Africa, one of the most exciting travel adventures we can ever imagine. Nothing like the western world. Just think about Safari and warm climate. The only continent in the world these days that kept so much of old traditions and rituals. So, if you finally decided to book a ticket for an awesome African adventure, you did not make a mistake. Make sure to pick the right safari that fits you best.
Ones you go to Africa, you will keep coming back. This place is highly addictive. This fascinating continent has a lot to offer: from a very rich cultural history to an outstanding natural untouched environment. Wildlife that is even larger than in Australia will take you back thousands of years in time when humans use to live in-line with nature. That balance got interrupted and our fast way of living creates nothing more but stress. We might appear richer in a material way, but our souls and connection to mother-earth are not on the highest level these days. This is why traveling to rural countries and areas will benefit us.
We all have concerns and even skepticism about malaria. No need for it. You should do some research, consult your medical practitioner and obtain info that might be beneficial to you in case you get in the situation that might seem risky at the moment. Yellow fever vaccination might be something that will help you avoid issues in certain countries that require this type of vaccination before they let you in. Make sure to have proper international health insurance in place and understand what that insurance covers before you go to Africa. From broken finger to major hospital emergencies – you have to know what your insurance will approve and what would be your co-pay. Find a local medical facility that would accept your international travel insurance before you even go there.
Decide precisely where you want to go. Each place has something special and unique to offer. See both sides: pros and cons. Think about how long you want to stay there. A carefully prepared budget will definitely help you enjoy your time better. Places are all different during and outside of the season, so your budget might make a decision instead of you doing it. Some agencies are offering group trips. It really depends on you if you are more comfortable traveling with the group or by yourself. The next thing would be the visa requirement which depends on where you are coming from and which passport you are holding. If your passport is valid for less than 6 Months – try to get a new one before you go.
Each country is different, so before you decide where you want to go – you should consider all the things you can do. Some great tips are listed on the web called WhileinAfrica. This website is very simple and informative for travelers.
Banking might not be as easy as we think. Certain parts of Africa still don’t have ATM machines and walking around with tons of money in your pocket might not be the option in life. Overall, Africa has been presented in the media as a poverty and crime type of country. In reality, the majority of African nations are very welcoming and peaceful countries. Being aware and careful is one thing, but being afraid for no reason is something totally different. So, do not be afraid of social interactions with people, just understand the difference in culture and work with it. You might find that most of the people are super-friendly. Frankly, you might have more issues with your locals in your own country than with people in Africa. They have some friendly and funny name for tourists called “Mzungu”, which means “person who wonders without a purpose” (literally) or in daily usage this word is understood as a “white foreigner” who loves to explore.
Building your tolerance and flexibility is extremely important if you are planning to go to Africa. You might notice that buses don’t have a precise schedule. They leave ones they have enough passengers. If you love your cosmetic bands, shampoos or sunscreens, you might have difficulties finding specific brands even in large cities. This is how life in Africa operates and you came here because you want to see something different. You might even be in a position to experience ticket price negotiation with small bus drivers. On the other hand, baggage is always free, but some bus drivers love to scam new foreigners and charge some extra money that goes directly into their pockets.
Some things are true that you heard about when it comes to Africa. People in villages live in more poverty than the ones in the city. Handout might be visible all over the place. This is very tempting, especially when parents send their kids to beg. Enforcing kids to stay away from schools and make the money for their parents is something that takes energy from us as soon as we see it. Always travel by the day. During the night, chances are higher to get in trouble as a foreign tourist. Also, make sure to carry some food with you if you go on a long-distance bus traveling, just in case you get stuck on dirt roads with no options to buy anything. Staying in contact with your family members at home while you are in Africa is very important. This is the best way for your family and friends to know that you are OK while you are not at home.
Do not be afraid of the language barrier. Overall, close to 2000 languages and even more dialects are spoken in Africa, while English is an official language. So, you are not going to have big issues in communication. Make sure to understand all legalities when crossing the border. What you can take in or take out from the specific country; how much you have to pay for duty; are animals allowed and which paperwork you need to take them in and so on. These are all the questions that you should consider asking even before you go to a specific country in Africa.
Currency exchange rates are very important to know. Try to avoid exchanging money at hotels or bars. They are always going to give you bad exchange rates. The very last option is exchanging money with your taxi cab driver. Besides them driving you around for additional time, millage and money – the last thing will be your payment as a rip-off tool. Uber does work in some countries even in Africa.
Trying to avoid scams might be one of the most useful tips for you, especially if you are going to Africa for the first time. Try to always negotiate your transportation price before you board the bus, taxi or any other type of transportation means.
We hope that the info provided will be beneficial to you and it will save you some time and money on “do it yourself” type of research.