5 Things To Know Before You Travel To Africa

by Roni

 Over 30 million Americans visit Africa each year.  Americans are slowly starting to understand that Africa is an amazing destination with so much to offer.  Before you travel to this phenomenal continent, there are a few things you need to understand. Here are 5 things to know before you travel to Africa that can help you plan a fabulous vacation.

1. Africa is not a country

This may sound crazy, but you have to remember that Africa is a continent  and not a country. Many people talk about Africa as it’s one big country when in fact it’s filled with over 50 different countries with hundred of languages, cultures, and customs. Going to Egypt is different than seeing Botswana and South Africa has nothing to do with Djibouti. Each country has its own beauty that is worth discovering.

2. You may need vaccinations

Before you buy your ticket, make sure to check which vaccinations (if any) are needed for the country you’re visiting.  Each country has different requirements and you must know what those are. I wrote about my experience with vaccines to Africa in this post.  The CDC (Center For Disease Control) will have the necessary travel information for you. 

 3. The heat can be overwhelming

The heat on the African continent may be very different than what you are accustomed to. Make sure to pack clothing that will help you stay cool yet also be respectful of the culture of which you are visiting.

Be sure to see if shorts, bare shoulders, and/or tight clothing is acceptable in the country you will be visiting. The last thing you would want to do is be disrespectful to the people.

 

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horse back riding in Ghana

 

4.  What you’ve seen on TV is not full reality

Many times, the only thing we see from Africa is starving children and big black men with guns. Africa is so much more than that! Yes there is poverty but please name me one country that doesn’t have poverty or people living on the street. In America our homeless problem is ridiculous yet that’s not the narrative that is told when you hear about the USA.

In Africa there are beautiful beaches and mountains, five star resorts and restaurants, spas, and anything else you can think of that is luxurious. Poverty is not the only thing Africa has, and it’s the least interesting thing about this magnificent continent. The beauty on the continent is unbelievable. Do not let the negativity you see in the media factor in to your traveling decisions. Africa is wonderful. 

 

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5. Each country has its own currency

When you travel to Africa you will need to get currency for whatever country you are visiting. Each country has its own money which you will need in order to buy things. You can get money before you leave from AAA if that is an option for you or you can change it at the airport.  There are ATM’s all around the continent but just know that you will be given local currency.

 

Have you been toAfrica? If not, is it on your list?

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8 comments

Chanel February 20, 2015 - 1:54 am

I will visit Africa for the first time this spring, and I am so excited 😀

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Roni February 24, 2015 - 10:01 pm

What country?

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Chanel February 24, 2015 - 11:37 pm

I will be visiting South Africa 😀 Specifically going to the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg!

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Nadeen February 20, 2015 - 2:59 am

Hoping to get there this year so thx for the advice!

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Roni February 24, 2015 - 10:02 pm

You will love it! Thanks for reading!

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Wandi February 22, 2015 - 9:49 am

First trip to the Dark Continent was to Cote d’Ivoire in 1992 with a reggae band. It was an AMAZING two weeks that happened to fall exactly during the African Nations Cup finals and Cote d’Ivoire’s victory!
What a SPECTACULAR intro!
Subsequent visits had me partaking in the MOST EXOTIC weeklong wedding EVER in Casablanca annnnnd a celebration of the new Millenium upon the Giza Plateau.
There is SO MUCH MORE to see and do!
I SO wish to trek Madagascar for a month!
And of course The Serengheti, Maasai Mara, Mt Kili, Victoria Falls and Kruger National Park are all on my to-do list!

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Roni February 24, 2015 - 10:02 pm

Your to do list and mine are very similar!

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Jacelyn March 17, 2015 - 12:17 pm

I lived in Rwanda for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer, and it was the most amazing and life changing experience!! I had the opportunity to visit a couple of other countries while there. Living on a very small budget I was able to truly experience these countries as the locals do. I visited Uganda (2 times), South Africa (Jo’burg and Pretoria), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar), and Kenya (Malindi).

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