Popular Sports in Africa

For a country as diverse and massive as Africa, its easy to understand how world-class athletes can be produced in every type of sport imaginable. For instance, in the world of athletics, Africans have dominated the sporting events for decades year after year. With that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at the country and the most popular sports that are played throughout Africa.


Football is a major sport that is enjoyed not online in Europe but across Africa as well. If you take a closer look at the FIFA World Cup and the African Cup of Nations, you will notice that several top-tier players form part of some of the most prestigious football teams in the world with the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to mention but a few. Football is a popular sport across the African continent, and the top African countries that participate on an international level include Nigeria, Cameroon, Tunisia, Senegal, and Egypt.


Rugby is a prevalent sport in Africa, especially when you pay a visit to South Africa. Rugby became famous on the African continent after the post-apartheid era in South Africa, allowing the national team to win the Rugby World Cup in 1995. The South African rugby team also managed to win the World Cup in 2007. This alone tells you how significant rugby is in the country. There are over 600,000 registered players, and ‘there’s plenty of rugby leagues all year round to stay entertained.


Cycling is expanding at a rapid pace across the African continent and is quickly gaining popularity, especially in Southern Africa, where you’ll be introduced to beautiful cycling terrain. For instance, you’ll notice that Cape Town hosts the Cape Town Cycle Tour which is considered to be the most significant independent race in the world which attracts thousands of cyclists every year. There are more than 25,000 registered members in South Africa alone.


When you think of athletics, most people immediately think of Africa and the athletes that hail from this beautiful continent. Africans come equipped with a remarkable display of speed, strength, and endurance, making them ideal for athletics, regardless of the discipline. Among the countries in Africa, you will notice that Kenya currently holds the record for the most wins from all other African countries with a total of 128 medals. In second place is Ethiopia with 72 medals along with South Africa with a total of 21 medals.


Did you know that during the apartheid era only white players were allowed on the South African cricket team? This is why the country was banned from international sports for more than two decades. Omar Henry was the first black South African to join the national cricket team in 1992. The sport’s popularity quickly increased when the continent hosted the Cricket World Cup. Most of the countries in Africa enjoy cricket; hence, why there are so many tournaments each year.