Traveling to Africa

A trip to one of the largest continents in the world is a long-lived dream for most people. The African continent is endowed with great beaches, different animal species in the vast African savannah, great scenery for nature lovers and historic sites and places. The rumor that Africans are uncivilized monkeys should stop as it is one of the places with the most welcoming people with diverse cultures. You need however to plan for a trip to Africa and plan carefully as things might not be as in European or other visits.

Things to do

Sunscreen, it is advisable to always carry and use sunscreen every time you are in bright sunlight. in Africa, the sun is brighter than the future and you might damage your skin while thinking you are about to get that tan.

Carry extra cash, you don’t need to carry with you all your life savings, but at least have some more money than you need. The price of the dollar or currency varies with time and you might also find yourself short of cash. Another thing to do is to notify your bank of travel plans so they can rule out fraud in case you try to withdraw money from an unrecognized zone. You can also open an account in the country if you intend to stay long and direct withdrawals from the home bank are unavailable. It has become a lot easier today with PayPal and other money transfer services.

Pack lightly, Africa is a warm continent, because of its location near the equator, thus you can leave all your warm clothes and stockings. Instead, get ready to enjoy late-night bonfires by the beach or moon watching from your hotel roof or hiking ground.

Be friendly, always show a friendly gesture when interacting with locals, smile, but of course don’t force it, ensure your mood matches the occasion sometimes you need to toughen up. Most of the locals have basic lingual skills for English, French and other languages. You can find yourself a local translator or guide if need be.

Ensure that your travel documents are in order and are not on the verge of expiring. Some countries do not permit visas and passports that have like a 6-month expiry window. Always carry duplicate documents in the bag in case you lose yours or a scanned copy in the phone, it makes applying for new emergency passports easier.

The don’ts

African people value their culture and might point an accusing finger at you for doing things differently. For instance;

The skirt and shorts for girls should be long enough when at dinners or cultural festivals, this is not the case with beaches and motels. Just ensure that you don’t make anyone uncomfortable, in your lingerie because of the warm weather.

Avoid flashy gadgets, for photography, it is advisable to use your phones in places that seem insecure instead of flashing expensive cameras. Always leave them in the room when visiting a local slum or going for a walk. The days of picking up your smartphone and getting on to find a service for your air conditioner is no more! You will need a phonebook and a payphone or other outdated method of communication. You will get preyed upon by the locals as all they see is money.

For all who have traveled to Africa, their dream is to travel another time, so get out there and make it worthy.

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