You have finally decided to book your ticket for an unforgettable African adventure. You have mapped out a rough itinerary and selected your safari. Soon you will be on your own – hooray!
Africa offers everything. From its amazing natural environment to its rich cultural history to its friendly locals and vibrant markets, Africa has it all. This fascinating continent is captivating and will keep you coming back over and over. It can be daunting for even the most experienced explorers to explore.
How to speak the language
Be calm if you are worried about getting stuck at the Tanzanian airport forever because your taxi driver can’t speak fluent swahili.
You don’t have to rely on English alone. Learn key phrases. It will be appreciated by the locals and it will make your experience richer. We were able to share our best Chichewa with a Malawian fruit vendor who was kind enough to give us a few extra pieces.
How the locals look like
Don’t let the movies fool you; Africans are among the most friendly people on the planet. You will be welcomed with a big smile and a hello. Most people are eager to know your name, whereabouts, and why you’re here.
How to avoid border problems
Travellers can find it frustrating to deal with corrupt borders in Africa.
While most people will pass without any issues, you might have to wait for hours to get your passport processed. Or you may be required to pay a corrupt official a fee. There are also those who will offer to exchange money at ridiculous rates or sell you anything, from samosas to bangles. (side note: Always buy the samosas guys).
How to get around
It doesn’t matter where you live or where you go, it is possible to travel from A-to B in Africa. It’s a different story how you get from A to B.
You can travel in a taxi, a tuk-tuk, moped, or rickshaw. It is possible to find yourself on a bus or flight, or in a minibus with 25 others (and maybe a goat or chicken). You might also be able to ride with half of the village back from the markets in a pickup truck.
There are many options for where you can lay your head in Africa. You have the option of luxury safari tents that are custom-made and designed to look like Prince Harry.
Many travelers choose to camp while traveling through Africa. We did it often! Because camping is easy, affordable, safe, and offers many good amenities, it’s a popular choice. What better way to meet new people than sitting around the campfire and exchanging stories about your day? You can do it!
How to keep safe
In fact, we felt safer in Africa than in any other region we have visited. It is important to research your destination before you travel.
These are the key to a stress-free trip.
You don’t need flashy jewelry or designer labels. They are not practical and can make you look like a target.
You can only carry a day’s worth cash with you if you have a money belt.
Be aware of what is happening around you when you withdraw money from an ATM. You should not be alarmed if you see something suspicious.
Photographers are always traveling with large cameras and larger lenses. You wouldn’t know because they are safely stored in our bags until needed. Do not make yourself look like a target and wave yours around.
Avoid walking alone on the streets at night, especially in large cities. Take a taxi or Uber if you are out after dark.
Pickpockets are everywhere. Be extra cautious if you visit markets, bazaars or train stations.