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20 Africa Travel Tips to Help You Prepare for an Epic Trip

People everywhere in Malawi

There actually isn’t something fairly like touring round Africa. From the fascinating cultures, to the huge wildlife, to the mesmerizing landscapes touring Africa is certain to captivate your coronary heart. I’m already crying tears of unhappiness for the day I’ve to go away this excellent continent, however getting used to touring Africa positive hasn’t been a stroll within the park. Listed here are 20 Africa journey ideas that will help you put together in your journey.

Touring to Africa? Listed here are a couple of Africa journey ideas

Be ready for individuals all over the place

As an alternative of hundreds of thousands of automobiles on the street in Africa, you’ll discover individuals. Until we’re on a rural African street there are virtually all the time individuals strolling on the aspect. Truly no, scratch that – the extra rural we get the extra individuals we discover. I often hate lengthy distances and driving, however whereas driving elements of Africa I don’t actually thoughts. The views out the window are all the time entertaining and we get numerous waves (and plenty of stares).

People everywhere in Malawi

Be ready for the “African stare”

That being stated…relying in your pores and skin shade and the way rural you get in Africa you’re in all probability going to get a pair “African stares” as I wish to name them. A number of the locals (and particularly youngsters) might have by no means seen a white/Asian/brown individual earlier than – so you could be very fascinating to them.

Don’t assume you’re off the hook for those who’re black both, the Africans can spot a foreigner from a mile away. We lately have been driving in a distant village in Zambia and pulled over to take a break, when alongside got here a boy on his bike. He simply stopped on the bike and stared…stared…stared… for about 5 minutes till we needed to inform him goodbye and drove off. It’s all innocent and in good nature, simply wave and present these pearly whites.

Staring in Zambia

Staring in Zambia

Be ready for issues to not work

Is the electrical energy out? Did the water cease operating? Does one thing simply not make any sense to you in any respect?

Nicely TIA.

Or “That is Africa,” in any other case which means “Properly that is Africa, what do you anticipate?” You will notice many issues in Africa, typically they’ll frustrate you and different occasions they’ll make you giggle. Simply prepare for the journey when touring by way of Africa. Considered one of my prime journey ideas for Africa is to be affected person.

This is AfricaThis is Africa

And this publish is about to provide us a “hart atack”

A pair months in the past this submit popped up in a Mozambique journey group we’re members of. We immediately bust out laughing and knew that one thing like this might solely occur in Africa. In case it’s exhausting to see the tile layer laid the tiles on the wrong way up. I actually don’t consider this Mozambican meant to fail at his job on objective, I simply consider he genuinely thought one thing like this.

“Nicely, that is the right aspect for non-slip flooring.” Which makes complete sense in his thoughts and it truly is now a non-stick flooring. Nevertheless to westerners would fairly actually have a coronary heart assault in the event that they noticed this. “That is Africa.”

Be ready for wi-fi nights

In addition to Antarctica, Africa has been the final continent to catch on to the entire web factor. South Africa and Morocco are among the many prime rated for web speeds and coming from the USA the place we’re lucky to have superb web, we have been nonetheless lower than impressed in each. Simply get excited when the “free WiFi” can load a web page, and pull out a e-book about Africa to maintain your self entertained when you’re ready.

If you wish to be certain you’ve gotten the web, I might advocate choosing up a sim card in every nation and cargo it with knowledge or get a transportable WiFi stick. Nevertheless, even with a sim card the connection solely works in case you are in a metropolis or city. It’s okay, although – the world acquired on simply positive with out the web for hundreds of years. I contact extra on the web in Africa right here. 

Kasanka Camp SiteKasanka Camp Site

There’s no WiFi within the bush

Be ready for lovely individuals

A lot of the African individuals are heat, pleasant, and hospitable. We frequently discovered that they’re simply as as us as we’re in them. If I may give you only one Africa journey tip it might be to simply accept the curiosity and be sort again.

Holiday in Mozambique Massinga CommunityHoliday in Mozambique Massinga Community

The fantastic women of Mozambique

Be ready for implausible star viewings

There aren’t many huge cities dotted alongside the continent so seize a snack, a blanket and put together your self for some superb night time skies.

starry nightstarry night

starry night time in Mozambique

Put together for some uninspiring meals

French, Italian, Thai, Japanese are all cultures revered for his or her fabulous delicacies. Not the identical for many of Africa. Many Africans depend on maize, or corn meal, to maintain them full and glad.

Maize is reasonable, filling, and might be eaten with nearly any meat or fish dish. It’s the staple in lots of African nations, however to Westerners, the meals will not be the tastiest.

There are a number of exceptions, however generally, we haven’t discovered the native meals something to write down residence about within the nations we have now been. Moroccan delicacies and a number of the coastal dishes corresponding to peri-peri on the coasts of East Africa deserve some recognition.

Berber OmeletteBerber Omelette

Having a scrumptious meal with the Berbers in Morocco

Be ready to throw dietary restrictions out the window

Are you on a food plan? Nicely, that weight-reduction plan could also be exhausting to maintain up with in Africa. Whereas I do consider it’s potential to be a vegetarian when touring Africa it is going to definitely make your dinner decisions harder. Like I stated many dishes in Africa are based mostly off maize meal typically accompanied by a heaping portion of meat.

Until you’re in an enormous metropolis, salads, smoothies, and different mild choices are unimaginable to return by. Additionally – it’s value noting that hen is just not thought-about a meat in elements of Africa, so remember to specify in case you are a vegetarian.

Mama Africa Mozambique

Mama Africa Mozambique

Ready for tried bribery

You’re possible to not expertise a lot of this drawback until you’re driving; nevertheless, it’s value noting that the police in nations like Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania are infamous for making an attempt to get bribes out of locals and vacationers alike. It’s additionally value noting that we’ve been in Africa simply over eight months now and have by no means as soon as needed to pay a bribe (though we did hand over a Coke as soon as). Endurance is vital when coping with African police.

Be ready for the sudden

Issues don’t all the time go in response to plan, so all the time be ready for spontaneous determination making. After two days of driving 1100 kilometers in Zambia we realized we had gone down the incorrect street after following a map (sure, 1100 km’s).

A fast brainstorm and gin and tonic later, we have been already re-routing the subsequent few weeks.

To the Chitipa Border PostTo the Chitipa Border Post


Be ready for vibrant colours

From Morocco to Malawi I simply can’t recover from how vibrant Africa is. It’s onerous to have a nasty day when gadgets, wildlife, landscapes, and individuals are so dazzling.

Sunset in Africa

Sunset in Africa

Be ready to really feel out of your aspect, responsible, and unsure

Touring across the creating nations in Africa may be onerous – particularly when you come from the west. Whether or not you’re wealthy or not again house, in nations like Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and lots of extra you will have cash (you’re touring in any case). You may even see many individuals and communities with nothing and it’s straightforward to really feel responsible. It really makes you are feeling simply how lucky you’re. Nevertheless tempting it might be I by no means advocate giving out cash (or sweet to youngsters), as it might simply encourage begging. If you wish to give again contemplate bringing garments, pencils, bread or something really helpful to individuals.

Be ready for completely satisfied youngsters

I’ve but to see an sad baby in Africa. I’m not saying that there aren’t sad youngsters in Africa, however the youngsters I’ve come throughout within the villages, on the seashores, on the streets are all the time smiling, laughing, and filled with pleasure. Okay, in addition to the one time in a small village the place I made just a little woman cry by taking a look at her (I came upon later I used to be the primary white individual she had seen). They principally appear to get a kick out of any foreigner round! My favourite factor to do is make humorous faces at them they usually’re comfortable to reciprocate.

Funny Faces in Namibian Village

Funny Faces in Namibian Village

Be ready to be the minority

Black, white, purple, man, lady, it – you identify it in case you’re a foreigner touring in a rustic you’re going to be within the minority. Don’t be scared, simply embrace it!

Things to know for Africa

Things to know for Africa

Be ready for belongings you’ve by no means seen earlier than

I’ve seen elephants taking a mud tub in Zimbabwe, cheetahs dash throughout the Namib desert, and even a Zebra give delivery in South Luangwa Nationwide Park. From the wildlife to the individuals, to the landscapes put together your self for spectacular sights.

Mud Bath Time

Mud Bath Time

Be ready for superb wildlife

It’s robust to speak about Africa and never point out the wildlife. In case you’re touring all the best way to someplace in Africa I might extremely advocate happening at the least one safari (Kruger is nice in your first time).

You’ll be amazed at what you possibly can see on the African plains with simply in the future – Lions, Zebra, Giraffe – Oh my!

Etosha National Park Watering HoleEtosha National Park Watering Hole

Be ready for driving, and driving, and driving

Whether or not you’re self-driving, on an overland tour, or taking public transport the distances between factors are big! After some time of touring the continent, you may get used to it. For this reason we all the time put on cozy garments for lengthy days within the automotive.

I do know it’s gotten dangerous once I assume a five-hour drive is brief. I like to look out the window on the landscapes and other people passing. If that’s not your factor make sure you obtain some podcasts, films about Africa, good music, or books about Africa to maintain you entertained.

Driving across Africa

Driving across Africa

Be ready for Mozzies

I’m sure you’ve got heard of Malaria. It’s actually critical in Africa. The illness is unfold by contaminated mosquitos. Signs begin just like the flu and progressively worsen, and may even trigger demise.

Neither of us has gotten malaria (but), however nearly each African we’ve met has they usually describe it as a step above hell. There are plenty of mozzies in Africa particularly in case you are by water. Cowl up, purchase insect repellent, and think about taking prophylaxis.

Prepate for daytime driving in Africa.

We haven’t visited one nation in Africa the place it’s protected to drive at night time. In South Africa it was due to crime, in Botswana and Mozambique, it was as a result of if there isn’t livestock on the roads it’s elephants, in Lesotho, it’s as a result of the roads are pitch black and mountainous.

Driving at night time in Africa is just not a sensible concept, there are individuals on the roads, hardly road lights and don’t overlook concerning the wildlife. For us, if it means beginning our journey at 5 am we’ll do it to keep away from night time driving. Simply not well worth the dangers!

Can we make it across?

Can we make it across?

Be ready to die

Okay, not likely! I’m simply saying that from the horrible roads to the well being precautions, to the animals, touring round Africa is usually a harmful expertise. It’s particularly necessary to make sensible decisions and put together your self absolutely for touring on probably the most undeveloped continent. With a bit planning and customary sense, you’ll have an exquisite and memorable time in Africa!

Hippo Party on the Chobe River

Hippo Party on the Chobe River

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Plan Your Journey to Africa

We depend on a number of trusted web sites that assist save us time and cash when reserving lodges, flights, and automotive leases. Take a look at a few of our most popular companions under:

  • Overland Tour in Africa: Touring Africa by yourself might be formidable to many vacationers. Nevertheless, there isn’t any have to worry with overland tour corporations who will present the ropes and a good time. You’ll be able to take a look at a few of them right here to match the totally different corporations and probably rating a reduction.
  • Look the Half: Our favourite safari garments. 
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We by no means journey with out journey insurance coverage with World Nomads.  Natasha is a little bit of a fear wart and would quite keep protected than sorry. World Nomads provides unimaginable versatile and nice plans!
  • Water: A lot of the water in Africa is questionable at greatest. We all the time use our Lifestraw Go Waterbottle to make sure protected consuming water.
  • Information Ebook: Typically it’s good simply to have an actual ebook in your arms when touring. We advocate choosing up a Lonely Planet to get you thru the wi-fi nights.
  • Adaptor: You’ll want this adaptor in Southern Africa, and this one in Japanese Africa.

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