It’s important to be in the know before you travel anywhere in the world, and Africa is no different – such a huge continent demands enormous respect, and you should always be savvy before traveling anywhere.
If you’ve got round to booking that once in a lifetime bucket list trip to Africa and you’re all set for your adventure, here are a few tips to help you on your way.
Learning Some of The Language Wouldn’t Hurt
Don’t worry – the majority of Africans can speak English, a universal language that it is, so you can cross off “panicking that I won’t be understood” off your travel list.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make an effort, though – you’ll have a richer experience if you attempt some of the languages, and the locals will love it if you do. If they can see you trying, they’ll appreciate it, and if they laugh at your failed attempt, at least you’ve spread the joy.
Talk to the Locals
African people are among the friendliest on the planet, and during your trip to their country, they’ll definitely want to talk to you. Don’t be alarmed if you get lots of attention – it’s meant as a compliment, as they only want to get to know you. You’ll have a whole more fulfilling experience if you take the time to smile and wave back.
Be as Prepared as You Can For Border Control
Airport transitions can be a nightmare at the best of times, and African border processes are notoriously difficult. The best way to handle this – as with anything in life, really – is preparation. Try the following:
- Research visa requirements before visiting so you know exactly what to expect.
- Be organized: anything you can do in advance, do it.
- Keep your cool and stand your ground – certain officials may push their luck or try and influence you to pay money to speed up the process. Don’t give into to this.
Do Your Research
Sure, everybody knows that you can “go on safari” in Africa, but did you realize how many options there actually are? From a Serengeti safari to a Kenyan one, or maybe Zambia, don’t be afraid to travel a little further than intended or make a detour to get exactly the kind of experience you want.
The same applies to any deal you might be after – and don’t be afraid to take the advice of the locals who know the area better!
Expect the Unexpected In Terms Of Transport Methods
African modes of transport are varied, hardly ever on time and a fun experience if you allow it to be. Sure, nobody wants to sit on a cramped bus, but you’re on vacation in Africa – it’s all part of the experience! So embrace it.
You may even find yourself on the back of a pick-up with a few locals and a few of their best farm animals. Approach everything with an open mind – and a safety conscious mind, which means always travel by day if you can.