Traveling is fun, exotic, exciting, and special. It opens up so many new doors, changes perspectives, and enriches one’s exposure to multicultural awareness. While traveling, people change. They become less judgmental and highly interested in features of distinct societies and ancient civilizations.
Every state has its charm. Watching European beer on the streets of Germany can be intriguing while singing and dancing on the streets of Spain can be supremely delightful. At the same time, celebrating Confucius’ birthday in China can be an exciting event to attend, while celebrating Easter in Russia can be truly enjoyable. It all depends on the traveler’s preferences.
If you haven’t been discover Africa and planning to go on a trip this year then this guide will help you. You will find the answers: Why should you travel there? How can you prepare? And what else is there to know?
So, here we go!
1. How to Plan Your Trip to Africa
Karen Harrison, Sales Manager for Essay Scholar Advisor, and world traveler shares her opinion. “Traveling to Africa is not as expensive as people say it is. It all depends on how organized and determined you are.”
If staying in fancy hotels and eating expensive dinners is what you are into, this is not the place to search for advice. We will be discussing traveling to Africa on a tight budget.
- Decide how long you want to be there for.
- Start saving money
- Plan your budget accordingly. Make an Excel sheet and include all your expenses in it.
- Decide where you want to go. Are you a hiker? Or enjoy spending time at the beach? Would you like to go on a Safari, or do some water sports? Think about your choices before making a final decision.
- Consider the events that will take place while you are in Africa, and sign up for them in advance!
- Finally, book your plane ticket!
2. About Visas, and Passports
Before even starting on visas, you need to get a passport if you don’t already have one. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Start your passport application at least six months in advance. Do not leave everything for the last minute.
- Gather your documents: the application form, passport photo, your proof of identity.
- Pay the required fee.
Applying for visas:
- U.S. visitors who spend less than 90 days in a South African country will not require a visa. All other African visits will need American citizens to apply for a visa.
- If you volunteer in Africa, you will have to apply for a special visa.
- Some African countries will allow visitors to purchase visas when they get there (it depends on the state again, so please look it up!)
3. About Health
Vaccinations are required when traveling to Africa. The Yellow Fever, Malaria, and other similar diseases are dangerous, so if you do not follow the rules, you could be at a risk of getting sick easily.
- First and foremost, buy good travel insurance that covers hospitalization and all other travel requirements.
- Recommended vaccines: Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and B, Cholera, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Influenza.
- Watch out for contaminated food or water! That’s the quickest and easiest way through which disease spreads.
- Watch out for contaminated animals! Do not pet any animal that comes your way. You are not on American soil.
- Watch out for mosquito bites. Buy a mosquito repellent at the airport and use it all the time.
- If you feel fatigued, sleepy (two days in a row or more), dizzy, or experience any other unfamiliar symptom, contact a medical facility as soon as possible. Do not play with your health.
4. About Clothing
As anywhere in the world, different occasions require different dress codes:
- If you go on shopping, do not dress up! Wear something modest, casual.
- At the hotel, feel free to wear whatever you like, but try to keep it decent.
- During the daytime, it can get scorching; at the same time, it gets freezing at night. Find a balance of clothes – pack both warm and summery garments if you don’t plan on spending money on outfits.
- Don’t pack jewelry or any other expensive outfits.
- Don’t forget your camera – Africa has fantastic views!
- Extra necessities: sun cream, flashlights, and batteries (power cuts are regular), medicine (you won’t find the same American brands in Africa).
5. About Accommodation
Number one rule: always book accommodation beforehand. Check Booking.com, or Hostelword.com, and pick the perfect place for you. It’s important to know where you are staying when traveling to a new country – you never know what happens if you don’t book ahead, and that might be scary and dangerous. Before booking, consider the following questions:
- Does the place have good reviews? Check TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet, even booking, or Hostelworld.
- Have the former visitors complained about something you could not deal with?
- Are the hosts excellent/friendly?
- Is the place clean enough? (Super important, especially in Africa!)
- Do the rooms lock? Do I have a key to my wardrobe?
- Is the hostel/hotel situated in a relatively safe area?
- Is there Wi-Fi? Some places don’t have Internet, so make sure you check beforehand if you need to work during your time traveling.
6. About Your Personal Safety
We will provide you with some safety tips. Make sure you look over them and consider each one carefully. Stay safe!
- Do not overdress, do not underdress. Don’t wear expensive jewelry. Respect the local traditions of each place you visit.
- Do not walk alone at night, and be careful whom you talk to.
- Do not get into any cab – check its license plate first, and make sure it is a legit number.
- Let your hostel/hotel know where you are about to go at night (if you decide to go anyways).
- Do not leave your passport, money, keys, or any other valuable accessories at the accommodation while you are gone.
- Don’t give your number to anybody, only people that you know.
- Separate your money in two places – keep a certain amount in one place, and the other half in another. That way, if you get mugged, you will still have some money left.
- If something happens, do not freak out, try to stay calm, and talk nicely to whoever is that is causing you problems.
Traveling to Africa is a great experience once you are familiar with everything that could go wrong. Make sure you stay safe by following all the rules as mentioned earlier. Respect African traditions and customs, and be prepared for any life-threatening situation. On another note, make the best out of your travels by staying safe and sound!