Aerial view of  Third Mainland Bridge, Nigeria.

10 Longest Bridges In Africa

Bridges, a testament to human ingenuity, are some of the most important components of modern infrastructure. With the help of novel designs, materials, and concepts, humans have been able to create all kinds of bridges, and longer bridges have been built over the years. Countries worldwide can now connect distant cities, islands, and gaps with the help of complex engineering and bridges. Africa is also not far behind, and the rapidly developing countries of the continent can now boast some massive and unique bridges. Below is a list of ten of Africa's longest bridges:

1. 6th October Bridge, Egypt - 12.7 miles (20.5 km)

The 6th October Bridge over the Nile in Cairo, Egypt.
The 6th October Bridge over the Nile in Cairo, Egypt.

The 6th October Bridge in Egypt is by far the longest in Africa. So, why exactly is there such a massive bridge in Egypt? Well, this immense structure was designed to increase connectivity throughout the capital of Cairo. The construction of this bridge began in 1969 by the Egyptian company Arab Contractors. Engineers built the bridge using a cantilever carriage and launching truss system, and they completed it in 1996. The name commemorated the date of "The Crossing," and it quickly became intertwined with local logistics.

As of 2023, experts estimate that 500,000 people use the 6th October Bridge daily. Whether this is for traveling to work, the airport, or even other cities, this bridge is part of various routes. In fact, it is so important for transport, tourism, and the economy that locals have nicknamed it the 'spinal cord of Cairo.' So, if you ever plan on visiting bridges in Africa, this mega structure has to be at the top of your list.

2. Third Mainland Bridge, Nigeria - 7.3 miles (11.8 km)

Third Mainland Bridge of Lagos, Nigeria, crossing the Lagos Lagoon.
Third Mainland Bridge of Lagos, Nigeria, crossing the Lagos Lagoon.

Located in Lagos, Nigeria, the Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three road bridges crossing the Lagos Lagoon. Officially named the Ibrahim Babangida Bridge after a Nigerian president, It connects the commercial district to the mainland of Lagos. For this, the bridge spans 7.3 miles, making it Africa's second-longest bridge. The Third Mainland Bridge was built in the late 1970s to relieve congestion and traffic caused by rapid growth in Lagos. Julius Berger and PGH Venture completed the project in multiple phases and opened it to the public in 1990. Over the past 33 years, it has seen immense traffic supporting daily commuters to and from work.

But, due to the massive load, problems such as cracks and vibrations began to arise in the 2000s. For example, in 2006, many commuters claimed the bridge was vibrating and scaring traffic. To solve this, the Third Mainland Bridge has gone through many repairs and closures. The most recent of these took place in November 2023 for five weeks.

3. Suez Canal Bridge, Egypt - 2.4 miles (3.9 km)

The Suez Canal Bridge crossing the Suez Canal with ships passing below.
The Suez Canal Bridge crossing the Suez Canal with ships passing below.

The Suez Canal Bridge in Egypt is a major project in the region that links the continents of Asia and Africa. Japan and Egypt provided financial assistance to build it as part of a drive to develop the Suez Canal's surrounding areas. Construction began in 1995 with a consortium of firms, including Nippon Steel and Kajima Corporation. The bridge's design includes a cable-stayed semi-fan arrangement with two main pylons supporting the main span. Construction took six years in total, and they opened the Suez Canal Bridge on October 9, 2009. The bridge has a total length of 2.4 miles, crossing the Suez Canal, making it Africa's third longest bridge. It boasts a clearance of 230 feet, which allows ships as tall as 68 m to pass below it. Moreover, a width of 75 feet allows four lanes of vehicular traffic for smooth connectivity.

4. Mozambique Island Bridge, Mozambique - 1.9 miles (3.8 km)

The Mozambique Island Bridge across the ocean in Mozambique.

The Mozambique Island Bridge is the third consecutive entry from Mozambique and the country's longest bridge. Boasting a length of 1.9 miles, it takes the top spot from the Dona Ana Bridge. Unlike many of the other bridges on this list, the Mozambique Island Bridge does not span a river but instead an ocean. That's right! It crosses the Indian Ocean to connect the Island of Mozambique (former capital of Portuguese East Africa) to the Mainland. It was built in 1969 after a tender by the government of Mozambique. Since then, the bridge has undergone renovation and improvement, which enabled it to have a complete lighting system. However, low traffic makes it a one-way, one-lane concrete bridge for limited vehicles. So, Mozambique is a hotspot for people who want to check out long bridges in Africa!

5. Dona Ana Bridge, Mozambique - 2.3 miles (3.67 km)

 Dona Ana Bridge across the Zambezi River in Mozambique.
 Dona Ana Bridge across the Zambezi River in Mozambique.

The Dona Ana Bridge is a bridge spanning the Zambezi River in Mozambique. That said, unlike its counterpart, engineers constructed this bridge for rail transport. Built by the Portuguese in 1934, it connected Malawi with the coal fields of Moatize and the port of Beira. At the time, it was the longest railway bridge in Africa, with 40 spans! However, the bridge became unusable by 1980, and authorities closed it for nearly a decade. It wasn't until the late 1980s that basic repairs were conducted to transform the Dona Ana Bridge into a single-lane road bridge. Following this, in 2009 and 2016, they restructured the bridge to be used as a rail and pedestrian route. As of today, the local Sena Railway connects to it, and it carries more than 3,000 walking pedestrians a day. Moreover, with a total length of 2.3 miles, it is the second-longest bridge in the country!

6. Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge, Mozambique - 1.5 miles (2.37 km)

Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge at night.
Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge at night. Image credit: Luis Canhemba via Wikimedia Commons.

Located in Mozambique, the Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge is a stunning box girder bridge that connects the provinces of Sofala and Zambezia. This bridge spans the scenic Zambezi River in Africa and has a width of 52 feet (16 m). The bridge was built in the late 2000s to replace ferries with road connectivity. It took four years and US$ 72 million to complete and was finally inaugurated on August 1, 2009. Named after Armando Guebuza, the former president of Mozambique, the bridge quickly became a lifeline for local road traffic. Currently, it is open to most vehicles with a toll depending on the size/type of vehicle crossing.

7. Qasr Al-Nil Bridge, Egypt - 1.2 miles (1.93 km)

Qasr Al-Nil Bridge, Egypt
Qasr Al-Nil Bridge, Egypt. Image credit: Mohamed Amarochan via Wikimedia Commons.

Spanning the famous Nile River, the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge is one of Egypt's most famous bridges. Built to replace the first bridge that spanned the Nile, the Qasr Al-Nil was a massive project in Egypt. So, it was awarded to the famous bridgebuilding company, Dorman, Long & Co. Limited, which is also credited with building the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. They began work on the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge in 1931 and completed the entire bridge in 1933 at a cost of less than US$ 10,000. The bridge is a swing bridge spanning 1.2 miles, and it was one of the most impressive structures in Egypt at the time. Since then, the 90-year-old bridge has become a tourist hotspot, and there is always a crowd clicking pictures or walking nearby. Along with the beautiful sight of the Nile's waters, one can also appreciate the two giant lion statues built at either end of the bridge. So, from its immense history to its alluring scenery, the Qasr Al-Nil Bridge is among the most popular on this list.

8. Wouri Bridge, Cameroon - 1.1 miles (1.8 km)

Wouri Bridge, Cameroon.
The Wouri Bridge in Cameroon. Image credit: Mboupda Talla Roger via Wikimedia Commons.

The Wouri Bridge in Cameroon is a big step up, boasting a total length of 1.1 miles. The bridge carries both road and rail traffic, connecting various major towns in Cameroon. The French built it in the 1950s colonial era to connect the port of Bonaberi to Douala. So, along with being one of the longest, the Wouri Bridge is also one of the oldest on this list. However, due to the old design becoming obsolete and undersized, the bridge recently underwent a restoration project. From 2013 to 2017, it was upgraded to a six-lane road deck and twin-track railway deck by Soletanche Bachy International. This has increased Wouri Bridge's traffic flow and structural stability manifold, so it is here to stay!

9. Mkapa Bridge, Tanzania - 0.6 miles (970 m)

Mkapa Bridge in Tanzania
Mkapa Bridge over the Rufiji River in Tanzania. Image credit: Richard Nineham via Wikimedia Commons.

Named after Benjamin Mkapa, the third President of Tanzania, this bridge was a large endeavor in the country. The Kuwait Fund, OPEC, and the Government of Saudi Arabia provided a loan to finance the project, which cost a whopping $30 million. Following this, the Mkapa Bridge was designed by H. P. Gauff Ingenieure GmbH & Co and built by Italian firm Impresa Ing. Fortunato Federici S.p.A. over the Rufiji River. Upon inauguration in 2003, it had an impressive length of 0.6 miles, making it one of Africa's longest road bridges. Moreover, the Mkapa Bridge has helped connect various parts of the country for commerce, travel, and tourism.

10. Katima Mulilo Bridge, Namibia - 0.56 miles (900 m)

Katima Mulilo Bridge
Katima Mulilo Bridge, Namibia. Image credit: Eugen Zibiso via Wikimedia Commons.

The Karima Mulilo Bridge, also known as Bridge 508, is a 0.56 mile long bridge in Katima Mulilo, Namibia and Shesheke, Zambia. Officially opened in 2004 by the Presidents of both countries, this bridge was a major step in facilitating trade between them. This is because it spans the Zambezi River, connecting Namibia's Trans-Caprivi Highway with the road network in Zambia. Along with trade, the bridge also carries tourist traffic across south-central Africa. So, while it may be the smallest on this list, the Katima Mulilo Bridge is no joke.

The bridge is quite advanced as it was constructed using incremental launching, a German technique. Using this method, workers in Zambia built the 19 spans of this bridge and pushed them hydraulically, one at a time, across the river. In summary, the Katima Mulilo is a vital bridge that has been supporting Namibia and Zambia's trade for two decades.

Future Bridges In Africa

While these bridges may support millions of people and vehicles, the need for connectivity is still rising. Due to this, many major projects are in the works, which will change up this list soon. Some of the most interesting and herculean future bridge projects in Africa are:

  • Fourth Mainland Bridge - The Fourth Mainland Bridge will connect Lagos Island and Lagos City to relieve congestion on the Third Mainland Bridge. They expect to complete it in 2027 with a length of 23 miles (37 KM).
  • Unnamed Tanzania Bridge - Although it is in preliminary stages, the Tanzanian government plans to build 'Africa's Longest Bridge' to connect Dar es Salaam with Zanzibar Island. According to estimates, the bridge will have a total length of 31 miles (50 km).
  • Mtentu Bridge - Unlike the others, the Mtentu Bridge isn't very long but very tall. Planned to have a staggering height of 732 feet (223 m), it will be Africa's tallest bridge upon completion.

So, with these projects and many others in the works, Africa is set for major growth. With some of the most advanced and longest bridges, there are plenty of opportunities in logistics, connectivity, and economy.

Longest Bridges in Africa (2023)

Rank Name of Bridge Country Length (in miles)


6th October Bridge




Third Mainland Bridge




Suez Canal Bridge




Mozambique Island Bridge




Dona Ana Bridge




Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge




Qasr Al-Nil Bridge




Wouri Bridge




Mkapa Bridge




Katima Mulilo Bridge




More in Places