Here you’ll find some useful tips or reminders for your next African adventure. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or just getting started on your journey it’s always a good idea to take into consideration the following when traveling to Africa.
Proper Immunizations When Traveling to Africa
Some countries will strongly urge you to have the proper immunizations before entering. The Yellow Fever vaccine is a common recommendation for travelers seeking to enter many African nations. While it makes not be a requirement to enter, it is still a good idea to get vaccinated. There have indeed been cases where travelers have been refused entry into a country due to this issue. Better safe than sorry!
Do You Need Malaria Prophylaxis?
Malaria is a common disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Taking medication to prevent you from getting it is recommended. Check the CDC website for a list of options. Pay close attention to the side effects listed for each medication. Also, take into consideration if you’d rather take the pill on a daily basis or weekly. There are many options out there.
Remember, this is going to be a trip of a lifetime. You don’t want to cut it short by coming down with Malaria. Take the proper steps to ensure a healthy journey.
Safe Drinking Water
You’ve got a lot to think about when traveling to Africa. Don’t let the little things turn into the biggest obstacles. Bottled drinking water can be purchased in many locations and is safe to drink. Consider staying away from well water or water from streams. If you think you might be in a tight spot consider a Life Straw Personal Water Filter. This handy little device works like a dream and will help keep you healthy and hydrated.
Check Ahead for Changes
The Department of State is a useful website for you to familiarize yourself with. It will provide updates that keep you informed on all the latest issues in various spots around the continent.
If the website urges you not to visit a particular area then please follow that recommendation!
Traveling to Africa is one thing, but actually traveling IN Africa is another! If you plan on hopping from one country to the next there’s a whole host of options: trains, buses, private cars, hitching, etc. Here are a few general rules I like to tell people to consider:
1.) Always confirm a price with your taxi driver BEFORE getting into the vehicle. This way both you and the driver clearly understand each other.
2.) I like to tell people to walk around their taxi just to make sure everything “appears” in working order. I’d rather be safe than sorry!
3.) If taking a bus, go to the company a day before and reserve your ticket. Depending on the company, they will ask for your passport. Always have your passport close to you in a safe location. Don’t forget your ticket on departure day.
4.) No matter what transport you’ll use remember that you’re not longer running on the time you are accustomed to. You’re running on African Time! This means everything will take a little longer. If you’re going to be on a bus or train for more than a few hours be sure to grab yourself some snacks and drinking water before you leave. You don’t know if the next town will have what you’re craving.
You’re traveling to Africa because you want to experience something new and foreign. Put down the guidebook and let the locals give you suggestions on sights, foods, and accommodations.
When you’re in the local markets you’ll see many people walking around selling everything under the sun. When they approach you (and approach you they will) kindly glance at their goods and either make a fair transaction or be polite and say “no thank you.”
You might bump into someone who tries to weasel their way into an extra buck or two from you but don’t assume that one bad apple spoils the bunch.
Open your heart and embrace the African people that you meet with joy and kindness.
Don’t Feed the Monkeys!
All those safari animals you’re excited to see are not merely roaming carefree around the continent. The animals are protected in parks and are generally kept away from local villages and people. When you go on your safari be sure to have an amazing time. But also be sure to follow the rules. Stay in the car or next to your guide.
If the sign says “Don’t Feed the Monkeys” then it would be a good idea to follow that rule!
Remember, it’s a privilege to see these animals. Give them the respect they deserve and everyone will be happy!
Traveling to Africa
It’s the best place in the world to visit! You’re going to go there, fall in love, and spend the rest of your days planning the next trip back. Have the time of your life but remember to remain level headed. If you take the above points into consideration then I have no doubt that Africa will be your next favorite destination.
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