So you are heading to a certain country in Africa, and are asking yourself a bunch of questions: what should I know, how should I pack, should I even be going there! Well, you’re in luck! I have got just the answer to your questions. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your trip to Africa.
Africa is a beautiful place. It is complex, like every place else, and unique too. Like any new place, you want to get there prepared, not least of all mentally.
The right attitude. This is everything.
Are you heading there to explore, as you would a region of your own country you’ve never been to, or are you going there to show how magnanimous you are so you can tell everyone back home about how you helped out a bunch of poor African children and folks? If so, allow me to share with you my special home-made brand of tough love. If you look around your own home country enough, you’ll find many poor people and hungry children. Feed those, for charity begins at home. Why leave suffering people in your own backyard to go help those on the other side of the globe, hm? Be honest with yourself and find your motive, then decide if you want to make a trip to Africa and her many countries.
Check your prejudices at the door. Just because your home is bursting at the seams with all the amenities of modern day living while someone else is living in a mud and wattle house does not make you a better human being than they are. Until you can stand on a podium and say something like, “I invented electricity,” or “I discovered the germ theory of disease” or “I am the original Louis Pasteur,” stay humble. You are not any better than anyone else just by virtue of having been born in a more affluent piece of geography.
Okay, so in spite of my dose of tough love above, or regardless of it, you still want to head to “Africa” and still need some real practical advice. Well, here goes.
Other practical things to consider as you prepare for a trip to Africa
Make preparations specific to the country you’re heading to.
- Health – some countries need you to have had a yellow fever vaccination, in many others it would be prudent to start malaria prophylaxis before you get there. Did you know that parts of Europe such as Italy, Spain and others are way closer to the Ebola epicenter than the greater part of Africa? It’s true, grab a map/globe, you’ll see. So if you’re heading to East Africa and have been losing sleep over the likelihood of catching Ebola, you may want to ease up, breathe in breathe out, and do a little more reading about it.
- Weather and how to pack – believe it or not it’s not all hot all over Africa all the time. Do your homework, pack accordingly. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Visas – ditto. Do homework.
- Security – contrary to what you’ve seen on TV, Africa is not one huge war zone. To be certain of the security status where you are heading (since world leaders everywhere don’t seem to have tired of bloodshed) your country’s foreign missions web pages may have information on the area you want to head to, as well as useful tips.
TripAdvisor is you best friend.
Tripadvisor rich in tips on how to get around locally, what to see, what to eat, where to eat. TripAdvisor will also give you tips on what/who to avoid.
Feel free to get in touch if you want to talk more about what I have shared above, or leave a comment below if you just wanna say hi/ comment. Enjoy your trip to Africa and her many countries!