20 Must-See Movies Set In Africa

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Are you dreaming of traveling to the world's second-largest continent with a rich culture and beautiful scenery? This post will not focus on the rich African cinematic history but provides a selection of movies set in Africa to keep you entertain and inspire while planning your next trip to the continent, also known as the 'cradle of humankind.'

The First Grader

the first grader

A story of determination and will power. It is the real story of Kimani Maruge, an 84-year-old Kenyan farmer that enrolled in elementary school in 2003 after the Kenyan government announced that education would be free for all.



It's a musical movie set in Soweto in South Africa starring actress Leleti Khumalo as Sarafina and her favorite teacher (Whoopi Goldberg). It is amazing movie. It tells the story of brave students who stood against the oppressive apartheid system in the 1976 Soweto uprising.

Most songs in the movie are in Zulu, but you can find the songs' meaning in English online.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

The movie is based on the real-life story of William Kamkwamba. He is from Malawi, and as a young boy, he helped his community by harnessing the wind. It is an uplifting film.

Talking About Trees

It's a documentary following 4 retired Sudanese filmmakers attempting to revive cinema in Sudan.

Hotel Rwanda

hotel Rwanda

It is taking place during the civil war in Rwanda. Starring Don Cheadle as Paul Rusesabagina, the hotel manager who houses over 1000 Tutsi refugees. In the movie, his wife Tatiana is portrayed by actress Sophie Okonedo. When visiting Kigali make sure to check out the actual hotel called hôtel des Mille Collines

Queen of Katwe

queen of Katwe

This movie is based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young Ugandan chess player from kwate, one of Kampala's slums. The movie follows her journey and how chess changed her life. She is portrayed by young actress Madina Nalwanga and, her mum is portrayed by actress Lupita Nyong'o.

Half of a yellow sun

Half of a yellow sun

It's the story of 2 sisters in Nigeria and how their lives were forever changed due to the civil war in the 1960s. The sisters are portrayed by actress Thandie Newton as Olanna and Anika Noni Rose as Kainene, and Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Odenigbo. The movie is based on a novel by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.



It is a 7 Academy Awards winner epic romance movie. Meryl Streep & Robert Redford are the main characters, and the story is set during Kenya's colonial time. While in Kenya, make sure to check out Angama Mara camp for an out of Africa experience. It is located in the very spot immortalized by the film poster.

The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom

The movie is starring David Oyelo as Prince Seretse Khama and Rosamund Pike as his wife, Ruth Williams Khama. It is based on the heir's true story to the throne of Bechuanaland( Botswana) and his romance while completing his studies in London. It's a story of resilience and post WWII romance.