making it an attractive option for teachers looking to experience a new culture while working in a rewarding profession.

Living and working in Morocco presents a unique opportunity to experience its rich culture, warm hospitality, and delicious cuisine. Moroccan food is a delightful blend of Mediterranean, Arab, and Berber influences, featuring dishes like tagine, couscous, and pastilla. The official languages are Arabic and Berber, with French widely spoken as a second language. However, English is becoming increasingly popular, making it easier for ESL teachers to communicate with locals. As an ESL teacher, you will be immersed in the country's vibrant traditions, including festivals, music, and arts, all while enjoying the striking beauty of its diverse landscapes, from the Atlas Mountains to the Sahara Desert.

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Egypt, home to the majestic pyramids and ancient civilizations, offers a wealth of opportunities for ESL teachers. With a growing emphasis on English language education, teaching positions can be found in public and private schools, as well as language centres and universities. Living in Egypt allows teachers to immerse themselves in a rich history, while also experiencing a modern, cosmopolitan lifestyle in cities like Cairo and Alexandria. The cost of living is affordable, and with numerous historical sites to explore, Egypt offers a unique and enriching teaching experience.

Life in Egypt provides ESL teachers with a unique opportunity to experience the country's rich history and fascinating cultural heritage. Egyptian cuisine is a delightful mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours, featuring dishes like koshari, ful medames, and molokhia. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken, particularly in major cities and tourist areas. As an ESL teacher, you will be able to explore the wonders of ancient Egypt, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the temples of Luxor and Karnak, while also experiencing the vibrant modern culture found in cities like Cairo and Alexandria.

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South Africa

South Africa, with its diverse cultures and breathtaking landscapes, is an attractive destination for ESL teachers. Job opportunities can be found in private language centres, public schools, and international schools across the country. Major cities like Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban offer a cosmopolitan lifestyle, while smaller towns provide a more laid-back atmosphere. South Africa boasts a high standard of living, with excellent infrastructure, a thriving arts scene, and countless opportunities for outdoor adventures, making it a top choice for teaching English in Africa.

South Africa offers ESL teachers a diverse and vibrant cultural experience, with 11 official languages reflecting its rich history and multicultural society. English is widely spoken, making communication relatively easy for teachers. South African cuisine is a flavorful fusion of indigenous, European, and Asian influences, featuring dishes like bobotie, bunny chow, and boerewors. Living and working in South Africa allows teachers to explore the country's stunning landscapes, from Table Mountain to the Kruger National Park, as well as immerse themselves in its thriving arts and music scenes. South Africa's warm and welcoming people make it a wonderful place to live, work, and teach.

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Kenya, a country known for its abundant wildlife and stunning natural beauty, offers ESL teachers an exciting opportunity to live and work in a unique environment. English teaching jobs can be found in private language centres, international schools, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the country. Life in Kenya offers the chance to explore its diverse landscapes, from the bustling capital of Nairobi to the picturesque savannas and pristine coastlines. The cost of living is generally affordable, and with a friendly local population and a strong expat community, Kenya is an ideal choice for those seeking a rewarding teaching experience.

Living and working in Kenya offers ESL teachers a truly unique experience, as they immerse themselves in a country known for its warm hospitality, diverse cultures, and stunning natural beauty. Kenyan cuisine is a delicious blend of local and international flavours, featuring dishes like nyama choma, chapati, and ugali. Swahili and English are the official languages, making it relatively easy for teachers to communicate with locals. Kenya is home to a wide range of ethnic groups, each with its own traditions, music, and dance, providing a rich cultural experience for ESL teachers. From the bustling city of Nairobi to the breathtaking landscapes of the Maasai Mara, Kenya is an unforgettable place to live and teach.

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Tunisia, located on the Mediterranean coast of North Africa, offers ESL teachers a unique blend of Arab, African, and European influences. Teaching opportunities are available in private language schools, international institutions, and NGOs, with a growing demand for English language education. Life in Tunisia provides a rich cultural experience, with historic sites, bustling markets, and beautiful coastal towns to explore. The cost of living is relatively low, making Tunisia an attractive option for those looking to teach English while experiencing a new and diverse culture.

Tunisia offers ESL teachers a unique opportunity to experience its rich history, diverse culture, and warm Mediterranean climate. Tunisian cuisine is a delightful blend of Mediterranean, Arab, and Berber influences, featuring dishes like brik, couscous, and lablabi. Arabic is the official language, with French also widely spoken. As English becomes more popular, teachers will find it increasingly easy to communicate with locals. Living and working in Tunisia allows teachers to explore the country's ancient ruins, such as Carthage and El Jem, as well as immerse themselves in its vibrant arts and music scenes. Tunisia's friendly locals, beautiful beaches, and fascinating culture make it an attractive destination for ESL teachers.

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Other options to consider include Tanzania, Ghana, Uganda, and Senegal. It's important to do your own research and consider factors such as cost of living, safety, and cultural opportunities when deciding where to teach English in Africa.

How to Find an English Teaching Job in Africa

There are several ways to find English teaching jobs in Africa:

  • Online job search platforms: There are many websites that list English teaching jobs in Africa, such as Indeed, LinkedIn, and Teast.

  • Language schools: Many language schools in Africa hire English teachers, and they often advertise openings on their own websites or through job search platforms.

  • Teaching agencies: There are also agencies that specialize in placing English teachers in Africa. These agencies often provide support with visas, housing, and other logistics.

  • Networking: Networking and getting in touch with other English teachers or schools directly can also be a good way to find teaching opportunities.

  • On-site job search: It is also possible to find English teaching jobs by traveling to Africa and searching for opportunities in person. This can be a good option for those who are flexible and open to exploring different options.

When looking for an English teaching job in Africa, it's important to do your research and be prepared to meet the requirements of the job, such as having a bachelor's degree and a teaching certification. It can also be helpful to have some familiarity with the culture and language of the country where you will be teaching. Working with an agency or organization that can provide support with visas, housing, and other logistics can also be helpful.