Essential Planning Tips for Your First Trip to Africa

The Orange River in Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Namibia-South Africa; Photo Courtesy: Javier Abalos Alvarez

The Orange River in Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Namibia-South Africa; Photo Courtesy: Javier Abalos Alvarez

If you’re planning your first ever trip to the magnificent continent of Africa, then there are a few things you should think about first. Whether you are planning to go on safari, hit the nightclubs of South Africa, or go shopping in a Moroccan souk, read on. We’ll give you some of the essential tips you will need to have a great trip, and come home with happy memories.

Early planning

First of all, it makes sense to work out what you want to do. Now, Africa is an enormous place, and anywhere you go has more than one or two fantastic activities to see and do. Your best bet is to write down everything you want to achieve from your trip, and see what you can find online or at your local travel agent. You’ll also need to arrange some holiday time. We recommend that you take at least two weeks off for your trip, as there is so much to see and do. There are parts of northern Africa that are perfect for a weekend city break, of course. But, if you go any further down south, the longer, the better!

Find the right hotel

Having a great hotel to fall back on is a great idea, no matter what you are doing. Take your time to research the hotels in the area you want to stay in, and choose something that fits your budget. You’ll find that you get more for your money if you are prepared to go out of the main holiday centres. The only thing we would say about this is to make sure the area you are staying in is safe. Look into local crime statistics, and call the tourist information centre for advice on the areas to avoid. This isn’t exclusive to African countries, of course – every country and city has its dodgy areas. But, when you are so far away from home, it’s important to go away with your safety in your mind.

Learn about the culture

What is your current view of Africa? If you go along with the media portrayal of the continent being a hive of villainy, starvation, and disease, you might be in for a pleasant surprise. There’s only so much you can learn about a place from the TV or even tour guides. Instead, make sure that you learn more about the culture before you go by looking at websites such as Africa Answers. There are all sorts of articles on there about African culture, from traditional to popular. You will find that there are many touching points between Africa and the West, and knowing what they are will stand you in good stead.

Get your shots

Finally, arrange to have your shots as early as possible. Some people can feel sick after their jabs, and it can take a while to get over them. You don’t want to ruin your trip away before you have even started, so give yourself recovery time before you leave.

Well, we hope this has helped. Check out a travelling guide for more awesome tips. Enjoy your trip to Africa, and let us know how you found this amazing continent.


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