20 Useful Africa Suggestions BEFORE Touring to Africa


Touring to Africa? There actually isn’t something fairly like touring across the continent. From the attention-grabbing cultures to the copious wildlife and mesmerizing landscapes touring Africa is certain to captivate your coronary heart.

I cried the day I needed to depart this wonderful continent after a year of overlanding there, and now return yearly. Nonetheless getting used to touring Africa certain wasn’t a stroll within the park. Listed here are our greatest Africa journey suggestions that can assist you put together for touring to Africa.

Useful Africa Journey Tricks to Know

Put together for Folks In every single place

People everywhere in Malawi
random highway in Malawi

As an alternative of thousands and thousands of vehicles on the highway in Africa, you’ll discover individuals. Except we’re on a rural African highway there are virtually at all times individuals strolling on the aspect. Truly no, scratch that – the extra rural we get the extra individuals we discover.

I normally hate lengthy distances and driving, however whereas driving parts of Africa I don’t actually thoughts. The views out the window are at all times entertaining and we get a number of waves (and many stares).

Put together for the “African Stare”

Staring in Zambia

That being mentioned…relying in your pores and skin coloration and the way rural you get in Africa, you’re most likely going to get a pair “African stares” as I prefer to name them. Among the locals (and particularly kids) might have by no means seen a white/Asian/brown individual earlier than – so chances are you’ll be very attention-grabbing to them. Don’t suppose you’re off the hook should you’re black both; Africans can spot a foreigner from a mile away.

We lately have been driving in a distant village in Zambia and pulled over to take a break, when alongside got here a boy on his bike. He simply stopped on the bike and stared…stared…stared… for about 5 minutes till we needed to inform him goodbye and drove off (see picture). It’s all innocent and in good nature, simply wave and present these pearly whites.

Put together for Issues to Not Work

South Africa
Someplace within the bush

One in every of my high Africa journey suggestions is to only put together your self for issues to not work. Is the electrical energy out? Did the water cease working? Does one thing simply not make any sense to you in any respect?

Properly TIA.

Or “That is Africa,” in any other case which means “Properly that is Africa, what do you anticipate?” You will note many issues in Africa, generally they’ll frustrate you and different instances they’ll make you chortle. Simply prepare for the trip when touring by Africa. One in every of my high journey suggestions for Africa is to be affected person.

This is Africa
And this submit is about to present us a “hart atack”

A pair months in the past this submit popped up in a Mozambique travel group we’re members of. We immediately bust out laughing and knew that one thing like this might solely occur in Africa. In case it’s exhausting to see the tile layer laid the tiles on the other way up. I actually don’t imagine this Mozambican meant to fail at his job on objective, I simply imagine he genuinely thought one thing like this.

“Properly, that is the right aspect for non-slip flooring.” Which makes whole sense in his thoughts and it truly is now a non-stick flooring. Nonetheless to westerners would fairly actually have a coronary heart assault in the event that they noticed this. In the event you’re touring Africa, you’ll most likely say “That is Africa,” in some unspecified time in the future in your journey.

Put together for Wi-fi Nights

Kasanka Camp Site
There’s no WiFi within the bush

One in every of my high Africa journey suggestions is to not anticipate fixed connection. Apart from Antarctica, Africa has been the final continent to catch on to the entire web factor.

South Africa and Morocco are among the many high rated for web speeds and coming from the US the place we’re lucky to have wonderful web, we have been nonetheless lower than impressed in each. Simply get excited when the “free WiFi” can load a web page, and pull out a book about Africa to maintain your self entertained whilst you’re ready.

If you wish to make sure you will have the web, I’d suggest choosing up a sim card in every nation and cargo it with information or get a transportable WiFi stick. Nonetheless, even with a sim card the connection solely works if you’re in a metropolis or city. It’s okay, although – the world received on simply tremendous with out the web for 1000’s of years. I contact extra on the internet in Africa here. 

Put together for Lovely Folks

Holiday in Mozambique Massinga Community
The great women of Mozambique

Most of the African people are warm, friendly, and hospitable. We frequently discovered that they’re simply as interested by us as we’re in them. If I may give you only one Africa journey tip, it will be to simply accept the curiosity and be sort again.

Put together for Unbelievable Star Viewings

starry night
starry evening in Mozambique

There aren’t many massive cities dotted alongside the continent so seize a snack, a blanket and put together your self for some wonderful evening skies.

Put together for Some Uninspiring Meals

Berber Omelette
Having a scrumptious meal with the Berbers in Morocco

French, Italian, Thai, Japanese are all cultures revered for his or her fabulous delicacies. Not the identical for many of Africa. Many Africans depend on maize, or corn meal, to maintain them full and glad.

Maize is affordable, filling, and may be eaten with nearly any meat or fish dish. It’s the staple in lots of African international locations, however to Westerners, the meals is probably not the tastiest.

There are a couple of exceptions, however typically, we haven’t discovered the native meals something to jot down dwelling about within the international locations we’ve got been. Moroccan cuisine and a few of the coastal dishes similar to peri-peri on the coasts of East Africa (hello Zanzibar!) deserve some recognition.

Put together to Throw Dietary Restrictions Out the Window

Mama Africa Mozambique

Are you on a weight-reduction plan? Properly, that weight-reduction plan could also be exhausting to maintain up with in Africa. Whereas I do imagine it’s attainable to be a vegetarian when touring Africa, it’s going to actually make your dinner decisions more durable. Like I mentioned many dishes in Africa are primarily based off maize meal generally accompanied by a heaping portion of meat.

Except you’re in an enormous metropolis like Cape City or Johannesburg, salads, smoothies, and different mild choices are not possible to return by. Additionally – it’s price noting that rooster isn’t thought-about meat in elements of Africa, so you should definitely specify if you’re a vegetarian.

Put together for Some Tried Bribery

overlanding Africa
Someplace whereas overlanding Africa

You’re doubtless to not expertise a lot of this drawback except you’re driving; nonetheless, it’s price noting that the police in international locations like Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania are infamous for making an attempt to get bribes out of locals and vacationers alike.

It’s additionally price noting that we’ve been touring in Africa simply over eight months now and have by no means as soon as needed to pay a bribe (though we did hand over a Coke as soon as). Endurance is essential when coping with African police.

Put together for the Surprising

Buying a car in South Africa
Getting our automotive completely Caught in Botswanan bush

One other high Africa journey tip of ours is to anticipate the sudden. Issues don’t at all times go in response to plan, so at all times be ready for spontaneous determination making. After two days of driving 1100 kilometers in Zambia we realized we had gone down the improper highway after following a map (sure, 1100 km’s).

A fast brainstorm and gin and tonic later, we have been already re-routing the subsequent few weeks.

Put together for Vivid and Superb Colours

African National Parks
Sunsets in Ruaha (Tanzania)

From Morocco to Malawi I simply can’t recover from how vibrant Africa is. It’s exhausting to have a nasty day when objects, wildlife, landscapes, and individuals are so dazzling.

Put together to Really feel out of Your Factor, Responsible, and Unsure

Travel Tips - Be Different In Tanzania
We have been the one white individuals round on this small Tanzanian city, so we made a number of pals!

Touring across the creating nations in Africa may be exhausting – particularly should you come from the west. Whether or not you’re wealthy or not again dwelling, in international locations like Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and lots of extra you will have cash (you’re touring in spite of everything).

You might even see many individuals and communities with nothing and it’s straightforward to really feel responsible. It really makes you’re feeling simply how lucky you’re. Nonetheless tempting it could be I by no means suggest giving out cash (or sweet to kids), as it could simply encourage begging. If you wish to give again take into account bringing garments, pencils, bread or something really helpful to individuals.

Put together for Pleased Youngsters

Funny Faces in Namibian Village
In a rural Namibian city

I’ve but to see an sad youngster in Africa. I’m not saying that there aren’t sad youngsters in Africa, however the kids I’ve come throughout within the villages, on the seashores, on the streets are at all times smiling, laughing, and stuffed with pleasure.

Okay, moreover the one time in a small village the place I made a bit woman cry by her (I came upon later I used to be the primary white individual she had seen).

They principally appear to get a kick out of any foreigner round! My favourite factor to do is make humorous faces at them they usually’re pleased to reciprocate.

Put together to be the Minority

Things to know for Africa
Someplace in Malawi

Black, white, purple, man, girl, it – you title it should you’re a foreigner touring in a rustic you’re going to be within the minority. Don’t be scared, simply embrace it!

Put together for Issues You’ve By no means Seen Earlier than

on safari in Botswana

I’ve seen elephants taking a mud tub in Zimbabwe, cheetahs sprint across the Namib desert, and even a Zebra give beginning in South Luangwa National Park. From the wildlife to the individuals, to the landscapes put together your self for spectacular sights.

Put together for Superb Wildlife

It’s tough to talk about Africa and not mention the wildlife. In the event you’re touring all the way in which to someplace in Africa I’d extremely suggest occurring not less than one safari (Kruger is great for your first time).

You’ll be amazed at what you possibly can see on the African plains with simply someday – Lions, Zebra, Giraffe – Oh my!

Put together for Loads of Driving

The World Pursuit
Driving throughout the continent in our 1989 Landcruiser

Whether you are self-driving, on an overland tour, or taking public transport the distances between factors are big! After some time of touring the continent, you would possibly get used to it. Because of this we always wear comfy clothes for lengthy days within the automotive.

I do know it’s gotten unhealthy once I suppose a five-hour drive is brief. I like to look out the window on the landscapes and other people passing. If that’s not your factor you should definitely obtain some podcasts, movies about Africa, good music, or books about Africa to keep you entertained.

Put together for Mozzies

Linyanti Concession - Botswana
On safari!

That is certainly one of my most essential African journey suggestions. I’m sure you will have heard of Malaria. It’s really serious in Africa. Contaminated mosquitos unfold the illness. Signs begin just like the flu and progressively worsen, and may even trigger dying.

Neither of us received malaria after touring Africa for a yr, however nearly each African we’ve met has, they usually describe it as a step above hell. There are quite a lot of mozzies in Africa, particularly if you’re by water. Cowl up, purchase insect repellent, and take into account taking prophylaxis.

Put together for Daytime Driving in Africa.

Can we make it across?
a “highway” in Zambia

We haven’t visited one nation in Africa the place it’s secure to drive at evening. In South Africa, it was due to crime. In Botswana and Mozambique, it was as a result of if there isn’t livestock on the roads, it’s elephants. In Lesotho, it’s as a result of the roads are pitch black and mountainous with no avenue lights.

Driving at evening in Africa isn’t a sensible thought, there are individuals on the roads, infrequently avenue lights, and don’t neglect concerning the wildlife. For us, if it means beginning our journey at 5 am, we’ll do it to keep away from evening driving. Simply not well worth the dangers!

Put together to Die!

Hippo Party on the Chobe River
Hippos are harmful!

Okay, probably not! I’m simply saying that from the horrible roads, well being precautions, and dangerous animals, touring round Africa is usually a doubtlessly harmful expertise.

It’s particularly essential to make good decisions and put together your self totally for touring on essentially the most undeveloped continent. With some planning and customary sense, you should have a beautiful and memorable time in Africa! We certain had a unbelievable yr touring there and now need to return each probability we get.

What to Pack for Africa

The World Pursuit At Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Packing the right safari clothes is at all times a good suggestion, but it surely’s by no means important as a result of you possibly can put on no matter you need. We additionally go in-depth on the best women’s safari clothes!

Plan Your Journey to Africa

  • Travel Insurance: We don’t journey with out journey insurance coverage and neither must you. You by no means know what can occur whereas touring so it’s greatest to be ready. HeyMondo gives glorious short-term and long-term journey insurance coverage. 
  • Journey Waterbottle: After we’re unsure concerning the water provide we use our Grayl Purifier. It’s are available exceptionally useful round Africa.
  • Digital camera Gear: Likelihood is you’ll need a digicam in your journey to Africa. We love the Sony RX100V for a pocket-size digicam and the Fujifilm XT-4 for knowledgeable digicam. Try our favorite cameras for Africa.
  • Safari Garments: Light-weight, beige, and moisture-wicking clothes are nice for touring Africa. See our favourite safari clothing here.
  • Safari Hat: A great hat is each fashionable and practical.
  • Safari Bag: A sturdy bag is good for touring round Africa.
  • Safari Pants: We suggest neutral-colored pants as they’re nice at hiding grime and may match most shirt colours.
  • Safari Shirt: Shirts like these are light-weight and maintain the bugs away!
  • Boots: Whilst you don’t must put on sturdy footwear on daily basis, not less than one pair of safari boots will make your journey nicer!
  • Travel Adapter: You’ll want a particular journey adapter for touring Africa. Get one before you get there so that you don’t pay a premium on the bottom.

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