If you ask most people the places they have visited on their travels, they will likely list of every Southeast Asian or European country they can think of, while sprinkling Australia in there now and again. Occasionally, you might hear someone mention Colombia or Brazil, but most of the time, Europe and Asia are the most common destinations for backpackers.
However, there’s one continent that’s suspiciously absent from this list: Africa. But why? The answer isn’t too clear, but perhaps 2020 is the time to change that. If you want to venture somewhere that will likely be wholly unique for you and your travel group, here is everything you need to know before a vacation in Africa.
Consider the Weather
When someone says Africa, you think of blue skies and scorching heats, but this is only 50% of the truth, and you must also consider how cold it can get, even in the summer.
Areas such as northern Namibia can record temperatures that fall around zero Celsius, so you must pack an adequate amount of clothes to help protect you from the chill once the sun goes down. Likewise, if you’re embarking on any desert adventures, you’ll need long sleeves to protect your skin from the scorching sun, a bandanna to cover your face from whipping sands, and even additional layers for the nights you spend in a tent.
What’s the Currency?
Like most countries in the world, countries in Africa all use individual currencies, so you must understand what currencies you need before you leave. A Nairobi Holiday in Kenya demands the Kenyan Shilling (KES), whereas a trip to Ethiopia will require the Ethiopian Birr (ETB).
There will be ATMs and money exchange options out there, and you may even be able to pay with US dollars in some countries, but don’t count on it. If you’re heading away from civilization for a while, you’ll also need cash to pay for any food and drink, as there is no chance they will accept your bank card.
It’s vital to visit a travel doctor several months before you even get on a plane to ensure all of your vaccinations are up to date and also receive certain ones if you cannot enter your destination without it. Typically, this includes Hepatitis B and Yellow Fever, and you may need to present a certificate for the border to grant entry.
It will also be useful to bring malaria tablets with you, along with any medication that can help settle your stomach as you adjust to the food and drink you will ingest.
Remember Cultural Differences
Finally, as with any adventure, you must consider cultural differences and act accordingly. You will be a guest in these countries, and no one likes to hear about boisterous tourists having too much fun that they are disturbing the peace. So, enjoy yourselves, but don’t take advantage of the hospitality.
An African Adventure
While you can’t exactly call Africa an unknown destination, it certainly isn’t as popular as Asia or Europe. That could all be about to change, though. With such a diverse array of cultures from top to bottom, it’s secrets are just begging for you to unlock them.
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